Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

In a piece I wrote that appeared in the Sept. 5 Gazette I said that Sarah Palin when a mayor in Alaska attempted to get the local librarian to ban certain books. That statement is fact. That the librarian refused is also fact. I erred, however, when I stated that Ms. Palin then had the reluctant librarian fired; she only tried to accomplish that dubious deed. She failed, thus casting some shadow on her vaunted ability to get things done.

Allan Manings



Editors Vineyard Gazette:

The column by Allan Manings in the Sept. 5 Gazette is a partisan political attack, thinly disguised as humor, but the humor is as thin as the disguise. If he aspires to the laurels of Art Buchwald, Will Rogers, or Finley Peter Dunne, he should write in a way to amuse people of either or no party. Unfortunately there is no doubt where Mr. Manings is coming from or whither he is going with his spurious quest for an absolute for the word maverick.

According to him, “would-be president” McCain does not fit the first O.A.D. (paperback) definition because he is “branded,” although not “in the strictest sense of the word” an animal. “Ergo” the second? But Mr. Manings rejects that also, because “the Arizona Kid” went tamely along with “the party orthodoxy” nixing of maverick Senator Lieberman for veep. “Okay by me said John (I Am My Own Man) McCain.”

Mr. Manings then switches his jocularity to “Ms.” Sarah Palin, the “Belle of the Frozen North” who, “when only the mayor of a small Alaskan town . . . had her eye on a bigger prize,” so she fired the librarian. She was at least preferable to Dick Cheney, so “another maverick bit the dust.” Cheney has no perceptible relevance to the sobriquet in question, but he is an immensely unpopular Republican, so a jab at him is always good for a smile or two.

Mr. Manings advises that, since the present Republican crop of mavericks is so unworthy, “we should put out a call for Brett or Bart,” two TV versions with whom he is familiar from his pre-columnist days. Free of partisan cant, at least his conclusion has a semblance of what might be called humor.

William R. Deeble

West Tisbury