AMY JENNIGES: Henry Aronson is not running for office ["Henry Aronson Background Check," Oct 31]. Every citizen (whether they have a questionable background or not) has a right to, and should, question government--especially public development authorities. Citizens are not voting on what Aronson did or didn't do in the past, they are voting on a major tax proposal and project that will significantly affect their city and their checkbooks.
Whether you like the guy or not, you have to give Aronson credit for sticking his neck out and asking some tough questions about the monorail proposal--questions that you and the press should have been asking long ago.
Last time I checked with the Public Disclosure Commission, citizens still had a right to ask and know how government conducts business and spends money. Although Aronson may have not been able to extract all the information he asked for from the ETC, he did get enough to convince me that the ETC's plan is both disingenuous and flawed.
Patricia Stambor, via e-mail
AMY JENNIGES: Many thanks for your article about Henry Aronson's ethically challenged electoral past. Of late, I've been going through conniption fits every time some media outlet runs yet another quote from The-Former-Port-Commissioner-Known-As-Aronson. Does anyone beyond his immediate family really give a rat's ass about the man's opinions on any subject?
And surely the clock has just about run out on Aronson's--not to mention the local media's (The Stranger excluded, natch)--use of the "former port commissioner" moniker. Haven't they collectively sucked all the juice out of that stale old fruit?
For chrissakes, the man was elected to one term 18 years ago. I voted Democratic that same year, but I don't go around introducing myself with "Hi, I'm Laurence Ballard, former Mondale voter."
I received nearly perfect scores in high school, too. Perhaps I should add, "Hello--Laurence Ballard, former honor society member."
Just make Hank "the Crank" Aronson stop, please.
L. Ballard, via e-mail
STRANGER: Here, I was just about to vote for the monorail. Luckily I picked up your paper and found out that this thing was mostly going to be financed by "rich" people like me, who might buy a new car every 13 years or so, whether they need it or not ["The Stranger's Election Glee Club Endorsements," Oct 31]. Next time I'll be smarter and buy some $500 smog-producing piece of shit, and let somebody else pay for public transportation.
Howard, via e-mail
EDITOR: Look, I love the monorail as much as you guys, but I don't let that cloud my judgment regarding Sound Transit, as you seem to have done in your endorsement of I-776 ["The Stranger's Election Glee Club Endorsements," Oct 31].
The repeal of Sound Transit's part of the MVET was put in there strictly as sucker bait for anti-Sound Transit outrage; if it's actually instituted--and considering Tim Eyman's typical clumsiness in drafting proposals, there's little chance it'll survive a court review--it'll kill off Sound Transit's successful bus and Sounder services. And there are no provisions letting us vote for better transit. It's your average Eyman smash-it-and-let-someone-else-fix-it ploy.
I-776's sole purpose is to keep Permanent Offense in business. The message I send with my "no" vote will be unmistakable: Voters are fed up with mindless anti-tax ranting and are ready to get something accomplished.
Robert Vasquez, via e-mail
EDITOR: The Stranger's endorsement of I-776 is the worst piece of political logic since "If we drastically cut taxes for the rich, maybe the money will trickle down to the poor." Somehow, the monorail-obsessed editorial staff (and for the record, I'm voting for the monorail) seem to have linked the two issues, and are as giddy as schoolgirls about it. "Omigod, Suzie! Brittany told me that Brandon said that if I vote for I-776 it will help the monorail!!!" Are you people crazy? Here's what I-776 will do. It will cut 20 percent of funding for express buses, the Sounder, and yes, light rail. It will remove $220 million over the next 10 years from King County for local transportation projects. This will stop the city from fixing congestion at the Fremont bridge and other choke points; from funding the water taxi; from fixing potholes, putting up traffic signals, and fixing sidewalks. It will remove millions of dollars in funding for the state patrol and state ferries. It is a terrible initiative of the worst selfish motivation that allows voters all across the state to have a say in our local transportation issues. In case The Stranger forgot, they are a newspaper, not a campaign manager or a politician. Politicians never say what they believe, because they are trying to make compromises to get watered-down versions of bills passed. Newspapers, however, are free to say whatever they want, and do the public a massive disservice when they endorse a crappy measure in the twisted hope that it will help an unrelated measure pass. Just give us the facts and don't purposely try to mislead us. We're not that stupid.
Darren Schoen, via e-mail
SEAN NELSON: I'm very disappointed in your review of Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine ["Cheap Shots," Oct 17]. I must say, however, that I anxiously await each issue of The Stranger so that I can see which of you has your head up your ass this week. I'm sorry that you need to be led through a film to a grand conclusion. Not enough of a thesis for you? You obviously slept through part of the film.
I know most Americans have a hard time thinking for themselves and drawing their own conclusions. I had hoped that The Stranger, with all its wit and intellect, understood this.
Melanie Redman, via e-mail
STRANGER: Thanks for using my creepy leaf people for the cover of your paper [Oct 24]. I was very shocked when I saw it for the first time. Nice.
Keep up the good work.
Anonymous, via e-mail
EDITOR: If the "War on Terror" is really a matter of "Reason vs. Religion," as Sean Nelson puts it in his article thus titled [Oct 24], then please keep him from launching any more irrational salvos lest the battle be lost before it is begun.
The crux of Mr. Nelson's argument is that the motive of the terrorists is to execute blasphemous infidels, and so what happened in Bali could happen here. The crucial difference between Bali and Seattle, however, is that Bali has a history of preserving traditional culture and resisting Westernizing "vacation resort"-style developments, while Seattle is already a modern Western city.
Mr. Nelson's argument would be perfectly reasonable if the airplanes hijacked on September 11 of last year were flown into nightclubs, but they weren't--they were flown into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This was not an attack on apostasy, it was an attack on global corporatism and the militarism that implements it.
The deepest irony of Mr. Nelson's article is that the error he accuses our enemies of in fact characterizes the execution of our own national interest--namely "the right to murder or subjugate anyone who fails to come to the same conclusion."
The greatest danger to our world is facile dualistic ideology, of which Mr. Nelson's article is a perfect example. The struggle we should all be engaged in is not "reason vs. religion" but "truth vs. error," for those who follow the dictates of reason as well as those who follow the precepts of religion bear responsibility for their actions, and we all must suffer the consequences.
Bent Mangor, via e-mail
STRANGER: Thank you for all your good stuff about politics. I realize the "Election Death Squad" is replaced, but they coulda come up with an edgier name, couldn't they?
I am grateful for Rob Brezsny in ways that are hard to describe; he's the best.
Your voice, as representative of my sense of what's progressive and smart, is right on at least 90 percent of the time.
And I am most grateful for your "New York Times" articles on Jim McDermott! This is brilliant newspapering.
Anonymous, via e-mail