The Stranger: You've stopped [sic] to a new low. I'm referring to the "I Got Drunk and Blew Three-Fourths of Van Halen" article "by" Sarah Palin [Sept 11] where you keep repeating "my fifth child, Trig, has the Down's." The Down's? You're making fun of disabled infants now? What the hell is the matter with you? Pick on someone your own size. You just made liberals look really bad. Shame on you.

Ramona Brown


Dear Stranger: Concerning your column "I Got Drunk and Blew Three-Fourths of Van Halen": My mama-knobs (doo, dooo, doo, doo). My mama-knobs (doo, doo, doo, doo). My mama-knobs (doo, dooo, doo, doo. Da doo, doo. Da doo, doo. Da, doo, doo. Dada, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo).

Keep up the good work.

Bryan Connors


Editor: Has Paul Constant ever read any science fiction? Neal Stephenson has to be the most overrated writer in America, possibly in the English language. Certainly in the history of science fiction. And Paul Constant, in one short paragraph [Genius Awards Literature Shortlist, Sept 11], makes the two stupidest comments about science fiction I have ever seen or heard (and I go back 50 years as a reader). The Diamond Age defined cutting edge for the next 10 years? God, what an impoverished imagination you must have. Only to be matched, if not topped, by the claim that space opera has been long stagnant. This statement is so off the charts I can't even parody it. If by "long" he means that any of at least three writers I can think of off the top of my head haven't published anything this week, I will concede his point. Please don't demean Sherman Alexie's well-deserved [Stranger Genius] award by following it with one to a libertarian blowhard suffering from terminal prolixity.

David Jensen


Editor: Here's a headline I'd like to see on the cover of The Stranger: "Racial Disparity in Seattle: Who Knew!" As I read in "In Other News" ["Marijuana," Dominic Holden, Sept 11], more than half of those arrested for marijuana possession are black, as opposed to white, even though blacks make up only 8.4 percent of Seattle's population. As a criminal-justice student, this comes as no surprise to me. The problem of racial disparity is a lot worse if you dig deeper—I've done papers on racial profiling, social inequity, and race and crime, and all the stats say the same thing; blacks are arrested at an alarming rate compared to other groups, and the reporting of it doesn't show how bad it is. I think the media is afraid to look into it because it's a black hole. We'll just leave it as Seattle is no different than L.A., Chicago, New York, Miami... When it comes to discrimination, who knew?

Terrence M. Scott


Dear Brendan: I just read your article "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to McCain's Speech" [Brendan Kiley, Sept 11]: excellent coverage of a weird thing. The stuff at the end reminds me of Hunter S. Thompson's Kentucky Derby article. Glad you were out there covering the bullshit. Keep your head down and your chin up, sir.

J Christian


Hi Erica! I saw your article about my little consulting business [In the Hall, Erica C. Barnett, Sept 11]. I don't mind you shredding me publicly to try and discredit a campaign you disagree with, but I should correct you on a few things.

First, the Proposition 1 campaign hired me to do fundraising. The underlying assumption in your entire story seems to be that it was the campaign's intention to use me to try and put a green spin on their position. This is not at all the case... I am a behind-the-scenes player just raising money.

Second, I was pretty clear with you that I don't represent environmental organizations when wearing my lobbyist hat; I represent businesses who are working to improve the impacts of their industry. If you had bothered to look into the agendas of my clients, rather than just the labels, you would have seen a much different picture than what you wrote about. The Seattle "developer" you mentioned had me lobbying the legislature in favor of greener building codes, among other progressive agendas. The septic clients I represent produce new technologies that retrofit polluting septic systems to eliminate septic pollution (a really big deal for Hood Canal) with non-GM forest soil bacteria, and the list goes on.

Using poorly researched information and right-wing tactics of character assassination to win campaigns is something I would hope to see left to people like Karl Rove.

Ezra Eickmeyer