EDITOR: I wish I were a landlord or a boss whose housing or job Mr. Hutcherson needed ["Revelations," Sandeep Kaushik, April 28]. Then I could look him straight in the eye and say, "Nope," making it crystal clear to the good reverend that my denial wasn't due to his sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, or professional football career. He wouldn't get to live in my house or work at my place simply because he's heterosexual. Once again for the reptile brains: A law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing and employment protects all citizens, all taxpayers. Mr. Hutcherson is certainly free to practice his sectarian beliefs in his home and in his church, but he needs to learn that this privilege stops at my secular front door. I'm fed up with reporters evenhandedly kowtowing and pussyfooting to his biblical imperatives. I frankly don't give a damn what his "Bible" says--I don't believe in Thor, Loki, or Odin, either.
CRASHING PARTY CRASHER
EDITOR: Not only was Ari Spooge an imposing and unkind presence at our party, but we feel that her description of it [Party Crasher, April 21] was incredibly uninteresting and incorrect. I approached her at some point because I realized that she was crashing our party, which was totally unorchestrated by us, and she brushed me off. If you're going to show up uninvited to someone's house, at least have the fucking decency to be friendly to the people that live there. What she did was nothing near crashing a party, considering that she just snuck around and snapped unexpected photographs in people's faces. Great journalism, Ari Stool.
Cool Teen 2004
ARI SPOOL RESPONDS: Cool Teen, maybe the party-thrower didn't inform you that I was coming, but you should ask her. It was her birthday party, and she could invite anyone she wanted. As for "sneaking around and snapping unsuspected photographs," would you rather I crashed your party the traditional way--by destroying and stealing things? That's not the Party Crasher M.O., my friend. Sorry you didn't have fun at the party; it was a perfectly normal house show.
RIGHT ON DANCE OFF
HOWDY GANG: Thanks for helping to create the motherfuckin' dance battle of the century [See Last Days, Wed April 27 entry, p. 9]. By the turnout alone The Stranger can surely pat itself on the back for quite a good idea. But what gives? Surely you could have come up with a better sound system. I mean, Christ on a cracker, those German guys in the jumpsuits had a better boom box than you guys! Regardless, thanks for a good--scratch that--great time. While the goings-on were going on all I could think to myself was how kickass this town can be. You guys made a good call with regard to the winner. It was a close battle for sure and while I would have loved to see Fankick! pull it off, Streetbeat honestly had the better moves, although it's possible that some of the younger viewers might have been scarred for life (just beyond PG-13). Thanks again and long live Streetbeat and Fankick!
CYCLISTS VS. THE WORLD
EDITOR: First and foremost, I would like to express our gratitude to The Stranger's editors and Eli Sanders for insightful and critical look at the barriers that restrict transportation choice for many of Seattle's commuters ["Mean Streets," April 28].
However, the limitations of being interviewed on a bicycle, adjacent to traffic, in the rain became apparent when Mr. Sanders referenced my Plessy v. Ferguson comment. Indeed, I did mention the landmark case that institutionalized America's apartheid system for nearly 70 years. Unfortunately, between the noise and, quite possibly, my ragged breathing Eli missed the most important word in my statement. That word was "unlike," as in "unlike Plessy v. Ferguson."
Our position is akin to the Supreme Court decision that overturned Plessy insofar as we believe that "separate is never equal." If they are to achieve their potential, bicycling, walking, and transit must be truly equal in every phase of the planning, design, funding and construction of our transportation systems. Though there are cases that may call for segregated facilities, such as multi-use trails or bike lanes, we believe strongly in the creation of shared-use environments that balance the needs and convenience of all road users. These "complete streets" will go a long way toward restoring equal access to what are fundamentally and unequivocally public places--and not, as some may think, the sole domain of the automobile.
Advocacy Director, Cascade Bicycle Club
FACTUAL BUT INACCURATE
EDITOR: I don't mean to be nitpicky but the "Mean Streets" feature has an error. Plessy v. Ferguson was argued in 1896, not 1878.
CORRECTION: Last week, due to an unspeakable art department incident, Mike Winters' comic Really Hates His Job was mistakenly credited to Greg Stump. Both Greg Stump and Mike Winters have accepted the apologies of our embarrassed art director, Corianton Hale. We regret that his drinking is becoming a problem.
SPEAKING OF MIKE WINTERS
EDITOR: Alas, this week’s comic [“Really Hates His Job,” Mike Winters, April 28] was neither signed nor credited, at least in the online edition. It is a work of genius. My gratitude to the author.
EDITOR: So, let me get this straight. The Stranger finds a three-week-old article in The Register (a technology news website whose reputation for journalistic integrity is minimal, but whose penchant for publishing poorly written articles full of snarky commentary is legendary). The entire factual content of the Register piece can be summarized in one sentence: “At a recent computer security conference in Amsterdam, Microsoft rented out a gay nightclub for an invite-only recruiting event.”
Rather than praise Microsoft for its progressive recruiting techniques, Josh Feit rehashes this non-story, couches it in eight paragraphs of histrionic ranting, and somehow spins it into a commentary about Microsoft’s lack of support for gay rights [Counter Intel, April 28].
Come on, guys, you can do better than that.
BRING BACK WHITE FLIGHT
EDITOR: Boy, am I sick and tired of hearing about whiney well-off white folks living in Madison Valley who have nothing better to do than bitch and moan about crime in the neighborhood [“Miller Time,” Amy Jenniges, April 28]. I’ve got a brilliant idea that will solve all your woes: MOVE THE FUCK AWAY!!!!!
I’m willing to bet a bundle that Deano’s was on Madison way before you started paying a mortgage in Miller Park. Come on now, Seattle is a pretty damn safe city. In violent crime we rank low as a major urban area compared to similarly-sized cities in the national picture. If you’re afraid of black people, there are plenty of neighborhoods for you to live in and you can rest easy over the sanctity of your property value....like say, ANYWHERE north of Madison or east of Lake Washington. So leave Councilmember Licata alone, stop flooding 911 operators with petty “I just spotted a black person!” calls, pack up yer Subaru wagons, yer polar fleece and yer starbucks travel mugs and get the hell over to Magnolia.
As for the group of macho-men neighbors who have formed a “vigilante” crime-fighting crew, why don’t you go down to Arizona? I hear there’s a group of like-minded folks doing some work along the border (they’re afraid of Mexicans).
DEATH AT ONE’S TENSPEED
HELLO: I appreciated Eli Sanders’ piece on the hazards of bike riding in Seattle [“Mean Streets,” April 28]. I live in one of the 17 census tracts near the Fremont Bridge, and know all three death traps, including the rail link from hell, very well. A few years’ ago I rode behind Mayor Nickels during a Bike-to-Work kick-off event, and wondered what he’d feel like if he was a real bike commuter, instead of a pretend one, with a police escort, playing around on a high-end bike for a few hours. While I’m not sure a future of a total lane-free-for-all like we know from developing Asian countries is really an answer (after all, aren’t the Chinese going nuts about buying cars these days?), the current run up in gas prices can only help make people get real about this issue.
I SHOULD KNOW: I WRITE FOR TABLET!
ELI SANDERS: My dear boy, if you retain even an inkling of interest in print media, or the written English word for that matter, I implore you to stop whatever it is you are doing, take that creepy, rape-target elevator to street level, slap your sneakers over to Seattle Central Community College, then employ skullduggery or begging into JRN 100. Professor John Marrs will work with you to cure your heavy-handed use of metaphor and inability to develop solid leads and nut-graphs. On the grand scale, these tools will become invaluable in your future career as the Civic Desk Manager of the South Skamania County Dispatch. In the interim, overwrought diatribes like “Mean Streets” [April 28] may develop a semblance of readability. As long as you’re going, take Sandeep with you.
DOWN WITH SHELDON
MR. FEIT: Thanks for the terrific article on Tim Sheldon [“Suspect Senator,” Josh Feit, April 28]. I live in the 35th district and find him to be a great embarassment as a legislator. Along with the other senate Republican-in-Democrat’s-clothing, Jim Hargrove of the 24th district. With Hargrove and Sheldon, Democrats have an imaginary 26 - 23 senate majority, but it is the Republicans who actually have the senate majority 25-24 thanks to these two. It is interesting to note that Sheldon has not had a Republican opponent for election to his Senate seat since 1997. In 2002, his only opposition was a Green Party candidate, and in 1998 he had no opposition at all. As for Jim Hargrove’s elections, he has not had a Republican opponent since 1992. In 1996 he had no opposition from any party. And in 2000, again no Republicans ran against him, but one Liberatarian candidate did. Talk about a win-win situation for them! Both parties get them elected. The Democrats (directly) and the Republicans (indirectly). They can’t lose. But we do.
SANDEEP KAUSHIK=SMART AND GOOD
STRANGER: Congratulations to Sandeep Kaushik, who has written an amazing, news-making series of articles. As far as I can find, the Stranger managed to scoop any and all national media in an extremely satisfying way on this Microsoft story. I read a lot of regional papers (American and Canadian), and the Stranger is by far the best. Always consistently top-quality, focussed on local events and arts, like a community rag should be. And even if I don’t always agree with the opinions or reviews, always intelligent and provoking. Cheers to Mr. Kaushik and to all the Stranger staff.
DEVILS, NAZIS, AND HUTCHERSON
EDITOR: Thank you for “Revelations” by Sandeep Kaushik [April 28]. It just goes to show, make a deal with the devil (Hutcherson) and there’s the devil to pay.
It should be pointed out that hypocrites like Hutcherson believe that anyone who doesn’t believe as he does is going to hell. So, all those smug people of other faiths who couldn’t care less what attacks are made against gays and lesbians as long as they get a tax cut or revenge against Arabs, should remain aware they will be next. Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Moslems, etc. are worse than sinners in the eyes of these self described “Christians”
Don’t forget, the Nazis were all raised in “good Christian homes.” Their victims ended up being all Germans, not just those murdered in concentration camps.
PERSON OF INDETERMINATE RACE WRITES LETTER
EDITOR: I just wanted to tell you that putting “Black Minister bullies Microsoft into yanking support for state gay rights bill” on the cover of your April 21st issue was retarded. I thought the article was about religion, gay rights and Microsoft. How come you didn’t refer to everyone else in the article by their race first. I would like to challenge you to realize how stupid you sound by asking you in your next issue to refer to everyone by their race first, all else second. Try it.
EDITOR: I read in profound amusement at the letter Mr. Martin sent regarding corporations responsibilities to “its shareholders, and that as a matter of law, Microsoft must think of its bottom line before anything else” [More Letters, April 28]. If that’s the case, hell, why the fuck are we all pissy about Enron and WorldCom? They only did what’s good for themselves and their shareholders! Not the same thing? Then how about Wal-mart? Shouldn’t we be marveling at how much joy they bring to society by so focusing on their “Always low prices” that we should signal revolt at our cities trying to keep them out?
No, companies, like individuals, have a responsibility (albeit all to often forgotten) to be good stewards to society. Its not attention to the bottom line. It’s greed and cowardice that is taking place. That’s why in our constitution, companies are treated individuals. So just like a friend who has lost their way, I choose to shake my head, smile sadly, and walk away. “Life is the imagination of one’s own self, so dream sweet dreams.”
DON’T BLAME JESUS FREAKS
DEAR EDITOR: It’s not the plight of the Religious Right and homophobic pastors that influence our government, it’s money. Why would Microsoft take a neutral stance on such a hot topic? Because it’s financially safer. They need time to gather their ticker tape and spread sheets to compare the profitability of supporting a Gay Rights bill, versus opposing it, versus staying neutral. It’s profitable for gun companies to support gun lobbyists as well as anti-gay marraige lobbyists because both options have shown to increase revenue. Microsoft is wondering whether or not they will ultimately lose (or gain) buyer support from their decisions on Gay Rights. And as for the 2004 election, the reason Bush got re-elected is not because of “morally exalted family gobbledy-gook,” it’s because Bush had more billion dollar corporations backing him than Kerry did. The same goes for Gore. If you’re a center of the road Democrat, you’re not going to get the financial backing of companies like Dow Chemical and Monsanto Corp. Amen.
EDITOR: I read your article on Microsoft and Bill 1515 the other day and was both impressed and saddened. I am happy to say, however, that after reading through other publications, I don’t think that anyone would have made mention of Microsoft’s withdrawl and its potential impact without your article. Most of the local papers had two articles on the 22nd, one regarding the lost vote and one on Microsoft’s withdrawal. The Seattle Times said “word spread quickly around the capital about a story in the local alternative newsweekly The Stranger.” I feel confident that without your introduction of this problem, there would have been no coverage of Microsoft’s withdrawl at all. Way to be a great watchdog! Keep pushing the envelope.
HOW TO TERRIFY A KAJILLIONAIRE
HEY BOYS AND GIRLS: I say it’s time we all boycott Microsoft. Hey, Mr. Gates, you’re oh-so-afraid of losing the evangelical dollar, where would you be without the queerbuck? Show some balls, Microlimp, and think about your true constituency.
FINAL IRONY REVEALED IN PARAGRAPH 349
EDITOR: How sublime to be confronted with an African American Christian pastor’s perspective on gay rights. Ken Hutcherson’s position on gay rights reeks of fear and dogmatism, and is so rich with irony I hardly know where to begin. Perhaps by pointing out the short memory of those whose cause was advanced solely by the determination, moral convictions, and sometimes lives of the now cursed “liberals” that came before. Now that Pastor Hutcherson and his conservative African American brothers are no longer legally discriminated against, it is apparently time to close the door to all other minorities in need of help.
I’ve never claimed to understand the plight of African Americans, neither now nor at any point in their history, and for that reason I don’t speak for them. I do try, however, not to deny their experience, and I simply ask the same courtesy of Pastor Hutcherson. He has no idea (unless there is another history to his life that I know nothing of) what it is like to grow up gay, to fall in love with someone of the same sex, to have to hide the most important relationship in one’s life for fear of losing one’s job, one’s friends, one’s family. The gay rights movement is certainly not the same as the civil rights movement, but I have found that those who have been persecuted for something that is innate to their very being tend to have more in common with each other than with those who have never experienced discrimination. I’m simply disappointed that Pastor Hutcherson’s apparently secure position on the Eastside—surrounded by those impressed by his bravado and “humility” before God—has numbed his ability to relate to those outside of his circle of comfort. It reminds me of the descendants European immigrants who, having received their share of the American dream, have decided that it no longer available to the Asians or Latinos who are knocking at our door.
Another irony that I’m sure is lost on no one is that only a Conservative Christian can adequately defend the anti-gay marriage position. Nearly all opposition to equal rights for gays comes from this element of our culture, which not only implies but explicitly states that the United State is a Christian Nation. Thank God (if you choose to), that the founders of this country made it abundantly clear that this was not an exclusively Christian nation: Jesus is mentioned nowhere in the United States Constitution. It is not a huge leap of faith to compare those who would have the United States be a Christian Nation (depending, of course, on which of the thousands of various Christian beliefs we would settle on), to those who are striving to turn Iraq into a Muslim nation, with laws and prohibitions that make those of us in the “modern” world gasp in disbelief.
The United States of America is, above all, a place of acceptance. Tolerance of those with whom we disagree is the Greatest American Value, but Ken Hutcherson would prefer to impose his own values on those of others. I would like to hear what Hutcherson expects gay people to do with their lives. Go back in the closet? Deny what they know to be true about themselves? Turn to Jesus for healing and salvation. I’m one of thousands upon thousands who have tried with every ounce of my being to do all of those things, and the one truth that remains is that I am a gay man. Hutcherson can ask a number of his parishioners who knew my struggle with homosexuality, none of whom deny that I did everything asked or expected of me to become an “ex-gay”, and nothing short of complete denial of my most fundamental humanity—the fact that I fell in love with a man rather than a woman—would allow me to live up to Hutcherson’s standards.
Pastor Hutcherson’s anger at the so-called “activist judges” is a tired recitation of the Conservative Right’s current anti-gay marriage amendment mantra. Has it been so long since he took high school Civics to remember that our courts are there to protect the minority from the will of the majority? Anything less would be mob rule. Perhaps we should eliminate all legal protections based on race to remind Pastor Hutcherson what being in a vulnerable minority position—with absolutely no legal recourse—feels like.
The final irony is that it is a Christian minister who chooses to devote a special opinion piece to an argument that aims to disenfranchise an entire group of people. How is it that Christians more than any other group in this country today seem to miss the overarching message of Jesus Christ? He spoke nothing—not one recorded word—on homosexuality. But he spoke nearly nonstop of the sin of arrogant religious leaders judging others. His predominant message in terms of our duty on earth was to refrain from judging, love others, and care for the outcasts. In fact, Jesus explicitly states that the second greatest commandment—after loving the Lord—is to treat others as we wish to be treated. This very statement shows that Jesus knows that the best source for moral conviction comes from within our own hearts and is based on our own experiences. How is it that Pastor Hutcherson cannot see the log in his own eye while trying to remove the splinter from the eyes of others?
As a gay man who recently lost his partner, and whose life insurance is being denied because we were unable to marry even though we were in a committed, monogamous, loving relationship for seven years, I have a stake in the legal arguments that Pastor Hutcherson has raised. And as a former Christian minister, I am well acquainted with the intellectual gymnastics that the more dogmatic practitioners of this faith must exercise in order to reconcile the otherwise often contradictory message of their sacred text. Just as Pastor Hutcherson can pick a few apparent admonitions from the old testament against homosexual sex, I could refer to others in which King David, who had “become one in spirit” (1 Samuel 18:1) with Jonathan, claims that “Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.” (2 Samuel 1:26) And just as Pastor Hutcherson could speak of the Apostle Paul’s anti-sexual immorality passages (which most scholars now agree refer to pederasty, not homosexuality), I could refer to Paul’s now apparently forgotten warning that it is in the “very nature of things” that men should have short hair and women long hair. In fact, Paul devotes at unusually long passage (1 Corinthians 11:3-16) to God’s will concerning long and short hair, much more than any one passage on homosexuality. Why doesn’t Pastor Hutcherson devote his ministry to cutting the hair of men with mullets?
Pastor Hutcherson further reveals the folly of his personally customized “one size fits one” faith when he criticizes other Christians (specifically the Methodists, though I’m sure he’s also disappointed with the Episcopalians) whose views vary from his own. Perhaps he’d like to take on the many pastors of various faiths who recently convened in Seattle in support of marriage rights for gays and lesbians. I assume that the Christian pastors in that group are familiar with the same Bible that Pastor Hutcherson references, and have no less faith than he. Or are they the “spiritual invertebrates” to which he refers? Name calling seems unworthy of a Christian Pastor, and certainly something Jesus would never do. Jesus went out of his way to show that he loves, includes, and does not judge those whom the Religious Puritans exclude; Hutcherson makes no bones about the fact that homosexual Christians are not welcome in his Church.
Pastor Hutcherson will ultimately be on the wrong side of this argument, and will look as tragic as the Bible-quoting Christians who argued against racial integration. Christ was a radical, but his followers tend to be reactionaries. The history of “Church” is one of strident and often violent opposition to change. The trials of Galileo, the “witches” of Salem, and John Scopes all point to the fear that Christian Conservatives have of anything that might disrupt their world-view.
Ken Hutcherson is free in this country to believe as he chooses. He might be surprised to discover that the answer to his question of whether we believe that the Bible is the literal word of God would be “no” from many upstanding American citizens, and that in America, we are allowed to believe so. But his question is in the end helpful to the cause of gay marriage, because it is ultimately irrelevant to the issue. What the Government (i.e. the people) of the United States chooses to allow should not be determined by Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, or any other religious viewpoint, even that of the esteemed Pastor Hutcherson, who takes pride in the racial integration of his church while carefully controlling its doctrine. It is America’s diversity and tolerance that has made it a city on a hill, not its monotheistic morals police. After all, if God gave me the right to choose, who is Pastor Hutcherson to allow me any less?
To Pastor Hutcherson and to my many friends at Antioch Bible Church: Listen to the Spirit, open your heart, and don’t be afraid, because “Perfect love casts out all fear.” (1 John 4:18) What is it that motivates you: love or fear?
WAY TO MAKE IT ALL ABOUT YOU
DEAR STRANGER: Ken Hutcherson is quite a character as he chases after the spotlight to spew his anti-gay hate rhetoric in the name of Christ! But how about some press for the Good Guys??
We are hosting Jason & deMarco on May 22nd – the young openly gay couple featured last year on the cover of THE ADVOCATE magazine. They are very talented singers and entertainers who have performed around the country. The twist is that they are both openly gay AND Christian!
While Ken Hutcherson has the audacity to speak for Jesus on a subject that Jesus never mentions, Jason & deMarco proclaim through their music the true love and welcome taught by the Christ. I hope you will consider letting another voice be heard! If you would like more information or if you would like to interview Jason & deMarco, please let me know!
YOU’VE COME TO THE RIGHT PAPER
DEAR EDITOR: I’d rather see articles about dildo ads than to see you continue to waste column space about the Democrats’ election hijinks. Your recent addition of the Crybaby Chronicles (aka Stefan Sharkansky’s “Sound Bite” [April 28]) to your pages was cute and entertaining for the first couple weeks, but it’s quickly becoming as relevant to public discourse as a come-stained dress. First of all, Mr. Sharkansky has only embarked on this election crusade because his own mediocre candidate lost. I can’t stand our Governess Gregoire and certainly didn’t waste a vote on her, but all this Republican whining simply reminds me of the hateful arrogance the Republicans spewed following the election fraud in Florida on Election Day 2000. What goes around comes around, bitches.
Second of all, given the clear inaccuracy of election/voting systems across the country, I wonder why this is such an issue for Mr. Sharkansky AFTER the election? The masters of the Republican Party and the masters of the Democratic Party knew the system was flawed and open for abuse, yet they agreed to participate anyway. Electronic voting activists like Bev Harris and other democracy activists warned us all.
If you chose to ignore the facts because they conflicted with your own blind faith in “the system,” you have no right to bitch and moan about that system. Dear Stranger, please spare us this prolonged temper tantrum by either changing the format into a “point-counterpoint” style or by dropping this grown man’s rant against those wily Democrats altogether. As a wise man once said, don’t hate the playa, hate the game.
FANKICK V. STREETBEAT RAGES ON
DEAR THE STRANGER: Fankick clearly won. Originality aside, they won because they were cuter, danced better, and had better outfits. As fans we yelled and yelled, and in our enthusiasm, we never stopped yelling, even when we were supposed to stop. I know you had a very scientific method for tracking the votes, but is it possible you made a mistake at the polls?
SAVE OUR SCHOOLS
EDITOR: I am a teaching artist for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Outreach and Education Program. Recently, I moved to Seattle from New York where I danced and taught for the past nine years. During my time in New York I have taught in many different settings including the New York Public Schools.
In February, I had the opportunity to teach for three different Seattle Public Schools. I can’t even compare Seattle to New York Schools. However, I can say that the Seattle schools are much more consistent with the teacher’s and student’s involvement.
I was especially impressed with Daniel Bagley Elementary. The moment the students of Pamela Stackhouse, Lana Sumner, and Brad Bauer’s Fourth and Fifth Grade class walked through the doors, there was an amazing amount of respect and discipline. I know that this does not happen on it’s own, rather it is the teachers that have to cultivate and maintain the level of discipline and respect. When any problem would arise with a student it was immediately taken care of by the teachers before it grew into something more. I enjoyed having the teachers present at every class and even seeing that some took part in learning the dance steps and being part of the choreographic process.
When it came time for the students to perform on stage, the teachers were right there in the wings cheering them on and taking a bow along side of them. We were all so proud!! However, I know that the residency and performance would not have been as smooth without Brad Bauer, Lana Sumner, Pamela Stackhouse and the principal of Daniel Bagley, Birgit McShane. These people are gold and truly an asset to the school and community. This is why I believe the closure of Daniel Bagley and any Seattle Public Schools would be a huge loss. I do hope this thought is reconsidered! Please keep the schools open!
EDITOR: After years of the Stranger slandering Mike Patton projects, most notably resident airhead Kathleen Wilson, ( did she get fired yet? ), its nice to see someone finally say something positive [“Super Villainy,” Sam Mickens, April 21]. I have been to every Patton related show to come through town since the Angel Dust tour in 92. Fantomas has been fun, but the general feeling among a lot of fans is that Mr. Bungle and Faith No More are dearly missed.
It is astounding that to this day FNM is not looked at more than “really just a weird, lucrative sidestep.” Everything Patton has today can be owed to Bungle and cult following that began during the Angel Dust/King For A Day/Album of the Year era. Some of the greatest records ever made. Unfortunately, FNM will be remembered for “The Real Thing” as a one-hit-wonder, which was really just a dumb song that has overshadowed later superior compositions. It would be silly to only remember Frank Zappa for “Valley Girl.”
But, hey if it takes Fantomas to finally gain some respect, so be it. Thanks for the article and keep Kathleen Wilson as far away from the music department as possible. You might begin to restore some credibility.
A. BIRCH STEEN: WRONG AGAIN
TO THE EDITOR: The October 21, 2004 article “An Army of One and All,” considered by ombudsman A. Birch Steen to be possibly the “best feature The Stranger has ever published,” is significantly weakened by its failure to address Israel’s compulsory military draft as a function necessitated by an occupation state.
The author describes Israeli Arab exemption from service and their position as a Palestinian population who “didn’t flee” in 1948 but does not establish the context necessary to identify these people as second-class citizens living under a system of apartheid. A reference to the Israeli Defense Force’s stock of “massive bulldozers” is not supplemented with additional information concerning the implications with Palestinian housing demolition in the Occupied Territories. The Al-Aqsa Intifada is alluded to as “war” where the disciplined young IDF encounters “serious responsibilities” while anonymously evil “Palestinian militants…try to shoot Israelis” and “occasionally succeed” within the occupation of Hebron by Israeli settlers.
A former IDF soldier interviewed states, “I don’t want to get into who’s to blame here” but allows that it is a “difficult thing you carry with you.” What is this “difficult thing?” Is it the oppression of an entire people? The author describes many Israelis as not agreeing with the “political positions they’re expected to enforce as soldiers” and even some who “refuse to be drafted” but does not provide the context necessary to illuminate the military draft as a product of Israel’s aggression.
ps the stranger is the best commie rag ever!
EDITOR: I have been an avid reader of the stranger since i moved to Seattle. however, when i opened up this week’s paper, I was a bit perturbed at the lovelab ad hot vs. not, specifically the Indian/cowboy dichotomy. sure, the cowboy thing is in and cute, but the game cowboys and Indians (and the joke the ad assumes) is racist and offensive. it’s not tongue-in-cheek, it’s just plain old stereotyping and racism. better luck next time.
not hot over this.
IGNORE THE POPE!
EDITOR: does the stanger really believe that the pope has much influence over the readers of the stranger? I don’t agree with the politics of the pope either, but do you know why it doesn’t bother me that his social beliefs are ancient? Because neither I nor anyone I know pay no attention to him. I worry that the stranger, by launching such an agressive campaign against him, and against his predecesor post-mortem, is perhaps suggesting that he is important, and that we should care. The way it works is, the more we care, the more powerful he is. The bad ideas of the catholic church will never change, but ignoring them will take away their power.
MAY WE SUGGEST A BICYCLE?
EDITOR: I just paid over $25 to fill my tank and had to delay grocery shopping until the end of the month. My strategy was to put off buying gas until prices drop. Hah, no chance of that now after seeing George Bush hand in hand with the Saudi Arabian prince on your front cover [Editor’s Note: ???]. It makes me so mad to see these rich guys raking it in while working people pay and pay. I think it’s high time to express outrage with a loud and prolonged protest. Who’ll join me in a picket of a gas station or nearby refinery?
IN PRAISE OF BIPARTISANSHIP
EDITOR: Let the Democrats filibuster all they want. Let them shut down the senate. We have long memories. Next election we will elect only Republicans and Libertarians and restore our nation to two political parties who don’t want to turn our nation into the USSR: the United States Socialist Republic.
SORRY, BUT WE COULDN’T FIND ANYTHING ABOUT IT ON GOOGLE
STRANGER: I just read that Google, the largest search engine on the planet, is blatantly CENSORING conservative search term ads while allowing liberal ads to remain up! This is OUTRAGEOUS! Are you going to report on this issue? Isn’t this a NEWS story—and aren’t you supposed to report the NEWS?
Roy E. Lichty
STRANGER: I just read that Google, the largest search engine on the planet, is blatantly CENSORING conservative search term ads while allowing liberal ads to remain up! This is OUTRAGEOUS! Are you going to report on this issue? Isn’t this a NEWS story—and aren’t you supposed to report the NEWS?
Marie A. Lichty
WE VOTE GROSS INCOMPETENCE
EDITOR: Was it a deliberate attempt to minimize the military vote, or gross incompetence? With the lack of co-operation and conflicting reports by the King County Elections office it is difficult to tell what has really happened. However the available facts paint a dim portrait. The first documentation reported showing postage for military ballots was not dated until October 17th. The deadline for mailing was nine days earlier.
Perhaps, there really was voter fraud in the county. King County Election‚s failing to provide requested documentation, by default, tends to show guilt. If all was in order, provide the requested documents. If mistakes were made, admit it and let the courts invalidate the election. The democrats are clutching their questioned victory even though truth seems to be loosening their grip. More uncounted votes keep turning up. Embezzled ballots? It is becoming more and more secure in the minds of the citizens that the Governor is not the Governor.
Roger W Hancock
EDITOR: As corny a line as it is: I was listening to NPR yesterday, when I heard our esteemed Secretary of War and Hip Hop Poet Donald Rumsfeld made this statement at a press conference: “So you could make the case that ‘Gee, if the level’s about the same, then the insurgency must be down, because we’re paying less attention to it and encouraging Iraqi security forces to pay greater attention. And we’re paying a greater attention to developing them.’ There are a lot of moving parts.”
He was talking about the statement by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the insurgency in Iraq is at the same level as a year ago (during which time we have passed endless milestones that we were assured would be the turning point). Much of what Rumsfeld says is deliberately impenetrable, but if I understand him he is saying that even though the empirical measurement shows that the level of insurgency is unchanged, we are paying less attention to the insurgency, so that means that the level of insurgency is down.
Either we are conducting this war on the “faith based system” where beliefs are more important than facts, or we are adopting the “ostrich philosophy” where threats go away if we stick our heads in the sand. Either way it is both humorous and depressing.
What is more depressing to me, though, is that I cannot find any reference to this statement in the press. I would think it would be on the front page. I had to get a transcript from NPR to verify what he said (and make sure I did not make it up). Doesn’t our press even care that the guy in charge of the War in Iraq is delusional by his own confession?