SKIP KNUTE

EDITOR: Bravo on your excellent article ["Moss Backwards," Erica C. Barnett and Josh Feit, May 26] and thank your for exposing Knute Berger as the Eastside hypocrite he truly is. As a 15-year Seattle resident (Roosevelt-not Kirkland) I applaud Greg Nickels for the leadership he has taken in promoting a vision for the future of Seattle. Keep up the great work. You present an excellent counterpoint to Berger's wildly inaccurate writings.

Brian Lauro

GOOD FOR CITIES

EDITOR: As an urban studies student raised in Seattle and attending college in Manhattan, I was delighted to read Erica Barnett and Josh Feit's article "Moss Backwards." Thank you for a clear perspective on the importance of smart-growth and Seattle's desperate need for a functional public transportation system. We pride ourselves for being residents of the city proper because there is something about the density and culture of a city that simply cannot be found in the suburbs. Someone should send Berger a copy of Jane Jacob's Death and Life of Great American Cities.

Lala Wu

GET A JOB, KID

EDITOR: I would love to take Knute Berger to the Kirkland Teen Center one day for a "teen feed" so he can see how awesome a life the children of single-family households live once their time has come to move away from the nest. I know I'm not the only student with a (close to) full-time job who still can't afford the luxury of a car or a decent room. Maybe instead of worrying about the physical buildings in our future, we should be focusing on a more-sustainable model of development for the greater good of Seattle.

Tessa

YOUNG SEATTLE CARES?

EDITOR: THANK YOU SO MUCH for making density rules such a big deal. Thank you for exposing Knute Berger's pack of lies, thank you for putting the maze of regulations into language that I actually want to read, thank you for your blatant, outright bias (I'd much rather have it on the surface than hidden beneath a façade of objectivity). This is one of the most important issues to the city I've lived in for all of my 17 years. Thank you for making young Seattle care.

Lydia DePillis

CALLIN' NAMES

EDITOR: Talk about a slow news day. If you have an opinion of your own, write about it-don't just call someone who has an opinion names and make fun of them. Find your own facts. Don't follow the Weekly around. Have The Stranger stand on its own two feet.

David Polk

WHO'DA THUNK IT?

EDITOR: I love David Schmader. But this week's little comment, "An enraged Muslim-who'da thunk it?" [Last Days, May 26], after his point about the Newsweek shitstorm, reeks. I'm not one o' them PC police windbags, but that just strikes me as potentially really embarrassing for Schmader and the paper, for all those ideals you purport to uphold. A snarky, presumptuous aside from a Capitol Hill fag-who'da thunk it?

Joe Alterio

FROM THE FORUMS

Posted by NME in Music, May 26, 1:12 am: I am posting this thread as a public service to anyone who is into good bands. YOU ARE IN THE WRONG PLACE! I spent a year and a half reading The Stranger and going to see the bands they suggested. That was the biggest waste of time, EVER. If you are into pansy-ass emo and indie rock bands, then by all means, go check out the bands that The Stranger calls great. Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie. Gimme a frickin break.

If you are a rocker, punk, metalhead, or into hardcore and like bands with talent, go to "Seattle Metal Online." I won't post the web addy here because The Stranger's gaybots will be along any second to erase web links of any value. Just Google "Seattle Metal Online" and you'll find what you need. Once there, go to the SMO forum called "The Greenroom" and start reading the threads. There you will find the sacred knowledge of all the excellent hard rock/heavy metal bands in Seattle. Who they are and where they are playing. You will never find this info in The Stranger, because SMO bands have no gay agenda and don't advertise in this clueless rag.

Seattle Metal Online responds: I was going to keep quiet, but I have to say something now that I'm SMO publicist. This rant doesn't help our goal of publicizing our shows and trying to score a story in the rag for us. We need to work together with them. Professionalism on the part of SMO is inherent to our success. All music fans in town pick up The Stranger before anything else.

Officially, I will make this statement to The Stranger: The comments posted in The Stranger online forum May 26 do not represent the views of Seattle Metal Online staff as a whole, nor Seattle Metal Online bands. It is the view of one person associated with the organization. We apologize for any inconvenience these comments may have caused, and we look forward to working together with The Stranger in the future.

Carrie Donaldson, AKA Metal Goddess

To weigh in on metal, or share your thoughts about this week's issue, or rave about a film you saw at SIFF, go to forums.thestranger.com.

MORE LETTERS

[Editor’s Note: In an effort to be more thorough, The Stranger now prints all the correspondence that comes to our letters editor. Because of the sheer volume of mail, we can’t always be bothered to edit, or even read it all. So blame the writers for mistakes of spelling, grammar, punctuation, or logic, because they’re there, if you’re looking.]

DENSITY IS A COMPLEX ISSUE

DEAR MS. BARNETT AND MR. FEIT: Please indulge me on a few points re your article this week calling Knute Berger to task for his suggestions about how best to manage the growth of Seattle and the region [“Moss Backwards,” Erica C. Barnett and Josh Feit, May 26]. Let me preface my comments by saying I live in Medina, not Seattle, though I work at 1st and Virginia every day during the week. I have actually been engaged in these issues for more than 15 years in my other professional life in public affairs and in graduate study in urban planning at the UW. And that I was born and raised in Seattle and that some of my forebears were involved in significant Seattle civic movements, including the 1962 World’s Fair and the Forward Thrust initiative—meaning both that I have some perspective on the issue and that I feel a deep personal investment in how it plays out over the coming years. I think the points you outlined in your piece are good and I’m not so much interested in rebutting them as contributing to the dialogue. Some thoughts:

I’m not sure Berger made clear in his columns the genesis of the Lesser Seattle perspective and its origins with P-I legend Emmett Watson (one of my heroes). I suggest, if you haven’t done so already, you read some of Watson’s pieces to get a feel for the sort of good-natured, grumpy, anti-everything spirit in which the Lesser Seattle idea was presented. I think Berger bemoans the loss of this part of the Seattle spirit as much as he bemoans any changes to the physical landscape.

We’ve got to get past thinking of this issue in terms of “Seattle versus the suburbs.” These definitions are moot. The whole Puget Sound basin is one big city. Get over it. 20 or 30 years ago, 520 was clogged westbound every morning with people who lived in the bedroom communities and commuted to work in the downtown core. These days, 520 in the morning is relatively free of traffic westbound and absolutely blocked with traffic eastbound—these are the hipsters who insist on living in the “city” but have to work at Microsoft, Nintendo or elsewhere to maintain their “urban” lifestyles. And downtown Kirkland is one of the better examples of a successfully planned and executed small, walkable city that I’ve seen in the U.S. You might not like it there, but it works very well on a certain level. Give Berger credit for his emphasis on schools and day care. Have you ever been to Paris, which I think I can safely say is universally acknowledged as one of the most beautiful, lively and livable big cities in the world? Do you see any highrise development? No. Do the French have one of the greatest preschool and daycare systems in the world?

Yes.

Infrastructure is good, as long as it serves a long-term goal. I’m all for putting 99 underground — can you imagine how unspeakably gorgeous downtown will be if and when that happens? And I don’t think any sane person could argue at this point that we don’t need an improved mass transit system, preferably based around some sort of vehicle that runs on a track and not on existing roadways. But, for example, I’m violently against expanding major arterials and freeways, including 520. Ask any transportation planner — at a certain point, expanding roadway capacity does not decrease traffic. The capacity is used up the moment the project is built.

My hope is that by taking the time to respond to your piece that in some way I’m helping keep this conversation going...moving toward solutions that provide the greatest good for the greatest many, one of the premises on which this country was founded and which I still think is worth fighting for, no matter how impractical or high-minded.

Dave Dederer

DENSITY IS A COMPLEX ISSUE II

EDITOR: I’ve enjoyed your columns about the need for density, especially about saving Capitol Hill. I live at Broadway & Denny, and the three things this neighborhood needs are more density, more police at night, and either the expansion of the downtown alcohol impact area to include Capitol Hill, or the elimination of the AIA, I don’t care which. All three are important and only all three, I believe, will fill the business vacancies (three big ones on just my corner) and make Broadway the great neighborhood it used to be.

You’re 99% right about density. It’s ridiculous that the Pike/Pine corridor allows taller buildings than Broadway -- and the center of life in the neighborhood has predictably shifted south. Only people who want Broadway to be Seattle’s designated area for drug dealing and aggressive panhandling forever will oppose the taller height limits. But one caveat is that not all housing stock is equivalent. I used to live in Cambridge, Mass., a bluer city than Seattle (if that’s possible) before gentrification set in. But several years ago luxury apartments and condos started sprouting all over Cambridge. Instead of reducing housing prices (as promised by the supply-and-demand argument) these just attracted rich out-of-towners to move into the city. People who’d lived in moderately-priced Cambridge all their lives could no longer afford to live there. This happened on a large enough scale over several years to change the city’s politics, to the point where city council members allied with fat-cat developers got reelected, while droves of average-income people left the city. To avoid that happening to Seattle, we need to make sure new housing development is a mix of white-glove luxury condos and plenty of regular-folks housing at normal prices. I’m not talking about affordable housing, although that’s important too. I’m talking about housing for the average-income people who currently live around Broadway, and people like them, who’ve given Capitol Hill its character and would like to keep it.

By the way, in Cambridge local merchants got squeezed out by bland national chains like The Gap, Starbucks, and Austin Grill, patronized by the new, upper-middle-class luxury-apartment residents who felt comfortable with these brands and didn’t know the local merchants. Broadway merchants should strongly support new housing that isn’t all luxury, unless they want Broadway to look like Pacific Place in 15 years.

This in no way diminishes the strength of your argument for more density. We need mixed-use buildings with retail on the first floor and housing above. We need more residents to be the eyes and ears of Broadway at night, as you mentioned. The last thing we need is to worry about Broadway becoming more like Belltown or Alaska Junction. We should allow storefront businesses to thrive. We just need to make sure we don’t replace all our housing stock with higher-priced options, because that could change the character of the neighborhood in ways we don’t want.

Jeremy Sher

DENSITY IS RAD!

EDITOR: As an urban studies student raised in Seattle and attending college in Manhattan, I was delighted to read Erica Barnett and Josh Feit’s article “Moss Backwards.” Thank you for a clear perspective on the importance of smart-growth and Seattle’s desperate need for a functional and massive public transportation system. We pride ourselves for being residents of the city proper because there is something about the density and culture of a city that simply cannot be found in the suburbs. Someone should send Berger a copy of Jane Jacob’s Death and Life of Great American Cities.

Lala

SPEAK UP FOR DENSITY

JOSH: Love the article. It was great to see people stand up for smart growth. I recently moved away from my friends and coffee shops on capitol hill to try and get involved with smart growth in Tacoma. I’m realizing how abundant are the detractors of density and soft spoken are those that support it. Great to see an intelligent publication like the stranger vocally committed toward policies that benefit the exact people “Skip” seems to want to protect. Keep up the insightful work

Gerod Rody

AND FURTHERMORE, DENSITY

JOSH AND ERICA: I loved the way you guys took apart Skip Berger’s anti-urban stance. His columns of late have been weird bunker rantings, which make no sense, even on their own terms, and are something the Weekly (even on its own terms) ought to be ashamed of running. There’s no way we’ll end up with a livable, sustainable city if that’s what passes for intelligent discourse in this town. You did a public service here, guys.

Alex Steffen

ON THE OTHER HAND…

ERICA C. BARNETT: you dumb bitch! who the fuck cares or even fuck’n wants to live in a town of brick mold and wet fags that only ride buses and bikes. seattle is lame you fuck. your story was meaningless and just full of low self esteem, sorry your such a dumb bitch and don’t see seattle as the playground and dump of us on the eastside! get real you piss sidewalk, zittie, catwalk loven bitch.........YOUR A LOSER!!!! fuck you you fuck’n fuck......

Viking Intruder

SLEATER-KINNEY: NOT INFALLIBLE

EDITOR: Completely disagree with everything Hannah Levin wrote about Sleater-Kinney [“Rock of the Decade,” May 26]. My awesome girlfriend just got me their latest album, and tickets to their recent Moore show for my birthday. I love Sleater-Kinney to death, but when I heard the album I was really let down. “Is this a live album?” I asked. It sounded like a live recording. The songs didn’t sound rehearsed. They didn’t sound solid. They sounded like trash. Every Sleater-Kinney album that I own all are solid from first to last track, the kind of albums that don’t have “filler tracks.”

The new album? Crap. I didn’t even finish listening to it. Big let down from the girls and from Sub Pop. The first 3 songs that they played at the Moore were from the new album, they all sounded as crappy live as they do on the record. I decided to not walk out when on the fourth song they started to play old material. There on out the show was decent.

Sleater-Kinney, I don’t know what the fuck you people were thinking, but next time you put out a record, try not to make it a pile of shit like this last one. Hannah Levin, try to not write beautiful articles praising bad music. Even Sleater-Kinney can put out dog shit.

Derrick Clark

GANG RAPE OR GIRL POWER?

EDITOR: I’m a fan of some of Snoop Dogg’s music, as Tamara Palmer obviously is [“Snoop and the Gang,” May 26]. But where did she get the notion that the gang-rape saga “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None)” is a “classic girl-power song”? Next week: Snoop’s twelve-step anthem, “Gin and Juice.”

Heather Court

LIPPENS: CUTE BUT WRONG

EDITOR: I’ve never seen Nate Lippens, but I bet he’s cute: which fact does not excuse, however, that he’s completely missed the point of the NSK show currently on view at the Frye [“We Too Are One,” May 19]. Being a loyal reader of The Stranger, I’ve noticed that he does this rather a lot.

In this case, it’s a disappointment because that show may be the best thing I’ve seen in Seattle this year, the only possible exception being this winter’s Mark Ryden show, also at the Frye. For the clueless: listen up! The NSK is a joke: a hilarious, and perfectly-realized, artistic joke. There’s nothing “dark” or “disturbing” about it, which is to say that they are not a country searching for a national identity, collective or otherwise, they’re a group of terribly creative and thorough artists who have imagined a place, an idealogy, a history, and a government as a way of demonstrating craft and vision, and of criticizing the whole idea of “political branding.” It’s not about “sublimating individuality to the collective,” which Lippens suggests is the “most interesting aspect of the show.” They’re making fun of right-wing politics, of art, and of empire, while-and this is the amazing part-perfectly realizing the artistic potentials of at least a dozen mediums. Clues come from all over the show.

The fact that, in the country’s official description, is written “we are without physical borders,” is a good place to start. Further, no one who is artist can say with a straight face, “we use art as a tool for political manipulation.” That really should tip you off. So, they’re not government agents from Slovenia; they’re artists and almost all from Seattle or Portland. Lippens mentioned something about swastikas and so you sensitive types should know: they’re few and far between and funny as hell. It’s a joke which is ultimately critical of the Nazi state, and of all states. If we remember, there where some in the Ryden show as well; terribly effective. To cart out examples of military uniforms from a state’s holdings for display as relics is, in effect, not much. For an artist to invent a state, and a military past for that state, for a designer to conceive of, and craft uniforms for its imagined military with attention to all of the artistic minutae involved, well, rather is.

So, go to this show, but realize that everything is fair game for the grand scam: artist statements and press releases included. Frankly, how such a deeply ironic show was lost on such a sarcastic rag as this is lost on me. Don’t you be lost, too.

Mischa Willett

DEAR ANNIE, I AM A COMPLETE MORON

DEAR MS. WAGNER: Why do you need to be such a rote? Of course true shrews, possibly you, stupidity is a definite sign of shrewishness, ought to have it tamed! You of course know of Freud’s puzzlement, a surprise if only considering the number of women patients he had. However, there was no doubt at the time that every real man preferred to have a harem if he only could. My experience has been that women want love, expressed in as much love making as possible, into every sensate orifice. Now that their insatiability is no longer called nymphomania, their frustrations engage the world economic.

However, the excision of the clitoris is to be recommended; not only for the salutary shock it adminsters to their infinite infedility and sluttishness but also, of course, to keep them working. On a more serious note: Have you not heard of the Amazons? Ought they to be tamed or not. No matter some real biological differences, socialization can mold women as it can the versatile human. The Russian ladies in World War II used to get their German prisoners to rape them. You need to be “tamed” if only for your boorishness about Shakespeare. As they say in Texas to their mares: “Gittee up.”

Fritz von Habsburg

I FINALLY DISAGREE WITH THE STRANGER

EDITOR: I recently read your recommendation for the Noc Noc [Date Place Time, Hannah Levin, May 26]. I usually am pleased with the outcome of your suggestions but this time was different. Last Monday, a few friends and I decided to check out the 50 cent beers at said bar. We arrived and were told to pay the 5 dollar cover (although this ruined the novelty of the 50 cent drinks, I can understand) fine. okay, so we are inside and are bombarder with bad hip hop (again, we were hoping for the novelty of a goth bar but we can all appreciate hip hop....good hip hop not the Jay Z shit that was being repeated). We go to bar and order 3 beers, we are only given two and when the person I was with paid enough for 3 the bartender took it upon himself to not return the change and kept it for a tip. After finishing our beers a different friend went to order another round where he was told we should bus our own table so the bartender can switch us to plastic cups. I don’t mind returning a glass after I am done with it but considering the pervious events and the fact the bartender was doing nothing but chatting up his friend it was no surprise we left and went to the Whisky Bar which, thank god, turned out to be awesome and has become my new favorite bar downtown.

Jaime Robinson

TOUGHLOVE.COM

EDITOR: I love you, but I really hate your new website. Why?! It is no more user-friendly than the old one, it is busy, and it is much less, well...YOU. As someone who must get their Stranger fix from abroad, I have no choice, but in the many years I have loved you, this is one of the most disappointing developments. Still, no one said relationships were easy, right?

Anna Makanju

BAD WEBSITE

EDITOR: Your website is very difficult to read and is very very ugly. Not user friendly at all. I would like to read it but find it difficult to navigate or look at. Please change it. I like to read the stories.

Mike McComber

IT DOESN’T READ LIKE A HUMBLE OPINION

EDITOR: In my humble opinion, your new Web design is a disaster. I no longer live in Seattle, and so I have relied on the Web for my weekly Stranger fix. However, your new design gives precedence to the oversize index and vast inches of white space, while the text of the actual articles is small and thin, and the truncated line lengths (3.5 inches for Savage Love) makes reading the stories annoying and far from user friendly.

Yes, I know you wanted to lard the Web pages with lots of ads, and ads can be as important as the articles for many readers, but (on my screen) you’ve devoted up to 50 percent of the horizontal real estate to white space, 25-75 percent to ads, and 25-50 percent to text. Hmm, I think I’ll devote more of my online reading to the Weekly now. I don’t have the patience to scroll on and on to read to the bottom of a 3.5-inch-wide story with an average of four words per line.

Brenda Pittsley

YEAH, GET A NEW MONITOR!

EDITOR: Tell the folks who are complaining about the font size of your re-design to either #1. Get a new monitor. or #2. Turn down their resolution. In other words, it’s all on them. It reads fine to these 55 year old eyes viewing at 1152 x 864 (and I need glasses).

Steve

WE SAID LETTERS, NOT PRESS RELEASES

EDITOR: First, let me applaud you for the bold new policy of printing every letter you receive. Let me also say that it isn’t a moment too soon. Now, we can finally get some much deserved press in your paper. Making independent films in general can be hard work, but making them in Seattle can be especially tough. Resources and press are very scarce for all but a blessed few. People still continue to persevere and make films in this city though. There are a lot of people out there who don’t write columns for papers (or aren’t friends of people writing columns) who are fighting in the trenches every day to bring their vision to life.

The opportunity is about to present itself to see some diverse, cutting-edge films that you wouldn’t get to see (or even hear about) if Cinema Seattle had their way. On June 3rd, filmmakers from around the country will descend upon Seattle to join forces with a talented group of local filmmakers and show something other than the traveling Sundance tour 2005. Seattle True Independence Film Festival will kick off—

Letter arbitrarily truncated

WELL, MAYBE JUST ONE PRESS RELEASE

EDITOR: My name is Tre. I’m CEO of Lettin Off Entertainment based out of Southern California. My artists our going on their first tour all over the country this summer and one of the spots we was going to hit was your city Seattle. Me and a few partners our coming out to Seattle on June 10 to set up some shows and some radio promotions but we also need some press promotions also. I will like to know if your our free if we can maybe do lunch I would like to talk to you about some promotions you might can help us with. My company is independent and trying to grow on a major scale very soon so any help you can give will be great. I know we can work out something.

Tre

CEO Lettin Off Entertainment

GOD, WE HOPE SO, TOO

EDITOR: i had a guy make a few custom hunter s thompson mirrors for me upon his passing. i asked the guy for one but he made me 5. i have one in my kitchen and gave 3 out to some hunter loving buddies. this leaves me with one more. i can’t bring myself to put it on e bay or try to make any money off of it in any way. just wouldn’t seem right somehow. i noticed the love your dirty magazine has for the doctor so i’m sending the last copy to you in hopes that you can stick it on the wall somewhere in the office. i didn’t want this thing to go to someone who didn’t really like it. it yours. i’m mailing it out today. hopefully it gets to you in one piece.

Josh Russell

NOT ALL HETEROSEXUALS ARE CHRISTIANS

EDITOR: I am getting sick of all these religious freaks running around spreading their hate in the name of their “loving God.” All of these bible thumpers talk about spreading love but all I see is them spreading message of hate. I am heterosexual and have no religion. I must admit that I too have some prejudices within me that I constantly fight with. At least I realize my prejudice and correct myself as much as possible. But for these people to say that they are spreading love while condemning homosexuals for being who they are is absurd. Especially when I read about these three people (morons) assaulting gay person because it was against their religion. And had a nerve to mention God to lighten their sentences... I say welcome to the real world dumbass, I hope they rot in Russia.

If everything that are on this earth is creation of God, then how could they dare to harm one of his/her creation? I’m sure God made them that way... Then when I read about your article on Shakina, it scared the hell out of me (excuse my language). Only 35 percent believes in Evolution?! What the hell is going on here?? Am I actually living in 21st century?? These mindless people needs to wake up and realize what is going on instead of putting everything on their “God.” I hope they can tell kids in Iraq that it was their God’s will that they had to lose their arms and legs. What about African children born with HIV? I’m sure that was God’s will too. Honestly, some people got too much free time on their hands and they need to find something better to do than bible thumping.

DJ Musashi

CHRISTIANS CAN LOVE GAYS, TOO

DEAR STRANGER: It needs to be said that people who call themselves Christians contradict everything Jesus taught when they preach, encourage or ignore hatred of gay people. They are deluded at best and liars at worst. None of my Christian friends think that Micah Painter deserved to be yelled at, let alone savagely attacked. None of us want to beat up anybody. When my colleagues hear a kid say, “That’s so gay,” we talk to them about the evil of denigrating entire groups of people.

Lots of gay people are Christians. Some of my favorite students over the past 30 years have been gay Christians. This hate mongering has got to stop, and we who call ourselves Christians need to stop it wherever we hear it, especially in our churches. If we let it pass in our churches, we are taking the name of God in vain--as though it means nothing. We allow the hate to grow if we say nothing. To suggest that Micah brought the violence on himself by “walking like a girl,” or that the violence was encouraged by “the vocal gay community,” is to abandon reason.

If Samusenko and his Church are truly repentant they could show it by paying all of Micah’s medical bills, including therapy and reconstructive surgery. They could also pay him for any work time he lost. That would be a good beginning. If they don’t want to, then we have to wonder just what God has been teaching Samusenko in jail.

A Christian is somebody who tries to imitate Christ. Admittedly none of us comes very close, but then humility is one of the main biblical virtues. Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love God with all your heart and mind and soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself. That commandment completely contradicts preaching or practicing hatred. The only possible interpretation is that straight Christians should love gay people as much as they love themselves. Gay Christians already know that.

Stefan Ulstein

English Dep’t.

Bellevue Christian High School

ANOTHER GAY EPISCOPALIAN FOR TOLERANCE (OF GAY EPISCOPALIANS)

EDITOR: As a gay Episcopalian, I find it remarkable that more liberal-minded people have not come to realize the potential influence the Episcopal church’s stand on homosexuality could have in the battle to counter the conservative Evangelical movement in this country. If you believe in our rights as Americans to pursue happiness without discrimination, and especially if you are gay, please take a moment to consider how a centuries-old established institution has taken a stand on behalf of your beliefs--and even risked its very existence in order to extend inclusion to all of God’s children, regardless of sexual orientation. The Episcopal church is at the forefront of the homosexuality debate, boldly allowing gays to worship without judgement, assume positions of leadership in the church and bond in holy matrimony. As a member of the Anglican communion with ties to the Church of England, the Episcopal church has the credentials to send a powerful message to the Christian community. And yet it stands alone, with little support from liberals and the gay community, on an issue that threatens to weaken constitutional freedoms for us all.

I am not asking you to join my church or change your beliefs, but rather, to support the Episcopal church as you would any organization representing values you believe strongly in. People of all faiths give generously to Christian relief organizations in the name of improving the human condition--tsunami aid, hunger relief, clean water programs and the like, so why not do the same in the name of equal rights? The ACLU, Human Rights Campaign and other organizations do great work towards furthering the cause, but they will forever be met with derision by conservative Christians and branded as secular non-believers. The Episcopal church is uniquely qualified to stand up for these same values, with the advantage of being an established member of the Christian community encouraging progressive thought while maintaining reverent worship steeped in tradition.

Put whatever notions you have about Christians aside and look at the Episcopal church as you would a non-profit organization asking for your support. More US presidents have been Episcopalians than any other denomination. Yale was established by Episcopalians. Our National Cathedral in Washington D.C., site of Woodrow Wilson’s tomb, Reagan’s funeral service and Martin Luther King’s final sermon, is managed by the Episcopal church as a place for all Americans to worship, regardless of faith or denomination. Bishop Desmond Tutu is an Anglican. So was Shakespeare. Here in Seattle the Dean of Saint Mark’s Cathedral is gay, and the archdiocese of Olympia is now led by the church’s first Hispanic female Bishop.

Many gays spend years struggling to understand why they are not allowed to participate in society like everybody else. They hide their sexuality in high school. Are not allowed to fight for their country. Told that they are not welcome in many of God’s houses. Their lifestyles legislated against by their own government, questioned by courts which are supposed to uphold the constitution. And now one of America’s most prominent institutions has said “we accept you, join us and rejoice,” taking an unpopular stand that is being severely challenged by bigots the world over. Help them make the world a kinder place in which to live.

Robert Morgan

SNOT CHARMER

EDITOR: I’m writing in regards to a story that is both pertinent and poignant. A Seattle resident of 31 years, along with her son, are in danger of being deported back to Holland. “C” came to the U.S. with her son(then 4) and husband. Her husband was in the U.S. military, based in Germany. Upon arrival in the states C’s hubby set her to work in adult theatres and became abusive enough to send her packing. C doesn’t have the cleanest history—as she puts it “I was a bad girl”—but has walked the line for about 10 years. She has kept her green card, and that of her son, active. Last March, she was able to scrape up enough money for both her and her son to visit her mom in Amsterdam. Her family had never met her son. Upon arrival at Seatac, they were detained, stripped of their green cards and passports, searched to the nth and questioned for 7 hours. Now both face deportment. C’s son blames himself, or rather the color of his skin, for the detainment as C has visited Holland before without issue. He is currently at Harborview, cracked under the stress. My wish is that someone take the time out of their day to speak with/interview C... her life story without all this recent drama is a tale worth telling and she’ll charm the snot out you.

Tina

LUCKILY, WE ALREADY HAVE A MILLION ‘IMPEACH BUSH’ PLACARDS READY TO GO

EDITOR: A coalition of veterans’ groups, peace groups, and political activist groups announced a campaign on May 26 to urge that the U.S. Congress launch a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war.

The campaign focuses on evidence that recently emerged in a British memo containing minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials. John Bonifaz, a Boston attorney specializing in constitutional litigation, sent a memo to Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, urging him to introduce a Resolution of Inquiry directing the House Judiciary Committee to launch a formal investigation into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House to impeach President Bush.

In February and March 2003, John Bonifaz served as lead counsel for a coalition of United States soldiers, parents of U.S. soldiers, and Members of Congress (led by Representatives John Conyers, Jr. and Dennis Kucinich) in a federal lawsuit challenging President George W. Bush’s authority to wage war against Iraq absent a congressional declaration of war or equivalent action. Bonifaz is the author of Warrior-King: The Case for Impeaching George W. Bush (NationBooks-NY, 2004, foreword by Rep. John Conyers, Jr.), which chronicles that case and its meaning for the United States Constitution. The organizations forming the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition include: Global Exchange, Gold Star Families for Peace, Democrats.com, Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, Progressive Democrats of America, and Democracy Rising. These organizations, beginning today, will be urging their members to contact their Representatives to urge support of a Resolution of Inquiry.

Dana Briggs

National Board Director

Veterans For Peace

A TEMPTING OFFER, BUT… YOU MUST BE JOKING

EDITOR: This isn’t a letter to the editor so much as a proposal. Though I’m a left wing gay, Mexican Jew, I wanna run for mayor as a bit of political theater. Stan Lippman isn’t running his usual crazy ass ads, so the political scene is a bit dull. So, I wanna run a gag campaign as a fascist. I’ve got it all worked out. My logo will be a fasci with the axe replaced with the Space Needle. Supporters will get a black t-shirt for a $10 donation that will read “I’m a Ben-Ammista!” along with my slogan, “He’ll make the monorail run on time.” I’m thinking a drawing of the future monorail with men in suits staring blankly head while black shirted police beat a dissident below. My signature issue will be off leash dog parks, and the large print will be about that, while underneath will be all my other proposals, including the annexation by force of “Greater Seattle,” the expansion of the police force to 50,000, by conscription if necessary, and other similar hilarious but fascistic proposals will be in small print. I think it’s a neat idea, but I’m broke. I make a lousy $12.81 an hour. I was wondering if the Stranger would be interested in backing my campaign with minimum necessary funding. Mainly I want some Colonel Klink looking fascist outfit, and help taking a picture for the voter’s guide in which it appears I’m ranting Mussolini style with a string of spittle between my upper and lower lips, kind of frothing at the mouth. A few mock interviews in the paper, some jabs at the Seattle Process, then the primary will be over and I’ll be a footnote. Sound fun? Lemme know.

Name Withheld for the Sake of Decency