Mindy, may I?

In your taxonomy of the power-deficient ("Who Really Runs Seattle?" 11/12) including Mindy Cameron, you nonetheless ascribe to her the power to single-handedly elect the mayor of Seattle. And boy, is Paul Schell going to be mad! But only if Mindy gives him permission.

Diane Albert

Assistant to Mindy ('The Kingmaker') Cameron

Distorting Discovery

When it comes to Discovery Institute, your piece on the supposed Seattle establishment is merely a fun-house mirror distortion of reality (Who Really Runs Seattle?" 11/12). Employing invidious terms like "creationism" for scientific critiques of Darwinism, characterizing advocacy of a stronger role for the National Guard as support for "forming militias" (shades of black helicopters!), describing our fellow Mark Plummer's nuanced analysis of the Endangered Species Act as calling for "lowering environmental standards when corporate profits are threatened," and referring to our defense of people of faith in public life as calling for an "increasing role of religion in politics" is simply bad reporting.

You seldom cover anything we do, but the realistic tone of the few articles you have run in the past—such as Kathryn Robinson's coverage of our religion and public life program, or past Weekly articles authored by Discovery senior fellow Phil Gold—obviously are at wide variance from the paranoid reflection of us held up by Mark Worth in the establishment story.

Rob Crowther

Director of Public and Media Relations, Discovery Institute

Naysayer says yea

Finally! Mark Worth writes an article that exposes what many of us "naysayer" activists have suspected all along ("Who Really Runs Seattle?" 11/12). It took me about two years of heavy activism to suspect that this town is run by 50100 people. That suspicion was confirmed by my stint as one of Chong's aides last year. But all is not lost for those of us outside looking in, no matter how cynical we may have become. Voting for and supporting people like Nick, Maggi, Charlie, and Brian Derdowski is our best shot at having hope for future reforms.

Tim Baker


Faris defamed

Way to go, Mark. It's about time someone took on those big-hearted do-gooders like Jack Faris ("Who Really Runs Seattle?" 11/12). I mean, countless hours of community leadership; hundreds of thousands of dollars in donated advertising; personal involvement in the lives of underprivileged children; and individual contributions in the thousands every year? Mercy. You certainly did your civic duty by exposing someone who does things like that.

In truth, Jack Faris is one of the most generous and effective people in Seattle. Your attack was ignorant, unsubstantiated, and obviously done to sell papers. Oh, wait. The Weekly is free. And you know what? Overpriced at that.

ron klein


Three strikes

Your long discourse on "Who Really Runs Seattle?" (11/12) is not only elitist and sophomoric, but also untrue, as most of those mentioned would be the first to observe. If you print many more articles like this, everyone in town will be reading The Stranger.

meade emory


Blasting the Monday Club

So the Monday Club meets in the Meisnest Room of the Washington Athletic Club at Sixth and Union in downtown Seattle for lunch every Monday ("Who Really Runs Seattle?" 11/12)? OK, got it. Here's hoping Ted Kaczynski takes requests.

John Tynes

via e-mail

Rather swill than grovel

Thanks for your recent expos頯n the movers and shakers of Seattle ("Who Really Runs Seattle?" 11/12).

Last summer I became involved in a civic cause. After extensively researching the subject and ambitiously raising money to hire a skillful land use lawyer, I became disheartened when the first advice from the lawyer had nothing to do with legal or land use issues. Instead, his advice was to hire a "well-connected" political consultant or make contact with one of those mentioned in your article who knows and can influence city officials. After considerable protest on my part (insisting that this was a citizens' grassroots issue and should not be perceived as anything less), I was soon dismissed as being inexperienced and naive.

Oh well, my mistake. I've since backed down and have yielded to those who know more and are better connected. For now I've decided to sit back and reap the trickle-down benefits of the 50 socially well-intentioned ladies and gentlemen you have mentioned who seem to know what is best for us ordinary blokes. I'll pass on getting to know them (as your article suggested). I would rather eat porridge and swill outside the castle gates than grovel at their feet.

Patricia Stambor


Playing defense

After reading Rick Anderson's "Right Wingback" (11/12), I came to one, simple, incredible conclusion: He's run out of interesting things to write about. While I usually expect some sassy, hard-nosed story with a fair amount of Christian/conservative-bashing overtones, he suddenly fell flat.

So he goes picking on Steve Largent? I've got to say that he didn't bring up anything we didn't already know about Largent—strong Christian beliefs, lets his faith affect his political decisions, good family man, etc. Anderson also didn't declare anything of great substance. So he thinks Largent is not "genuine"? A guy that wears his moral, ethical, spiritual, and political heart on his sleeve is ingenuine? Not to kick a dead horse too many times, but would he rather have Largent be like our president who says one thing publicly but leads a very, very different life privately? Steve Largent is a man of integrity (which is a rare thing these days). He is an honest, fair, and genuine man. Anderson may not agree with his political points of view—and that's fine. Just do this for me: Don't stir up mud when there's no mud to be stirred. Any more meaningless cheap shots on Largent will get Anderson a 15-yard penalty, as well as more lost credibility as a writer.

Joe Gerlitz

via e-mail

In a truly perfect world

I want to congratulate Claire Dederer for a perceptive and interesting article ("Give Her a Sandwich, Please!" 11/5), but I would like to take it a step farther and question her use of the word "perfect" to describe Michelle Pfeiffer and the transformed Oprah, Helen Hunt, Minnie Driver, and especially Jennifer Lopez. Ms. Dederer is disappointed that these down-to-earth celebrities have made themselves over in some perfect image. Perfect by whose definition?

Let's not accept society's idea of perfection. I fear this idea of a "cookie cutter" image of beauty. How boring it is becoming that any unique, special, or individual characteristic is quickly done away with by plastic surgeons. I don't want diversity wiped out.

What woman is truly brave enough to stand up to the scrutiny and be herself? I can only imagine how hard it would be to have thousands, even millions, of people criticizing how you look and not give in to the temptation to conform. Everyone talks about how brave Madonna is but she gave in to the pressure to be totally without body fat. So far, Kate Winslet is the only celebrity to say that she likes herself the way she is but I'll wait and see if she can hold out. (It sickened me to hear that James Cameron called her "Kate Weighs-alot" during the filming of Titanic.)

It's got to start with women. We have to stop being so critical of each other and give each other the emotional support we need. Unfortunately, it seems to start with celebrities and they just seem to be getting thinner and thinner. I hope the next messiah will step forward soon before too many 7-year-old girls start going on diets!

Claire McDaniel

via e-mail

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