Paean to integrity?

I was glad to see Mark Fefer's article exposing the obvious subtext beneath the Times' endorsement of Bush ["Bush helps Blethen," 10/26].


"The truly controversial part of Mr. Nader's pitch is that his economic model puts people before profit!"

Paean to integrity?

I was glad to see Mark Fefer's article exposing the obvious subtext beneath the Times' endorsement of Bush ["Bush helps Blethen," 10/26]. In view of Frank Blethen's campaign to eliminate the estate tax and Bush's commitment to support such legislation, no other facts are required to understand the Times' position. The assertion that the estate tax issue did not even arise in the editorial board discussion simply underscores that the Blethen family representatives had rehearsed their act beforehand and did not want to draw undue attention to their self-serving stance.

I also read Mindy Cameron's column of muted protest that appeared alongside the Times endorsement. While upset with the outcome, she seemed to accept the legitimacy of the ownership editorially promoting its own personal agenda in the guise of a paean to Bush's integrity. Ms. Cameron may well have been dismayed, but she clearly understands the importance of counting her Blethens.




For 10 years Mr. Nader was my all-time hero, when he jumped GM about the Corvair. At the time I had two Corvair vans for my service men. However, they did not have the problems of the car.

For 30 years I have dedicated my life and money to clean air transportation and traffic control. I hope that allows me to be called a dedicated environmentalist. I am a full member of the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Al Gore is a dedicated and knowledgeable environmentalist. Through research for his book Earth in the Balance he interviewed more than 160 specialists, from different areas of environmental sector and from around the world.

I would hope that Mr. Nader would drop out and ask his followers to vote for Al Gore if he really cares at all what happens to his country.





Re: James Bush's article on Ralph Nader [4th & James, "No thanks, Ralph," 10/19]—Nader does NOT propose "dismantling" our economic system, unless you mean getting corporations off the government dole and putting an end to the legal bribing of our elected officials with soft money and PAC money. The truly controversial part of Mr. Nader's pitch is that his economic model puts people before profit! Unthinkable! I think I know better how to spend my hard-earned tax dollars than the corporations do, but the politicians don't say much about that kind of welfare. By chance, do you think there's a connection there?

There are more than a few of us out here for whom the economic "boom" is something we only read about, but have yet to experience. If this is dismantling of the economic system, give me a sledgehammer so I can help!



Sick of all you!

I am so sick of all of you Democrats classifying Republicans as dim bulbs [see "Bush helps Blethen," 10/16] or stupid. I know you didn't outright call me that, but by insinuating Bush is a dim bulb and since I support him it doesn't t take a huge leap to also classify me as a dim bulb. Why do you feel the need to express yourself as intellectually superior? Your opinion of Bush's intelligence is an opinion, backed by little fact. I will refrain from offering you my opinion of your intelligence.

What you Democrats don't get is that people are tired of the rancor, the division, and the anger that you seem to think is required to get things done. The Democrats are the party of finger-pointing, blaming everyone and everything for their failures. We have seen this time and time again with this administration. And when backed against the wall with facts, you always come out with the personal insults.

There is evidence of Gore's tendency to exaggerate. There is evidence of Gore's willingness to ignore authority and principles. Offer me one piece of evidence, besides your opinion, that Bush is ignorant. Until you can do more than spout personal insults, work as a mouthpiece for a party that promotes hate, class division, and pitting one American against another to accomplish their political goals, I would watch who I called stupid.

Americans want someone who unites them, not divides them. Anything else is simply counterproductive. We don't need people who will fight for us and with us. We need people that will work with us. And just think, a dim bulb figured that out all on his own.



Jesus Day

There are some things I'd like to point out regarding George W. Bush:

1) I would remind voters about the Bush family role in the Savings and Loan Scandals which cost taxpayers millions: He's as much a liar as any man that has ever held office in any party.

2) He talks about things our present government failed to do, but conveniently forgets to add how a Republican congress impeded much of what this administration tried to accomplish: He speaks about bipartisanship while practicing the opposite.

3) George W. Bush, as Governor, in an elected office that is supposed to represent all the people of the state, used his office to declare June 10 as "Jesus Day" in the state of Texas: He ignored the constitutional law of separation of church and state and used his office to forward the views of his personal religious beliefs.

4) While deciding death penalty cases, he has refused to view new evidence: He is not a man that negotiates or listens to the other side, he's a man who would push the button rather than back down or admit he was wrong.

I urge you to vote AGAINST Bush.



Vote your fear

Consider this an open letter to Nader supporters: Have you decided that there's not a bit of difference between the two major candidates? That it's better to cast your vote for someone more in tune with your principles, even if they have no chance of winning?

I understand where you're coming from. I was there myself, in 1980. Annoyed by Jimmy Carter's moves to the right, his revival of draft registration, and his seeming willingness to fight the progressive wing of his own party more than the opposition, I and many others broke with the Democrats and cast our votes for Rep. John Anderson's independent progressive campaign. I refused to side with the lesser of two evils, and "voted for my hope, not my fear," to quote the Anderson campaign slogan.

The results? Although pulling a respectable percentage of the vote, Anderson and his movement were quickly marginalized, forgotten as soon as a winner was declared. More importantly, our defections helped elect Ronald Reagan. Those of us who claimed that there was no difference between the Democratic and Republican candidates soon learned differently. The Reagan victory we helped ensure ushered in a 12-year period of Republican dominance, featuring such "highlights" as $2 trillion of national debt, a massive transfer of wealth upward to the richest one percent of the population, stagnation for the middle class, abandonment of the poor, auctioning of the environment to the highest bidder, appointment of Supreme Court justices such as Scalia and Thomas, embrace of the policies of the Religious Right, etc., etc.

There are times when casting a "protest vote" is the proper thing to do. [But] the problem with refusing to vote for the lesser of two evils is that it can result in electing the greater of two evils. We made that mistake in 1980. Please don't repeat it!



George the Younger

On November 7th, I will vote for Al Gore. I find the special interest that influence and buy Mr. Gore's attention less repugnant than the special interest groups that own George the Younger. I am not a liberal. I don't like big, costly, and wasteful government. I find especially repugnant the Evangelical Right of the Republican Party. Given the right conditions, the Evangelical Right would make the Inquisition look like a tea party. I had convinced myself that the alternative to Heaven was preferable to spending eternity with the intolerance of the Evangelical Right, however I now believe that Heaven may be preferable because the "Camel" may have problems squeezing through the eye of that needle.

If you want government controlling a woman's right to choose, the future of the environment left with "no future," big corporations and worse controlling the country, if you think that it is OK for the wealthy to get tax relief in order to purchase more consumer trinkets while 42 million Americans have no health insurance, Social Security turned over to the "Casinos," education preferences for children of the wealthy, etc., etc. then vote for George the Younger.




The Nina Shapiro article on Initiative 713, "Pelting the trappers" [10/19], contains inaccuracies too glaring to ignore.

Trapped animals do not undergo an "agonizing struggle," still less "for as long as 24 hours." Slip a longspring trap onto your hand and you'll find your limb numb in about five minutes or less.

How do the bunny-huggers think animals die in the wild anyway? Old age with an IV drip of painkillers? Try starvation, disease, predation. Next to nature, a trap is merciful.

And it's about time this silly contention that "It's the human population that is moving into the habitat of wild animals" is given the contempt it deserves. Every square foot of this planet is wildlife habitat, and for those who think humans don't belong— I invite you to leave.



Psychotic hobby

Your article "Pelting the trappers" [10/19], which in essence glorifies a psychotic hobby harking back to the days of Buffalo Bill, seems to have been written by a gullible trapper-groupie who has swallowed the twaddle "trapping is how I respect animals" hook, line, and sinker.

Cardinal among the arguments against I-713, which would ban the outdated practices of trapping and poisoning, is the tired, callous assertion that these cruelties are necessary "tools" for the proper control of wildlife. Some have gone so far as to suggest that the voting public be left out of the decision-making process when it comes to these issues, fearing voters will listen to their conscience instead of the science of wildlife management. These opportunistic advocates of science believe such animal issues should be left in the hands of willfully detached game managers, who follow a special interest-driven discipline, employing such terms as "harvesting" and "culling surpluses" in reference to nonhuman animals.

But there are other schools of scientific thought voters should consider when judging the morality of luring an animal to a trap set to snap down on its leg: behavioral sciences that can help us perceive the pain and mental anguish a victim suffers before a trapper arrives to club it to death. The emerging science of cognitive ethology, for example, has established that animals are capable of the same basic emotions we humans experience, including fear, empathy, love, grief, longing, joy, and despair.

Initiative 713 incorporates science and conscience to reflect advancements in our understanding of animals, and would ensure that pets and wildlife in Washington will no longer suffer the cruelty inherent in trapping.



Civic dissent

Thanks to James Bush for mentioning that the Civic Foundation took a "no" position on Proposition 1, Parks for All. None of the objections to Proposition 1 I heard had to do with opposition to more or better parks. In fact, the Civic Foundation was one of the organizations that came out swinging for Initiative 42, Protect our Parks, activists when we were gathering signatures to stop the city from selling park land.

Unfortunately, Proposition 1 is not the savior of Seattle parks. Rather it is a wolf-cloaked-in-sheep's-clothing appeal to the "green" hearts of Seattle activists. I mean green in more ways than one. The Pro-Parks 2000 committee, city-picked activists, spent several months providing the city political cover as it sought to move its agenda of privatizing the zoo and the aquarium forward in the state legislature (and succeeded). The committee's own minutes reveal that the city plainly told them that they wanted to make some changes at the state level, in order to avoid doing it at the city level. The city charter requires that all park employees be supervised by the Superintendent of Parks: changing that would require a vote of the citizens of Seattle. Instead of insisting that the move to privatization deserved a public debate, Pro-Parks committee members took maybe all of 10 minutes to mildly object and then agree to accept circumventing the city charter and Seattle voters as part of their committee's charge.

Unfortunately, privatization of park resources is not the half of the city's agenda. The city is basically trying to rid itself of the requirement to maintain parks out of the general fund, potentially freeing up money for more parking garages, no doubt. That piece of their proposed legislation, setting up a special taxing district, failed in Olympia, but a piece of that strategy is carried forward in Proposition 1.

Proposition 1 is irresponsible government which is not about acquiring new park land so much as it is about setting up parks and open space to be forever dependent on special levies—which sets them up for failure. Vote NO.



We've grown up

Tim Eyman's latest idea for our state, I-745, would devote 90 percent of all state and local transportation dollars to roads. If he thinks this would lessen congestion, he's wrong. After years of living in the Bay Area, a wise old friend of mine said, "Building more roads just lets all the cars get to the same place at the same time." Sounds funny, but you know it's true if you try driving to a Sonics game from Bellevue on a Friday.

Eyman seems to have missed the fact that our region has grown up: We have become urban. How do residents of New York and most other long-settled cities get around? Transit. Where would we put these new roads? We often have backups downtown, but do you think downtown residents and businesses would favor, for example, widening I-5? With the restrictions 745 imposes, that is the sort of plan we might be forced to consider. In a region that is becoming increasingly urban, this initiative doesn't make sense.




Maria Cantwell is 100 percent pro-choice and we completely support her campaign. We applaud Deborah Senn's call to unite behind Cantwell in her race against anti-choice Slade Gorton. Gorton received a 19 percent voting record from Washington NARAL in 1999 and voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the court decision that gives women the right to a legal abortion.

An anti-choice majority in the senate and an anti-choice president would greatly threaten Roe v. Wade and possibly end a woman's right to a safe, legal abortion. The greatest of human freedoms is choice. We must elect candidates who will protect this fundamental right for all women.




Mi casa es su CASA

Thank you for your article on CASA Latina ["Day labor lotto," 10/12]. I'm one of CASA's original full-time staff when CASA Latina started in 1994 (I left in 1996). I can't help but feel both jealous and proud. Jealous because I'm not apart of this exciting growth and movement; proud because of what CASA Latina has become and its accomplishment.

CASA's name, as I recall, and unless recently changed by the board or directors, is CASA Latina. C.A.S.A. is written in all capitals. The acronym is Centro de Ayuda Solidaria a los Amigos. Casa, as you wrote it, should not be confused or taken for its literal translation of "house."



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