There are an increasing number of tech jobs that are not in danger of being outsourced overseas ["XPorting Tech Jobs," Nov. 26]. At Boeing and elsewhere, if your job requires a government security clearance, that job is staying at home. In fact, some companies are in trouble with the government for sneaky outsourcing of parts of sensitive, classified engineering projects.
Want your tech job protected? Work on Department of Defense, Homeland Security, or other national security contracts. The government actually is behind this, as it's one strategy to retain the U.S. technological base and leadership.
Another area of interest is medical outsourcing. Who says a U.S. doctor has to read your X-rays? Some radiology companies are sending X-rays, CT scans, and sonogram videos by Internet to offshore radiologists for reading and diagnosis. U.S. radiologists are mightily pissed about this and may be seeking legislation to stop it.
THE FEDS AND ACADEMIC FREEDOM
Hasan Jafri tries to change the subject into one about postcolonial studies when the subject is international studies funded by the federal government ["When Freedom Is Academic," Nov. 26]. No element of academic freedom is affected by Title VI in general or H.R. 3077 in particular. Rather, the feds are insisting on a bit of academic diversity in an area where there has been precious little diversity or freedom until now.
Leaving postcolonial and anti-American labels behind, what are we to make of the failure of Arabic and Middle Eastern studies departments to foresee or warn of the rabid anti-Americanism in the Arab world and the rise of jihadist activism? Regarding politicization of the academy, what are we to make of these departments actively opposing American foreign policy vis-୶is Israel and the route to peace?
There is no mention in the article of these departments failing to provide Arabic speakers for the government. The few Urdu speakers are the exception, rather than the rule. And while some might question the wisdom of making these departments training centers for the government, surely they cannot be allowed to act against the wishes and policy of the government, particularly in programs the government pays for. The idea behind the new law is to remove politics from the academy. Or is it the leftist ideal that anti-Americanism is without politics and only support for the nation is political?
The icing on the cake is the mention of Edward Said, whose entire life was political and at odds with American goals and dreams of a peaceful world where children can take a bus to school without risking being murdered by religious fanatics, fanatics whom Said supported.
ADDICTED TO BLOODSUCKERS
I couldn't agree more about the pseudo brain gain [Mossback, "Hobbits vs. Hobbes," Nov. 26]. I think the "quality of life" interests who aren't confirmed slackers are living a pre-bubble-burst pipe dream, and local developers and politicians are trying to milk it for all it's worth.
I remember calling in to a show on KUOW back in 2000, where the guest was talking about sharing the lessons learned in the "economic miracle" that was Seattle at that time with other parts of the country. I had just been laid off from a software company and raised my concern about the hubris of this view. I suggested then what I think now, using analogies from nature/ biodiversitythat we should take little comfort from the few biotech, high-tech, and manufacturing jobs remaining in Seattle, because these corporations have no loyalty to our region. These glamour industries "feed" on the local economy, almost as if it were a "host." As the host runs dry, these bloodsuckers get fresh (and cheaper) blood from Bangalore or Beijing.
I hope Seattle can find its way out of this addictive high-sugar diet, because it is doomed to fail.
CONFLICT FOR FISKEN?
It is interesting to me that Alec Fisken retains his job with the mayor's planning staff while serving now as a Port commissioner ["A Return to Port," Nov. 26]. I understand that he has been reassigned to other planning duties that will not require him to address issues and activities related to the Port while on the mayor's planning staff. However, I believe he will continue to be at least partially responsible for coordination of the mayor's agenda in South Lake Union. While Fisken says he supports a working waterfront and retention of Port property for water-related uses, he's busy pushing biotech, high-tech, and redevelopment in South Lake Union. The mayor sees redevelopment of Port property for alternative uses as a conflict with his agenda in South Lake Union. You could argue that Fisken is simply helping the mayor promote his agenda in his new role with the Port.
Coordinator, Seattle Displacement Coalition
Pete Knutson is always good for a quip and a quote. But regarding his letter to the editor last week, I'm afraid his memory is playing tricks on him when it comes to recalling what I said about fishermen and the fishing industry at Fishermen's Terminal.
I have never advocated that Fishermen's Terminal be a "living museum." That would imply a pretty place to show to tourists. In fact, I've been vocal in my support of Port investments to keep Fishermen's Terminal productive and profitable for the working fishing industry.
I didn't say that "fishermen are from Missouri." I did say that "fishermen are like people from Missouri," and went on to quote the expression made famous by Harry S. Truman: "Show meI'm from Missouri." It is the state's motto and a phrase I have frequently used to explain that people want proof, not promises, regarding governmental actions.
The issue then was the planned rehabilitation of Fishermen's Terminal and the inclusion of recreational vessels at the facility. It's now almost two years later, and the rehabilitation is well under waya $30 million capital program that includes reconstruction of the south wall, $9 million to upgrade the electrical system to serve fishing vessels, and dock renovationsand a full season of integrating recreational vessels into Fishermen's Terminal has passed without incident.
Commissioner, Port of Seattle
Contrary to the reviews I've read, I found the Rockettes show to be anything but spectacular [Performance Calendar, Nov. 19]. Everyone I sat with echoed my sentiments that it was mostly banal, only mildly and intermittently entertaining, and ultimately offensive in its so-called finale.
It felt a lot like "The Republicanettes Christmas Spectacular" to mereplete with over-the-top materialism, brazen corporate sponsorship, (toy) soldiers falling down, and a dose of forced religion. It began with a patronizing and blatantly commercial nod to Seattle and a couple of its most famous retail institutionsNordstrom and Starbucksproceeded into a gift-centered, albeit occasionally amusing, show, and then topped it off with a heavy-handed Nativity re-enactment, including the shameful exploitation of a couple of camels and a donkey, who I'm guessing adore the travel opportunity their "job" affords them. They sure seemed to be enjoying themselves out by the Dumpsters on the loading dock after the show.
The show was embarrassing. Avoid it at all costseven if you already have tickets.
Sean Patrick Hatt
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