Letters to the Editor

"An atheistic, gun-owning defender of gay rights? What is the world coming to?"

I have been a devoted reader of your publication for many years now; I use it to find anything from movie times to restaurants to eat at. I recently moved back to the Eastside (Bothell, to be exact). Anyway, I have been thinking about this for the last couple months, and after seeing your dining issue [Dining Guide 2004, "Where We Eat," April 21], I decided I would stand up and say something.

Personally I feel you guys do a great job promoting, discovering, and criticizing new places in Seattle and the immediate surrounding areas. One thing I wish you would do is broaden your horizons and review or talk about some attractions, restaurants, clubs, and bars outside of the six or seven neighborhoods you usually talk about (Madison Park, downtown, Kirkland, Leschi, etc.). Being in Bothell the last couple months, I have discovered about four excellent new restaurants in this area (Hana Sushi, Villa Cosenza Ristorante Italiano, Pen Thai, and Bonefish Grill). I also have found some that are not so good (which will remain unnamed). I wish I'd had previous insight into these before going, so as not to waste my time. You distribute your publication in this area and have advertisers in this area, so why don't you promote it? When I was in Seattle, I felt that it was the only place to be; but now that I live here, I've found there is life outside of Seattle—and it is damn good.

Kevin Olsonn


Venture South

It seems you forgot something in your 2004 Dining Guide ["Where We Eat," April 21]. What about the Rainier Valley?! Your reviewer Philip Dawdy actually thinks that Capitol Hill is the most diverse area of the city. Sounds like he's never been south of Jackson Street. The Rainier Valley has incredible diversity in people and food choices. We boast some of the best Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Sicilian, and soul food and Tutta Bella, one of only 114 officially sanctioned Neapolitan pizzerias in the world outside of Naples.

Darryl Smith


What? An atheistic, gun-owning defender of gay rights [Mossback, "What the Right Does Right," April 21]? What is the world coming to? I must admit that I am a left leaner in my opinions, but since the Iraq war started, I have been reading (and agreeing with) the likes of Pat Buchanan. Antiwar.com is my morning read. This has been somewhat disturbing since I tend to believe that the right has nothing relevant to say. As a God believer, I find Pat Robertson's version of Christianity an embarrassment. But I also own guns. Gay marriage? I fail to see the problem.

Jim Hightower says that the political spectrum is in reality not right and left but up and down: the wealthy against the majority of the people. Perhaps this is the unifying theory we need to pursue.

Dan Leyde


What's Right and Left

The propaganda on the left has been so insistent, deafening, and utterly false, it has created a bogeyman the average Democrat believes in that does not, and has never, existed [Mossback, "What the Right Does Right," April 21]. As a longtime Christian and conservative activist within the Republican Party, I have been unsuccessful at finding a single member of the "religious right" (as it has been concocted by most of the press and all of the Democrats). I find that large numbers of young people, programmed by mass media and public schools, have absolutely no idea what conservatives actually believe (any more than they have any idea what the Constitution actually says). Even though Knute Berger seems to exhibit some confusion himself, I find it refreshing that he can at least tell the difference between what the Republican grass roots believe and what our disingenuous liberal leadership does. What I find irritating is the constant inability of anyone to the left of Bill O'Reilly to define what "right" or "left" means in the abstract. To a conservative, "right" generally means "toward freedom" and "left" means toward "government control." This is a perfectly rational description that accurately predicts government policy as it flows from philosophy to action. On the far left we have Communists, who provide all the necessities of life (out of "compassion") and totally eradicate freedom; and on the far right we have government as it was in America before 1930, which provided enormous freedoms and a total tax burden around 5 percent. Now that's "regressive"! In between, Democrats and liberal Republicans raise taxes and spending, moving the functions of society from freedom to government control, and describe this as "progressive," while conservatives oppose this erosion of freedom.

Most of the "Soviet of Seattle" Berger describes, sitting behind anti-Bush signs and gleefully tuning out dissenting voices, lives in an imaginary world where "the forces of capitalism" are identical images to those created in the basement of the Kremlin long before Berger was born.

So, when Berger says "right" or "left," what does he mean?

Doug Parris


Don't Count Out Conrad

George Howland Jr.'s article "Republican Showdown" [April 21] did a good job explaining why the 8th Congressional District race is wide open, but it must strike readers as odd that he then proceeded to arbitrarily limit the field before the race has even begun.

Let me suggest four reasons why Howland's "short list" is too short:

1. I am an elected Bellevue City council­man with a proven ability to win tough races.

2. I am a businessman and the only candidate who unequivocally puts jobs and economic prosperity first. In fact, President George W. Bush chose me to head our region's Small Business Administration.

3. I have a proven volunteer base that is the envy of other Republican candidates.

4. I energize new voters who share our Republican philosophy of hope and opportunity, but who have too often been dismissed by the country club Republicans.

Our party needs to grow by opening its doors to young families who want to buy their first home and send their children to college. We need to cherish the entrepreneurial spirit that starts new businesses and creates jobs. In short, we need to be a party focused on the future.

That is a message I believe 8th District voters are longing to hear, and between now and the September primary, a message I intend to deliver.

Conrad Lee

Bellevue City Council Member

For the Birds

Yes played a phenomenal show ["Tales From Discographic Oceans," April 14]. Dave Queen showed a quick wit, but a failure to grasp the talent and subtlety in this band's music. As comparison, I'm sure Mr. Queen has written pieces as weak as the 90125/Big Generator era of Yes, and written pieces with the power and showmanship of "The Gates of Delirium." However, his work will likely be lining parrot cages long before fans of this band stop listening to and enjoying them.

Kevin Armstrong

Oak Harbor

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