Like What You Got?
Re the piece about Jimi Hendrix, drugs, and the way we were [The Drug Issue, "Jimi's First Experience," Aug. 17]: Those of us who lived the '60s had very definite ideas about how we wanted the world to be. The values that mattered most were love and peace; we favored a society of pleasure, play, and tolerance. Life's meaning was contained in the search for personal truth and the center of things.
But no. Something else was preferred by most Americans—a world of struggle, deception, and destruction of nature. You all wanted gods with a taste for blood . . . and you got what you wanted. Now the likes of George Bush and Karl Rove act as high priests for your vision of the world. How do you like it?
Drugs Are Forever
Now, this is real progress [The Drug Issue, "Drug War Peace Plan," Aug. 17]. At least people in authoritative positions are looking at real reform. This approach, if taken by authorities, allows them to bow out with grace and dignity. After all, the authorities created and sustain this mess by not putting these issues through the critical thinking necessary. They seem to forget or don't understand that people are never going to stop using these drugs. They have to face the fact that these drugs work for these people. This is the only crime that puts people in prison for performing an act against themselves. Think about it—the law is very good at protecting me against you and you against me. But how in the hell are these laws going to protect me against myself?
But still, Dan Satterberg does not get it. This is not a law-enforcement problem—this problem belongs in the health arena. All drug-policy reform begins with one question: Are people ever going to stop using illegal drugs? The overwhelming response is no. So the next question is: How do we create an atmosphere that causes the least amount of harm to those that use and to society as a whole? Before we can go anywhere else, those questions have to be answered in their entirety. It is not coercive treatment. When an individual decides to stop using, then that person has a much better chance of coping with their addiction.
After legalization/regulation and control, what's next? Society now has to think about replacing this multibillion-dollar underground economy. At least now there is money floating in this underground economy. This underground economy has to be replaced, or things will be worse. Remember, the laws created this diabolical mess, not the drugs. Therefore, laws have to be enacted to rebuild the infrastructure of most of our inner cities, and as usual, race and class issues are at the core of this problem.
Clifford Wallace Thornton Jr.
Storm Over Men's Pay
I really enjoyed Sarah McGuire's article "A Shot of Their Own" [Aug. 17]. I have been a big Storm fan and attending games for years (as I attended Seattle Reign and ABL games before the Storm). I was at the entire playoff run and championship game last year. You could hardly find a bigger fan than me, and I love that the Storm are great role models, are lots of fun and exciting to watch, and have brought Seattle its first championship in a long, dry quarter-century.
However, I think professional athletes are fundamentally overpaid. In the article, when McGuire sets the $3.1 million men's average professional basketball salary as the standard, why not instead question how inflated and obscene that is to pay grown men to play a game for eight months?
Yes, WNBA players are paid less than NBA, but NBA salaries are absurd. And I don't think that a WNBA salary of $57,000 to $87,000 per year for six months "work" of playing a game is a bad deal. Most U.S. workers would be happy with a 12-month, full-time salary in that range. And as McGuire points out, WNBA players can add to those earnings with international play (that's another perk the average Jane doesn't get and might want—the opportunity to be paid to travel internationally), championship and signing bonuses, and endorsements (which McGuire doesn't mention, and which I assume can be quite lucrative).
Don't get me wrong—I think the Storm are worth every penny they earn. But I think they earn a pretty good living, especially compared to most workers. I suggest that the problem with professional athletes' salaries is not that the women are paid too little—it's that the men are paid way, way too much.
Planes, Trains, Fossil Fuel
To those of us who live near flight paths, noise pollution is inescapable ["Airport in a Storm," Aug. 17]. Unfortunately, Geov Parrish failed to mention some related issues. Flying in jet planes consumes large amounts of fossil fuel and spews greenhouse gases directly into the atmosphere. Our reliance on this and other energy-intensive modes of travel contributes to global warming, oil spills, and air pollution. Countries that contain vast petroleum reserves, such as Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, are at risk for possible or ongoing wars and interventions, due to a need to ensure access to a steady supply of fuel and the associated flow of petrodollars.
Should we make Houston, Texas, our role model, or rather should we look to Japan and Europe in planning our transportation future? An estimated half of all airline flights are short hops, less than 500 miles in distance. The clogged runways at Sea-Tac could be freed up by replacing some of the flights with alternatives, such as high-speed trains, which consume much less energy. As I ride my bicycle around town, I sometimes wonder whether Seattle may come to look more like L.A. in the future. If we incessantly drive and fly in jet planes, the surrounding mountains appear ideally situated to trap smog.
Palate's Lasting Appeal
Thank you for Roger Downey's article about my grandfather, Angelo Pellegrini ["In Babbo's Garden," Aug. 17]. One correction, though: The Unprejudiced Palate has actually been nearly continuously in print since first published in 1948. It was out of print for less than a year last year, when Lyons Press let it go out of stock/out of print, and Ruth Reichl stepped in to reissue it in the Modern Library Food series, which she edits. (In fact, she told me it was one of two books she had wanted to reissue when she first came aboard as editor of the series, but the book was already in print at that time and the rights unavailable.)
I hope that its nearly six decades in print is a testament to its lasting appeal.
Kudos to Brian Miller for his recent article and to the GhostCycle volunteers whose profound art installation across the city is impacting motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians ["Wheeled Apparitions," Aug. 10]. Seeing a white bicycle with the note "A Cyclist Was Struck Here" causes such a visceral response that there is no trying to skirt the issue of using caution on the roads. I appreciate that Seattle Weekly has so eloquently highlighted this powerful message for bicycle and road safety that needs to be seen/heard by all.
Laurie M. Greig
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