Rachel Corrie typifies the "Ugly American" stereotype prevalent in many parts of the world ["Rachel Corrie's Legacy," May 10]. By believing that her presence alone was enough to halt a military operation, she displayed the sort of arrogance that Americans are often accused of having, particularly by those who reside in the Middle East. Her death might have been a tragedy, but she was in a war zone and decided to use herself as a human shield. She was a 23-year-old woman who made the decision not to move when a bulldozer was coming at her. Not only are the lawsuits brought by her parents asinine, but they are the type of junk cases that clog the courts and prevent important matters from being ruled upon.
Rachel might have had heart when it came to Palestinian empathy, but she didn't have brains. She was used by pro-Palestinian groups in life and continues to be used by them in death, and now her parents are falling into the same trap. I guess in this case, the gullible apple doesn't fall too far from the gullible tree.
In reporting on the lawsuit against Caterpillar Inc. by Rachel Corrie's parents, Nina Shapiro has made a credible attempt to be objective about a highly contentious and divisive issue ["Rachel Corrie's Legacy," May 10]. I have witnessed Israeli atrocities against Palestinians, so I might wish for other points to be mentioned— for example, the role of Caterpillar bulldozers in destroying Palestinian habitat to create space for illegal paramilitary Israeli settlers. Nonetheless, Shapiro has managed to present several clear arguments from both sides of the issue without disputing or obscuring the basic facts of Israeli military occupation and the ongoing murder of Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces.
Blame the Terrorists
I am very sorry for Rachel Corrie's parents that they lost their daughter ["Rachel Corrie's Legacy," May 10]. However, if they are looking for someone to blame for their daughter's death, they should look no further than the Palestinians and their leaders. They openly and repeatedly state that their goal is the destruction of the state of Israel. They send suicide bombers into Israel to blow up Jewish men, women, and children. They shoot missiles into Israel from the Gaza Strip, which Israel has vacated, on a daily basis.
It is truly twisted logic to think that the ones responsible for these acts are the "victims," and the ones trying, as best they can, to prevent these acts from occurring are the "oppressors." Of course, where Jews are concerned, logic has never been particularly relevant.
It is easy to blame the suicide murders of Israeli citizens on the "occupation," until one recalls that there were dozens of terror attacks against Jewish men, women, and children prior to 1967, and that the Palestine Liberation Organization, dedicated to the destruction of Israel, was created in 1964, three years before Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Corrie's supporters claim that the Israeli actions to try to prevent suicide bombings and terrorist attacks constitute "collective punishment" of the Palestinians. Please. What are suicide bombings and terrorist attacks if not "collective punishment" of Jews for the perceived crime of living in Israel?
Apparently, it has become politically correct to incinerate Jews—again.
Michael S. Kolker
Upon reading Nina Shapiro's piece on the legacy of Rachel Corrie ["Rachel Corrie's Legacy," May 10], I must clarify a frequently misstated point. New York Theatre Workshop did not cancel My Name Is Rachel Corrie. They asked the Royal Court, the original play producer and rights holder, to allow for a postponement. Instead of agreeing to the request, the Court withheld the rights, hence causing the cancellation.
Publicist, New York Theatre Workshop
New York, NY
Bungalows are SUVs
Knute Berger's engaging in a bit of "golden age" revisionism with his idolization of the Seattle bungalow [Mossback, "The 'Just Right' People," May 10]. Even at the time they were being built by the thousands, bungalows were not considered a low-cost housing option. To the contrary, contemporaries often referred to bungalows as "the least house for the most money." People bought them primarily because they found them charming, not because they were a bargain. Many still do.
Would Seattle be worse off without its ocean of bungalows? There are two ways to look at it. On the one hand, the Seattle bungalow adds a lot to the visual character of the city and replacing them with anonymous boxes would be a terrible blow to the urban fabric. They're still charming, accentuated now by the patina of age and the glow of nostalgia.
On the other hand, the huge quantity of in-city single-family housing, of which bungalows are a major part, represents a significant political problem for the evolution of our city. Few other cities in the world have as high a proportion of single-family residences as close to the downtown area as Seattle. Local politics and land-use planning are dominated by the concerns of those single-family homeowners, often to the detriment of their own neighborhoods and the city as a whole (including the development of practical mass transit, economic vitality, affordable housing solutions, and the increasing density necessary to support those things sustainably). Berger's and much of the city's idealized vision of the inefficient, costly-for-its-size, yet pleasant and picturesque little bungalow as the essential expression of Seattle dwelling is a core part of that problem.
The bungalow is not the "spotted owl" of Seattle housing. It's the gas-hog SUV of Seattle housing, driving our policies and politics into absurd realms.
It takes a Protest
What can Geov Parrish mean when he talks about the Parks Department's responsiveness and newfound sensitivity ["A Parks Lesson Learned," May 10]? It took getting hammered by a determined activist and her sizable support system, along with pressure from an embattled Windermere alarmed by visions of poison publicity and litigation, to supposedly "learn" this lesson and stop a project conceived in stupidity. Parks will get credit when it identifies and scuttles bad decisions on its own rather than just reacting to protests against them—or better yet, just takes the right action to preserve our environment and quality of life. Now that's responsiveness.
I failed to see the humor in the fluoridation story written by Mike Seely [Buzz, May 10]. He is making light of a chemical added to our water that has yet to be scientifically proven to do virtually any good. To the contrary, dozens of studies have shown that cumulative consumption of this phosphate waste product causes a host of nasty stuff.
Instead of trusting the American Medical Association, why don't we ask them to produce some research that proves fluoridation is safe or effective. Only after then should we proceed to fluoridate. Until then, this feels like an ongoing experiment on a nation full of involuntary participants.
Sauk Rapids, MN
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