The Rat Patrol

Cruelty to Rodents

Yes, there are rats in Seattle; there are rats just about everywhere ["The Rat Patrol," Aug. 9]. Yes, they carry diseases, but so do humans. George Howland Jr.'s article highlighting the cruelty humans inflict on other species because cohabiting with them is inconvenient is a testament to what is wrong with this world in general.

Shame on Seattle Weekly for glorifying ignorance and cruelty.

Cinnamon Muhlbauer


the Rat Race

Repulsive? Disgusting? Why? ["The Rat Patrol," Aug. 9.] Rats are just animals trying to make a living, same as all of us. If you want to see something disgusting and repulsive, look at the Bush administration.

Gloria Boyer


Creepy Cover Story

Wow! I just finished reading George Howland Jr.'s article ["The Rat Patrol," Aug. 9] and am still shaking. What a fantastic writer he is! I am thoroughly creeped out, which I assume was the intention. I just wanted to let Howland know how great I thought his work was. Scary!!

Emily North


Faux-Moderate Mike

About Mike McGavick, the self-proclaimed champion of "civility": How could Knute Berger, of all the perceptive and hard-to-bluff folks I know, in any way fall for the line of faux-moderate rubbish which that guy has been trying to sell to Washingtonians for the last few months [Mossback, "Six Signs of Seattle Sanity," Aug. 9]? Sure, McGavick's headquarters is in Seattle, but his heart is with developers, big business, and certain wealthy folks on the other side of the Cascade Curtain; and his money is coming from the most odious sort of out-of-state corporate pirates, including the notorious Alaska Oil Mafia and their main bagman, Ted Stevens.

Berger and others seem to think that McGavick's own shabby and crass career with Safeco is not something which should receive scrutiny. I don't get it. He may have "helped" a giant corporation, but he did so by tossing out almost a thousand employees, and afterwards walked away with more than $28 million as a reward, which may have been unethical or possibly against the law.

And he once asked the question about "privatizing" our state universities . . . a speech which he now chooses to reinterpret for current consumer consumption (what tastes good at a Chamber of Commerce fat-cat lunch might not be so well received at an AFL picnic).

Mike McGavick is a perfect specimen of the modern American Republican, right down to his love of big oil and his distaste for what those 21st-century robber barons like to call the "death tax."

To claim that he or his candidacy represents any kind of return to the old GOP in the days of Joel Pritchard, Dan Evans, Sid Morrison, Stu Bledsoe, etc., is just a lot of dangerous wishful thinking.

Taylor Bowie


Did The Heat Fry Berger's Brain?

Knute Berger's new annual ritual of writing a summer column about what's right with this town is off to a rocky start [Mossback, "Six Signs of Seattle Sanity," Aug. 9]. His inclusion in the list that the state Republican Party is showing signs of "returning to the mainstream" was probably affected by the suffering from his annual bout of prickly heat. He cites the fact that Mike McGavick is running his campaign out of Seattle and aiming at a broad span of the political spectrum.

At the same time that Berger was swinging in his hammock seeking relief from the heat, the allegedly mainstream McGavick was over in Redmond supporting the teaching of intelligent design in public-school science classes. Forget that there is no scientific basis for the theory; he perfectly parroted the "teach the controversy" mantra of the Discovery Institute, whose board members have been generous contributors to his campaign. Even red state Kansas has rejected school board members who want to go down this path. Apparently McGavick runs his campaign out of Seattle, but he is still running to right field.

Berger chided the Democrats for not noticing the Republican shift to the mainstream. However, this alleged shift looks like Berger's heat-inspired hallucinations.

Barbara Heavey


Monorail wasn't Madness

People love to bash the monorail, and Knute Berger is no exception! In "Six Signs of Seattle Sanity" [Mossback, Aug. 9], Berger dedicates a paragraph or so to bashing the now-dead initiative. The fact is, the monorail was and still is a good idea! Transportation is one of the most important issues in Seattle. The citizens realize this, and thus we voted for the monorail four times before it was finally defeated with the help of the local newspapers and politicians on the fifth vote. Berger's praise for Greg Nickels' back-to-basics initiative shows his lack of understanding of the real issue: We need a better transportation system. Buses just do not cut it; fixing a few potholes is not going to solve any transportation issue! Seattle is just too big, and small-minded thinkers like Berger and Nickels need to go! The lack of transportation in this community is leading to the majority of the problems that Nickels' plan is trying to fix—partially. We shouldn't be asking where should the Sonics go, but rather how are we going to get to the Sonics!

Douglas Nichols


Wine Rep on the Line

Roger Downey deserves special recognition for his article about inaccurate labeling of some of the "wines" sold in our supermarkets and state liquor stores [Sips, "Wine, Pure and Simple," Aug. 9]. I, for one, will be looking closely at wine labels from now on. If Washington's wine-producing reputation is on the line, this is certainly an important matter for all concerned. It's good to know that someone in the press is looking out for consumers.

Betty Roberts


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