Your article on Internet radio ("Brave new radio," 8/12) was a good one. However, the cover headline sounds like the hoopla MTV generated when it premiered. (I'm too young to remember that! But I've seen a few music history specials.) I understand "Video Killed the Radio Star" was a ringing theme in those days. Funny, I still enjoy hearing Dave Niehaus call for rye bread and mustard. Video did NOT kill radio—although it did put a big hole into it. I expect Internet radio will do the same, but radio will survive quite nicely. Internet radio is a wonderful idea, but I don't think we'll go out and buy computers just for the music—not until and unless computers can somehow beat the prices of radios. They'd work wonderfully in tandem, but the Internet making radio obsolete?
I found Mr. Martin's article ("Brave new radio," 8/12) inspiring because there are still individuals out there willing to explore the possibilities of bringing traditional media into the next millennium by way of new media's promise of convergence. Hopefully we'll start to see more and more Webcasters on the Net, and the money needed to support such ventures will be there.
...The stupidest thing
Richard A. Martin's statement that "the period between 1976 and 1980 didn't yield many significant records" ("Summer of mauve?" 8/12) is very likely the stupidest thing any pop critic has ever written in Seattle Weekly. Let's leave aside for the moment landmark albums released during those years by old guys like the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Ferry, Lou Reed, and Neil Young. Were it not for epochal recordings in the late '70s by the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, Television, the Ramones, the Buzzcocks, Graham Parker and the Rumour, Nick Lowe, Wire, and countless one-hit-wonder bands, there never would have been a so-called "year that punk broke" a dozen or so years later, and Martin would be writing about the rather narrow legacies of Rush and Boston today. Which he deserves to do on the basis of his callow remarks about a pivotal time in rock history.
I was dismayed to read "Impolitics," ("Who is Jim McDermott?" 8/12) which, among other things, questioned my integrity. I am a firm defender of the right of newspaper columnists to express their opinions, but your column contained enough errors and misstatements that readers could be drawn to a conclusion that the facts just don't support.
Your columnist, Geov Parrish, said that I was "all for it when America decides to lethally bomb a civilian population, this time in Yugoslavia." That is not true, and the record does not support it. My own preference was for the Rambouillet plan, which would have allowed peacekeeping forces from NATO but no bombing campaign. Mr. Milosevic would not accept that. I did refuse to take a vote in Congress to condemn President Clinton's actions. The proposal had little to do with the bombing campaign and was just a way for the Republicans in Congress to bash Clinton. I am still of the belief, as was the tradition in this country for a long time, that partisanship stops at the water's edge and should not include criticism while our servicemen and women are in the heat of battle.
Your column said I have introduced a bill that would extend the patent life of a drug called Claritin, in exchange for—I believe the term your columnist used was "whoring"—a campaign donation. This also is incorrect. I have introduced a bill that calls for an administrative hearing in the US Patent Office. If the bill were to pass, the Patent Office would then investigate whether seven drugs, produced by five different manufacturers, were unfairly denied three years of patent life in the 1984 Hatch-Waxman legislation. My bill does not take a position on whether there should be an extension of the patent life. It just asks for an independent hearing, which would be open to the public and subject to judicial review, to see whether their claims that they were treated unfairly are justified. It does not predict or require a particular outcome. I believe in fairness—even for drug companies.
Your column said I have endorsed the Forest Practices Agreement that could become part of the World Trade Organization negotiations. I have not done so.
In any of these instances, my office would have been happy to provide information had Mr. Parrish contacted me.
But perhaps the most disappointing part of the column was Mr. Parrish's assertion that my bill on free trade to Africa, as he put it, "would, according to critics, essentially recolonize Africa. . . ." Your columnist apparently was willing to take the word of the "critics" as gospel. I do not deny being in favor of free trade, but I fail to see how giving African products access to America's markets will cause the continent to be recolonized.
My personal experiences in Africa began nearly 40 years ago when I was a volunteer in Ghana. At that time, the economy in Ghana, and the living standard of its people, were roughly equal to South Korea's. Korea was given access to markets, slowly emerged as a democracy, and now is the world's 13th largest economy. Sub-Saharan Africa has had no such experience. I have traveled extensively in Africa since then, covering more than 80,000 miles while working as a doctor for the foreign service. I have seen first-hand the living standards of the peoples there.
My legislation, which has passed the House and which I expect to pass in the Senate this fall, is the product of years of negotiation and compromise. Republicans in Congress had wanted to end all foreign aid to Africa, for example. Part of their agreement to continue helping some of those nations was the establishment of free trade agreements.
No nation is required to enter into a trading relationship with the United States, or to allow US investment. But if they do want lowered trade barriers, they are expected to respect human rights, show progress toward democracy and make market reforms to their economies. Apparently your columnist prefers the current conditions in Africa to giving the continent a chance to participate in the world's economic system.
The column said you wondered what had happened to the Jim McDermott of 1990. I can tell you that I too suffer occasionally from nostalgia—although what I long for is the time when journalism consisted of checking the facts and then fairly presenting all sides of an argument. What happened to the good old days?
Rep. Jim McDermott
No airbrushed nipples
In response to Mike Seely's "At Large" article ("Nipples, tots, and tubs," 8/12): As the owner of Aqua Quips' advertising agency, I personally supervised the photo shoot and production of the Edgar Martinez ads and billboards to which you referred. I can assure you that no part of Edgar—including his nipples—was airbrushed or altered in any way. Please look at the photo again; his nipples were merely below the water line.
As far as having kids in a pool and hot tub with Edgar, our hope was to take the high road in promoting hot tubs as a wholesome family activity as opposed to the stereotypical "skimpily clad babes in a tub approach". It was never our intent to repress or exploit anyone and I want to personally apologize if anyone was offended by our campaign.
Both Edgar Martinez and the folks at Aqua Quip are wonderful community-minded citizens. The campaign has generated a lot of positive response and has also been recognized nationally for promoting the health and recreational benefits of hot tubs.
Fortunately, Mike, not everyone thinks like you do.
Steenman & Assoc., Issaquah
Warrior not racist
I've waited until now to respond to the article "Rhode Warrior" (7/29) written by Nina Shapiro regarding David Scott-Donelan, a man who served his country as a military officer at a time when his country was at war. I was a bit amazed at the conclusions drawn by Shapiro without substantiation of any kind.
When I was interviewed by Shapiro, I insisted throughout that Donelan did not express a hint of racism to me and is an extremely capable and personable gentleman who chose, as his career, the path of a warrior for his country. Shapiro argued the point of "civil war" and "insurgency" in Rhodesia at the time and insisted the entire conflict was racially motivated, citing "knowledgeable (unnamed) sources" to substantiate her claims. She would not accept the argument that Donelan was responsible for training and commanding black troops in support of the Rhodesian government nor the fact that he served in combat with those very troops and went so far as to suggest the terms "Rhodesian" or "Rhodesia" represented racism then and now.
I suspected Shapiro would make the implication of Donelan's alleged "racism" being an element of Donelan's and my separation of ways—an erroneous implication at best. David Scott-Donelan and I are friends. David has certain organizational and management traits which vary from those of my agency and, subsequent to several attempts to find a common ground, David and I parted company professionally. Nothing more should have been read into that.
State Dept. of natural resources
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