Revolutionaries?! Hardly! The conditions for political revolution by collectivist ideologues are so remote as to render your ramblings ("New Radical Seattle," 2/24) inconsequential. The people and groups you describe are counter-revolutionary Neo-Luddites. They rage impotently against a very real economic transformation taking place that rivals the Industrial Revolution in scope and importance. Your nostalgia for the not-so-new Left is pathetic. The philosophically similar 20th century collectivist ideologies of socialism, national socialism, and fascism are old news. The gains of the American Revolution, the only one that ever offered an alternative to the Old World's legitimacy paradigm of "benevolent" rule, have endured and prevailed, and will continue to well into the 21st century, long after your "New Revolutionaries" are tired old cranks.
JOHN J. SULLIVAN
I am shocked and amazed by your article headlined "New Radical Seattle" (2/24). The picture of the "puppet" Bill Gates at the beginning of this article was ignorant and irresponsible. The Gates Foundation and Microsoft Corporation has done more good for the Northwest than any other single enterprise, with perhaps the exception of the Boeing Corporation (10 years ago).
Microsoft Corporation has contributed millions of dollars in the Northwest and beyond: creating jobs, contributing to the community, and helping people in need across the planet. To display these "radicals" and compare them to "(protesters that worked towards) civil rights, resistance to the Vietnam War, or peaceful fall of the Berlin wall" is unbelievable. If this is the "New Radical Seattle" then I am leaving town.
I am proud to be a member of the computer industry within the Pacific Northwest and very proud of what Microsoft Corporation has contributed to the economy and people of this area. I think you owe Microsoft and Mr. Bill Gates an apology for this "one sided" article.
Berger, Bush, Bundy
The Knute Berger editorial endorsing (?) John McCain ("The McCain mutiny," 2/24) is the funniest piece I have read since Mr. Berger called for the formation of a militia during the impeachment fight. (By the way, what Mr. Berger wanted to prevent then was Al Gore becoming president. Does Mr. Berger still think that might require an armed revolt? Inquiring minds want to know, since there is about a 30 percent chance that Gore will be our next president.) In his editorial, Mr. Berger makes it clear that he is endorsing McCain because he hates that likable fellow, George W. Bush. He also hates Bill Bradley, apparently because he is not as morally challenged as Al Gore.
Now why Mr. Berger hates Governor Bush never becomes clear in the editorial. The editorial has nothing in it about Bush's tenure as governor, and almost nothing about his campaign proposals. Bush's biggest achievement as governor has been to markedly improve the Texas schools. This achievement, more than Bush's own words, shows what he means by "compassionate conservatism." It is compassionate to care about how every kid does in schools. It is conservative to try to improve the schools by higher standards and local control, rather than pumping more money into an ineffectual bureaucracy. It is cruel to advocate, as Al Gore does, leaving kids trapped in schools that fail them. And, as we all know, the kids hurt by being trapped in these bad public schools tend to be poor minority kids. Whether the sacrifice of these kids to the teacher's unions is also "liberal" I will leave to Mr. Berger to determine.
The objections Mr. Berger has to Bill Bradley lead to another point the Weekly has consistently ignored. The Clinton-Gore team broke the campaign finance laws on a large scale in the 1992 election and on a massive scale in the 1996 election. They rented out the White House. They raised money at religious institutions. They used soft money for campaign advertisements, a use explicitly forbidden by the law. Worst of all, they took money that has been traced to a Communist government at the same time they were making it easy for that government to acquire our military technology. You cannot claim to be for clean campaign finance and support Al Gore any more than you can claim to be against murder and support Ted Bundy.
JAMES R. MILLER
Politicians for sale
Thank you, Rick Anderson, from this Egypt Air 990 family member for printing what no other news organization had the balls to do, the truth about just how the Boeing company buys politicians through large sums of money donated to the political campaigns ("Some call it bribery," 2/24). And what a piece of scum this Phil Condit is for his remarks to news reporters in Washington, DC, "We would pay for votes if top elected officials would approve a permanent trade status with Beijing"; in other words, buy what you want, and if you get caught buy your way out of it—which the Boeing company does so well. And shame on Senator Patty Murray for accepting money from a company that through their lies could very well be responsible for the violent deaths of hundreds upon hundreds of innocent people. How many must die in this manner before someone at the Boeing company is held accountable for these lies to the United States government? How many politicians must be bought off before the truth comes out?
Paul Allen buys The Sporting News, and the LA Times' Bill Plaschke says he "wouldn't want to be [The Sporting News'] Seahawks or Blazers correspondent" ("Fan letter," 2/24). As a transplanted Los Angeleno, I wish Paul Allen would have bought the Times years ago and spared two million newspaper readers Plaschke's worthless innuendo and inane opinions. I hope he STAYS a former Seattle sportswriter.
The Sporting News' Seahawks coverage can't be any worse than the dreck already served up by the Times/P.I.
And interestingly enough, for those worried about corporate censorship, keep in mind that John Rocker works for the same uber-conglomerate (Time Warner/AOL) that publishes Sports Illustrated. Hooray for corporate synergy!
As a downtown property manager and an unpaid CleanScapes board member, I appreciate your coverage of the newsbox controversy, "Newsbox vigilantes!" (2/10). However, you've missed the larger point. Since the Pioneer Square Community started CleanScapes over two years ago, the organization has filled many holes in underfunded and poorly managed city services—all funded by private property owners. CleanScapes has transformed Pioneer Square's alleys, streets, and Occidental Park. They have removed countless graffiti tags, reported hundreds of burned-out streetlights and potholes, and assumed stewardship of streetscapes in the districts they serve. In addition, they provide jobs and life-skills for citizens in transition. All things the city should be doing.
Your article states that Seattle Transportation is responsible for enforcing the applicable ordinance and then quotes the manager responsible saying, "There is really nobody from government to bird-dog them. I don't have a problem with [CleanScapes] doing it, since we don't have the time."
With over 10,000 municipal employees, you'd think there would be somebody! The fact that CleanScapes' services are funded privately is proof that Seattle citizens are willing to pay more for streetscape maintenance services. It is, however, much easier to pay for the innovative and efficient services of CleanScapes than to pay higher taxes for shoddy and/or nonexistent city services.
The additional and overlooked bonus is that CleanScapes employees are homeless men and women working in a drug-free atmosphere to better their lives and our shared community.
As someone who downloaded the complete FCC Report & Order regarding low-power FM radio (www.fcc.gov), I found Geov Parrish's article on LPFM (Impolitics, "A new kind of radio," 2/10) somewhat confusing and perhaps a little misleading. First of all, Mr. Parrish equates LPFM radio with "Pirate" radio. Many lower power FM stations have been around for over 30 years. Ten-watt stations KMIH (Mercer Island High), KASB (Bellevue High), and KUPS (University of Puget Sound) are all low power. Even the UW's KCMU started out as a 10-watter. Pirates? You've gotta be joking.
Mr. Parrish's contention that the Pirate radio movement drove the FCC to its new decision is just wrong. It was the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that enabled radio operators to own many stations in the same market, in effect squashing more voices from the airwaves, that prompted over 30,000 calls and letters to the FCC from church groups, tribal groups, schools, and other community groups wishing to have a voice in this newly homogenized broadcasting fraternity.
Finally, by publishing a set of frequencies suitable for LPFM, Mr. Parrish is empowering radio pirates and endangering other stations' protected 60 dbu contours. For example, Mr. Parrish says 103.1 is an open channel. This is totally wrong. KMTT "the Mountain" has a translator downtown at 103.3, and the FCC says all local and distant translators must be protected. Even though just one channel away, any proposed station would have to be at least 15 to 21 kilometers away from that translator's protected 60 dbu contour. I suggest Mr. Parrish consult an engineer prior to publishing "open" frequencies.
The truth about LPFM is that it will cost about $25,000 to set up a station. All equipment must be FCC type-accepted, and spurious emissions will be reduced to a minimum. You need limiters, compressors, and modulation monitors. You'll need an EBS decoder, too. There will be no frequencies available for central Seattle. You must be at least 3.2 km away from an AM directional antenna. Any nonprofit community group organized less than two years ago won't stand a rat's chance of getting a license. If you plan to operate less than 36 hours per week, you'll be out of luck. You'll need to hire an engineer, and most likely, a Washington, DC, attorney to handle any problems.
I recently did a frequency search for Omak, Washington. There's plenty of open frequencies there.
ɠuna bella scusa!
About Jason Serinus' piece on Jose Cura (Disc Man, 2/24): I'm sure I am not the first to comment on a few imprecisions in his article. Notably that the composer of (I) Pagliacci is Ruggiero (Italian for Roger) Leoncavallo. Leon is not Cavallo's first name, alas. And the famous aria is "Vesti la Giubba," not Jiubba. Ah, details. But I must say his assessments of Bjoerling et al. were dead right on! It's nice, in these days of 3 Tenors hype, to see Bjoerling mentioned. And thanks for giving us classical music lovers something to read about.
Eds. note: We are ashamed to admit the above-mentioned errors were introduced by certain editorial staff here at the Weekly. Mr. Serinus is, of course, without flaw, and we shall not meddle with Disc Man in the future.
Gender studies with Keith
Two weeks ago the Seattle Weekly published a letter I wrote to the editor regarding their cover story, "The New Singles" (2/10). I received numerous angry responses from readers who misread or misunderstood my letter. I would like to alleviate their confusion by clarifying my opinions and character, and then I would like to carefully paraphrase the intent of my original letter.
The responses I read all fell into four categories: 1. Responses from a variety of people who all accused me of being sexist or promoting sexist opinions. 2. Responses from single young women who met all my criteria and were angry because they thought my letter was saying that women like them do not or cannot exist. 3. Responses from young women who did not meet most of my criteria and who were angry because they thought I was being arrogant. 4. Responses from other single young men who wanted to express their understanding and agreement.
I would like to address each of these points in turn: 1. I am not sexist, and my letter contained no sexist bias. Nowhere did I write that women are inherently flawed or less capable than men. I simply pointed out the factual statistics: there aren't nearly as many women who meet my criteria as there are men, and it is due to the bias our society still has against females being intellectuals. My letter was in fact anti-sexist because it expressed my frustration with the way our society guides females away from technical or scientific endeavors.
2. I did not write that single young women are incapable of meeting my criteria or don't exist. I simply pointed out that women meeting my criteria are a ridiculously unfortunate rarity due to the way society guides women. Kudos are due to those of you who spoke up as representatives of your minority.
3. Like most people, I have a certain set of criteria I look for when considering an intimate companion. To call selectivity "arrogant" is hypocritical because everyone has a set of things they're looking for (and trying to avoid) in a potential companion. I only hold people to the same standards to which I hold myself, so it's not unfair. My standards are very high, and although the statistical fact is that few women meet them, this is no reason for those women to be offended. They are perfectly free to seek out men who have different or lower standards.
4. I knew that I was not the only single young heterosexual techie male frustrated with society's bias against women's pursuits of scientific or technical endeavors. There are many of us who have given up our search for love after encountering so many dead ends. We've turned our attention to the things in our lives which actually yield visible payoffs for our efforts, such as our educations, careers, health, or hobbies.
Overall, the problem my first letter expressed is that mainstream society discourages most people, especially a disproportionately high percentage of females, from pursuing technical or scientific fields. It starts all the way back with children who identify certain occupations as being associated with only one gender or the other. Then in gradeschool any student who excels in classes or prefers activities which require solitary concentration is usually picked on, especially if they are female. The bias continues through high school and college as females are both implicitly and explicitly discouraged from taking difficult or technical classes. It is reinforced daily in the working world and in the media. This is a problem for the advancement of humankind as a whole, and it is a particularly bad problem for single male heterosexuals with a technical or scientific background who are unable to find single women who aren't turned off by their interests and personalities. These fields demand and reinforce a terse, analytical type of personality that is unfortunately a mystery and turn-off to most women because they have been raised in an environment which discourages them from being that way themselves.
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