"i am an underage dancer in the seattle rave scene, and i was very pleased to read that someone has the balls (no pun intended) to stand up for us!"

Grip on pot In response to "Washington's war on pot," 8/17: This is the only statement I will make regarding the increased number of arrests for marijuana possession: Get a grip; it's only a plant. AMY C. ABADILLA

FORMER HISTORIAN,

SEATTLE HEMPFEST Sexist graphic? Interesting photo/graphic on the article about the Gardner-Lowry lands commissioner race ["War of the greens," 8/17]. Are we to infer that Lowry has his arm around Gardner as an example of the "inappropriate touching" he is so famous for? Or is he simply patronizing her as a female? I can't believe that the picture would be the same if Gardner were a male candidate. LINDA PACHL

EVERETT Declined! After reading your article ["Porn to win," 8/17] I felt compelled to write. I had contacted Flying Croc concerning the promotion of ReportChildPorn (www.reportchildporn.com), asking for their support for this good cause; I was declined. I had asked them to build a counter for it, not using any pornography in their button for this page—I WAS DECLINED. JUST FYI. KEVIN

PRESIDENT/FOUNDER

REPORT CHILD PORN Scattered, half-assed Thanks so much for providing the medium for Angela Gunn to flaunt both her ignorance of technology, as well as her scattered, half-assed writing ("In the realm of the senses," 8/17). Let me see if I can paraphrase the article: We still don't have decent virtual reality for the masses and all the dumbbell pundits were wrong, but here is some poorly researched information on an arbitrary grab bag of what's available now. To begin with, before humans can adapt to (i.e., effectively use) VR, computer interfaces will be required to precisely adapt to the human sensory system. The two are not mutually exclusive, as the ill-conceived subtitle implies. Gosh, is MP4 really the first revolutionary technology that "promises to compress video by cutting out the bits our eyes won't miss"? Sorry Angela, RealNetworks et al. have been doing this for years. MP4 (MPEG-4) video is simply another in a long series of refinements in compression technology from the MPEG group, and will provide only a marginal quality vs. bandwidth improvement over current offerings from Real, Microsoft, or Apple Quicktime. Yes, MP4 SA (Structured Audio) has some nice new features to better handle multimedia, gaming, etc. But why all the hype ("You heard it here first...")? Get over yourself. And how is it that the Seattle Weekly's star technology writer could pen an article on computer interfaces which neglects to note the huge potential impact of voice recognition, or that for a few hundred bucks you can buy a consumer-grade head-mounted display from Sony or I/O Display Systems, among others, or that a local company called Microvision generates virtual images by scanning a beam of light directly to the retina, or that there are firms out there such as Xybernaut who are making computers that are very much not "lodged on your desk," but fit in your back pocket? Is there a big shortage of technology writers these days? DANIEL KITE

SEATTLE Angela Gunn responds: Mr. Kite's head-mounted display appears to have cut off the article intro, which explained that our focus was how technology is adapting to the average computer (and human), very few of whom currently use head-mounted or retina-projected displays, or even voice recognition input. (As for voice-rec technologies, I wish I could say they were ready for prime-time, and they're certainly better than they were even 24 months ago, but accuracy is hovering well under the 99.99-percent range that would make them a serious substitute for ye olde keyboard-and-mouse.) In the audio section, I clearly state (and do again) that the interesting thing about SA audio-compression technology is what the lawyers will make of it, since it specifies music as a program rather than as data. As for Xybernaut's back-pocket-sized computers, I leave it to Mr. Kite to extol the virtues of having a computer next to your ass—presumably shortening the cord needed for his head-mounted display. Police or soldiers? I have read the many articles relating to police accountability in the Seattle Weekly with great interest since the WTO ministerial came to town, and while I have always had mixed feelings on the presentation, Geov Parrish's remarks in his 8/17 column have prompted me to write. Parrish makes this remark: "I've generally been willing to believe the party line that the Seattle Police Department is on average pretty good . . . and that problems are confined to a few bad apples." This statement reveals the basic flaw of analysis that the police are here to protect the public, are reformable when they go awry, and that somehow weeding out the bad apples will return the police to its true path of the public protectorate. As a voice of progressive causes in Seattle, it is very alarming that Parrish would perpetuate the myth that the police department, as an institution, is generally OK, even while admitting that such is a "line." The report issued by the National Lawyers Guild regarding the WTO reinforces the fact the police of today are not protectors of public safety but are in effect domestic military units. The object of a military formation is to treat all terrain as a war situation, and that includes preemptive strikes, like what we have seen against demonstrators recently. If the Pentagon can ignore international law with impunity, it stands to reason that a domestic force can and will ignore the Constitution of the United States. Since there is little difference between organization and strategy between domestic police forces and that of the military, then why should we expect them to behave any differently? The continued and increasingly heavy-handed tactics of the SPD and other police departments is an institutional bias, not the actions of a few bad apples. The few bad apples are those that happen to get caught. We will only begin to solve the problem of domestic police terrorism in this country when progressives like Parrish acknowledge and understand these facts. Creating neighborhood safety boards independent from the police to deal with both antisocial behavior on the part of citizens and the police would be an important first step. The most credit we should give the SPD is that there might be a couple of good apples in a rotten barrel. JOHN PERSAK

SEATTLE Pacifier crowd embraces James i am an underage dancer in the seattle rave scene, and i was very pleased to read that someone has the balls (no pun intended) to stand up for us ["City of 1,000 dances," 8/10]! we've held rallies, protests, and gatherings in downtown seattle TRYING to get city council's attention to say we don't want that new law. so i want to thank James Bush for writing that.it means a lot to the kids that are out here trying to make things better. Smile Always, DANIELLE PRIES

VIA E-MAIL Sub-par journalism should at least be long I am not always interested in your feature stories, and their quality is not always consistent. But one thing which has always been a trademark of them has been their quantity—that is to say, there is always a lot of verbiage taking up several pages. Your recent cover story on "The New Hunk" [8/10] was a surprising exception. Not only was it limited in informative content, it was just plain short, barely filling up two pages with its text (barely three including the photos and drawings). It is one thing to sometimes present your readers with sub-par journalism, but come on, Weekly—when it comes to feature stories about anything (and especially about hunks), size DOES matter! ROY D. GOODMAN

SEATTLE Ralph: A man of vision J. Kingston Pierce stated in his/her letter [Letters, 8/17]that Nader shouldn't become president because he isn't a politician. I feel that this makes him the only truly viable candidate. Look at the two alternatives. Gore and Bush are nearly indistinguishable. Look past their rhetoric to what they have done. What do they want to do? They say what they feel we want to hear, they are hungry for power. Do you really want that kind of man running the country? Nader is a man of vision. He is a champion for the people and is running for office now because the people called him. For once, I am refusing to vote for the lesser of two evils. I am voting for the person I think will most closely represent what I would like to see happen in this country. And about that spoiler vote business, if everyone who truly wants to vote for Nader does, then maybe, just maybe Bush won't win. Every vote counts. Are we going to vote in Gore because we are afraid Bush will win? Not me, I won't have that on my conscience. C. MORRIS

RENTON Ralph, sadly Voting for Ralph Nader may feel good, but voting for him or not voting at all is the fastest way to steer this country away from the progressive goals Nader and Geov Parrish advocate ("Gorebot, Shrub, and Ralph," Impolitics, 8/10). To assert, as Parrish does, there is no difference between Bush and Gore is rhetorical claptrap. If Shrub is president, no progressive solutions will make it to the table, let alone be a factor in fashioning policy. A Gore administration may consider a progressive idea here or there, and even implement one from time to time. No, Geov's not going to love a Gore presidency, but four years from now he won't wake up to a nation clinging to the edge of a flat earth by its fingernails. Make no mistake, Bush and the people he will bring to government are ready, willing, and able to turn back the clock of social justice and corporate greed 50, 60, 100 years. Sadly, a vote for Ralph Nader, truly a national treasure, is very likely an act that takes us further from his vision, not closer to it. ED ISENSON

SHELTON MTV killed hip-hop I am writing to respond to Joe Schloss' article "Hip-hop's Internet problem" [8/3]. Truly, hip-hop has gone beyond mainstream to become truly pop, but then that seems to be the way of any African-descended music that breaks boundaries, merges influences, and manages to touch the soul and cast aside convention. Bebop, jazz, blues, rock, salsa, and the list goes on have all gone mainstream. And as stated, with the Internet, everything deemed "underground" rises to the surface faster than you can say "fresh." However, hip-hop music was already on its way to becoming the favored genre of the affluent pubescent masses who have no idea of the history, culture, and political implications of which hip-hop music was born. MTV began "rocking" hip-hop music as early as 1990 with the establishment of Yo! MTV Raps, and the environment hasn't been the same since. In the landscape of American popular culture, some disenfranchised group will always create and/or build upon an art form and the "normal" citizens of America (and eventually beyond, though sometimes England will be first) will latch on to it and suck the life and ingenuity out of it. Don't blame it on the Internet. Blame MTV. Peace, MAORI KARMAEL

VIA E-MAIL Make us happy at mail call! Please include name, location, and telephone number. Letters may be edited. Write to Letters Editor, Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Avenue, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail letters@seattleweekly.com.

 
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