Letters to the Editor

"Jeez, years after the election and you can still count on the "Seattle Weakling" to be whinging about Ralph Nader and all those potential Democratic votes that got pissed away."

WHAT MOODY MISSED

It's an amusing experience to read about oneself in a book review by a writer one used to work with (Tim Appelo, at Amazon), who's reviewing a book written by another writer one used to work with (Fred Moody, at Seattle Weekly), about the dot.com boom and bust [Fall Arts, "Boom Lit," Sept. 3]. Appelo hits the problem with Moody's book (Seattle and the Demons of Ambition) spot-on when he writes, "I don't know how fair or balanced this all is, but it's horribly, hilariously entertaining." Moody is indeed entertainingly unbalanced, especially when my character is on the scene. If Moody actually had access to my life, he would have been able to make his tale even more entertaining. The real reason I married my husband, unlike the book's implied one: his enormous penis.

Sumi Hahn

Seattle

FIRST AMAZON EXPLORER

I enjoyed Tim Appelo's piece [Fall Arts, "Boom Lit," Sept. 3], but he left out the first book to chronicle the rise of Amazon.com: mine. Amazon.com: Get Big Fast was published in April 2000. Although Jeff Bezos did not cooperate with me, I did do interviews with four of the first five employees and several of the first 30 employees. I interviewed Bezos' original three-person ex officio board of advisers and got a copy of the original business plan. My book was the major reference source for Amazon.com in John Cassidy's Dot.con. In addition, there is a testimonial blurb from me on the back cover of Mike Daisey's book.

Robert Spector

Seattle

SEATTLE NOT ISOLATED

I was surprised at the rant by Brian Miller as he introduced his fall books preview [Fall Arts, "On the Same Page," Sept. 3]. I moved to Seattle recently from Southern California in large part to be away from the over-the-top right-wing element engulfing our country. To say that we readers of left-wing authors steer away from anything outside our opinion borders on ludicrous. Even in Seattle, one is bombarded on all sides by the likes of Rush, O'Reilly, Buchanan . . . The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times . . . all of Fox, most of MSNBC cable, much of CNN, ABC . . . Ann Coulter, Bernard Goldberg, etc. You need merely to be exposed for minute amounts of time to any mainstream media, really.

I think it's safe to say we "isolated Seattle leftists" hear plenty of opinions other than our own. Rarely does anybody read something of any genre they despise. What's the point? Maybe in school or for work, but I don't think what Miller's suggesting is a liberal problem or a Seattle problem.

Oh, and I got a kick out of the "wealthy enclave" bit, since this area is one of the hardest hit (by the economic downturn). In fact, I'm thinking Miller's pretty gosh-darn insular himself to have gotten so much backwards.

Peter Hansen

Seattle

DISMISS DEAN? TREASON

Jeez, years after the election and you can still count on the "Seattle Weakling" to be whinging about Ralph Nader and all those potential Democratic votes that got pissed away [Fall Arts, "On the Same Page," Sept. 3]. It seems as if you folks are affected by a variation of the same syndrome that makes conservatives unable to stop dissing Clinton. This week it pops up in the review of Al Franken's book in a parenthetical aside that equates Democratic candidate Howard Dean with Nader-esque vote pissing. Give me a break. Equating a candidate whose most optimistic supporters expected to get 7 percent of the vote with the front-runner in the Democratic primaries is as ridiculous as saying that all Democrats hate freedom and want to destroy America. And doing so in a snarky little asidepure treason.

Christopher Staley

Seattle

PALAST NO CRANK

In Brian Miller's otherwise commendable critique of our local book culture [Fall Arts, "On the Same Page," Sept. 3], he refers to BBC/Observer reporter Greg Palast as a "crank 'investigative journalist.'" Why a crank? Has Miller never seen the amazing footage of Palast's BBC interview with Clayton Roberts, Katherine Harris' director of elections? You know, the one in which Roberts literally runs away when confronted with Palast's evidence of the election fraud? This scene alone should cement his journalistic creds in anybody's mind.

Jim Galasyn

Seattle

TWO-BUCK CHUCK TAX

Knute Berger's proposed "luxury" taxes might seem absurd, but virtually every one of them makes more sense than the latte tax [Mossback, "Sin City," Sept. 3].

All of his silly sin taxes benefit someone or something directly connected with the tax. For instance, the "Molester Tax" penalizes molesters but benefits molestees. That's not what the latte tax does. It takes money from espresso drinkers, a narrow spectrum of the populace deemed "rich" by a handful of smug elitists, and gives it to a fund completely unrelated to the source of the revenue. Somebody else's children.

That's not the way to effect positive social change. It's a quick-and-dirty way to push one person's responsibilities off on someone else, instead of going to the Legislature and demanding real change.

But hey, if they want to play it that way, I want a new tax, too: the Two-Buck Chuck Tax. I get to tax everybody's children two bucks every time they throw a tantrum in public, and the money goes to buy me cheap wine at Trader Joe's.

Jef Jaisun

Seattle

REPUBLICRAT TAX

Can we suggest another tax [Mossback, "Sin City," Sept. 3]? Every time Jay Inslee, Jim McDermott, Adam Smith, and a host of other Washington republicrats who belong to the IndiaPAC and India Caucus say they "feel" the pain of the working people of King County, they should have to pay $1,000 and be forced to live in Redmond on what the average H1B work visa holder is paid and in one of those special apartment complexes right off the Microsoft campus with 15 people in a two bedroom for $2,500 a month.

Terry and Mickey Morgan

Seattle

THE FINAL TAB

In Hot Dish [Aug. 27], there were several inaccuracies regarding our new service-charge policy. Roger Downey's comment that only a few restaurants can get away with charging a service charge ignores the fact that this is commonplace throughout Europe and much of the world. He is correct that our restaurant recently instituted a 15 percent service charge. However, he is incorrect in his assertion that we figure the tax first and then compute the service charge on top of the tax. He in fact has it backwards. Washington state law requires that state sales tax be added to all charges, and that includes service charges.

Downey also statesagain incorrectlythat a patron will pay $8 to $16 more on a $100 tab, on top of the service charge. I do not understand his math. A patron who spends $100 at the Beach House will be charged the $100 plus the service charge of 15 percent ($15), to which the total sales tax will be added. Nothing more, nothing less.

Steven Naccarato

General Manager/Owner,

The Beach House at Purdy

Gig Harbor

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