NORTH OF THE BORDER
Nina Shapiro's recent article ["The Big Bad Border," Sept. 10] provides an incomplete view of the Canada-United States border, the world's longest and most peaceful boundary. Had she sought out more views, including opinions of Canadian officials who help manage that border, she may have presented more facts that Seattle Weekly's readers missed.
Readers might have learned more about the successes achieved under the Smart Border accord, launched shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. The plan is improving security for both countries while assuring that the nearly $1.3 billion in daily commerce and nearly 300 million annual border crossings continue without disruption.
Under this strategy, Canada and the U.S. have implemented successful programs to ensure secure, quick entry for prescreened visitors and commercial truckers; have agreed to share advance passenger information on air travelers between each country; have been working together at ports to secure the safety of cargo containers; have committed hundreds of millions of dollars to improve border crossing facilities; have shared intelligence and cooperated at the local law-enforcement level; have reached an agreement to ensure the safety of rail-cargo traffic between both countries; and recently completed a joint terrorist-attack-training exercise in Seattle and Chicago.
In Canada, new immigration rules have tightened refugee determination policies and imposed strong penalties against those abusing the system. More immigration control officers have been hired and posted overseas to interdict bad guys before they ever land in North America (nearly 8,000 people were prevented from boarding flights destined for Canada last year). Canada and the U.S. also are working to develop a third country agreement that will promote an orderly management of asylum applicationsa concern for both nations. In fact, of Canada's nearly 44,000 refugee claimants in 2001, one-third came from America. Canada is as concerned about the safety of its citizens as the U.S.
Clearly, relying on sheer numbers for security would be impossible along a border as long as this one. Nor will throwing up a fence between the world's largest trading partners work. We all saw the morass following the temporary closing of the border after Sept. 11. Continued cooperation based on mutual trust does work.
Perhaps it's no surprise that the U.S. State Department, in its most recently released assessment of the fight against terrorism, noted that "overall antiterrorism cooperation with Canada remains excellent and is a model for bilateral cooperation on counterterrorism issues." The same report also found that continued cooperation by law-enforcement agencies of both countries under the Smart Border plan was a "model for securing national frontiers while ensuring the free and rapid flow of legitimate travel and commerce."
Marvin S. Wodinsky
Consul, Consulate General of Canada
GEOV'S 9/11 NONSENSE
If, as Geov Parrish says, before 9/11 world domination was far from the Bush administration agenda, what specifically was the U.S. action that prompted (Parrish's word) the destruction of the World Trade towers and the murder of innocent civilians ["Two Years, No Answers?" Sept. 10]?
Parrish reminds us that bin Laden is a political as well as a religious zealot? Golly, that makes a whole world of difference! Mass slaughter as the opening gambit to dialogue! Surprise attack on civilian targets to get the ol' political conversation moving! I guess we missed that one. How could we have been so insensitive to bin Laden's additional motives?
Parrish's political insights are unfathomably deep. Let's summarize: Without Bush's constant pimping of 9/11, we would just forget about the attack or at least (1) acknowledge that we prompted it and (2) acknowledge that bin Laden was something more than a religious murdererhe was a political murderer as well. Thanks for clearing all that up!
I enjoyed Knute Berger's article [Mossback, "The Age of Treason," Sept. 10]! I also believe the Bush group is a real danger to this country. They have taken millions of conservatives like myself, and if we are not for blowing up the world, we are against conservative principals. When were those principals for blowing up the world? It's beginning to look like the Bushes, Rumsfelds, and Rices are the real war criminals.
Joe M. Kennedy
Knute Berger touches on the issue of manufacturing jobs going overseas [Mossback, "The Age of Treason," Sept. 10]. Presumably, he doesn't like this and would probably favor legislation that forbade companies that are ostensibly "American" from hiring workers in overseas labor markets.
Such legislation would be extremely unfortunate for consumers in the U.S., short-sighted, jingoistic, and counterproductive. It would, however, appeal to those who believe that such legislation addresses root causes, when in actuality it only addresses symptoms.
People in foreign countries are lining up to work in the factories that U.S. companies own. People in China leave farms and relocate to cities hundreds of miles away. They want better lives. Any individual in China who wants to work is no less worthy than any individual in this country. Similarly, people who want to assemble the 7E7 in Texas or California are no less worthy human beings than those in Everett or Moses Lake. It is time we got over the delusion that we in this country or state are more deserving of jobs than people in any other country or state. The idea of circling the wagons and isolating this country from inexorable forces such as offshore labor markets denies reality.
HANSON'S LITTLE FINGERS
Reviewer Mikael Wood obviously did not bother to listen to the latest CD produced by the brothers Hanson [Music Previews, Sept. 10]. It is a rocking, old-school acoustic EP filled with awesome harmonic vocals, upbeat rhythms, and catchy hooks. These young men have more talent in their little fingers than most bands around today. But you have to listen to their music first before you make that decision for yourself. Their concert at the Showbox seriously rocked the house. Hanson will be around for a long timemuch longer than Wood .
WELK FANS NEVER FORGET
I am dumbfounded at this disgusting attempt at demeaning and slandering Lawrence Welk ["It's a 'Wunnerful' Life, June 12, 2002]. Mr. Welk was a model of values that are all but lost in today's decadent society. His performers loved him, and all have benefited from having their start on his show. He had a generous heart and spoke warmly and appreciatively of all his performers.
If only there were more Lawrence Welk-type entertainment instead of the vulgar, depraved trash we are deluged with today. Mr. Welk lived in a more innocent time, and his show reflects thishe and his show were decent, and the costumes were attractive, not vampish or slutty. He was a God-fearing man and a good American citizen. He earned his living honestly and gifted us with years of wholesome entertainment.
Shame on you!!!! This article is not an example of journalism but rather something worthy of the National Enquirer.
Maria (Mitzi) Stevens
Serene Dominic and Bob Mehr did not know Lawrence Welk or his Musical Family. I feel very sorry for them, to denounce someone who is still today well liked by a lot of fans. I cannot believe that, all these years after his death, they would be so cruel. Well, there are a lot of us, including his performers, who still love and revere him. So they can put that in their pipe and smoke it. They sound like embittered individuals. May God help them.
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