COMIC-BOOK VILLAINS

In Geov Parrish's "WTO, No!" [Sept. 24], he muses that the recent World Trade Organization protests in CancĂșn might cause the U.S. to

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Letters to the Editor

Kids with rocks and spray paint on summer break, chants and posters, and suicide as street theater are not going to bring down the WTO.

COMIC-BOOK VILLAINS

In Geov Parrish's "WTO, No!" [Sept. 24], he muses that the recent World Trade Organization protests in CancĂșn might cause the U.S. to "turn its attention elsewhere and abandon the WTO entirely as the vehicle for creating a global economic structure that helps corporations rule the world."

It's time to tell Parrish that Goldmember was just a movie. Most corporations can't even rule their own office supply rooms, let alone the world.

Parrish's view of corporations as sinister entities dedicated to making money, creating poor people, and ruling the world is straight from DC Comics. In his view, the Germans have got their toes into us via Seimens Medical out in Issaquah: Ask local sheet metal suppliers how it feels to operate under the harsh discipline of the Aryan boot. Local circuit board and switch manufacturers must feel oppressed by the constant orders from the omnipresent Dutch at Bothell's ATL Ultrasound. In the same neighborhood, overworked local engineers and accounts and maintenance staff must writhe in the co-prosperity sphere grip of Japan's Matsushita Avionics.

In reality, corporations are just companies staffed by people like you and me; and all companies are rooted in local economy. The WTO is just an international chamber of commerce trying to set up some in-house trade rules.

Parrish should put away the comics: Kids with rocks and spray paint on summer break, chants and posters, and suicide as street theater are not going to bring down the WTO.

Doug Anderson

Seattle

HOME WAS A HELP

I counted on the BeST (Behavior Support Team) program from Seattle Children's Home to help my son with transition back home after being at Children's Hospital psychiatric unit for two months last year ["A Broke Home," Sept. 24]. They attended countless meetings at the hospital and even met with me at work and at home to make sure that his transition would be smooth.

One night last October, my son had to go back to Children's Hospital because he became violent. After being in the emergency room for hours, the hospital's solution was to overmedicate him and send him home. Their reasoning was that my son was too acute to admit him. I called Seattle Children's Home and they deployed two people who advocated for my son to keep him in the hospital. I couldn't have done it without their help.

After a few more weeks at Children's Hospital, my son was transferred to the Child Study & Treatment Center at the Western State Hospital campus in Steilacoom. He has been there for almost one year. He is doing considerably better and will be discharged soon. We were counting on the services of BeST at Seattle Children's Home to work with him and our family to make a successful transition. What now? Are they going to be able to help our son come home, or are they going to be under so much scrutiny that their funds will be tied up? This makes me so sad.

Sigrid Gatens

Duvall

DISTRICTS NOT THE ANSWER

If I have interest in legislation at City Hall, it's of great comfort that there are nine councillors to whom I can address my concerns, knowing that among the nine, at least one will be sympathetic to my perspective [Buzz, Sept 24]. However, under districting, to be on November's ballot, Seattle would be carved into nine districts, each returning one councillor to City Hall. Under that system, I would be required to direct my concerns only to my district's councillor, someone who wouldn't necessarily be sympathetic.

Districting proponents argue that the current at-large system has resulted in redevelopment of downtown and not enough attention to other neighborhoods. Districts or not, money talks. There is nothing in the districting proposal that would prevent wealthy contractors, many of whom don't even live in Seattle, from contributing to each of the campaigns in the proposed districts, ensuring that their projects and rezonings get hearings and even approvals.

Districting is not a substitute for election reform, e.g., proportional-representation elections. Districting is not a substitute for campaign finance reform, e.g., equal public financing. Districting implies that where you live is more important than what you think. How can one councillor represent the dozen different political perspectives within his/her district?

Herrman Ross

Seattle

LET'S HAVE ANOTHER PARTY

Knute Berger and I probably feel the same way about many of the policies initiated or carried out by the Clinton administration [Mossback, "Tan, Rested, and Readyfor What?" Sept. 24]. Clinton carried forward Reaganomics and installed the extremist free-trade organizations and legal frameworks in place today. He and Gore ran the cynical game of realizing enviros, workers, and others had nowhere to go. Policies in media consolidation and overall consolidation were carried out to much fanfare.

I will vote for whatever Democrat runs against Bushand I will most likely hold my nose like I did in the last election and feel ill afterward.

However, Clinton does not represent what is good in the Democratic Party for the most part, and I have been disturbed by the direction he has taken things in. He is a great politician but not a person of vision.

We need a real third party like the Populists and Progressives of a hundred years ago. The Reform Party came far closer than the Greens. There needs to be a rejuvenation of the concept of democracy in a civic republic rather than consumer democracy in a demotic country.

Clinton may look rosy next to the egregious policies of Bush, but he's not the answer either.

Michael Godfried

OVERLOOKED OLIVIA

Thanks to Steve Wiecking for the great write-up for Olivia Newton-John's Seattle concert ["I Honestly Love Her," Sept. 24]. Olivia is one of the most overlooked pop icons. Watch any of VH-1's specialsjust when you think they have to include her, they do not! It's cool that Wiecking was able to see the Physical tour concert. Unfortunately, I think Utah may have been the closest she came to Seattle back in '82. I never thought I'd see her live in concert, but I have since made up for it and have seen her a few times in the last few years. I'm also attending her concert in Portland. She is having a "meet and greet" afterward that will benefit cancer research; I can't miss the opportunity to say "Hi" in person.

David Kelly

Seattle

IDEA OF THE WEEK

A germ of an idea for financing America's Iraq adventure was planted in my mind this summer. The fertilizer of Bush's recent request for $87 billion and the cool reception to his call for financial and military aid at the U.N. has caused the idea to blossom and, I believe, become ripe for serious consideration by political and military decision makers. The idea is . . . corporate sponsorship of the military in general and of our Iraq initiative in particular.

The possibilities are endless, and the solution to our economic plight clear. Nike, for instance, will pay over $1.4 billion this year to a bunch of effete athletes to endorse its products. How much might they pay to become the exclusive footwear provider to the U.S. Army? In return, each helmet could be emblazoned with a tasteful Nike swoosh. The Army might even adopt Nike's motto as its own. Don't think about it; don't question it"Just Do It."

What self-respecting American corporation would not want its corporate image to be first in these emerging markets we are opening up? What oil company would not want to be the official purveyor of petroleum products to the U.S. military? Visualize drab Abrams tanks and Humvees covered, like Indy race cars, with the logos of Marlboro, Pennzoil, or Chevron. It's a vision to make a marketing manager drool.

Move over, LeBron and Tigeryou've got real competition for your endorsement dollar!

Carl M. Milner Jr.

Edmonds

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