George Howland Jr.'s piece on Christine Gregoire and the ruckus over her stance on racial justice as a UW sorority girl in the '60s conjured up reflections of my own past as a '60s UW "frat boy" ["The Leadership Race," Sept. 1]. Once Gregoire's campaign sought to glorify the meager attempts she made back then to rid her sorority of racial exclusion, Carl Mack and Larry Gossett (who clearly was on the front lines in the '60s at the UW in the fight for racial justice) were absolutely right to publicly and openly criticize her.
In my fraternity, we also donned robes with hoods for initiation ceremonies, although our garb was dyed "Husky" purple. However, our house by then had admitted at least one African American and several Asians. To be honest, as an 18-year-old suburban white kid whose dream was to play football, become a corporate attorney, and drive a "Jag," I don't know whether I would have been deterred even if they had excluded people of color. By my junior year, though, after being exposed to and inspired by campus activists like Gossett and a host of other students risking their status and future careers regularly to draw attention to injustice, poverty, and racism, I, too, was marching in the streets. It was real leaders like Gossett who moved the hearts and minds of a generation, and I daresay no doubt did the same for a naive Gregoire. Trying to put herself in their league not only distorts her role, it trivializes the role of real activists during that important time.
John V. Fox
After reading "The Leadership Race" [Sept. 1], I wondered if anyone was talking about Ron Sims' push to give King County's sewage to its neighbors in Snohomish County. I went to a hearing in Everett where we were to discuss the issues with Mr. Sims, and he rattled off his egocentric hyperbole and left before one citizen could speak. This was last year, not 40 years ago, and it certainly speaks of Ronnie's noninterest in the average citizen, especially if they are nonvoting members of a neighboring county.
Well, I can cast a vote against you now, Mr. Sims, and I'm certainly going to find another candidate for governor.
Katherine R. Lynn
I take issue with Rick Anderson's characterization of Doug Schafer's law-license suspension ["Sanders' Meanders," Sept. 1]. Schafer did not violate attorney-client privilege. He exposed "Cadillac" Grant Anderson as the corrupt, filthy disgrace to the judiciary that he was (and still is).
Schafer listened while a client bragged about a criminal scheme in which a sitting Superior Court judge was a key perpetrator. The existence of this scheme had nothing to do with any legal matter between Schafer and his client. Attorney-client privilege covers anything told by a client to an attorney. It does not prohibit an attorney from acting to verify the tales told by the client via independent means. Which is exactly what Schafer did.
Schafer did not jump up and announce that his client disclosed information to him. It wasn't until way later when nobody would look at the crimes Schafer was accusing the judge of committing that Schafer's source of the information was forced out of him. In a sense, Schafer's state constitutional right to privacy was sacrificed so that the privacy rights of criminals and thieves could be misused to protect their apparent "right" to commit crimes in peace.
Schafer is a hero. The proof is in the pudding—"Cadillac" Anderson was removed from office. A real governor (other than Gary Loch Ness Monster) would have put Schafer on the bench at the very first opportunity.
Rick Anderson replies: Schafer was nonetheless disciplined for breaking the attorney-client trust—laudable as it might be to expose a corrupt judge, as I have previously written.
Warren G. Bush
Knute Berger wonders why George W. Bush continues to be so popular, despite his obvious lack of competence [Mossback, "Bland on the Run," Sept. 1]. It was way before my time, but reportedly Warren G. Harding was also quite popular. He, too, was a handsome nincompoop. Around the time of Harding's presidency, H.L. Mencken said, "No one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public" (a quote also attributed to P.T. Barnum).
Let us hope history does not repeat itself. John Kerry would make a fine president and a truly competent commander in chief. His record, his life story, and his mien demonstrate this. One does not have to do much investigation to figure this out. Perhaps if he loses, it will in fact not be his fault but ours. As the late Walt Kelly's cartoon character Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
It's His Record, Stupid
John Kerry has not yet understood that it is possible to fight fair and fight tough at the same time. Knute Berger rightly points out that Kerry has not been able to land a punch on an opponent with an inverse Achilles' heel [Mossback, "Bland on the Run," Sept. 1].
Republican Kevin Phillips, who is anti-Bush, commented once that he worried that Kerry would go for the capillary instead of the jugular. Kerry has not launched a cohesive attack on Bush's foreign policy, record budget deficits, support of corporate consolidation and malfeasance, or attacks on the environment and civil liberties. If Bush could be shown in relief against his record, it would be clear to enough Americans that the country is going down a dangerous path.
Bremerton Bites Back
Laura Cassidy follows a tired formula for her article on Bremerton [Eat Your Heart Out, "Day Tripper," Aug. 25]. Leading with a deprecating comment about towns outside of Seattle, she follows with her misinformed description of Bremerton as a town of cinder blocks, fading murals, and old signage and describes it as "full of Filipino restaurants." She can't say exactly why she would end up in a town like Bremerton. However, with her supercultured Mensa mind, she actually manages to find a decent and, gasp, cultured restaurant outside of Seattle! Hooray—give her a medal, only she could have done it!
The way she tells it, Washingtonians have got to be redneck idiots to want to escape the noise, crowds, and high prices of Seattle.
Get a clue, Cassidy. There's life outside of Seattle, but there are enough sightless critics in it.
A Slavery Solution
"The Bush administration, evangelicals, and feminists have turned human trafficking into a new abolitionist movement, but are they overhyping the problem?" This was the front-page question about the work of former congresswoman Linda Smith and John Miller ["The New Abolitionists," Aug. 25].
A better question would be: What is their solution and their real agenda? Smith is quoted as saying she opposes prostitution, even if legal. Yet, it is this illegality which discourages victims from seeking police protection and places sex workers in the hands of lawbreakers.
So, Smith would jail voluntary prostitutes, even though jail is a form of slavery, and she promotes an illegal status for the oldest profession, which deprives practitioners of the legal and health protection they find in more liberal countries like Holland.
If Smith were really concerned about slavery, she would work to lower taxes and other government restrictions on human liberty. Legality would increase the supply of willing women and reduce the incentive for involuntary recruitment.
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