Dispatches From the Quagmire

Down-to-Earth Dispatches

If only the dailies here would emulate Seattle Weekly‘s down-to-flesh-and-anguish reporting, as in your “Dispatches From the Quagmire” articles on the endless U.S. bloodbath in Iraq [March 9].

We have sent copies of your front page, with its poignant photo of a young grunt, to the Crawford Creep in the White House and to our senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, with this note:

“We, the undersigned WWII members of Veterans for Peace, demand, in the name of decency and democracy, that you speedily commit to bringing our troops home from an American crime against humanity, the illegal and immoral war on Iraq.”

Lyle and Barbara Mercer


An IED Idea

The article “Weapons of Mass Improvisation” [March 9], by Rick Anderson, describes the carnage to our military from IEDs. It seems that our high-tech military is being terrorized by improvised explosive devices detonated by terrorists wielding garage door openers.

How hard could it be to design a device that could be mounted on military vehicles that would continuously broadcast the entire range of frequencies that these garage door openers use? This would detonate any IEDs that come within the range of our military vehicles before they were upon the IEDs. Granted, there may be several garage doors in Baghdad that would be inadvertently opened, but that would be a small price to pay for premature detonation of these crude killing machines. It might even eliminate some of the mercenary planters of these IEDs.

There are probably thousands of home burglary inmates in our domestic prison system that could build just such a device. Maybe we could parole the convict who comes up with the most successful anti-IED device! And allow him or her to vote legally in the next election.

J.P. Weiler


On Track for Vets

“Safe at Home, Ill at Ease” [March 9] was very well written and clearly built on good research. The interesting dialectic of individual soldiers’ readjustment vs. the VA system trying to help them was well developed. My issue is that Nina Shapiro saw several zealous individuals, groups of people, and Global War on Terrorism teams hitting the streets to make transition back home easier. How does that rise to a “question mark” ending? I am sure that everyone she talked to—note Dr. Miles McFall’s response in the article—gave her a clear indication that we were well ahead of this and on track to provide good and effective results, something we in Washington are already seeing.

Dr. Mike Colson

Seattle Vet Center

Newest-Age Thinking

Knute Berger’s column [Mossback, “Who the #$*! Are They?” March 9] tells me nothing about the movie What the #$*! Do We Know?, but it tells me something interesting about him: that he has no clue about a thing called “New Thought.” (That’s no surprise, since he claims to be a “cultural conservative” and New Thought is typically the opposite.) Still, he’s writing about an obviously New Thought movie. This makes for a review that’s useless (to people who have a New Thought background) or misleading (to those that don’t).

Everyone who knows about New Thought (the “religious left”) knew exactly what the movie was about and what it would say before seeing it! If Berger didn’t, if it surprised or confused him, that’s because of his cultural leaning, as he mentioned. So the movie’s not “for” him.

I’m sorry to be harsh, but I feel Berger did the movie and us, the “religious left,” a disservice. Please; we’re not a cult! Yes, New Thought is related to New Age, but in the same way 40-year-olds are related to the children they once were: grown-up and wiser. Criticize us if you have to, but first admit you don’t know what the bleep we’re talking about and that you’re critiquing from ignorance—and don’t say we’re dishonest.

John Nelson


Million Dollar Bleep

In his Mossback column, Knute Berger rightly concludes, “What the #$*! Do We Know? should come with a warning label. Not for what it tells us but for what it withholds” [“Who the #$*! Are They?” March 9]. Wasn’t that exactly Michael Medved’s point about Million Dollar Baby?

Michael Behar


Laura’s Lunch Box

I e-mailed Laura Cassidy a while back suggesting that she go to Cafe Stellina. I was so glad to read that she went and that she enjoyed it [Lunch Box, March 9]! I guess that is good news and bad news for those of us in the neighborhood who enjoy this place so much! Thank you for being in touch with readers.

Randi Terry


Screwed-up Priorities

Congratulations to Knute Berger on a great column [Mossback, “It’s All Downhill,” March 2]. What is it about previously reasonable folks who are elected or appointed to represent us that causes them to forget what is really important? Wouldn’t it be great if “being world-class” meant that there were no homeless on the streets of Seattle, no children who were hungry or facing a bleak future because our “world-class community” made professional sports teams a higher priority than the welfare of our common citizens? I often wonder how many families could be housed for the cost of a “skybox” in a stadium in which the Seahawks play 12 games a year if they are lucky?

Do we need and can we afford a tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct that will be built in a “liquefaction” zone just waiting for the next major earthquake to hit Seattle? It seems to me that what we really need in Seattle is some leadership with their heads screwed on right and the courage to make decisions that help people and not corporate interests. Is our political system so screwed up that people like that will not run for office and could not be elected if they did? How do we change that? Perhaps a future column could advise us on how to go about accomplishing that. In the meantime, keep up the good work. Maybe it will motivate enough citizens to make some changes.

Ron Oldham


Stanky Steve

Steve Wiecking is a pig, and I’m trying to be the adult I am [Small World, “Shaken, Not Stirred,” March 2]. I don’t agree with the pope either, but Wiecking is brutal. Has anyone ever taught him the meaning of the word “tact”? Wiecking has none. Oh, and bad idea dissing Clay Aiken like that, trust me; his fans are the most dedicated bunch in the world.

Now, Wiecking can go back down to his stank-filled basement and live out his life amidst all the gloom and doom so he can bash people and make his lowly self feel better by trying to make others feel worse.

Chandra Jordan

Marion, IA

Trashy Tabloid

Your newspaper (and I used the term newspaper loosely, as it is more of a tabloid) is definitely one of the trashiest ones I’ve read. In your struggle to stay afloat, you constantly take stabs at decent people who are talented (e.g., Clay Aiken), and you are now trashing the pope [Small World, “Shaken, Not Stirred,” March 2]!

I’m not a religious person, but even I was offended by Steve Wiecking’s article regarding the pope. Also, if Wiecking did his homework, which obviously he didn’t, he would know that the pope is pope for life. That’s just the way it is.

Your paper is a loser.

Sherry Day

Kingston, ON, Canada

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