To my recollection, there has been no trial before a jury of anyone's peers that has found Jim West guilty of anything. Steve Smith spearheaded the media assault through the bully pulpit of the Spokesman to ensure that these accusations would inevitably carry the weight of conviction. Anyone can say anything about anybody (it's called libel) and if the lie is big enough and repeated often enough, it takes on a life of its own that looks oddly like truth to anyone who is not familiar with due process. I'll bet our pizza patrons are just as incensed about George W's lies about WMD. And since the proof is irrefutable in that case, why don't they spend their energy on a sure thing? I love to see the bozos in The Inlander on the first page's "On the Street" pontificate for 10 seconds over issues about which they know nothing: "I believe he did it...." sort of sums up all the due process Jim West is ever going to see in this debacle.
As long as we are recalling, I'd like to recall how just this spring the streets were in pathetic condition, and now many are not. While Spokanistan is not exactly a paradise of municipal efficiency under any administration, I'll bet most of us can think of half a dozen good things taking place on Jim West's watch. The man was doing his job, and which one of you hypocritical rabble has never violated the workplace with your personal concerns on or off the Internet?
It is customary in this country to try a person legally and find him guilty of a crime before depriving him of life, liberty, or property, but this man has been defrauded of his career and his reputation by the cheap and tawdry vehicle of a "free press." No wonder newspapers are dying out in this country. Soon all media will be part and parcel of the destruction of the culture and wealth that made all this bread and circuses (and pizza) possible in the first place. I'd almost be inclined to say I'm ashamed to be a Spokanite or an American, or some other hyperbolic self-righteousness, but it's getting so one is used to it -- to the point that watching the nation implode is not even news or very interesting. That's life in the big city. Mr. West, you have my apology.
Mark Rhodes & r & Spokane, Wash.
One Down, One To Go & r & In a recent speech President Bush acknowledged, "It is true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong," and then added - aw, shucks - "As president, I'm responsible for the decision to go into Iraq." No WMDs. No yellowcake. Undue misery (more than 30,000 Iraqis dead, thousands wounded or maimed), in excess of 2,000 U.S. military dead (with thousands maimed and wounded). Should the families take the same "aw, shucks" attitude as the President by simply saying "stuff happens"? We impeached and recalled over sex -- what about injury/death? This Iraq war justifies a recall -- if not impeachment for war crimes!
Edward Thomas & r & Spokane, Wash.
In Memory of Dax & r & Though I am currently living in the Philippines, I am from Spokane originally and I plan to return soon. It was today that I first heard the news of the passing of Dax Johnson.
It would not be fair to say that he and I were close friends, but it would be a shame to say we were never friends at all. At each of his shows he always had a big smile and an equally large hug for me. He was always curious about what I was doing with my life. He always told me he thought I had a natural talent as a musician and that always made me feel good.
I was very sad today to hear this news and have spent the afternoon crying several times. I would like to send my condolences to his family and his friends and children. I hope his children are blessed with his gift and are able to make an equal impression on the world.
I just returned from the church down the street from my house to write this letter as I was unable to earlier in the day. As I walked out of the church a 3-year-old Filipino girl grabbed my hand and touched it to her forehead, a sign of respect in this country. Even though she and I do not share the same language or culture maybe, she was able to tell that my heart was heavy with the loss of a spirit that deserved this act. It seemed only fitting to look down and see her beautiful brown eyes and big smile, as though a sign from above that Dax might just be winking at me and letting me know that his smile is always right near by.
John O'Neil & r & The Philippine Islands