Not Happy With Media -- Recently, a local network asked, "What makes you mad?" My answer: The media! Why?
1) Media was complicit in an illegal war that killed and maimed thousands of individuals with the United States additionally implicated in war crimes!
2) Media's concentration on fear and disasters!
3) Local media early reporting on national networks evening news items!
4) Local media that seem to ride in one vehicle to report the same news!
5) Local weather forecast that is always wrong!
6) Local media fixation on crime!
7) Local weekly's presenting the same narrow-minded hacks for opinions!
8) Several-days-old news presented as new!
Mad? It is unconscionable!
Edward Thomas Jr.
Wallace's Legacy -- As a Spokane resident who was born in Wallace, I enjoyed Ann Colford's Crossroads story (3/17/05), on the city. My mother's family settled in Burke, seven miles from Wallace, in the 1890s. I have many good memories of time spent in the area.
In 1962, I was a student at the Air Force Officers' Training school in Texas when I received a call to see the official processing the papers for security clearances. When I arrived at his office, he told me that he had processed the papers for more than 10,000 candidates and that I was the first candidate who had been born in Wallace, his hometown.
Thanks for a great story.
Where Credit Is Due -- I have always enjoyed reading William Stimson's contributions in The Inlander about Spokane. His article "Newly Discovered," (3/17/05)), however, missed a couple of important points. Spokane certainly has gained an appreciation for historic structures owing to the leadership of Jim Kolva, Ron Wells, Walt Worthy and the others mentioned. But it has also benefited enormously from the vision of Michael Edwards, president of the Downtown Spokane Partnership. In a few short years, Mike developed an organization that not only focused on the cleanliness and competitiveness of downtown, but also to its future. It has largely been through his leadership that Spokane not only developed an understanding of the importance of downtown housing, but also encouraged banks and others to invest in some of the projects mentioned by Stimson. It is sad that Mike will be leaving our community. Spokane's loss will certainly be Pittsburgh's gain.
Secondly, Stimson makes no mention of the role of evolving Riverpoint Campus in downtown development. WSU's purchase of the former railroad property adjacent to the downtown core was purposeful. Many alternative locations were explored, but location adjacent to the downtown was believed to offer the greatest economic advantage to the community, in addition to being student-friendly. Now there are more than 2,500 knowledge workers (faculty, staff and students) on that campus - many of whom live in the downtown area. These knowledge workers combine to form a culture that supports the new urbanism that values historic revitalization. Add to this the fact that in the 1990s, WSU created an Interdisciplinary Design Institute that now hosts much of the upper-division and graduate programs of the university in architecture and related fields in Spokane, and you have a community that supports the work that Stimson commends. EWU's planning program, now also at Riverpoint, adds to this evolving knowledge community. They have trained many of the people now providing leadership in local government throughout the region.
"Newly Discovered" was good as far as it went, but the full story benefits from these additional contributors.
Beefed Up -- Last week's congressional hearing on the use of steroids in Major League Baseball called public attention to an epidemic of substance abuse by more than 500,000 young American athletes.
Anabolic steroids (such as testosterone, progesterone, estradiol, zeranol and other growth hormones) promote muscle growth and strength. However, prolonged use has been implicated in three kinds of cancer (breast, prostate, and testicular), heart disease, sexual and reproductive disorders, immunodeficiencies, and liver damage, as well as abnormal growth and premature sexual development in young girls.
All American consumers of beef and most milk drinkers are exposed to these hazards. Growth hormones are administered to 90 percent of U.S. and Canadian beef cattle and 25 percent of dairy cows to promote weight gain and milk production. Consequently, the European Union has banned imports of U.S. and Canadian beef since 1989, sparking a nasty trade war.
American consumers who are not into anabolic steroids will be well advised to stay away from beef and dairy products.
Spokane Valley, Wash.
Making a List -- I don't trust President Bush or his administration. They took us into an illegal war; upon assuming power, they sidestepped the Palestinian-Israeli mess; they let corporate America run amok and steal from hardworking Americans. The profits of Enron, Exxon et al. are up 46 percent over last year, plus 23 percent the year before that. The drug companies are raping us, with overblown prices and 750 lobbyists in Washington. The AARP sold us out on the prescription drug benefit (the only ones that benefit are the drug companies). Then the administration lied about the price of it. Tax cuts for the wealthy will create jobs -- yeah, in some offshore haven for the rich, where they can beat down the local people to work for a dollar a day. And what about this red herring Social Security? What's with all the covering up for that? I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.
And in all this, we have no media to keep them on the straight and narrow. We can't dissent anymore or without being called unpatriotic. The media is running scared. There are cuts in education, the Veterans Administration and social services, but corporations still get tax breaks. Doesn't all that make you wonder why you wasted your vote?
Killing the Messenger -- The attack on student writer Lily Morris for such open and hard-smashing comments in SFCC's lab-student rag, The Communicator, shows a real paranoia when it comes to questioning why military soldiers soldier ("Choose Your Words Carefully," 3/24/05).
She did the forbidden thing -- attacked the attackers. Are U.S. military and their dependents so fragile in their patriotic zeal to deny a student the right to redefine what it is to be a soldier, to be patriotic?
Let's remind ourselves that Morris is the student, not the expert. But she is in good company with those prominent minds laying out exactly the historical context of this American hegemony and neo-imperialism. Politicians like McCain and Kerry have agreed that Reagan's wars in Central America and the Contra drug running terror by ex-Marines and the CIA were an ugly reality of the USA's terror campaigns. Noam Chomsky and others have equated what this current Administration is doing with its enlisted, NCO and commissioned officer classes as mercenary.
Our military has been involved in fratricide, ecocide, assassinations, bombing of non-military targets, poisonings, carpet-bombing, napalm slinging, cluster bomb delivering and rampant killing of civilians. This occurred in Iraq One and has now taken place more profoundly in Iraq Two. We attacked a defeated army, one with no fighter jets and no air defense capabilities.
So, Lily Morris, student journalist, you may have been undiplomatic, derogatory and mean-spirited in your approach, in the eyes of the middle of the road, but any number of stories related to the killing and use of banned weapons and downright felonious attitude of many of our Iraq occupiers have been written.
Do we ask why this woman is so incensed, so determined to see the situation as simply Americans volunteering for duty and then ending up in a fabricated war, doing terrible things to weaker people? Yeah, it's hard on the families of those serving to read her point of view when loved ones are in harm's way. Hard on the ones caught in the economics of corporate power who just signed up for better schooling and a trade.
So don't attack Lily Morris. Attack the war profiteers living like leeches off the American collective soul because of what Bush and Co. have unleashed. Don't smear her. Smear the reputations of the lying corporate heads with the billion-dollar no-bid contracts in Iraq. Spit your venom at the masses, those Americans so patriotically blinded as not to criticize this murdering band of men in power who use our taxes to occupy and kill.