I believe that openness is best, at all levels of government, and I can certainly remember cautioning the Spokane City Council of 1997 to the effect that its closed-door decisions, with regard to the River Park Square project, were likely to result in serious repercussions.
So they have, indeed, though I soon realized that my saying so was far less important than their knowing it to be true.
As to the controversial decision that Prosecutor Steve Tucker made to take the death penalty off the table in exchange for Yates' revelation of more victims, I wish someone would help me understand why that is anything less than a brilliant idea on his part?
Unless I have misunderstood the nature of the deal, Yates can still get the death penalty if convicted on the West Side, and doesn't his admissions here help that along? If so, Spokane County was spared a more expensive and lengthy proceeding. Yates can only be executed once anyway.
Philip J. Mulligan
I would like to maintain my impression of The Inlander as a fun, enjoyable and upstanding publication that represents the different whims and tastes that the Spokane-area people tend toward. My point, however, stems from my horoscope printed in "Free Will Astrology" column by Rob Brezsny in the June 7 edition of The Inlander. It was disturbing to me, as well as to one of my close friends.
We read our horoscopes for fun with the inclination that, if it was applicable to our current life situations, we would be able to use or not use the advice the author prescribes. I am not a narrow-minded individual, but I still have certain values I would prefer not to be contradicted. In the Taurus horoscope of that issue I, as well as my friend, were appalled and offended by what Brezsny had to say. The impression we were left with was of a mocking nature imposed by Brezsny toward Christianity.
Brezsny writes: "You know the fruit that God once forbade Adam and Eve to try? Amazingly, He has changed his mind," and, "Here's the new covenants, directly from the Supreme Being's lips to your eyes: It's okay to eat the apple." Who delivered this message, and why to him?
I would like to argue that Brezsny offers no argument to back up the statements he made in this reading. Instead, he projected negativity and sneers toward the Christian beliefs and toward God.
I realize the illogic I would be spewing if I wrote in anger, instead of in pure disbelief. All I ask is to be provided with a little more depth and reasoning to what my friend and I saw as a blind outcry against our beliefs.
The article about Wal-Mart in the May 31 edition of The Inlander contained a rather unusual translation of the Hebrew name Yehuda. (The article by Tamara Straus states that Ganey-Yehuda, a town in Israel, means Judas' Garden.)
I am not a Bible or Hebrew scholar. I am quite certain, however, that Yehuda appears first in Genesis as the name of one of Jacob's 12 sons. Subsequently, Yehuda became the name of one of the 12 tribes, presumably because the tribe members were descendants of that Yehuda. English language Bibles generally translate Yehuda as Judah for the name of both the person and the tribe. Judea, the name used for the region around Jerusalem, undoubtedly has the same derivation.
It seems that Yehuda has been a popular Jewish name for a few millennia. The popularity must date back to the original Judah, just as the popular names Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah must owe their popularity to the Biblical ancestors.
By translating Yehuda as Judas, which perhaps is Greek, the author of this piece points to a connotation of betrayal that could not have been intended by those who gave Ganey-Yehuda its name. It is like spelling the name Joseph as Josef or Josep to create a negative association with the "Evil Empire" rather than with one of the two, generally well-respected Josephs of the Bible.