by Inlander Readers

Embrace the Dynasty -- The elections are over. Come celebrate our plutocracy! Bow to the wealthy and powerful, though we seldom see them. Forbes magazine has the list. Nations of people may fear us, but surely we Americans are not to be hated. Because we are the world's only superpower, we are the best equipped to spread democracy abroad (whenever we can); and we only support despots when the forces for democratic rule cannot be trusted. (Saddam was a good Saddam back when he was our Saddam.)

Celebrate the Bush dynasty. First, we must work to reelect George W. in 2004, thereby paving the way for Jeb Bush to be elected president in 2008. And my crystal ball reveals that our first woman president could be one of George W's twins. (Personally, I am anxious for a woman president.)

In time, our schools will educate our children to understand the math that explains a regressive tax system (ours) which subjugates the poor and the middle class. Then, hopefully, our children will explain this to us. Unfortunately, we won't be able to change it: The System will be (is!) too entrenched. The reelection of incumbents should be viewed as self-perpetuating, with money and the media being on their side.

Nowhere to be seen is there a Democrat/David to slay the Republican/Goliath, as George N. recently proved quite convincingly. (Bart Haggin, you're a hero to me!)

Lastly, "whatever happens, happens for the best." I'll believe that when I see it.

S.A. Johnston

Spokane, Wash.

How Could You? -- I was truly disappointed with The Inlander's endorsement of Jim West over Laurie Dolan. Finally the 6th District has been offered a candidate to put an end to Jim West's abysmal legislative career: 20 years of partisan bickering, a gutted state budget and an absence of leadership. But somehow you decided that West's power -- even though it has only accomplished more gridlock in Olympia -- is more important than electing someone who better represents Spokane and actually has ideas to solve our state's problems. For a paper that claims to be an "alternative," you sure do toe the status quo!

Richard B. Myers

Spokane, Wash.

A Waste of Space -- The interview, "Under the Gun," in the Nov. 7 edition of The Inlander was a waste of space. For starters, you used the expression "gun violence." Anyone who uses that phrase is either confused or trying to confuse the person they're addressing. If I pick up a brick and hit someone with it, how much sense does it make to call that "brick violence?" If the person is hurt, is it because of the existence of the brick, or because of what I did with it?

Besides, Josh Sugarmann [the gun-control advocate interviewed in the story] is a loon. This is the same guy who a couple of years ago described Eddie Eagle, the character the National Rifle Association uses to teach firearms safety to schoolchildren, as "Joe Camel with feathers."

Jim Dettwiler

Spokane, Wash.

Unbiased Media? -- Our local print media seems to take great delight in attacking the Catholic Church via its almost daily blasts against priests. I read somewhere that there are more than 47,000 priests and only 225 reported cases of sexual abuse. According to my arithmetic, this amounts to one quarter of one percent of our priests.

If it's true, as published, that 2 percent of the entire population are either pedophiles or sex offenders, then the Catholic Church is still far below the national average. Aren't other religions considered to be part of the national average? Why aren't there any similar reports among the Islamic, Jewish and other faiths?

Andy Kelly

Spokane, Wash.

Give Back Kids Day -- Nov. 20 is the anniversary of the U.N. adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Children. This date, World Children's Day, has been changed this year and is now officially known as "McDonald's World Children's Day."

So how does a corporation get to "own" an international holiday? McDonald's bought it. By agreeing to take in UNICEF collections and by donating a percentage of McDonald's Nov. 20 profits, UNICEF agreed to officially declare the name of the day McDonald's World Children's Day, thus ensuring appearances for Ronald the clown and a blitzkrieg of McDonald's advertising in schools and at other functions aimed at children.

This is not the first private-public partnership between UNICEF and corporations which market unhealthy products to children; past efforts included Kraft (a subsidiary of Phillip-Morris) and Coca Cola. This is, however, the most ambitious, high profile, and audacious. Call, fax, or e-mail UNICEF to let them know how you feel about the appropriateness of Ronald McDonald as U.N. ambassador for the world's children. (Phone 212-236-7000; fax 212-326-7758; e-mail

I also encourage parents not to attend these McDonald's events. Instead, take your child on an educational outing or buy your child a book, such as The Diary of Anne Frank or The Lorax, which educate children about social justice issues. And make a special donation to your favorite charity with programs to help children. These are great ways to celebrate World Children's Day without inundating your child with advertising.

Timothy Pellow

Davenport, Wash.

Virtual Trivia: Marvel Universe

Sat., Sept. 26, 2-3 p.m.
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