Letters to the Editor

by Inlander Readers & r & West Denial Virus -- Still-the-Mayor-but-hopefully-not-for-long Jim West's 800-plus-word diatribe on June 30 ("The Mayor Responds") demands a response. As specious arguments go, the mayor did a pretty good job, as long as you ignore a few facts and leave out moral standards. His desperate attempt to remain in office reaches for any reasoning that supports his position; his behavior becomes more pathetic and his logic is, quite simply, illogical. From splitting hairs over the technicality of the legal age being 18 to "finding God" and "forgiveness" at a very convenient time, Jim West is a man on the ropes, throwing wild punches and barely defending himself, but too out of it to see the truth. Why does he even need forgiveness, if, as he claims, he's done nothing wrong "legally" or morally, except use "poor judgment"?

The truth is Mr. West is dead wrong. The problem is either that he really doesn't seem to know the difference between right and wrong when it comes to adult sexual behavior or that he doesn't want to admit it. This little tidbit of reality shows up when he's asked questions (which he refuses to answer) regarding the propriety of a man his age dating high school students (male or female).

The most naive and perhaps ludicrous words out of our mayor's mouth were those stating that his personal life was separate from his public life as an elected official. Give me a break. Did he miss the Clinton impeachment hearings? Does the name Gary Hart ring a bell? Has he already forgotten Miss Lewinsky? How about New Jersey's former Gov. McGreevy and his resignation over a gay affair? The list is long. One of the considerations one must realize when an individual runs for office is that they'll live in a glass house if elected. Jim West knows that -- everybody knows that!

But what angers me the most about this situation is how Mayor West plays with the truth. When you assure your on-line boy toy that if he applies for an internship at City Hall "he'll get it," then you're doing a lot more than suggesting that he "apply" for the position. When you appoint someone a commissioner on the Human Rights Commission and then pursue them for "dates" and offer them money to swim naked with you, you're not selecting that commissioner because he's the best person for the job. The result of that little escapade places in question the appointment of every male since West was elected, through no fault of those appointed. And when you hide decisive information from the voters because you know you wouldn't be elected if you revealed your true sexual practices, then you gained your office through deceit and dishonesty.

It's apparent from what one writer labeled "West Denial Virus" that our mayor sees no real or long-term effect from anything he's done, let alone the fact that his past behavior was just plain wrong or that his current behavior is pathetic. By attacking the Spokesman-Review and those who sought the truth with his own allegations of a vendetta against him, our now-infamous mayor hopes to turn public opinion in his favor. I hope he is wrong about that, because I believe the voters of Spokane demand the bar for our elected officials, and especially our mayor, to be set a little higher.

He may be right about the recall effort, though, because it doesn't help Spokane to go through that process. The best thing for Spokane is for Jim West to resign -- but if this mayor hasn't the courage to do the right thing and step down, he must be removed.

David Bray

Spokane, Wash.

Rainier's No Foothill -- I didn't like the wording of the following paragraph from the Summer Adventure story (7/15/05) on climbing Mount Rainier: "Rainier may be huge, but at 14,410 feet, it isn't even the tallest mountain in the Lower 48. It barely makes the top five. Behind the crags of Alaska and Colorado, Rainier is only the 24th-highest peak in America."

Technically, this is true. However. Mount Rainier is only about 80 feet shorter than California's Mount Whitney, the tallest peak in the Lower 48. And Rainier towers above all the land around it in a way that the peaks of Colorado and the Sierra Nevada's don't.

Paul Symington

Spokane, Wash.

Confederacy of Dunces -- This is in response to the Letter to the Editor from Carl David Leeth (7/7/05). You suggest that George Bush and Karl Rove are lower on the intellectual scale than yourself. I beg to differ.

Who had the higher GPA at Yale? Bush or Kerry? Bush has an MBA from Harvard -- not something given to an ignoramus. He's been elected president twice - who are you?

Karl Rove, et al. have co-opted every major political issue from Dems. What do they offer? Howard Dean? The gift that keeps on giving.

Good luck with Hillary in '08.

Gerald Kirkpatrick

Spokane, Wash.

Little Trouble in Big China? -- Is Bush selling us down the river with China? Unocal is on the auction block, and it appears the Bush administration will not interve. Are we going to sit back and allow China to control vast oil reserves? This is what happens when wacky Bush neocon ideology gets in the way of common sense.

Recently, IBM was sold to China, putting strategic computer technology at risk, and Bush did not intervene. Are we going to allow the American corporate crown jewels to be sold to a potential rival? China now holds 40 percent of our national debt.

China gets us coming and going, earning interest on our debt, selling us goods with their undervalued currency and creating enormous trade deficits -- and now they are buying up our top corporations. What if China invades Taiwan, which we have pledged to defend? America would be in a corner!

Kelly Brown

Liberty Lake, Wash.

The Rum Rebellion: Prohibition in North Idaho @ Museum of North Idaho

Through Oct. 29, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
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