by Inlander Readers & r & I Like Mine Phosphate-Free & r & I would like to thank Todd Mielke for taking a leadership role with regard to a proposed ban on phosphorus in dishwashing detergents and fertilizers in the Spokane region. There is no reason to continue polluting the Spokane River with phosphorus. Mielke is progressive in his position on the health of our region, its river, and the community of Spokane. He undoubtedly understands that a healthy river supports a healthy community and vibrant economy.

Additionally, there is no reason to wait for a ban on these products. Phosphate-free dishwashing detergents are already available. Using them is an effective way in which every citizen can make a concrete change to improve the health of our river.

As a citizen of the West Central Neighborhood here in Spokane, I am blessed to be able to enjoy this river daily. It is a rare and remarkable community asset. I urge all citizens of Spokane County, regardless of which riverside community you live in, to use phosphate-free detergents and fertilizers, and support the common-sense ban that Mielke has wisely proposed. Doing so will insure that our community will have a healthy river to enjoy for generations to come.

R. Jerry White Jr. & r & Spokane, Wash.

How To Grow a Region & r & Jim Frank's guest editorial on future growth in the Inland Northwest ("Gauging Our Growth," 11/10/05) leaves much to be desired. His view that Washington's growth ought to be geared toward the "very highly compensated professional or technical" people who work out of their homes, and who move here for "quality of life" reasons, offers no economic relief to the 20 percent of Spokane's citizens who are poor, or to Washington's blue-collar workers, except to create jobs in lowly-compensated Wal-Mart-type service-sector work.

His ideas become further suspect when he chats up the North Idaho model as something to be copied. Does he not know that wages in North Idaho suck, that many Idahoans cross the border to work in Eastern Washington, then take their wages back to Idaho to lower tax structures? The Buck Knives scenario is a case in point. According to Buck Knives, they are saving 30 percent in wages by moving to North Idaho. Since Buck Knives is, I believe, a privately-owned company and therefore will not pass its wage savings on to stockholders, the Buck Knives owners have more or less reached into blue-collar pockets and robbed them of better wages in order to enrich ownership. Is that not so?

I suggest we can improve the situation in Eastern Washington by some sort of income tax which taxes the wages of those who work here but take their wages back to Idaho without penalty. Thus we can lower Washington's utility, real estate and gas taxes, and all those taxes that hurt Washingtonians. If that does nothing more than force Idaho businesses to pay better wages in Idaho because their workers will no longer have an escape valve into Washington, then that's gain enough.

George Thomas & r & Spokane, Wash.

The Dirty Hard Drive & r & Obviously the so-called city "IT expert" is one of Mayor West's stooges. He is saying that the porn on Mayor West's city-owned hard drive is the result of spyware or a Trojan Horse virus that takes control of someone's hard drive and stores the files.

Possibly. There is some slight possibility of that - if the mayor is stupid enough not to have the virus and spyware programs that he should be running to prevent such attacks.

The way to prove this is to have various logs checked. For instance, when you go to a Web site, the activity gets logged on a company's proxy server. Information contained in this log includes the IP address from the computer doing the surfing. This IP address is assigned when a user logs onto a network by a protocol called Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP).

The network card also contains a unique address burned into it called a Media Access Control (MAC). Another protocol called Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) resolves the user's MAC address to the IP Address. Basically the network asks what computer has this MAC address, and the computer that has it responds back. This is stored for a short while in a table called the ARP table and is stored on various parts of the network hardware.

So by comparing the Mayor's known MAC address and IP Address against the IP logs and the ARP tables, then it should be easily demonstrated whether or not he actually went to these sites and downloaded the files.

Tim Haight & r & Spokane, Wash.

The GOP New Left? & r & In previous issues of The Inlander, a number of editorials from Sidney Blumenthal were published, along with a film critique regarding a cinematic biography of Edward Murrow during the McCarthy era (11/3/05), and a writer's sniping response to "censored" stories that the news media refused to cover (9/22/05). The author [of the latter] assumed that the sole reason was that the news media would refuse to cover speculation, etc. which was not proved to be true.

The reason for these seemingly disparate lines of thought can only be reconciled by a recent purchase of The Clinton Wars, by Sidney Blumenthal. I am probably about one-third into the book by now, and it will take some lengthy and heavy reading to complete it. Seems that Blumenthal, while painting a fairly sympathetic picture of the Clintons in their worst scandal-mongering ordeals, paints an equally horrific picture of news media willing to engage in propaganda. The news media would refuse to publish or opine on something not true or not proven to be true? Blumenthal does say otherwise - just as he also declares that the news media would also ignore or censor good news about the Clintons, or even deliberately distort any news regarding the Clintons.

Far from the news media being an institution that lacks a spine, according to the film critique abovementioned. The news media had become by and large the willing tools of the Republican new left. Once they had honed their propaganda methods on Clinton, they then went after Al Gore, and then Howard Dean and Senator Kerry. According to Blumenthal's book, the news media had no longer exercised any journalistic standards whatsoever. The only mistake that Blumenthal makes is to call people who'll do anything for power, "conservative" or religious "right." Simply because both terms would assume a basis of principle. And the groups "out to get" William Jefferson Clinton and his wife were operating on no principles whatsoever. They could engage in corrupt acts in pursuit of an agenda, bear false witness when the need arises, attack the innocent, etc.

In what way would the above be regarded as "principled?" Or for that matter, biblically moral? Thus, the more correct term would be: the radical Republican left. Folks who'd do nothing less than engage in the same sort of strategies and practices (much abhorred in the 1950s) of the old Soviet Union. And the news media in general? Willing to be Pravda.

Joan E. Harman & r & Dalton Gardens, Idaho

Dressing the Abbey: The Iconic Wardrobe of Downton Abbey @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 2
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