from TOTHEEDITOR@INLANDER.COM & r & & r & Dump 'em Both & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & K & lt;/span & eep 'em both? (Endorsement, 10/23/08) I know where I'd like to keep 'em. Given all the fair reporting The Inlander has done detailing the bad judgment of these two "good ol' boys," it seems ludicrous that they would suddenly win your editorial support. Even your endorsement details problems with how Todd Mielke and Mark Richard operate. The very idea that their continuous use of county government as personal privilege warrants re-election is mind-boggling.

Lorna St. John

Spokane, Wash.

Appalling Choices

& lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & was appalled to read The Inlander endorsements of Todd Mielke and Mark Richard for Spokane County commissioners (10/23/08). We all paid a staggering price in America with Republican rule. Mielke and Richard have been part of the good ol' boy Republican rule in Spokane County. They spent millions of our taxpayer money on a defunct racetrack that should be going for public needs like mental health, roads, wastewater treatment, etc. What were you thinking, Inlander?


Medical Lake, Wash.

Another Joe

& lt;span class= "dropcap " & M & lt;/span & y name is Joe, first name Average, but you can just call me Joe. This commentary is not to endorse either Obama, or McCain, or any political party, 'cause quite frankly, both parties are full of B.S.

I have children just like some of you out there, and that is where my priority lies.

I just ask everyone reading this to really take an extra moment from the hustle and bustle of the trying day to think about whom they will send into the Presidential Office of These United States. After Nov. 4, there is no turning back.

All I ask is that you take the time out, and look at where our nation has been, where it is now and where it might be going. And remember these famous words: "We the People," "For the People" and "By the People."

I believe that politicians have forgotten who got them there, where they came from, and why they originally ran for whatever office they sought for. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

What we need is someone who has and will return common sense back into the political thinking and resolution process. I do not need a quick tongue.

The pickin's are slim, and we have less than one week left.

We're going down the tubes, ladies and gentleman, and no one is going to take care of us.

Where has common sense gone in Washington, D.C., and who will bring it back?

Juan Rodriguez

Spokane, Wash.

A Glorious Defeat?

& lt;span class= "dropcap " & "F & lt;/span & reedom Republicans" should abandon John McCain. "Freedom Republicans" -- like me -- believe the Republican Party should advocate constitutionally limited government, personal responsibility and -- above all -- individual freedom. We are sometimes called libertarians, whether or not we participate in the official Libertarian Party or support its entire program.

GOP politicians and party leaders have degraded America's public discourse by attacking what they call "America's enemies" -- Muslims, immigrants (legal and illegal), and other scapegoat groups. At issue isn't liking or disliking these groups. The issue is scapegoating as a political tactic.

When John McCain was a viable candidate, I held my tongue about his barroom, tough-guy rhetoric. Remember "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran?" Other issues led me to favor continued GOP presidential leadership, as long as it was better (much better) than that provided by George W. Bush. On those other issues, every day increases my fear of Barack Obama.

But facts also matter. Except for a short, post-Palin-selection surge, McCain has trailed in the polls all summer. His deficit deepens as I write. Virtually every other political indicator sends the same signal. Panicky GOP leaders are calling for new strategy. Experience suggests it is too late.

The question for Republicans is no longer how to win, but how to lose. As I consider that question, I remember the "glorious defeat" of Barry Goldwater in 1964. I say "glorious" because almost everything I consider good that has since happened to the GOP can be traced to Goldwater's campaign. It was Goldwater's proud, lifelong commitment to freedom and limited government that made me a Republican as young man, and that kept me in the Party since -- most notably during the dark days when George W. Bush and his henchmen shamelessly exploited post-9/11 anti-Muslim hysteria for political advantage, resulting in the bloodshed, international shame and economic chaos his successor must soon cope with.

You don't have to vote for Obama, choose a third party or drop out of politics to signal your disgust with muscle-talking Republicanism. This year, Spokane and the Inland Northwest are blessed with many good, young Republican candidates. I have watched them all. None has adopted the Bush-era gutter tactic of scapegoating.

Pick your favorite, then support him/her in every possible way. I chose 6th Legislative District candidate Kevin Parker, but there are several others.

When the dust settles, political wizards will see our signals and pass them to future GOP candidates and party leaders. I want this to be my signal: Give everyday Republicans good candidates, who believe in freedom and limited government, and we will turn out to vote, contribute and work.

But never again treat us like baboons, whose hormones can be stirred by ranting against the "other" tribe.

Robert Stokes

Spokane, Wash.

Had To Write

& lt;span class= "dropcap " & M & lt;/span & y wife and I are usually not motivated to call or write a paper, but your editorial endorsement of Barack Obama for president this past week (10/23/08) showed such insight, thoughtfulness as well as thoroughness (as compared to that of the Spokesman-Review in endorsing John McCain) that we felt it warranted our writing to compliment you on a job well done.

We look forward to receiving The Inlander on a weekly basis as we have come to rely on you for this type of quality reporting and information on a wide variety of subjects that we find relevant to to our life here in the Inland Empire!

Anita and Orval Janssen

Spokane, Wash.

Made His Day

& lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & can't believe I just read a review of Tim in The Inlander (CD Review, 10/9/08). That really makes my day.

I was 15 years old when Tim came out, and it changed my life. I hated Top-40 and metal in the '80s. The Replacements have been one of my favorite bands ever since. I can't wait to get the reissue.

Jamie Maker

Spokane, Wash.

Thanks, Bob!

& lt;span class= "dropcap " & A & lt;/span & lthough I have been away from Spokane for many years now, one stop that is always included on my frequent visits home is a trip to 4000 Holes. I have literally dozens of albums and CDs that I heard for the first time in Bob Gallagher's store that I cherish to this day (including some pretty obscure punk rock, by the way). More importantly, as a friend and mentor, Bob was instrumental in making the Spokane music scene of the late '80s and early '90s the success that it was. As a member of the Young Brians, I can testify firsthand that without Bob's help, our group would not have experienced the relative success that we did, and I think the same would be true for Nice World, Black Happy, Waterman's Hollow, Motherload and many other fantastic bands. Between Bob and the late Terry Grob, Spokane was fortunate to have people of vision who saw the talent that was and is a part of Spokane music.

I was disappointed in the relative flippant tone of your correspondent's article ("No Thousand Holes," 10/16/08). In this case, his mission should have been to praise Bob, not bury him. The smugness that came off the page reminded me of the worst kind of music snob. If 4000 Holes does indeed close, I'll be glad that my last memory of the store will be a fantastic in-store appearance by Burns Like Hellfire this past August.

Dave Becker

Durham, N.C.

Piling On

& lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & 'm wondering why Luke Baumgarten felt the need to pile on the insults with his recent column about the impending closing of Bob Gallagher's 4000 Holes record store ("No Thousand Holes," 10/16/08). Was it really necessary to get in a dig about how you'd rather shop at Hastings than at 4000 Holes? Or get a quote from a prominent local musician denigrating the store?

Is it too much to ask to spare a couple sentences remembering how important 4000 Holes has been to the local music scene? There was a time when Bob's store was the only place in town to buy independent vinyl. When he showed there was a market, others followed. Bob has been incredibly supportive of local music by allowing just about any local artist to sell recordings through his store for years. Can Hastings say that? Bob also promoted shows and started a label to put out the Young Brians and Nice World at a time when the local label scene was dead.

Bob is also an incredible source of music knowledge. Does anyone in town know more about the country-rock and alt-country genres than Bob does? I don't think so.

Luke may be shrugging off the impending loss of this local music business, but I can assure you that Bob's loyal customers who have loved the store for years are not.

Jon Snyder

Spokane, Wash.

Foot Shooting

& lt;span class= "dropcap " & T & lt;/span & o whoever stole the Obama/Biden and Gregoire signs out of my front yard last weekend and replaced them with McCain/Palin and Rossi signs -- those signs went into the garbage. We put up new Obama/Biden and Gregoire signs and made another donation to the Obama/Biden campaign and the Democrats.

Thank you for supporting my candidates!

M.C. Morrison

Spokane, Wash.

Please, Make It Stop

& lt;span class= "dropcap " & C & lt;/span & ongratulations on reaching your 15-year anniversary in a tough business. That having been said, was the anniversary column from Robert Herold ("Counting the Columns," 10/16/08) really worthy of such an auspicious occasion? I think all your readers understood early in 2001 that Herold doesn't care for President Bush. Then he made the same point over and over and over and over and over again. For years. As if that wasn't enough, in honor of your anniversary he recycled the same material. And in the final sentence of his column, he even threatens to play it one more time. It's like the song "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynryd: It was fresh and new the first dozen times I heard it, but now I have to fight the urge to vomit whenever I hear the opening bars.

I'm not saying he should change his politics or come up with new ideas. Let him spend the next eight years writing columns that give a month-by-month recap of the '60s through Watergate and reargue the case against the Vietnam War. Maybe he could write about pet peeves, like an Inlander version of Andy Rooney. But for the love of God, please make the Bush-bashing stop. The "Free Bird" dry heaves are no joke.

Mike Wolfe

Spokane, Wash.

Ultimate Control

& lt;span class= "dropcap " & A & lt;/span & s a supporter of Initiative 1000, aid in dying, I disagree with your position (Endorsement, 10/9/08) and think your arguments lack substance. Competent adults with terminal illnesses should have the right to have more control over when, where and how death occurs. I-1000 has many safeguards, and if people had concerns after the first year, the legislature could adjust the law.

The Inlander says that "how you choose to deal with end-of-life is profoundly personal," and "not an appropriate question to be settled by regulation." Sorry, but either way there will be regulation. The law now restricts our freedom and says we must endure to the end any pain or suffering that occurs. With I-1000 it would give us more control over our own death and, if we are competent and find the pain and suffering to be unbearable, if we do not want to end our days in a hazy morphine fog, we would have another option.

You say there "really is not a crisis." How presumptuous! For some, dying is peaceful, but for others it is agony, in spite of improvements in end-of-life care and hospice.

"But what if the required six-month-to-live diagnosis is shaky?" Many who oppose I-1000 act as though the very minute terminally ill patients get medication, they are required to use it. No, they will save it and, perhaps, use it if the quality of their lives becomes unbearable; in fact, one-third of those in Oregon obtaining medication never take it.

Then you state, "putting our medical professionals in the middle ... is not fair." No doctor has been or would be required to prescribe such medication. Doctors would not be in the middle.

Finally, you say it is "not fair to impose a one-size-fits-all" plan. That's what we have now! Regardless of how difficult the dying process is for us, we all must endure. I-1000 provides another choice. No one would have to use this option, but those who wanted it would be able to have an alternative that has been carefully planned and used in Oregon for 10 years.

Gretchen McDevitt

Spokane, Wash.

The Inlander welcomes letters on all topics, but priority is given to those commenting on subjects raised in our pages. Always include a name and daytime phone number for confirmation. Contact us at The letters we publish represent the views of their writers, not ours.

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