Letters

Governors choose poorly too

RE: “Courting Big Money

12/7/00

While I would agree campaign finance in the area of electing judges is becoming critical as companies and special interest groups rally to elect their chosen judge, I am also against the idea of governors hand-picking judges as well.

What difference is there in special interest groups having their way or governors having their way in stacking the bench in their own favor?

I agree that individual voter awareness regarding judicial philosophy and practices of judges is nil. Campaign efforts are directed at high population areas and large cities. Those of us in rural areas are left lost and wanting for accurate information on the issues and platforms of those running for seats on the bench.

I would have no problem with a compromise to the campaign/selection issue in which a bipartisan and objective blue-ribbon committee compiles a list of prospective candidates later culled and approved by the governor, then later re-elected by the citizens in subsequent elections.

A balance must be achieved in the selection/election of judges. I don’t feel there is any less bias in the process by allowing the governor to hand pick cronies to the bench who, in turn, concede to the political wants of the state’s governorship.

Bonnie Kasper

 



High-tech runs all over California communities

RE: “Cyberselfish Redux

12/5/00

I liked your article on Cisco. I live in Watsonville, Calif., which is not far from where they are going to build the new Cisco plant.

About 15 years ago, Seagate Technologies built a large manufacturing facility about five minutes from our house. It was given tax breaks by the city and it promised to employ local for its manufacturing. Then when it opened, nothing happened — the company said labor costs here were too expensive. It moved its manufacturing overseas, where it was cheaper to operate.

Then, about five years later, the company opened its Watsonville plant for manufacturing. It bussed people in from San Jose to work there instead of hiring locals. About three years later, the City bought the Seagate facility for $65 million and converted it into a hospital.

Richard Dixon

 



Tech business: just another business

RE: “Cyberselfish Redux

12/5/00

Borsook makes some valid points about Cisco, an example of a giant in the high-tech industry taking advantage of their influential position. But isn’t this just part of the game that has been played for years by giants in any industry? They are given privileged access to the system by our government leaders and tax laws so they take advantage. I don’t see how they are supposed to behave any differently in a system whose roads are so deeply rutted from travel that turning away from them proves useless.

I’m not justifying the actions of Cisco or any other tech company that has profited by the “cyber-explosion” in recent years, but this is the reality of how it works — whether in the world of ethereal bits or that of cold steel. Changing the rules, the system, business, and our culture is not going to happen.

Steve Sloan

 



Police mistreatment

RE: “Seattle, One Year Later

12/5/00

It seems that local news here misrepresented the arrests that came at the end of the night. Towards the end of the protests, police followed the straggling crowd down Fourth Avenue. The protestors were making their way to a pot luck at the Labor Temple. The police told them to disperse but also boxed them in at the same time. A contingent of labor and religious leaders came to the scene to try to negotiate the release of the protestors to let them go to the Labor Temple.

Apparently, a county police officer agreed to let anyone heading to the Labor Temple leave. Right as the police were about to start releasing people, another contingent of cops came around the corner and boxed in the negotiators, religious leaders, and some members of the press. I’ve been told a few were even roughed up and all of them spent the night in jail. I was not there but heard this same story from several friends who were.

Blake Wright

 



Protests started sweet, ended sour

RE: “Seattle, One Year Later

12/5/00

I participated in one of the several marches that converged at the Westlake Mall in downtown Seatle on the 30th. The police were very helpful in maintaining the line of march, making sure there were no traffic accidents, etc. The mood was festive and peaceful.

I left at 4:00. By the time I returned to Westlake at 6:00, the situation had completely changed; there was a smallish group surrounded by police. Returning later, I saw an even smaller group in a more constricted area, being confronted by a line of police. I did not stay to see all that occurred, but understand there were arrests later.

I also want to mention that at least one police officer was injured because someone threw an object that hit the officer in the eye. I find it especially lamentable considering that the police had recognized and, in fact, protected the protestors’ constitutional rights of assembly and speech earlier. Lacking a planned conclusion, too many demonstrations fall de facto into the hands of those whose aim is to blockade, shut down, or trash, regardless of any other consideration.

Dan Raphael
Seattle, Wash.

 



Listen to the people in sea turtle outfits

RE: “Seattle, One Year Later

12/4/00

I think it is wonderful that these people are protesting, and it is too bad not many people understand why. I wish that the media would let these protesters speak more so the world could hear what they are saying. I think it is a damn shame that these people get gassed, shot with rubber bullets, and pepper sprayed because they care about the human race, animals, and Mother Earth!

Dana Inouye

 



Who exactly are you mad at?

RE: “Cyberselfish Redux

12/4/00

Is this story blasting Libertarians, the party, or Cisco itself? Is it using the term “technolibertarian” as something distinct from the party that is opposed to personal income taxes and federal government intrusions?

Perhaps if the large, wealthy corporations paid their taxes we would not need personal income taxes — though we’d still need to get the federals out of a lot of projects that, while not unconstitutional, are extraconstitutional.

Ira L. Weiss
San Francisco, Calif.

 



I needed that

RE: “Solid Gold Token

12/4/00

In the midst of signing onto petitions for a vote recount, and as an African American who worked on voter registration in Mississippi and Alabama in the early 1960s, I have found little to laugh about these last few weeks. Your article gave me the first big laugh I’ve had in days. This article is truly funny! Thank you!

Judy Richardson