Thu, May 02 2002 PST

Past 5 Issues:

This Quarter Only

Letters to the Editor


Keep it clean and natural

I am writing to let you know that I want the fill to be left as a natural area for the birds and wildlife in the area (“The Montlake mess,” April 29, 30). I visit and birdwatch the fill regularly.

Ilene Samowitz
UW extension program,
project management

Unions raise wages, benefits for all workers

Allow me to fill in some blanks on Initiative 777. One of the prime duties of a union is representation, which is not cheap. The cost of keeping volunteer stewards trained and equipped is large enough, when we reach the area of attorney fees … What I-777 creates is what we union folk call ‘free riders,’ the equivalent of having a housemate who never pays for anything but is first in line for every meal and party.

You may ask, “Why not just leave ‘em hanging if they get in trouble?” Can’t. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that non-members must get the same service as members in right-to-work settings. Now how do union shops come to be? It can be as part of contract talks with the employer, (knowing this is an important item it is often traded dearly) or by election, which requires 66 percent plus one vote of all eligible employees.

As a side note, wages trend downward in right-to-work states, but prices and tuition fees don’t quickly follow. You figure it out.

Joe Davenport
food service worker, Court Cafe

Loyalty vs. cowardice

I read the letter regarding the treatment of Dr. Richard Winn with a heavy heart and great outrage (“Open letter to the University,” April 18). For nearly 20 years, Winn has provided the people of the Pacific Northwest with the utmost level of care and service. To say that he touched and saved thousands of lives would not even begin to accurately portray his impact. He has built the preeminent department of neurosurgery in the country in an honest, thoughtful manner, often double-checking to make sure he was abiding by the rules and regulations of the University, as well as by his own moral compass.

For the University to demand his resignation without informing him of the charges is beyond belief, and its actions reek of a corrupted and unjust system. How is a man to defend himself without knowing what he should defend against? Is it of no consequence that Winn has taken a lie-detector test and passed? The absence of loyalty is shameful.

Ultimately, the world-renowned care and service provided by Winn and his team will surely suffer in his absence, and for this reason, Seattle citizens should be deeply disheartened.

I have known Winn for 28 years and know of his sacrifice for his job and patients. I sat waiting for him at soccer games or at the dinner table or at a school play because patients had crashed or their families needed a shoulder on which to lean. He imparted to me the importance of honesty and ethics, and through these unfounded attacks, I have never been prouder to not only call him the leading neurosurgeon in the country, but also my father. The unjust acts of the University will never mar him in the eyes of those who know him as a man.
Allison Winn Scotch

Racial shakedown

The recent protest by Asian-American students against Abercrombie & Fitch for alleged “racism” highlights the hypersensitivity of minority “rights” organizations and only goes to show how bankrupt they really are (“Students gather to boycott Abercrombie and Fitch,” April 29).

If the shirts caricatured a “white” group, nobody would have cared. There wouldn’t have been a peep from any so-called “civil rights” organizations, let alone calls for apologies from the CEO and compulsory sensitivity training toward Northern Europeans.

I am of Scandinavian, Jewish and Irish descent; I can handle jokes and caricatures of these groups without race-baiting anybody. In fact, my favorite T-shirt depicts a “dumb blond” Swede on it, and teams with mascots such as the “fighting Irish” don’t offend me, even though they rely on “racist 19th-century stereotypes.”

Hopefully, Abercrombie & Fitch won’t cave in to this Jesse Jackson-esque shakedown operation, like other corporations do when the word “racism” is spoken at a low decibel.

B.H. Thomson
senior, electrical engineering

Thanks for making an argument

It was refreshing to read Hashem Said’s article, “Israel’s war notebooks” (April 29). Unlike most anti-Israel arguments which rely on myths (the supremely false idea that Jews and Arabs got along just fine until the establishment of Israel), rumors purported to be truths (reports of mass graves in Jenin that will surely be forgotten when evidence fails to appear) and a cry for humanitarian aid to Palestinians (which are commendable, but too often overlook the abuse of Palestinians by their Arab “brothers” in 22 countries who, for 54 years, have refused to assimilate and provide a safe harbor for Palestinian refugees, and instead point fingers at Israel), Said backs his argument with historical claims and urges his readers to “just look at the history.”

This was refreshing because, although I disagree with Said’s arguments and his conclusions, learning about the history of the situation is essential as a means to resolving the conflict. Thus, I commend Said’s departure from inflammatory fictional stories that demonize and overlook the big picture (“Life and death in Jenin,” April 4). Let us not forgo analysis of how things got to be the way they are, because while most pro-Israel arguments do not deny that Palestinians should have a state of their own, they argue that Israel should not have to pay with her life for mistakes made by those who openly wish to destroy her. Again, thank you for presenting a debatable argument.

David Levitt
sophomore, biology

Here are your facts

Hashem Said’s article (“Israel’s war notebooks,” April 29) is half a page. Is that long enough to “tell the full story”? The Arab-Israeli conflict dates to the turn of the 20th century with many tragedies, massacres, wars and distortions. Whether the numbers Eric Hasson produced (Letters, April 30) on Jewish vs. Palestinian refugees are accurate I cannot say. But I can tell the fate of these refugees today. The Jews have found homes, jobs and new lives in Israel or in settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. Most Palestinian refugees still live in shattered camps in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt or the occupied territories. Those in the West Bank and Gaza only recently obtained any form of identity papers linking them to a “government.” Who is to blame? Who created this situation where more than 200 people are allegedly dead in Jenin and the United Nations is not allowed to investigate? Could these massacres have occurred because the Palestinian Authority misused the aid money it gets? Could it be because of Palestinian lynchings?

Let’s see. The soldiers were Israeli, the weapons American. The orders were from the Israeli prime minister. The victims were Palestinian families, homes, towns, schools and livelihoods. These are facts. What Said was getting at was a pattern of violence against Palestinians over the years, which persists today. I would add that the Palestinian people have survived these atrocities. They mourned their dead, rebuilt their homes and went on with their lives. They have kept Palestinian culture alive. For 54 years, Israel has tried to wipe out the Palestinian presence, by killing and expelling them, pulling out trees, destroying infrastructure or erasing Palestinian culture. It has not succeeded. I don’t think it will.

Samar Hannouseh
senior, neurobiology

Repeating history

Santayana wrote that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Hashem Said (“Israel’s war notebooks,” April 29) does not know the past. He claims that when Israel was founded, “the Zionists began expelling and massacring Palestinians.” This is a lie. You can judge the evidence for yourself.

David Ben-Gurion, soon to become Israel’s first prime minister, declared on Dec. 3, 1947: “In our state there will be non-Jews as well — and all of them will be equal citizens; equal in everything without any exception; that is: The state will be their state as well.” (Jews had no real rights in any Arab land! They still don’t.) Before the passing of the U.N. partition resolution, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, head of the Arab Higher Committee (AHC) told an Egyptian newspaper, “We would rather die than accept minority rights” in a prospective Jewish state. So they fought, lost and fled, forced out by order of the AHC, Arab armies, or their own disgrace at having lost. There was never a Zionist plan to expel Arabs. There was only the Arabs’ determination to drive the Jews into the sea.

Having failed to ethnically cleanse Israel, Said now tries to cleanse the historical record. Said began by setting the scene as “1948 … Zionism … attacks.” Here is Jamal Husseini addressing the U.N. Security Council on April 16, 1948: “The representatives of the Jewish agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight.”

The Arabs told the world. Why isn’t Said listening?

Marc Lange
professor, philosophy

Read the news

Humza Chaudhry (“International welfare reform,” April 30) states that Israel has been involved in several recent massacres, barred U.N. inspectors from visiting and ignores our leader (Bush) daily. Just five minutes of reading the news would bring Chaudhry up to date on the facts of the situation, which are conveniently missing.

No “massacre” has been proven, and I don’t know why you claim massacres. Innocent civilians die, that is a result of war, but when members of terrorist organizations wear civilian clothes and carry automatic weapons, they are not “innocent civilians.” It just so happens that 23 of the latest 60 suicide bombers hailed from Jenin.

As for the U.N. investigation, without proper experts “investigating” what really happened at Jenin, Israel cannot get a fair investigation. There has to be a war and terrorism expert, to understand why an Israel Defense Forces soldier died walking in a gasoline-soaked alley. Cornelio Sommaruga, former head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, ensured that Israel is the only nation on this earth to be refused admission into its organization. He said, “If we’re going to have the Shield of David, why would we not have to accept the swastika?”

As for ignoring President Bush daily, what about the leader of the Palestinian people? He has failed miserably to reign in murderers, terrorists, and the like. Ariel Sharon has to do Arafat’s job because he fails do it. It is Bush’s daily calls for Arafat to lead and to take action that always go unheeded.

Eric Hasson
junior, accounting

Save the unborn, kill the children

This is in response to Rachel Leigh’s article, “Women still underrepresented” (May 1). In it, she calls for women who have non-political, non-gendered biases to express their opinions on the major controversial issues. She specifically mentions abortion, pornography and prostitution. I am a lower-middle-class white, American woman who is well versed in major controversial issues. Here are my non-political, non-gender biased, plain, common-sense opinions. Abortion is murder and there is no way around it. It is killing a living thing and no one can logically argue with that. Personally, however, if you aren’t married and you don’t want a kid, what are you doing having sex anyway? I think it’s pretty obvious what my views of porno and prostitution are.

Gays and lesbians? I have many great gay friends. Do I hate them because they’re gay? No! Do I hate the fact that they are gay? Yes! Because I believe it’s morally, physically and in all other ways sick and wrong. The war on terrorism? I believe that war is sometimes a necessity for preserving peace and this is one of those times. Yes, innocent children die. They would die with or without a war. It’s the world we live in. So here are my feminine views. Personally, I feel more misrepresented by your articles, then any of the other articles written by the guys.

Debbie Pettit
junior, communications, political

Makes me not want to eat pizza

I would like you to know that I find the advertisement by Pazzo’s Pizza (Career Guide, April 23) rather offensive and vulgar. Each time I come across this ad, I can’t help but feel disgusted. It’s rather distasteful to have such an ad for pizzas. Such an ad is an assault on our standards of decency. It is not appropriate to be published for the student community. Please give feedback to the advertiser.

Kelly Ong
spouse of a UW student

Professors are here to teach

See a full professor hard at work:

It’s refreshing to see a full professor who’s willing to sit down after class and go through things with students. The idea of full professors lecturing and then disappearing into thin air still hasn’t arrived, at least at the UW. My friend Joel Pierce told me that this was a Kodak moment, and I am inclined to agree. By the way, the teacher is professor Robert Marks from the electrical engineering department. He’s the one in the dark suit in the middle, with the Diet Coke at his feet. The UW definitely needs professors like these, because this image represents something that universities and colleges are starting to overlook. It’s comforting to know that our teachers realize that they are here to ensure that the students are educated.

Hermann Chong
senior, electrical engineering

We’re not all wankers

I am writing to express my disappointment with the cartoon that appears on page 12 of the April 24 issue of The Daily. The illustration accompanies a Police beat entry entitled: “I just called to say I’m horny;” it portrays an obviously disturbed man who is masturbating while in the act of making an obscene phone call.

My objection to the piece concerns the attire of the alleged pervert. He is depicted in the cartoon wearing an REO Speedwagon concert T-shirt. I am a longtime fan of “the Wagon,” and I believe that it is high time that someone stood up in defense of this much-maligned and greatly misunderstood band. Enough is enough. I am a fan of REO Speedwagon and lead a completely normal life. Moreover, most fans of the band are similarly normal people. It is time — once and for all — that we put to bed the few, isolated and unfortunate incidents from the past that have, unfortunately and unfairly, been used to tar all REO Speedwagon fans with the same broad brush.

Steven M. Tobias
graduate student, English

A&E | Newsroom Specials | Features | News | Opinion | Sports

Calendar | Classifieds | Comics | Soundboard

Advertising | Business Directory | Contact | Feedback | Jobs | Past Issues

Copyright©2002 The Daily University of Washington

The world is not enough

What’s your beef?

The heterosexist emergency

Staff editorial

Letters to the Editor