GOTTA BE THE SHOESTO THE MERCURY VIA VOICEMAIL—I'm calling to respond to the "Vegan: Offended" letter [Letters, April 12]. The Mercury isn't hostile toward your world perspective, the Mercury is open toward all world perspectives, and that doesn't mean it has to suck up and be just another vegan alternative newsletter. Maybe you just can't handle the very well-researched "rant" about the fur industry ["Love and Death in the Fur Industry," Sold Out, March 8]. It actually brought up a lot of good points. Being addicted to foreign sources of oil as opposed to using animal skin is absolutely retarded.
UP WITH CONDOS
HI [WM.] STEVEN [HUMPHREY]—I found the recent Mercury article about our "great" city council extending the building moratorium on Hayden Island for an additional three months a perfect example of the hypocrisy of these folks ["Stalling the Mall," News, April 5]. Gee—they certainly didn't have any problems with building a few years ago when dozens of new condos got built on the island, did they? But now that a big-box store or two might be built there, they have suddenly become "concerned."
NOW WITH LESS OFFENSIVE!
DEAR MERCURY—I couldn't find anything to get pretentious and/or witty about in your latest issue [April 12]. Who threw in the towel? Come on, fucking offend my sensibilities already. Slaughter something more conventional, like a family dog, and then write about it. Now that would be truly punk. Do some shots or something. Get mean.
Coach Stan DovermeandpooponmychestWM. STEVEN HUMPHREY RESPONDS: I totally agree, Coach Stan. In fact, send us some personal information and your photo (along with some pix of your family), and I will personally devote a half page of the Mercury to offending your sensibilities. As it turns out? I've got quite an imagination, and when I'm finished, I can guarantee that you will not only be offended, you will wish you had never been born. No joke, send in your info.
DEAR MERCURY—Thank you for your story last week ["No Sweat?" News, April 12], regarding efforts by Portland's city council to pass an ordinance banning the use of tax dollars to buy goods made in sweatshops. One correction is warranted. The author correctly identifies one stumbling block being that the ordinance proponents want the city to commit and dedicate approximately $20,000 annually to a workers' consortium to monitor the program and to identify sweatshops. The author says that we are not wedded to the consortium. NOT TRUE! Without the consortium, identifying sweatshops will be next to impossible. Without the consortium, we end up with a window dressing, feel-good ordinance. Without the funding for the consortium, we will not support the ordinance.
David E. Delk, SweatFree Portland Coalition
FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT
DEAR MERCURY—People like Big Al just don't get it [Letters, April 12, in which Big Al writes in support of the "sit-lie" ordinance]. Every time there is a problem, social or otherwise, people habitually react by passing laws. But laws always reach beyond their intended scope, especially when they are unconstitutional or violate basic human rights. Sit-lie ordinances and drug zones sound good to those of us who work, live, and depend upon the livability of these areas, but unfortunately, the solution is never that simple, unless you're comfortable without civil protections, because these laws allow anyone with a badge to be more than judge and jury. Police officers can currently arrest someone or throw them out of half the city districts even without probable cause. All they need is a whim, or a prejudiced assumption, and you're targeted. When it is against the law to sit in a public place, it isn't panhandling that goes away, it's our rights as supposedly free human beings. No sympathy for panhandling punks? Fine. But you're taking away my rights as well. And if you think the laws you pass against others cannot turn on you, you're a fool. Read your history.
CONGRATULATIONS TO J for writing this week's Mercury letter of the week! For standing up for the rights of citizens—be they panhandling punks or otherwise—J wins two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch for two at No Fish! Go Fish!—two places where you are actually encouraged to sit.