Illustration by Kalah Allen

CIVIL RIGHTS: CHEAP AND EASY?

RE: "Waiting for Marriage" [News, Nov 1], in which Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) discusses its decision against putting marriage rights up for a vote in Oregon in 2012.

Yes, so glad we waited to ask for our rights. Because trying to win it in the 2012 election would have been expensive and not a sure thing. BRO is right. Winning your civil rights is supposed to be cheap and easy, just like it always has been. Successful civil rights movements have always sat on their hands and waited around for things to get easier. I say we wait as long as it takes! What a tragedy it would have been to try too soon! Because of course all worthwhile election victories are cheap and easily won.

-posted by Michael Burdick

WRITING IN ABOUT WRITING IN

RE: "Let's Send Charlie a Message" [Hall Monitor, Nov 1], in which Denis C. Theriault suggests writing in a candidate for mayor to send ex-commissioner Charlie Hales a message.

Denis, I get what you are getting at—but none of these folks (other than the sadly unprepared Eileen Brady and, of course, Sam Adams) have subjected themselves to the sort of personal scrutiny that Jefferson has suffered in the last few months. Sure, he handled it poorly. But to suggest that a complete unknown (Chris O'Connor) would handle it better is ludicrous. If you write someone in, write in someone in who can stand the heat and knows the legwork involved—there are options.

-posted by Rangerhunter

WRITE SHORTER THINGS!

RE: "The Wait Is Over" [Last Supper, Nov 1], in which Chris Onstad reviews Szechuan Chef, comparing it to less-accomplished Chinese restaurants in town.

Way too much flourish on this review. Two paragraphs before we roll into the restaurant. You guys need to fill a page? The restaurant is good. The menu is adventurous for the local kale/beet crowd. I'd like to say that a good review isn't built on the mention of other restaurants in a negative way. A restaurant should stand on its own. A positively shit review, Merc. Good job.

-posted by BokChoy

SPINACH: THE NEW POISON

RE: One Day at a Time (Nov 1), in which David A. Siegel, chief executive for Westgate Resorts, tried to scare his employees into voting for Mitt Romney, and then attempted to justify it by saying, "It would be no different from telling your children: 'Eat your spinach. It's good for you.'"

Threatening your employees with joblessness if they don't vote for Romney is not at all like saying "Eat your spinach, it's good for you." It IS like saying, "Eat your poison or I'll starve you to death."

-Posted by AlaskanNow

CAR MOOCHER ETIQUETTE

RE: "Sorry Miss Daisy" [I, Anonymous, Nov 1], in which a ranter rants about cyclists who expect their car-owning friends to give them free rides.

I've been carless by choice for nearly 10 years. It's not a stupid decision, though it will seem that way to many who drive every day and can't imagine any other way to live. There are lots of us who bike year-round, use TriMet, car-sharing programs, taxis, and offer gas money or otherwise return the favor when we do get a ride. So, it's certainly not "synonymous with 'be my taxi.'" But I guess lazy generalizations are part and parcel of I, Anonymous.

Anyway, this is a real matter of etiquette. Some of my friends wouldn't want to be carless themselves, so they feel sorry for me biking or taking TriMet even though I really don't mind it. So when they strenuously offer to pick me up, I usually say, "It's fine, I'll just meet you there." When the weather's really bad or a TriMet trip would be upward of 90 minutes, then it makes sense to carpool. I'm perfectly willing to chip in for gas, but literally every time I've held out $10 and said, "please let me help pay for some gas," they wave it away and insist it's unnecessary. So eventually one stops trying to insist.

What I've found makes the relationship work is this: My friends do something nice for me, and I do something nice for them. Instead of trying to pay for gas for a short trip, I find it's better to just pick up a tab for them at a bar, café, or food cart. Every so often, just say, "Let me get this," and it more or less evens out.

-posted by Not Everyone Needs to Own a Car, America

See? Not all cyclists are dirty, filthy animals who continuously suck off the teat of their car-owning friends! For your well-reasoned lesson on etiquette, Not Everyone Needs wins two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater... and hey. Can someone give them a ride?