It was with great interest I read the headline of Phil Stanford's column, 'Meet the man who massaged George W' (Sept. 6). However, as a licensed massage therapist, I am outraged that the code of ethics of our profession has been breached in such an egregious manner.

As health care professionals, we are bound by the same confidentiality agreement as any doctor, lawyer, psychologist or spiritual adviser. It is nobody's business what went on in that session but the two people who were in the room. For massage therapist Jefferson Kincaid to be willing to further his own political agenda at the expense of his therapist-client relationship is unconscionable.

As a profession, massage therapy has made much progress in being recognized as providing a unique and valuable contribution to our health care system. But we still fight stereotypes. A lot of people still don't know about the great work we do. I have to believe that this won't do much to further our cause.

I think columnist Phil Stanford and Kincaid both owe the president an apology.

Diana Hengerer

Lake Oswego

We need to talkabout war against Iraq

I have been checking the BBC Web site every day this week, and on each day the major headline (plus most of the secondary stories) has centered on the British and European debate over the impending war with Iraq. Yet our own papers have not fostered a similar debate here in the United States.

In fact, I hear almost no discussion of the possibility of war among co-workers or fellow transit riders Ñ our city seems to be silent about an issue that could affect millions of people in the very near future.

Other nations are weighing the potential dangers of war, with its accompanying disruption in the balance of power in the Middle East, with the dangers of appeasement and inaction. These debates are heated and public. Yet here at home, we allow our president and his advisers to make our opinions for us.

Jonni Good


Big-spender fansdon't have to be jerks

In defending the obnoxious Mariner baseball fan, Dwight Jaynes suggests that since the fan's tickets are so expensive, it gives that fan special rights to behave as he likes (M's fan defends his right to be loud, Aug. 30). Those unfortunate folks who are sitting around him have most likely paid just as much for their seats as he has for his. A loudmouthed drunk or crazed heckler is capable of ruining an outing for his neighbors whether they have paid $5 or $500 for a ticket.

Look into the obsessed eyes of this outspoken sort and you will see a psychopath who has chosen a very inappropriate way to vent frustrations and attract attention. The Mariners should give him the boot, or as an option offer him a padded, soundproof box. Mr. Jaynes could join him there to discuss First Amendment rights.

Gerald L. Carlson

Vancouver, Wash.

Telling full Oregon Citystory takes guts

As a parent and veteran police officer, I have watched the Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis tragedies unfold. I wondered if the media were going to tackle the tough question of how these two unfortunate victims were allowed to fall into the grasp of their alleged killer.

Kudos to the Portland Tribune for having the intestinal fortitude to publish Janine Robben's articles, which delicately addressed issues that other news organizations would not touch.

Keep up the good work reporting on the real news!

Rafael Cancio


In-your-face bicyclistsdon't further the cause

It would be tempting to shrug off the self-righteous attitudes and the prankish antics of the typical Critical Mass participants as merely the petulant selfishness of spoiled flower children (Police, cyclists circle the wagons, Sept. 6). But something more serious is involved, and the general public is fed up with such mass activities and is quite willing to see the police use any response necessary to safeguard the general welfare.

Puffed with their sense of virtue for being bicycle riders, they have no regard for the rights of pedestrians, transit riders and motor vehicle commuters. If their goal really were to encourage and celebrate bike riding, there would be no reason to do it as they do, so one can only conclude that they wish to show off and thumb their noses at society.

We used to call such people bullies.

James Shand

Southwest Portland

Our eating problems are bigger than us

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed Bill McDonald's 'Food provides the pounds but little sustenance' (Insight, Sept. 6). The headline said a mouthful.

Let's hang on to phrases such as 'there are stories about how fat Americans are getting.' But let's drop the ones such as 'a couple of hundred years ago, most people never had to worry about being overweight.' Most people still don't have to worry about being overweight. A large percentage are panicking about their protruding ribs. The United States of America sucks up most of what the world provides. A few other countries raise a lucky glass, then not much more than stubble is left for everyone else.

The literal and figurative answer to America's problem of suffocating under its own blubber is: Don't gobble everything in sight. Share it. It tastes better that way.

Diane Hodgman


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