Letters for April 14, 2011

Everybody get together

I am moved by the compassion we Americans are capable of when a major world event occurs. I am as guilty as the next guy, though, when it comes to what is happening right in front of our faces. We as human beings must realize our country is in grave trouble. The present political environment is very toxic. I know when we stop pointing fingers and blaming the government and take responsibility for our own greed and complacency, we can create a future for our children. We must look into our own hearts and minds; this is where the real problem is. We have become a selfish, greedy, as-long-as-I-have-mine, screw-you society. This country was built on community, diversity, education, and a sense of interconnectedness that has been lost. I hope we can step up soon and recreate the country I have loved for 59 years, We are connected. What happens to you can also happen to me.

Debra Evans

Murder by numbers

Re “Death (penalty) and taxes” (View from the Fray, April 7):

The argument against the death penalty based on the cost of a death sentence and execution uses a misleading premise put forth by opponents of the death penalty. In fact the difference in cost is at best minimal since the same expensive trials by jury to expert witnesses, appeals, and psychiatric evaluations would be required for a life sentence. It puzzles me that death penalty opponents don’t just make the one legitimate argument against the death penalty, the possibility of making a mistake.

Al Gallagher

Onward Christian soldiers

Re “Cocaine, crime and Christ” (Feature story, April 7):

I called Rev. E.J. Evans. What a guy! Truly born again! Start a church, ‘preacher man,’ I’ll go. But probably only once. Like many, I feel uncomfortable among Christians I don’t know personally.

The pastor at Living Stones church preached: “Christ crucified, nothing else matters.” Now that I’m an old man with one foot in the grave, this message kind of makes sense. J.C. is my only chance to get out of this mess alive? My bank account, toys, etc., don’t matter? Their pulpit rhetoric could be refined. The verse “your righteousness is like filthy rags” doesn’t refer to monthly napkins.

All these God people need to meet to discuss this issue: We sinners believe they’re hypocrites.

But the Bible says, judge not or you’re gonna get judged. We should maybe pray that they get down on their knees and repent as they instruct us to do?

Would Jesus drive a BMW? Grape juice at communion? You fakers! We want cabernet sauvignon.

Jesus was hung by religious zealots like you low-life Bible thumpers. Your wife wears make-up.

Here’s my problem. After attending more than 20 different denominations, I’m still searching for that “peace that passes all understanding.” Maybe I need to get in touch with my own salvation and stick on one church, cut the critique and let God be the judge.

Jay Rudi

I thank you

Re “Life with twins” (Family guide, April 7):

Absolutely great story from Sharon Black, the mum of twins. I love her sense of humor, her honesty. You can feel the overwhelming love for her two kids. So cheerful! Thank you for this wonderful article.

Tanja Wekwerth
Berlin, Germany

Danger! High voltage

Re “Yucca Mountain won’t lessen risks” (Guest comment, April 7):

Richard Bryan’s claim concerning the expansion of dry cask storage at nuclear plants is incorrect and misleading. The technology is widely used throughout the U.S. nuclear industry, first in 1987 in Virginia, and today at 44 of the 64 operating nuclear plant sites. It also is used for eight commercial nuclear power plants that have been shut down. Decisions on when to move used fuel from the storage pools to dry casks are driven solely by safety and operational considerations that are unique to each company and plant site. Over the past 24 years, the casks have proven to be environmentally sound and their use has had no effect on the health and safety of the public.

Tom Kauffman
Senior Media Relations Manager

Nuclear Energy Institute


Re “Yucca Mountain won’t lessen risks” (Guest comment, April 7):

What is disingenuous is your omission that the Yucca Mountain Repository (YMR) is the law of the land and that our current administration is in violation of the law.

Further, you claim that the repository is unsafe. That is only for the NRC to determine—not you, not Harry Reid, not Steven Chu, and not Obama. Don’t get me started on the incestuous relationship between Reid and his politically planted puppet, NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko.

An unredacted version of the NRC’s Safety Evaluation Report (SER) has been released to legislators in California. A question for you: Why would the SER be redacted in the first place if it supported the administration’s position against the YMR?

Having less spent fuel in the spent fuel pools is definitely safer and would reduce the proximity and heat load of the spent fuel. This alone would greatly reduce the probability of overheating spent fuel in the unlikely events of Japan and the loss of spent fuel pool cooling water. The operating plants were originally designed to hold only three or four full reactor cores worth of spent fuel assemblies until Jimmy Carter killed reprocessing and forced the nuclear industry to keep all of its spent fuel in the pools.

So, Jimmy Carter caused the chain of events that drove the need for Yucca Mountain, and now another Democratic president is blocking the fix for what Carter did to the industry. Way to go, government.

You mention the reluctance of utilities to use dry cask storage and attribute that to cost. If the government would provide an approved cask that could be used for storage and transportation (multi-purpose casks), the industry would be more inclined to use them. Currently, the industry will be forced into transferring the spent fuel assemblies again to place them into transportation casks, driving the costs up and the spent fuel transfer risks up.

DOE was to begin receipt of spent fuel in February 1998. The government is well overdue to get on with its responsibilities required by law.

Jim Raleigh
North Las Vegas

Money (that’s what I want)

Re “The conservative case for saving Planned Parenthood” (Right to Your Head, March 17):

Two reasons why Planned Parenthood doesn’t deserve tax dollars.

One: They don’t need it. According to its most currently published annual report, Planned Parenthood has nearly $1 billion of net assets.

Two: They don’t deserve it. A recent investigation unveiled seven different Planned Parenthood clinics in four different states willing to aid and abet the sex trafficking and exploitation of girls as young as 14. The evidence is available in its complete form at www.liveaction.org.

So, at a time when our country is struggling economically, I don’t see why a wealthy organization should be given tax dollars (to the tune of $360 million).

Moreover, the sex-trafficking of children is not just illegal but clearly unethical, and I don’t see why a group that is clearly apathetic to the safety and well-being of young girls should receive government support.

Therese Obagi
Sacramento, Calif.