Letters for April 19, 2007

Fight the war
I remember the Vietnam War, from beginning to end, and I am disgusted to recognize the parallels between that one and the war we are now fighting in Iraq.

Back in the day, we had some great “anti-war” newspapers, such as the Berkeley Barb and the L.A. Free Press. I miss them very much.

I know that they are not coming back, and I know that the RN&R will not become an anti-war newspaper. But, couldn’t you, at least, give us an anti-war column every week? No, I’m not looking for a job—I couldn’t write enough. But I will send letters to that patriotic column.

An anti-war column is needed, and your paper is the logical one to publish it.

It would have notices of every anti-war march, gathering, protest, etc., in Reno, Carson City, Sacramento, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. It would invite letters from all readers who are opposed to the totally unprovoked carnage that G. W. Bush started in Iraq. It would remind all readers that Bush is using the same kind of lies to start a war with Iran that he used before he started his war with Iraq. I could go on and on, but you probably don’t care, so I’ll end here.

Brad MacKenzie

Criminal intent
Re “Repeal mandatory seat belts” (Editorial, March 22):

At long last, you’ve written an editorial I can agree with. I’m referring to the one concerning seat belt laws. Seems the Nevada Legislature wants to change the seatbelt law from a secondary to a primary enforcement function. The law should be repealed in its entirety.

Your stance on the law surprised me, but in a pleasant way. Any thinking person knows this is about additional revenue, and safety is mentioned only as cover for the real motive. If safety is the true consideration, why aren’t legislators more concerned about countless unsafe practices in our daily lives? Sadly, there are those who would defend such legislation by reasoning that this particular law won’t affect them, but one naturally wonders when the legislative creep will reach their doorstep. It will happen. It’s the nature of government. Even more sad and pathetic is when an officer stops you and then tries to intellectually defend his actions by explaining why you must do this or that for safety reasons in a condescending manner more suited to a conversation with a child, and how he is sorry that he’s obliged to write a citation for something that’s actually none of his business.

I rarely agree with anything you write but would defend without hesitation your right to say whatever you wish. Better not let the Legislature hear about that freedom. They may see you and your freedoms as sources of tax revenue and invent a list of reasons why you should be saved from yourself via a nifty new piece of legislation. Create enough laws, and everybody gets a chance to be a criminal.

Michael Pile

Think for yourself
Re “Against conformity” (Guest comment, April 5):

I want to applaud Isaac Rubin’s guest comment about the need for independent thinking.

Unfortunately, it’s going to be tough to buck the tide; I know all too well from personal experience that the zombies out there hate it when your ideas don’t support how “right” they are in their conformist thinking! I wish Isaac all the best, and I give him my wholehearted moral support. I also don’t expect him to even agree with me on many issues; one product of truly independent thinking is a genuine diversity of ideas and viewpoints, reflecting the differences in life experiences.

It’s regrettable that so many people allow themselves to be swayed by “popular” ideas, most often manufactured by some special-interest group or other, just so they can “fit in.” Standing up for yourself and what you believe is never easy, but the alternative is to kill a good part of who you really are and become just another zombie. It’s a shame that so many people commit that kind of intellectual and moral suicide, then let themselves be convinced that they really are “independent thinkers” in spite of buying into the whole pile of garbage. A true test of independent thinking: How well do you handle people with ideas and viewpoints that differ from your own?

I also want to comment on the “Generation Internet” title of the cover story. As long as you’re doing stereotypes, why not refer to my own generation as “Generation TV"? After all, I was born in 1954, five years after TV broadcasting started, and I can’t remember a time without TV! Why not let the kids work it out for themselves? I fail to see how they are going to do any worse than we did, especially considering the totally screwed-up world we’re handing over to them.

In fact, someone like Isaac is a humble reminder that at least some teens are going to think for themselves anyway. If TV failed to brainwash me, I certainly see no reason to believe that the Internet will succeed in brainwashing someone like Isaac.

David Sanders

Re “Travel with Misfits,” April 12:

We reported that the “entire film,” The Misfits, was shot on location in and around Reno. In fact, some of the filming took place at Paramount’s stage 2 in Los Angeles.