Letters for April 21, 2005

Bush’s agenda
Re “A society of sheep” (RN&R, Right Hook, April 7):

I’m not sure which is worse, the bizarre standpoint of the Bush administration in the Terri Schiavo case, or Mike Lafferty’s ignorant defense of it. The president helped pass a law that removes the power granted to the state of Florida, specifically its court system. The only saving grace to this was the clause that made it only applicable to the Terri Schiavo case. Lafferty referred to this as the “tragic part” of the law. Let’s be clear on this. Conservatives are supposed to have an ideological policy that goes like this: Big Government is Bad, States’ Rights are Good.

Pretty simple, and actually a good philosophy. And yet the Bush administration decided to reverse that, because it didn’t fit well with what they preferred at the time. Some conservatives are daring to speak out that the law passed was a slap in the face to their own values. But not Lafferty. He’s just right as rain with the idea that checks and balances are only good if they accomplish a personal agenda. Lafferty began his editorial with a quote from Thomas Jefferson. I find that pretty ironic, since Jefferson was perhaps the most adamant supporter of the checks-and-balances system of government. He would be rolling in his grave to know that his own words were being used to argue against everything he worked for.

Daniel Sharpe
via e-mail

Killed by conservative judges
The starvation of Terri Schiavo by the judicial system was a cause of great grief to me. The agony of helplessly watching, along with her family, as a disabled woman incapable of speaking for herself was slowly and probably painfully executed by the legal system is a grief that will always be seared in my mind.

It’s now been shown that the polls that were widely reported in the mainstream media leading up to Terri Schiavo’s death were biased polls with leading questions. Why aren’t we hearing about that?

The latest unbiased polling from Zogby shows the nation clearly supporting Terri and her parents and wanting to protect the lives of other disabled patients. By a whopping 79 percent, Americans responding to the poll said that disabled patients like Terri Schiavo should not have food and water taken away.

It’s the media’s job to report the news in an unbiased way. Please, do your job, and report the facts—most Americans supported saving Terri Schiavo’s life, and they supported Congress taking action to help save her.

Judith Shears

Support soldiers, not the war
Re “Gibbons: Anti-war equals anti-soldier” (RN&R, News, April 14):

Many of us who grew up during the Vietnam War with friends and relatives who were Vietnam vets learned a powerful lesson. We can and should honor our servicemen who sacrifice their lives and their futures in the service of our country. However, this does not preclude our freedom to disagree with the war itself. The whole notion of freedom is dead without the opportunity, indeed the duty, to oppose the government when we disagree.

It is unfortunate that Congressman Gibbons would place those who question the wisdom of the war in Iraq in the same category with Jane Fonda. Our concerns about the war does not mean that we question the sincere sacrifice of our brave men and women in the service.

Although the voices against the war were few when it began, that chorus of voices is growing louder as the real issues surrounding the war have surfaced. Those who continue to express their concerns about the war have many different motivations and come from all ends of the political spectrum. I, for one, am particularly concerned about the cost in American lives in a region that has never known liberty, and where our government’s interests may be economic rather than for American security.

The fact that our nation’s borders go unprotected in the “war on terror” causes me to doubt the sincerity of the government’s “war on terror” on the other side of the world in Iraq.

Name calling when we disagree is never beneficial. It clouds the real issues and stops intelligent debate. If we are concerned about the sacrifice of our young men and women, we should continue to question the real motives of this undeclared war in Iraq.

Janine Hansen


Hanging tough
Re “A new player” (RN&R, News, March 31):

Calling the Pack Patriot a newspaper is a real stretch. Even if they are going to be one-sided, if they are going to publish what they proclaim to be a fact, or quote, they have a duty to at least try to verify the accuracy of it. (Just ask Dan Rather.) I certainly hope none of the people involved with this publication are journalism students. It wouldn’t reflect very well on UNR if they were.

Thanks to Dennis Myers for giving Mr. Higgins enough rope to hang himself.

Carson City