Letters for April 3, 2003

The oil wars
After attending the Saturday peace vigil on Virginia Street, I was struck by how closely the event resembled the Iraq invasion: blatant violence inflicted upon a smaller group of peaceful peasants.

The peace-mongers had gathered quietly, spoke, sang a song and offered flowers for a memorial ceremony to lay upon either the coffin of U.S. ideals or the coffin of U.S. deaths. Then, with much pomp and anger, the war-mongers marched in on the group.

The mob advanced, waving U.S. flags, shouting curses and insults. They made rude, crude and obscene gestures. Such anger! Such brutishness! Such uncouth behavior! They appeared eager to attack the smaller, peaceful gathering.

The vigil-turned-rally [became] a street “cruising event.” Vehicles drove ’round and ’round the block to pass by the crowd, bla-a-a-r-rring horns and rev-v-v-vving engines. The noise and exhaust of their weapons of environmental mass destruction drove me from the field, fingers stuck in my ears. I felt sad to see a peaceful, philosophic vigil transformed into a gas-guzzling, oil-spewing blatant waste of the precious resource— oil—for which both sides will shed blood.

This war is the kick-off to what I fear will be the dominant theme of the century: The Oil Wars.

Pat Patera
Washoe Valley

War is not the answer
I strongly oppose war and all the sadness and pain that it inflicts on the planet.

The war mentality still exists in the modern age. We are high-tech cavemen, our rocks and clubs have been replaced with laser-guided missiles and a weapon to fit just about any possible combat situation.

My heart goes out to all those college-aged kids who for one reason or another chose to get their education through the military and probably assumed they would never have to really face the horror of the battlefield. Sure, they knew going to war was a possibility but worth the risk since the military offers a free education—not cheap in the new, modern caveman world.

I know the Iraqi government is inhumane and tyrannical, but do we have to send our sons and daughters to their possible deaths in far-away lands to supposedly protect our country from a future possible threat?

I say let’s just get this war over with so the healing can begin and humanity can learn from its mistakes and start to move forward again. Maybe, just maybe, the children of today’s soldiers will inhabit a future world free of the obsolete way of settling conflicts that was known as war in the post-modern caveman days.

Eric Baron

Do as we say
Let me preface this by saying that I have been a registered Republican for almost 40 years and will continue to remain one.

Just out of curiosity, though, I wonder where we get off dictating to another sovereign nation that their leader must flee the country or step down.

By the same token, who are we to invade another sovereign nation, overthrow their government and install our preferred style of government?

Whether you call it a “preemptive strike,” or the Democratic Party’s favorite argument of “for their own good,” I’d like to know what gives us the right to tell another nation what to do.

This is not a religious argument on my part. Rather, I wonder what the difference is between what we are doing to Iraq now and what Iraq did to Kuwait in 1990.

Rev. Robert G. Hofmann
via e-mail

Let the music play
Re “Raise my taxes, please,” [ RN&R, View from the fray, March 13]:

Thank you for Deidre Pike’s wonderful column on music education. We should heed Pike’s concerns over funding for music programs in our public schools. In recent weeks, Nevada’s education budget has been scrutinized and reduced. On the chopping block could be 25 music teachers in the Washoe County School District.

In President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, arts is included as a core academic subject, alongside English, mathematics and science. We must stop treating music as an expendable program.

We need to send a clear message to those making these difficult budget choices. The basic message is that music programs help our kids and communities in real and substantial ways. Music programs enable students developmentally; [they] teach humanity and encourage self-discipline. Other benefits include psychological, spiritual and physical gains.

Call Gov. Kenny Guinn and WCSD Superintendent Jim Hager. Let them know that we will not accept a lessening of the core subjects for our children.

Becky Sanders
Education Coordinator, Reno Philharmonic Association