Letters for April 5, 2007

Sex happens
Re “The meaning of abortion cards” (Right Hook, March 22):

Mike Lafferty’s lack of understanding a woman’s feelings, after having made what may have been the hardest choice in her life, is understandable. He is not a woman. And to lend the opinion of a representative of the church, who happens to be a woman, is likened to lending the opinion of certain Fox News correspondents who happen to have journalists’ credentials. The are both speaking for the oppressive “conservative” agenda. But I digress.

The religious right wing has condemned sex education and birth control, both means of curbing the rate of unwanted pregnancies, instead touting abstinence as the answer. When are they gonna wake up and accept that consensual sex is a perfectly natural, and might I add, unstoppable life occurrence.

Mr. Lafferty believes that abortion is a tragedy. I believe the real tragedy lies with a group of people who shun the idea of abortion but have no problem condoning a war in which innocent lives, already born into the world, are taken daily.

Kristin Marie Smith-Ashton

Buckle up or pay up
Re “Repeal mandatory seat belts” (Editorial, March 22):

Your editorial on repealing mandatory seat belt laws was right on target. I was stopped in Reno for a bogus moving violation. The officer used it as a pretext for halting my car. He agreed I did nothing wrong and wrote a ticket only for not wearing a seat belt (a $65 fine). “Don’t worry,” he said. “No points will be penalized on your driving record.” Was I supposed to be grateful?

The whole tawdry business is a scam to raise revenue. Lives are not saved because seat belts can cause more severe injuries than being in an accident without one, but of course, we are assured that mandatory laws are for our own good. As someone once said, no man, woman or child is safe while the legislature is in session. My prediction is seat belts will soon be a primary offense and all those cameras at intersections will be used to issue tickets to feed the insatiable appetite of the state.

Another of my pet peeves is confiscating property from alleged drug dealers. The police should never be allowed to make an arrest they profit from because the temptation is just too great to plant evidence and frame suspects. But that’s another story.

Larry Parr

Don’t ignore rural counties
In 2004, George W. Bush won Nevada’s five electoral votes with 21,500 popular votes. 28.6 percent of these votes came from Nevada’s rural counties, though they have barely 1 percent of the state’s population. I am worried that such numbers may scare Democratic candidates away from rural Nevada and its pressing concerns.

Early next year, the Nevada Democratic Party will hold a presidential caucus in Nevada. This caucus will play a huge role in deciding who will be the Democratic nominee and possible President of the United States.

I hope that the Democratic parties of Nevada’s rural counties will take the opportunity to turn national political attention to the needs, concerns and hopes of all rural Nevadans of any political affiliation. Certainly, Northern Nevada will be fighting hard to draw the candidates’ activity away from Clark County. Rural Nevada must fight that much harder.

As an independent voter, I am interested in seeing, hearing and reading a broad debate among the candidates. I want to hear their opinions on issues, which they may not necessarily wish to express, such as on gun rights, rural water needs and public land management. I would argue to the candidates that although Clark County is the heartland of Nevada’s Democratic Party, Nevada’s electoral votes will be won in the rural counties.

I would also remind the candidates that, although these counties seem solidly Republican, six of the 14 voted for Sen. Harry Reid. This means they are also responsible for the Democrats’ current control of the United States Senate.

The Republicans’ decision to hold a caucus is a welcome development that will attract national attention to rural Nevada.

This letter is being sent to the leaders of the Democratic parties in Nevada’s rural counties, the Nevada Democratic Party leadership, Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic candidates for the presidential nomination, and several newspapers.

Christopher Trent

Give students a break
I am writing in regards to the Millennium Scholarship. I, like many Nevada students, received this scholarship and realize this great opportunity that I had been given. My quarrel with this [is] many students are losing this money in only their first semester of college due to the strict grade restrictions. Many incoming freshmen know the importance of college but don’t understand the time and effort involved in achieving a passing grade. I believe these rules need to be changed to give the student the greatest possible chance to succeed. Whether this be a two-strikes-you’re-out policy—if you fail two classes in your four years you lose the Millennium Scholarship—or make it solely based on the cumulative GPA for the semester. This way we stop punishing the hard-working student, who may have gotten in over his/her head in a class and lost his/her Millennium Scholarship.

Cameron Whitworth
via email