Letters for April 6, 2017

Buckle up

Re “Repeal mandatory seat belts” (editorial, March 30):

I am a taxpayer. As a taxpayer, I get to pay for the health care of people who elect not to wear seat belts and carry the state’s minimum $5,000 medical insurance policy. I also get to pay for their long-term care in the event the hospital is able to save their life, but they can no longer work. Fortunately/unfortunately they are not all killed when they are thrown from the vehicle when it rolls.

Since we as a society have decided we cannot/will not allow citizens to suffer from the consequences of their decisions—leave them dying by the side of the road unless they can pay for their health care and on-going care—I support the mandatory seat belt law. I want to pay as little taxes as possible. If the possibility of a fine has a driver put on their seat belt, I am all for it.

Debbra King


Re “Repeal mandatory seat belts” (editorial, March 30):

I’m a liberal and I believe government has a role in protecting our civil rights, saving the environment, and a wide swath of other functions. I also believe we need liberty and that we should be careful to lay out restrictions on government’s involvement in our lives, particularly in our personal space—our homes, bedrooms, cars. We can always find rationales for why something is good so government should be involved in spreading it. But that can eliminate the concept that there are limits to government’s power.

Seat belts serve a very good purpose. But to me, then making the leap to say that government should force the wearing of them by adults is a step beyond where government should go. This commentary did not say that seat belts are a bad idea. It said that government enforcement is a bad idea. I agree.

George Stanley



Re “Identity theft” (cover story, March 23):

Dennis Myers is not a science writer, as evidenced by the text of his article. Nonetheless, we get the gist of his argument, which still somehow seems arcane. I mean, Range magazine has been sniping around the perimeter of academic science and green sensibility for many years now.

It’s ironic and bears pointing out that Myers fails to mention that Carson was a scientist, possibly an entomologist or aquatic biologist. Suffice to say, she was an ecologist. His biggest omission is of the impetus for the eventual DDT ban—DDT residue was destroying the eggs of birds, most notably, our national symbol, the Bald Eagle. This in part popularized the term “food chain.” It is so typical of the insular, idiosyncratic style of RN&R to omit these very relevant facts.

Sieve Klutter

Sun Valley

Editor’s note: As noted in paragraph five of our piece, Ms. Carson was a marine biologist. She worked at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but tended to regard herself as a writer first and left the FWS in 1952 to write full time

Which party is that?

Why is one political party so determined to make every part of my life a salable commodity? I like the rule that kept internet companies I deal with from selling my information to third parties. The only conceivable reason for collecting my info would be national security, not to solicit me to buy a toaster.

Keep my info private! We have a president who won’t share his tax returns, which may be quite relevant to national security considerations, but who is just fine with selling the privacy of the rest of us to commercial third parties.

Paul Alan Lenart