Letters for April 7, 2005

Hold off on Social Security
Re “Hold off on Social Security” (RN&R, Letters, March 24):

While I agree with the message of Mr. Lolley’s letter to the editor, I would like to point out a slight discrepancy in his opening paragraph. He states, “Many people feel that if Social Security was privatized, there would be less waste of money on those who didn’t contribute to the fund in the first place.”

I am a disabled person who receives Social Security. I was fortunate enough to have held a good job throughout my life, so I was able to pay well into the Social Security “fund.” However, there are those who still act as if I’m “taking” their hard-earned money, even though I paid my entire life.

On the other hand, my 23-year-old son hasn’t been fortunate enough to have had a career. He is in End Stage Renal Failure through no fault of his own. He receives Social Security and has not paid into the “fund.” Is he undeserving of Social Security?

There are many people in this country who are in great need, which this program has helped to live productive lives. In many cases, these people are rehabilitated and can rejoin employed society in funding their share of Social Security. My son is exploring an education while waiting on a kidney transplant. Without Social Security, he would not have had a chance.

Karen Orchard

Unkind to bicyclists
Re “Stuck in the slow lane” (RN&R, News, March 17):

When I first came to Reno, I believed that it would be a great place to ride a bike. During the past 10 years, I have passed up countless opportunities to obtain a bike for little or even no money because I’ve come to believe that bicycle riding here is simply too dangerous.

Virtually everyone I know who rides a bike on a regular basis has been hit at least once, and these are responsible adults. In addition, many of these people have reported to me that they are frequently hassled by drivers.

I applaud the efforts of Critical Mass to bring an efficient, healthy and sane method of transportation to Reno. I criticize the Reno Police Department and the public for not even trying to improve the situation.

Perhaps, considering the reduction of bus service to Carson City, any attempts to have anything other than individually driven motor vehicles on Reno streets are futile. This is sad. The continual growth in traffic can only result in a reduction in tourism and in the general quality of life here.

John D. Daniels

Smoke pot and live
Re “Pot prohibition madness” (RN&R, View from the fray, March 17):

Thank you for your column. Actually the attitudes haven’t changed much since the late ‘30s. I have another tidbit of information that might interest you:

Annual deaths from tobacco: about 435,000.

Annual deaths from obesity: about 365,000.

Annual deaths from alcohol: about 85,000.

Annual deaths from illegal drugs: 17,000.

Annual deaths from marijuana: zero.

Now, I have a friend who is living (dying) with cancer, and it sickens me that the federal government is sending medical marijuana to seven patients every month (penalty free, I might add), but my friend has to break the law and run the risk of some sort of prosecution just so she can have her medicine. The hypocrisy is overwhelming.

Hopefully, it’s people in your profession who actually know the truth and aren’t afraid to talk about it that will turn this thing around.

John Kindle
Granite City, Ill.

Decrease government
Re “Fix the property-tax problem” (RN&R, Editorial, March 3):

I have been amused by all the howling from the peasants, of which I include myself, regarding the property tax increases, so I feel a little education may be in order.

Tax increases are not going away! All you have to do is go to the Web sites of the city, county and state. Forget about the federal government Web sites, there are thousands of them.

Just look at all the departments, commissions, councils, etc., etc. They will never end because then the Ruling Class will be out of business, God forbid!

Citizens need to wake up and start asking some serious questions about the size and power of “free government.” While I believe that the government should be responsible for public safety and the courts, I also believe that they should keep their noses out of everything else!

It’s time to say it again: Government is a luxury I can no longer afford.

Bruce Feher
Las Vegas