Letters for August 13, 2009

No victim

Re “One step closer” (Editor’s Note, Aug. 6):

You want to write an article about how you were handled by Washoe County. You warn the public to be sure they get a good attorney to protect their rights. You complain that you lost your license and couldn’t drive your 12-year-old to school. You play the “victim” card well. The fact is, you chose to drink and drive! It was by the grace of God that you didn’t cause an accident. The real tragedy here is that your arrest was bungled so your case was dismissed. You got off with extreme leniency and didn’t have to suffer the full consequences of your actions. You want to be sure your rights are protected? What about the rights of every other driver and pedestrian to not be in your way while you drive drunk? When people choose to drive after drinking, innocent people die! You have no one to blame but yourself for your DUI and whatever lame consequences you suffered. You could have been killed or worse, killed someone else! How do you think your 12-year-old would feel about that? What if your 12-year-old was the truly innocent victim of your choice to drink and drive and ended up dead because of your stupid actions? It seems to me that instead of complaining about how you were treated, you should be thanking God that the worst didn’t happen this time, and you should humble yourself and learn from this!

Mary Bell

Good times

Re “Reno 411” (Feature story, Aug. 6):

As someone who was involved in a lot of the things recollected in this piece, it was a very fun read that also brings up a lot of nostalgia. I had the privilege of being invited by Todd and Scott to be a guest DJ at more than a few of their functions over the years (back when they were still using the name Tables of Content!). Not long after that, I, along with my friends—basically the original staff of Planet DJ—Eric (better known as DJ Saurus), Liam (known to us as The Flasher) and Derek (the amazingly talented Ecto One) started one of the first turntablist groups in Reno; we called ourselves Sign Language. Got to play a few gigs with those guys, had a weekly residency at Joey Nixon’s Bar (RIP) and just generally had all kinds of underage fun.

Ahhh—good times.

Thanks for this retrospective.

Austin (formerly DJ Life) Anderson

Cup of sustainability

Re “Coffee isn’t green” (Letters to the editor, July 30):

As manager and barista at The Hub, I feel the need to clarify our position as “green.” An article titled “The Green Bean,” in the July 30 issue of RN&R raised certain valid suspicions were raised in reader Emily Edmonds’ opinion.

The title of the article, and the labeling of The Hub’s coffee as “green,” was under no control of ours.

The Hub prides itself on an ongoing commitment to sustainability, not being green, and you can quote me on that. Sustainability. I understand that, coffee originating in places rather far from the United States, it is certainly not “green” in the environmentalist’s idea of the term. However, through Barefoot Coffee Roasters, we are supporting the sustainability of the global coffee community because, let’s face it, that is our business. At the same time, we are doing what we can to promote sustainability, as well as be “green” whenever possible, on a level more close to home, locally; but, I assure you, you will not find a coffee roaster any closer to Reno than Barefoot with more sustainable and meaningful practices in regard to the global coffee community.

We at The Hub may not have opted for a route to local sustainability in terms of which roaster we are supplied by, but, in my professional opinion, this is the most sustainable practice The Hub has at its disposal—purchasing from a Santa Clara-based company to ensure that quality cups of coffee, in terms of both the palate as well as social responsibility, continue to make it into the hands of coffee lovers everywhere (including Miss Edmonds).

We eagerly await the day that those in the Reno area that are interested in coffee roasting, along with those that already make it their business to roast coffee for the local community, take it upon themselves as coffee professionals to continuously educate themselves on the most current progressions of the coffee industry and propagate a sense of social responsibility and sustainability in the communities at the origins of their product. At that time, The Hub will be not only willing, but we will make it our responsibility to support such a roaster of the Reno area.

Specifically in response to Miss Edmonds reference of Tahoe Roasting Company as local, I’d like to point out that Tahoe Roasting Company is simply a label, and the coffee is not roasted locally as many such as Miss Edmonds may mistakenly believe.

Joey Trujillo

Love of money

Re “It’s the gold standard, stupid” (Reviled and Revered, July 30):

Bernard Baruch once said, “Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.” So let’s get our facts straight. John Barrette wrote, “These days our Federal Reserve note is backed by tapped-out taxpayers.” Yes, in theory, dollars are backed by Treasury reserves, but in practice those reserves are nowhere near sufficient to cover the $8 trillion circulating in the United States alone. Does that worry anyone? No, because this is not Zimbabwe. Dollars can be exchanged for $50 trillion worth of U.S. assets and $15 trillion of new wealth created every year. So let’s get real about what backs the buck. It’s the economy, stupid.

The simple fact is we could never go back to the gold standard. At $1,000 a troy ounce, all the gold ever dug out of the ground is worth less than $5 trillion, so using it as a standard for currency conversion would push the price to at least $10,000. But gold is used for more than decoration; it’s also an essential industrial commodity which must remain affordable.

The United States adopted the gold standard in 1900, but did that prevent the Panic of 1907? No. Did it prevent the Great Depression? No. In fact, it was the Republicans’ slavish dedication to the gold standard that brought on the failure of nearly 10,000 banks by 1932, including the ones owned by mining magnate George Wingfield. It could not have escaped Nevada’s Napoleon that Hoover’s deflationary policies led to his financial ruin, and I’m just as confident that Bernard Baruch, one of FDR’s closest advisors, understood why the US had to free itself from gold’s stranglehold starting in 1933.

Instead of a gold standard, we need monetary policies which strike a balance between stability and growth. Ben Bernanke is well aware of that. His predecessor, Alan Greenspan, was a disciple of Ayn Rand, the goddess of enlightened selfishness who never met a regulator she liked. We’ve just been through an Ayn Rand-inspired experiment in financial deregulation which isn’t ending well. We need to learn from that.

John Barrette asks, “If you believe the Fed is trashing our money, what do you suppose the national debt does to it?” Again, let’s look at the facts. Public debt was 40.8 percent of GDP in 2008. Compare that to 108.6 percent in 1946. If debt determined the value of currency, the dollar should have been at its nadir in 1946, when it was actually at its zenith. Today Japan’s debt is almost 200 percent of GDP, but the yen has never been stronger. The über-strong yen is making Japan’s exporters uncompetitive and its offshore manufacturers unprofitable, so don’t try telling our Japanese friends that debt trashes a currency’s value. They know better.

Rich Dunn
Carson City