Letters for August 23, 2012

Touching on humanity

The Ryan Ayn Randers are crawling out of the woodwork lately, touting the manifold virtues of Capitali$m. But here’s a list of the things I see Capitali$m is consistently, systemically lacking: Truth, compassion, goodness, honesty, morality, a sense of fair play, generosity, sharing, caring, giving, loving, and … generally being nice. You know, good ol’ human virtues. But then in the “real” world, these things don’t have a good bottom line. And, the big bad gubbmint is their enemy because it “dampens” profits and restricts their nefariousness. Oh, profit. Oh, great profit, our God. When we trade our Prophets for profits, there’s something buggy-wrong. Jesus was a socialist, you know, and I don’t think he was in error.

Craig Bergland

Combat the profane

Support your community colleges, Nevada. You will do best to become the pioneers in what you have available, namely wind, geothermal and mineral energies. Attract business with your investments in this kind of infrastructure, and you will succeed. Let business have its influence, but also keep the liberal arts.

To say, “Why should I pay for other people’s educations?” is a sure way to shoot yourselves in the feet. That is shortsighted and self-defeating. If we do not fund this we lose our advantage. Don’t let the greedy have their short-sighted way. If they had any value in their investments, they would be wise enough to convert them. Why we are not the progenitors of green energies is beyond me. Given the scope of our resources, it seems a bit somnambulatory to me. We should so invest, and I think it is a wise course to do this in sustainable enterprises, because without those, Nevada has not much else.

What, gambling? Are we that stupid? That is moral, not resourceful!

Invest wisely. Do not forget your pioneering spirit, because every one of your entitlements depends on their continuations. Do not exclude the immigrants who come here to work hard and better themselves, because they better all of us, they represent our future and fear has no place backseat driving is what we want to become. If we look back on our history, we should welcome this influx, because every one of our entitlements depend on a thriving population not given to entropy. Otherwise, we have no claim to the plaque on the Statue of Liberty, or the joy our ancestors felt upon seeing her.

Education is liberation, and our founders hoped we would carry that forward. They depended on our discernment to carry the ideals of this democracy forward, no matter how the power elites (read: addicts) attempt to profane us. No nation in history has ever so valued this, or stood has stood in danger of such Liberty being stripped away via carelessness and apathy.

Scott Harvey
by email

On the children

Re “Word games” (Upfront, Aug. 16):

I don’t know much about the welfare/work program. However, I believe that if a young mother is getting welfare for five years, she should be able to stay home and parent her child—not be forced to send the child to day care or some babysitter so she can work at some lousy job that will not give her a foot up when she returns to work.

Children need their mothers. That said, it would be good if the media would stop showing baby mommas as something to aspire to. Maybe we could share the bill for welfare with the media.

Estelle Melendez

Say, what?

Re “Are You There God? It’s Me, Jake.” (Feature, June 28):

Which “God” are you referring to—a supreme being or his original revealed religion founder representatives who came to an era and a people? You have a University of Nevada, Reno president, then there are “teachers” like you, as an analogy. If students fail, is it the UNR president’s fault, yours or the students’?

Where did “energy” itself originate from that the universe and man uses? If a supreme being (God) as the cause of existence does not exist and all of nature has opposite poles to exist, not devil exists either and neither do you.

By your own words you have admitted mankind is not what he was expected to be, evolved. Your collection of quotables disproves mans’ understanding of God. It does not disprove “God”: Furthermore, atheists babble in denial of God, waiting for someone to prove him. Mans’ radio band is tuned to himself, not God. No wonder nothing is heard.

D. Kubiak

Tyrants are atheists

Re “Are You There God? It’s Me, Jake.” (Feature, June 28):

Jake Highton’s diatribe against God makes two invalid arguments: 1) God can’t exist because he doesn’t prevent tragedies like mass murder, and 2) people of all religions behave terribly.

First, I agree that it would be nice if God would prevent all the tragedies in the world, but God doesn’t have to account to us for what he does or doesn’t do. What Jake is saying is that God doesn’t meet his expectations, therefore He can’t exist. The conclusion does not in the least follow from the premise.

On the second point, yes, people of all religions have behaved badly, but as long as governments acknowledged the existence of God, there were limits to how far they could go. Atheism had to precede totalitarianism, but making it possible for governments’ to demand their subjects’ supreme allegiance, and providing theoretical justification for the murder of millions who wouldn’t “fit in.” Weren’t all the mass murderers of the last century atheists?

Christians recognize that human nature is corrupted by original sin. The bad behavior of Christians—and those of other faiths—is therefore explicable in terms of the Christian view of human nature, but how does Jake explain the behavior of such nice atheists as Hitler and Stalin? Finally, Jake totally evades the logical conclusion to be drawn from his position. If there’s not God, no afterlife, and we’re just leading meaningless lives in a meaningless existence, why should we go on living? Isn’t suicide the only sensible thing to do?

Bill Hamma

Marriage as a political act?

Re “Imitation Elvis and real cash” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, June 28):

After reading Bruce Van Dyke’s column reminding us that the Citizens United Supreme Court decision has put our so-called election system into the hands of the rich and powerful, My first reaction was depression. But depression is not the answer, I told myself. I must take action. So I started making a list:

(1.) Spread the truth about Mitt Romney because he has been on every side of every issue. (2.) Marry the first women under 30 who says, “I love you, Brad.” Or maybe the first one under 40. (3.) Encourage everyone to vote the straight Democratic ticket in November. (4.) Remind everyone that President Obama has kept us out of war with Iran. (5.) If I can’t find a wife, get a dog. (6.) Let everybody know about Romney’s job killing tactics at Bain.

After I mail this letter I will continue making this list and I will work as hard as I can to do what I should.

Brad MacKenzie