Letters for August 24, 2006

Disturbed by difference
Re “Is gay passé?” (Feature story, Aug. 17):

Is gay passé? I hope so.

I find it very vulgar when people wear their race, religion, politics, money, gender or sexuality on their sleeve.

John Fisher

Hook for Prime Minister
Re “If I were running Israel,” (Right Hook, Aug. 10):

Mike Lafferty should pack his bags and move to Israel. Disgruntled Israeli citizens want a new Prime Minister after Olmert’s colossal failure. If ignorance and arrogance are the primary characteristics to rule Israel, then he should be a prime candidate.

History did not begin four weeks ago. Hezbollah is a legitimate resistance group created during 18 years of Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. Israel was not able to dismantle Hezbollah with their arsenal of American-made weapons. Why would the international community believe that the fragile Lebanese government could dismantle Hezbollah?

Hezbollah did not capture Israeli soldiers in an “unprovoked” political maneuver. Israel is holding more than 9,000 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians who were kidnapped during that 18-year occupation.

These civilians have only been released in exchange for Israeli soldiers. When Israel holds civilians without due process and kidnaps civilians, as they did a Palestinian doctor and his brother on July 10, they are provoking soldier capture.

Israel has disregarded more than 60 UN resolutions, more than any other nation. Killing Lebanese civilians and destroying Lebanon’s infrastructure over a UN resolution dispute is another act of state terrorism by a country that has no respect for the UN.

Israel would promote peace if not for the wasteful American welfare of $108 billion sent to arm her. Warmongers like Lafferty have created a $9 trillion deficit by engaging in Middle Eastern occupations that are unconstitutional and unlawful.

The Afghanistan and Iraq occupations require the federal government to borrow $2.5 billion dollars a week from China. In turn, the American taxpayers are funding the entire defense budget for China.

The U.S. constitution clearly calls for neutrality in disputes between other nations and a course of nonintervention for American forces in every circumstance other than legitimate threats to national security.

The American people are poorer economically, ethically and politically for all this warring and occupation, but certainly not safer.

Molly Hofmann

Quick question
Stopped at some stoplight, I listen to my anachronistic VW Bus’ 4-cylinder engine purr like only an air-cooled engine can, all 1,500 cc’s.

Up pulls Mr. Gotta Hear My Bass to share the wait for the light to change. I truly don’t care about what a great sound system the dude bought.

I’m good at seething; one of the best, so there he sits.

The light turns green. I put “Grief,” said bus, into gear, and go. Bass Man punches the gas and peels rubber, apparently some fixation on the next stop light.

Next light, there Bass Man is, right next to Grief, his tricked-out tribute to how cool he is, via his stereo, to all the girls who go for guys who wear caps backwards.

Maybe that’s why for all his buying into the symbols of pop culture, he’s alone in his Can’t-Miss Girl Magnet.

Next light. Yep, same freakin’ guy. There’s no one else around. It’s 5 a.m.

He peels out again, tires screaming, racing to the next stoplight, and misses the next curve. Big crash. Utility pole.

I saw he was physically OK, yet his bass was still boomfboomfthumpathumpin at 5,000 decibels. Notwithstanding Nevada Revised Statutes, I should have stopped. Right?

Craig Ayres-Sevier

Military blockade
Re “Military incursion,” (Feature story, Aug. 10):

There is a major error that needs to be corrected in the article regarding the little-known No Child Left Behind Act provision requiring that students “opt out” at their public high schools unless they want their contact information to go to military recruiters.

Administrators at the Washoe County School District are right to include a “military only” option on the opt-out form, but they are wrong that a parent of a student needs to sign the form to withhold the information. The WCSD continues to confuse the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act legislation (which mandates a parent’s signature for underage students to opt out of general releases of information) with No Child Act (which allows students under 18 to personally opt out release of information to military recruiters). In fact, it says in the No Child Act that students under 18 can “opt out” of having their information released to the military. We’ve had the lawyers from the ACLU look at it carefully, and we want the school district to acknowledge that it is so.

It is beyond me that we can follow every letter of the NCLB law in every public school, designating schools that need improvement, subjecting our children to batteries of super-standardized testing, disaggregating their test scores by their races—but when it comes to the military, we have to add a layer of parental permission to students’ rights. Why can’t we just keep following the law to the letter, and give students the one right the NCLB Act does allow them?

Laura Fillmore