Letters for August 26, 2004

Swift liars
George Bush needs to follow John McCain’s lead and condemn the, “swift boat veterans for Bush” ads. George Bush can’t tell the American public that he respects John Kerry’s service in Vietnam while standing by and silently witnessing these dishonest attacks on John Kerry’s service.

Ron Anderson

Wal-Mart exploits people
Re “In praise of Wal-Mart,” (RN&R, Right Hook, Aug. 19):

I found it quite interesting to read a column in the RN&R in praise of that merchant of human misery, Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart, which is slowly transforming all our cities into a giant parking lot. Wal-Mart, which is being sued class-action style for rampant sex discrimination. And hey, Mike, if you haven’t met anyone who doesn’t own all those neat consumables that philanthropic business shoves down our throats without providing any viable alternatives, maybe it’s because you aren’t acquainted with Wal-Mart’s diverse constituency.

The outsourced contracts are notorious for labor violations and deplorable working conditions, but you don’t have to leave the country to see that because a recent report came out describing rampant labor violations across the industrial board right here in the United States.

Conservatives say it’s because antiquated laws are difficult to interpret. This certainly is credible, but that doesn’t mean businesses had no choice but to exploit their workers, which is exactly what is happening. And who do you think one of the biggest violators cited in the report was?

But what really disgusts me is that you call people with the will and awareness to stand up against Wal-Mart “miscreants” or a “militia.” That store is running amok on the planet with no accountability, but you don’t mind because you have enough venture capital—unlike their employees—to profit off their peddling.

Jeff Harkness
via e-mail

Free to criticize
Re “Do something besides complaining,” (RN&R, Letters, Aug. 19):

Nick Ramirez’s letter highlights a large part of the problem of the Reno music scene. Satisfied with mediocrity, Ramirez writes things like, “If you can do better, let’s see,” followed by the equally ridiculous, “Please try to get laid before you hurt someone.” The first comment suggests that anyone who can’t do better shouldn’t criticize (which would mean if you don’t make movies you can’t criticize any film), while the last equates understanding with sexual conquest—a line of thinking so aggressively normal that it sounds as if it could have come from the movie Spinal Tap.

But how could Ramirez (and most bands in Reno for that matter) ever understand the pure rush of originality of bands like Comus, The York Waits, and Holger Hiller? Rarely daring to step outside their Hot Topic rebelliousness, these bands are undoubtedly beyond the pale of their CD rotation.

We need bands who create synthetic and magical places. Places strangely vague, but replete with dizzying possibilities. What we have now are musicans who have no idea of the incendiary atmosphere of optimism, defiance, liberty, creativity and experimentation that a vivid and vital scene creates. And no amount of Ramirez’s masturbatory rhetoric is going to change that.

Drew Cummings

Whipping a dead dog
Re “More dog dissing,” (RN&R, Letters, Aug. 12):

I do look at a dog’s teeth. I have six wolves in my family, and I clean their teeth. I am aware of what they can and can’t do as well as being aware of what they will and won’t do. I have done a lot of research. My conclusions have been based on experience and reason, not on fear and terror.

If you had read your link closely, you would have read the conclusion of your group that dog bites are preventable through human education. I checked the CDC, among others, and they all mentioned the fact that dog bites are preventable. Dogs and my wolves, will behave in a predictable fashion. Dogs speak the language, and if humans take the time to learn, dog bites can be prevented.

There have been 4.7 million bites in the United States, according to CDC stats. Only half a million required any medical attention. Dog bites are number 12 in accidents, below falls, knives and poison. More people go to the hospital for spider bites than dog bites. That is CDC data. Dog bites requiring any medical attention account for only 0.3 percent of the population. Dogs have been and will continue to be man’s best friend.

Being bitten by a dog involves ignorance and fear on the part of humans, not any predatory ferocity of dogs.

Steve Dunn
Carson City