Letters for December 11, 2003

Another RTV
Re “Reasons to vote” [RN&R, Editor’s notes]:

See this week’s DRIFTERHOTEL cartoon.

Woodrow Barlettani

Keep reading the paper

Re “Every word that’s ever appeared in the paper” [RN&R, Feb. 22, 1995-Dec. 4, 2003]:

Your paper is unabashedly left wing. How can you say you give readers intelligent stories or truth, when it’s obvious all you provide is your soft-brained opinion? Maybe you should call it Reno Propaganda & Review.

Sean M. Luce
via e-mail

Burning Bush
Re “Growing Green Democrats” [RN&R, News, Nov. 6]:

Dan Gingold’s article quoted Shirley Moore-Byas’ assertion that: “We need to be united because splintering between the Greens and the Democrats is what caused the Democrats’ loss in 2000. We can’t let that happen again.”

As a Green Democrat, I was thrilled to see such an eloquent enunciation of the alliance’s purpose printed in the RN&R. I was also delighted when Pierre Martin’s awkward criticism of Green Democrats was published [RN&R, Letters, Nov. 20]. Martin gave us extra publicity and helped make our case that Greens and Democrats must unite to vote against Bush in 2004 by pointing out that votes for Nader in Florida may have cost Gore the 2000 election. That’s exactly what Green Democrats are saying! Thank you, Pierre!

By the way, the movie Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election that Martin was referring to when he addressed “their [Green Democrats] insistence that George Bush stole the election in 2000,” was an investigation of irregularities and disenfranchisement in Florida during the 2000 election. Just because Gore would have won had Nader voters voted for him, or if he had won his home state of Tennessee, doesn’t mean that voting officials in Florida are less responsible for their actions or that their actions had no effect on the outcome.

Matt Scheel
via e-mail

Love your children
Re “The myth of the ideal female body” [RN&R, Essay, Nov. 20]:

I’m so sick of hearing all of today’s problems blamed on our school teachers, the media and pop singers. Hey! If your kid has low-self esteem, is depressed and shoots up her school, guess what? It’s the parents’ fault. We want it all these days: the big house, the SUV, the meaningless career; and we’re leaving our kids to be raised by Britney Spears, Cosmo and Grand Theft Auto.

In the article about the myth of the female body, it’s claimed that advertising is responsible for depression and eating disorders in our young women. But again, time after time, the problem is really that parents are just not there for their kids. Parents are not telling their daughters that their true worth is not measured in their bra size. Daughters who see their fathers loving and respecting their mothers, despite the wrinkles, will learn that men who choose women based on tits and ass are not men, but boys. It’s naïve to think that the abolition of advertising will make us all healthy, well-adjusted beings. It isn’t so ridiculous, however, to think that an increase in parental investment and a little time away from MTV will help our kids see the beauty in themselves.

Toby Frescholtz
via e-mail

Genetic testing is not for everyone
Re “Finding Normal” [RN&R, Cover story, Oct. 30]:

The decisions surrounding a diagnosis of breast cancer are more difficult, and there is less follow-up data regarding various treatment options, if breast cancer is attributable to an identified genetic mutation. If pre-menopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer (any age), or a family history of breast, ovarian, and/or sometimes other cancers suggests hereditary cancer, cancer-risk assessment by a genetics professional is suggested. Cancer is rarely hereditary, but genetic testing may be available for a “hereditary” cancer. Women who have hereditary breast cancer are at increased risk for a second breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Men, too, can carry a mutated hereditary breast cancer gene, develop breast cancer, consider prophylactic mastectomies and can pass the mutated gene to their offspring, who then have an increased risk for cancer.

Genetic testing is not for everyone. Cancer risk assessment involves a discussion of the basic principles of hereditary cancer susceptibility, assessment of an individual’s risk of hereditary cancer (breast or other hereditary cancer), discussion of available genetic testing, and discussion of the risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing. We can’t change our genetic information but knowledge about our genetic information is empowering.

Robbin Palmer