Letters for December 20, 2001

Don’t blame Muslims
Re “Muslim woman on a skateboard? Ugh” [RN&R Letters, Dec. 13]:

I wonder how many times someone has to fall off his skateboard and land on his head to come up with such bigoted and misguided drivel. If [letter writer Paul] Morrison believes that Islam is to blame for Sept. 11, he has played into bin Laden’s hands like all his deranged followers. Morrison also joins the ranks of others who play the blame game, creating a whole gamut of scapegoats including religion itself, U.S. foreign policy, globalization, the CIA, liberals, conservatives, Jews, the news media, the American public, the victims—even gays and lesbians. How about blaming bin Laden and his terrorist cult? Of course, like dumb dogs that feel pain, some lash out at the nearest things. Under times of uncertainty and stress, stupid people act out their anger and fear on immediate and convenient targets.

Since many Americans cannot strike out against bin Laden personally, they go for the next best thing: each other. Fear of and war against Islam is exactly what bin Laden wants. An understanding of Islam is neither what bin Laden wants nor possesses.

Ed Park

Hire a fact-checker for Hansen
Re “Why Defend Israel?” [RN&R Guest Comment, Dec. 13]:

After reading Ira Hansen’s recent column, “Why defend Israel?” A better question is: “Why not hire a fact-checker for Ira Hansen?” Mr. Hansen distorts and twists his facts into a giant pretzel. Unfortunately, his few kernels of truth get completely lost by his over-reliance on misinformation and incorrect facts that bury his arguments.

Mr. Hansen correctly asserts that the question of defending Israel should be asked—if for no other reasons, so that demagogues like Mr. Hansen and lax editing like yours can be exposed.

Michael Levin
via e-mail

Refugees have nothing to lose
Re “Why Defend Israel?” [RN&R Guest Comment, Dec. 13]:

Not that I agree with Ira Hansen on all issues, but he is right in this case. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have lived in refugee camps since 1948. They have no country to call home ever since the creation of the Israeli state.

What can we expect of them? Born and raised in a camp? As long as the Jewish people, many of them from the Americas, move into Palestinian lands and claim that God gave them this land and that Palestinians have to leave, they will have problems. Israelis have taken homes and olive groves from the Palestinians and simply moved in or leveled the homes to build new ones. I think we’ve forgotten an old American phrase: “Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.” Forgive my grammar; I am a former refugee myself.

Ernest Sommer

Ditched by Julia
Re “Julia’s Internet Dating Tips” [RN&R Pulse, Nov. 29]:

My personal experience with Julia is that she omitted one tip:

“Stand him up. It’s OK for you not to show up after you agree to meet a guy if you change your mind about seeing him. There is no need to advise him that you will not be there, nor is there any need to respond to his subsequent calls or e-mails about what happened.”

After reading the article cited above about Exotic Julia in the RN&R, I thought it would be fun to meet her. She responded to my e-mail and asked for my phone number. I sent it to her. She called, and we talked for about half an hour. We agreed to meet in the late afternoon for coffee at Starbucks—in her town, not mine. I sent an e-mail two days in advance to confirm the details of our meeting. She did not reply. I should have known better. She did not show up. She did not reply to my e-mail later the same day asking what happened. The two times I called the next day, she answered, “Hello, this is Julia.” When I said, “Hello, this is Rich,” she hung up without a word.

I know that I am old enough to be Julia’s dad. Can it be that her treatment of me is just par for the course among those in her generation? I hope not. My employer, who is Julia’s age, told me he would be quite disturbed if this had happened to him. Is he alone, or are there other people for whom good manners and common sense matter more than reticence or personal convenience?

Rich Baldinger
Carson City