Letters for December 9, 2004

Vote the person
Re “Reid targeted by Internet attacks,” (RN&R, News, Nov. 25):

Many Americans appear to have become such simplistic thinkers that all they want to know about a candidate, or anyone else, is what political party they belong to. This is dangerous thinking. While it would be nice if there was a quick, easy way to ascertain someone’s character, I refuse to believe that any party, including the one I belong to, has a monopoly on truth, justice and the American Way. I also refuse to believe that any other party is comprised entirely of the spawn of Satan.

I was especially appalled by the comments you quoted concerning Harry Reid’s election as Senate minority leader. When did coming from a blue state become more important than character—honesty, integrity, hard work—in choosing who holds elected office? How is it possible that Reid earned criticism for not having enough “charisma?” Adolf Hitler was extremely charismatic and able to motivate. Does history judge him as a good choice for leading a nation? Equally puzzling was the complaint that Reid had “mainly served … the interests of Nevada.” Isn’t that what he was elected to do? Who else’s interests should he have served? I am aghast that he was criticized for “working with Republicans, reaching across the aisle to shake hands.” Do we honestly want leaders who are unable to be civil to those they may disagree with? Do we want our elected officials to be unable to consider opinions besides their own, to be unwilling to even consider compromise?

If candidates had to run without using party affiliation as their major selling point, maybe even without revealing it at all, perhaps the public would stop leaning on the letter in parentheses after the names on the ballot and be forced to research records and issues. Wouldn’t that be refreshing?

Sharon Zenz

Teddy isn’t liberal
Re “Liberals are mean people” and “Don’t call me mean,” (RN&R, Letters, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4):

Kelly Parker is correct that people like Ted Kennedy and Michael Moore are mean-spirited and the-end-justifies-the-means types. Bradly Parker is correct regarding John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Barry Goldwater etc., who were liberals because they promoted individual freedom, free markets, restrained government spending, basic help for working poor, and a government that interfered little as possible in the lives of citizens.

The confusion is that Sen. Ted Kennedy is a socialist, and Michael Moore is a capitalist, both without moral or ethical restraint regarding harm caused by their own actions, words or products. Neither are liberals—never have been—probably never will be!

A liberal will always be against authoritarian rule, in the form of king, dictator, Socialism, Marxism, Communism—no matter what form it takes.

August Lightfoot
Newport Beach, Calif.

Hold conservatives accountable
Re “Fans support sports thugs,” (RN&R, Right hook, Dec. 2):

Mike Lafferty asserts as “one of my conservative mantras” that “people should be responsible and held accountable for their own lives.” From this premise (however fatuously claimed as conservative), he proceeds to excoriate professional athletes for their irresponsible conduct and to bemoan the failure of sports organizations and fans to hold them accountable.

I couldn’t agree more. So I’m certain that Lafferty must be equally eager to hold Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales and George W. Bush accountable for the damage done to the standing of the United States by the shameful disgraces of Abu Ghraib Prison and Guantanamo Bay. From Rumsfeld’s advocacy of brutal interrogation techniques and his contempt for the Uniform Code of Military Justice and its practitioners (the JAGs), to Gonzales’ relentless derogation of the Geneva Conventions and denial of the rule of international law, to Bush’s fraudulent justification for an unprovoked and disastrously counter- productive war, that accounting should be heavy and dire.

But, sadly, neither Mike Lafferty nor a slight majority of voters has found it necessary to hold George Bush, nor anyone in his administration, accountable for anything. More sadly still, the damage resulting from the recklessness, belligerence and lawlessness of Bush Administration is incomparably greater than the unseemly spectacle of ill-behaved athletes.

Charles E. Morse Jr.

In the Nov. 24, Winter Guide, our Ski Resort Directory contained some inaccurate information for Northstar-at-Tahoe. Here’s the correct info.

Web site: www.NorthstarAtTahoe.com

Number of lifts: 17

Number of runs: 70

Northstar Cross Country has 50 kilometers of trails.