Letters for February 10, 2005

Ill-prepared for sex
Re “Comprehensive sex ed helps kids have unsafe sex” (RN&R, Right hook, Jan. 27):

I find the information Mr. Lafferty presents in this article to be rather crazy. When posing his questions, he seems to forget the most important question: What is the risk of an STD or unintended pregnancy when someone is not informed of the options for protecting themselves? That zero seems a lot farther off than winning the lottery.

What he also fails to take into account is that these programs he preaches have been found to cause more harm [than good] because they send kids out into the world unprepared. If he had actually read the report prepared for Rep. Waxman, he might have seen the facts presented by such groups as the Keiser Family Foundation and Health and Human Services. He would have also read that much of the criticism came from Health and Human Services during their investigations. In closing, he seems to also forget that there is separation of church and state in this country, and many abstinence programs are based on religious doctrine and don’t belong in public schools.

Thomas J. Golding
via e-mail

Left-handed compliment
Re “Comprehensive sex ed helps kids have unsafe sex” (RN&R, Right hook, Jan. 27):

I’ve been reading this Right Hook column for a while now. As a progressive, I have disagreed with most of what right-wing columnist Mike Lafferty stands for.

His recent column on sex education however, surprised me. He makes some valid points. Perhaps he isn’t as stupid as I originally thought.

Bill Jamesson

Just evolve
Re “Is Darwin dead?” (RN&R, Cover story, Jan. 13):

Proponents of “intelligent design” were the kids in high school biology who were inwardly humiliated because they didn’t get it when everyone else around them did. Now that they’re adults, they can yell that evolution isn’t real, and it shouldn’t be taught in school. The fact that evolution is even up for debate is devolution at its finest.

Is it any less miraculous to accept that all life as we know it is the result of billions of beneficial mutations over millions of years than to think that a supreme deity said, “OK, guys, here you go, and here’s the plan.” Plus, it’s provable. You can choose not to believe things that you don’t understand, but you can’t make that choice for everyone.

Kris Kuyper
Truckee, Calif.

Since you asked
Re “What should be done with the budget surplus?” (RN&R, Streetalk, Feb. 3):

I wasn’t around the courthouse when you asked about what we should do with the surplus. But I think we should extend Nevada’s library hours. Here in Washoe County, we have most branches open five days a week, with the central branch open six. With the branches open seven days a week, there would be more opportunity for residents of Nevada to e-mail feedback to the governor.

Kevin Johnson
via e-mail

Stifle dissenters
Re “Wolf! Wolf!” (RN&R, Editorial, Jan. 27):

NEWSFLASH: The election is over. Bush won and Kerry lost. This simple fact seems lost on the passionate editorial staff of the Reno News & Review, which continues to run attack pieces [against the president] such as “Wolf! Wolf!” The editorial seems to have two main points: The President lied and the present administration is nothing more than a white-washed tomb.

I find it odd that the RNR staff decided not to supply quotes from Sen. Kerry, Sen. Clinton, Sen. Edwards, Sen. Kennedy, Rep. Boxer, former President Clinton, former Vice-President Gore, or even French President Jacques Chirac. Why isn’t the RN&R staff going after Kerry, Edwards, the Clintons, Kennedy, Boxer, or Gore the way they go after the president?

The truth is they were all supplied with the same intelligence; they all came to the same conclusions and backed the same plan. While running for president, former Vice President Al Gore, in a speech on May 23rd, 2000, to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said, “We have made it clear that it is our policy to see Saddam Hussein gone … And if entrusted with the presidency, my resolve will never waver.” During the recent Democratic primaries, Sen. Kerry took Howard Dean to task for not backing the war in Iraq and went as far as to say that if one didn’t understand why we invaded Iraq, one could not hold the office of the president.

RN&R editors, it’s time to put the partisan bickering behind us and to move forward. You have power, the power of the printed word, and I urge you to use that power to bridge the gap between conservatives and liberals, not to push them further apart.

Lynn Ault