Letters for February 14, 2008

Founding liberals
Re “The Founding Fathers were radical conservatives” (Right Hook, Feb. 7):

While I’m sure it’s second nature for Mike Lafferty to consider most good and smart people conservative, your article does little to convince the reader that our Founding Fathers held the same views and ideology as modern day Republicans or conservatives in general. In fact, one could argue that his examples appear to read the opposite. I will only briefly mention that George W. Bush and his conservative supporters in the GOP have done more to reconsolidate power into the hands of one man than has been done since King George was told exactly why we as a nation wouldn’t stand for that.

Would that we had men like Franklin and Jefferson in positions of influence today to say it again. Ben Franklin established such things as public (read socialized) libraries and volunteer public (read socialized) fire departments. Thomas Jefferson established the first American public (read socialized) university and even boasted that it was “a University on a plan so broad and liberal and modern, as to be worth patronizing with the public support. Did he say liberal? Public support? I believe he did. So much for the ideas of private schools and free market education.

The men who signed the Declaration of Independence were all concerned enough about the welfare of their neighbors and about the idea of equal representation that they openly rebelled against their king. As Lafferty said, “They did something extraordinary,” and quite rare in that time period. That was in itself a very progressive ideology and course of action they adopted. Equal representation was not the conservative norm but instead the near overthrow of the conservative views of the time. The voter suppression tactics of the modern conservative movement in order to leave more old white men in power doesn’t appear to meet that standard of value. These men of 1776 were activists—liberal activists—who sought to provide for the common man and so raise them up to a better standard of living. I don’t believe in wasting my taxes, and I won’t deny that modern politicians of all parties use earmarks and pork in legislation that is often little more than corporate welfare or a coin tossed in the direction of a supporter, but let’s be realistic about the views and ideology of our nation’s beginnings and not try to rewrite history in order to score cheap points with Lafferty’s fellow conservatives.

Felix Polanski

Craig’s seat not up for grabs
Re “Uphill battle” (Upfront, Feb. 7):

You mentioned “the difficulty” Republicans have “of holding onto the seat of Sen. Larry Craig.” Difficulty? Idaho is one of the reddest of states, and one of the most Mormon. (A joke in Idaho says that there are more Mormons in Idaho than in Utah, and it’s not really a joke.)

Larry Craig is a Mormon. I would wager any amount of money that his replacement will be a Republican.

Brian Adams

Liberal causes
Re “The Founding Fathers were radical conservatives” (Right Hook, Feb. 7):

Mike Lafferty’s latest column was another rambling, incoherent mess, and the best part wasn’t even his. The quote by Thomas Paine, “The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes” perfectly describes the Bush administration, supposedly the epitome of the “Conservative Revolution.” As for Lafferty’s essay, he did not convince me that the Founding Fathers were “radical conservatives” or would consider themselves so or had no “liberal values.”

Richard Cooper
Washoe Valley

Toss illegals out
Re “Is ‘illegal’ a crime” (Feature story, Feb. 7):

You are absolutely right—nothing will be done about immigration in an election year. That is the only thing you got right.

By the way, YES! Illegal aliens break the law when they jump the border. The idea that it is still the responsibility of the United States and U.S. taxpayers to take care of the seething masses from all over the globe makes me sick. Illegal aliens have learned to work the system by bringing their families illegally into the United States. When some of the adults face deportation, the cry goes up: “Do not separate the family!” These people have irresponsibly placed their children and families in harm’s way by willfully and knowingly breaking the law. They should be treated in like what they are: lawbreakers. The only fundamental question I see raised in your article is “Why do people tend to feel sorry for these illegal immigrants?” Why should they be afforded special rights? When American parents place their children in harm’s way, the courts tend to take a dim view. When illegal immigrants bring their families into the United States, they get free education (they don’t pay property tax) free health care (they show up at the ER and walk on the bill) and contribute very little monetarily to the economy. Meanwhile, many American families struggle to pay taxes and afford healthcare. It is time for this issue to be addressed in a sensible way. Treat illegal aliens as criminals and deport them and their families.

Gabe Lakchic

Re “Fix Nevada’s tax system” (Guest comment, Feb. 7):

In the Guest Comment Bob Fulkerson of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada stated that Newmont Mining’s paid nothing under the Nevada Net Proceeds Tax. This was incorrect. Newmont escaped paying any Net Proceeds tax on five of its mines. But, the company did pay nearly $8.3 million on its other mines, out of gross proceeds in excess of $1.5 billion. Fulkerson would like to offer his apologies, and we’d like to add our own for any misunderstandings caused by our error.