Letters for February 23, 2006

The seed of our contentment
“Planting seeds” (Arts & Culture, Feb. 9):

Thank the Goddess that someone finally recognized the beautiful and multi-talented Isha Echols. Thank you for making the rest of the community aware of her presence!

I have known her since shortly after she landed here in Reno, and I can tell you, she is a whirlwind of sunshine, positivity and hope for our artistic and cultural community.

Besides her much-needed work with the Boys & Girls Club and local senior centers, she was largely responsible for the success of local summertime art gatherings, such events at Wildflower Village and Wingfield Park.

She can take a small handful of love, art or seeds and spread it far and wide wherever she goes. Rest assured, whatever it is will grow and prosper in the most positive ways.

She has given this starving artist the hope and belief that my art is a divine gift and should be expressed, nurtured and shared.

Indeed, she has the most love and inspiration I’ve ever seen in a single human being, and we are so lucky to have her here in our small but growing art community.

Ginel Kelly

Lafferty sounds the call
“Thank goodness for cooler heads” (Right Hook, Feb. 9):

Mike Lafferty’s column is a terrifically stated argument in support of socialized medicine. His closing questions in this regard are penetrating and worthy of study.

His first question relies on his own evidence that citizens benefit from government regulation of industry. Knowing this, he dares us to answer. Why not encourage further regulation of the insurance and health care industries? Why not provide assistance to those for whom the benefit of regulation is out of reach? The answers are ones of ethics and morals.

Mr. Lafferty’s second question openly begs the issue of having insurance and health care at all, let alone being able to pay to obtain medical attention. His entire article brilliantly highlights the distress of obtaining even minimal health care without the benefit of assistance and possible government intervention. The thoughtful inclusion of his wife and son in the article underscores the hard truth that women and children are severely affected by the lack of health care and would especially benefit from the provision of care to all.

The resolution that Lafferty achieved isn’t so much that his medical bill was paid, but that for another day he is one member of a shrinking percentage of citizens that has been able to hold on to access to meaningful health care. His argument is a call that must be sounded. Whether by institution of a national health insurance plan, broad regulation of the health care industry itself or otherwise, health care must be provided to all citizens. Lafferty certainly illustrates that health care for all will not come without government regulation.

Matthew Jensen
via e-mail

Worship death and drugs
“Comic riots” (Editorial, Feb. 9):

In the RN&R editorial “Comic riots,” you state, “In the United States of America, tolerance of religious belief is a cornerstone of our society.”

Of course, the U.S. tolerance of religious belief does not extend to smoking of religious spliffs, a sacrament of the Rasta religion. We can’t go too far with this tolerance thing.

The worship of Thuggee, the one true aspect of the Hindu Goddess Kali, is not only not tolerated, it is illegal. After all, we can’t go too far with this tolerance thing.

RN&R also fails to mention that the Muslim rioters who died while defending their religion will, as a result, go straight to their Paradise and be attended to by 72 houri. However, as Christians we can’t allow members of another religion to achieve Paradise. Say what?

A.J. Bima

Note: At press time, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a New Mexico case that government has no authority to prohibit the use of hallucinogenic tea in religious ritual.

Thank goodness for bureaucracy
“Thank goodness for cooler heads” (Right Hook, Feb. 9):

Mike Lafferty starts right off by telling us how much he hates “dealing with government bureaucratic anything,” then goes on to describe the all-too-frequent foul-ups of free-market bureaucracies. He is finally bailed out of his troubles by a real-life government bureaucrat. The degree to which conservatives like Lafferty continue to excoriate government bureaucracies while excusing, forgiving or flat-out denying the parallel evils of privately-owned, less-and-less-regulated bureaucracies strikes me as ironic, to say the least.

Remember, Medicare uses about 3 percent of its budget for administration, while the private healthcare-cum-private-insurance industry uses about 28 percent of its revenue for administration—much of it to pay for people engaged in “cost control,” or put more plainly, in avoidance of paying what they have contracted to pay.

Conservatives never tire of telling us that private enterprise is automatically better/more efficient than any government bureaucracy, but they’re awfully slow to acknowledge contrary evidence.

Jon Garman