Letters for February 5, 2015
Re “Small government is good medicine” (Let Freedom Ring, Jan. 29):
I cannot let this Libertarian nonsense go unanswered. There are several things the government does much better than the private sector, and education and health care are among them. The best education systems in the world are government run and financed (Finland, Japan, etc.). The U.S. used to be among them (if not the best), before the conservative war on anything public began. The best health-care systems in the world (in terms of outcomes as well as cost) are government run and financed (France, Italy, etc.).
Yes, we need free enterprise, but some things don’t work very well when they’re privatized. For example: fire departments, police departments, prisons, schools and hospitals. This is simply because the profit motive distorts the functioning of these critical institutions. If Libertarians had their way, we would have a school system that’s just as inexpensive and efficient as our privatized health care system.
By the way, why does the size of the federal government, as well as the budget deficit, only go down under Democratic presidents?
That’s crazy talk
Re “That’s just crazy” (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 29):
I’m sorry, good sir, but here we’ll just have to agree to disagree. The definition of insane is: In a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction; seriously mentally ill. Now based on that definition there’s no to way attribute the attacks in Paris to insanity. After these guys were radicalized, they blended into French society and waited for the French authorities to stop surveilling them, which would have been impossible had their state of mind “prevented them from normal perception, behavior, or social interaction.” As for the psychopaths and sociopaths, they fall under the umbrella of antisocial personality disorder, and any legal scholar would tell you that doesn’t imply insanity. Otherwise every serial killer in our history would have gotten off on an insanity plea. I get where you’re coming from though, their actions were so far from civilized social norms that they seem insane, but that’s an ethnocentric point of view. Real insanity implies losing one’s grip on reality. Radical jihadists haven’t lost their grip on reality. They’re just obsessed with creating a new reality in which we must all submit to. It’s an important distinction to make.
Editor’s note: Wait! Does agreeing to disagree mean I’m not supposed to continue the argument? In that case, let’s just agree that I’m right. It’s insane to kill somebody in the name of religion or nationalism or to teach them that it’s wrong to kill. In fact, almost anyone who is contemplating killing someone for any reason but self-defense has a likely mental imbalance, since it’s not our natural state to kill other humans, and often, people discover this after the fact. For example, law enforcement officers who kill in the line of duty often suffer emotional repercussions.
Re “Small government is good medicine” (Let Freedom Ring, Jan. 29):
One thing government does a damned fine job of is throwing money at education. If one would actually take a look at some models that work, and fund them, instead of “here’s some spare cash … go crazy,” we might actually educate some kids so they could get jobs which are going to out-of-state (and out-of-country) workers. Technical/vocational skills are in demand, so what do we teach? Just take a look around at how many “college-educated” people are working burger-flipping, dead-end jobs. One thing Obama brought up was funding technical education based on a model from the state of Tennessee (an actual working model). I want to see a separate technical college system in this state. Academics teach “academics,” know nothing about technical/vocational education, and, by chance, if there is one of “the dirty fingernail bunch” among them, will quickly dismiss their ideas as being too expensive and unworkable (while funding all kinds of pie-in-the-sky projects). Let’s push for funding something needed, with a proven track record.
Burned by bans
I am sick of these stupid ads about whether I am allowed to heat my house or just freeze to death because of the supposed effect on air quality. Are we still up in the air as to whether automobiles idling unnecessarily at every stoplight in Washoe County for 30-45 seconds, regardless of whether there is cross traffic or not, has any effect on the air quality? Do the City Council and County Commission have color-coded guidelines for how to annoy motorists at traffic lights by synchronizing them to make us stop at every light and waste gallons of gas and countless minutes of our lives for no reason? It seems like every day I hit at least 10 lights that go red and make me sit there when the entire intersection is empty, and there are no cars for several blocks. Minutes later, a car comes from the other direction, and the light facing him goes red. This is the real reason for the smog in our city. But once again, the working people get the blame when our government fails to solve a problem.
No Woody for me
Re “The Future of Shopping Hell” (Feature story, Dec. 8):
After reading the article regarding Amazon hiring that incestuous child-molesting pig Woody Allen, I immediately contacted Amazon and canceled my account with them. Seriously, he married one of his daughters and molested another one. I just don’t understand. Is Amazon stupid, or do they just don’t care?
A little personal background: I am male, pushing 78 years old, and am (was) in reasonably good health until my recent encounter with a state-run institution.
About two weeks ago I went to the Nevada DMV facility in order to apply for my new classic vehicle plates and registration for my 1990 Dodge 4X4. Usually I shy away from going to that facility for obvious reasons, but this was a special trip. It’s great that some very bright person dreamed up the new procedure at the facility wherein they take your cell phone number and advise you periodically regarding your potential wait and place in line. This procedure allows one to actually leave the premises and simply await prompts on the phone, IPad or other such device. However, in my case I was dropped off by a friend and had no immediate access to personal transportation. My stay was perhaps near two hours so I busied myself with mostly small talk with a few other captives present. Since I detest large crowds I occasionally escaped to the outside or a breath of fresh air.
I scanned the crowd of hundreds of other prisoners jammed into the confining space and noted humanoids from all over the near and far worlds and continents. Some were personally pleasant and some smelled of an old dying goat lost in the desert.
I finally arrive home near the end of the day and after proudly my other half my new plates, I remarked, “If you are ever looking for a great and potentially disabling virus just visit the DMV.” She nodded her usual disinterest.
Presently I am recovering from what was initially diagnosed by my doctor as a bronchial infection to a worthy case of pneumonia. Since I have had more free time lately, I called several of my close friends to chat, only to find that two of them who are near my age category have contracted the same maladies that I am beset with. Lo and behold, both of them had visited the DMV in the last three weeks.