Letters for January 1, 2004

Fire the PC cops
Political Correctness is one of the greatest evils to arise in modern times. With it, we not only have Thought Crimes, but we willingly prosecute ourselves for them. Political Correctness is an all-pervading universal censorship, carried out by both the self-appointed apostles of the easily offended, and our own-bad-selves (‘omage to Ted Nugent); stifling not just speech, but thought itself. Whole branches of “discredited” sciences have been sacrificed on PC’s alter. More books and articles have been burned in PC’s name than the Nazi’s could in their wildest anti-intellectual wetdreams. History has been rewritten, careers have been ended, and nightly, broadcast television serves up sit-coms without jokes for fear of offending. Yes, civility is essential to maintaining the peace and smoothing the ruts in the road of life. But sincere sensitivity for the frailty of others should not prevent one from speaking and writing the truth, nor should it be used as a cudgel by the vacuous to beat the bright into silence. Kurt Vonnegut’s Handicapper General may not yet have succeeded in making ballet dancers clumsy, but Political Correctness has fettered us all.

Jerry E. Smith

Christmas presence
If a million old-growth trees fall in the Alaskan forest, and no one was there to hear it, did they really fall? Like most Americans, I have never seen the Tongass National Forest, but I know it is real. I know it is beautiful, and I know it gives me a deep feeling of peace knowing there are some wild places that yet go untouched by the hand of mankind. As Americans, we each “own” part of the largest remaining American rain forest. It is the day before Christmas, and I have other things to do than write a letter to the editor, but like the Grinch who stole Christmas, the George W. Bush Administration is stuffing our Christmas trees up the chimney while we sleep, with the Christmas eve sanctioning of the building of roads and the killing of the ancient trees in this sacred place. Merry Christmas, everyone. After stealing our treasury and giving it to oil, drug and weapons manufacturers, the irreplaceable national heritage of our last great forest is being handed to the timber industry. You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch. As our children dream the dreams of innocence, you are stealing the lungs of their planet. Wake up, parents. Wake up, America.

David Singelyn
via e-mail

Who cares about angry cows?
Re “The fat and the furious,” (RN&R, Cover story, Dec. 11):

Congratulations to Brian Burghart on his weight loss.

I have been on the Atkins diet since March. I started at 204 pounds and now am down to 157.

I, too, was skeptical about eating all this food and still losing weight. It sure is amazing what happens. I have more energy now than before and feel great. This is contrary to all the things I heard before I started.

If you want a great treat, try the new low-carb ice cream from Breyers. It has a great flavor. You can get it at Winco for $2.98. There are good tasting low-carb bread products available there as well. Also check out the recipes on Atkins Web site. There is a great cheese cake that I make weekly.

Continued success!

John Anderson

Reno doesn’t care about citizens
I attended a City Council meeting at City Hall last month to speak out on one of the issues. I arrived at 9 a.m. and left when they broke for lunch. Had things to do, plus I visualized still being there at 6 p.m.

The council skipped from staff reports to bills to resolutions in no particular order that I could distinguish, except I was getting dizzy trying to keep up.

What I did perceive is that the suits—lawyers, architects, business executives and developers—seemed to get preferential treatment over the regular citizens waiting for an opportunity to speak. If they did speak, it seemed to make little difference in the outcome. Seemed sort of like the council members’ minds were already made up in advance how they’d vote. They were just going through the required motions.

After all, how could small businessmen wanting to keep their liquor licenses ever win over the Reno Police and the casinos? Could some caring people just trying to help animals hope to win over a city greedy for more money in permits?


A few people remarked or speculated as to why more “average citizens” were not present.

Maybe years ago, even decades ago, there used to be more people, but they learned what the rest of us are just now learning: You can’t fight City Hall. It’s true because our voices are either never heard or ignored.

Vickie Vera
Sun Valley