Letters for January 1, 2015

Pro’s prose

Re “Biggest little stories” (Feature story, Dec. 24):

“Face closed” but yet the eyes are open and apparently white? “Has the parcel weight in her soft hands”? “The grass is greening beneath the snow”? Oh my!

Rex D. Stock


Agree to disagree

Re “Poetic adjustments” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, Dec. 11):

I would be interested in Mr. Van Dyke’s opinions if he had read all of the investigation information pertaining to all the incidents he listed. But I am sure that his opinion is based on his vast law enforcement and judicial system experience.

Brett Smith


Under the gun

“SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: This Firearm Is 22 Times More Likely To Be Fired In A Suicide, Homicide Or Accident Than A Defensive Use.” No gun dealer or maker will tell you about this reality. Big Ammo prefers fantasy to reality, borrowing Big Tobacco’s playbook from three generations ago, when their ads featured athletes, movie stars, and even doctors promoting “health benefits” of cigarettes. Amanda Collins’ unfortunate celebrity victim status lends itself to that kind of role. Her anecdote opens the door to an alluring defensive gun use fantasy. It invites us to time-travel back to 2007 to hand her the gun she needs in order to pre-execute Brianna Dennison’s killer, and who wouldn’t do that? Well, one person who wouldn’t is Justice Antonin Scalia, who specifically reiterated the Court’s respect for “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.” He expressed that support for traditional Second Amendment restrictions in DC v. Heller.

Brendan Trainor has previously praised that same decision (RN&R, Jan. 16) as a green light for a gun in every waistband. Given a choice between Scalia and Michele Fiore as his authority on constitutionally appropriate gun use, I would suggest Trainor go with the one who has participated in fewer armed insurrections against the United States (as in the Bundy Ranch standoff). And please add these three to Michele Fiore’s CCW witness list for Judiciary Committee: the Idaho State professor who shot himself in the foot during chem lab, the Arkansas state senator who shot a teacher during active shooter training, and the Utah teacher who blew away a toilet while sitting on it.

C.G. Green


Life after subsidies

Re “The future of shopping hell” (Feature story, Dec. 18):

Well done article. When the government subsidies abate well, you know the saying: “What comes up, must come down,” and they will no longer be able to operate at a loss. Perhaps it will coincide with the greater and longer impending global market downturn after the holidays? I would be very interested in future coverage of the communications industry that operates many “warehouses” in the form of call centers staffed by temp firms through their offices, job fairs and the independent providers of the call centers for the biggest names in communications. Why? Because their practices are similar in many ways to what Amazon warehouse employees seem to be subject to.

How does one know they are working for a place with high turnover and questionable practices? Number one in my experience is not knowing the full name of co-workers unless asked. A name tag or a desk sign with only a first name is the tip-off that one has found him/herself in what I term a “dispose a job”—meaning it is something that realistically most only do for three to six months and then move along. While such call centers tout full benefit packages and typically about 25 or so long-term employees that are used as examples of “job stability,” the broader turnover is so great and the pay so low in comparison to the profit margin that it is inexcusable to have any employee treated as if they were so much toilet tissue to be used, abused and flushed! To add insult to injury, the drain on local charitable resources in addition to government assistance is troubling.

Deborah D’Amico


But how do you feel?

President Barack Obama has missed a chance to put an exclamation point on of his never-ending Apologize for America tour. Having absolutely nothing to fear from like-minded Third World pissant, tin pot dictators, Cuba’s Commie in Charge recently took POTUS to the woodshed. A place Obamski knows only too well. In a 30-minute uninterrupted tirade, the Commie in Charge Castro lambasted Obummer on the phone claiming that “America is the root of all of Cuba’s problems.” Per usual, our Dear Leader apologized for America’s greatness and leadership in the free world. The paddle so effectively and frequently wielded by Merkle, the Saudis, Nettanyahu, the Ayatollahs, Kim Jung Un, Assad, and Palin … across Obama’s backside … is now well known. There was no reason for Castro not to lash out, given our Bench Warmer in Charge’s timidity and leadership failures. Barrasakova missed a golden opportunity to focus the light on his fundamental lack of moral authority. He could have flown to Havana directly. Then he could have called a joint press conference, got down on his knees … and licked the boots of Castro personally. Alas, a prime time genuflecting and grovelling opportunity was forever lost.

Kim R. Kollman


Jungle fever

Re “The future of shopping hell” (Feature story, Dec. 18):

My son worked at the Fernley Amazon sweatshop over the holidays for four years. When he first told me of the horrific work conditions, I thought he was exaggerating. “The Future of Shopping Hell” by Jim Hightower describes exactly what my son experienced—miles and miles of racing over a cement floor attempting to keep up with the demands of a computer, no regular schedule, no benefits and no job security.

Jeff Bezos visited the facility once. My son thought he was an arrogant ass. His photo in Mr. Hightower’s article is nearly as terrifying as the article itself. Even worse is that Amazon is becoming the model for other distribution centers popping up all over Northern Nevada. ZuLilly is a good example. (My son also worked there.)

Do we really want to be a state that is so desperate for a new image that we are willing to sell our souls to the likes of Jeff Bezos? The jobs companies like Amazon bring to Nevada are akin to slavery. We citizens are being lied to by those making the decisions in Carson City, who give special tax breaks and other incentives to the slave holders, then tell us it is in the common good because jobs are being created. Secure jobs with good pay, regular schedules, safe workplaces, health insurance and other benefits are not being created. We can do better.

I have boycotted Amazon since they were first established. Last night I showed my sister, a regular Amazon.com shopper, “The Future of Shopping Hell.” She will never visit the site again and feels guilty for not knowing what was really going on. Thanks to Jim Hightower and RN&R, others are becoming educated and will hopefully realize that the cheapest price is not worth sacrificing our small, local businesses and that our work force deserves better jobs than distribution centers like Amazon provide.

Jere Whitney


Think global, shop local

Re “The future of shopping hell” (Feature story, Dec. 18):

I was thoroughly was educated by this article. I have been a very loyal Amazon customer since its birth, but I am through! I order many items for convenience. I cannot support this company’s business model with their disregard for human workers. Thanks for opening my eyes.

Dale Magnin