Letters for January 12, 2006

Not doing your job
My son was doing community service with Community Service Agency. They went to a location near the Reno Hilton along the Truckee River. He and the others were instructed to pick up and throw away the tents of the homeless, the only meager protection from the elements they had.

I’ve lived in Washoe County for 34 horrible years, seeing and experiencing on a first-hand basis how local governments treat the poor.

I always thought a newspaper should be a beacon of truth to the world to enlighten people to what’s really happening around them, instead of keeping it all hush-hush.

If I had the money, I’d leave this god-forsaken state forever, but instead I’m stuck here at the mercy of a monster that wants nothing more than to suck my very life away.

Vickie Vera
Sun Valley

Sin of omission
Re “Democrats taught Bush how to violate civil liberties” (Right Hook, Jan. 5):

It’s nice to see that Lafferty still takes his marching orders from Drudge and Rove. His column “exposing” how Clinton and Carter also authorized “illegal” wiretaps could not have been parroted better nor been further from the truth. The difference between the impeachable crime that Bush committed by authorizing thousands of illegal wiretaps and the legal wiretaps which Clinton allowed rests in the simple fact that Clinton ensured that U.S. citizens would remain “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” In other words, Clinton respected the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. What Lafferty doesn’t tell us is that Clinton’s executive order allowed the attorney general “to approve physical searches, without a court order, to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year,” so long as the attorney general certified that the search or surveillance in question didn’t invade the property or premises of a U.S. citizen, a safeguard that Bush chose to circumvent.

So Lafferty doth protest loudly of us liberals conspiring to give him an unfair shake, but where I grew up (right around here), our moms called Lafferty’s kind of selective obfuscation “lying,” and we were prone to getting our mouths soaped for it.

Chris Rosamond

Pranking the spies
Re “Big Brother’s been watching” (News, Jan. 5):

When I heard that the NSA was doing domestic spying, I went to the NSA Web site to check out what they were about. A few days later, I heard that anyone who went to the NSA Web site had a data-mining, tracking cookie put on their computer—now no longer being done.

I figured since I was at the Web site before they announced that they no longer put tracking cookies on PCs, they needed something more interesting from me.

I went to several of the most radical anti-American English language Web sites in the Middle East and other Muslim countries, looked around their sites, turned off my pop-up ad blocker and sent them innocent e-mails.

After visiting three or four anti-American websites, with pop-up ad blocker still turned off, I went to porn sites, the ones with graphic pictures, straight, gay and lesbian. I’m an equal opportunity offender.

By the way: Does anyone know if you can get charged with sexually harassing a federal employee who is illegally spying on you?

Dewey Quong

Prescription benefit nightmare
The new Prescription Drug “benefit” is a nightmare. I selected the most expensive prescription drug coverage available, at $119 a month, because I’ve had a stroke, a heart attack, and I’m diabetic. I didn’t want any snags in my prescriptions. I’m covered. WRONG!

On Jan. 2, I went to an authorized pharmacy in Reno to fill my prescriptions. They had not received any information regarding the new plan. After a few hours, they managed to fill my prescriptions for generic drugs. But one of my prescriptions was for ACTOS, a drug for diabetes. I had to get prior approval for this drug.

The next morning, I went to my doctor’s office, but they had not received the information, either. So, I went to the provider’s main office to get answers.

They told me my doctor had to call Express Scripts in Arizona, as Express Scripts had to put an authorization number in their computer. Then a pharmacy could access the computer to see the authorization number.

I took that phone number to my doctor to call Express Scripts to get authority. Then I went back to my pharmacy. This is day two, and I’m out of my diabetic medication.

The new Prescription Drug bill is a disservice to older people. I expect the complaints will rise when seniors realize they can get their drugs overseas for less money, but will face a penalty for not joining the plan. The insurance and drug companies will reap huge profits at the expense of older people and taxpayers. We’d be better off buying generic drugs as before and buying the expensive drugs overseas.

The solution is to throw out the Democrats and Republicans who voted for this bill and elect people who care about the health of citizens.

Charles Barnum