Letters for January 14, 2016
Guns, guns, guns
Re “Our terrorists or theirs?” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, Jan. 7):
Kudos to Mr. Van Dyke for succinctly describing terrorism in the United States albeit without mentioning our most recent terrorists holding court in Oregon. We are all so obsessed with the right to own weapons, including those that should only be available to the military, that we have lost sight of the rights of those who would like to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without fear of weapons, so readily available to anyone, being used to keep the rest of us from our rights.
And Mr. Van Dyke’s assessment of our grand jury system is right on! Our country needs to do better for all its citizens—not just those who elicit privilege. The grand jury system needs to go the way of the dinosaurs and independent reviews of all police homicides need to be instituted instead. Perhaps then justice will be more evenly dispensed.
More 60-plus details
Re “Balance of power” (News, Jan. 7):
A recent article in the Reno News & Review cited 60 Plus Association and two fossil fuel-connected reports opposing the implementation of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
There should be more disclosure when using flawed sources like 60 Plus, NERA Economic Consulting (NERA) and Energy Ventures Analysis (EVA). As we have documented extensively, numerous studies connected to utility and fossil fuel interests have been used to attack the Clean Power Plan. The NERA report was funded by trade associations, which included the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, and the National Mining Association – coal and utility interests that have a financial incentive to kill the Clean Power Plan.
The Energy Ventures Analysis study was funded by Peabody Energy, the coal company, and principals of EVA have ownership interest in another company, Clearstack, LLC, which is involved in the coal and natural gas industries. Furthermore, the 60 Plus Association is a front group funded by the Koch Brothers that is working to stop the Clean Power Plan and weakening renewable energy policies.
During the last election season, 60 Plus took over $20 million from the Koch political network’s primary money groups, American Future Fund, Freedom Partners, the Center to Protect Patient Rights.
Happily ever after?
Here’s a gross grim fairy tale you probably won’t dig, but hey, such is life.
Once upon a time you drive through the fast food place for some munchies. Sadly, the minimum wage burger flipper had the flu (or other noxious disease) and (un)intentionally coughed/sneezed on your grub. Ewwww. Our flipper had to work, because s/he would have been fired if s/he called in—possibly becoming homeless. So, sick you, and the kiddies get sick, and maybe even need hospitalization as required and face wage loss, etc., too … ? All this awful, fearful flu-spreading could have been negated—if only your server had paid leave and other absence capabilities.
The story continues. Our favorite presidential candidate who is calling for mandatory sick leave for employees is overwhelmingly elected, a nice new people-friendly courageous Congress finally is voted in (hooray!), and hence our new POTUS’ policies come to fruition: Flippers can stay home when sick, fewer folks get food poisoning, sick care gets affordable, minimum wages rise to $15, CEOs make a tiny-teensy-itty-bitty bit less (everyone else wins), burger price goes up maybe a dime or quarter, but then with more people earning a living, more snacks are sold, and prosperity is had by all.
And run-on sentences suddenly cease.
Now wasn’t that a nice fairy tale?
Feel the Bern.
I’ve thought about this long and hard. All guns must go—dismantled, melted, and buried. No more manufacturing of guns of any kind for anyone—collectors, cops, guards, plain folks, hunters, everyone, for at least the next 50-100 years. It is not feasible for every man, woman and child to carry a loaded gun at all times. … The guns must go, all of them, now.
We must only elect people that are true leaders, strong thinkers, can tell right from wrong, that will follow the dictates of the people. No one—and I say no one—truly knows how to handle a gun.
Registered gun owners are killing as well as non-registered.