Letters for January 19, 2012

Galveston, oh, Galveston

Re “The BVD platform” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, Jan. 12):

Let me reply to BVD: Social Security: A Ponzi scheme, looted by Congress. The city of Galveston, Texas, and a few quasi-governmental organizations opted out of Social Security in the early ’80s. Those who retire from Galveston get two to three times what Social Security pays. They also get a paid up $50,000 life insurance policy. Finally, the money in their retirement account belongs to the retiree. BVD wants Social Security? I want Galveston.

Medicare: The financial survival of Medicare is based on doctors working for about $5 an hour. Get rid of smokers and the obese, and the costs maybe come down to manageable. National health care: I read English papers to get the footy news. They don’t like national health care at all, at least a scandal a week.

R. Richard

Are you Sirius?

KKOH going down in flames! So, the radio station is dumping Coast to Coast! I am disappointed and angry. Well, I am dumping KKOH. You are being erased from my push buttons, and I will no longer tune into 780 AM. Good luck. I will be switching to satellite radio. And don’t bother sending me an appreciation email.

Bruce Bartlett

Aim for the stars

Re “The BVD platform” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, Jan. 12):

“Gun control: I don’t mind you having a handgun or four or a shotgun or rifle. I don’t. But I’m not real crazy about you having an AK-47 or a grenade launcher.” Here are some inconvenient facts for you. In 2010, AKs, ARs, Uzis and all other semi-auto “assault weapons” as well as all other rifles accounted for 358 murders nationwide. That is less than 3 percent of all homicides and comes to less than two per day. Not only does that mean that no one in your state will be murdered by an “assault weapon” or any other rifle this month but likely not next month, or even the month after that. By contrast, more than four times the number of murders, 1,704, were with knives or cutting instruments, more than twice the numbers of murders, 745, were with hands, fists, feet, etc., and more murders, 540, were committed using blunt objects (www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl08.xls). Furthermore, anyone can purchase a grenade launcher, but one must have a special license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. In order to obtain a license, one must pass a rigorous background check, pay a $200 transfer tax per weapon, meet the mandatory storage requirement, and submit to unannounced BATFE inspections. Can Bruce Van Dyke cite a crime committed in the U.S. using any kind of grenade or a grenade launcher? Additionally, grenade launchers are also used to launch signal and illuminating flares.

William Ewart
Knoxville, Tenn.

Hooray for Citizens United

Re “Caucuses vs. Primaries” (Feature story, Jan. 12):

Dennis Myers raises an interesting point late in his comments regarding the presidential nominating campaigns whether by caucus or primary: the “attraction” of advertising dollars to states where there is a vigorous contest to attract delegates or to advance a political agenda. The expenditure of campaign finances is a great way to redistribute wealth. From personal experience as a television news reporter in Reno, I recall the euphoria around the television stations during the “campaign season.” Television advertising minutes that may have languished unsold suddenly transformed from dross to gold. Salespeople became order takers. The money rolled in.

I reinvested my share of this largess into groceries, utility bills, mortgage payments, taxes, etc., and perhaps (don’t tell anyone) a modest contribution to Planned Parenthood. When I first heard of the Supreme Court’s decision that corporations are people, I bemoaned the inordinate influence that it bestowed upon the “rich.” While the corporate donors via super PACs may make every attempt to assure themselves that their money is buying influence, they relinquish their control once the money is spent. Some of that money is leaking into the (gasp) proletariat. The message may belong to those who pay for it. Liberty belongs to all of us. Rumors abound that the presidential campaigns in 2012 will “cost” $2 billion. I hope it’s more.

Larry L. Wissbeck
Paonia, Colo

Citizens frozen out

Re “Caucuses vs. Primaries” (Feature story, Jan. 12):

Please push to bring back primary voting. I can and will participate in the caucuses, but those with jobs and bills to pay cannot take off work to participate.

Dan Beeler

Pissed off

I am outraged about the outrage! This morning we saw the news that exposed four Marines urinating on an enemy corpse. While that is completely inappropriate, we never seem to see the real outrage: the dead body! It seems that we do not concern ourselves with the killing of another human being as long as we don’t “harm” them after they are dead. We Marines realize the nature of warfare regardless of how you feel about it. Participants in war, and especially combat troops, are pushed to the limits of their sanity.

As civilians and noncombatants, you must realize that war is an alternative reality, it’s not some video game. I don’t excuse those Marines for what they did, but who is really to blame? I say it is the fault of every citizen. We allow our country to participate in warfare with no genuine rationale. We don’t consider for a moment what we are doing to the individuals fighting the war. We only allow ourselves to think about how we can “help” the troops after we have physically or psychologically damaged them, and only relatives and friends think of the fallen. Why there isn’t overwhelming support not to place troops in harm’s way in the first place is the real outrage. The military will punish the four Marines. They will probably be over-punished. After all, we have to protect our good name. Where is the punishment when we anonymously, via drone attacks, kill civilians? That seems to be OK. Which of these two offences is most severe, urinating on a dead body or killing civilians? I know, but I am not sure you do. Let us work to end this war. Please!

Anthony Matulich
Sutter, Calif.

Stay around

Re “Eye in the Sky” (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 5):

After reading Mr. Rosami’s letter “Eye in the Sky,” I would have to say he came off with dignity and class after the review that restaurant critic K.J. Sullivan gave his restaurant. Good for him. The community needs more people like him.

David Slatton

Think twice about reviews

Re “Italian job” (Foodfinds, Dec. 29):

I have yet to dine at A & M Rosami, but have enjoyed what was Pierino’s as a strong second-tier Italian restaurant when I need some pasta outside of my kitchen. After reading the owner’s response to K.J.’s critique, I fully intend on dining at Rosami’s and comprising my own opinion of the food and service. I have dined at a majority of the restaurants that K.J. has reviewed and have found that she is typically inaccurate, and below average in her writing skills and ability to actually critique the food.

Her reviews reek of an inexperienced writer and food/restaurant connoisseur. I don’t expect her to fluff or lean in a positive direction for the sake of the business owner, but inaccuracies or flawed opinions affect not only the local business owner and employees, but their families and our local economy! Please think twice before you print Sullivan’s reviews, or consider having Dave Preston perform all the reviews.

J.D. Drakulich