Letters for January 20, 2011

Weird science

Re “Everyone’s a scientist” (News, Jan. 13):

Public opinion is always interesting. Consistent among opinions are the egos, dominated by attorneys, medical doctors, and politicians, regardless of their depth of knowledge. It does not require a degree in climatology to become informed on the issue. I became more interested after a friend sent me the An Inconvenient Truth DVD by Al Gore.

Any extreme view, in my opinion, needs to be mitigated by the actual statistics. It was pretty much a load of garbage, at least on the projections, but it did lead me to further research on the web. I surmise the following: 1) global warming or climate change, take your pick, is a reality. 2) Global temperatures have risen as is documented since the 1850s. 3) Globally, ice fields have thinned or disappeared, for the most part.

Now, a few will come up with other areas that have increased the snow pack. A strange thing about climate change is a marked change of weather patterns. I do not think there is much to argue about on that. Now, how much are we accelerating this? If Gore’s DVD is to be believed, a lot. I take a different view. We are contributing, and it can not possibly hurt to reduce our artificial contributions to the environment.

I am sure there are many political agendas here. One thing I would like to see is Nevada as a state devoting itself to renewable energy or low-impact energy sources. I am tired of the blocks to potentially making Nevada self-sustaining in energy. We are rich in geo-thermal, sun and wind power. But then, I am not a climatologist, attorney, doctor or politician.

Ted Beecher

That’s just mean

The Nevada Low Intelligence Syndrome (NLIS) is again proven to be real. Two articles in the Jan. 14 Reno Gazette-Journal allude to the NLIS, though the editor probably didn’t realize it. But that’s OK. Many folks here aren’t aware of the NLIS.

Let’s cut to the chase: The “train trench.” This is a long trench that runs through downtown Reno so that passing trains are underground and don’t block traffic. Sounds good, doesn’t it? The City Council approved selling $190 million in bonds to be retired by a sales tax increase.

Personally, I’ve never believed Reno could afford this expense, considering the size of its population and tax base. I’ve always believed that the trains, so instrumental in the settling of and the history of Reno, ought to be viewed as a friend instead of an enemy. That history could have been a revenue maker instead of a revenue breaker. We could have built viewing areas, displayed historical memorabilia, created pleasingly designed overpasses, and had a wonderful tourist attraction. This would have cost us a fraction of what the trench cost us, and also avoided our present predicament. This, of course, was caused by the “pie in the sky” thinking of the City Council and downtown business promoters, whose greed overshadowed all.

Briefly, the NLIS. This phenomenon started with the mining rushes, and the avaricious, immoral, greedy, and generally “lowlife” types of individuals it attracted. Of course, their intelligence levels coincided with their morals. This massive influx created a gene pool that still has its remnants here in Nevada, exacerbated by the legalizing of gambling in the ’30s. This brought in more folks of this ilk and the skewed gene pool grew. Think Bugsy Siegel. That’s the NLIS in a nutshell.

Now the second RG-J article indicating that the NLIS is alive and thriving in Nevada, and certainly in Reno: The Safari Club International is again coming to town near the end of January. Members of the SCI are generally financially well off, love to shoot unarmed and usually beautiful and harmless creatures of God, and then mount and proudly show off those they’ve killed.

Oh, the SCI members spend a lot of money while visiting us, which seems to make all of the senseless killing OK.

Now the kicker: The SCI has invited Sarah Palin as its keynote speaker. Wow. This is the Sarah who not only advocates killing for sport, but according to all reports needed seven shots to hit a caribou that was standing still.

John Rose

Language barrier

Re “En español, por favor” (View from the Fray, Jan. 13):

From Wikipedia: “Chinese or the Sinitic language(s) is a language family consisting of languages which are mostly mutually unintelligible, to varying degrees.”

There are standard jokes about northern Chinese trying and failing to speak southern and vice versa. Not only are there divisions between northern and southern spoken Chinese language, there are perhaps a dozen dialects, spoken in specific regions, that are mutually unintelligible. A person moving from one region to another usually finds that it requires about a year for the person who has moved to actually be able to speak the “new language.” (The written form of Chinese is a single natural language.)

There is a dialect, called Standard Chinese, that’s supposedly the official language of the People’s Republic of China. It is, alas, just another dialect of spoken Chinese.

The idea of people learning to “speak Chinese” is ridiculous.

In high school, I was forced to take a class titled “Spanish.” The teacher was unable to converse with the Mexican-speaking kids in school in Spanish. So was I. Spanish class was a total and complete waste of my time and only succeeded in preventing me from taking useful classes.

I hope that you will excuse me, but Deidre Pike’s column was an insulting waste of my time.

A.J. Bima

Political party animals

Nowhere in the Constitution or its amendments are provisions made to accommodate political parties or primary elections. The evil of such institutions was addressed in the farewell address of the first president: “One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection …

“It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration … it agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one … against another … it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption.”

When the Founders wrote the U.S. Constitution, they did not envision political parties playing a role in the government. Rather, they expected constitutional provisions such as separation of powers, checks and balances, federalism and indirect election of the president by an electoral college would deter the formation of parties.

Despite these constitutional provisions and President Washington’s warnings, the United States in 1800 became the first nation to develop political parties organized on a national level and to transfer executive power from one party to another via an election. By the 1830s, political parties had managed to entrench themselves into the U.S. political environment.

As the nation’s media and communications systems progressed, the spirit of national union has regressively been fragmented and made violent by the self serving rhetoric of partisan party extremists who apparently inadvertently and without apology incite violence into the arena in which they have gathered their followers.

Add today’s talk radio, television, the internet and remote communication devices along with an assortment of talking heads banking on protection of an ever expanding interpretation of First Amendment rights.

To paraphrase another great president: Ask not what you can do for the best interests of a political party. Ask what you can do for the best interests of the United States of America.

Red Kittell