Letters for January 26, 2006

Support freedom, support civil liberties
Re “Democrats Taught Bush How to Violate Civil Liberties” (Right Hook, Jan. 5):

Mike Lafferty’s column is an excellent lesson for students at all levels. History repeats itself. If a civilization doesn’t learn from the lesson, it repeats itself but more forcefully. Eventually, if the lesson isn’t learned, the civilization destroys itself. Apparently conservatives, with their stick your head in the sand and install-a-dictatorship mentality, are aligned with Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the effort to destroy America.

Bob Bennett

Them’s fighting words
Re “More on the hypocrisy of the Democrats” (Right Hook, Jan. 19):

Lying is undermining Mike Lafferty’s credibility as a journalist. For example, in his column, he mentioned that Democrats were briefed some 30 times since 2001 on the NSA’s domestic spying program. This is a mischaracterization of the facts. The Democrats were briefed but never approved the domestic spying program, and this disapproval could not be discussed to the public because it was classified. It was only after the story broke that the Democrats could discuss the issue. The FISA Court was never supposed to have been circumvented. Again, he mentioned Presidents Carter’s and Clinton’s warrantless searches. He again failed to mention that these warrantless searches couldn’t be done to United States citizens, only foreign nationals. Lafferty shouldn’t be discussing what is going on now as a partisan issue, this is something that affects everyone in every party. In essence, what the Bush administration is doing is destroying our democracy and that is an American issue—not a partisan issue.

Stephanie Winter

Not being ironic
Re “More on the hypocrisy of the Democrats” (Right Hook, Jan. 19):

So I’m watching the movie Mississippi Burning, the story of three slain civil rights workers in the ‘60s, and what great lengths the Feds used to break the back of the Ku Klux Klan. If you’re unfamiliar with it, you really should watch it. In one scene, based on the facts of the case, a prominent KKK member is kidnapped, bound and gagged and is threatened with emasculation if he doesn’t tell where the bodies are buried. Oh, believe me, he does. (And you thought torture didn’t work!) Only, in reality, it wasn’t a black man wielding the knife; it was a hit man for the mafia. Talk about deporting our prisoners to foreign countries where that type of ‘coercion’ is allowed. (Oh, this same hitman got the truth about who killed Medgar Evers in the same way). And court orders?

But, that’s when American ‘liberals’ still had balls.

Bill Thibault

Cops on the job
Re “Off Campus” (News, Dec. 29):

A recent Reno News & Review article reported that University of Nevada, Reno Police Services, as an agency, devotes a significant amount of its staff and resources off campus. This is correct. While university officers do spend time in the surrounding communities, they do so to protect off-campus students and curb problems before they migrate to campus. By patrolling the surrounding community, university police do not detract from campus safety—they enhance it.

Our commitment to the surrounding communities does not diminish our obligation to our on-campus community. This is evident in our response time: approximately three minutes to almost every on-campus call. An example of University Police officers’ commitment to campus safety was last semester’s “thruster” incidents, in which our officers spent hundreds of hours on and off campus working to apprehend a suspect. This included conducting rooftop surveillance, plain-clothes foot patrols, plain-clothes bike patrols, plain-clothes unmarked vehicle patrols and release of a composite sketch of the suspect to the University community and the media. Because of the dedicated work of our officers, in partnership with our community, faculty and staff, the perpetrator was apprehended and is currently serving his time.

Adam Garcia
Director, University of Nevada, Reno Police Services

Thanks for nothing
Re “Rebate rebuff” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, Dec. 15):

First, Gov. Guinn, taking a page from our president, takes a $300 million surplus from an ill-advised tax hike, and in a blatant vote-buying move, sends it back to us in the form of DMV rebates.

Of course, we know that he and our faithful legislature took a good look around to be sure that our teachers were well paid, our schools were in good shape and our communities were safe, right? Finding nothing amiss, playing political Santa Claus was surely the best move.

Meanwhile, immediately after the checks arrive, Nevada’s casinos report a record win for the month. Coincidence?

Now I read of students at Smithridge using 20-year-old textbooks and Guinn’s “education fund” falling short by over $60 million. Think the casinos will step up and make up the difference? Thanks, Kenny.

Mike Morgan