Letters for January 28, 2010

Beat your meat

Re “Meet your meat” (Feature story, Jan. 14):

After reading the title of the cover story “Meet Your Meat: Getting up close and personal with the cow inside your burger,” one might expect to find an article that explores the consumer’s relationship to contemporary practices of factory farming within the meat industry. Instead, we are treated to a bland retelling of Clint Demeritt’s experience at a local slaughterhouse that hardly reaches any meaningful conclusion—let alone succeeds in fulfilling the title’s promise of actually investigating how most cows become hamburgers in our society. All that we really learned was that Clint Demeritt was able to meet his meat. Good for Clint! I hope he enjoys pleasuring himself to that bad ass picture of him chomping down on the corpse of an innocent animal that someone else butchered, sliced, and ground up for him.

Justice Manha

Cut Council salaries

While I appreciate what a difficult job City Council has, I have to express my disappointment and confusion with the recent layoffs. I know there is a current budget crisis, and money has to be saved. I just do not believe that laying off public safety [workers] is a good idea.

I have been closely following the story, and I am concerned. I see 16 people as a huge cut to any department. Why is the fire department seeing a cut of 16 while other departments are seeing one or two people? The fire department currently has 25-plus unfilled positions, not including the 16 layoffs. Why, despite an additional 20-plus set to retire by June, are there talks of an additional 16 layoffs in the fire department?

The day after laying off the firefighters, Engines 4, 7 and 19 were closed all day. Trucks 11 and 15 were closed all day. When we see 20-plus retirements and possibly 16 more layoffs, how many stations will be closed … during peak fire season? What number of families at risk is acceptable? Why is a council member refusing to give up his share (5 percent cut)? That is not leadership … or motivation. It is disgusting. Said council member should also be laid off … effective immediately. I do not want to live in a place where I am not safe. Simply put, three closed engines and two closed trucks is not safe. That is unnecessary risk.

Bergen Smith

Backroom shenanigans

Last-minute backroom deals and hastily prepared 11th-hour amendments are a way of life in the United States Congress. We accept this as a regrettable reality in American politics. However, a last-second amendment to the Senate healthcare reform bill, proposed by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) threatens to deliver a crippling blow to America’s construction industry.

When the bill passed the Senate last month, legislators wisely exempted small businesses (defined as those with fewer than 50 employees) from mandates requiring employers to provide health benefits to their employees. Unfortunately, as the clock was running out, Sen. Merkley managed to slip five devastating paragraphs into the bill, which essentially excluded small construction companies from receiving this important exemption. There was no discussion and no debate, just an ill advised, last-second maneuver inexplicably targeting one of America’s most important industries.

As devastating as the Merkley amendment is to the industry nationally, its consequences are even more dire here in Nevada where the construction industry is disproportionately relied upon as an economic producer. More than any other state, Nevada’s economy relies on a healthy and vibrant construction industry. Most economists agree that the reason Nevada remains mired in recession while the rest of the country is showing signs of recovery is that we are too dependent on our construction industry, which has yet to recover. Clearly, we can and should have a policy discussion about our overdependence on construction, but as of today, it is an economic reality that simply cannot be ignored.

The majority of construction companies in Nevada are small, family- owned businesses that struggle every day to provide a living for themselves and their employees. We call upon our congressional delegation to correct this injustice.

Clara Andriola
president, Associated Builders and Contractors, Nevada Chapter

Don’t look back

Re “A perfect ‘10’” (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 14):

I’m sure Bruce Auclair meant well in his letter, but he’s wrong. Our calendar has no zero year. 2000 was the last year of the 20th century. 2001 was the first year of the new decade. This decade will end at midnight on Dec. 31, 2010.

Paul Hurless


Birther of a nation

Re “Born In the USA” (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 14):

President Obama’s citizenship status is a big can of worms that is finally being narrowed down by probably the most expert attorney on the subject, Philip Berg, who has been studying the subject for over two years now.

A main point is that Obama has only a Hawaiian “Certificate-tion of Live Birth” which is not as complete in its information as a “Certifi-cate of Live Birth” Those Certifi-cations were allowed to be given to children born outside of the U.S.A.

Another point is while the Nationality Act of the United States has been revised various times, it is the revision of 1952 that applies to Obama, closest to his given birth year, which Mr. Berg says “Section 318 does nothing but talk about a child’s expatriation as a result of their parents’ actions.” The expatriation concerns Obama’s mother’s marriage and move to Indonesia.

This brings me to a last point, and it is the clincher. The Associated Press published a photo of Obama’s Indonesian school record, which states that he was born in Hawaii (not substantiated by a long-form certificate) but is an “Indonesian Citizen with the name of Barry Sotero!

It has to be understood that at that time, Indonesia was a militant state not allowing dual citizenship and only citizens to attend its public schools.

Obama is still most likely a citizen of Indonesia and has never legally changed his name from Barry Sotero to Barack Hussein Obama, and was never naturalized in the U.S.A. since then. The legal consequences of Berg being right about all of this is very bad news for Barry or Barack or whoever he is.

Ernest Serano

Broken dream

Re “Can we talk?” (Editorial, Jan. 21):

As a black American, I’m familiar with discrimination, lack of opportunities, a lower standard of living than I’d be privileged to if I weren’t black, and a sense that the American Dream has passed me by, and by extension, my children. I have been fortunate to find work that satisfies both me and my employers and allows me to live a bit better than the lower classes. Education plays a role, to be sure, but it’s more attributable to taking advantage of opportunities presented to me than a sense of inclusion. I do appreciate all the work people like Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., and their contemporaries have done to promote a sense that equality is possible in America. But I also think that the dream of true equality remains a dream, rather than a reality, for many of my contemporaries.

Bill Penn


Re “Body in motion” (15 Minutes, Jan. 21):

We published the wrong email address for Carole Bucher’s Feldenkrais class. The correct email is <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">{ document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,97,32,104,114,101,102,61,34,109,97,105,108,116,111,58,114,101,110,111,102,101,108,100,101,110,107,114,97,105,115,64,97,111,108,46,99,111,109,34,62,114,101,110,111,102,101,108,100,101,110,107,114,97,105,115,64,97,111,108,46,99,111,109,60,47,97,62)) } </script>.