Letters for January 8, 2004

Let them eat cake
The Washington Times reports that Bush is demanding the new White House budget make tax cuts for the wealthy permanent, while slashing housing vouchers for the poor, yet more veterans’ benefits, job training and employment programs and medical research. What a nice guy!

Now that the White House is encouraging companies such as IBM and Microsoft to export thousands of high-paying jobs to China and India, while there are 8.7 unemployed, 4.9 million part-time workers who want to be full-time and 1.5 million who have given up looking for work, what is going on? Having slashed everything from education funds, AIDS research and treatment, Pell grants and community college funds to Head Start, does Bush not realize that eventually there will be no middle class in this country, and therefore no taxes to pay for his grand scheme of war on Terra—oops—terror!

Charles Prendergast
via e-mail

Faulty Yucca transportation
The Dept. of Energy’s announcement of the Caliente rail corridor as the preferred route for potential Yucca Mountain bound nuclear waste is not so much a surprise as evidence of a violation of the public trust and the spirit of environment laws. Apparently, the DOE plans to hold public hearings as part of a separate environmental impact statement for the rail corridor plan. Didn’t the DOE already do an EIS on the Yucca Mountain Project, and wasn’t the transportation plan detailed there?

The answer is yes, the DOE did an EIS, which did include waste transport analysis. Not many key components and details were left unresolved. In fact, there is an appendix in the YMEIS dedicated to the transportation plan; however, it is incomplete, which this announcement clearly illustrates. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act required that the DOE provide complete information and be finished with its studies surrounding the project, which should include the transportation plan, when it recommended Yucca Mountain as suitable for the nation’s most radioactive waste. This announcement is evidence that all the information was not provided to the President and Congress when it was time to vote on the project. Currently, the State of Nevada is challenging many aspects of the Yucca Mountain Project, including the Site Recommendation made in 2002 and the EIS. The DOE must not be allowed to violate the spirit, intent and possibly the letter of the law in order to force 77,000 tons of highly radioactive waste on our rails, roads, and, yes, waterways to the inadequate Yucca Mountain.

John Hadder
Citizen Alert, Reno

Defending Dean
Re “Talk to all the candidates,” [RN&R, Letters, Dec. 24]:

It looks like the mud-slinging has gotten off to an early start this primary season. Michele Avanti of Reno recently wrote to you complaining of presidential candidate Gov. Howard Dean and his “abuse” of a political action committee’s funds for his campaign travel. The PAC she referred to, Fund for a Healthy America, was founded to support the principles of fiscal stability, universal health insurance, better environmental protection and equality for all Americans.

Avanti also complains about Gov. Dean beginning his campaign while still in office (he is no longer Vermont’s governor). Nearly all the Democrats who are running for president are campaigning while in office.

Avanti’s point that the media should not dictate who we vote for is understood. The media see it as a horse race. It is incumbent upon the candidates and their supporters to keep the focus on the issues and not take petty swipes at each other.

Personal attacks on candidates do not serve any good. We choose to elevate the level of political discussion and work with anyone who thinks it’s time to get George Bush out of the White House. Let’s work together.

Carissa Snedeker
Northern Nevada for Dean

An Apple a day

Re “Merry techno rip-off,” [RN&R, View from the fray, Dec. 18]:

Thanks for giving voice to the millions of consumers who suffer from the marketing scams of all the corporations involved in selling Windows machines. The suggestion that these machines are valuable and effective tools for getting things done is itself a scam.

I personally use my computer daily for all kinds of tasks, and it works wonderfully. I have not experienced the hassles you described. There are no sneaky tricks hiding in my hardware or software, and the company that makes them treats me like a human being rather than a gullible consumer. That company is Apple.

Jeff Foss