Letters for July 16, 2015

A better place

Decidedly I’m on a rant. I have been thinking of food stamps, and obesity. The two are closely linked, I believe. Why can you purchase candy, and not a hot meal? There can be no toilet paper but cake and soda. Doesn’t that seem to point in the direction of criminal? I live under the poverty limit yet I will no longer let it be a deterrent.

As of late, I have almost reversed my diabetes. Saying that, my health-care cost is going down, my medicines are not a problem for this government. How much is spent on the problem of obesity? Yes, I do live with government assistance, although I have worked. Retail has been my bread and butter for over 20 years. That has forced me into the point of government subsidized health and food care. Not to say we are not necessary, just undervalued.

I am not a politician, just a taxpayer with government assistance to help live in less favorable conditions. I no longer take advantage of the government dole. My food choices are healthy. I take care to not imbibe of things that hurt me. I also will leave this earth better than I found it. That’s my vow, no matter what.

Big brother does exist, this I know, so why fight it? If the state requires a photo to drive, why not for food stamps? People around me sell their stamps for drugs and booze. That doesn’t seem right. If the need is there, pay for it your own self, or leave it be. The world will be a gentler place.

While I hope these are not new thoughts, your newspaper has integrity. You speak of Nevada as a progressive state. Start here.

Take that, corporations, conglomerations. Go to the lobbyists. We can keep you working.

Kathleen Harris


Horrible equality

Re “Celebrate but prepare” (Editor’s note, July 2):

I’m having a hard time understanding why the president shined rainbow colors on the White House. I thought America’s colors were red, white and blue. This whole decision is the final nail in the coffin after the death of American values that the country was founded on.

Mike Arp


Missed the Poles

Re “Righteous” (Arts & Culture, July 9):

There are some very remarkable omissions in this article. I do not know if this is a fault of the University of Nevada, Reno or the reportage. I worry if these serious omissions are also reflected in the students’ work. One wonders if they, or Reno News & Review, should have paid more attention to the truth.

The exhibition is supposed to be based on the Yad Vashem list of Righteous, but the nation which has the most people awarded the honor is not mentioned in the article! This is compounded by a couple of related facts. In this country, there was no collaboration or surrender to Nazi Germany—unlike other German occupied lands!—and only in this brutally occupied country was there a German-mandated death penalty for any person and their family discovered sheltering Jews. It is estimated that up to 50,000 such people were summarily executed.

The country is Poland. But, it is somehow unworthy of mention by RN&R. The only occupied country where it took true courage with fatal consequences for the person and their family if discovered sheltering Jews is not mentioned.

The omission is also seen in this sentence: “At the University of Nevada, Reno, there is an exhibit on people who could have been killed, and sometimes were, for helping to protect the victims of Nazi Germany—Jews, gays, Gypsies. That’s courage.”

So, Poles were also not considered victims of Nazi Germany? This is irrefutably and factually incorrect.

Firstly, it was not “gays” per se, It was homosexual, mainly German, men that were persecuted. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum puts the total number at 15,000. Same source regarding Gypsies (Roma/Sinti) states:

“Of slightly less than 1 million Roma believed to have been living in Europe before the war, the Germans and their Axis partners killed up to 220,000.”

Sticking with USHMM (although the generally accepted figure is 3 million, not 1.9 million, and it represents the greatest population loss of any country in the war) we have:

“It is estimated that the Germans killed at least 1.9 million non-Jewish Polish civilians during World War II. In addition, the Germans murdered at least 3 million Jewish citizens of Poland.”

The first prisoners in the German camp Auschwitz were Polish; 75,000 Poles were killed in this camp by the Germans. It is the second biggest category of victims and outnumbers all the other non-Jewish categories added together.

It is shameful that RN&R failed to mention Poles as either Righteous or as victims. These significant omissions also reflect badly on UNR.

Chris Jezewski

via email

License guns

Cars are so dangerous they can kill. That’s why we require licenses, not to own one, but to use one. Training for parents, relatives and friends isn’t enough. We require state-certified instructors whose jobs are on the line if they fail. You must be age 16, get training, pass a written test, pass a road test, and get re-tested every so often for life. And if you want to drive anything bigger (trucks, buses, bulldozers, etc.), that requires a higher license, again from a state-certified system. Everyone knows all this, and no one has a problem with it.

So why doesn’t all this apply to guns? Cars kill by accident, but guns kill by design! That’s why cops have to have very serious background checks, practice, testing and re-testing, all by a state-certified system, before using even the smallest gun. And they can’t use bigger ones without further training and higher licenses.

All gun-users should have to get a cop’s training and then a license first. It’s called logic! There should be small- and huge-gun licenses and everything in between. Ammunition should be limited and appropriate to the purpose at hand. If you think you need a 100-round magazine for shooting deer, you really need more practice!

Furthermore, like alcohol and tobacco, all firearms (and explosives) should be heavily taxed, but all gun-safety devices should be tax-free. And most important of all, no mentally deranged person—of any color—should either drive or shoot.

J. Andrew Smith

Bloomfield, New Jersey

Get the facts

Re “When Ignorance Reigns” (Editorial, Feb. 12):

Your paragraph regarding Kenya truly proves the point! Kenya outlawed GMO because Kenyans understand the long-term consequences of monoculture operations that rely on increasing amounts of chemicals of all description, simultaneously destroying soil for generations.

If you want the truth, not opinion, visit althealthworks.com and visit “A legacy of destruction.”

It should be enough to ensure you issue an editorial rebuttal.

If that’s not enough, google Union of Concerned Scientists GMO, for facts about the issue.

Now is the time to look at the proof of the last hundred years and start listening to science.

Meanwhile, enjoy your Roundup-tainted GMO foods; unfortunately you probably will not be able to ascertain which they are because the pesticide manufacturers don’t want you to know. Wonder why?

David MacDonald