Letters for July 21, 2016

Simpson redux

Re “Calling a foul” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, June 23):

O.J. Simpson may have gotten away with murder in LA when the jury handed down the verdict. That should have been the end of it. A crime was committed. Court was convened. A trial was held. A verdict was rendered. End of story—or at least O.J.’s part of it.

Justice did not win or lose that day. Instead of dropping it, many people who watched parts of the trial on TV or saw recaps of it on the evening news decided to render their own verdict of guilty. (If you don’t like the jury verdicts, don’t spend your time trying to get out of jury duty.) People went after O.J. in any and all ways possible—financial, civil rights violations, etc. It took the case from being about justice to revenge.

When O.J. was convicted in Nevada, a member of the court said that Nevada did what California couldn’t. They also said O.J. got what he deserved in Vegas. No, he didn’t. He was partly sentenced for what happened in California. That in itself is not right. You get a speeding ticket in Reno. At traffic court the judge saw you were given a warning for illegal parking on a San Francisco street years ago. The judge takes that into account and triples your fine. Not right. The two are not related, just like the two O.J. cases are not related. True, a judge can take into account past behavior but only if it pertains to the case—not to enact revenge on a previous case that the judge rightfully or wrongfully feels was unfairly rendered.

If we allow—and we already have—the court system to give out sentences based on revenge for a previous case, then how fair is the system?

Dewey Quong


Give to get?

Re “Always try to come in 49th” (Left Foot Forward, June 30):

The glass will always be half empty for Sheila. Too bad that the many positives of growth—average wage increase, job opportunities, etc.—are totally ignored by her liberal, anti-growth message. She focuses on the negatives like using state data to disrespect the real success of the Washoe County School District and tax subsidies, which very few companies actually get, and even when they get them it amounts to very little—a temporary reduction in taxes that actually brings more revenue to the state than the taxes that are not collected. Any research in this area would reveal that of the majority of the incentives “given” to Tesla, over half were reductions in taxes on manufacturing equipment, a tax that most states don’t even have! But then reality and facts never matter to Sheila.

Mike Kazmierski

Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada


Letter about a letter

U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei responded to a letter recently asking him, post Orlando, to do something about guns and the ongoing slaughter of innocents. By now most of us have seen or heard excuses for inaction but two remarks in the congressman’s response are interesting.

First, Congressman Amodei didn’t mention Orlando. He said, “In the aftermath of recent tragedies—blah blah blah.” Why not mention Orlando? Because it’s a form letter, and Amodei knows very well he will be sending it out again.

Secondly, the congressman assures his constituent that his “thoughts and prayers are with the victims etc. etc.” I have to ask, what exactly are those thoughts, Congressman? Are you picturing corpses piled in a corner? Blood and brains on the floor and walls? Are you trying to imagine the velocity of rounds moving through the bodies of victims, victims you will never in your political career lift a finger to help? Are you trying to hear the screaming of dying men and women? But we know what he’s thinking, really. He’s hoping that his form letter sympathies are acceptable to the NRA and to the paranoid wing of his party. He’s thinking everyone will forget about Orlando because, after all, practically everyone has forgotten about Newtown and Charleston and San Bernardino and, well—who can name all the places and deaths and grieving that a congressman has to forget.

Thanks for the letter, Congressman. I know you’ll probably say, “It was nothing.” Exactly, sir.

Joe Calabrese