Letters for July 8, 2010

Right Angle

Harry Reid thinks Sharron Angle is “whacky” for wanting to shift from our current failing Social Security System to a personalized system. If our failing Social Security system is so good, why doesn’t Harry Reid’s Senate participate? The Senate’s personalized system seems to suit Harry Reid just fine.

What’s missing from the Social Security dialog is any mention of what personalized Social Security systems offer. For a concrete example, one need only look to Chile. About 30 years ago, Chile made the transition from a system similar to ours to a personalized system. Existing beneficiaries were protected. The fact that the new system contributions actually went into a “lockbox” created a large pool of private capital that contributed to a nationwide economic boom.

The returns and benefits to the account holders have been much greater than originally planned. Oh, and the accounts are part of the subscriber’s estate and transfer to heirs when the subscriber passes on.

So if Harry Reid would rather ignore these kinds of possibilities and stick with a system headed over a cliff, who’s the “whacky” one?

Robert R. Kessler
Las Vegas

Our connection

Re “The great black hope” (Feature story, July 1):

The anniversary of the historic Johnson/Jeffries title fight opens Reno history to the world this Sunday. Steamboat Hot Springs has hosted training camps for champions like Jack Dempsey, so we are fascinated by this pivotal event in national history being from Reno. Modern residents of Reno are often unaware of our colorful history and the universal respect for mineral hot springs as healing therapies for injuries, stress and exhaustion that our ancestors held. Personal achievement in boxing and competitive sports connects all people to similar levels of self-awareness and survival.

Some older men notice our lives involve more struggle, pain and risk than we signed up for. Daily stress is rarely as clean, clear and obvious as fists between you and an opponent. Identification with a fighter or athlete gets us in to primal regions of experience. Wars have always seemed too easy to arrange by those who understand these psychologies. Maybe focusing on our inner fighter can divert images away from desensitized mega-violence up into the humanized areas of personal achievement.

Thomas Lee
Steamboat Hot Springs and Spa


Real sickness

Re “Chronic dispute” (Feature area, July 1):

Thanks for bringing the chronic fatigue syndrome news to all. The CFS field has always had a lot of debate and dramas—this all is just another. As one who’s had CFS for 13 years, I hope this time things sort out. So many of us are very sick. Fevers, sore throats and the other symptoms we get are not in our minds. I’ve noticed comments that are quite wrong on how the original study was done in other CFS news threads.

Tanya Selth
Strathalbyn, Australia

Prayers answered

Re “Good works” (Filet of Soul, June 24):

Prayer is a conversation, not a request.

I am writing in response to last week’s Filet of Soul column, “Good works: Faith in prayer.” Brian mentioned that he had never had a prayer answered that had influenced anything. In reading that column over the last two years, I have noticed many instances where his prayers were answered. Sometimes Brian got up late or didn’t know where to go, and suddenly he found a convenient service to attend that could be the subject of his next column.

Prayer is actually a conversation with God. Often we ask for things and do not even listen for solutions or comfort from God. Asking for something we want is only one of the many types of prayer. God hears all our prayers and sometimes the answer is “no.” The phrase “prayer works” means that prayer can bring us comfort if we only listen.

The one prayer that I’ve most often seen “answered” with a solution is, “What would you like me to do, God?” I have seen this prayer answered over and over again, for example, when Brian found a new service or subject to write about for his Filet of Soul column.

Note: I just finished my Stephen Ministry training for members of congregations to provide one-to-one Christian care to people in the congregation and community who are experiencing grief, loneliness, divorce, hospitalization, disability, job loss, and many other life difficulties. We use prayer to bring hope and healing to hurting people.

Lizbeth Trotti

Blame local incumbents

It seems like too many people overlook the state’s responsibility as well as the lower local governments and their obligations when it comes to airing their frustrations and playing the blame game. The only things on their minds at present seem to be getting rid of Sen. Harry Reid, who has done this state a lifetime of good. If you will recall this state’s position compared to the rest of the states on several issues, you will also recall that the majority of that responsibility lies with the local politicians, those who hold positions within the borders of Nevada, the people whom you voted into office the past several years. These are the ones who are supposed to know what they are doing locally. If you did not vote, we do not need your opinion or ridicule now. If you did vote, you might want to rethink your opinion of what to do with the state of Nevada and who should be in the driver’s seat.

Jack Kunce

Merry Christmas

Re “Sharron Angle may bring the GOP a good X-mas” (Reviled & Revered, June 24):

Columnist John Barrette is critical of Franklin Roosevelt and the programs he put forth, but I am sure his parents were recipients of Social Security, unless they thought of it the way Sharron Angle’s grandfather did, as “welfare,” and refused to accept it (never did hear what her parents did, though). Sharron Angle, as a junior senator, will be unable to put forth her conservative agenda, such as privatizing Social Security nor much of anything else. As for Christmas, I think the GOP will be the ones to have to just grin and barrette.

Willem Scholtens

Not a fan

So now Harry Reid is using out of context quotes to “prove” that Sharon Angle wants to “wipe out” Social Security. Democrats have been running that scam against Republicans for decades. It is a lie. But Social Security is losing money, and Medicare and Medicaid are bankrupt. Do we condemn people for even hinting at alternatives that might actually work? At least Angle is thinking about fixing problems. Reid isn’t. He falsely accuses Angle of wanting to destroy Social Security, but fails to offer a syllable of any solution to the money drain. His silence proves that higher taxes are his solution. Can we afford that? Really?

Reid boasts of saving or creating 61,000 thousand jobs while Nevada’s unemployment rate stands at 14 percent. Huh? I can think of what he’s asking me to swallow, but I can’t write that word in this newspaper.

Reid has been in Washington too long. He has forgotten how real people live and work, or don’t work, in Nevada. Shouldn’t we let him see what truth is all about? I’d like to see a Reid commercial with him standing in the unemployment lines, wouldn’t you? We can do so much better.

James Winchurch