Letters for June 19, 2008

Highest calling
Re “A changing group” (Editor’s note, June 5):

Pondering your question about the changing makeup of those of us who are homeless in Reno, I recall the ads in recent editions appealing to prospective homebuyers with seminars and tours of homes lost to who-knows-what circumstances of foreclosure. It feels like the pitting of needy parts of our community against each another in a desperate scramble for what remains of a fast-fading American Dream.

The pity is we let ourselves be so divided and conquered over what ought to unite us in a new struggle for economic rights. Ending both blatant and subtle forms of homelessness and day-to-day insecurity depends on a new consensus. Decent housing is a right for all, not a privilege for some. Provision and maintenance of decent housing are part of the common wealth, not the private profit.

The same is true of health care, education, child care, employment, of course—all that it takes to live humanly in an environment of growing interconnection. But it begins with a sense of home, of household (the root word of “economics"), of belonging to a life and a work, in a place and to a people who can be known and trusted, appreciated, even esteemed. There is no higher calling in life than the love of neighbor.

There are no more far-flung frontiers to rampant development. We have to start living where and with whom we are. The new and far more challenging frontiers are economic, social, cultural—frontiers not in the grasp of a few and beyond the grasp of many, but frontiers within and around, between and among us all! The changing faces of homelessness say we are all in this together!

There will be no lasting solutions to downtown homelessness without the full collaboration of all parties to our civic life and work—understanding that the average age of a homeless person today is 9 years old—and that the same economic system and resource wars that serve some ruin many. Imagine how much gentler to Earth—what a smaller environmental “footprint"—we owe to those who live in tents within walking distance! Other words rooted in “household” are ecology of place and ecumenicity of people!

Rev. John Auer

Negative image
Re “Hell’s Belles” (Musicbeat, June 12):

As many bands as are in this city, someone decides to write an article on a bunch of “hard-drinking, dope smoking weirdoes that promote drugs, alcohol and violence.

There are many other bands in this city that deserve a write up in the RN&R that are not pointing a pistol in your face, wearing a shirt with a big “F— you” hand on the front, toting a beer bottle and dressed up like a little gangster thug on a bicycle. What kind of message do you think this sends?

Name withheld

People person
Re “Expansion” (Filet of Soul, June 12):

Very misanthropic to refer to your fellow man as “little vermin.” I thought you liberals were supposed to be bleeding hearts. Oh, I get it, you’ve become bleeding hearts for polar bears, pigeons and endangered insects, while slamming humanity for “destroying the planet.” If that’s what being “progressive” means, no thanks.

Toby Caruthers

No respect
Re “Expansion” (Filet of Soul, June 12):

You referred to people as “those little vermin down there, unappreciative.” FYI, it was “little vermin” who built the airplane; it was “vermin” who made your clothes and your iPod. It’s “vermin” who pay your salary and advertise in your newspaper. You’re the one who is unappreciative. I dare you to go into a classroom of Fourth graders and tell the kids they’re all a bunch of little vermin. If you ever need medical care, or a taxi, or a plumber, or help of any kind, look that person in the eye and call him or her “vermin.”

Show humanity some respect.

Karl Spencer

Road rant
Re “Annoying drivers too shall pass” (Left in the Lurch, May 22):

My husband was killed in 2004 by a punk teenager carelessly driving his pickup. I’ve been observing the drivers of trucks, SUVs, gigantic Suburbans, and just lately of Jeeps, for many, many years. I have come to the conclusion that they are under the delusion that they own the roads, and the traffic laws the rest of us have to obey don’t apply to them. I see them speed through school zones at 45 mph during school hours. If you run into a truck on a side street that may not have the center dividing lane, they will deliberately take up half your space, too, just to see if they can intimidate you. In parking lots, it is hilarious to see the behemoths trying to get into and out of the tiny parking spaces most VWs would find a tight squeeze—either that, or they take two spaces.

I’ve developed various theories as to why drivers of larger vehicles are the rude, careless morons that they are, one being that men who feel the need for such large trucks that they can look down upon the world below are compensating for their micro-mini genitalia. When a woman gets behind the wheel of one of these behemoths, she seems to become just as aggressive as her male counterparts.

Summer is coming on, and with it higher temperatures and flaring tempers. Soon we may see more crosses along the roadways.

Vickie Vera
Sun Valley