Letters for June 20, 2013

A lousy choice

I’m not sure which is the lesser of evils—secret surveillance programs or increased potential for significant and wide-spread harm done to us by insiders and outsiders. It’s not like the old days when one individual or small group was limited in the scale of harm they could inflict. These days, we’re talking potentially wide-spread damage harming millions with long-term consequences that most of us can’t really imagine (imagine hurricane Katrina on steroids).

But we’re also in an era where our government officials often have ulterior motives that are not aimed at benefiting the general public and a media that promotes what I like to refer to as “arrogant, ignorant, power-hungry, egomaniacs” to be elected into office who will abuse whatever powers they have for their own self-serving interests. And these self-serving interests can often do as much, if not more, long-term damage as the terrorists we’re trying to protect ourselves against.

I’d suggest that we have a national discussion and referendum on this topic, but we also live in a time where any such discussion will be completely propagandized, permeated with iffy facts, and lacking any rational discourse by our leaders and corporate-sponsored media. Couple that with an under-educated and totally manipulable electorate and the prospects for fixing anything seems extremely unlikely.

Michael Rottman

Virginia Highlands

Bigger fish to fry

Re “Return of the Monster” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, RN&R, June 6):

Some years back I wandered into the bar [Crosby’s Lodge in Sutcliffe], noticing the huge wall of Polaroids of crazed smiles over armloads of trout. I stepped up for a closer look. Out of all those hundreds or thousands of pics, the first that I looked at had my name on it. Literally. I wish I could claim to have caught the lunker draped across his arms. The envy meter pegged as I wished that was me lookin’ back with that goofy grin. One consolation: I’ve got better teeth.

Rick Woods


Acronyms on parade

As recently as 1986, homosexuality was regarded as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. Practicing homosexual sex is a mental choice that had negative societal consequences for homoelectives in the past. Now it’s all in the name of “love,” according to the propaganda of the LGBT (Love Gone Bad Today).

But with all the drag queens (homoelectives on pervoids) and skin on display at gay-pride parades (nudity allowed in San Francisco), it is easy to see that unrestrained sex is their message, not love. Our children are being indoctrinated by the NEA arm of the LGBT in the public schools to be familiar with and accepting of homosexuality and those that choose to practice it, including in some schools a cross-dressing day, Harvey Milk Gay Day and unisex athletic teams with access to the opposite sex locker room and restroom for those that purport to “gender identify” with the opposite sex. This in the guise of fighting intolerance and discrimination, but also population growth for the U.N. with close ties to both the NEA and LGBT, while legislation is proposed to outlaw professional therapy and counseling aimed at helping teens overcome unwanted same-sex attraction.

It is no wonder the Boy Scouts voted to accept homoelective boys into their heretofore honorable organization. The BSA (and their sponsors) better be ready for some lawsuits, however, if the homogenized U.S. Military man-on-man and men-on-man rape and sexual assault stats carry through to their camp-outs, especially when adult homoelectives are admitted as leaders. I think everyone should have an emblazoned “Love Gone Bad Today” t-shirt in their closets where homoelectives should be. God have mercy on us if the U.S. Supreme Court gives them the green light to legalized same-sex marriage.

Michael W. Jarvis

Salt Lake City

Dennis is taxing

Re “It happens” (Cover story, RN&R, May 23):

Thanks to Dennis Myers for his outstanding piece on Nevada’s tax system. It was the most informative and well-written article I’ve seen on the interplay of politics and it’s effect on the citizens of Nevada. Mr. Myers took time to not only cover the evolution of our tax system over the last 30 years, but also helped explain our regressive system by simply stating, “It hit the working poor harder than the wealthy.” Governor Sandoval has signed AB 46 and now it will be up to our County Commissioners to decide our fate. Maybe Mr. Myers would consider continuing his in-depth coverage by comparing how our County property and sales taxes compare to nearby Counties and States. My family currently pays $250 a month from our property taxes for education. Is that high, average or dirt-cheap?

Valerie Truce


All about Mama

Here we have a treasure, a home grown classic—Inez Casale Stempeck, the little Italian lady with lots of kids running a restaurant. Born in 1927 on El Rancho Drive, her parents started the Half Way club when she was ten years old. She attended Orvis Ring Elementary, North Side Junior High and Sparks High. “Steamboat” Stempeck was stationed at Fallon Naval Air Station where they met at a dance. In 1946 they married. They partnered with Jerry and Beverly Casale in 1955. They ran the place until 1963, when Jerry began working for Welsh’s Bakery and later Helms Construction.

“Steamboat” died in 1969. The baseball fields at Shadow Mountain are named for him. With one son in Vietnam, four teenagers and two little girls, Inez was left to run the place. Soon friends pitched in to help and they made a go of it. Everyone loves Inez and Inez loves everyone. She makes lasagne, spaghetti, ravioli and meatballs with a heaping helping of love. Inez helps everybody and had never turned away someone who is hungry. Hobos would leave a mark on the side of the building to indicate a soft touch. Inez has served families with as many as five generations present at one seating. The Casales—Inez, Jerry and Bev—held a fund raiser to try and save the Nevada State Fair, raising more than six thousand dollars. I didn’t appreciate the wonderfulness of the club until I traveled and ate hotel food for a year.

Inez is old fashioned. She won’t allow slot machines, microwave, doesn’t serve dessert, won’t accept credit cards and only allows her house dressing on salad. No thousand island here. We cut her back to six days a week. She’s 86. She was featured in Willie Vlautin’s novel Motel Life and in the subsequent movie.

Little joint on the old Lincoln highway, nine tables and a darling little Italian lady. Some say it’s as close to Italy as you can get in Nevada.

John Stempeck



Re “Barbara Vucanovich 1921-2013” (Upfront, RN&R, June 13):

We reported that in 2010, Vucanovich endorsed Harry Reid’s reelection. Although she was skeptical of Reid’s opponent and engaged in discussions with his GOP supporters about supporting Reid, in the end she chose not to endorse him.