Letters for June 23, 2011

Buses to nowhere

Re “The commute” (Upfront, June 9):

I think that there is a misconception being given in the story “The commute.” During the 15 years that I have lived in Reno, there have been three certain things: death, taxes, and bus service cuts. There are also bus service rate increases, but those don’t count if you don’t have any place to spend them.

Public transportation in Reno has its own economy, unaffected by the national economy. Perhaps the basic problem is the RTC’s emphasis on highways over public transportation.

I have often wondered how a company that can not maintain bus routes can afford to hire armed security guards for the bus station. Now I see some of these guards riding around on Segways. Is the public the enemy of the bus company or is the bus company management the enemy of the people?

John Daniels

What price security?

So there you have it: The CIA wants to take over the Pentagon and run the drones, and the FBI is expanding its own powers to look into our lives without warrants to observe “activists.” And we find the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has allowed thousands of guns to go south—against the better judgment of their agents in the field—in an alleged attempt to trace them to the culprits. Seventy percent of all the weapons confiscated from the Mexican drug lords are made in America. I can see the humor, having served myself, “Hey! We got 70 percent market share!” Guess we do make a few things right here after all. Wouldn’t you know it would be arms and armaments? Reminds me of an old Don Henley song:

The government bugged the men’s room in the local disco lounge

To keep the boys from sellin’ all the guns that they could scrounge.

But that don’t keep the boys from makin’ a buck or two.

They still can sell the army all the drugs that they can do.

Somebody, please tell me how we can get control of this monster we have created. We’ve got war crimes being committed by our soldiers in the field. Unbelievable amounts of money being ripped off by private contractors. Some general had the authority to hand out $35 million in an attempt to buy off Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Twenty-two suicides at Fort Hood alone last year. Errant drones killing civilians. I mean come on! How about fighting like real men? How many more times do we have to hear Hillary Clinton apologizing to the Afghans or the Pakistanis for misguided drones killing civilians? This is not defense. It is neo-colonialism. How about asking them, and ourselves, why they hate us?

Another Henley lyric: “You don’t really need to find out what’s going on. You don’t really want to know just how far it’s gone. Just leave well enough alone. Eat your dirty laundry.”

It’s time for multinationals to start making amends and forking it over.

Jon Obester

We put the ‘super fun’ in Superfund

Re “Open water” (Foodfinds, June 16):

Concerning K.J. Sullivan’s review of the Sunset Cover Cafe and Wine House, the Helms Pit/Sparks Marina was never classified as a Superfund site. That requires placement on the National Priorities List by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Rather the clean up was accomplished using Section 106 (Emergency Response) of the Superfund law (CERCLA) through an effective partnership of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Nevada, the Washoe County Health District, and the city of Sparks. A great environmental success story. The only listed Superfund site in Nevada is the Carson River Mercury Site.

I do agree with K.J. that the Sunset Cove Cafe has good food and a great atmosphere.

Allen Biaggi

Dining at the Depression Deli

I hate Socialism because in France, they get 100 channels of TV, fast internet, free local phone calls, and a free phone on activation. It costs them the equivalent of $35 a month.

God, I hate them.

No more Freedom Fries for me, for sure.

That’ll teach ’em!

Craig Bergland

Going out of business

Some Americans think a kid running a lemonade stand would be more qualified in economics than President Obama. If you think about it, that kid would have to purchase the lemonade mix and water, acquire a location for business and market their product for a profit. Obama took office and continues to operate with deficits. So what he inherited a bad economy because Barney Frank and other Democrats allowed banks to loan to folks who couldn’t afford the home they lost. It’s time to get over it; this economy is 100 percent Obama’s now. If he is serious about being a true American, he should take a lesson from the kid with the lemonade stand; you can’t lose money and stay in business.

Mike Arp

Who to believe?

Re “We’re all illegal” and “Smart taxes” (Letters to the Editor, June 9):

The writer states, “According to international laws, ethical and moral principles, most of us are illegal immigrants [and that includes the letter writer] unless Roy Avery is 100 percent Native American.” A little world history might help the writer understand what the meaning of immigration is.

At the time of Europeans landing on what are now known as the North and South American continents, the principle of Right of Conquest was the accepted form of conquering lands. This principle included land occupied as the result of victory in war or claiming lands not ruled by what we now refer to as sovereign nations. To judge people’s actions in the 15th through 19th century by today’s standards is absurd. The writer’s true intent in the slandering of European settlers in their conquest of the natives on this continent is made clear by the reference to “theft of all or part of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Kansas, Texas, Utah and Wyoming,” from Mexico during the “Mexican wars.”

Who were these Mexicans, other than descendants of the Spanish Conquistadors? The very name makes reference to being conquerors. The writer’s agenda is perfectly obvious. Bash America for the past.

The “Smart taxes” letter exhibits another example of tax policy ignorance. The letter begins with the sentence, “The Republicans in Washington are disgusting.” While I would agree that most politicians of both parties in Washington are disgusting, I must disagree with the writer’s statements. First of all, it is the “rich and super rich” who pay the majority of income taxes. The top 10 percent of income earners pay 70 percent of the income taxes. The bottom 50 percent pay approximately 2 percent of those taxes. The middle class supports Republicans because Republicans, for the most part, believe in private property rights and so does the middle class.

The writer raises the question, “Do those conservatives believe that they will soon be millionaires?” Perhaps not millionaires, but they do believe in the “land of opportunity.” What is considered to be “filthy rich” by the writer? Is it his belief that money earned through intelligent investing, or the invention of a product or service should not be rewarded? Everyone has the same opportunity to make life decisions that open or close the doorway to achieve success. Some of us succeed and some of us fail. The secret is to never give up but to keep on doing your best.

Fred Speckmann