Letters for June 29, 2006

News they can use
For the third time in the past 11 years, the Reno Gazette-Journal has printed an investigative series on methamphetamine abuse in Northern Nevada.

The “news” is the same. Meth destroys families, fuels crime, clogs the courts and prisons. The solution, according to the “experts": education, prevention, treatment. A talking head gives a sensational quote to be used in the lead story. (In this series: Washoe District Court Judge Janet Berry said, “This may be an al-Qaida event in our county.")

Editors will submit the series to newspaper contests. Meth abuse will continue. Same as gambling addiction. And urban sprawl.

A few years from now, the Gazette-Journal will publish another investigative series on meth abuse, and editors will submit it to various newspaper contests.

Michael Sion

See the movie
Re “An inconvenient truth” (Cover story, June 22):

Let’s start out with some inconvenient truths.

March 3, 1997: Al Gore talking about his phone calls from the White House soliciting Democratic campaign contributions. “There is no controlling legal authority that says this was in violation of law.” There was no way for Al Gore to defend what was obviously a violation of written law, so he made up a new political phrase. An inconvenient truth.

Nov. 12, 1998: Vice President Al Gore signed the Kyoto protocol. However, Gore indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations. The Clinton administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification. Al Gore’s service to the Kyoto Protocol was lip service. An inconvenient truth.

During an interview with Wolf Blitzer in March 1999: Al Gore says, “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.” Sure he did! However, he fails to give credit to those who helped him: Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and a host of others, who exist only in the imagination. Al Gore’s imagination is the only place he created the Internet. An inconvenient truth.

Is global warming a threat? I am not a scientist with credentials in the area. Then again, the representatives that Clinton/Gore sent to the Kyoto Protocol meetings were also not scientists with credentials in the area. An inconvenient truth. Will the Kyoto Protocal agreement reduce global warming? Not without the ratification of the United States Congress! Not without the participation of China, that is exempted because China is a developing nation! The inconvenient truth.

Reno News & Review let Al Gore use its pages for his propaganda. Tell me, RN&R, where were the scientists who are qualified to have opinions on the subject of global warming? Instead, RN&R used the testimony of a filmmaker and a proven liar. (If you wanted a liar, why not at least use old “I never had sex with that woman!” Why not the best?) Several inconvenient truths.

AJ Bima

The thin, red line
Re “How does this promote fiscal responsibility?” (Right Hook, June 22):

I will admit that I know nothing about the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, and barely have a clue about what a culinary union is. What I want to go over here is what is called a “protective tariff.” A protective tariff is a tax to discourage certain activities while encouraging others (by being exempt from the tax). In this case, a tax on casinos south of the downtown area discourages casinos from being built south of the downtown area while encouraging casinos in the downtown area, where they will be exempt from the tax. As someone who lives in downtown Reno, I frequently hear, “This looks like a ghost town.” Personally, I favor a protective tariff discouraging the construction of casinos south of the downtown area.

Kevin Johnson
via e-mail

Violence is us
I love those folks who say things like, “Nothing justifies violence.”

What planet are they from?

Back here on Earth, everything justifies violence: driving habits, oil, religious faith in a Kind and Just God, a pet peeing on the carpet.

Violence is integral to a nature we’d like very much to not acknowledge. Ask a social worker. Ask a cop. Ask a prison guard.

Psych wards and “correctional centers” are bursting at the seams. That’s how omnipresent, our friend violence is.

So can we spare ourselves the “shocked and appalled” stuff when violence unfolds? Can we shelve for a sec’ the sensational and the tittering tongues?

Not on your life. We’re too busy picking our jaws up off the floor to get a grip.

Violence is not just an option; it comes standard on a de-sensitized population, all of which is ironically stunned and very depressed by the evening news.

“Give us more ‘happy’ stories,” we plead sincerely like world-weary 4-year-olds; “Give us upbeat news!” Whack goes the hand across the child who sassed back to her mamma. Slam goes the door to all that is good and actually true. Click-click goes the bolt of a sniper rifle.

Craig Ayres-Sevier