Letters for March 1, 2007

Conflicted reviewer
Re “Destination Dining” (Foodfinds, Feb. 15):

I’m calling about the article about Moody’s Bistro & Lounge. David Kidder wrote an article about the chef up there, Mark Estee. Let me tell you, David Kidder used to work for Mark Estee. For him to go up there and write an article for a professional publication about a friend and have it taken like that is the worst respect for a business I have ever seen in my life. And for him to write, “he’s one of the few chefs in the area who does this"—he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. For him to write an article like this, and for you to publish it is absolutely horrendous. I’m just totally disappointed with your magazine and the way this was done. This is absolutely appalling. Appalling.

Name withheld
via voicemail

Editor’s note: We called our writer about this, and he said that he has worked for Mark Estee, and they are friends. He says his opinions offered in the article were genuine. However, it is the policy of this newspaper that writers disclose conflicts of interest and personal relationships, which was not done in this case. Mr. Kidder, who is a professional chef, only a recent journalist, has been made aware of the policy and says he will disclose both positive and negative relationships in the future. We apologize for this breach of policy, and we thank the person who called to point it out. It should be noted that this person did leave his or her name and phone number, but, after speaking to the caller, we choose to withhold the name in order to maintain the caller’s privacy.

Fish have feelings, too
As we enter the season of Lent, Christians around the world will give up something as a sign of their faith. I suggest getting rid of meat, dairy, and eggs. More and more people, of all faiths, are celebrating the spirit of their holy days by extending their compassion to every living being—and leaving the broken bodies of animals off their plates.

Going vegetarian not only helps animals—it is the single best thing we can do for ourselves and our families. Healthy vegetarian diets support a lifetime of good health and provide protection against numerous diseases, including our country’s three biggest killers: heart disease, cancer and stroke. Well-planned vegetarian diets provide us with all the nutrients that we need, minus all the saturated fat, cholesterol and contaminants found in animal flesh, eggs, and dairy products.

Christina Matthies
via e-mail

Eschew false patriotism
Re “The real lawbreakers” (Editorial, Feb. 22):

Your editorial was excellent, making the point that blaming pop culture for the ills of society is foolish. However, the quotation you attributed to Justice Holmes, “Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher … it teaches the whole people by its example,” was written by Justice Louis Brandeis.

Brandeis wrote it in dissent in the 1928 Olmstead case in which the Supreme Court held that wiretapping did not violate the Fourth Amendment guarantee “against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

Brandeis was right. I think that the paragraph you quoted was one of the finest paragraphs ever written in a Supreme Court decision. It exemplifies what it truly means to be an American. It is not draping your house with a flag to show your patriotism. It is not putting a flag on your pickup truck.

Just one other dissent in Supreme Court history is probably better. It is In re Yamashita (327 U.S. 1. 1946). That dissent, written by Justice Frank Murphy, also repudiates false American patriotism and chauvinism. Murphy notes that “the immutable rights of the individual” belong to the victor as well as the vanquished on the battlefield. He concludes by paraphrasing Lincoln in his Second Inaugural address: “the noble ideal of malice toward none and charity to all.”

President Bush should read the Brandeis and Murphy dissents—not that he pays any attention to dissent.

Jake Highton

Help for homeless pets
Last week was a wake up call for many in Nevada who watched as 200 people camped out in front of the Nevada Legislature in an effort to bring awareness to the plight of the homeless and what they face everyday. The demographics and facts on Nevada homelessness are appalling. Many homeless have pets that provide the homeless with emotional and physical comfort, loyalty that many homeless have lost with family and friends. Their pets are nonjudgmental. Sometimes their pets provide them safety from others who are violent or mentally ill. There are too few shelters, and they do not allow pets. These individuals have to choose between their pet and a roof over their head. The heartbreak is that these pets do not choose their owners. One solitary veterinarian hospital, Sierra Veterinary Hospital, helps pets of the homeless. They provide a collection site for pet food that is then picked up by a local food bank. The food bank distributes pet food to not only the homeless on the streets but to seniors, single mothers, people with low-paying jobs, veterans, young people, victims of domestic violence and families with pets. The program is called “Feeding Pets of the Homeless” and more veterinarians need to help.

Genevieve Frederick
Carson City