Letters for March 11, 2010

Can’t wait for Monday night

Re “Anti-abortion ad” (Letters to the editor, March 4 and Feb. 25):

I’m responding to letter writers Cecelia “I’m soooo done with the NFL” Soper and angry Ed Petersen regarding the NFL, the pro-life Super Bowl ad, and deranged football players.

Cecelia’s well-done letter had a powerful “wakeup call” message. Ed, however, missed Cecelia’s point. Hung up on a few technicalities, he was also factually inaccurate—of course the NFL weighs in on ad content.

Even though I’m strongly pro-choice, I don’t care if the pro-life ad aired. What I am wrestling with is my fascination with pro football, which NPR has characterized as a human version of dogfighting.

Why can’t I look away? Why am I, along with the rest of America, so caught up in this sport? If the NFL switched to touch football instead of tackle, no one would watch anymore. Neither would I. What is it about the NFL that captivates millions of fans and generates billions of dollars? Why is NFL football more popular than other sports? And why do we put up with players like Michael Vick and Donte Stallworth—who committed reprehensible crimes, and then are given millions of dollars?

I dunno. All I know is, I can’t wait until the next football season.

Lee Warner

A bridge too far

Re “Dare to be me” (Feature story, Feb. 25):

Thanks for the article on Jerry Sloss. I had the opportunity to meet this unique man a few years back when I picked him up hitchhiking in Bridgeport, Calif. I was on my way home to Reno after a week of backpacking in the Sierra. As it turns out Jerry had also been up in the Sierra doing the same thing. Needless to say the two and a half hour drive back to Reno was filled with stories from Jerry.

Your article helped me understand some of Jerry’s unconventional behavior which I noticed during our time together. He is truly a “free spirit” in this very structured world in which we live.

Tim Holmen

Attacking women

Re “Abusing Reid” (Upfront, March 4):

Dennis Myers misses the point that men’s rights activists are making about Sen. Harry Reid’s comments. The point isn’t whether domestic violence rises due to unemployment, but Sen. Reid’s gender-biased comments, stigmatizing male victims and their children by blaming only males for the problem.

Men are less likely to report it (which makes crime data unreliable), but almost 300 studies now confirm “women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners,” as California State University Professor Martin Fiebert shows in his online bibliography at www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

For example, a 32-nation study by the University of New Hampshire found women are as violent and controlling as men in dating relationships worldwide www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2006/may/em_060519male.cfm?type=n

The Centers for Disease Control funded a major study of heterosexual relationships throughout the U.S. and found: “Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half (49.7%) were reciprocally violent. In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases,” and both sexes had significant injuries www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/97/5/941.

When children witness parental violence, however severe or minor, it becomes a model for them. Domestic violence is an intergenerational cycle, and we’ll never stop it without being honest about it rather than following the politically correct gender paradigm that has been totally refuted by serious researchers like Professor Don Dutton of the University of British Columbia and many others.

Marc E. Angelucci
National Coalition For Men

But you have heard of me

Re “Dare to be me” (Feature story, Feb. 25):

What a wonderful country we live in where even homeless people can be world travelers. So much better than the old days, when bums could only see the entire country from trains. I’m thinking, though, that instead of ‘daring’ to be a hobo who lives under a bridge so he can afford to travel and who, in the non-traveling season sponges off his mom to live indoors, I’ll dare to be me, who, by working, having an education, and living a moderate lifestyle with considered needs, can travel, live a comfortable lifestyle, and still contribute to society without being a drain on my family. Is the RN&R so hungry for stories that you’re glorifying losers? This guy is no Forrest Gump, and he certainly is no Thoreau (analogy FAIL). Why don’t you guys save the ink for something interesting and important next time? Just a thought.

S.A. Mattos

Analyze this

It is March 2. A man is presenting a budget proposal to counseling faculty at the Downing Clinic in the William Raggio Building. After breaking the news that the counseling program at the University of Nevada, Reno will be cut, he explained the likely outcome. Degrees will be dropped, students who worked diligently will not graduate, and most of the faculty will be let go. He went on to offer some minor comfort, saying “I know this is a big blow, so if anyone needs counseling, it will be available at the Thompson building.” In response to this, a counselor asked, “So you think that it would be important for counseling to be available to us?” The presenter responded, “Yes, it is.” The counselor then said, “Then why is it that you are cutting the counseling program out of the university?”

The presenter was the university provost, Dr. Marc Johnson. His only response was to blush and change topic. This was the start of events that have brought the Counseling and Educational Psychology (CEP) department to people’s minds. My story is simply one of many. I am a first generation, non-typical, low-middle income, commuting student. Add all that up, and I never should have even earned a bachelor’s degree. Upon hearing that the CEP department was about to be torn apart, I felt something that I had not felt in years. I felt grief.

It came so suddenly. I, like many other students, was practicing counseling when I heard the news, not even imagining that I may not be able to earn my degree. I was crushed, heartbroken, with a pain in my stomach that wouldn’t go away.

For what? To create more K-12 teachers. The K-12 system is one of the most ludicrous systems ever devised. The “powers that be” are not taking into consideration the impact this will have on our state. Nevada has prostitution, gambling and 24-hour alcohol. Nevada has among the highest rates of suicide, teen pregnancy, mental health problems and drug abuse in the nation. Yet, all of the accredited counseling programs in the state will be cut in an attempt to train more teachers and principals for the K-12 system because “the chance that a Nevada 19-year-old will enter college is lower than anywhere else in the nation” (taken from the Curricular Review Proposal, March 1).

So, because the K-12 system is a failure, we will no longer have marriage and family therapists to help the parents and families of children struggling in schools? We will no longer have English as second language teachers to provide education to students who struggle with English. We will no longer have higher education leaders to recruit new college students and help them graduate. And, most strangely, we will no longer have school psychologists or school counselors to help students in the K-12 system be successful in getting a high school diploma and entering college. Yes, as hypocritical and preposterous as all of this may seem, this is true and these are just a portion of the programs which will be cut under the new budget.

Bodie Coates