Letters for March 2, 2006

Scholarly payment
Recently, I stopped at the University of Nevada, Reno to renew my account, as a TMCC student, to use the libraries’ computers. I was not permitted to do so. I asked if I could use the computers for serious research. The answer was that the only serious research was that done under the direction of UNR professors. I asked if a couple of degrees would help. The answer was, “Nope.” I would be permitted to have a guest user’s account. The guest user’s account can only be used for one hour in 24 and will not allow UNR’s data bases and electronic journals to be accessed. Also, the equipment in the Main Library is such that I would not spend $10 on it at a garage sale.

When I lived in the Bay Area, my credentials would enable me to obtain visiting scholar’s privileges for the University of California at Berkeley. I probably know more about the late J.E. Church Jr, a Nevada professor who developed the method of estimating the spring run-off from the snow pack, than anyone on the staff at UNR. If I were to choose to write a biography on Professor Church, I would have to do it elsewhere.

UNR is a land-grant institution, which means that it is charged with being of service to the community. Certainly UNR receives federal and state money. Why is it that citizens of the United States and residents of the state of Nevada are being discriminated against by UNR?

John Daniels
via e-mail

Make education pay
“Let them eat gruel” (View from the Fray, Feb. 16):

I read that Deidre Pike’s idea of a solution to the problem of too many inmates in Nevada prisons seems to be more and better-financed education.

If more and better-financed education is the answer, then there is a simple solution. Force prison inmates to study the same school subjects that Nevada currently forces on children. Force prison inmates to memorize poetry (in preparation for a high-paid job reciting the poetry), force inmates to memorize history dates (since there are employers eagerly seeking those who can complete the rhyme, “Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492").

But wait, how to finance the education of prison inmates? Let’s just have the inmates sell the poetry they will be forced to write in high school! In addition, the inmates can sell their themes on subjects such as, “My Dream for World Peace.” You don’t need to go to pay-per-view beheadings. Sell videos of the prison inmates dissecting a frog in biology class. By the way, it is not enough just to teach the inmates music, they must also be taught the key phrase, “I grabbed my ax and split for Birdland!”

AJ Bima

Support the troops, stop the war
Re “Protesters are hurtful to those who fight” (Right Hook, Feb. 2):

There is an error in many people’s minds that Americans who opposed the Iraq war don’t support the troops. President Bush, his staff, and most Republicans seem to share that opinion and have tried to taint the Iraq anti-war protesters as unpatriotic. The president, no matter what he says to the contrary, certainly doesn’t like free speech or anti-war protesters and tries to ensure that there will not be any of them present during his public speaking engagements.

Most Americans now seem to believe that the decision to invade Iraq was a mistake and irresponsible. If bad decisions, such as the invasion of Iraq, are left unchallenged, there is a big danger that there will be further bad decisions made that will take us down the Argentinean road to bankruptcy.

War may look adventurous in films, but Homo sapiens do not seem to have invented anything more horrible. Any person who supports any war should pose the question to themselves, “Am I sending someone else to do the dirty work while I stay at home, drink beer, watch television and make babies?”

Eric Woodfield

Second straight record
“Setting the record straight” (Right Hook, Feb. 23):

You stated in your column that you are limited to 600 words, and that is why you did not state 50 USC 1802 (FISA Act) completely, and that is the justification you used when you said you are not withholding or neglecting to mention information. In reality, you are making an excuse because you know if you mentioned all of section 1802 that your argument about Carter and Clinton spying on American people would have held no water.

And by the way, you stated that even illegals have the right to due process of law. Ordinarily, this is true but under the FISA Act, 50 USC 1801(i), only U.S. citizens and permanent residents can’t be spied on without a warrant. In other words, you are wrong again. As I said before, please be sure all your readers are dumb enough to believe you before you write anything.

Stephanie Winter