Letters for March 22, 2007

Who’s the real hypocrite?
Re “And the loser is …” (Right Hook, March 8):

Perhaps [Al] Gore is not practicing what he preaches when it comes to energy consumption. But if you’re a true conservative, wouldn’t you want to inform your community on how to conserve your energy usage rather than squash the message in the name of calling out a hypocrite? Mr. Gore’s documentary may not be revealing anything new; it may be slightly exaggerated; he may not be perfect with his energy usage. The credit with the film lies with spreading public awareness on energy consumption in our country, and the simple day-to-day things you can do to make a large impact on minimizing net energy consumption.

I consider myself a conservative, although I find I share some liberal views. I look at being a conservative as universal. To me it is all about optimizing your resources and minimizing waste. Politically conservative means to me the same as it means to be conservative with energy.

I have read this magazine for about a year now, and I find that I never seem to understand the point Mike Lafferty is trying to deliver. In this case, that Al Gore is a hypocrite, or that he is.

Emily Edmonds

Waiting for the flood
Re “It’s money that matters” (Letters, March 8):

Reno’s water situation is as permanently defined as the mountains, streams and the desert which surround us and which change only within millennia, no matter what we humans impose on the land.

In her description of the cause and effect of Reno’s current water situation, Judith M. Hansel drew a good word-picture, with one exception. That exception is that her conclusion of what will be the result of the abuse has already come to pass. And that is the whole reason the existence of the flood control plan has become necessary and urgent.

Concrete channelization of the Truckee, downtown, the covering over of flood plains with industrial warehousing, and blockage not only of the mountains’ natural drainage systems, but also the valley rivulets (which were converted to irrigation ditches) … have left inadequate course for water when it does come. The river’s former outlets have been blocked. So have its inlets from our hillsides’ normal drainage been blocked, or confined, in storm drains.

It is the nature of water that it will make its own course. It will surge over walls. It will lift and fold concrete buildings and parking lots. It will carry debris, which will dam narrows and clog holes. Ms. Hansel is right-on with her conclusion that those who put the abusive features in place have left the taxpayer holding the bag. Taxpayers, plus “Special Assessment Districts.”

Beth Miramon

Is this supporting our troops?
As a Vietnam veteran who is 100 percent disabled with post traumatic stress disorder and incurable cancer from Agent Orange chemical weapons exposure, I am deeply saddened and troubled with the state of our military involvement in Iraq and the general decline of the United States.

America is collapsing within itself without so much of a twitch from our government. I understand that we need to protect and defend our country, but Iraq is just another Vietnam. We should have never gone to Iraq to begin with, and we can get out at will. We can use our troops at home in border and port security to stop terrorism, drugs and other security issues. Congress needs to enforce our laws to ensure our society a peaceful and economically sound country. It is a sorry situation when the military has dropped its recruiting standards so low. It sends a message to our career soldiers, our country and the world that their hard work is now diminished in quality. Putting combat troops who had no where else to go here in the line of fire really jeopardizes the lives of those around them.

It also will be a time of returning troops entering the Veterans Health Care System to face a disaster in red tape and inadequate care. This is the same nightmare we faced after Vietnam, and looks like we are facing it again, not prepared and [with] declining budgets in veteran care.

Daniel Cooleu

The price of oil
In the 1990s Republicans sponsored Project for the New American Century, which desired a new “Pearl Harbor” to justify our acquisition of Mideast oil, which was endorsed by many, including Elliot Abrams, Gary Bauer, William Bennett, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Lewis Libby, Dan Quayle, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. So now, as an illegal occupying force, we own Iraq and its vast reserves of oil (God Bless America!). The land is abundant; Iraq is twice as large as Idaho, supporting the world’s largest embassy being built in Baghdad for the U.S., as well as over 106 U.S military bases, at least 14 of them very permanent.

Now, the next hundreds of billions spent must be to rehabilitate the uncountable thousands of wounded U.S. service people and their families, and the millions of dead, wounded, displaced, etc. Iraqis must be compensated in some ways; however, only centuries may heal the damage to their environment and our soldiers who are suffering toxic and radiation poisoning from the 4,000,000 pounds of “depleted” illegal uranium WMD, which are causing detrimental effects equaling 250,000 Nagasaki bombs.

Walden and Betty Joura