Letters for March 24, 2011

Poor choices

Houses in poverty areas list for about $15,000 to $20,000 (South Dallas survey)

Obama is concerned about the increasing gap between rich and poor. I’d suggest the gap is getting wider because the poor are getting poorer and if the rich are getting richer—well, they earned it.

Here is why giving folks more welfare doesn’t work. An average hard-working guy buys the $15,000 house, spends $5,000 in material, does the work himself, so he’s in it 20k, and becomes a slumlord. Five-to-10 people move into the house, the slumlord knows there will be about $400 a month per person in welfare income or maybe more. He charges $500 a month; this leaves way too much money left for drugs, cigarettes and alcohol for these folks. Do you really think giving them more welfare will be the vehicle that makes them grab their boot straps pull themselves out of poverty? Au contraire, they will take the extra money and buy more drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. The guy that bought the house for $15,000 never abused drugs and alcohol or spent money on cigarettes. Instead, he worked hard, saved money and invested in real estate. One might suggest this slum lord is contributing to the delinquency of an adult, but he is simply conducting business legally, same as the lawmakers who stole your Social Security funds to pay for their liberal pork-barrel welfare programs of the past that guided these folks to the poverty they now experience. The young guy who had $20,000 in the house gets his money back in less than four years and collects $500 per month for the rest of his life. And that’s his fault?

Marxism is an economic and socio-political worldview that contains within it a political ideology for how to change and improve society by implementing socialism. It has never worked and never will, they just don’t get it. Obama is not the self-proclaimed Robin Hood he portrays, it’s all about power. One might ask one’s self if Obama is patterning himself after Karl Marx or Groucho Marx, it’s truly comical.

Mike Arp

Unsafe for walkers

I desperately want to know why drivers honk at pedestrians. I love to walk and routinely walk the two miles from my condo to my local, independent coffeehouse. On the way there, I am facing traffic and have no problems. But on the way back, because of the city of Sparks’ infinite wisdom in only putting a pedestrian footpath on one side of the street, cars are coming up behind me and, invariably, I get honked at. Is my ass that cute? Seriously, WTF? I want to tell drivers in Reno/Sparks: Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Do not honk at pedestrians. For one, it makes me feel unsafe. I usually make my husband drive over to the coffeehouse to pick me up rather than face being honked at while walking home. And, no, I don’t wear revealing clothing, unless you consider blue jeans and a ski jacket enticing. This is a waste of gas, causes more traffic congestion, and I get less exercise in the process.

Perhaps the RN&R could make “Do you ever honk at pedestrians?” one of your weekly questions because I really want to know what drives this behavior.

Karen Marie

Same as it ever was

Re “Who’s in charge here?” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, March 10):

So the world is run by big men with big rigs who love good food, frappaccinos, fashion and pharmaceuticals. This is nothing new. Neither is Orwellian politics. It’s a wonder that all of us haven’t been forced to prescribe to Starbucks Sundays while spiriting white for spring after having woken up from a late night pub crawl and two aspirin. The fact is, 1984 has already been done. The fact is, a democratic republic is and always has been in that I have a vote, a vested say. A say in what kind of person I am and what kind of person best represents me. So who’s in charge here? I am. You are. What will you do and say for a few bread crumbs? I personally hope for a few crumbs at Stone Community Church this Sunday.

Kristin Ashton

Close knit

Re “Knit wits” (Arts & Culture, March 10):

This story really made me smile: two unemployed men who have found inspiration in a craft traditionally enjoyed by women to produce objects of beauty to share. Red and Yellow, you guys are amazing! Thanks for doing something constructive with the time on your hands to relieve the grimness of your current economic situation and to enliven the emptiness of the downtown area. I hope you find jobs, but what a creative and inspiring way to spend your downtime. Bravo!

Maddalena Colautti-Leonard

Mystery man

Re “Jesus is just alright” (Filet of Soul, March 10):

I saw your Filet of Soul column last week and was glad to see that you also enjoyed the production of Jesus Christ, Superstar!, partly because the musical director was our own Ted Owens, and also because anything that gets people talking about Jesus is a good thing! I have been involved with the “Jesus Seminar” for more than 20 years, a group of scholars that has taken a good hard look at who the historical Jesus was. They are, of course, quite controversial, but that doesn’t bother us in the UCC, who are always looking for new understandings of Jesus. If you ever want to have a conversation about all this, just give me a call!

Keep up the good work!

Rev. Rich Smith
First Congregational Church of Reno

Big trouble

Re “How would you cut the budget,” (Streetalk, March 10):

The question was, “how would you cut the budget?” Not one person gave an answer to the question. So typical of the general public. We need to cut, they say, but never give specifics. Devin Poe came close when he questioned our involvement in the Middle East. He says not to cut education and not raise taxes, but he doesn’t say where he would cut.

Louise Palaclos says we should cut everything the same amount.

Graham Collins doesn’t think we should cut anything. “They should worry about other things than cutting,” and what would those things be? Is he suggesting raising taxes? Or is he just burying his head in the sand?

Michael Reinder’s comment was confusing, but even if we did cut the area he was speaking to, it would be minimal.

Chelsea Speranza’s comment took the cake: “Stop spending. I mean, that is just logical.”

Sure Chelsea, let’s stop spending altogether, which would mean no public employees—teachers, cops, firefighters. Sure, that sounds logical. Not.

All the pictures implied these were young people. I hope this is not reflective of most young people these days, or we are in big trouble.

Gary Miller
Roseville, Calif.

You’re welcome

Re “Beefed up” (Green, March 17):

What a great story! What a wonderful reminder that awareness drives change. The more people know about humanely raised eating, the more will make the right choice to buy organic and local, and most importantly raised cruelty-free! Thanks for sharing.

Natalya Hau
Fremont, Calif.