Letters for March 29, 2001

Plop! Goes the bowling stadium

Many eons ago, in a tiny planetary system precariously ensconced somewhere in the obscure guts of the Crab Nebula, a guru ordered a ziggurat be built—a gleaming edifice in tiers which would revitalize the core of the city.

Erection time came and went. It was eventually completed, but it lacked a certain something, a certain sparkle.

One fine day, suddenly and without warning, the sun disappeared. The inhabitants of the city were horrified. They wailed; they screamed; they prayed.

Actually, an enormous pterodactyl with an estimated wingspan of 800 cubits had momentarily blotted out the sun. As he hovered gently and peacefully overhead, he experienced a need to relieve the contents of his intestinal tract.

Plop! A huge, spherical silver turd affixed itself to the ziggurat.

Meanwhile, a grubby gold miner with a ragged dusty beard, leading his faithful burro, Pismo Clam, witnessed the whole ball of wax. He ejaculated later, in a sworn affidavit, “Dad gummit, this goldarn varmint ain’t got no right to crap on my city. No sir.”

He wasn’t heard from again.

But one of the city fathers, with a remarkable and perspicacious insight, screamed, “Hey, this would make a great bowling alley!”

M. Karasek

Pro-mixing folks aren’t mixing

Re “Equality Remains Elusive” (RN&R Guest Comment, Feb. 22):

Mary Valencia Wilson’s Guest Comment about how terribly blacks are still treated in this country overlooks one point. As Ms. Wilson is on the board of directors for the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, I suggest that she ask her white ACLU colleagues this question: Why is it that the white liberals who are so boundlessly enthused about race mixing for other people almost invariably live in all-white neighborhoods?

Bill Hamma

Say no to Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart is the second largest company in these great United States, second only to Exxon, and just ahead of third-place General Motors. This is shocking to me and more than just a little scary.

For those of you who continue to patronize Wal-Mart, oblivious to the danger ahead, I will try to explain. By spending hard-earned dollars at Wal-Mart, we are perpetuating the myth that the lowest price is the best deal. Why is this a myth? It’s a myth, because by eliminating the competition, they are forcing manufacturers to provide products to only them at prices far below what other retailers—who are now almost all long gone—used to pay. This, in turn, forces those same manufacturers to cut costs, usually by finding cheaper labor. They end up laying off employees or, even worse, move their companies overseas or to Mexico. Some just shut down completely. Companies that close or leave America mean no jobs for Americans.

We are reducing ourselves to a land of minimum-wage slaves and government workers, because soon there won’t be anything else left. This, to me, does not sound like such a great deal.

Jennifer Nelson

NMHI problems run deep

Re “Mind Over Madness” (RN&R, Feb. 15):

That was an interesting article about the Nevada Mental Health Institute. I myself was there 20 years ago and other times after that. It was much better then than the last time I was there, in November 1998. The doctors I encountered were worthless. Upon a discharge from the facility, I was sitting outside sorting through my personal belongings, and the doctor said to me to leave, or he would lock me up again. That’s really funny, how a doctor can do that on a whim. I guess it costs $400 a day with Medicare.

Last year was the first time I saw any staff person using a computer. The institute is very out of date. Some employees there 20 years ago are there today as hacks, never upgrading their education or skills, just working for the state.

The hiring of part-time psychiatrists is a façade. I encountered one who must have been 90 years old. Many medications have been standard for years: Haldol, Thorazine, Prolyxin. They are all the doctor prescribes.

If you’d like an experience, go to Building 5 on the campus, and tell them you hear voices and would like to voluntarily commit yourself.

That was a good article.

Fred Springmeyer