Letters for March 31, 2005

The world according to Jim
Re “The man who would be governor” (RN&R, Editorial, March 17): See cartoon [in paper].

Woodrow Barlettani

Political hypocrisy
Re “To live and die” (RN&R, Editorial, March 24):

Congress sanctions actions that unjustifiably kill 1-200,000 Iraqis (But who’s counting?), lower pollution standards and reduce accessibility to healthcare, while abusing a brain-dead, tortured woman to demonstrate their “reverence for life.”

I don’t know if starvation is a torturous affair, but most certainly our government’s sending of prisoners to foreign prisons to be “questioned,” is.

Hypocrisy has never been so well-defined.

The worst evil is evil done under the guise of righteousness. They are using her tormented body and soul as their political football. Congress is the protectorate only of the brain-dead, the unborn and the wealthy.

But then, maybe I am being too harsh and judgmental of Congress, and I should assume the best intentions. Maybe what I’m seeing is simply one brain-dead body empathizing with another.

A side note: [I agree] it is ironic and tragic that bulimia contributed to Terry’s current condition.

George Greenwald
Medford, Ore.

The rest of the story?
Re “The hydrogen factor” (RN&R, Cover story, March 24):

Your story on the use of hydrogen gas as a fuel for the Rapid Transit System is a most sensible piece of writing on this subject. At least you do not confuse the existence of combined hydrogen in natural gas with elemental hydrogen as is done by so many.

One is struck by the absence of any comments from the faculty in the chemistry department—for that matter from any of the science and engineering departments of the University of Nevada, Reno. (As a faculty member of the chemistry department at UNR, this author knew quite a bit of the geothermal energy in the state of Nevada.)

The usual rush to get funds to explore this avenue sounds very exciting but, unfortunately, one of the costly aspects is going to be the availability of pure enough water to electrolyze. Otherwise, the byproducts will be chlorine, along with, of course, oxygen, if water sources are the usual natural sources. In addition, the byproduct could be the solution of lye.

The storage of hydrogen, use of chlorine as a byproduct, and the recycling of oxygen will have to be taken into account.

One must also take into account that this use will be a very small fraction of the overall use of energy to continue with our energy needs.

It will, of course, provide a short-term windfall to those researching the issue with very little ultimate impact on solving our energy problems.

On the other hand, one can always say every penny counts. At least you did not advocate something that is being done by so many using political sloganeering to get votes.

Brahama D. Sharma
Pismo Beach, Calif.

Re “Magic 101” (RN&R, Arts & Culture, March 24):

In the story "Magic 101," we incorrectly stated that the magic class earns students Truckee Meadows Community College credits. This is incorrect, and most TMCC Workforce Development and Continuing Education classes do not earn academic credits.