Letters for May 14, 2015

Numbers game

Re “Faculty, students and staff” (Editorial, April 2):

There are numbers games constantly being played. Here’s another one: motor vehicle deaths: 33,804. Accidental poisonings/falls/fire: 38,851. Child under 6 poisonings: 9,500. Drunken driving fatalities: 10,950. Accidental gun deaths: 642. How come nobody focuses on the other excessively high death rates? Estimated crimes prevented by using a gun against a criminal: about 2 million. Some people naively believe that gun laws aimed at law-abiding citizens will somehow be honored by the criminals, and the crazies? I suppose that some older people still believe in the tooth fairy, too.

Douglas W. Rodrigues


Sympathy for the devil

Re “Bundy aftermath” (News, April 23):

While I am not here to defend Cliven Bundy’s actions or his many strange (to say the least) comments during his 15 minutes of fame, I do question Dennis Myers’ motives. Is there no end to Myers wanting to keep beating a dead horse? Does he really not understand that undesirables often flock to any controversial event for their own purposes? The fact that quite a few people who showed up at the Bundy protest were people who were either already trouble makers and in some cases violent criminals with shadowy pasts probably doesn’t surprise too many people.

I do have a question or two for Myers. Is Bundy, no matter the merits of his protest against the federal government responsible for the background of his so called supporters? Is it Bundy’s further responsibility to remove, perhaps forcibly, those people even if he had known of their history or felonious records? Does Myers not have a responsibility to present a little background as to Bundy’s claim against the government? I believe that a fair representation of a news event and the subsequent commentary requires such background information. Myers seems to be relying on our memory of events that took place a year ago in southern Nevada during a news cycle that presented many more important events.

On the other hand, it could also be argued that the freedom to protest what many might consider an overreaction by government agencies is justified. The underlying taxation issues that have been simmering for over 20 years are the very cause that this nation fought a revolutionary war about. There is no question that some of Bundy’s actions may well have been stupid and that he did himself no favor in the eyes of the public. Nevertheless his cause was and still is a legal issue to be decided by the courts. There is of course one more important question. Myers states at the end of his column, “Cliven Bundy has never been charged with anything.” And what exactly should Bundy have been charged with?

Fred Speckmann


Where’s the background?

Re “Bundy aftermath” (News, April 23):

Dennis Myers seems to have some skills for research, otherwise how else could he continually come up with such obscure information that is only marginally applicable to Cliven Bundy? Perhaps he might turn those research skills to a couple of more on-the-point questions that seem to have escaped his attention: First, if “Cliven Bundy has never been charged with anything,” then why were all of those heavily armed paramilitary BLM and EPA agents rounding up and selling or killing his livestock? Second: By what means and for what reason did former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid obtain Bundy’s confidential IRS information (that turned out to be erroneous), which he spewed about on the Senate floor, when there was no legislation that applied to Bundy pending in either house of Congress? I do not believe I am the only citizen who might be interested in answers to these questions. Would Myers be interested in researching and then reporting on them?

Grant Branson

Chico, California

Note from Dennis Myers: The roundup was prompted by Bundy’s failure to pay his bills, which is a civil rather than a criminal matter. Law enforcement was brought in when it became apparent that heavily armed groups would be present. Perhaps we should have worded that sentence “Cliven Bundy has never been charged with anything in connection with the standoff.”

IDs aren’t expensive

Re “Why not work on solving real problems?” (Left Foot Forward, April 23):

Sheila Leslie seems to think that asking people to show a photo ID at the polling place will “come with a high price tag.” I disagree. Most people already have a government-issued photo ID and would not need the Registrar of Voters to provide them with one. The few Nevadans who do not have a government-issued photo ID could get one from the Registrar of Voters at taxpayer expense. The Registrar of Voters already issues voter registration cards. It should not cost very much money to add an optional photo to those cards.

Karen Inda


Police stories

I am a former resident of the Reno/Tahoe area (20 years) currently retired and living and working in Changchun, China. This morning I watched with great interest D. Brian Burghart’s interview on China Central Television.

I lived in Anchorage, Alaska, for nine years. On Jan. 31, 2009, I, a white Danish-American, was arrested by Anchorage police at the airport for the crime of trying to book an earlier flight to Hawaii. They thought I was drunk, so they took me to jail, where I blew exactly zero. So they thought I must be crazy, and took me to Alaska Psychiatric Institute. On the way there in a paddy wagon, an officer struck me in the face, breaking my nose and glasses. When I came to in the hospital, my wallet and $400 was gone. Later, I found out there was no record of my less-than-two-hour stay in Anchorage jail. This militarization and corruption of police in America is a huge problem, and not one limited to race. Thank you for your work in collecting data and exposing the truth.

Glen Bobo

Changchun, China

Mean to elderly women

Re “Water over the lawn” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, May 7):

Bruce Van Dyke owes every woman who is 70 an apology. “Old lady,” he calls her. Then he goes on to imply they can become “batshit from dementia” at this age. Van Dyke is way off base, way off base. The vast majority of 70-year-olds do not have dementia, and resent being referred to as an “old lady” (or “old man”).

Seventy is young compared to age 90 or 100. And many of even those people aren’t “batshit demented.” Very rude of Van Dyke to write such stuff.

How old is Bruce Van Dyke? Teenagers would call him an old man. Remember the phrase, “don’t trust anyone over 30”?

Don Manning