Letters for May 17, 2007

Dogs stink
Re “Where do smells go?” (Streetalk, May 10):

Dogs smell all right; they smell when they’re wet. I’m so sick and tired of dogs and their sense of smell being lauded. What do dogs do with their incredible sense of smell? They sniff other dogs’ rear ends and piles of feces. Dogs have to be trained by people to do any useful sniffing.

Our brain is a million times better than a dog’s brain. Dogs are so dense; they don’t even know when they’ve been neutered. And before all the dog lovers brag that their animal is smarter than us for not starting wars, robbing banks, borrowing money, or playing the stereo too loud, dogs are too dense to even know what those things are. See any dogs protesting the Iraq war lately?

April Pedersen

Everyone takes advantage of tragedy
Re “Tragic omission” (Editorial, April 19):

You didn’t hesitate to make a few omissions of your own. You’re right, the using of a tragedy like this to advance a political agenda is wrong, but you failed to mention that the take-weapons-away-from-law-abiding-citizens crowd (gun control) didn’t hesitate to jump all over this either. Cho didn’t seem to care much for laws. (It is after all, illegal to shoot people.) But while he may not have been deterred by the prospect of armed resistance, perhaps an armed citizen could have stopped him before he killed so many.

It’s not surprising that the blame game has started so quickly. It is very important to not blame the individual who committed the crimes, since he is just a product of our culture. We must assign blame to where it belongs, which is anybody with deep pockets for the upcoming lawsuits. After all, becoming a millionaire will help anyone deal with their grief.

What possible reasoning should have prompted the officials to deduce that the murder of two people in a dorm would lead to mass murder two hours later? Virginia Tech is the size of a city. Are you suggesting that every time there is a killing in a city, the world should stop spinning? The next time there is a killing in Reno, I suggest that the entire city is shut down, all citizens ordered into their homes, doors get locked and traffic lights turned off.

People did not die because the university did not lock down; they died because an evil person went over the edge. As far as their failure to “help or stop” Cho in advance, he has rights, and one of those is the right to say what he wants. Had school officials taken action against him prior to his committing this horrible crime, they would have been sued and had the ACLU all over them. The average movie director these days thinks, writes, and films stuff far worse that what Cho did. Should we lock up Quentin Tarantino? Look at what he thinks up for his movies. If we are going to have a free society, then the price we pay will sometimes be high.

Bruce Kelley

Support higher education
On behalf of the graduate students at the University of Nevada, I write asking you to support funding for higher education. We value our education and value being productive and contributing members of our communities. We believe in the student experience. Students overwhelmingly voted to tax themselves (an often unpopular idea) to fund the Joe Crowley Student Union, which is slated to open its doors this fall. Without the budget increases anticipated from the tuition hikes, we cannot afford to offer students a fully functional union this fall.

The student union project was entirely student-initiated; therefore, by showing support for higher education, you are showing support for student decision-making and responsibility. This difference to us means cutting funding to essential programs. These programs include a travel assistance program, need-based scholarship programs, social programs, merit based scholarship programs, and support for student clubs and organizations.

Students are paying higher tuition and seeing less money invested into our programs and services. The University of Nevada, Reno is inexpensive but not necessarily affordable. Students need to receive scholarships and financial aid and support for our programs and services. Students are our most valuable resource—our future. Show that you value Nevada’s future.

Jessica L. Skopal-Chase

All Hooked up
Re “High funding and low dropouts unrelated” (Right Hook, May 10):

Does Mike Lafferty think it’s responsible journalism to use 5 to 12-year-old dropout rates to make a point? How about those per class dollar figures? What orifice did those get pulled from? Unless Lafferty is completely in the dark, he knows high school dropout rates have skyrocketed in Nevada since his most recently used statistic of 2001-2002. He didn’t even make a connection between legislative funding and dropout rates. Lafferty may have actually been able to make a point, but the reader is left shaking his head and wondering why he still has a job at RN&R. Even with bad stats, his article doesn’t make the case its title suggests.

Crappy journalism. What a hack. Do you publish Right Hook just to piss people off?

Ron Marston