Letters for November 1, 2018

Modern times

Lady Liberty in chains: I’m going to have a conversation with my college-aged daughter about personal freedom and the insipid crawl towards population control. Things that are presented as innocuous and sometimes even helpful and convenient must be deeply scrutinized before allowed to become norms—and sometimes even legal requirements—in our society.

Some of the top contenders are questionable constitutional practices such as National Security Agency eavesdropping, arrest-and-hold without any court involvement, attempts to limit peoples’ ability for self defense (stringent gun laws), radio frequency identification (RFID) chipping, cashless society, free DNA cataloguing (nothing is free).

What are the possible costs to our personal freedoms and those of our descendents? Remember, if you can think of a way to abuse any of these—or other personal right infringements—then others can and eventually will instigate that abuse. Even though you may trust the institution implementing said intrusions, institutions can change from good to evil. The quote “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” has never seemed more pertinent.

An example comes to mind. I remember a public relations piece stating that with the new-found liberties of our intelligence organs (part of the PATRIOT Act), more consumer fraud has been caught and convicted than ever before. I’m not saying the fraudulent shouldn’t be punished, I’m saying the PATRIOT Act—which was, by law, narrowly targeted at terrorism—was obviously being abused and no one seemed to notice. It raises the question, in what other ways unbeknownst to us has this illicitly gathered information been used, (possibly to the profit of some and the detriment of many?

Before making any decisions based on a knee-jerk emotional response, always remain vigilant about abridgments of our freedoms, however small and trivial they may seem.

Keep in mind there are professional propagandists who are quite adept at swaying the public’s image of things. I would love to see an amendment in the U.S. Constitution safeguarding our right to privacy, stating that “It shall not be infringed upon” rather than having the constitution only allude to it. Plain English might make the Supreme Court think twice before allowing many of these injustices to prevail.

John Bogle


Family friend

As a longtime friend of the Laxalt family and multi-generational native Nevadan, I know them to be honorable, Basque Nevadans to their cores. The Laxalt families recently issued a statement in the Reno Gazette Journal, distancing themselves from gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt. Let’s be clear about this, the article comes from their love of Nevada and Nevadans.

Do your homework on Adam Laxalt’s origins. He appropriated his mother’s maiden name, Laxalt, while growing up in Virginia. He hopes this will help garner votes and power in his newly found Nevada home from those who remember the accomplishments of his historical grandfather, Paul Laxalt, a Nevada senator, governor, and presidential advisor to Ronald Regan. If that were not enough, there is also his great uncle Robert Laxalt, An award winning novelist, author of Sweet Promised Land and A Basque Hotel. These were two of Nevada’s brightest and accomplished men, raised humbly in northern Nevada.

In honor of their lives’ work, do not have the proverbial wool pulled over your eyes by a Koch brothers-funded sycophant. Honor the brothers Laxalt by examining what Nevada means to you, and vote from your heart—Battle Born.

Ronn M. Anacabe



Re “Growth” (news, Oct. 25):

In a photo caption, we identified Neena Laxalt as Monique Laxalt.

Re: “Red light, green light” (Arts&Culture, Oct. 25)

We identified University of Nevada, Reno professor and researcher Zong Tian as Wong Tian.

We apologize for both errors.