Letters for November 15, 2001

Hansen debate rages on…
Re “How Ira Hansen Got the Boot” (RN&R News, Oct. 4,):

I have spent many years in the Middle East, including the Arab countries of Syria, Jordan, Iraq (before the war) and Egypt. In all of these countries, I was treated with the greatest kindness as an individual American. It was my government and its pro-Israel foreign policy that was the object of hatred. To the people I talked to, our foreign policy was “Arabs wrong/Israelis right.” I would tell them there weren’t enough Arabs in my country to form a voting bloc. Until there was, our government would never hear their side. I always felt that I couldn’t give them any hope at all.

As for Mr. Hansen, welcome to the real world. Now you know what it’s like to be labeled an anti-Semite. If this letter is published, I will be called an anti-Semite because I traveled in the Middle East and discovered that the Arabs have a point of view too.

D. Jaeger

…and on

Re “How Ira Hansen Got the Boot” (RN&R News, Oct. 4):

I first stumbled onto Ira Hansen’s radio program in the summer of 1997, and I found him a breath of fresh air. His points on most issues were well thought out and articulated clearly. So much so that those who called to oppose him wound up calling him a racist or bigot. The call that prompted Ira’s termination from KOH seems to have the undercurrents of a plant. Why call a talk show host, who is only on the air 90 minutes per week, with questions about a news story? The caller could have contacted the newspapers, television stations or simply been connected to the news department at KOH. I don’t believe that the casinos in Sparks dimmed their lights, either. Ira was simply thinking out loud, using his knowledge of the people and places of Nevada. The caller specifically asked why the Atlantis did not dim their lights. Ira answered, trying to find a logical solution to the woman’s question. Identifying someone’s nationality or religious preference, not in a derogatory manner, should not be considered “hate speech.” Not allowing that individual to continue speaking because you may find his or her words offensive is an act of cowardice and ignorance.

Bill Thibault

UNR’s jock perks unfair
I’m writing about the recent decision of University of Nevada, Reno, President John Lilley to allow student athletes to register first for classes at the university. This decision was made without consulting the student body. In fact, a bill requesting the same thing has been presented to the student body government and defeated four separate times! It is unfair in the extreme that athletes should be allowed to register for their classes first before the rest of the students.

We have been told that the reason for this is so student athletes can schedule around their practices and games. This will allow them to receive their degrees in a timely manner. This does not take into account that most students at the university are working either full- or part-time. Many students have had to either reduce their class load or had to take other courses, because it conflicted with their work. I’m sure the rest of the students at the university would like to be able to take classes so that they can graduate in a timely manner, too. Why do athletes deserve preferential treatment? And no, the argument about scholarships doesn’t count. Again, most of the student body is working to pay for school, and we don’t receive full-ride scholarships while we’re doing it, either.

Dr. Lilley, in his decision, has forgotten the rest of the student body. He has forgotten that every student on this campus wants to be able to graduate on time. He has forgotten that it is indeed the University of Nevada, Reno, and not the Athletic Department of Nevada, Reno.

Jason Smith
UNR student

Spacey’s career ain’t over yet
Re “Spacey Fruit Loops” (RN&R Film, Nov. 1):

I know that everybody is entitled to their opinion, so here is what I think of your column: First of all, as a critic, you should know that Kevin Spacey is one of the best actors of our time, and his time as an actor is far from over. Second, if you hated the script, that’s fine, but that is not a valid reason to give the actors a bad review.

Ana Jimenez
via e-mail