Letters for November 20, 2008

Yucca’s no solution
Re “Nuke folks worry” (Upfront, Nov. 13):

A Geiger counter reading reveals radiation; Google a search for various models. The perfect killer is invisible, longest lasting and already in your DNA. Some say it causes world-wide epidemics of obesity, diabetes, cancers, birth defects, sterility, etc. We can stop further contamination! All it takes is a political decision, life instead of death! Yucca Mountain proposed nuclear dump won’t work. The Department of Energy “knew or should have known” nothing will contain high-level nuclear waste. It will continue to generate heat and already has leaked out of containment at Hanford, Wash., and other places. You cannot change the laws of physics. The apple always falls down. Mankind should not have spent trillions of dollars worldwide on doomsday nuclear weapons. It took billions of years for nature to isolate natural radiation, which allowed life to happen! The aim of nuclear power is to make the BIG STICK by adding neutrons and producing atom bombs! The trick is to hide behind “national security” laws grab trillions of taxpayer money to do it and make slaves of us all. You can photon transmute Plutonium 239, the element for atom bombs, to zero radioactivity and create electricity from the heat produced. But President Ronald Reagan signed the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act, which limited science to “geologic isolation,” and so Yucca Mountain was chosen for a dump site.

Dennis Nester
Phoenix, Ariz.

Gambling for everyone
Amazing, the campaign season actually came to an end! Personally, I would have liked to have seen Mark Twain’s name on the ballot, but to protect the official candidates from embarrassment Nevada disallows write-ins. Even then, “None of the Above” made a good showing in some races. After all the crying is over, will it make any difference who is president? Not likely, for if the economic situation doesn’t improve, Barack Obama will suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous cynicism much the same as any other ineffective president would regardless of being black, white, yellow, red or brown.

In the meantime, hunting up new sources of revenue for Nevada in this slumping economy could be taking a new low—low as in age. On Nov. 12, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported that Thomas Smock, a lawyer for slot manufacturer Aristocrat Technologies, Inc., suggested that if 18-year-olds can vote and serve in the armed forces they should be allowed to gamble. Young adults can also smoke and drive a car off a cliff—though neither is a good idea no matter what the person’s age. But as the internet has already exposed many young people to gambling and some Indian casinos allow 18-year-olds to play, what’s the problem? No one can argue about the current need, while it’s impossible for someone to catch a cold they already have.

However, some people are probably already preparing a moral case against any such proposal. It could be legitimately argued that gambling can be addictive and fosters laziness, but not necessarily so. Young people are inexperienced but usually smarter than they’re given credit. Of course there will be a rush to try it out for the first time and many will be apt to create a cause celebre. But after the uniqueness wears off, it’s likely the majority of young adults will think of cooler things to do with their time.

Of more genuine concern is if alcohol is to be included in the deal. Players could be asked to pay for their drinks as it would be hypocritical to lead a horse to water and not allow it to drink even if it has to buy its own. Between gambling and drinking, which would young adults do more of?

Mr. Smock’s scheme comes over more like another “get them while they’re young and they’re ours for life” campaign, this time for gambling. Amazing, even in the face of economic disaster, we still hold it our inalienable right to cheat each other.

Michael Seidl

No alternatives for mothers
Re “Midwife crises” (Arts&Culture, Sept. 28, 2006):

I am very happy that you wrote a piece that reflects some of the concerns that mothers face in our area. I am currently six months pregnant with my second child, and my first was a C-section delivery.

I have talked to at least 20 doctors and all the available hospitals, and none of them are willing to do a Vaginal Birth After Caesarian delivery for me. I feel as though I have no choice in this area—I must take the unnecessary C-section for no other reason than the doctors not wanting to be liable for a natural delivery.

I have not as of yet found a doctor who will support me and because Nevada does not license midwives, our military insurance will not cover a midwife. I encourage you to do more pieces about this subject because there are many women in this area that are suffering needlessly because of a corrupt and overpowering health care system.

Women end up feeling more like cattle going to slaughter than women bringing babies into the world. Thank you.

Elizabeth Lacroix
Coleville, Calif.

Pondering points
Re “Get ready for a four-year rollercoaster” (Know You’re Right, Nov. 6):

Considering the swarm of inanity in the Nov. 6 Amanda Williams column, I must ask you, is this a real person?

Let us examine each item of the latest meltdown in order:

1. “Should McCain win, there will not be an international crisis…”

CORRECTION: One person’s employment situation is inconsequential by orders of magnitude, versus the dynamicism behind some types of international crises; Ms. Williams has forgotten to include quasi-military aggression as such a crisis.

2. “All our Middle East enemies would be licking their lips if they heard that we were decreasing our number of nuclear weapons.”

CORRECTION: Even back when Sergeyevich and the Gipper took their places in the strategic arms limitation treaties, it was because anybody paying even the slightest attention had witnessed refinements in other armaments systems, effectively replacing nukes as practical options.

3. “I think Obama was confused about who he was running against because he said President Bush’s name more than he said Sen. McCain’s.”

CORRECTION: This time the error arises only two words into the blather. I distinctly recall that this is the same young lady who was too lazy to check with TV coverage, or read Time or Newsweek, or even ask people what they had heard about Obama’s demeanor. Ms. Williams chose to label Obama as “arrogant.” That is distinctly the opposite of Obama’s reputation. Combined with a very measured and deliberate manner, Obama also has a consistent propensity toward clarity. There is no pattern of any of the similes, metaphors, or allegories Obama may have used, causing anybody any confusion. The epidemic appears to be limited to Ms. Williams. Thus, where Ms. Williams declared, “I think,” the correct phrase would have been, “I believe.”

4. “If McCain wins, we will have a first lady who is proud of her country ALL the time.”

AFFIRMATION: Yes, thank you for reminding us that Michelle Obama is much more discerning than Cindy McCain is.

5. “Obama is all for taking your money.”

CORRECTION: Somewhere along the process of researching the candidates, Ms Williams caught every detail except the news coverage, the websites of both candidates, and the debates. This deflated rumor is too old to resurrect.

Si Se Puede! Te Sigo, Amanda! Yes, We Can!

Manuel Esselar