Letters for November 23, 2006

A gentle suggestion
Re “First a jab, then a hook” (Right Hook, Oct. 5):

For some months I have been picking up a copy of your newspaper that I might read your ‘left’ and ‘right’ columnists, though I generally tend to disagree vigorously with Mr. Lafferty. Mainly, though, I continue to be puzzled by the negative language he finds it necessary to use about those with whom he disagrees. And I wonder if he ever reads any of the other columns in your local weekly. The column on the back of his in the Oct. 5 issue is a good example. The author asks which political party is better for the economy and which is more apt to produce small government. Surprise! The Democrats easily claim the prize for both.

And in the Nov. 9 issue, again on the back of Mr. Lafferty’s column, Dennis Myers reports that the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, evaluating congressional support for our troops, ranked the lowest Democrats in the Senate with a better rating than the highest ranked Republicans. Within the Nevada delegation, both Democrats received an A- while the best Republicans rated only a C+, with Senator Ensign receiving a D-.

I would recommend Mr. Lafferty read his own newspaper. It’ll broaden his perspective!

Rev. Jim Edwards

Humility requires character
Re “Democrats may win on empty promises” (Right Hook, Nov. 9):

While some readers may enjoy a counter point to a mostly liberal paper, I must say I’m getting pretty sick of Lafferty’s poor excuse for a right-wing ideologue.

His pre-election column which predicted Republican victory on early-voter turnout, given last Tuesday’s historic results, was hilarious. The rest of his column, however, is insulting in a most [Ann] Coulteresque manner.

This guy is really the best right-leaning writer you guys could come up with?

Guess what? We did show up on Tuesday. We did articulate a better strategy for America’s future. In short, we did kick Republican ass!

Your statistical nonsense about red vs. blue states will now need updating as you lost half your “red” states to clearer heads. Bush’s utter capitulation and ass kissing the day after his “thumping” shows how deep his convictions really lie. (The day before, a vote for Democrats meant the terrorists win, the day after, “I know the Democrats want to beat the terrorists as much as I do.")

John Pohl

Third-world America
This is about the failure of democracy. It is about a Republican dominance in government, the marginalization of the labor movement in America, and about illegal immigration and globalization. In a nutshell, it is about how our elected officials have helped dumb-down the American workplace to third-world status.

I work for a massive online retailer through an employment agency. Last week during my lunch break, I spoke with superiors about getting time off for an appeals hearing regarding a past work injury with another employer. Half an hour later, I was pulled off the floor and told to go home, without pay, and not to return until I had gotten a doctor’s exam at my own expense. I have been frustrated in my attempts to get that exam.

I believe that this would have been an unlikely scenario if organized labor had a presence at the warehouse. And this most definitely would not have happened if we lived in a state where elected officials were as concerned about the residents of the state of Nevada as they are about big business. We deserve better.

B.D. Williams

Yucca Saga Continues
Our friends from the Yucca Mountain Project will be back in Reno on Monday, Nov. 27, from 4-7 p.m. at Lawlor Events Center. This time Department of Energy employees and contractors will be peddling more changes to the plan to entomb the nation’s highly radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain.

The meeting on the 27th is part of a “scoping process,” where the DOE will seek comments from the public on what to study in preparing supplements to the FEIS. This meeting, like all the others around Nevada, should be a hearing, allowing for open public comment. Instead the DOE is doing a “poster session.”

At least twice the DOE had stated to me that nuclear waste shipments for Yucca Mountain would never go through Reno. Like so much that has been said by the DOE, this is mutable, too, as the DOE is now considering an alternative rail route that would go through Fernley, near Schurz, and roughly parallel route 95. It is known as the Mina Alignment, and if it becomes the preferred rail corridor in Nevada, then virtually all the waste would come through Northern Nevada. We could expect a minimum of 10 percent of shipments through Reno.

The DOE will also be seeking comments on revised packaging and transport plans under which much of the waste would be packaged in containers at the power plants.

Currently, the Yucca Mountain Project is stalled as there is no radiation-protection standard. For over 20 years, we Nevadans have had the specter of the dump hanging over us, and we have been successful in raising important safety and feasibility issues. I encourage all to attend the Nov. 27 meeting, and tell the DOE what you think.

John Hadder