Letters for October 1, 2015


Re “Working for a living” (Editor’s note, Sept. 17):

Over the course of about eight non-traditional jobs. I have held two union jobs. Both of them required that I take exams—no family ties. Both job applications gave me points for being a veteran of the USAF. I liked the letter carrier job in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the union was fun, as well as effective. Nobody I worked with went postal. That seemed to be largely a function of having a kind supervisor at our station.

The union job at Pac Bell in San Ramon, Calif., not so much. I had to jump through a bunch of hoops and then was required to contribute to the Communications Workers of America. They did eventually give us holdouts some of our dues back, due to a lawsuit. But that union seemed just for show, and being a remote testing tech for T-1 lines was not rewarding. Anyhow, just wanted to let you know that you can get union jobs without family connections, but the military helps. And a Purple Heart at the USPS makes a vet a shoo-in.

Ms. Sparky Allen


The meeks’ inheritance

Old coal-burning power plants, global poverty, and unbound capitalism might not appear to have much in common, but Pope Francis would probably beg to differ. As he makes his first visit to the United States, Pope Francis will undoubtedly bring his message that we can no longer afford to ignore the “cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.”

In his landmark encyclical, Laudato Si, the pope writes, “We are not faced with two separate crises, one environmental the other social, but rather one complex crisis which is both social and environmental.”

For too long, what Pope Frances calls the “deified market” has dominated our communal life. Instead of working to protect our water and uplift the poor, people and the planet have been seen as merely disposable resources to be exploited for the sake of profit. People of color and poor people have been systematically dehumanized and brutalized. Our communities have been poisoned as companies extract resources and profits.

We urgently need a new way of doing things. Pope Francis’ call to us is at once both revolutionary and rooted in a long Catholic tradition of social justice teachings. We must restructure our economy, and our government, to put people and the planet before profit.

Since the crisis we face is not twofold, but a unified crisis created by greed, we cannot separate environmental justice from racial and economic justice. As Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy demonstrate, people of color and low-income communities are hit first and hit hardest by climate change. What is often less noticed is that the dirtiest factories and power plants are often concentrated in these same communities. African Americans and Latinos suffer higher rates of asthma, other diseases, and premature death linked to pollution than whites. Resources are extracted from our lands and our labor by big profitable companies, but only toxins and poverty are left behind. It doesn’t have to be this way.

As Pope Francis writes, “It is urgent to develop policy so that in the coming years, we drastically reduce carbon dioxide … by … replacing fossil fuels and developing renewable energy sources.” Nevada is poised to do just that by developing and implementing a Clean Power Plan process. We can create a state plan that reduces utility costs, retires dirty coal plants, and creates good jobs for Nevadans.

Nevada can do our part to meet the Pope’s vision for a more just and sustainable world by fully embracing the Clean Power Plan. We can prioritize energy efficiency that builds wealth for poor people and provides good quality local jobs for people of color. We can further support real renewable energy like solar and wind power, while shunning polluting industries like fracking and natural gas.

As we welcome the pope, let us heed his call. Together, we can build a society that puts people and planet first.

Escenthio Margny Jr.


Plan ahead

Re “Choose dignity next time” (Editorial, Sept. 24):

Thank you so much for delivering your message regarding Senate Bill 336. Just maybe it will spur some people into action.

As I approach what I refer to as The End of the Hunt, I have given much thought to the subject and have discussed the imminent event with my wife and those in my family who will grit their teeth and listen. I refer to my dissertations as “Taking charge of one’s life” and yes; people want to stick their heads in the sand when the subject matter comes up. I have initiated legal papers with a final directives in the event my body or mind turn into a vegetative state, but I am still not totally assured that my heirs or medical professionals will follow the directive. After all, I won’t be in a position to enforce the terms that the documents set forth.

When I was serving in the U.S. Army well before you were born we had a saying that is repeated sometimes today;

“Yesterday is history, and tomorrow is just a promise.”

Dan Archuleta


Go with god

Re “Get the state out of marriages” (Let Freedom Ring, Sept. 17):

Well, myself, I’m not tired of Kentucky’s Kimberly Davis. After all, what’s tiresome about first-degree official misconduct by any public official—a public official who “refrains from performing a duty imposed upon him by law or clearly inherent in the nature of his office” (Kentucky Revised Statute 522.020).

Then there’s the additional matter of, oh, the due process and equal protection clauses in the 14th Amendment to the supreme law of the United States of America: its Constitution. This amendment has since 1868 provided protection against the arbitrary denial of life, liberty or property by government outside the sanction of law or a state denying to anyone within its jurisdiction the equal protection of law. You know. As in law, not someone’s particular flavor of “God.” Hardly tiresome.

Why, even the lizard-brained fatuity of evangelical citizens in general is a fascinating study—the extra-legal audacity of a “my religious sect’s way or the highway” ideology. Right in front of God an’ everybody.

Craig Ayres-Sevier