Letters for October 14, 2004

The truth hurts
Re “Equal treatment,” (RN&R, Letters, Sept. 30):

I would say that John Kerry has already been given equal treatment in the form of angry letters that don’t even begin to address the truths of why we need no more years. Bush is a frightening man, but still, I would like to have seen at least one right-winger with a rebuttal of an intelligent nature write a letter. I hope the people who are so indignant about the photo and the well-informed story written by Deidre Pike are the very first in line to sign up their children and grandchildren for the draft. There is a place for them in Iraq.

As the angry letters demonstrate for the rest of us, the truth hurts.

Terianne Naviaux

Fear of thought
Re “Moore money, less speech,” (RN&R, News, Oct. 7):

I’m well aware that using money to stifle free speech is nothing new and by no means unique to Nevada, but I’m always shocked and disgusted by the Reno business elites’ fear of alternative ideas and genuine dialogue. If Reviglio and his cronies were trying to avoid looking absurd, their thinly veiled efforts to bully and blackmail UNR have only made them look even more ridiculous. Is democratic dialogue really that frightening?

Lance Bernard
Minneapolis (formerly of Reno)

Women scorned
Re “In her own words,” (RN&R, Cover story, Sept. 30):

Come on, you guys! Again the Women’s Issue comes, and the theatre review is oblivious! Hello! Brüka’s getting ready to open Night, Mother and Nevada Shakespeare Company has more performances of A Single Woman coming up—what’s the problem?! So many great women in the Reno theater scene, and you have never done a piece about them on the theatre page in the woman’s issue! Come on, folks, please put it on the calendar for next year.

Josie Warvelle
via e-mail

Outsourcing compassion
Re “Minimum wage hike won’t improve Nevadans’ lives,” (RN&R, Right hook, Sept. 30):

I have to take exception to Mike Lafferty’s assertion that raising the minimum wage would result in the outsourcing of jobs here in Nevada and ultimately hurt those it is intended to help. While the outsourcing of higher-paying manufacturing jobs is a predictable result of artificially inflated wages, that isn’t the case with the poorest-paying jobs. The people who serve your hamburgers and ring up your purchases at Wal-Mart are unlikely to be replaced any time soon by 8-year-olds in Sri Lanka.

Employers cry wolf every time there is any discussion of raising the minimum raise. Yet consider this: I put myself through college working two fast food jobs totaling 50 hours a week. Unemployment was more than 20 percent in my town, and I was glad to get those jobs. I rang up more than $300 worth of food every hour. I was paid $4 every hour. An increase of just 5 cents on each food item would have paid my coworkers and me a living wage.

I graduated from UNR with a degree in finance, and minors in accounting and economics. I live a very comfortable life now and would happily pay a little extra so that the woman serving me a hamburger could feed her children and keep them safe. Wouldn’t you, Mr. Lafferty?

Let me give you a taste of life on the razor’s edge of a minimum wage existence:

I had no phone. I had no hot water and couldn’t use my oven because I couldn’t afford the deposit the gas company wanted to turn it on. I worked surrounded by food but often went hungry. I had no medical insurance, sick leave or vacation. I worked long hours, attended a community college full-time and was terrified of getting sick and ending up in the street. Walking to my night job, I was attacked, strangled, beaten and raped.

No one willing to put in an honest day’s work, no matter how humble the job, deserves to live that way. Most people don’t choose those jobs—they are dehumanizing, boring and don’t pay enough to live on.

Not everyone is college material, or can afford to go. That shouldn’t condemn them to an existence most of us would consider inhumane.

Gina Pogol

In “Faith-shattering reports from Iraq,” (View from the fray, Sept. 30), the sentence “Istifan is one of an increasing number of Christians targeted for their presumed support of American intervention in Iraq,” incorrectly contained quote marks. It was not a direct quote but a paraphrase and should not have contained quote marks. This has been corrected on the web site.