Letters for October 27, 2005

Watered-down logic
Re “A disastrous stockpile” (Right Hook, Oct. 13):

I usually enjoy Mike Lafferty’s columns, but in this column he proved himself to be the singularly conservative dumbfuck most readers have wanted him to be all along.

In his trial run to a big-box mart, he’s able to load a cart with a reasonable amount of emergency supplies. But did he try to carry those 12 gallons of water home on the bus? His other suggestion of filling up on tap water with the least unwieldy solution of collapsible five-gallon containers increases the cost five times. The people with vehicles to move non-perishable shit from the Super Mart in our latest disaster didn’t need to camp on their roof because they were able to drive away. I carry an emergency kit in my purse and have the Red Cross’s emergency preparedness list tacked on my wall near a flashlight, but in a disaster, I would be limited to what I can carry on the bus.

So Mike, I hope there’s enough gas in the city for you to drive away from Reno when the shit hits the fan.

Rosary Fitzgerald
via e-mail

Eye on Bills
Re “BIA inertia under fire” (News, Oct. 13):

I have been following this story in your paper since you first did the story about William Bills years ago. It’s an interesting story and would make a great novel if it weren’t so bizarre.

It’s sad that the former chairman of the Winnemucca Colony Glenn Wasson’s murder is still unsolved today.

What is odd is that the lawyer Treva Hearne, who represents a faction opposed to William Bills, actually said, “I don’t know how they could prosecute William Bills, since they can’t determine who owns the bank account.” You can prosecute someone who is trying to access a bank account that does not belong to them. Is she Bills’ lawyer or Bills’ opponents’ lawyer?

Well, certainly, the bank account is not William Bills', since he not an Indian but a Filipino. He doesn’t even fit the enrollment criteria of the Winnemucca Colony.

We are grateful that you have kept tabs on this William Bills character throughout his escapades.

I wonder what the next chapter of this story is going to be. Hopefully, your paper will keeps us informed on this bizarre and fascinating story.

Tara Sims

Update: Local California charges of fraud and attempted theft against Williams Bills were dropped when federal investigators entered the case, apparently as a result of the military identification cards Bills was carrying when he was arrested. When no action resulted from the federal investigation, San Joaquin County refiled its charges against Bills.

No truth to it
Re “A disastrous stockpile” (Right Hook, Oct. 13):

A majority of the time, I roll my eyes over Mike Lafferty’s views on things, but at least I thought he worked with some amount of the truth, however twisted he made it. Recently, he’s proven me wrong. His blaming the victims of Hurricane Katrina for not being adequately prepared is ridiculous, but at least there is some nugget of truth that some of them weren’t prepared.

However, his recent “emergency trip” to the local All Mart to stock up on supplies [had no basis in fact]. There was no disaster when he walked through those doors. I assume this emergency kit of food wasn’t put together before he declared his pretend scenario. Would he, like so many others, be scrambling at the last second to gather things as waters slowly rise? Would his shopping experience have been vastly different if all of his friends, neighbors, enemies were running to that same local All Mart? Would he have been able to grab the last jar of jelly off the shelves before the lady next to him did?

A friend of mine recently experienced a house fire. Like many of us, she had imagined what she would grab in this situation, what she would do. The family did none of it. Instinctively they did the one thing everyone would do; they got away from it to save their lives.

Now let’s talk about preparedness and fact checking! Mike perpetuates the Internet rumor that Louisiana Gov. Blanco did nothing for 24 hours while Bush offered support. Governor Blanco declared a state of emergency on Aug. 26. This is fact. President Bush responded to this the following day. The rumor that nothing was done was started by an erroneous statement in an article from the Washington Post, which issued a correction. But that apparently doesn’t work for extremists like Lafferty. The lie is so much better than the truth. Mike says we are incorrectly blaming our dear old president but apparently closed-minded Republicans not only ignore what Democrats have to say but even their own president. On Sept. 13, Bush stated, “Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government and to the extent the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility.”

Michelle Beck