Letters for September 14, 2017

By disobeying a court order?

Re “The Arpaio pardon” (letters, Sept. 7):

So you are calling President Trump unhinged for pardoning Arpaio. Arpaio was doing his job to serve and protect our citizens from drugs and illegal criminals. Therefore, Jim Reynolds must be in favor for drugs and illegal criminals. Who’s unhinged here? Let those criminals and drug dealers live next door to Reynolds.

Diana King


Free speech is indivisible

Re “Learn it” (editor’s note, Aug. 17):

I read the column by Brad Bynum in last week’s RN&R, and also one in the Aug. 20 issue of RG-J, concerning Peter Cvjetanovic and whether he should be expelled from UNR for his professed beliefs and participation in white nationalist/neo-Nazi groups. I also heard UNR’s decision and saw some interviews on TV. I don’t know what was said on social media as I do not participate.

But I have talked to some people personally who display the same feeling of hate toward Cvjetanovic as his people display for minorities. As far as I am concerned, hate is hate is hate. Naturally, there are ultimate rights and wrongs in this world. But one of the most positive premises on which this country is based is the right to freedom of speech and freedom of thought. We stand up for the freedom to bear arms—an ongoing symbol of hate, fear, competition and violence. We stand up for freedom of religion as long as it is an American religion and not some strange and threatening foreign belief. We espouse freedom of speech as an American right, yet freedom of thought or belief should be penalized?

This person is part of a university system, supposedly an institution of higher learning, of intellectualism, of creative thought. If this is so, then Cvjetanovic’s belief system should be an opportunity for dialogue, for debate, for new understanding of what lies beneath. If our universities were actually places to expand our minds, to exchange ideas, to look back at history in relation to our current situation, something good could come out of all this. If our universities were actually places for intellectual growth rather than job training schools for technology, then we might understand why someone such as Cvjetanovic has felt this need to turn to hate and bigotry. If he expresses these ideas in a classroom, then he should be challenged to explain them. Christian Picciolinni, former leader of a neo-Nazi group, has a theory about why those groups are appealing to young men. In a learning situation, such ideas could be further pursued in order to lead to greater understanding.

I only regret it is not possible to hear Jake Highton’s response to these recent events.

Janet Baker


Re “Learn it” (editor’s note, Aug. 17):

So let’s see if I got this right. You disagree with the UNR student who went to Charlottesville to protest and you say, “That dude needs to be taught a lesson. Several lessons, as a matter fact. Hard lessons.” You close your spiel telling him to take a look at history.

Whew. Where do I start with this one?

Well, fucko, I would tell you the same. You sound eerily reminiscent of a Nazi yourself. (I know, let’s kick him outta school, fire him from his job, take all his shit and put him and others like him in a concentration camp. Then we won’t have to see or hear from anyone we disagree with—or we could just kill him.) I wonder who anointed you as arbiter of what’s OK political-view wise? Who gets taught a hard lesson next? Kind of a big responsibility isn’t it? Think you’re up to it? Well, are ya, punk?

I for one try to live by the words of one of my all time heroes and gurus—the great Sly Stone of Sly and the Family Stone fame in their 1968 recording “Everyday People.”

“Different strokes for different folks.” If you don’t remember it, you probably weren’t born yet. Check out the song, dude. Might learn something. It’s awesome!

P.S. I did read your piece and respect your paper, just disagree with you totally.

David Palmer