Letters for September 15, 2005

Sentimental journey
Re “Standing with Cindy,” (View from the Fray, Aug. 25):

Well, thank God that’s over. For a minute there, I thought it would actually be necessary to argue Cindy Sheehan doesn’t really care whether Bush meets with her or not. It has always been apparent that, far from tending her son’s legacy, she has used Casey’s death to advance her sentimental political agenda. First, she asserted that her son died for a “PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel.” Then she claimed she never wrote such things (another right-wing conspiracy theory, you see). But, for a second, people were convinced the nation’s problems were caused by neglect. If only Bush would listen, we could unite behind a common placation!

Cindy Sheehan’s son dying entitles her to sympathy but doesn’t grant her the absolute moral authority described by Maureen Dowd. Casey Sheehan was not a child. He was a 24-year-old adult, soldier, volunteer. President Bush, perhaps in spite of his faith, managed to embrace a moral position for the war. It was third or fourth on the list, but at least he landed on it. Cindy Sheehan’s morality is based on the selfish belief that her son’s moral decision has rubbed off on her, in reverse.

And what is that morality exactly? Do the candles burn brighter for those who have lost family in the war? It’s a shame that the Left’s solidarity has been nationalized and draped over this woman’s sentimental politics; it’s too bad that Iraqi lives are worth more in the past when they can be lamented than in the future when they can be protected.

John Hansen

Humping hemp
Re “Grow our own oil,” (Letters, Aug. 25):

Kudos to Craig Bergland on the continuing support of alternative fuels. I would like to add to that hemp is the only biomass fuel that is able to make the U.S. energy independent. By farming hemp on just 7 percent of U.S. land, it would provide all of the United States’ oil and gas energy needs. Hemp is capable of producing 10 tons per acre in just four months; that’s 1,000 gallons of methanol per acre! Not to mention paper (one acre of hemp produces as much as four acres of trees in paper), food (butter, cheese, flour) and fibers for clothes and 50,000 different uses. When American farmers grow hemp to supply industries, we shall see a rapid greening of the land and the economy. Hemp fuel is 50 percent more efficient than corn and 100 percent more efficient than petroleum fuel. Henry Ford knew this and kept the oil prices down for 50 years by making hemp methanol. Seems like everyone but the oil companies will profit by using hemp. Why do we tolerate paying $3 per gallon, and the minimum wage is still $5.15? There are alternatives, we have choices. If the people lead, the leaders shall follow.

Tania Lackner

Near the radio?
Everywhere you look, you can see your tax dollars at work: a new school, roadwork, a fire truck or at a park.

My dad and I went bicycling today. We stopped at Idlewild Park for a break and to refill our water bottles. Upon our arrival at around 11:10 a.m., I noticed a “Reno Police Parking Enforcement” truck idling in the parking lot with a uniformed officer in the truck. I have no problem with the fact that the officer was on her lunch break—we watched for over 20 minutes—but I do have a problem with the fact that the car was running. Being 13, I realize I don’t pay many taxes, but eventually it affects me. Taxpayers are dishing out money to make sure this officer can spend her lunch break in an air-conditioned environment. With gas prices a little on the high side (or even if they weren’t), I would certainly appreciate it if the officer would be kind enough to conserve fuel and not pollute our environment. Shady public picnic tables are only 30 feet away.

name withheld

Don’t know about that (in the biblical sense)
Re “Birth-control debates increase abortions,” (Letters, Sept. 1):

I pray Deidre Pike is writing sarcastically in her article. As a lifelong Catholic, I have been anti-abortion since I could walk and talk. I’m sure this is reason enough for people to roll their eyes and stop reading this letter. However, this is not a Catholic rant. This is a personal one. I don’t believe abortion saves girls and women money, agony or worry. I also don’t think sex is a game, a commodity or a toy. Sex is not the only thing that a man and woman can do to have a good time. If our media would cool it with sex, even just a smidge, children wouldn’t become pregnant in middle school and have to deal with abortion. Sex is always a choice, and that choice has consequences. If the American public, namely women, can’t make the choice and suffer the consequences, for crying out loud, don’t have sex. Make the choice before you forget the contraception and “accidentally” get pregnant. Pregnancy is not an accident, it’s a choice.

Katie Palani