Letters for September 15, 2011

Thanks, Sean

Re “Never forget America’s loss of innocence” (Right to Your Head, Sept. 8):

Thank Sean Cary for the great column. This helps everyone remember, yes, this is where I was and what thoughts were going on: the fear of what was next and when the next strike would be brought home again. No more make-believe that we are so safe and secure.

Cheryl McKinney
Sun Valley

All you need is tolerance

Re “The new anti-Semitism” (Feature story, Sept. 1):

If anyone doubted the necessity or relevance of Dennis Myers’ powerful article on anti-Muslim sentiment in our town and country, look no further than the fear-based letters and comments in response. The entirety of Islam should not be condemned for terrorism any more than the entirety of Christianity should be blamed for the terrorist bombing of Oklahoma City and the mass shootings in Norway. Hateful rhetoric is not without consequences. Left unchecked it spreads from words on a page expressing an irrational dread and dislike of Islam into its ultimate conclusion of violence against our neighbors who have done nothing except perhaps look and worship differently from most of our other neighbors. Before 9/11, there was an average of 30 anti-Islam hate crimes annually, according to FBI statistics. That number jumped 1,600 percent immediately following 9/11. As Myers points out in his article, Dr. Eltag Mirghani was beaten almost to death by two teens wielding baseball bats as he stepped out the front doors of the Northern Nevada Muslim Community Center in Sparks, ending a brilliant medical career and upending his family. One year ago on Sept. 10, vandals spray painted a wall near Plumb Lane in Reno with the words: “Don’t burn the Koran just burn Muslims.” Both Christianity and Islam have much to say about the healing power of love and compassion. The Bible admonishes adherents to “love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.” The Koran states, “It may be that God will ordain love between you and those whom you hold as enemies.” It takes great courage to embrace and to live these words. Let’s rise up together and build bridges of tolerance and understanding among all people.

Bob Fulkerson

A new direction

Re “Gladiators” (Letters to the editor, Sept. 8):

It is unfortunate that some folks have such a negative outlook about a bigger picture for downtown Reno. I believe Fernando Leal is heading in the right direction with his non-gaming properties. I have no problem with casinos (taxes!), and I really like downtown Reno.

It looks much better than it did five years ago. I go downtown several times a week and have yet to be panhandled. Maybe tall and feisty women from Sparks are not good targets. Downtown Reno is full of good art, musical performances and tasty places to eat. Even though West Sparks—I mean Reno—will never have our Rib Cook-Off.

CommRow is a very good idea, precisely because it will interest adventurous active people who already use the Aces complex, the whitewater park, and who ski, snowboard and ride the Tour de Nez or run marathons. I never thought I’d consider it, but if they get a permit to run a zipline from the parking deck to the hotel, I will go for it. The climbing wall structure already looks very cool.

I have taken several visitors from out of state downtown to see the progress of CommRow. I have also emailed the Aug. 15 article, “The next big thing,” to friends and family all over the U.S. People have been uniformly excited about the possibilities to scare and/or challenge themselves on that tall wall. One person even asked about property prices at the Montage.

So, to you negative thinkers: Mr. Leal is part of the solution, just like Evelyn Mount with hungry citizens and Luther Mack with the education of our youth. What are you doing to make Reno and Sparks a better place for your friends and family? BTW, I put my time where my mouth is: I volunteer at Sparks Library.

Ms. Sparky Allen

Zombie party

OK, I’m going to say it: I have always thought of the Republican Party to be made up of two kinds of people: the rich and the ignorant. That’s kind of harsh of me to say, but for the most part, I think it’s true. The ignorant are swayed by repetition in the media of stories and advertisements, which leads the masses to lean the way the rich want. I lean left but have generally been independent my entire voting life; I vote for the most qualified person. I learned an important lesson last election cycle when I tried to vote in a primary as a non-partisan. I was allowed no say in who ran for Senate. “Non-partisan” had no one running for Senate. I was only allowed to vote for a couple of county officers like school commissioner and local sheriff. Anyone with a brain and a TV knew how contentious the vote for Senate was in our state last year, and yet because I was neither a Republican nor Democrat, I basically had no say.

I like Ron Paul and what he says about liberty and freedom. I like his anti-war stance and his views on many issues that need to be addressed as our country is plunged into this recession (not supposed to say depression). I think we are plunging off an economic cliff that no one wants to fix or does not know how. I know Ron Paul is not a very charismatic, but I think he would be the strongest and most able to save this sinking ship called America. So I have had to become one of the ignorant and am now a member of the Republican Party, which is the only way I will ever get a chance to vote for Ron Paul. If you like Ron Paul and think he would be a good president, too, then I ask you to join the masses of the ignorant or the rich, and go to your county registrar of voters and change whatever party affiliation you may have to become Republican and have your one and only shot of voting for a smart, dedicated liberty-minded individual.

America is at desperate straits, and we need an individual and not a talking head like our president. We need someone without a party line. We need to be able to pick someone who will fix these problems, not create them and blame the other, which seems to be the case. Since neither party seems able to get along well, I’m sure Ron Paul is strong enough to run roughshod over the whole corrupt bunch.

Get your hands on any of Ron Paul’s books and tell me he shouldn’t be our next president. Our country is in a big a crisis, and we need a strong leader. He may not look it, but Ron Paul is your man. I believe this so strongly, I became a Republican, and to me that’s like becoming a zombie.

John McCool

Fairly balanced

Re “The new anti-Semitism” (Feature story, Sept. 1):

Your feature story by Dennis Myers was well written and, with no apologies to Fox News, fair and balanced. As a Republican reading your paper, I often fall prey to the divisiveness that has become our political dialogue, manifested in my looking for flaws in articles written by “the other side.” This feature was well rounded in showing the failure of both Republican and Democrat leaders in portraying the teachings of Islam in an accurate light. The author listed favorable acts by George W and missteps by Hillary and Bill while showing numerous Republican’s misguided acts and examples of progressive or Democrat’s stepping up for truth and vice-versa.

All in all, reading the full article gave a real sense of the history and problems facing us in discerning the teachings of Islam from the actions of misguided radical Muslims. The parallels with Jewish history are well described and is a wake up call to all Americans, and the world alike. Thank you for providing a platform for such a well written article. Few “news” outlets would have been so “fair and balanced.”

Gary Smith