Letters for September 17, 2009

Blinded by hate

Re “Listen to yourself” (Editorial, Sept. 10):

Your false comparison piece on how the outraged liberal and angry conservative components of our society are alike failed to address some of the more pertinent issues. For instance, you claim that, under Obama’s watch, Homeland security has been warning of “white veterans, racists and local-rights groups swelling the ranks of domestic terrorists.” Funny you should mention that, due to the fact that, under the Bush administration, the only “Domestic Terrorists” that Homeland Security seemed to be interested in were environmental organizations and peace activists. To jog your memory, maybe these days Homeland Security is concerned about homegrown racist terrorists due to the fact that we’re currently dealing with the largest number of assassination threats to a President ever recorded—many if not most of them motivated by racism. Gee, what an unfair, far left liberal whacko thing for Obama to do … to have racism and presidential assassination threats looked into.

As for the Iraq War: Osama Bin Laden actually was in Afghanistan, remember? Bushcorp falsified national intelligence—remember Valerie Plame?—in order to rationalize his preemptive war of choice against Saddam and play out the agenda of Project for a New American Century. Obama merely inherited Bush’s mess. Oh, then there’s the part about torture orders coming directly from Bush’s admin, straight from Cheney and prisoners being beaten to death by CIA operatives in Abu Ghraib as a consequence—a little thing you might remember as crimes against humanity. Or maybe you wouldn’t remember. Has the Obama admin given any orders to beat people to death in prisons? Again, your false equivalencies hold no water.

So, as you say, “And you know what? It sounds really familiar.” I agree. We see these same types of false equivalencies pretty much every night in the mainstream media. Justifying the death threat and torture culture of the far right, attempting to compare it to hippie peace protesters. So congratulations. You’ve become part of the problem—a mainstream media apologist.

C. Rosamond

Rhetorically speaking

Re “Listen to yourself” (Editorial, Sept. 10):

Thank you for this editorial. This is the first thing I’ve seen that wasn’t strictly partisan. It seems the party that is out always points fingers at the party that is in, and there is really no discernable difference between them. It seems they think the only reason they exist is to get reelected. I did have a small concern about some of your parallels, but overall, it was pretty good.

Mike Walls

Take responsibility

Re “Utility is not useful” (Letters to the editor, Sept. 10):

I read last week’s letter with trepidation. I do not know the writer. However, the author is mistaken in commenting that there is no assistance in the community with the energy bill. I assist with connecting people with services. I have on numerous occasions called NV Energy to advocate on behalf of an energy customer, even when that customer has failed to make payments they agreed to and chose to stop making payments when they received the energy assistance money. I am not inferring that the letter’s author acted in that manner; however, she does not include how she managed to get herself in a situation that has her at risk of having her energy turned off. She is at fault somehow. NV Energy is not a “non profit” entity, but they are able to and do work with customers who are willing to make arrangements and pay the outstanding balance of their bill. I do not work for NV Energy. I am frustrated, though, with the number of people who are quick to blame the “system,” large corporations, social service agencies and others for their own lack of responsibility. The economy is terrible, people are losing jobs, the price of gas is rising, yet I manage to pay my bills. I am not looking for a handout; I am not looking for others to bail me out. Take responsibility, lady.

Maite Smith

Kate Murphy rocks

Re “Geek chic” (Arts & Culture, Sept. 3):

This is quite simply one of the finest pages in the history of print. As of now, the efforts of Gutenberg, Senefelder, and Eastman-Kodak are vindicated. Excellent composition.

By the way, the story was also enjoyable. The author is commendable for attempting the task of making extreme geekery accessible. As an expository narrator, Matthew Craggs solidly delivered. The one exception to a smooth flow came with the apparition of Blizzard president Michael Morhaime.

For clarification, the reader is offered “for non-geeks, this is like Barry Bonds or Donald Trump wanting your autograph.” Obviously, offering Bonds and Trump as extrageekial counterparts to Morhaime calls into question just where one draws the line in defining geekdom.

I can definitely respect the level of competence that this author displays as a storyteller. The only advice I’m offering is that for drawing upon extrageekial counterparts, it may be wise to consult an actual non-geek. I don’t know that having Barry Bonds or Donald Trump would necessarily be less surprising than meeting the president of Blizzard, but from what I now know of the three, I would most likely grant the autograph to Morhaime.

Flombaye Krishnabob Ellison

False American idol

What is wrong with the political right? Their most recent mass hissy fit d’jour is over the president’s address to the nation’s school children. Reagan did it. Bush 41 did it. But now that Obama wants to do it, we are suddenly facing a plot to brainwash and indoctrinate our youth? It’s a communist plot!

President Obama is not just a role model for minority children; he is one of the tens of millions who are raised by single mothers, a growing group that really needs to redefine itself, and his success should be upheld whether or not anyone agrees with his policies. The accomplishment of coming from his circumstances to attain the highest elected office in the country is worthy of children’s respect. So what’s the problem?

Here’s the problem: Many in this country are people of faith. When they send their children to public schools, those children are now severely curtailed in how they can express their faith. Valedictorians have been prohibited from mentioning their faith, in any way, in their graduation addresses. Many school administrators are prescreening speeches and will not allow students to speak if there is an indication that they might mention their faith. In one very startling instance, a young woman from Las Vegas, who made mention of Jesus in her valedictorian address, was ordered to write an open letter of apology for email distribution to all parents and students on the school’s mailing list, or she wouldn’t graduate. The groups who support this ban on personal religious speech identify themselves as being on the left. Progressives.

What does this have to do with Barack Obama’s address to our nation’s school children?

In proposed curriculum from the president’s Secretary of Education, teachers are asked to lead specific discussions, and one of the topics requires students to think about the question, “How will he (Obama) inspire us?” So, because of a relatively new progressive interpretation of the First Amendment, school children are banned from expressing the belief that religion is the source of their inspiration while, at the same time, this progressive administration encourages children to think of Barack Obama as their inspiration.

For many, “inspiration” is synonymous with faith. Supporting the presidency is the responsibility of all citizens; sacred devotion to the man who holds that office is fanaticism.

Tim Kirk