Letters for September 22, 2005

Civics lesson
Re “Members of the peace movement hypocritical,” (Right Hook, Sept. 8):

“So, let’s recall that the United States is not a democracy, it’s a constitutional republic,” wrote Mike Lafferty.

This puzzled me. As neither the word “democracy” nor the word “republic” is used in the Constitution, I consulted Merriam-Webster to find out how this country could be a republic and not a democracy. Here’s what I found:

Democracy: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

Republic: a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law.

The key word in the definition of democracy is “people,” which rang a bell. Oh yes, the first three words of the constitution are “we the people.” It does not say “we the body of citizens entitled to vote,” though that was essentially what was meant by “people” in the 1780s. It’s a distinction without a difference.

The bottom line: Anyone who didn’t sleep through high school civics knows that the United States is a democracy and a republic, and insisting that it’s one and not the other is so much pretentious nonsense.

Richard Dunn
Carson City

How about “Constructionville"?
Re “Department of Public Works,” (Arts&Culture, Sept. 8):

I was pleased to see an article in the latest RN&R featuring the Reno Youth ArtWorks. I would be very happy to see every available empty wall in Reno covered with a mural by a talented artist. Maybe Reno could be nicknamed Mural Town and be known as the city with the most creatively painted walls in the United States.

Christina Nellemann
Washoe Valley

Rub his nose in it
Re “Yeah, we get it,” (Letters, Sept. 1):

So, Mr. Fisher believes that homosexuals “rub” their lifestyles “in his face” continually.

I have to wonder what he means by this. Does he mean when gay couples hold hands and kiss? Seems to me that when straight couples do the same thing, they’re projecting just as much of their sexual “lifestyle” as a gay couple would. Hypocritical?

Or perhaps he means pride parades and events? Just because they occur doesn’t mean he has to have any part in them. I would hope he could find something else to do—perhaps take a girl out for a nice dinner. (Did anyone else notice how quickly he pointed out which team he was playing for?)

Everyone is allowed their opinion on the gay issue. Make whatever argument you like: It’s a choice, it’s biological, whatever. Gay people are a reliably small percentage of people that are here to stay. Why not live and let live? Truth is, all that’s being sought is equality. And it’ll happen. Just like the women’s movement, the black movement, etc.

It might take a few generations to go through, but the sooner everyone wakes up, the sooner gay news will not be a hot topic for the media anymore, the sooner it will cease to dominate the headlines, and the sooner Mr. Fisher and others like him can stay as far away from gaydom as they please.

Shayne Cowell

Worst president ever
Re “Friends in need,” (Editorial, Sept. 8):

If anyone still has any doubts about our president, I hope they have noted the federal government’s pathetic response to Hurricane Katrina.

I don’t care if you’re white, black, red, yellow or purple, rich, poor, educated or illiterate, this guy will go down in history as the worst president we’ve ever had. Who would have known?

Not the 50 million lemmings who chucked him into office. Toss another magnetic yellow ribbon on your SUV’s to salve your conscience, hoist the nation’s flag high, and wax misty about neo-conservatism.

Maybe a moron somewhere has some faith in the notion that democracy retains any credibility when it can be relinquished to the bottom line of international corporations and implausible elections.

Myself, I glimpse disgrace resting squarely on the slack shoulders of the dolts who championed this perpetually preppy idiot still struggling with his native language, this president, our leader.

A natural disaster, and America is now clearly the racist and class-conscious nation it always was, full of dreams delusional for those who can—and would—afford them.

Craig Ayres-Sevier
via e-mail

Due to an editor’s error in RN&R’s Sept. 15 issue, in the story, “Desert Death,” about the death of Samuel Thomas Rich at the Burning Man festival, we reported, “News of the death was blacked out completely both in Nevada and national media.” This is incorrect. Mention of a death at the festival appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal on Sept. 4, and the victim was identified by name in the RG-J on Sept. 7.