Letters for September 25, 2008

Re “Columns” (Know You’re Right, Sept. 4):

Once again I’d like to offer kudos to Amanda Williams for her refreshing astuteness. Over the past few months her brilliant columns have taught us the following:

1) That riding bicycles is a really, really good idea as long as the government doesn’t mandate it;

2) That impoverished children shouldn’t bother trying to get into college because there will be no jobs for them afterwards;

3) That the death penalty is an effective and humanitarian form of social justice; and now

4) That teenage girls who wish to demonstrate personal responsibility and uphold conservative values can do so by having babies. So better get busy, kids! Your country needs you! In the meantime, the world anxiously awaits the arrival of little “Mistake” Palin.

David C. Cherry

Haters suck
We’re wondering if the coward who left the illiterate anonymous note and spit on our Hummer window during a family outing on Mount Rose Highway on Aug. 31 drives a car? If so, guess what, spitter … you’re polluting the earth as well.

Our 13- and 16-year-old sons (who found your note) have been raised to respect others’ property and to be non-judgmental and to give back to their community—something your mama must have missed! Perhaps you should educate yourself on gas mileage comparisons of many of the cars on the road today. Do you spit on every Landrover, Escalade, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Yukon that you see? Perhaps you drive a hybrid that operates on a nickel battery so destructive to the environment that you can put three SUVs on the road for the same cost and energy as one hybrid (google “dust to dust” report).

Yes, we drive a Hummer, one of the safest vehicles on the road. We would never trade the safety of our family to save a few bucks at the pump. Yes, it burns more fuel than your Subaru, but not as much as Al Gore’s private jet. We recycle, we use low-energy lights throughout our home, we conserve water, and we are non-judging of our fellow humans and the way they choose to live their lives.

Christy Cranmer Dawn Perchetti

The straw man has no brain
Re “Palin Lives Up to Her Conservative Values” (Know You’re Right, Sept. 11):

Amanda Williams was given the same time as the rest of us to witness the train wreck—Sarah Palin’s abject argument void at the Republican National Convention—and has declared of that failure, “No it isn’t!”

As already observed long ago by Palin (the smart one, not the silly one), “an argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition; it isn’t just saying, ‘No, it isn’t!'”

Williams provides a textbook quality example of “straw-man argument,” intentionally selecting an untenable statement, and reframing the statement as an alleged central tenet of a contrary perspective, in an attempt to counter the contrary perspective.

Considering the chaos of so many different scandals competing for the title of “most problematic,” Williams is to be congratulated for somehow identifying a “biggest complaint” ("her daughter is having a baby"), that somehow evaded being labeled as the biggest complaint by all TV, radio, and print media. The straw-man argument has never before been so expertly epitomized.

Flombaye Krishnabob Hussein Ellison

Give your love
The annual week long celebration of motorcycles known as “Street Vibrations” will be rolling into town this week, and I hope that my fellow Reno/Sparks area residents will embrace these “bikers” as never before.

In the past, I’ve noticed an increase in short-temperedness among locals due to congested traffic, large crowds, and longer lines. Let’s plan ahead and leave a few minutes early to arrive at our destination on time, volunteer directions and conversation to our leather-clad friends, and practice patience while waiting in line at restaurants, stores and shops.

Don’t we desire a solid reputation as a “welcoming” community, after all? Now, more than ever, with the struggling economy, revenue generated by this event’s participants should be appreciated. They are promoting tourism and supporting local business-money circulated within our society.

I strongly encourage everyone to welcome our visitors and delight their experience so they will continue returning year after year.

Linda Vandenburg

War prisoner
Sarah Palin: “John, John, can I add something?” McCain, smiling, replied, “Always.” Palin argued that McCain’s support for sending thousands more troops to Iraq put the country on the cusp of victory and was freeing it to focus elsewhere in its battle against terrorists. We must win there so that we also can win in Afghanistan. “He can win a war.” So, why didn’t he stay in Vietnam for 100 years to win there?

Walden Joura