Letters for September 4, 2008

Not paid to compete
Re “Bush did the right thing by going to China” (Know You’re Right, Aug. 14):

As Amanda Williams correctly states, the Olympics are a sporting venue for international amateurs. Then why were professional tennis players Venus and Serena Williams participating? As well as professional basketball players? Inquiring minds want to know!

April Pedersen

All that glitters
Re “The Olympics inspire us to be our best” (Know You’re Right, Aug. 28):

In the spirit of competition, or perhaps revisionism, the medal count trick is an example of sophist greatness in obscuring mediocrity. It seems like the United States is winning the war even when China earns more gold medals than we do. Something else helps us forget. A steady repetition of mainstream media footage of Chinese soldiers roughing people up. But the medal count quantity over quality deception is like saying a gourmand is better than a gourmet. Is that an example of changing the system so that nobody feels bad about themselves?

Dylan Riley

Why have a conservative columnist?
Re “Right is wrong” and “Right checked” (Letters to the editor, Aug. 21):

I absolutely agree with the letter writers about Barack Obama and Amanda Williams. She is disturbing. Her Aug. 21 piece certainly did her no justice. Why does RN&R have such an obviously biased person writing such unfounded-information articles? I stopped reading her pieces long ago for their blatant absurdness and only read it this week because of other people’s comments. It cemented my original opinion. No wonder she is pitching for McCain—duh!

Abby Worth

Obama’s policies are better
Re “Who has the best Yucca Mountain policies?” (Know You’re Right, Aug. 21):

Amanda Williams needs to fact check her writing. McCain supported Yucca until he came to Nevada and got booed by members of his own party, so he came up with the dandy idea of dumping nuclear waste in another country, but that didn’t quite fly because he just couldn’t quite think of what country might want our nuclear waste. Hmm, well I guess if he is elected we could dump it in the first country he decides to invade—Iran maybe? So, his “straight talk” had to take another little detour, and he came up with the idea of reprocessing nuclear waste. But alas, there’s a bit of a problem, reprocessing is merely the separation of plutonium from spent nuclear fuel. This process is extremely expensive, poses a security threat, and contaminates the environment, so he backtracks once again to supporting Yucca Mountain—well, he “sort of” supports it, at least as long as the waste doesn’t go through Arizona.

On the other hand, Obama’s position on nuclear energy is available on his website. It is clear and concise; stating that: “before an expansion of nuclear power is considered, key issues must be addressed including: security of nuclear fuel and waste, waste storage, and proliferation.” Obama does not believe that Yucca Mountain is a suitable site. He will lead federal efforts to look for safe, long-term disposal solutions based on objective, scientific analysis. In the meantime, Obama will develop requirements to ensure that the waste stored at current reactor sites is contained using the most advanced dry-cask storage technology available.

You stated that Obama voted in favor of storing nuclear waste at Yucca, however you failed to mention that what he voted on was a compromise measure that included sweeping legislation for energy and water development. McCain was one of three senators to vote against it … maybe because there wasn’t enough in it for his oil buddies?

Obama did receive donations from Excelon, $190,000. But the company is based in his hometown of Chicago, how many of those donors would have donated to him anyway, even if they were not employed by Excelon? Compare this to McCain’s $2 million from Oil Companies since he flip-flopped on offshore drilling and started his new mantra “drill here drill now.”

Many folks like me will be voting for Obama in November. We are what is left of the middle class that Bush has spent eight years destroying, and we will not elect McCain so that he can finish the job. Amanda Williams should get a real job, find out what it’s like to work for a living and quit feverishly checking her blackberry for the RNC daily talking points—then I might believe at least some of what she writes.

Lynne Black

Where’s the meaning?
Re “Sisyphus government” (News, May 15):

The root of the Sisyphean myth is punishment for not conforming to the will of the gods. Because of his offenses and his equally problematic disdaining of the gods, Sisyphus was given an unspeakable penalty in which the whole of his being was exerted toward accomplishing nothing; he was condemned to roll a massive rock up a hill in the underworld only to have it roll back down forcing him to start over. Both his toil and existence had no ultimate meaning. I have, after long years of arguing with myself, decided that all those who pursue materialism and unbelief are like Sisyphus, toiling and striving to no meaning.

Jennifer Peter
New York