My mistake

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

OK, you “Reason to vote” fans, I’ve got to start this note out on a bit of a bummer. After the last presidential election, Nevada received another electoral vote, so last week’s “Reason to vote No. 25” was incorrect. Instead of saying, “our four measly electoral votes may decide the whole thing,” it should read, “our five measly electoral votes may decide the whole thing.”

Ouch. Errors are extremely painful to newspaper writers and editors. We read every story multiple times to make sure every typo is fixed, every homonym correct, every nonessential phrase comma-ed, every fact double-checked, and still, errors get into the paper every single week. Most of the time, people try to console me with, “Nobody’s going to know that’s wrong but you,” but, well, for journalists here at the RN&R, our pride and our frustration are often commingled in one newspaper. Nobody cares about the genesis of errors, but I can tell you I did some kind of stupid Google search string, like “Nevada four electoral votes” because I received plenty of support for my wrongheadedness.

Along unrelated lines, there’s plenty going on in the world to make me really question the fundamental nature of man. In one country, there’s a lawsuit brought against the Washoe County Jail for unconstitutional strip searches; in another, prisoners of war are being stripped and tortured. In the wake of things like the USA PATRIOT Act and Sept. 11, many people have made much of the fact that people who give up freedom for safety don’t deserve either, but when I look around, it seems a lack of respect for basic human dignity always comes before a loss of human rights.

And then some beast decides to behead an American, hate rises and hope struggles for life.

Reason to vote No. 26: The First Amendment can’t protect itself. If you want to always be able to speak loudly with dissent or quietly in agreement, you must vote for people who also care about freedom of speech.