Our readers opine on library meetings, the GOP and the Israel-Hamas war

Show up to ask the library to keep queer, POC materials

There is an orchestrated effort led by the local Washoe GOP party chair and a group of right-wing zealots attending local library board meetings and attempting to remove some of its diversity programs and books. They seek to sensationalize and misinform under the cloak of “concern for the children and taxpayer dollars” with hateful demagoguery, sometimes leveling personal attacks against its director and board members who are not responsive to their demands and actions. Among them is a gentleman who had been suspended from the library, because he was defacing books with Bible verses.

The American Library Association reports an unparalleled number of book challenges rising in recent years. It is a result of a network of political and advocacy groups targeting books with LGBTQ+ characters and storylines, and books involving characters of color or involving race, gender and sexual identity.

This dangerous precedent of censorship draws some lessons from history. As the local library board now includes three new trustees in recent months, it is vital that people show up to these meetings and defend our library system and its programs. Remember, decisions are most likely determined by the people who show up. —William Puchert, Reno

Five reasons to vote Republican

There are several reasons why folks should vote Republican.

1. Individual rights: When I was 18, all that I owned was a used, fat-tire bicycle. Thankfully, our Republican governor in Nevada vetoed a bill so that an 18-year-old here can still own an AR-15.

2. Women’s rights: Human rights can go too far. The Taliban has reduced women’s rights. And so have many Republican states by removing a women’s rights on their medical decisions.

3. Individual freedom: Ron DeSantis signed the “Individual Freedom Act” which limits discussions on topics such as race and gender issues. Why be reminded of our history during slavery?

4. Overcrowded prisons: We have more people in prison (per capita) than most countries. Fortunately, Donald Trump said he would pardon a “large portion” of the Jan. 6 rioters. We need the space.

5. Law and order: While a historic first, 91 felony charges are not a good enough reason to prosecute the Republican frontrunner. Former presidents should be above the law, even if the special prosecutor was appointed by a Republican attorney general. —John C., Reno

Israel bears some responsibility

The only thing worse than our skimpy knowledge of current events is our nonexistent knowledge of the past. For example, we are shocked at the “massive intelligence failure” of the well-heeled Israeli security apparatus.

What if it wasn’t an intelligence failure at all? There was a similar intelligence “failure” at Pearl Harbor, too, but we later learned President Franklin Roosevelt ignored the intelligence because he wanted to be a war hero. (Editor’s note: Historians disagree on this point.) What if Benjamin Netanyahu wants the war to bolster his political longevity, just like FDR did?

Regardless of the level of preparation, it appears Israel bears plenty of responsibility for an inevitable outbreak of hostilities. An Israeli doctor interviewed by the CBS Evening News said that Palestinians were so viciously bottled up in Gaza that automatic weapons started firing whenever a Gazan drew near the wall. Can you spell the word “resentment”? —Kimball Shinkoskey, Woods Cross, Utah

Originally posted 2023-10-25 17:15:23.