Should we ban owning dogs, horses?

To the editor:

State Sen. Michael Roberson asserts that, "There's no legitimate reason for someone to have a wild, dangerous animal" (July 16 Review-Journal). This is his reasoning for his proposal to ban exotic pets. "Do we need to wait until a child is killed or seriously injured before we do something?" he says.


Back in April, a Henderson family's dog attacked and killed a 1-year-old child. Earlier that same month, two goats were killed in a dog attack. In February, a woman was injured by a pitbull. Yet Sen. Roberson hasn't proposed to ban keeping dogs as pets.

Or take horses, for example. We have had more horse-related injuries in the United States in the past year than we have had chimp or tiger maulings, and horses are no more indigenous to this country than are apes.

It seems like a ridiculous knee-jerk reaction to call for a ban on exotic pets because a couple of chimps tore around town. This ban unfairly punishes all exotic pet owners, even those who have never had any problems. And despite the fact you're statistically more likely to be hurt by a dog, the ban is based solely on the image certain animals have.

I don't own pets, and I don't really care one way or another if there are lions, tigers or bears (oh my) in Vegas. I'm just asking for some consistency.

Gordon Brown

Las Vegas

Obama line

To the editor:

In your July 20 editorial, "Diminishing entrepreneurship," you criticize the president for saying that entrepreneurs don't create businesses.

You're misinterpreting Barack Obama's line, "If you've got a business, you didn't create that." The word "that" refers back to "roads and bridges" (the infrastructure) in his previous sentence. Admittedly "those things" would have been clearer.

Mitt Romney says the same thing all the time. Business doesn't operate in a vacuum. It relies on a trained work force, transportation, capital, etc.

This isn't a sentiment that will obliterate our republic.



Parasitic business?

To the editor:

President Obama seems to portray businesses as parasites feeding off the generosity of government. Without teachers to teach and construction workers to build the roads and bridges that facilitate commerce, for example, businesses couldn't survive, according to Mr. Obama.

But who pays the teachers and construction workers on public projects? The idea that "government" does these things apart from taxpayer funding and that it is a self-supporting benevolent entity is nonsense. Without the taxes paid from successful businesses and the people who work for them there would be no government services and Mr. Obama wouldn't get a paycheck.

Business supports government, not the other way around.



Rolled over

To the editor:

I would like to thank John L. Smith on his July 17 commentary on the "roll your own" machines and congressional efforts to get rid of them ("Roll-your-own cigarette operators' plans go up in smoke"). My grandfather rolled his own cigarettes by hand. Was he a "manufacturer"?

Petitions and phone calls were made to keep the roll-your-own stores open. Millions of people signed and called. Sneaky how Congress hid the ban inside a transportation bill.

I am wondering when lawmakers will actually care what John Q. Public wants and not what Big Tobacco wants.



Still a sin

To the editor:

I love the headline on Dr. James T. Breeden's commentary in Sunday's Review-Journal, "Universal access to contraception could be a life saver." One wonders how contraception could be a life saver when it is designed to be a life destroyer.

Most oral contraceptives work in one of two ways, i.e. they either prevent the baby from adhering to the womb, thereby killing him or her; or they poison the baby, thereby killing him or her.

It is the height of narcissism to believe that one knows better than God, and can make the decisions of God. A baby is a baby, is a baby, is a baby. It is not a "thing" to dispose of because someone committed a wrong by having sex when one was not married.

It is also a sin to kill a baby who was conceived through rape or incest or to protect the so-called "health of the mother."

Only God has the right to create another human being. And only God has the right to decide when it is time for that human being to go on to his or her eternal life.



Crony capitalism

To the editor:

Steve Sebelius's Tuesday column, "Forget the blame and focus on the promise of green energy," was in response to the uproar over the Amonix bankruptcy. Mr. Sebelius's thesis seems to be, "Hey one of our investments in green energy failed. So what? Get over it!"

As he said, "Stuff happens" when investments are made. Some are bound to fail. Why heaven forbid, he almost sounds like a capitalist.

But apparently the difference between this and true capitalism is lost on Mr. Sebelius. The difference is whose money (capital) is at risk. Mr. Sebelius wants to take public money - collected from us by people with guns drawn if necessary - and "invest" it in favored private enterprises. That's not capitalism, that's crony capitalism at best, or socialism at worst.

The demand for capital is essentially infinite so, according to economic theory, there has to be some mechanism to allocate this scarce resource with infinite demand. That mechanism is price, and what do you think is the price of this capital? How about political support and campaign contributions? Hence crony capitalism.

Mr. Sebelius asserts it as given that renewable energy is desirable and there is a role for government to play in R&D for green energy. I reject both assertions. Government has no business putting my money at risk in these green energy investments. If Mr. Sebelius wants to put his money at risk, that is certainly his right, but it is not right that I should be compelled to put mine at risk with his.

Government has no business picking winners and losers in the competition for capital. The free market does a much better job.

Matt Thorley

Las Vegas