Weiner scandal highlights stupidity of politicians

To the editor:

It's not the "sexting." Everybody does it -- especially high school kids.

It's not the lying -- most politicians do that.

It's not being unfaithful to his wife. Lord knows, there are plenty of legislators who have done that, too.

It's the lack of judgment -- or just plain dumbness.

Didn't Rep. Anthony Weiner know that, sooner or later, someone would notice and make public his dirty photos and emails floating out there on the Internet?

Why did he send them to women he didn't even now? Did he think these women would be flattered and so impressed by the photos of his private parts that they wouldn't object?

(Of course, at least two of the women were reported to have taken him up on the sexually implicit correspondence. He must have figured that the odds were in his favor.)

Should he resign? Who cares? It's not that he's too dumb to be a congressman. Remember the congressman who opined that if too many people moved onto the island of Okinawa, the island would tip over? (And they call Sarah Palin dumb.)

Is he the best representative the people in his district can get? Maybe so. But, anyway, he's up for re-election in November 2012.



Nuclear energy

To the editor:

In Steve Tetreault's Saturday article about Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Greg Jaczko, the only important statement is: "Inspector General Hubert Bell does not say Jaczko ... violated any laws or agency policies in his handling of the controversial Nevada nuclear waste project."

I am the executive director of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force, and we are in close contact with groups and individuals nationwide dealing with reactors and nuclear waste issues. There has been discussion and debate about commercial nuclear power in the United States for many years, including the waste and the Yucca Mountain Project in Nevada. Mr. Jaczko was named chairman of the commission at a time when the NRC had very little public trust and the general opinion of grass-roots groups in reactor communities was that the NRC was just a rubber stamp for the utilities and those seeking licenses for new facilities.

In addition to sparking public opposition to a "nuclear renaissance" being pushed by the nuclear industry, the Japanese disaster has caused people to ask serous questions about safety at existing U.S. plants and the plans and designs for proposed new plants. The NRC, under the leadership of Mr. Jaczko, has been much more willing to listen to public views on these issues and has taken a much harder look at the safety of new plant designs and plans. We applaud his more democratic and stronger, independent regulatory stance.

There is now a major effort in Congress to discredit Mr. Jaczko and to force the Department of Energy to build a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain. If they are successful, two inevitable consequences result:

1) Nevada will be home to the nation's high-level radioactive waste that, by DOE's own analysis, will contaminate the aquifer now used for human and agricultural consumption.

2) The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will revert to being the nuclear power industry's best friend at a time when the public most needs independent protection from the risks of nuclear power.

When the Department of Energy decided to withdraw the license application for Yucca Mountain and the funding for the project stopped or was stipulated for closeout, Mr. Jaczko was correct in stopping further staff work on the application. It is wrong for the NRC to continue evaluating a license application and to pursue any actions that could prejudice future decisions.

Judy Treichel

Las Vegas

The writer is executive director of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force.

Ethanol vote

To the editor:

If you need further proof that our elected officials don't care what is best for their constituents or the country, look no further than the refusal to stop subsidizing the production of ethanol as a fuel, to the tune of $5 billion per year (Review-Journal, Wednesday). Not only is ethanol a fuel that costs more to produce than it gives back in fuel economy, it requires fossil (read polluting) fuels to produce it.

Then get into the fact that so much corn is being grown -- not to eat, not for animal feed, but to make this biofuel -- that the price of corn and the animals we eat that feed on it have skyrocketed. I'm sure your Corn Flakes have gone up in price also.

How is raising the price of corn to produce a useless biofuel helping this country and the people in it?

Harry Reid has said that he doesn't like ethanol, but he's playing politics in voting against the ending of ethanol subsidies. Politics as usual. So who really represents the people of Nevada? Not our elected officials, that's for sure.

Remember this next time you vote.

Roger Ouellette

Las Vegas

Checked out

To the editor:

The recent ruling by Social Security officials to require all participants to have a bank account to receive their monthly checks has pitfalls that have not been addressed.

First of all, I do not wish to do business with a bank. Second, when the money hits the bank it is no longer Social Security, but cash, seizable by the IRS, collection agencies and lien holders.

I refuse to open an account. My alternatives?