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Blame social promotion, grade inflation

To the editor:

In response to your Monday editorial, “Schools need reform — but not my school”:

It is easy for parents to ignore possible problems in their own children’s school when the subtle art of social promotion via grade inflation makes their child look like he is doing well. When a child who would have been a “D” student 30 to 40 years ago is now a “B” student, what’s to be unhappy about?

Besides the twisting of the educational process this contributes to, it also ensures the student will likely falter later in life.

Is it also possible that the educational system’s collective subconscious could be aware of this, and subsequently realizes the tsunami of disapproval that would occur should parents actually wake up to that fact?

Paul Hernandez


Insult to all

To the editor:

I was absolutely disgusted when I read that Rio headliner Penn Jillette said the cross worn by illusionist Criss Angel “is big enough to actually staple a Jew to it” (Sunday Norm Clarke column).

It was in very poor taste, and was not only an insult to Jews, but to everyone. I would put Mr. Jillette’s remarks on par with those of Don Imus and Mel Gibson.

I hope that either Mr. Clarke or the Review-Journal will print an apology.

Helen Biegel


Not manslaughter

To the editor:

In your Monday article, “Three visits preceded boy’s death,” you reported that 4-year-old Jason Rimer was “forgotten in his family’s sport utility vehicle for 17 hours.” The district attorney’s office (and I) believe otherwise. His parents have been charged with second-degree murder precisely because it appears the boy was not “forgotten.”

The prosecutor will attempt to show the parents knew the boy was in that vehicle and that the mother intentionally used another vehicle to pick up other children to avoid seeing him. Normally, the mother would have used the vehicle in which her son was trapped to run the errand.

The allegedly intentional nature of the incident is why the charge is murder and not something like manslaughter.

Seth Wittner


Go nuclear

To the editor:

Thirty years ago our country had the solution to our dependence on foreign oil: nuclear power. Then anti-nuclear groups, certain celebrities and the media combined to create fear in the American public, effectively shutting down all new nuclear power plant construction. The result was inevitable; we have become dependent on fossil fuels and we’re at the mercy of foreign producers of oil.

If we want our civilization to survive, we have no choice but to develop all forms of electric power, including nuclear power. Wind and solar power are going to be woefully inadequate to replace our coal- and gas-fired power plants, much less our dependence on oil for transportation and other uses. Nuclear power can, and if we don’t smother it through frivolous lawsuits and stifling regulation, we can develop an incredible amount of electrical energy from nuclear power within just a few years.

Don’t be fooled by the media and the anti-nuclear groups. No one in this country has ever gotten cancer and died from a nuclear power accident. Yet we are all adversely affected by pollution, including carbon dioxide, from fossil fuel power-generation facilities.

The burial of nuclear waste is a political problem, not a technical one. We know where and how to dispose of nuclear waste if we just accept the very infinitesimal risk that it might, possibly, adversely affect the environment 10,000 years from now. If we don’t move away from fossil fuels and develop all alternative energy sources — nuclear, wind, and solar — our civilization doesn’t have a future.

Harvey S. Eastman


Free lunch

To the editor:

Beyond any doubt, I want to give my deepest appreciation to the Nevada Legislature and the governor for the priorities used in balancing the state’s budget.

My wife and I are retired. We moved here from Oregon, picking Las Vegas primarily for the free meals. Now we are so relieved we won’t have to pay the 90-cent sales tax on that free $10 buffet.

And after all, Nevada ranks 49th in education, just behind Mississippi (www.statestats.com/edrank.htm). So you might as well take the money from the schoolbook budget since the books probably won’t be used anyway. Hey, if no schoolbooks are good enough for Zimbabwe, then it’s probably good enough for Nevada.

And to the casinos, thank you for keeping up the pressure. Kids don’t come in to your businesses, anyway. However, at times we have been charged a sales tax on our free meal. Since you’re getting a refund of $150 million for the sales tax we paid, I would expect you to reimburse your faithful guests as well. Maybe another free meal?

John Lightowler


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