The author of last week's Skinny (November 30) needs a lesson in 21st-century gender awareness and equity. Regarding Ann Nichols' stand on the death penalty, what relevance does her husband's election have to her stand? Besides, in the last six months, whenever Andy Nichols' name appeared in The Skinny, I don't remember his wife being mentioned on some other matter.
If the salary of an advocate is important to understanding his/her position on an issue, then why was not Ann Nichols' salary as an ASU professor listed rather than that of her husband? Or would that have required more research?
Editor's note: ASU pays Ann Nichols $67,921 per year.
The Skinny for November 30 had a good example of what I call sloppy thinking. In one paragraph we see that the neighborhood video place, Director's Chair, carries very eclectic movies that ordinary video stores like Blockbuster Video don't have. Then The Skinny says that the new Blockbuster is putting them out of business. This suggests that most of Director's Chair Video's sales are coming from tapes about naked girls and smart sharks.
You can't have it both ways. The advent of big stores has hurt little stores since Sears opened in the 1860s. If the little stores were smart they would carry what the big stores don't. Bimsco Hardware on Stone Avenue is a perfect example. Does Home Depot nearby hurt them? They are doing fine.
--Stuart A. Hoenig
While reading John C. Rodgers' "Dirty Plate" (November 30), about the state's use of funds from environmental license plates for environmental education, I saw few surprises. I mean, government's approach to the environment is rarely environmental. However, I was surprised to see Rodgers attacking the Opposing Viewpoints books.
Rodgers goes so far as to accuse the books of having an anti-environmental agenda. He quotes various questions from the books such as "Does global warming produce a serious threat?" as an example of the horrors these books inflict on the children who read them.
While I have not read the specific books he draws from, I have used several others in the Opposing Viewpoints series and basically their title says it all: They offer opposing viewpoints on a variety of issues. Each book culls articles from different sources offering different points of view on the main topic. After giving a pro and con argument, it asks questions so that the reader can come to an educated conclusion. Since when is that a bad idea?
So why would Rodgers be so vehemently opposed to such a valid educational tool as these books and give such a biased misrepresentation of their contents? Perhaps because (as his bio stated) he is the creator of a desert ecology curriculum and is just looking for a piece of the pie on his plate.
The article on eliminating the Electoral College ("College Drop-Outs," November 23) overlooks a few pertinent facts that authors Steven Hill and John Anderson must have known, but didn't care to mention.
The Electoral College was designed to give a voice to the population of smaller states, such as Idaho or Wyoming, or the people there would be totally ignored. This was the same basis for allowing two senators from each state. If the votes of the less populated states were ignored, the candidates would concentrate on the biggies like Michigan, New York, California, etc. As it is, the Electoral College votes of several small states have importance, which is only fair.
Then, you would have the problem, very major, of recounts in many of the states where the voting was close. How about recounts in Wisconsin, where in this election two and a half million people voted but the difference between the candidates was 6,500 votes; or Iowa, where one and a half million voted and the difference was 5,500; or New Mexico, where a half million voted and the difference was several hundred? What if the candidates started asking for recounts due to having only a popular vote?
How about fraud, such as Bob Dorman's race for Congress two years ago, where it was proven that several hundred illegal aliens voted for his opponent but nothing was done when she won by about 900 votes? Try this nationally.
Then there is Missouri, where a dead man can be elected due to the fraudulent act of keeping the polls open several hours past the legal closing time, so heavily Democratic areas could vote, twelve hours of being open not being enough time to make the fraud effective.
Yes, recounts all over the country would be crazy, to put it mildly. Keep the Electoral College.