Letters to the editor for Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017
September 23, 2017
Protecting integrity of elections is crucial
Russian trolls just spent at least $100,000 on political ads on Facebook during the 2016 election. This is a serious, serious issue and just the tip of the iceberg.
It is imperative that we close all campaign finance loopholes that give foreign governments and agents the opportunity to use shell corporations and political groups to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence our elections!
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Problems on horizon for Obamacare repeal
Well, it's back again. The shambling zombie of bad ideas called 'Obamacare-repeal.' This episode: turn Obamacare into block grants that will give each state a chuck of money and let them decide how to spend it. What's wrong with that?
For starters, all the guarantees and protections go too. States will have to renegotiate with insurers for coverage, and few states are going to be able to demand ''cover everything." The insurance companies will either leave the state completely, or raise prices to the point that the chunk of cash provided won't cover. That means raised premiums, or no protection.
But wait, that's not all! The block grant also takes the Obamacare money and distributes it to all 50 states. That means that states like Nevada, which took money to expand Medicaid, will lose money while states like Texas, which refused the expansion, will get more money! I'm not sure why Heller is trying to be senator of Texas, but he seems to think it's a good idea.
But hold on, he'd say. This will give states more power and flexibility! Really? Flexibility for what? What can the state negotiate with insurers that hasn't already been covered by Obamacare? Coverage for pre-existing conditions? Keeping children on parents' plans until 26?
Oh! And if you're still for this plan, remember that the federal government can reduce the amount in those block grants at any time. So as the block grants get smaller, your premiums and coverage get weaker. Obamacare isn't perfect, but it can be improved and its problems addressed.
No offense, but this is a film that most Nevadans would be better off skipping. But if Heller's for it, he can run for senator in 2018 … of Texas.
Enough is enough
OK, that's enough. Agnes Williams, maybe you should find someplace else to live. Your self-righteous intolerance sickens me. If Bud Irving is anywhere near my age, he has probably recited the Pledge of Allegiance 10-15,000 times in his life. Just how much is enough for people like you? The man is a veteran. He's a patriot. He's an American citizen.
And maybe, Ms. Williams, if you truly thought about it, the last six words of that pledge is a joke — with liberty and justice for all. Hasn't been true since our country began, and continues to be untrue today.
Maybe if I throw in the words "white people" at the end, then you might feel it to be closer to the truth. As long as the religious right and conservatives show their intolerance and continue to actively deny all American citizens their rights guaranteed by the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, that pledge is hollow. Bud Irving didn't disgrace anything. Your concept of reality in 21st century America is sad.
Oh, to Fred LaSor. I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase "beating a dead horse." Hillary again? Yes we know she lost the election by the electoral college. An argument for later. Clinton is irrelevant now. She's trying to sell a book. Who cares? I'm sure you won't buy it. Move on to something else.
Maybe an article about climate change. Collaborate with fellow columnist Guy Farmer. Enlighten the ignorant about these recent unprecedented natural disasters.
Rick Van Alfen
Hurricanes, climate change and aftermath
Two record-breaking hurricanes in just over four weeks with a third and fourth hurricane coming — what is happening? Just what the climate scientists told us would be happening.
During August and September, Hurricanes Harvey (category 4), Irma (category 5), Jose (category 4), and Maria (category 5) created historic and catastrophic impacts on portions of the U.S. including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
The impacts of the storms were exacerbated by very hot ocean waters. Ocean waters of 86 degrees provided energy "just like jet fuel" according to meteorologists. However, the real financial costs and human suffering show up in the storms' aftermath.
We are not adequately preparing for the frequency and resulting damage from such storms. Climate change is forcing us to respond to multiple disasters concurrently all around the world. We just don't have the financial resources to help everyone everywhere.
I have some experience with major hurricanes. In December 1997 while living on Guam, I experienced Typhoon Paka, a category 5. Paka was a disaster. At the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the wind sensor blew off at about 196 mph. Guam's population of 130,000 lost 1,500 buildings including 1,160 homes destroyed and about 5,000 people were left homeless. Damage to Guam was estimated at $500 million. Living in Guam was very difficult until water, power and food supplies arrived. It took months for Guam to recover.
At the moment, rough cost estimates to recover from these hurricanes are up to $500 billion and years of work. The huge repair and relocation costs will have nationwide economic impacts. With our $19 trillion in national debt, we will need to borrow huge amounts of money. For our future, we need to deal with climate change. We must minimize climate change by addressing the causes; not just the catastrophic symptoms.
Carson City can do without recreational pot
Thanks to Jim Hartman for his article on the marijuana issue on Sept. 20. It's refreshing to see some sensible and informational views. I have mentioned this before, but it's well worth mentioning again.
Last year there was an article on Carson City becoming a "smart" city. The bottom line was: The core difference between smart cities and dumb cities is smart cities are doing what people want. If only the supervisors had taken the same action as Douglas County, and just said no, since the majority in Carson were against recreational marijuana. Hopefully some day we will be considered a smart city. It appears they were just looking for a "cash cow."
Maybe some of the revenue from marijuana sales could be used to offset some of the exorbitant costs of the water/sewer program. It would make it a little more affordable for all residents, not just the low income and seniors.
Going back to the article, and the mention of the Amsterdam-like pot lounges, it occurred to me why they have so many bicycles. Could the reason be that many people have lost their licenses from driving under the influence? If so, that's probably the only positive thing to come from the whole situation — less cars on the road.