Letters to the editor Feb. 21 | NevadaAppeal.com

Letters to the editor Feb. 21

Cut back driving to send clear message

This situation with the oil companies is completely out of control. Since Christmas gas prices have been inching their way back up from $1.60 a gallon to (as of 2/11/09) $2.09 a gallon, yet the price of a barrel of oil has dropped $7 in that same time and in the last week a quarterly report of oil company profits show them at an all-time high.

The explanation by them would be that the inventory of refined gasoline is lower so prices must be raised. Some might call this supply side economics, but personally I would call this price fixing. They control the refineries so, if they want to raise the price (and create even higher record profits), they just slow production levels down. With all the talk of the stimulus package the media is giving the oil industry a free pass. Americans did quite well in cutting back oil consumption six months ago and making these robber barons roll back their prices from $4 plus a gallon.

Now is not the time to stop moving in that direction. We as consumers have to show them that we can make a difference in this equation by cutting back on the use of their product. If at all possible, please try to be more frugal when it comes to driving. There are many ways we can achieve this. How I have done this personally is to walk to and from work each day thereby driving 20 miles less per week. For many that may be a bit extreme, but every little bit helps. So if all of us keep cutting back, Big Oil will get the message.

TOOGEE SIELSCH

Carson City

Web site helps voters make better decisions

We make better voting decisions when we know how our elected officials will do their job, rather than relying on election season promises and slick marketing of a candidate. An easy tool to follow our congressional delegation’s votes can be found at http://www.Congress.org.

Scroll down to “Stay Informed” and click on “Vote Monitor” to sign up for a weekly summary of bills that were voted on, a brief description and how our representatives voted. There’s also a list of upcoming votes expected in the following week.

Between Jan. 5 and Feb. 6 the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization both passed with Reid voting for them and Ensign and Heller voting against them. Heller also voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, the TARP Reform and Accountability Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the DTV Delay Act. Both Reid and Ensign voted to confirm Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and Timothy Geithner as Secretary of Treasury. They disagreed on the confirmation of Eric Holder as Attorney General and on the Omnibus Land Management Act, with Reid voting for both and Ensign against.

Use your own common sense and personal values to decide whether you approve of the votes or not. Over time you’ll have a good idea about how well you are represented, and then you can cast your ballot with confidence at the next election.

VICKI BATES

Gardnerville

Looking for money in all the wrong places

It’s amazing what people will do for money. It’s amazing what the government will do to its people for money. The government will make gamblers and prostitutes out of its people. In the state of Nevada the top gambling executive and the head pimp are the governor.

Will the government add to the decadence and degradation of its citizens by building another whorehouse in the middle of downtown Reno? If they do, they better build another prison and hire more prostitutes to support that one while they build another one.

Hasn’t this end of the earth (God’s footstool) been defiled enough already? What would you do with your footstool if it was filthy, broken and infested with termites? Would you throw it in the fire, throw it in the trash or paint over it and let the termites multiply?

It’s against the law to contribute to the delinquency of a minor, but the real law book, the Bible, says it’s against the law, God’s law, to contribute to the delinquency of any human being, especially for profit.

The governor and his help (those with money) better be careful because they will need to pay for the decadence, defilement, degradation and delinquency they’ve driven others into, for profit, to help the economy at the expense of the souls of others.

DENNIS ARNOLDI

Carson City

D.C. politicians,

big labor cause

of problems

The recent headline above the fold stated “Reid: Stimulus is road to recovery.” Sen. Harry Reid, along with the remainder of Capitol Hill folk, is not capable of making such a finding, and for one reason. Politicians in the main (not all of them) are incapable of making a successful living in our envied capitalism system, and that is precisely why they are in government.

Sen. Reid has not spent one single day working in a wealth-producing occupation, but has instead noshed at the public trough his entire adult life. I recall a televised interview with a successful businessman about two years ago, and while I do not recall the specific question about dealing with the capability of politicians I do recall the answer. To wit: “If senators and representatives had any business or economic skills, business would have hired them.”

That says it all. In fact, Washington politicians along with big labor have caused our current problems in large measure. Our history, however, tells us that of the five major economic setbacks, starting with 1787, the nation not only recovered, but came back stronger.

I lived through our last Great Depression and, no, President Hoover did not cause the worldwide setback and President Roosevelt did not cure it. Much to the contrary, after eight years of his socialism, unemployment had doubled and 20 percent of the nation was unemployed. His “National Recovery Act” created succeeding generations looking for handouts just as the current socialism plan shall do. World War II bailed Roosevelt out, providing him with totally unearned credit.

With respect to the current leadership, in pre-election time, one political observer stated that if Obama is elected, this nation shall resemble socialist Europe, and that is precisely where we are headed under this so-called stimulus plan. In some respects, I am fortunate because by the time the stuff hits the fan, I shall have passed from this existence.

VERNON M. LATSHAW

Gardnerville

Let’s attempt to elevate our discourse

This is in response to the opinion offered by Dr. Eugene Paslov in the Feb. 10 edition.

As someone of considerable education I was a bit disappointed in Dr. Paslov’s characterization of the House Republicans as they cast their votes to not support the so-called stimulus package. Honest and justified differences of opinion should be valued in this country. Many fought and died to preserve a place here for differing philosophies and differing approaches to the governing.

For Dr. Paslov to call House Republicans “obstructionists” for their stand on a piece of legislation is demeaning and disrespectful. If House Democrats voted, even to a person, to not support a piece of legislation they did not believe in would he characterize them as obstructionists? Because most Democrats voted for Pelosi’s package did Dr. Paslov think they had a “herd mentality?” Perhaps such portraitures are reserved for those with whom we disagree.

As for the claim that Republicans simply said no to an “invitation” to participate, Pelosi prevented Republicans from offering amendments, prevented them from offering alternative bills and prevented them from attending the conference committee. All of this was done, of course, in the spirit of bipartisanship.

To describe those who question the growing power of government simply as a group looking “forward to eating their young” in an attempt to “starve the beast” is, what? Is that being a quintessential conservative-hater, as Ann Coulter was described as being a quintessential liberal-hater in Paslov’s piece? Really, I think we can elevate our discourse.

In conclusion, if it is a beast, we should starve it.

RUTH AILES

Carson City

Cauldron of brilliance resides in Carson City

There are some of us still alive who lived our formative years during the Great Depression in the early 1930s. The first lesson learned was: If you can’t afford it, you do without it. There were no sacred cows exempt from such rules. There were only priorities.

That cauldron of brilliance we call a state legislature can’t seem to understand this basic concept. They are more addicted to taxation, as a solution to every problem than a cocaine addict is to his fix.

The governor may have committed some gaffs, but one thing he has exactly right is: No new taxes and no new fees.

Some of us have seen thousands of dollars in our saved up IRA accounts vanish. Large parts of 401K accounts have evaporated, causing others to reschedule their planned retirement. This is not talking about speculative investment. This is about some of the most secure retirement savings investments available.

All of the new tax schemes I’ve heard of are beyond obscene, such as instituting a tax on groceries. If you’re unemployed looking for work, you’d love that one. Establish a state income tax. Never mind that the states weathering the current economic times the best, such as Wyoming, Texas and Florida, have no state income tax. States with the heaviest income taxes, like New York and California, are in the worst financial mess. Then there is the scheme, straight from an Orwellian world. Put GPS tracers on vehicles and tax them on the basis of how far they travel, when they travel, where they travel. Anyone subscribing to this notion is sick and needs help.

All raises for management level employees, raises for judges or any elected officials should be off the table. Actually they should be the first ones considered for cuts.

In the early 1790s the French populace had had enough of the privileged class. They rose up and demonstrated where and how cuts could be made.

ED HARRIS

Dayton

Taxpayers paying for crimes of the inmates

With the economy as it is today, I am lucky that I still have a job compared to those unfortunate people who have lost their jobs or small businesses that have closed due to the economy. But what really is ridiculous is that our country is supporting inmates by providing them all the comfort they need. Prisons are too comfortable and criminals don’t mind being sent to prison.

You and I have to work hard almost every single day to earn that penny, and to make sure that we have enough to provide for our family. Luckily for prisoners they don’t have to do anything, not to mention they have three meals a day and those meals have to meet strict caloric and nutritional standards set by the state and, most importantly, they have the best health care, which both you and I have to pay for.

In my point of view, and I think there are people out there who have the same opinion as I do, I strongly believe that if they’re in prison for whatever reasons, then treat them like a real prisoner by punishing them. Make them work for their food and other expenses. They’re in prison for a reason; they shouldn’t have any privilege as people out there like you and I.

With the economy the way it is now it’s a huge financial burden to the taxpayers. My question is, why do the taxpayers have to pay such a price for the crimes the prisoners commit?

JAMES TRAM

Carson City

Sen. Harry Reid no friend to Nevada

I am one of the soon-to-be displaced workers at the Yucca Mountain Project. I am also a constituent to which you (Sen. Harry Reid) have the audacity to espouse your intent to help.

Help gain new employment by your insulting statement to go to your site and see the link for the unemployment office and DERT. I seriously doubt any of the people working to retrain displaced workers have half the knowledge required to train geologists, engineers, scientists and even our administrative assistants. Many will lose their homes and cars; choose between paying their bills or feeding their families; file for bankruptcy thanks to your political, misleading campaign to destroy the repository (not dump as you so lovingly call it).

Leaving high level waste and spent nuclear fuel lying about our country, open to easy terrorist attacks, is a thousand times more dangerous and terrifying than having a repository that can store the waste until such time that science can economically find a means to recycle and reuse it. When, at that time, it can be brought out of the repository and offer us inexpensive energy that can be sold on the open market and benefit the state of Nevada.

I am more scared by the chlorine and other dangerous chemicals that are transported across our country on a daily basis. On the other hand, it is most helpful to reassign those funds to your wind farm or whatever pipe dream you may have.

I am disgusted by the lies and fear mongering you continue to promote. You have chosen to make your path one of a “servant” to the people of Nevada (I use the term loosely) and not that of a scientist. Let the NRC review and decide upon the validity, safety and correctness of the Licensing Agreement. But, of course, you are whittling away at their budget also.

Harry Reid, you are no friend to the state of Nevada and I will be the first in line to start the campaign against your re-election.

DEBI COLEMAN

Las Vegas

Closing school would be devastating move

Clearly Mr. Stokes, his staff, and the school board members want what is best for our children.

They selflessly work long, hard hours to address this seemingly impossible problem, and their responsibility for prudently spending and saving our tax dollars obviously weighs heavily upon them. Yet, I fear that the district may hastily choose to close an elementary school to save the projected $3.5 million against the anticipated shortfall of $7.2 million (a daunting nearly $8 thousand per student) for fiscal year 2010.

Nevada ranks 49th in spending of education dollars, but we’re lucky to have a much better public school education here in Carson City than this statistic implies. Our elementary schools are warm, nurturing and caring communities where our children are learning and flourishing. Closing a school would destroy one of these elementary school “families” and seriously stress those remaining.

Rezoning and increased class sizes would no doubt diminish the educational experience of virtually every elementary student to a significant degree. Additional well-meaning measures, such as haphazardly designated teaching teams, could cause even more harm to our children in their most vulnerable years.

The $3.5 million is attractive, but I implore those making these decisions not to lose track along the way of the fact that the numbers they are crunching represent our children. Our teachers are problem solvers and prove daily that they are capable of doing the seemingly impossible with extremely limited resources. (They make McGyver look less than resourceful.)

Their jobs are on the line here, and some have already volunteered ideas – teacher-to-teacher training for professional development, voluntary job sharing, even a four-day school week (I admit this last one scares me, but not nearly as much as increased class sizes).

My proposal: Cautiously and thoughtfully make what cuts you can where they impact our kids the least, and treat our educators and their support staffs with dignity in doing so. Take the remainder needed from the $11 million surplus on hand, and use the next year to research further options. I, too, loathe the idea of spending the surplus, but the human cost must be considered first and foremost.

LISA G.F. JONES

Carson City