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Letter to the Editor

American compassion for Muslims tempered with caution

Fair or unfair, reasonable or not, many Americans are fearful and distrusting of those who proclaim Islam as their religion. GOP candidate Donald Trump is being roundly criticized for suggesting a temporary ban on immigration of Islamists. A vote is pending in the U.S. Senate that would deny an entry visa to anyone who has traveled to Iraq or Syria within the last five years. Let’s face it, experiences of the past 15 years have sorely tested America’s capacity for tolerance and inclusion. And no matter how thorough our intelligence services are, identifying those who pose a threat to Americans is exceedingly difficult. It would be helpful if the CIA and other agencies had telepaths on staff.

Such heightened concern is not without precedent. At the outset of the wars against Japan, many Japanese Americans were interned because of fears (reasonable or not) that their loyalties were questionable. In some accounts of those times, President Franklin Roosevelt was actually credited with making a sound decision regarding internment. It was said that because of national outrage resulting from the attack on Pearl Harbor, the incarceration of Japanese Americans may have saved many innocent lives.

It’s impossible to distinguish with any assurance between those who do and those who don’t hold extremist views. And how many more horrendous events will occur before there is a widespread backlash in the U.S.?

For these and other reasons, people fleeing from oppression and war in the Muslim world are obliged to consider that American compassion will be tempered with great caution.

Food for thought: In many Muslim states, whenever their women appear in public they must be shrouded in a costume that denies their femininity. With some sects, only a woman’s eyes may be exposed. This is perhaps a minor issue, but one which is completely inconsistent with American values of personal dignity and respect, regardless of gender.

The point is that provocation can take various forms. Anyone desiring safe haven in these United States would do well to keep that in mind.

Ralph Bazan

Please governor, help us with our tree

Dear Governor Sandoval,

Please let me introduce myself; I am Suzy Lieseke from Tonopah, Nevada. I have been a resident of this wonderful community since 1979 and I love living in Tonopah.

I retired from the Tonopah Justice Court in 2008 and have since become very involved in the “Tonopah Beautification Project”. Myself and several other Tonopah ladies work all year to beautify Tonopah. We remove weeds from our Main Street, sweep the sidewalks, and wash windows of vacant buildings. This work has sparked private donations to help with our cause.

With those donations we have purchased planters, trees, flowers; we had the help of the Tonopah Conservation Camp to build benches with flower pots attached, all to improve Tonopah and to be more inviting for the people who live here and those traveling through.

Tonopah is special to those who live here but we also want the town to look welcoming to tourists, so they will stop and enjoy the Tonopah Mining Park, Central Nevada Museum and local restaurants and other businesses.

Tonopah is having a difficult time and many of our stable businesses are having a challenging time also. We are all trying to keep this town vital with everything we can. With this in mind I bring to you the crux of the problem.

This holiday season we want to feel joyful. Our Tonopah star is lit on top of Mt. Brock, the gazebo in the center of town has a tree decorated with lights, all merchants have lights in their windows and the town has Christmas decorations hanging from all of the street lights as well.

But to our dismay, Mr. Baird, director of the Department of Transportation, decided on December 2 that DOT will not light the largest tree in town as it has for the last twenty-some years.

It was suggested that the light bulbs of the existing setup would be costly and that they would like to use the new LED lights for next year and so this year we will have no Christmas lights on the DOT tree. Honestly, they should have thought of the new system before it was needed and now the entire town must suffer for this decision.

I have contacted Mr. Malfaban, director of NDOT, with my concerns and he did advise me that the new LED lights would be more cost-effective and efficient, but I asked if for now could we have the rope lights that they have used in the past.

No simple answer was decided on and no lights have gone up.

Please, Governor Sandoval, we ALL need to work in our community to participate in this holiday season. The tree not lit at the NDOT will be a definite disappointment to us all. Is there any way that we can get this beautiful symbol of Christmas and town tradition to again brighten our community this holiday season? It would mean so much to Tonopah and all who live here.

Thanking you in advance and wishing you a Merry Christmas,

Suzy Lieseke


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