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Letters to editor of the Pahrump Valley Times

Reader expects Trump will not run in 2020

It is my expectation that President Trump is going to do all of us a big favor and decide sometime in early-to-mid 2020 not to run for re-election, partly as a result of an economic slowdown. When that happens, I hope that the Republicans will nominate someone of good character such as Nikki Haley or Carly Fiorina.

Personally, I don’t know what I find to be more despicable about the guy — the way that he makes fun of and insults people’s physical appearance or the way that he views women as sex objects.

Sincerely,

Stewart B Epstein

Value placed on accuracy in letters, commentaries

I’m often impressed by the content of letters on the “Voices” page of Pahrump Valley Times. We are fortunate to have some very knowledgeable folks hereabouts who are willing to share their insight and expertise. I believe this opportunity for personal expression is helpful to our community by stimulating thought on various subjects.

Among these frequent contributors are those who will not tolerate misquotes from historical documents, references that illustrate a point or even perceptions driven by a writer’s experiences in life. Having a background in broadcasting and journalism, I too place a high value on accurate and well-written news copy or commentary. As I learned long ago, “It is the rare piece of writing that cannot be improved by good editing.”

So to the fact-checkers I say congratulations, along with a caution that while savoring the “I gotcha,” moment, don’t let that be your main objective. While correcting erroneous information is important, we readers would also be grateful to peruse well-considered recommendations for improving America in the many ways that our country needs improving. It is the message after all that deserves our finer focus. That alone will generate a host of opinions — and argument.

Politicians are of course masters of the spoken and written word. They are adept at shaping and obscuring the facts to suit their own purposes. … Placate the masses with clever rhetoric to ensure re-election term after term. But as they summon whatever words secure continued passage on the ship of state — their treasured careers, we are expected to disregard the perks, power and prestige of office that politicians value so highly.

If you are frustrated by congressional disharmony, stagnation and lack of progress in many areas, then ridding ourselves of political careerists is the correction most needed. My message, and that of many others is seeing term limits become the reality for all elected positions in government. With limited time in which to fulfill promises made to their constituents and to the nation, cooperative effort becomes more possible. As for me, the benefit of term limits can’t be realized soon enough.

Ralph Bazan

AmeriCorps beneficial to members and communities

National service is in the spotlight right now. Several presidential candidates have called for strengthening programs, or even suggesting service should be mandatory for all young people.

This month is AmeriCorps’ 25th anniversary and is a great time to look at how national service impacts Nevada. AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that empower people to improve their communities. This year 420 AmeriCorps members will impact over 8,200 Nevadans through 11 different AmeriCorps programs.

Breaking that number down even further shows that 2,500 students will receive STEM learning opportunities, 550 students in Las Vegas will receive academic mentoring, 450 people in rural Nevada will learn about healthy habits, 800 seniors will be supported with access to SNAP and health care, 225 people will learn about the benefits of vaccinations, and 3,700 students will learn how to protect their environment.

Additionally, members will maintain 100 miles of hiking trails to provide access to Nevada’s public lands. 3,150 acres of those public lands will be at lower risk for wildfire after improvements made by AmeriCorps members.

AmeriCorps members only receive a modest living stipend and the promise of an education award for completing their service, but there are many benefits of service.

As an AmeriCorps member serving in Nevada, I gained valuable leadership skills through numerous professional development opportunities. Even as a native Nevadan I felt more connected and engaged with my community than I ever had before.

I’m not alone feeling like that either, according to a study by the Corporation for National and Community Service, 82% of AmeriCorps alumni feel a stronger attachment to their community after service.

This sense of community increases civic engagement, and with 92% of AmeriCorps alumni reporting that they are registered to vote, it’s obvious the desire to better their communities doesn’t end after they complete their service. AmeriCorps provides Nevada with civic-minded citizens who care about and want to improve the communities they live in.

AmeriCorps and national service works. It forges a deeper connection between an individual and their community. It provides a path for those who want to create a positive impact on their surroundings. AmeriCorps has been getting things done in Nevada for 25 years and with the support of communities throughout the state members will continue to get things done for years to come.

Matthew DeBray

Guns and the Constitution

Thank you, Michael Mouer, for correcting me on the preamble of the constitution wherein it correctly reads “Promote the General Welfare,” instead of “Provide for the Common Welfare.” You also wrote that Democrats Jan Schakowsky, Andrew Cuomo, and Dianne Feinstein, all advocated the banning of all guns. I have never heard nor read that before and believe that you may have incorrectly taken something out of context, and therefore will consider it hearsay unless you can furnish prima- facie evidence to the contrary.

Regardless, that is not the current position of gun control by the Democratic Party. And I rephrase my question, how can we promote the common welfare while ignoring health care needs of our citizens? Moreover, Corey Cohen was incorrect in asserting that Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders want to ban all semi-automatic guns Our basic position is that we don’t want weapons sold which can easily be converted into assault weapons. They do want to ban the use of assault weapons which are unnecessary for defense.

Hunting rifles, shotguns, and regular handguns like .38-caliber revolvers are good for defense and are not considered to be assault weapons like the one recently used in El Paso. Furthermore, a shotgun is greatly more likely to hit a target at close range than a single bullet.

Also, one of the reasons there are so many guns in Chicago is that the criminals go to neighboring states which have liberal gun laws. Rights, like privileges, are subject to regulation. For example, the right to free speech does not give us the right to yell, “fire,” in a crowded theater. It is likely our supreme court will rule on what weapons a citizen will have the right to bear. Likely, they will not include army tanks or cannons.

The former county commissioner and I agreed that there is little to no chance of predicting when and where a mentally unbalanced person is going to become even more whacko and commit mass killings like those which have recently made front-page news.

There are some states like Nevada which allow unbalanced people to easily purchase weapons of mass destruction and then take them to another state like California which ban almost all citizens from buying such weapons, and then the mentally unbalanced person often commits heinous crimes like the recent one at Gilroy, California. My question which neither Mr. Mouer nor Mr. Cohen answered is, why do we continue to make it easy for the whackos assault weapons which enable them to commit heinous crimes? Those who allow this also have blood on their hands.

Jim Ferrell

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