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Letters to the Editor

Founding fathers did not foresee government’s power

Ben Franklin is credited with responding to being questioned, “What kind of government have you given us?” to which he answered, “a republic if you can keep it”. Whether he did or did not say it is unimportant, but history has shown our government has been an overall benefit even with all its flaws and shortcomings, particularly in the area of individual freedoms.

True, we have never lived up to our founding documents, but have strived against our own human nature’s shortcomings including many of our founders. With these facts in mind and having a level of understanding of human nature and all the potential shortcomings of it, the documents are much less flawed than those entrusted with applying them.

The U.S. Constitution is essentially a rule book and a designed barrier. If there is a fault in the documents themselves, it has much more to do those entrusted with the power to check all those entrusted with power from the various other branches to specially protected entities like media.

Some have said our government needs to be revised or overhauled, it’s an old document that is behind the times, one former president said our Constitution is a “deeply flawed document”. Many of these people like to point to the Second Amendment as being obsolete because when written there only muzzle loaders and no one could see the improvements to come. In this area, I’d point to Jefferson saying; “When the people fear the government, it is tyranny; when the government fears the people there is freedom.” This is intended as only a last resort and should never be taken lightly nor should it be eliminated lightly. If there is an area the founders were short-sighted on it’s never seeing how the powerful in government would ally with others like gigantic corporations, entertainment, education, sports, media, and high tech for a symbiotic relationship for each other, which controls and limits opportunities for individuals not connected or favored by these entities.

The powerful in government receive financial support and other things like favorable public relations which ignore or diminish anything that may be considered negative to them while highlighting and focusing on any real or conceived that may undermine their perceived enemies. Meanwhile, these entities receive preferential treatment against the competition, other things like great input on laws that may help or hinder their interests. Sadly, all potential tools are being used to move us toward at least a form of an oligarchy, those in government can stand on plausible deniability saying we aren’t making these rules you may not like, it’s the private sector and as long as they don’t break any laws, they can do as they please.

Meanwhile keeping the masses focused on divisions in each other creates turmoil. Even cause a loss of respect for some of the few areas that were once highly regarded, like law enforcement and the military. Without question, sadly, the FBI has lost much of its former status and lately, the military seems much more interested in ‘social experiments’ than the important mission they were founded for in the first place. There are many extremely smart, creative people working to make these changes in our government and our way of life, but I wonder how much they thought of those around the world that will cheer our demise and indeed take advantage of what’s turning into our weakness in many areas.

David Jaronik

America owes shut down businesses compensation

Mr. Harrell’s letter (in the March 17 PVT) guilt-tripping Americans for not obsessing with coronavirus to the exclusion of all other considerations overlooks the Fifth Amendment’s stipulation that “nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”

If a business is shut down purportedly for the sake of public health, it has been “taken for public use” just as surely as if it were bulldozed for a public highway. Eminent domain provides payment to owners for their property seized. Likewise there is substantial goodwill associated with a going concern that is lost by prolonged closure.

A highly aerosolized, rapidly mutating pathogen is not going to be dispatched so forthrightly as the tyrannical regimes that cost so many lives in World War II.

I do not believe those who perished for the sake of our freedom would want that freedom to now be sacrificed in futile pursuit of a single objective. The Bill of Rights, brilliantly drafted 230 years ago, remains relevant today.

Bill Stremmel

Reader empathizes with protesters, wants country back

These protestors 55 years ago would have been my brothers. We were not the super educated, did not have the highest IQs, most of us did not have college degrees, did not all belong to a single political party, but many of us were able to meet expenses with holding down only one job. For example, in 1960 I started working for General Motors and made ends meet while General Motors made an all-time high in earnings. Everybody won. We can have these good times again, but should not resort to violence or revolution to bring about needed change because divided we cannot make it happen.

At least two of the protestors shouted, “I want my life or country back.” I understand what they meant. What have we lost that we want back? Answer, good-paying jobs. Compared to the jobs during the 60s, my brother protestors would be earning on average from $ 40 per hour and upward, instead of $8 to $16 per hour, clearly not enough to support a family in decent style. What brought about this disparity over approximately 50 years?

We saw our foundries stripped down and sent to other parts of the world. During the 70s the quality of American made cars was greatly reduced, while at the same time better quality foreign cars were imported for American consumers. Mitt Romney became extremely rich by buying up American companies with good-paying jobs, stripping down the components of said companies, and moving these assets to Chinese institutions where Romney held high ownership interests. Good for Romney and China, but leaving many of our present protesters without decent paying jobs.

Easily said, but we need to support policies which can really “make America great again.” One policy would be bring back our foundries, even if we have to do it with some government support. Our government support would be greatly reduced by requiring able-bodied people on welfare to work at these foundries or lose welfare benefits. Bring back more American made autos and auto parts manufacturers, even if it means some government support. Other nations do it. Why can’t we?

Now here comes the difficult issue. When it comes to a choice between the economic interests of the super-rich and the American workers the Republicans will take up for the super-rich over American workers every time. They will grease the Fox propaganda machine with unlimited funds to program viewers why they should support policies against the interests of American workers. If all we watch is Fox News, or if Fox News is our major source of information we will not likely escape the prison of propaganda. I know many of us think we are too smart to be captured by con people. Wrong!

I am a retired successful businessman. I have been conned more than once, while withstanding substantial economic setbacks. At one point I even contemplated hiring a hit man to bring about some justice, but reasoned it would not be the right thing to do.

My fellow protestors and fellow Americans, I know a con job when I see one. Trump is the best con man, bar none, I have seen. In the long run his interests will not be your best interests.

Please consider that I base my beliefs on having attended the university of hard knocks. I don’t know everything, but what I know is well grounded. I have been up, down, knocked all around, but somehow still stand above the ground. One thing I know for sure. When you have learned where the path of defeat has led you, don’t take that path again.

Jim Ferrell

Reader applauds Tim Burke’s column on depression

I have to heartily applaud the article by Tim Burke on depression, and more importantly his positive suggestions to fight it by emphasizing articulately that the illness does not have to be fatal and that there is help available to people who feel it is their only option.

Suicide rates here in Great Britain are far too high and have not reduced during the pandemic and with unemployment rising due to the effects of the various lockdowns and other issues there really should be a far higher focus on reducing the numbers as one suicide resulting in a wasted life is surely one too many.

I myself was in a downward spiral following the death of my dear wife Susan in 2018 after 48 glorious years of marriage along with a stupid ill-considered decision to retire too early when I had far more to achieve in my career and I lost my sense of purpose.

Thankfully, it was a highly memorable trip to the USA in September 2019 when I toured the Rocky Mountain states seeing some fantastic scenery and meeting so many friendly and hospitable people that helped me back on the road to recovery. Not everyone has the resources of course to be able to afford such a trip but the message as Tim Burke so eloquently described is to develop positive habits, engage with people and exercise as much as you are able to whilst availing yourself of every bit of help that is at your disposal so that the elusive light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter and brighter by the day.

Kenneth Farrington

Senior with health issues criticizes local DMV office

I am wondering how an elderly person such as myself, with health issues is supposed conduct business with our DMV? I cannot get in line at 4 a.m. and wait for four hours in the hope of getting one of their “precious” appointments. (And then wait probably another 4-6 hours to conduct my business).

The Pahrump DMV has to be the worst run and mismanaged government organization in the country !

Paul M. Gemellaro

Politicians exploiting media when promoting gun control

The current news is dominated by the recent mass shooting in Denver in which 10 people were killed. Events like these are horrendous tragedies, and shouldn’t happen.

I wish I knew how to prevent them, but I don’t know if they even can be prevented. But I do know that gun control laws are ineffective and counterproductive. They are punitive to law-abiding citizens who have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Criminals don’t obey laws; that’s what makes them criminals.

What really disgusts me is how politicians exploit these events as excuses to come out of the woodwork and get face time on TV to promote their agendas. Completely predictably, a horde of them are out promoting “tougher” gun control laws.

A problem is that these laws only apply to new gun sales through licensed dealers. They do not address the 300 million guns currently floating around the country, most of which are not registered anywhere.

It’s interesting that most or all of the guns used in these mass shootings were purchased legally from dealers by people who passed background checks.

And then there’s Tammy Duckworth, a Democratic representative from Colorado where the last shooting took place. She’s exploiting the assaults on Asian-Americans as leverage to try to force President Biden to nominate an Asian-American to a cabinet position for the sake of diversity. She’s threatening to indiscriminately vote against any caucasian who is nominated for any cabinet position if Biden doesn’t give her what she wants.

Can someone please explain to me what part of this is OK? It’s racist blackmail and blatantly unconstitutional. Government posts should be filled based on qualifications, not race or diversity. Fortunately, Ms. Duckworth has backed down and is no longer playing this game.

What is wrong with these people? Does an opportunity for political exploitation eclipse the interests of their constituents? Unfortunately yes.

The actions and agendas of candidates should be carefully considered when election time comes around. We all need to get out and vote in an informed manner, and vote people who are exploiting their position for personal agenda and/or gain out of office.

David G. Alexander

Communist takeover will be complete without Constitution

When President Biden fails to defend the United States Constitution, the very foundation of our nation, and in effect attack it, he must be removed from office.

President Biden has declared, “No amendment to the Constitution is absolute.” The very Constitution that he has been sworn to uphold. If he is allowed to shred the very document that has governed this nation for over 250 years, then the communist takeover will be complete.

Arnold Breitenbach.

President’s practice is described as ‘political speak’

Anyone who has watched our new president, even sparsely understands and sees a cognitive decline. In spite of nearly a half a century of practicing and rehearsing it can be described as “political speak”, which is when you get to particularly controversial matters always keep it vague, use words and statements that can be at least dualistic and be skilled in changing or deflecting subjects and be able to “run out the clock”.

Joe has never been tops in any of these things but does use them frequently as many politicians do. It’s becoming more apparent he is being sheltered and protected by many powerful people and allies, even outside of government. Interviews are tightly controlled, scripted, and only done on sympathetic venues. Questions seem limited by some approval process of his protectors and ended quickly if things deviate from a master plan. Even in these venues he constantly needs the “cards in his pocket”.

The previous office holder, love him or hate him, was unquestionably the “decision-maker”, sometimes even to his detriment. Knowing and understanding he came from a ‘building background and a political one, where things have to get done, be done correctly and in a timely manner, those in charge can come across as harsh and even tyrannical. I as well as many others may find it much easier to visualize the previous president in a ‘top hat’ as ringmaster, but I wonder who is the ringmaster now?

David Jaronik

Reader encourages Republicans to move forward

The presidential election has been over for five months and every week I read an editorial about the “good old days” of the Trump presidency or how President Biden is ruining the country. I wish this nonsense would stop.

Joe Biden is governing as a centrist. The Stimulus Bill is just one example where the majority of Americans favor a $1,400 per person check for middle- and low-income families. If anyone regards this as a “socialist” policy, I would invite them to sign their stimulus check and mail it to me. (I will gladly reimburse you for the stamp).

President Biden has also proposed background checks for people purchasing guns, a comprehensive immigration reform package, improving our infrastructure and increasing the minimum wage. All of these proposals are overwhelmingly supported by his constituents.

Meanwhile, the Insurrection Party (the Republican Party died on January 6) has introduced more than 250 bills in 43 states that make it more difficult to vote in 2022. This party cares nothing about governing, but they are consumed with regaining political power. In Georgia, where the Republican secretary of state said there was no voter fraud, their new election law allows the state Legislature to overturn the election results of the people. So much for democracy!!!

I challenged one Republican in Nye County to justify this national attack on voting rights. How does giving someone standing in line to vote for eight hours a bottle of water jeopardize our elections? Why are all of these reforms needed when the last election was declared the most secure in our history? Why do you Republicans want to deny people of color the right to vote? I’m waiting for a reply from you right-wing conservatives!

Dennis Crooks

Senior wants simpler process to get vaccination shot

I read in the Times about getting a COVID shot for my wife. We are both over 80 and the process involved a 61-digit number to beat into a computer to set started. Dammit, we are not 21-year-old kids born with a computer in our hands, and with grandkids scattered over two states that can’t help.

Is this the administration’s way to try to kill off all the old folks?I can’t understand why someone can’t come up with something simpler.

Richard Willey

Passing of new bill will mean changes in voting process

I believe the public needs to know what the Democratic Congress of the United States are promoting with their new bill HR1. This bill will make the U.S. Congress in charge of the congressional elections, in place of the states. 2. Any challenge to HR1 can only be filed in District court for the District of Columbia by only one attorney. 3. Mandates automatic voter registration in all 50 states for anyone who gives their information to a government agency. 4. Does away with signature requirements for absentee ballots and make states accept ballots given within 10 days after election day. 5. Would make it illegal to verify addresses of voters or to remove ineligible voters. 6. States must get approval from federal government to make any changes to voting rules. 7. States will not be allowed to require ID for voting. 8. Ensures that illegal immigrants can vote. 9. Allows same day voter registration. 10. Allows 16-year-olds to vote and requires states to encourage this. 11. Prohibits the publication of misleading information about elections. (Of course this is according to someone’s idea of what is misleading.) 12. Legalizes nationwide mail-in voting without photo ID. 13. Legalizes nationwide early mail-in voting. 14. Any designated person can turn in absentee ballots. 15. Requires colleges and universities to hire campus vote coordinators. 16. Mandates that states make absentee voter boxes available for 45 days within an election. 17. There can be no campaign dollars for covering ads on the internet. There are many more parts to this bill and you could look them up on line if interested.

Each one of us should decide if HR1 is appropriate, and what this will do for our elections.

To me it looks like a scheme to get the Democrats in office and keep them there with no Republican representation and voids U.S citizenship..

Judy Pendleton

Considering a broader view of gun ownership good idea

The subject of firearms, what type can be privately owned and how many, has been a source of contention in our country for quite a while. As a military retiree, followed by a career in law enforcement and corrections, I thought of guns, especially handguns and long guns merely as tools of my trade, so to speak, much like a plumber’s wrench; to be used if and when necessary.

It occurs to me that when the Second Amendment was adopted America didn’t have police departments or professional and well equipped armed forces, which meant that citizens were expected to possess and bear arms; just in case. It’s doubtful that in those earlier times our national leaders could have envisioned the circumstances we are faced with today.

Factions that currently threaten our civil society are as active now as they have ever been, and for many across this nation, that prospect alone justifies keeping one or more firearms readily available. Count me among those who feel the need to protect my home and its occupants. Even so, the complexity and risks of modern civilization have led to various rules of law. It may be helpful to consider a broader view.

Among other things, most developed countries require a valid driver’s license, registration and adequate insurance before residents may legally own and or operate a motor vehicle. Aside from this being a reliable source of revenue, those requirements were also established as a matter of public safety. I think we can agree as well, that Americans by and large, are sensible and decent people. But clearly, we can’t ignore the fact that our country is also home to an abundance of criminals, mental defectives and individuals whose judgment is at times less than sound.

Of course none of this detracts from our fascination with firearms. And there’s no valid reason to say that’s wrong. After all, guns, like motor vehicles, are examples of precise craftsmanship and engineering.

Even so, there is again the broader view. Guns, like motor vehicles, have the potential to cause great harm if handled recklessly or with criminal intent. But as always, the devil is in the details, and what some may see as reasonable controls, others will vehemently argue against In the United States we seem to be endlessly in search of a balance between public safety and citizens’ rights. As the “great experiment” continues we will always seek lawmakers who are up to the task. All of which leaves us with the need to choose wisely.

Ralph Bázan

Presenting ID not a problem at voting polls says reader

I just read the article by Steve Sibelius titled “Democratic election bill would make it easier to vote in Nevada in the March 26, 2021 edition of the Pahrump Valley Times.

From what I read Sibelius is anti-I.D. when it comes to voting. I am a senior and I disagree with him. Let’s be honest about showing identification. I voted in person. When I arrived I was directed to a voting machine. It did not work. I was moved to another machine. I submitted my vote and it appeared to take. When I tried to print it would not do so. I never got a printout of what I submitted. I don’t know if my vote was counted or not. I could not tell from the service the Nevada secretary of states signed onto for checking your ballot. My point is simple. When you have malfunctions of equipment, it causes one to question the integrity of the vote. If we have equipment malfunctions, we certainly can have malfunctions with paper ballots.

We saw the pile of undeliverable mail ballots thrown on the ground by the mailbox of several different apartment complexes by the mail persons. We also saw the number of deceased who voted in Nevada. All of this was courtesy of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

As a senior, I must show my government issued I.D. regularly. I do not have a problem with that. I must present my driver’s license in order to renew it. I must present my driver’s license, Medicare and insurance cards for medical treatment and hospitalization. I must present my driver’s license to TSA when I fly. And, if the airlines have their way – I will have to present a vaccine passport. If you gamble, you have to show your driver’s license to obtain a casino rewards card. When you write a check not only must you present a government photo ID but you must also provide your telephone number. To receive state or federal aid, you need identification. To obtain utility and water service requires identification. There are all sorts of people who manage to do this – from the rich to the poor. To obtain a passport you have to show who you are with plenty of documentation. What exactly makes voting any different?

No, I do not buy for one split second that it is a burden for some people to present a government photo I.D. Election dates are established. If anything, I can see people volunteering to help those who don’t have an I.D. obtain one well in advance of the election. That would be a great party initiative. I do not believe it is up to our government to make special rules to accommodate those without an I.D. If I have to have one – so do they.

Ballot harvesting is a dream come true for the Democrats. It is bogus and just another way to cheat. I can understand if each party wants to vet party members to collect ballots from senior homes and other locations but only if the collectors of the ballots are provided with party credentials and no fail chain of custody is in place. But the collectors of these ballots should be credentialed with a required photo badge that cannot be duplicated or altered and it must be worn at the time of collection.

For those that have recently or in recent years moved to our county I welcome you and your choice to join us. For some of you, I do not understand why you want to recreate what you fled, I have read about a few cities and counties in Oregon that seceded and joined Idaho. I thought a long time about this. I know there has been a long standing effort for Nevada’s rural counties to secede and become their own state. I am not opposed to this but I am concerned that our total population may not be enough for us to sustain without a heavy increase in taxes to be self-supporting. Personally, I think what the Oregon cities did was brilliant. It would not require boundaries to touch. Think about it – most rural counties across America are red. If rural counties were to leave their blue states and join the red states – that might create a positive dynamic in our country. It might also change the number of U.S. representatives. It requires research and it is something we should look into.

Sheila Geesa

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