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Letters to the editor of the Pahrump Valley Times

Violence caused by lunatic fringe is unacceptable

In light of the attack on the GOP baseball practice on June 14, I’m tempted to hate the haters. But that would reduce me to that level.

Congressman Scalise and four others were injured recently, by a member of the lunatic fringe, wielding a high-powered rifle. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the people who were injured in this terrible incident, and their families. Of additional note are the Capitol Hill Police, who saved many lives. Two were injured and we extend our gratitude to them and their families, and also to all the EMT’s who helped save lives at the baseball field.

It is fine to have disagreements on issues that concern you. But violence is totally unacceptable. Baseball is an American tradition, along with Mom’s apple pie. The Constitution supports our freedom of speech and assembly. The traditional annual spring baseball game between GOP and Democratic representatives is a wonderful representation of this constitutional republic.

I am angry at the hateful people, like James Hodgkinson. A Trump hater, tax policy hater, health care policy hater, he is a poster child for a toxic doctrine.

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” — Abraham Lincoln

What would Lincoln do this week of June 2017? It’s worth considering.

Joe Burdzinski

General Robert E. Lee deserves respect, not scorn

The present gleeful destruction of an artful statue of General Robert E. Lee to make New Orleans a “chocolate city” is vacuous vandalism. An intelligent, learned, competent gentleman, established and honored as one of America’s greatest generals, cannot be degraded by rude and crude misbehavior. The black community has its own heroes, Rev. King, Justice Thomas and Dr. Carson, who in my opinion was the best of all the recent candidates for the presidency. If before throwing rocks and shooting police officers these persons would read enough about General Lee to judge him, many would think differently.

Robert Edward Lee was the son of “Lighthorse” Henry Lee, a distinguished cavalry officer, in the war for American independence and signor of the Declaration of Independence. Robert chose to attend West Point, where he studied military engineering. He is the only graduate in over 200 years to graduate without a demerit on his record. Lee’s first assignment was to design and build flood protection for the City of St. Louis; much of it is still intact.

General Lee distinguished himself in the Mexican War and became one of the best known soldiers in the American Army. As the clouds of war were gathering over the sovereign states, President Lincoln called General Lee to Washington and offered him the command of the Army of the United States. Lee, who had freed his slaves twenty years before, said he was honored but that he was a citizen of Virginia and would have to wait and see which side his country would join. General Lee opposed slavery but fought for his country and the Constitution of the United States.

How many of those desecrating the memory of General Lee have relatives who died in subsequent wars buried in the national cemetery? How many of them want their relatives exhumed from their rest in land once owned by Robert E. Lee. I regret that I must keep my Confederate flag and respect for Robert E. Lee entombed in a drawer by threats of rude and uninformed people.

Robert L. Wyckoff

M.D. (CA. ret.); J.D. (CA. ret.).

Hints on how to be safe and sane with fireworks

Phantom Fireworks hopes everyone enjoys a wonderful family Independence Day holiday, and, if you use consumer fireworks, please use them safely. There is no good consumer fireworks experience if it does not emphasize safety first.

Phantom advises everyone to follow the safety rules, obey the fireworks laws where you are using them and have the products used by a sober adult who conforms to the rules.

Phantom asks anyone using consumer fireworks to familiarize themselves with the fireworks use rules posted in the Fireworks University section of www.fireworks.com.

The primary rule is that a designated adult should handle, control and set off the fireworks. The designated shooter must refrain from using alcohol until after the fireworks show.

There should be an adequate water supply in case of emergencies. A connected hose is best, but a fire extinguisher or even a bucket of water will do.

The audience should be a safe distance away from the launch site. Phantom advises a minimum of 35 feet from any ground-based product.

Use only one firework item at a time.

Never try to relight a product that does not work the first time.

Never place any part of your body over a firework item.

Soak spent fireworks in water overnight, then dispose of them in a nonflammable container away from the house and outside of any structure.

Enjoy the Fourth of July holiday with your family, and do so safely. Thank you.

William A. Weimer

Vice President, Phantom Fireworks

Legal prostitution preferable to sex trafficking

On the front page of your June 9 edition of your paper you had an article on brothel fees going up in Nye County. But it was in the “Voices” section of the newspaper that Dennis Hof really got taken to task. Was the June 9 issue of the paper meant to serve as a rebuke?

Tim Burke wrote “the brothel industry is best served by maintaining a low profile.” But then he admonished Dennis Hof for being “very vocal about promoting the industry.” Mr. Burke further states “…most local residents don’t care if the brothels are here.” I agree with that.

Mr. Burke declares later on that when we local residents start seeing brothels in the newspapers, the national press, and now mockumentaries such as “The Bunny Hole,” we start to question if they are worth having in our community because of the negative publicity.

Ms. [Mary Beth] Aragon goes even further in her letter. “What once seemed like a glittery and edgy enterprise can become distasteful, even repugnant to the majority of voters as our rural communities mature and cohere.” What is she talking about? Prostitution is the world’s oldest profession.

Clearly, both Mr. Burke and Ms. Aragon see legal prostitution as base, reprehensible and abhorrent. Mr. Burke and Ms. Aragon are not alone in having those opinions, but I do not share them.

Many years ago I was reared with two parents who just knew that all forms of marijuana use were abusive. Even medical marijuana use was terrible for them.

This last November I voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Do I plan to indulge in recreational marijuana? No, but it is called freedom! There are people out there who should have the right to have marijuana.

Many Pahrumpians may find Dennis Hof’s businesses revolting, but would you rather have sex trafficking of underage girls?

Janice Gilmour

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Dan Schinhofen: It might be time to ‘Suck it up Buttercup’

When I was in elementary school and someone called me a name or “bullied me” I would run home to tell my mom. She would get down on one knee and take my right hand in hers, and with her other hand stroke my cheek. Then she’d look me in the eye and say lovingly, “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names can never hurt you.”