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Letters to the Editor of the Pahrump Valley Times

What can we do about where country is headed?

It’s sad that some facts about human nature blind us to some things and find ways to justify other things. Things like revenge are pleasing, even if only temporary, while gratitude is a burden (a debt to be repaid), which stems from two powerful human traits – emotion and reason (or logic), with emotion being the dominant one, many times contorting reason to justify the emotion. The question before us today is the place we find ourselves in, where are we going and what can we do about it?

In 2016 I was disgusted with the ‘Orange man’s’ boorish behavior so much so I voted for the third party. I was also disgusted with much of the media who, during the primaries gave enormous coverage of him, either neutral or favorable most of the time, thinking he would be the easiest one to beat. After his nomination, it turned 180 degrees to negative coverage, but due to a multitude of mistakes by the Hillary campaign, including self-inflicted wounds, she failed what many considered a coronation.

Today many of these same people feel cheated, which enrages them more and has them plotting and scheming ever since to undermine the Orange man and everything he everything did.

A now-deceased wise man said of the previous administration, “don’t pay attention to what he says, but pay close attention to what he does”. And I believe he’d say something about the current administration. Comparing the results of actions benefiting citizens looks quite lopsided. Just a few examples: unemployment rates for ‘all’ groups, real spending income, reduction of welfare rolls, ending what seems like endless wars that spend our blood and treasure while only benefiting what was called by former President Eisenhower the “military-industrial complex”, which has only expanded since his time.

I realize we are all flawed and emotions are attached to charismatic personalities, those that can speak eloquently and are capable of telling us outright lies and either making us feel good about those lies or just ignoring them, while those we consider crude and abrasive, we’re unable to look at things that may be of substantive value to us. Sadly too many of us retreat to our team (or tribe), willing to overlook glaring and destructive flaws while rejecting every aspect of the other team, that has much more to do with feeling than objective reasoning.

Two quotes from the past are worth remembering by all of us. George Washington said: “Government is not reason, Government is not eloquent. It is force and like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Ben Franklin gave us a warning: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need for masters.” The question is how close are we to that need, for there has always been a ready supply of those that desire being masters.

P.S. In my published letter in the PVT, 10/14, the word “adult” should have been “assault”, which could have been my error or someplace else along the way to the final printing.

David Jaronik

Reader gives helpful answer to Electoral College issue

It could be helpful to understand how the Electoral College came to be. In the late 1700s, when the founding fathers were trying to establish our country and a constitution to govern it, it was agreed that all of the existing states had to ratify the Constitution. ALL of them, no exceptions.

At the time, many decisions were decided by popular vote. The less-populated states had a big problem with that because just a few of the heavily-populated states would always have their way. The less-populated states would never have a voice. Thus the Electoral College, a brilliant concept, was created. Each state would have two electoral votes (one for each senator) and an additional electoral vote for each House member. Obviously, a minimum of three.

Currently, based upon the Electoral College concept, Nevada gets six electoral votes. It isn’t perfect but when all the states are added up, it’s much more balanced and the less-populated states have a say.

(As an aside, Ms. Moran stated in her letter that Nevada’s two senators and four House members are our electors. Here are the names of our 2016 electors: Dayananda Prabhu Rachakonda, Larry Jackson, Joetta Brown, Paul James Catha II, Greg Gardella and Teresa Benitez-Thompson. None of these are Nevada senators or House members.)

Based upon the data from July, 2019, there are 10 states that make up more than half the population of the U.S.: California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, and Michigan. That’s 20% of the states that make up more than half the total national head-count.

I would like to ask just three questions of those who want to eliminate the Electoral College. Their easy and a simple “yes” or “no” answer will do. 1) Would you still want to eliminate the Electoral College if the ten states mentioned above were red? 2) Are you fine with ten states (give or take) making every decision and bossing the rest of us around? 3) Is it OK with you if Nevada never gets a say?

Linda DeLaMare

The real devastation caused by the coronavirus

In Mountain West states like Utah and several others, government, business, and media seem to have entered into a conspiracy of silence about the real human devastation of the coronavirus. These agencies have not led out like elsewhere in memorializing the lives of specific individuals who have suffered and died. These untimely deaths deprive citizens and their relatives of years of crucial family experience.

Public personalities hang their hat on privacy to justify the silence. But all our leaders need to do is ask affected families for permission to publish brief biographies of these amazing lives now gone. If they did this, they would soon see how much better their neighbors would behave.


Kimball Shinkoskey

Past protests focus on social injustices in society

So, Stacy Riney thinks Joe Biden is a communist. Really? The man who helped rescue us from the 2008 economic collapse and wants to give you health care is a communist? Good grief!

Meanwhile, Henry Hurlbut doesn’t believe our FBI director or the Department of Homeland Security that “right-wing white supremacy” groups are the greatest threat to our national security. Maybe Fox News didn’t report the recent plot by these extremists to kidnap and assassinate the governor of Michigan. I guess it’s easier to blame Black Lives Matter for everything wrong in this country.

If you were a student in one of my American History classes you would understand that protests are part of the American heritage. The Boston Tea Party and subsequent revolution, the Abolitionist Movement, Women’s Suffrage and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s/1960s are just a few of the protests that focused on injustice. Sometimes violence ensued, but would you deny these events made us a better country?

Sharon Kingdon Moran’s beautiful article on why the Electoral College is a relic of the past left nothing more to say on the subject. Sadly, we remain the only democracy in the world that does not guarantee that the person with the most votes in an election is the victor.

Finally, Henry questions why I live in this country. Apparently anyone who disagrees with his absurd ideas must be banished. Spoken like a true fascist Henry. Thomas Jefferson said “America’s greatness depends on the free dissemination of ideas”. Henry, that means different ideas should be proposed, discussed and debated. I guess you believe that opinions that differ from yours are dangerous. What a sad and pitiful concept!

Dennis Crooks

Couple commend mechanic for good, honest service

Two weeks ago my wife and I (both in our 70s) took our motorhome and truck to Mesquite Springs in Death Valley for a week of camping.

While climbing Towne Pass the rig got hot enough to give me concerns that damage might have been done. So when we drove to Beatty we looked for a mechanic. Someone at an RV park gave us John’s number and we called. He answered and after listening to me said he was on a call near Pahrump but would show up at our camp between 3 and 6 p.m.

Clarifying that there is no cell service in that campground we returned to await his arrival. Six p.m. came and went and we kind of gave up hope… but wait … about 8 p.m. he drove up. (We were amazed… this doesn’t happen in Southern California).

He looked at things and did some tests and opined that nothing was broken but I should probably get everything checked out and maybe a new radiator when we got home. I asked how much I owed him and he cited a more than fair amount.

I just wanted to publicly thank John for being a fair and honest man on top of being a good mechanic. He drove 60 miles each way not actually knowing we were there to keep his word. All of your readers are lucky to have him.

Mike Gaskins

Maybe we should try to understand the ‘Bill of Non-Rights’

It seems many don’t understand the Bill of Rights, so I found an old “Bill of Non-Rights” I’ve had for quite a while.

1. You don’t have the right to the property of others, unless you purchase it legally.

2. You don’t have the right to never be offended. Here in America we all have freedom of speech and opinions.

3. You don’t have the right to wealth if you hurt or injure yourself with a manufactured, purchased item, by carelessness.

4. You don’t have the right to free anything at others’ expense. Americans have always helped others when needed.

5. You don’t have the right to harm others. Doing so brings penalties.

6. You don’t have the right to a job, but if you want one, educate yourself so the job wants you.

7. You don’t have the right to change American history, beliefs in God, or our language.

If that bothers you, maybe you should move to a land more compatible.

Henry Hurlbut

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DAN SCHINHOFEN: Bill of Rights?

Back in January when the “novel coronavirus” was finally making the news, after the debacle of impeachment was over, I was very interested as I watched the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) shut down a city with 35 million residents. My first reaction was, “This could never happen in America as we have a Bill of Rights.” Boy was I wrong.

DAN SCHINHOFEN: Lessons learned

This past year has seen a lot of changes and most not for the better. As I sit here thinking it over, here are some of the things I have learned.

TIM BURKE: Possible second mandated shutdown would be disastrous

The recent rapid increase in COVID-19 positives is threatening to close businesses and halt family holiday gatherings temporarily. The post-election decrease in COVID-19 positives that some theorized would take place due to the election did not materialize. The exact opposite has happened.

STEVE SEBELIUS: 2020 election mandate? Compromise

Democrats long hoped for a supermajority in the Nevada Legislature; instead, the mixed election results will force both sides to work together to find consensus to fix vexing problems.

DAN SCHINHOFEN: More division coming up

President “projected” Biden stated that he will unite our country. Well, that’s good because his party spent the last four years dividing us. From the end of the election in 2016, the Democrats have refused to accept the results, but rather spent the last four years calling Trump illegitimate, a fraud, and of course tried to impeach him many times. The one time they actually went through with it, they knew it would fail in the Senate, but to meddle in the next election, they did it anyway, During Obama’s administration, there were many times some Republicans wanted to impeach Obama, but with the Senate being held by Harry Reid, they knew it would only be a show and cause division, so they did not.

As Mental Health Comes out of the Shadows, So Should Insurance Coverage to Increase Access to Care

Anyone who has ever tried to navigate the crazy task of selecting an individual health insurance policy knows the fundamental problem is figuring out exactly what you’re buying. Then, traversing the dizzying maze of HMOs, doctors, hospitals, co-pays, deductibles, allowable procedures, and coverage eligibility only increases the frustration.


The chaos surrounding the presidential election bears a semblance to the “hurry-up” offense in the NFL to avoid changing the outcome of a play.