Letters to the editor for May 9, 2019
Our days are warming, and events are offered everywhere like the new shoots of grass springing up in every location. I sometimes feel like Alice in Wonderland before the Cheshire Cat and his sign. Which way to go? Which sign to follow? What event to choose?
For most people, this weekend is easy to figure out because we celebrate Mother’s Day this coming Sunday, May 12. Those of us who have already lost our mothers don’t take notice quite the same. The day can hold some sadness. However, in light of current events, my moments of melancholy are steeped in gratitude.
With the Courier’s headline last week, “Woman gets maximum in toddler’s rape.” I can’t help but be overwhelmed with thankfulness. Sometimes, I can find it easy to remember the difficulties my mother and I had. I think most mothers and daughters wrestle over something at one time or another. Grades, hemlines, curfews, and marriage partners are just a few. The list has endless possibilities. But when considered given Uma Hongo’s example, I can’t seem to recall anything that my mother and I argued about that was truly important.
I also take note of the many “mothers” there are in community life. Mothers are those who gave birth to us, but I have heard the term used to describe any woman that takes care for the concerns of an individual. Mothers can be any woman who has ever taken an interest in our growth. By that definition, I have many mothers. They can be younger than me. Sometimes they are related though often they are not. They come in all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities.
On Sunday, I will honor my birth mother with love and the respect she genuinely deserves. I will also recognize the female figures that nurtured me while growing up. But I also have to give a big shout out to the many women who positively contribute to my well-being today. In my life, that means the ladies in my writing groups and my quilting and sewing circles, the ladies I exercise with and those I read books with, the ladies who I talk to about my challenges and who pray with me. I would be at a loss without you. Thank you and Happy Mother’s Day.
Who are the real constituents?
With their gaming take dented by California Indian casinos, Nevada’s Lake casinos joined with the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority a few years ago to persuade an ethically challenged Douglas County Board of County Commissioners to form a public/private partnership to help them out.
Using Alice in Wonderland logic, commissioners declared the Edgewood Golf Course and Hotel (recent “hotel of the year” winner) as blighted in order to justify creation of Redevelopment Area number 2 (RDA#2). This allows fencing off an expected $116 million in taxes from the new luxury Beach Club development to fund an event/convention center that’s supposed to generate revenue for the casinos.
Meanwhile commissioners are struggling with a budget crisis of their own doing. The long term union contracts Commissioner Penzel presided over about two years ago have resulted in benefit cost overruns, even as his one-time quarter million dollar tax money gift to the employee unions for dependent health care has now become a permanent annual recurrence. The BOCC’s reckless zoning waivers to developers have created residential overbuilding that has swelled our population, but with no expansion of infrastructure and county services like deteriorating county roads, traffic congestion, and the impossibly crowded Judicial and Law Enforcement building.
The April 30 budget meeting was a pathetic example of this. Commissioners agonized having to fund a required technical election expert position at the expense of denying the sheriff’s completely justified request to fund three new deputies, to hire only one. There was no excuse to risk public safety and create longer emergency response times: $2 million is unavailable because it’s in the RDA No. 2 fund.
Commissioners Nelson and Engels have repeatedly tried to dissolve RDA No. 2 but Commissioners Penzel, Rice, and Walsh stubbornly refuse to abandon their special friends in the wealthy casino corridor. How does RDA No. 2 benefit Douglas County taxpayers, you might ask. Commissioner Wes Rice, who got 2/3 of his campaign contributions from casinos and developers, explains that “… [the tax] money that will be generated will flow off the hill.” That’s even more magical thinking than Chairman Penzel’s recent claim that if we don’t overpopulate and start using more water, the state will take our water rights away.
Caesar’s Entertainment, the owner of Harrah’s and Harvey’s at the Lake, includes among its billionaire investors George Soros. Our commissioners have chosen to enhance Soros’s investment portfolio at the expense of meeting the needs of Douglas County taxpayers. We should probably be grateful; at least we know who their real constituents are.
Not a democracy
The Democrats are striving to create a National Popular Vote Compact among the states, which would essentially do an end-run around the electoral college, electing our president by a majority vote. Unfortunately, this compact recently passed the Nevada Assembly, as Assembly Bill 186. This would basically transition us from a representative republic to a direct democracy and eliminate the voice of citizens in smaller states, such as Nevada, in presidential elections.
There is a reason that you won’t find the word “democracy” in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution – we aren’t one. Democracies are dangerous and have been responsible for the fall of governments in the past including the Roman Empire. It went from a republic to an oligarchy controlled by a succession of Caesars until its ultimate collapse.
Now, if you’re hoping to transition from a representative republic (which we are) to socialism or an oligarchy, democracy is a great place to start.
Here’s what China’s Communist Chairman Mao Tse-Tung once said about democracy.
“The democratic revolution is the necessary preparation for the socialist revolution, and the socialist revolution is the inevitable sequel to the democratic revolution.”
It’s quite clear why Mao spoke favorably of democracy. It leads to anarchy (mob rule) upon which an oligarchy is founded.
The line of succession looks something like this: Democracy (majority rule) – Anarchy (mob rule) – Oligarchy (the many ruled by the few).
18th century Scottish historian, Alexander Fraser Tytler, wrote the following concerning democracy in Europe:
“Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves (money) from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, and always followed by a dictatorship.”
The concern expressed by Tytler 200 years ago is the same one that many of us have today.
Progressive policies, such as the Green New Deal, in addition to expanding government control and regulations over Americans, would be a fiscal nightmare. You cannot steal from some and give to others nor borrow money in hope of creating prosperity. Funds dry out and the game ends.
Could this lead to social unrest, anarchy, and ultimately to a more restrictive oligarchy? Sadly, yes.
It’s important to understand that a democracy never leads to a freer people, but to their ultimate collapse. The rights of the community, as determined by majority rule, undermine the God-given inalienable rights of the individual.
So, this trend toward democracy in America is a dangerous path. And, it’s not surprising that the Democratic progressives, who wish to transform America into a socialist country, will do so via democracy first. Are we willing to give up our inherent rights for the goods they promise? Be an intelligent voter in 2020. Always look at the big picture.
Plenty of laws
about guns already
It’s hard to believe that Mr. Faff is ignorant of the elaborate gun laws that already exist, i.e. background checks, fees, waiting periods etc.
He also makes the mistake of comparing the right to own a gun with the privilege to drive a vehicle on public streets.
Under the 2nd Amendment, owning a gun is a right of American Citizenship, and there is no permit or license required.
The background check law works most of the time, it is not perfect. Criminals get most of their guns illegally anyway, so no background check or permit scheme will stop them.
Our legislature, AG, and Governor are hard at work trying to pass ever more restrictive guns laws that hassle only law abiding citizens with higher fees, more regulations and laws that one must be aware of legally. Criminals ignore all this.
People here are presumed innocent until proven guilty. When a person commits a crime with a gun, that person should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
I believe more guns should be used for protection of lives and property.
I urge everyone who can, to take the training and get a permit to carry a concealed weapon. More good guys with guns will and does deter criminals.
I don’t have space here to argue the Constitutional issues regarding background checks, CCW permits etc, and there are people much more eloquent than myself on this topic.
I recommend that people own a gun, practice, get a CCW permit and use it.