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Opinion
The Lost Art of Writing
The Dumbest Generation cares little for history books, civic principles, foreign affairs,    comparative religions and serious media and art — a brazen disregard of books and reading. — Mark Bauerlein  in “The Dumbest Generation” Few things are more depressing for a professor than the inability of students to write well. Their writing is murky, repetitious, ungrammatical, irrelevant, inaccurate and too long. They have no idea what it means to ...
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Teachers are our whipping boys
With the Nevada Legislature now in session and rumbling about major cutbacks reaching a new pitch, it’s time once again to engage in the biennial sport of kicking education— teachers specifically — in an effort to show their worthlessness for all to see. Johnny and Suzy aren’t passing their standardized tests at the levels they should and they aren’t graduating from high school in effective percentages, so we should cut back funding for the ed...
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Egypt: bribery, corruption, dictators and betrayal
In their struggle for political independence, human rights, national pride and personal freedom, the Egyptian people demonstrated to the world how sheer collective resolve and individual determination can topple a dictator and change world politics. Following the example of India’s Gandhi and our own Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s strategy of peaceful and nonviolent protests, the Egyptians have shifted the balance of power in the region from th...
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More punishment, less progress
I don’t envy Gov. Brian Sandoval’s position. He has taken control of a state that is broke and is at the bottom of the barrel in numerous categories. How is he going to turn this around? He said he is going to cut spending on education while at the same time he intends to increase spending on prisons. This is completely backwards. It is common knowledge that the better educated are our youth, the less likely they are to end up in prison. It al...
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Dangerous drugs
Drug abuse in America is growing at a rate that threatens to overwhelm every element of society, from work time losses and medical costs to the law enforcement and environment. Recent revelations of workplace drinking and drug use have startled factory managers while fish and game scientists have found high levels of prescription drugs in inland fisheries due to drugs in the sewage effluent of cities and towns. Meanwhile the number of hospital...
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Letters to the editor
Dear Editor, Congress is grappling with spending cuts, yet tens of millions of tax dollars are wasted on a relatively unknown Interior Department program that rounds up thousands of wild horses from the West every year. Now a recent Tube video shows a helicopter heartlessly stampeding an elder wild horse who collapses from exhaustion during a government roundup currently underway in Nevada. The federal government already warehouses more wild h...
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A Valentine for Tura Satana
Her movie name was Tura Satana, 1960’s cult movie star of Billy Wilder’s “Irma La Douce” (with Jack Lemmon and Shirley McLaine) and Russ Meyer’s “Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill!” To us, she was Tura Jurman, union sister who stood in solidarity in the hardfought and ultimately successful campaign to organize Reno Hilton security guards. She was illegally fired, blackballed with her fellow union members, and celebrated victory when the Security, P...
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Peace Prize Urged for Assange
A Norwegian lawmaker has nominated WikiLeaks for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, declaring that its disclosure of classified documents promoted world peace. The legislator, Snorre Valen of the Socialist Party, said WikiLeaks has advanced “the struggle for human rights, democracy and freedom of speech” just as did Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, last year’s winner. It is doubtful that the documents, as important as they are, have anything to do with ...
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Defending Fire Station No. 1
It takes a lot to rile up the Rose of Mount Charleston. She’d rather give you a hug and a hot meal than utter a harsh word about anyone or anything. But when it comes to speaking up on behalf of the mountain, longtime Kyle Canyon resident Rose Meranto isn’t shy about making herself perfectly clear. Meranto, who recently celebrated her 80th birthday and has lived in her cabin in the pines since the 1970s, is joining the rising voices of discont...
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The governor’s garage sale
A report came out this week that Gov. Brian Sandoval is cutting the budget for the state Governor’s Mansion for the next biennium. Not only that, he is turning down a raise of about $8,000 per year. And he’s taking a 5 percent pay cut and donating it to the Millennium Scholarship program to help Nevada high school grads go to college here at home. Being governor is no ordinary job, but eight thousand bucks is eight thousand bucks. So I applaud...
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Firefighters need saving
At the Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF), firefighters are jacks-of-all-trades. Because many are stationed on the edge of rural communities with the state’s incredible wild country in their backyards and isolated highways running through the middle of it all, firefighters must wear several hats. They respond to residential and business fires. They are also wildland certified. And they provide emergency service response for everything from ski ...
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Our planet needs spring cleaning
When it gets to be spring, many people clean up their yards from the accumulated debris of the past winter’s onslaught. Thank goodness my back yard is only so big. Come to think of it, our Earth is also only so big. The issue of global warming is kind of like tackling that springtime cleanup project. Yes, there are those who say global warming is not a reality. Let’s say for the moment they are right. Where is the harm in cleaning up our envir...
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Israel beware: the Muslims are coming
It’s hard to believe that no one predicted the current political revolution in Egypt. The American Central Intelligence Agency said it was “caught off guard” and had no warning of the uprising. Actually, the CIA did have a warning sign right in front of it, which it either ignored or forgot. It all started in Tunisia when a young unemployed man could not find work and was denied a permit to sell fruit on the street. He decided to end his unemp...
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40 years on the High Desert Plantation
I hit this town just over 40 years ago in January of 1971. I wondered what wonders awaited as I drove past John Ascuaga’s Nugget on I-80. My Gomorrah South bosses at what was to become the largest ad agency in the state had flown me to Reno in January to look over the promotion they offered. Upon my return, I immediately turned them down. I saw all that dirty white stuff on the ground. That didn’t look like any snow I ever saw on a Christmas c...
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Term limits in the street
The nearly uniform interpretation of current events along the Nile holds that the overthrow of longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak is an exercise in man’s eternal search for freedom. This fable is largely derived from the protestations of some million demonstrators gathered in Cairo’s so-called “liberation Square.” These good folks, like protestors around the globe, claim that the lack of freedoms enjoyed by western democracies is their root cause...
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Most Valuable Criminal
If Joseph Stalin was still alive, he might be a bit jealous of the NFL’s propaganda machine. After all, the pretty pink, purple and rainbow colored ties worn by today’s NFL propagandists were outlawed under his regime. He even had special camps set up for men who so much as thought about brightly colored ties. Fortunately, this year’s Super Bowl didn’t come down to a showdown between the field general who perfected the mass murder of canines a...
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Sandoval Abets Sad Sack State
Gov. Brian Sandoval admits that it could take his four-year term before “Nevada will be Nevada again.” Such frankness of the new governor is refreshing. But the trouble with Nevada is what it was, let alone what it is. Nevada is ranked near the bottom of the 50 states in so many categories. Examples: • It is 48th in per capita spending on higher education. • It ranks 49th in K-12 funding. • It is 50th in the likelihood of a 19-year-old enrolli...
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Personal Projections
All my life I have envied men who could work on cars or do complex home improvement projects. I suppose I have envied women who could do these things, too, but there’s something extra competitive against other males of the species. Many men begin learning these skills from their fathers. My dad was not one of the types who was constantly under the hood of a car or had a saw in his hand. Even if he wasn’t too busy working I don’t think he would...
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Egypt: Be careful what you wish for
Low wages, high unemployment, widespread dissatisfaction with government’s handling of the economy and on and on it goes. Sound familiar? Well, that is what is happening in Egypt. What is the outcome going to be?
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Mom’s superhero: Jack LaLanne
Last week’s passing of Jack LaLanne reminded me of my old high school days. Living two blocks away from school, I always went home for lunch. My steaming hot soup and double-decker bologna, cheese and onion sandwich was usually waiting for me on the kitchen table. Mom was smart: If I didn’t get home on time I had cold soup. But mom also had an ulterior motive: She prepared my lunch early so she could watch “The Jack LaLanne Show” on television.
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