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Opinion
Clinging to the Ledge: Cold War
The best thing I did last week was kidnap a girl. After setting up for my Tuesday live TV show in  Carson City, I headed to the frigid tent campground on the legislative lawn to see if I could convince one of the university freedom riders to participate. Her fellow students nominated Emma Guerrero, 18, a UNLV sophomore majoring in political science who wants to go to the Boyd law school after graduation. “What will my degree mean if UNLV isn’t...
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Sell the gold
I see where gold has hit the fifteen-hundred an ounce mark and seems likely to keep on climbing unless some economic messiah arrives from on high with a solution to the current crash of western finances around the globe. With the price high it would seem like a good time to sell at a profit and get into something like soy beans or coffee futures. Gold is strange. It is the only substance on Earth that does not react to oxygen. Gold doesn’t rus...
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Media super hype royal wedding
One-third of the people on the planet watched the royal wedding on television — which speaks ill of 2.3 billion people. Any Republican abhors the antiquated monarcy, fit only for royal gawkers and church goers. The royals have no place in a world aspiring to democracy. They are symbols — but bad ones. Yet the mummery persists. Prince William, second in line to the British throne, and Kate Middleton were married recently amid enormous hype. The...
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Water Rights and Horse Huggers
Don’t stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A horse walks into a bar. The bartender comes over and says, “Why the long face?” Who knows, maybe the equine was a mustang that had just heard about AB329, the malodorous pile of legislation that should be drawing flies and instead is attracting bipartisan support from Nevada elected officials who should know better. An element of the legislation, which has already passed a vote in the Assembly b...
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Biking — an uphill battle
For about a decade, I have had conflicting dreams regarding my modes of personal transportation. One of them has been to own a Jeep Wrangler so I could drive around with the top off and enjoy beautiful weather and scenery. My other dream has been to live where I could walk, take the bus or ride a bike everywhere. While these two things are contradictory in terms of saving gas, money and the environment, they are complimentary in the sense that...
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The Sahara in Nevada
Recent word that the popular Sahara Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas had closed its doors after 60 years of existence at the northern-most end of the Vegas strip brought back a raft of memories.
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With Huckabee out, GOP field vies for his backers
Mike Huckabee’s decision to forgo a shot at the presidency further muddies the field for a worthy Republican challenger to President Barack Obama.
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Sandoval: Doomed in the political vacuum of time
If you are superstitious, paraskavedekatriaphobia, the fear of Fridays, in general, and Friday the 13th, specifically, is probably high on your priority list of ritual, fear and survival.
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Sandoval’s graduation not worth a degree
Few realize that “Pomp and Circumstance” originally was a funeral dirge.
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GOP pols rule Corporate Court
WASHINGTON — The reverential tone prevailing here at the Supreme Court is unjustified by its many horrible decisions for more than a century. The Dred Scott ruling in 1857 said Negroes could never be citizens, that they were “beings of an inferior order” and that they “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” In 1886 in Southern Pacific Railroad the court declared that corporations were people and hence entitled to constitution...
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Keep Promises to America’s Retirees
As members of Congress work out an agreement to pay the nation’s bills, health care and financial security for America’s seniors must not be dismissed as collateral damage. Tragically, it is easy for some in Washington to confuse Medicare and Social Security with simple numbers on a balance sheet. In Nevada alone, more than 348,000 people rely on Medicare for their health care. More than 354,000 collect Social Security, with the program servin...
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Freedom Riders and wage defenders
The heavy political action happens in Carson City this coming week but you don’t have to spend $4 a gallon to deal yourself in. Just watch my show. This Tuesday, the Barbwire returns to TV with a one-hour live call-in special on area cable networks. The Barbwire livewire is the same as always, 775-882-TALK (882-8255). So far, the guest list includes Paul McKenzie of the Sparks-based Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/A...
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Change a word and change the world
One of the unsung heroes of modern communications skills is the late Joseph Goebels, whose contribution to the fine arts of propaganda and mass delusion have been tainted by his service to the vile cause of national fascism. The concept of the “big lie,” government control of public arts from film and posters to the government radio, which defined the popular opinion of the era. After the war the victors stole all the major inventions of the t...
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Middle schoolers in the mist
One month ago, I brought you an exclusive report from the halls of Mendive Middle School. As a participant in that school’s Career Day, I was granted exclusive access to observe the students in their natural habitat. I was able to relay first-hand accounts of their adolescent behavior and how they responded to questions about their futures. On this expedition I learned that middle school is as I remembered it from my pre-teen years: full of hu...
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Keep teacher judging process simple
In developing his budget, Gov. Brian Sandoval has been pursuing the ultimate dismantling of the state’s public school system.
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Obama, Bin Laden, Gaddafi and James Bond
The assassination of Osama bin Laden last week seemed like a theme in a James Bond movie.
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Weird War III
False assumptions have a tendency to cause bad things to happen to those who harbor them.
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U.S. starts recruiting for al-Qaida
Osama bin Laden is dead but al-Qaida is very much alive and still plotting terrorist attacks. Like Hydra heads, al-Qaida constantly sprouts new leaders. So it is hardly an occasion for celebration. Its significance is merely symbolic: killing the perpetrator of 9/11. The New York Times claimed in an editorial that 9/11 “profoundly changed our lives” but we can “now breathe a bit more easily.” That’s nonsense on both counts. The world remains s...
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If Memory Serves...
Easter has long been my favorite holiday. Its message of love and life is universal. My childhood holiday memories around the Smith house weren’t always pleasant, but for some reason Easter was idyllic. It didn’t hurt that, in addition to the greater message of the special Sunday, for a kid Easter was as sweet as Halloween but without the spooky costumes and dark imagery. When I became a father, I vowed Easter would always be a special day for...
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Slaves Taxes, Bread Crumbs and Another Brick in the Wall
There are no virgins in politics. The best you can hope for is that your friends treat you a little better than your enemies and promise to kiss you afterward. Alas and alack, the devolution of the middle class, heralded by the coronation of King Ronald the Vague, is morphing from class war into uncivil war. Brother fights sister for crumbs from the table of the rich, famous and powerful. The grovelers down on the floor are too desperate to lo...
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