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Opinion
Retro is good
Spencer Remembers
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Tea Party: Half Right, All Wrong
During last week’s debate over the nation’s debt ceiling, we witnessed the balance of political power shift from the rational compromise of democracy toward the unyielding confrontation of an autocratic government. The question is: Will our democratic republic become a authoritarian state ruled by right-wing extremists? There is no doubt our form of government is in for radical change. The well-organized Tea Party has held firm to its principl...
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The invasions of Afghanistan
I was looking through some of my old posters and I found one that said, “MOCKBA 1980,” with a picture of female gymnast Nelli Kim from Siberia. It was a poster I bought in 1980 promoting the Olympic Games that were to be held in the Soviet Union that summer. MOCKBA is Russian for Moscow. The United States didn’t participate in those summer Olympic games. We boycotted them because the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on Dec. 24, 1979. The reaso...
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Make the headaches go away
Hey, Doc, I’ve been having horrible headaches lately. It all started about the time Congress began debating whether to raise the national debt level. Then the headaches intensified as they kept haggling over how the matter should be resolved. With the resolution of that dispute, the headaches eased a little, but then they got worse again as the stock market tanked in a 500-plus points, one-day decline. Home values have also continued to fall p...
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Letter to the Editor
Dear Daily Sparks Tribune On Aug. 6 and 9 it will have been 66 years since we bombed Nagasaki and Hiroshima. It’s time to retire the nuclear bomb. However, in addition to the annual nuclear weapons budget of $50 billion, the U.S. has allocated $185 billion MORE to augment our nuclear stockpile over the next 10 years. The risks of such folly are countless. The storage of the waste produced by the degeneration of the materials used to build thes...
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Steins ‘discovered’ Picasso, Matisse
SAN FRANCISCO -—Bay Area art lovers have been feasting for decades on the great art at museums here and the special exhibitions they attract. Now, San Francisco is honoring its own: art collectors Gertrude Stein and her brother Leo, who spent their adolescent years in nearby Oakland. Going to Paris in 1903, the Steins became friends with Picasso and Matisse. They bought many of their works cheaply because the artists were then unknown. But iro...
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KJ-5000 will save America
News broke this week of America’s newest super soldier, a secret weapon so dangerous that it has to be hidden deep in the recesses of northern Nevada. This unstoppable force, developed in conjunction with our own Washoe County government, can single-handedly annihilate entire units of armed men while being cleverly disguised as an ordinary woman until it is given a chemical developed by top minds through intense testing and research. Unfortuna...
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Go to school!
 Getting a quality education is imperative to survival in this world — that is unless you are comfortable with letting everyone else support you with welfare benefits. I fear that far too many school-aged children, and even young adults, do not understand the value of education. This week I attended a celebration of the opening of five Washoe County School District re-engagement centers aimed at corralling students who have dropped out or are ...
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Married to the Gov’t
 I developed my cultural attitudes in the ‘60s, during the era that gave new meaning to “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.” In massive rejection of the norms of post war American life we turned first to the Beat generation and then invented the hippies for ourselves. The pharmacology of the times contributed immensely with oral birth control and psychedelics. Thus the “Love Generation” with casual promiscuity and alternative values came about. By ...
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Bullfighting a billion in Tonopah
I wonder how the good ole boys in Tonopah will look in slippers, funny berets and butt-tight, gaudily embroidered pedal-pusher pantaloonies. A Spanish-based construction company, Cobra Energía, has been unofficially-officially (not a typo) contracted to build a 1,500-acre, taxpayer-subsidized solar power array near the central Nevada metropolis. It’s unofficial because requirements to get a $737 million federally-guaranteed loan say no project...
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Wolf Pack sports
Spencer Remembers
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Your New Tahoe Tax
As politicians in Washington go through the death throes of trying to define what our debt limit is or ought to be, Washoe County leaders are trying to do the same thing in microcosm after the Nevada Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the county had charged too much property tax to 8,500 property owners in the Lake Tahoe area, specifically Incline Village. The total amount due back to the landowners is in excess of $17 million. This ruling c...
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‘Celebrity Rehab’ with Big Brother
In a post-trial press conference, one of the miracle workers on Casey Anthony’s defense team took a deep breath and let out all his pent up aggression about how the case had been covered by the media. The defense attorney, Cheney Mason, leveled a furious verbal blitz at the talking heads for their assassination of his now officially not-guilty client. The media brigade of television lawyers, psychologists and other various experts, led by thei...
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At least one Republican makes sense
I never thought I’d ever hear a Republican from Texas make political sense, especially after G.W. Bush almost single-handedly destroyed our country’s economy. But after watching Texas Congressman Ted Poe’s speech delivered to the House of Representatives on Feb. 11, I realize there is still hope on the horizon for all Republicans. During Congressional debates to reduce federal spending by $400 billon, Poe argued for a change in the rule govern...
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What’s the ugliest part of your body?
Remember the old saw that your body is worth about two bucks when reduced to basic chemicals? That’s been replaced by another corny saying that has lately become ghoulishly true: Most people really are worth more dead than alive. The used-human business is so lucrative that a person “parted-out,” as they say at auto wrecking yards, can yield $100,000 or more. The vaunted free market has resulted in all the ads you see imploring you to donate y...
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Tattoo transgressions
We’ve all done it. OK, just a few of us have done it, but it makes me feel better to tell myself it is a common mistake: having someone else’s name tattooed on your body. Yes, I am ashamed to admit I did this once. It was one in a string of very idiotic moves on my part. Without going into all the gory details, I had an ex’s signature tattooed on my body late one night and woke up in the morning with a feeling of instant regret. I’m really not...
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Clinton silent on Saudi abuses
Saudi Arabia continues to war on women with the silent approval of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Saudi religious police arrest women who commit the horrible offense of driving. These cops travel in packs of six, armed with nightsticks. They frequently beat and humiliate women in public. Saudi women must get written permission from their fathers or husbands to leave the country, to work or to have an operation. Women are forced by the roy...
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Humor Me
I don’t laugh much anymore. Not that the world’s absurdities have, in any way, diminished in our daily experience of the dysfunctional in society. It’s just that I have heard the joke before, and it is only funny the first time told. Even the cruel humor of others’ pain and suffering no longer moves me to giggle and guffaw as I once did to the antics of “Amos & Andy,” “Laurel & Hardy” or “Fibber McGee & Molly,” all of whom played off the daily...
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Deja Vú at the RSCVA
Once again family ties have won over career advancement at the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority. It was announced midweek that Mark White, had turned down the CEO position after he had won it, 11-2, over localite Mike Houghton. While the board members of the RSCVA are shaking their heads in disbelief over the latest goof-up in the troubled organization’s recent history, it is interesting to note that the previous head of the agenc...
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Vacation pay is more than money
Some people like to do their best vegetable impression when on vacation. You know the type — sunbathing and drinking cocktails all day. Some people take their work on vacation with them — checking email, making phone calls, staying current with the stock report. Then there are those of us who play hard, turning vacation into an adventure. By the end of our respite, we need a vacation from the vacation. Or at least a moment to rest our bones. I...
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