Raising Heck about Social Security
When Nevada Congressman Joe Heck at a Boulder City town hall meeting referred to Social Security as “a pyramid scheme,” he delighted Democrats, who immediately used his political misstep against him. Although Heck later clarified his statement – after all, a pyramid scheme is designed to defraud participants by tricking them into believing they’re earning high interest on their investments – the Republican from Southern Nevada’s CD3 found many...
You can’t have your war and eat it, too
“No country has suffered so much from the ruins of war while being at peace as the American.” - U.S. Author and Critic Edward Dahlberg (1900-1977) War is the single worst thing you can do to your economy. The myth of magic war bucks started after World War II. How often have you heard that the big slaughter finally pulled us out of the Great Depression? You can make a pretty good argument that the excess industrial capacity of the United State...
Brianna’s Law: The Black Mark of Politics
The political battle over “Brianna’s Law” is a prime example of Nevada politics as usual. Assembly Bill 552, named in memory of Brianna Denison, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 2008, would have required DNA samples from everyone arrested on suspicion of a misdemeanor sex crime or a felony. On the surface, passing the bill seemed like a no-brainer. But instead of approving the bill, the strategies from the extreme left and right divide...
Weiner in the water
“Love that dirty water,” from a song by The Standells, is the unofficial anthem of Boston sports. Whether you’re a fan of the “city of champions” or not, it’s hard to deny that, since the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2001, there has been something in the water in Boston. So, hours before game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, when injured Bruins forward Nathan Horton emptied the contents of a plastic water bottle onto Vancouver ice, t...
Firefighters shouldn’t shop on our time
Americans want heroes we can look up to for their strength, preparedness and organization in the face of any difficult task. Whether it’s Superman, Batman, Spider-Man or a fireman, our heroes have a can-do mentality. Lately, though, the “H” in “hero” seems to be slipping, at least for firemen. The instance I’m going to speak of might seem petty to some, but in these tight budget times it is a costly perk of the job that really adds up. The sit...
Casting the first stone
My question is would the nation have been better for driving them from office? Or would England have benefited from scorning Nelson’s affair with Lady Hamilton? Could Eisenhower have won in Europe if he had been caught in bed with his WAC driver? Would Vietnam have been shorter if Lyndon’s sometime salacious solicitations of female reporters had become public?
Spencer Remembers "Cowboy Up!"
Starting on Thursday of this week the familiar phrase of “Cowboy Up” has been heard many times at the Reno Rodeo grounds as the 92nd edition of one of Reno’s most long lasting special events gets underway. An integral part of the annual festivities is the publication of the official program for the rodeo. This year’s edition is more like a high end magazine or glossy catalog as it runs for a stunning 216 pages and is replete with current and h...
What is a friend?
The regulars at the coffee shop were going through their usual motions of being friendly. By the time I arrived they had consumed their second round of coffee and were ready for the discussion of the day. They considered themselves friends because they met once a week to gossip about everyone they knew, especially the people they didn’t like. I listened to their chatter as they were babbling about all their wealthy friends. It sounded like a “...
Texting Big Brother
There are many governmental social safety nets in America that are important to ensuring the protection and equality of the public, particularly those that service minority and vulnerable populations. But there also is a growing number of laws and regulations that outlaw certain behaviors, legislate morality and ultimately criminalize the entirety of the American populace. Mandated ultrasounds before abortions, prohibition on marijuana and var...
Soldiers pay the ferryman
Last week Sgt. First Class Serrano was being sent from El Paso to Camp Bowie, both in Texas, for additional training in advance of overseas deployment to one of our country’s current war zones. Since he was flying alone, he was sent via a civilian airline, American Airlines, to his destination. He had three bags. The first two were free, but he was made to pay $100 for the third bag. Serrano wasn’t on a pleasure outing; he was traveling on ord...
Mary Valencia Wilson: Nevada’s Aztec warrior
Mary Valencia Wilson grew up poor in a barrio south of Los Angeles. As a child, Mary and her father, a union carpenter, labored for years building a four-room house so that the family could move from a one-room shack. That house still stands.
A hipster’s vacation
A recent study comparing European and other modern industrialized societies to America found that we work harder for less money than the Euro proletariat and we take less time off for annual vacations.
Let me into my cage
An old song tells mamas not to let their babies grow up to be cowboys. Around my house growing up, it was “mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be boxers.”