The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘Nevada’

AMERICAN FIRSTS

If you’re anticipating a laundry list of things that Americans were first to achieve, like land on the moon, I am afraid you’re going to be disappointed.  See, I just wanted to suck you in with the title – and hope you’d keep reading.  (I might have a career in politics after all).

The American firsts to which I refer are actually things in which my now adopted state, Nevada are head and shoulders above all other forty-nine states.  (Or is that fifty-six, President Obama)?

Nevada is first in having the highest rate of unemployment of any state in the nation.  Nevada is also first in the percentage of our land area which is owned by the Federal government.  I am not suggesting that the amount of land ownership by the Feds correlates to the amount of unemployment – but now that I said that, I will have to think about it a little bit more.

With the Presidential election only days away and with the worst storm in decades hitting the Eastern seaboard, I don’t know if this story has made it into the national media but it is big news here in Nevada.

WE STRUCK OIL IN THEM THAR HILLS !!!

Or more correctly, an Irish oil exploration company which goes by the curious name of U. S. Oil & Gas has discovered oil.  A lot of oil.

The find is about 230 miles north northwest of Las Vegas in an area known as Hot Creek Valley.  Although U. S. Oil and Gas is being closemouthed about the extent of the discovery pending the drilling of more wells to confirm their geology reports, the claims which are coming out of the valley are mind-boggling.

Several independent geologists have asserted that the reservoir of oil would be bigger than the finds in Texas and bigger than all the proven reserves that are in Saudi Arabia – the world’s mot plentiful source of light sweet crude oil.

If that should be the case, this will mean that Nevada can move away from its near total dependence on casino gaming for revenue and will have a new source of income.  That will also mean that we should be able to lose our ranking as number one in the nation’s unemployed and be able to create good paying jobs for those who need them as happened in South Dakota with the Bakken discovery.

U. S. Oil and Gas leased 25,000 acres of land from the Bureau of Land Management.  That is the agency that is a part of the Department of the Interior and is responsible for overseeing 260 Million acres of land, primarily in twelve western states.  The agency also sells land to individuals and corporations from time to time.

Now what is most interesting, as I hear from a confidential but very reliable source, is that Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), the Majority Leader, recently acquired 2,500 acres of land from the BLM for himself – land which is a part of the oil field that U. S. Oil and Gas is currently working and evaluating.

It’s curious to me that  the good senator would have an interest in this particular acreage.  The landscape is barren, it is remote and other than being a great place to breed rattlesnakes, it’s only other potential is for oil and mineral discoveries.  Eureka!  Perhaps that’s what the senator had in mind with his acquisition.

That may not be totally fair.  With his predisposition toward green energy, having voted for the taxpayers to fund the failed Solyndra, perhaps he had a vision of creating a vast array of solar panels or windmills on the site of his newly acquired property.  Time alone will tell.

However, should the discovery prove to be as substantial as rumored, and should it later come to light that the Senate Majority Leader had “inside information” of which he took advantage and profited, it will be a scandal that will eclipse both Watergate and the Tea Pot Dome scandal of the Harding administration.

For the sake of those Nevadans who are actively seeking employment and are unable to find work and for the sake of all of us Americans so that we might obtain a new source of energy and reduce our dependence on foreign governments, I truly hope that this discovery pans out.

And to Sen. Harry Reid, all I can say at this point is, Mazel Tov.

THE RIGHTEOUS LEFT

Who would have thought that the dog park was going to be a hot bed of political activity?  But with Nevada being one of the key “battleground states” as political analysts have described it, that is what has happened.  Or perhaps, to use one of Jimmy Durante’s lines, “Everybody wants ta get inta the act.”

A few days ago I noticed that someone had pasted some little stickers in various places in the large dog park.  The stickers simply read, “OBAMA SUCKS”.  Several of the stickers have been removed from where they were placed but several remain.

As I approached the group that comes equipped with puppies and lawn chairs and enjoys hobnobbing on the little rise in the park, the subject of these stickers was in hot debate.  The group, people who mostly support the President, were indignant at this insult to his Greatness.  Generally I try to avoid getting involved in these discussions because I am, if not out thought in these conversations, certainly outnumbered by about a six to one ratio.  However, I was unsuccessful in this attempt last night.

One of the more strident members of the group asked me directly if I had seen these stickers, to which I replied that I had.  “And,” she continued, “What do you think of someone putting them up on public property?”  I responded, “I guess we’re dealing with someone who is perhaps overly enthusiastic.”

This woman said that she had removed “both” of them and looked at me with a true sense of righteousness.  It was at that point that I mentioned that there were several more in the park to which she might want to turn her attention as well.  Apparently she was unaware of this and looked appropriately disturbed that this public property defacer had done yet more damage to our dog park – and her political sensibilities.

One of the other members then began a rant about right wing fascists – and I confess that pushed me beyond the limits of my usual calm and composed demeanor.  I asked them, “Would you have been equally upset and removed the stickers if the word ROMNEY were substituted for OBAMA?”   “Of course,” they responded.  “It’s a violation of park rules to place any sign.”  To be honest, if the stickers were anti-Romney ones, it is more likely that they would have begun building a shrine beneath them.

“So then your objection is not based on the content of the stickers but is based on the infraction of the rules for the use of the park by the public?”  “Exactly,” replied the lady who made the fascist statement.  “Well, don’t you think some of those rules are pretty silly,?” I asked, setting up my straw man argument.

“NO!”

“You mean even if they are dumb, we are supposed to obey all of them?”

“Of course.  You can’t pick and choose.  If you don’t like something you have to get it changed.”   At least on that point we were in agreement.

“Well, let me ask you a question.  I know that you’re aware that the very first rule posted regarding the use of the park is that ‘No alcoholic beverages are to be brought to the park and consumed here.’  That is the reason (together with a warning from one of the Park Marshalls) that you folks no longer bring wine bottles with you for your evening gatherings.  But you now bring alcohol from home and consume it from individual containers.  Isn’t that a violation of a rule which should also be observed?”

As the rancor began rising among the group I realized that it was time to pick up the pizza I had ordered for dinner which provided me with a convenient reason for taking Gracie and leaving them to “mull” over my question.  So I wished all of them a good evening and left them to “stew” over my comment.

I guess it’s a good thing that you can choose your acquaintances.  I might have to go on a search for a couple of replacements.

EVIL

This post is meant only for a mature audience as the content is extremely disturbing.

IN 1729, Jonathan Swift anonymously published his satiric piece, “A Modest Proposal.”  Intended to discredit the generally prevailing disdainful attitude among the upper class in England toward the plight of the children of the Irish poor, Swift suggested that the way to relieve the population burden in Ireland would be to raise poor Irish children for several years and then sell them to the English upper classes for food.  This was satire.

The FBI on Saturday unveiled the results of an intensive two year investigation into a ring of international pedophiles who captured more than 400,000 images of young children and infants that the participants in the “club” had taken and shared among themselves.  Seventy-two men have been indicted and fifty-two have been arrested, some of them already having been tried and sentenced.  The sentences ranged between 12 years and 315 for the most egregious of these men.  This is reality.

Some of the children were as young as two months old, but many of the victims of this exploitation were only two to four years old.  The number of images would have been sufficient to produce 16,000 CD’s.

As disturbing as the number of children who were victimized is the fact that there were, in addition to sharing these pictures, many of which clearly show the children involved being inflicted intentionally with pain, the conversations that these men held among themselves.  There were conversations which suggested that some of them thought that cannibalism of these children would provide them with an even greater “high”.

One photo apparently showed a two year old boy sitting in a roasting pan and the email commentary said, “Now doesn’t that look delicious.  A nice slice of buttock or thigh would just hit the spot.”  There is no evidence that this went beyond the stage of talk into actuality – but it really doesn’t matter.  There is only one word that comes to mind when describing this sort of behavior and depravity.  That word is EVIL.

The eminent psychiatrist and University professor, Thomas Szasz has this to say about “mental illness” which some might argue in defense of the child pornography perpetrators.

“No further evidence is needed to show that ‘mental illness’ is not the name of a biological condition whose nature awaits to be elucidated, but is the name of a concept whose purpose is to obscure the obvious.”

Dr. Szasz also has this to say about our views on incarceration.

“The stated objective of our prison system is to re-habilitate those who are incarcerated.  But the truth is that most of those prisoners have never been habilitated to society in the first place.”

I can think of no two statements which ring truer than these when it comes to the members of this child porn ring.  And that leads me to an obvious question.  Are the sentences meted out to those who have been convicted so far just and fair?

It costs us approximately $25,000 a year to maintain one prisoner in our prison system.  Incidentally, that is three times the amount that a family with eight children would receive in terms of assistance in the State of Nevada.  Apparently, we are more generous in providing assistance to those who have broken the law than we are to those who have merely had the misfortune of being born into poverty.

What about the thousands of victims of this abuse.  Where is their recompense in all this?  If what one of the convicted men from Massachusetts, a married man with three children, said with respect to his own experience that as a boy he had been abused and this was the reason for his becoming an abuser, has this group not potentially loosed thousands of future child abusers on the world?

I have always struggled with society’s right to impose the death penalty on others, no matter how repugnant their behavior is.  I still struggle with that today.  Although I don’t advocate it, I do believe the individual has the right to take his or her own life if they see no alternate solution to their problems.

So my suggestion for an appropriate punishment for these men is this.  Keep them in solitary confinement in a darkened atmosphere deprived of all the sensory experiences which obviously feed them.  With each meal, provide a lethal tablet of some quick acting poison which they might either swallow or leave on their tray.  Let them decide whether they choose to live out their term under these conditions or take the quick way out.

Should they choose to exit this world, take the balance of the money that society has saved on the remainder of their incarceration and establish a fund for the children whom they abused.  I have no doubt that some of those children are going to need all the help they can get.

I would like to believe that there is good in everyone.  A quick review of the world’s reality suggests that is an optimistic but not realistic idea.  I can find no excuse to justify the perfidy that these men have exhibited.  After reading this story I  believe there are some people who have never been “habilitated” into society.  They are just EVIL.

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