Letters for April 4, 2013


Re: “No, you!” (Letters to the Editor, March 28):


You get over it!

Flombaye Krishnabob Ellison


Food for thought

Re “Designer Genes” (Green, March 28):

I believe Sage Leehey did a fine job of journalism, reporting both sides of an important, complicated issue in one short article. Leehey pointed out that the company patenting the new technology, Monsanto, performed adequate testing as required by the USDA who, in turn, reviewed the data and approved the release of these new organisms as “GRAS,” or “Generally Recognized as Safe.”

In another field, this research would be regarded as a conflict of interest and discarded as inappropriate.

Further researches conducted by independent scientific studies have found serious flaws in the Monsanto and USDA data.

Whether you believe that Monsanto has performed their testing with all due diligence and that the USDA would not allow harmful bioorganisms into our food supply and environment or you trust the independent studies and the reports of individuals and their health concerns, the ultimate answer is that you and I should be able to make our decisions freely, and not have this important information hidden from us.

The point is, as AB330 proposes, is to simple label genetically altered packaged foods found in our grocery stores so that we, the consumers, have the information to make our own decision as to what we want to put on our family’s plates.

Do you know what’s in your food? You might be surprised!

Steve Litsinger


Soil amendment

Re “Isn’t that special?” (Letters to the Editor, March 21):

Elizabeth Zbinden believes that the net proceeds tax on minerals is an additional tax burden on mining operations. It is not an additional tax on mines. In fact, it is a preferential method of appraising and assessing mineral deposits. All other property in the state is taxed on the value of the property and not on the annual net proceeds. Net proceeds are equivalent to annual net income rather than the value of the property. In order to arrive at the value of the property, an appraiser would divide the proceeds by the appropriate capitalization rate. Thus, the value of the ore deposit would be more than the annual proceeds.

Improvements (buildings, etc) at the mine are appraised and assessed just like all other property in the state. Preferential assessment is limited to the mineral deposit.

I recommend an informative book by Romanzo Adams, Taxation in Nevada: A History. The Nevada Historical Society published this book in 1918. Adams provided a thorough discussion of the controversy during the two constitutional conventions. It is clear from that discussion that mining interests were able to secure an exemption of mines from the general property tax for the tax on net proceeds. Two points are clear in that discussion. First, the net proceeds tax is not an additional burden. Instead, the net proceeds tax is in lieu of the general property tax. Second, from the time-consuming and expensive effort mining interests engaged in on the constitutional conventions, they obviously thought that it was a preferential method for assessing their property.

The point of industry-specific taxes raised by Zbinden deserves comment, too. A tax on insurance premiums constitutes a sizable portion of the state’s general fund. Another example is the tax on hotel and motel rooms. These are truly additional taxes on these industries. The net proceeds tax is not.

Glen Atkinson


Future kill

When it comes to Social Security, pay me back just what I’ve paid in now, no interest, we’ll call it even. Social Security has become nothing more than income tax to the government thrown into the general fund. Seems to me that it would make more sense to curb population growth instead of offering poor health care through Obamacare, which will contribute to older people dying early and eases the burden on government by having to pay Social Security benefits longer. Is this Obama’s master plan? Is having people die off early the way Obama plans to pay for Obamacare?

Mike Arp


Dog-owner baiter

Re Cynophobic letters (Letters to the Editor, March 14-28):

To the dog-hater who has been writing in: Dogs make life better for millions of people all over the world, every day, in hundreds of ways. What’s your story?

Barbara Meyer


Sunset in America

Re “Jury is not out on sequester” (The Liberty Belle, March 14):

The story regarding the sequester hit on several key points such as Congress isn’t willing to [cut their own spending], their salaries will go untouched, and fears of the sequester hurting the poor will most likely come true. I agree that the people have become numb to the economic situation unfolding around them. When we the people wake up, it may be to late for us to act on our given rights as a U.S. citizens, since our rights were taken away when Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act. At any given time the government can and will take from us our last and only means for change.

The words of our Founding Fathers as written in the Declaration of Independence: Whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.

Do we need to say more?

Congress and the government is broken, and we the people know it! The government is not going to fix itself. When they gave the power of the vote and the voice to the corporations they took away the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that was given to the people by our forefathers. When they put the power of the vote in the hands of the corporations for their own personal gain they became destructive of these ends.

The Declaration Of Independence further states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal that they are endowed by there creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Is the government giving us life and liberty? Or is it sucking the life out of the people for Congressmembers’ own personal gain? Is there pursuit of happiness for the people in the land of the free?

The power has been given to the people by our forefathers to make change and we the people can make that change. If the government no longer serves the purpose for which it was created—to serve the people—then it is broken.

If we do not come together and make that change then our voices at some point will fall silent within the walls of the NDAA.

Rick Carter

via email


In “The next scenes” (Arts & Culture, March 28), we reported that the film Massacre Creek would play the Black Box Film Festival. That film is still in pre-production and will not play the festival this year.