Letters for February 28, 2019
Re “Plutonium” (letters, Feb. 7):
I would like to suggest more attention be paid to noting the source of information used to prove a point of view and more attention to the pros and cons of the situation.
Duarte reported that 80 percent of the science and engineering community accept that Yucca Mountain is safe. What is the source of this percentage data? Does this include all science and engineers in the country? Is it rather those who are experts in the field of nuclear safety and earthquake safety? Have these experts examined this Nevada facility? What are the specific pros of storing plutonium safely? What makes it safe? What are the “strategic reasons” and “national security issues” involved in storing plutonium? What are the cons regarding the issue? It is nice that some people believe that reprocessing technology will eventually find a way to deal with these wastes, but what research is being done now to discover that possible solution? Does the Department of Energy itself have a political bias?
Hale attended the 1974 Salt Lake City hearing on the Atomic Energy Commission environmental impact statement about storage of nuclear wastes in Nevada. At this hearing, what positives emerged for storage in Yucca Mountain? What cons were considered or not considered? How was the issue of earthquake threat addressed? What experts in the field of nuclear storage were consulted? Since 1974 was a long time ago, what new developments in science and engineering are of interest? Experts at our own UNR might be able to address the threat of earthquakes on such a facility. What pros and cons concern current engineers and scientists in the field? What issues from the court cases might need to be reexamined?
Given the disastrous nuclear power experiences in Japan and Russia, it is essential that safety be addressed. Perhaps some local high school or college debaters could help in constructing balanced unemotional discussions. They have been taught how to do this and could instruct politicians, candidates, citizens, and government officials.
So now Trump is labeling discussion of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office as “illegal and treasonous.” Ironically, he is merely adding to the already large stack of evidence that he truly is incompetent. He proves that he either hasn’t actually read the amendment or that he doesn’t really understand it and the incredibly strong safeguards it contains.
The first of the nearly insurmountable hurdles would be for his own vice president and a majority of his cabinet members to become co-conspirators in this supposed act of treason, declaring him “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” These are the same sycophants whom he personally chose and who have been captured on camera telling Mr. Trump what a fantastic president he is and what an honor it is to serve his agenda. Plus, use of “and” in the amendment’s wording implies that the vice president must be a part of this first group of co-conspirators. If Mike Pence isn’t on board, the process is dead in its tracks from the start.
The next safeguard in the amendment says that the president can then declare himself fit and resume his duties as before. This would force the aforementioned traitors to repeat their declaration that the president is unfit, and further consideration of the issue then progresses to Congress. At that point, two thirds of the House members and two thirds of the senators have to join the treasonous conspiracy in order to finally remove Trump from office. Does discussing the possibility of invoking the 25th amendment really amount to “illegal and treasonous” activity, as Trump and Fox News claim? Perhaps the 25th amendment was really written as a trap that would embolden traitors to expose themselves so that they could be properly dealt with by a furious president.
Are there any other portions of the Constitution that Trump considers to prescribe illegal and treasonous procedures? One thing is clear. We have a president with only a vague understanding of constitutional law, and meager inclinations to follow it.
Re “His own man” (Arts & Culture, Feb 27):
We reported that Clark County Sen. Joe Neal never achieved a casino tax hike. In fact, in 2003—Neal’s last legislature—a half-percent increase was enacted with his support as part of a package of taxes.