Letters for March 14, 2019

One Man’s temple

Re “Temple Tales” (Feature Story, March 7):

I’ve been 14 years at Burning Man and attend all Man burn and Temple burns. Only David Best’s Temple of Grace made me cry uncontrollably with immense gratitude as it pirouetted down.

I realized that that was a one-time event I shouldn’t expect again—like so many other one time events I’ve experienced at Burning Man. I will attend Mr. Van Der Bosch’s Temple with acceptance—yes, mixed with skepticism, but with judgment withheld.

My purpose is to experience it for what it will be, and decide after it burns—or perhaps not decide even then.

Gerald Fleischmann

Fountain Valley, Calif.

Re “Temple Tales” (Feature Story, March 7):

The temple is the best kept secret at Burning Man. It is the center of healing and a portal to the universe.

Al Boehnlein

Ann Arbor, Mich.

Re “Temple Tales” (Feature story, March 7):

What does the Burning Man temple mean to me? The $100,000 that Burning Man gives to the temple builder is literally enough money to buy all materials needed to build a three- or four-bedroom, two-bath house. And the thousands of man-hours spent building the temple would be enough to cover most, if not all, of the approximately 6,000 man-hours needed to build a house.

I have built my own houses, and I have helped to build houses with Habitat for Humanity and another organization. Those houses are still standing, and still sheltering families, and will do so for decades. They will not be intentionally burned down in order to entertain people.

Spending tens (hundreds?) of thousands of dollars and thousands of man-hours to build a structure to entertain burners for a week is a disgusting misapplication of resources.

Michael Powell


State votes

Re “Presidential elector change proposed” (news, Jan. 31):

This story has two misleading errors in it: 1) The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) does not “circumvent the winner-take-all provisions of some state laws” (actually all but two). If adopted by Nevada and activated by enough states to hold 270 or more EV, it will continue to mandate as before that Nevada chooses a slate of electors pledged to vote unanimously for a certain single slate for president and vice president in accord with the Constitution and 12th amendment.

What it does is mandate that the slate of electors chosen will be the one pledged to the Presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote and not just the plurality in Nevada itself. Otherwise nothing changes, and continuing with Nevada casting winner take all in for the national plurality candidate is a key part of how it works.

2) While I think the question of whether electors can be bound to vote as pledged or not is important, it is not directly relevant here. NPVIC does not deal with it, and so mentioning it here is confused and confusing.

To be sure, if we bear in mind the Compact can include states holding more electoral votes than the minimum majority of 270, and that non-Compact member states are likely to include at least some voting for the same candidate the older way, with NPVIC in place and active, it would require a very large number of faithless electors to derail the will of the people, while recent presidential elections have hinged on very small numbers of electoral votes—so we are more vulnerable to faithless electors and should be more worried about them if we don’t have NPVIC than if we do!

Mark H. Foxwell


Editor’s note: Our story was not intended to deal solely with NPVIC. We often provide background on the immediate topic.