Letters for May 22, 2014
Bundy has a point
Re “Patriotic Hypocrisy” (Left Foot Forward, May1):
Sheila Leslie should check her facts. Her allegation of Cliven Bundy calling a second press conference the next day to “explain himself” is false. The reporter from the New York Times published, as did Media Matters, a 30-second blurb, taken out of context, from this press conference, and ran with it in a deliberate attempt to smear Bundy as a racist. The press conference in its entirety (not the edited version) was available online when the story broke.
While Bundy may be inarticulate and unsophisticated in his expression, those who viewed the full press conference know that Bundy was not being racist. He was presenting the concept, from his own observation of a particular group of black people in Las Vegas public housing, as to whether these people were better off having traded one form of slavery for another—that being slavery to the federal government, on which they have become dependent for all their needs. Many of us, including many black people—Alan Keyes for one—knew exactly what Bundy was saying. At the heart is government control over every aspect of one’s life and the consequences.
We all know Bundy hasn’t paid his fees to the Bureau of Land Management, but the press has largely ignored why, as well as the duties of those ranchers who use public lands for grazing. When the BLM started charging ranchers grazing fees, the ranchers were told they would help offset the ranchers’ cost of upkeep on these lands. Bundy contends that the BLM used the fees to buy out, mostly below market value, the ranchers they were driving out of business. In other words, buying them out with their own money. Ranchers, out of their own pocket, build miles of fences, water lines, put up water tanks, as well as practice conservation of natural habitat. If there is a loose staple, missing nail, or a rail off kilter, the BLM (or USFS) can cite the rancher, resulting in the confiscation of any number of head of cattle, fines, or revocation of rights.
These are the tactics being used, that have been used for decades, to drive the family ranchers out of business throughout the West. There are an untold number of examples of this. Similar tactics are being used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency to restrict or eliminate family farms. The environmentalists and “greenies” are being used to further this agenda by the use of “endangered species.” The desert tortoise proliferates throughout the Southwest. It is not and probably never was endangered. Water to California farmers was shut down a few days ago because of the Delta smelt. A ranching couple in Colorado just had their water source for their cattle all but completely fenced off, even though they have riparian rights, because of some “jumping mouse.” Not paying grazing fees is a civil, not criminal matter. People need to ask why the BLM (an agency which was meant to practice “stewardship” of the public land) raids a ranch in the early morning hours, with 200-plus snipers, armed federal agents in full body armor, private contractors, attack dogs, tasers, and helicopters, and then proceeds to create a “free speech” zone, a “no fly” zone over the ranch, and blocks cell communication. Over grazing fees? Hardly.
People need to wake up. Everything happening in our country—including anthropogenic global warming, Common Core education, gun control and the disarming of America, our militarized police, government run healthcare, and the attempt by government to collect data on every aspect of our lives while keeping us under constant surveillance—is all part of implementing United Nations Agenda 21. Once believed to be the delusion of “conspiracy theorists,” U.N. Agenda 21 is now a fact. All one has to do is go to the U.N. website. Everyone in America needs to familiarize themselves with what it entails, and its ultimate goal. The internet has a vast wealth of information, or I would recommend Rosa Koire’s book, Behind The Green Mask.
Well, it’s cheap
Re “Buy a candidate” (Editorial, May 8):
How can you buy a candidate when they have already been bought? The power of the vote has been lost to the power of the dollar. We the people need to realize that our vote no longer counts. It serves no other purpose than to make us think that we have a say in the political outcome. As for the media, can they be trusted? Or has their trust gone to money, corporations and politics? The government and media are both broken and no longer serve the people. When we the people realize this is when we the people can start to make a change. The power of the vote belongs to the people, not the corporations and their money.
Only in government
Can you mandate how much your boss will pay you?
At the April 30 Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) board meeting, the three governor-appointed commissioners unanimously voted themselves 19-21 percent pay increases. No checks and balances by an oversight body were necessary.
One of the justifications offered was to compare themselves with Gaming Control Board members, an agency with four times the budget and staff and that generates almost $900 million of annual revenue. Except for a few fines and fees, the PUCN generates no revenue for the state. It is a cost center.
Money to operate this agency comes from an unidentified tax buried in each of our monthly utility bills.
Eleven other job functions were also given pay raises up to 24 percent. The executive director claims it is a national job market, but salary surveys of comparable jobs were limited to Nevada alone.
Are these enormous percentage increases appropriate when so many Nevadans are still struggling and nationwide unemployment, even among highly-trained and experienced professionals, is still widespread?
An even bigger question: Should any state board members or commissioners have the ability to raise their own salaries without oversight and approval by some other body?
Black Tower rising
The Black Tower strikes again. This time “stealing” from the poor and giving to the police. By the wizardry of NRS 268.780-785, called Special Assessment District (S.A.D.), the homeowners of downtown Reno—whether they can afford it or not—are, by the wisdom of our city fathers/mothers, now going to bear an additional tax exaction, besides property and sewer taxes, to pay for more police presence. No Guardian Angels need apply when it’s a matter of employing 14 men and women in blue who all have been highly trained and educated in constitutional, common law rights, I’m sure, to respect the people’s rights—you know, rights protection officers.
Unfortunately for the less fortunate among us, there is no provision for hardship determination or exemption for SADs as there is, interestingly, for local improvement (districts) as described in NRS 271.357. Such is the sad news from the spokesmouth of Stephen L. Hardesty, management analyst and assessment district coordinator for the city of Reno. No matter that Reno and most of the country are still struggling in the throes of the Great Recession. No matter that there are unemployed, elderly, disabled, retired folks approaching or living on the edge. Downtown Reno just has to have more police and their programs, above and beyond the general revenues already coming in. Nobody rational wants a “crime state;” but neither should anyone want a “police state” at the cost of one’s financial survival. Good people are being leaned on harder than ever by the Reno City Council and their agencies.