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Speak Up!

On the Soapbox

"Winner-take-all" should be re-considered

Each election there are some who want to change how we elect the President. Specifically, there are calls to do away with the Electoral College.

I believe the Electoral College is a valid and vital concept. What I disagree with is that the electoral votes are awarded on a "winner take all" basis per State.

America is a "melting pot", not a "mixing bowl"

This last election has shown the continuing trend in American politics to do away with the "melting pot" of America.

We saw ad after ad target specific groups of people in an attempt to convince them to vote as a whole and not give individual thought to a given issue. Two of the more blatant examples covered immigration and support for Israel.

I am reminded of two terms from chemistry that are often confused: "compound" and "mixture."

The Death Penalty

The ability to take a citizen's life as punishment for committing a crime is one of the defining attributes of a sovereign nation. It is something that should never be imposed lightly.

Tonight we saw two state executions take place, one in Georgia, the other in Texas. The execution in Texas was that of Lawrence Brewer. The crime for which he was executed was so brutal it was part of the inspiration for hate-crime legislation.

The Next Great Infrastructure Project

Brian Greenspun, publisher and editor of the Las Vegas Sun, had this to say in his editorial from today:

Pat [Mulroy]’s idea is simple. It is a pipeline that would take the rising water away from the Mississippi River and transport it westward to the Colorado River where, frankly, water is in very short supply. Over the next decade or so, many millions of Baby Boomers will be retiring to the Southwest, putting a further demand on the diminishing water supply. It makes perfect sense that we should take the water no one wants and move it to a place where everyone needs it. The only thing in the way is an old argument about water laws that should no longer, well, hold water. Whatever that pipeline costs can probably be offset by the next few years of flood damage. That’s a pretty good return on investment.

Small voter turnout may not be bad

First, I want to congratulate the winners of Tuesday's elections. But even more, I want to thank all of the candidates who ran for their desire to serve the public.

Jon Ralston made the following observation in a tweet Tuesday night: "These small numbers -- 50K votes in #lvmayor, few thousand or hundreds in others -- show why these muni races should be in even years, too."

In the Forums

Obama ridicules Bank of America $5 month-to-month debit card costs

Bank of America's decision to charge consumers $5 per month to use a debit card has started a firestorm of protest that has reached the executive office of United States government. As reported by ABC News, President Obama is among the more expressive crit-ics. Bank of America and the rest of the U.S. banking market didn't miss a beat in lashing back at Obama.

Affleck film used in debt ceiling discussions

House majority Whip McCarthy (R-Calif.) used a snap from the movie "The Town" during the debt ceiling talks Tuesday. The snap was meant to motivate House Republicans to back Speaker John Boehner's debt plan. Article resource - Ben Affleck weighs in on movie clip used in debt debates by Newsytype.com.

This happens in the movies

Call for nuclear power and Yucca Mtn

In keeping with our stated principle of energy independance, I submit that we should strongly support the increased production of power by nuclear energy. I view this as an interim solution to help us reduce our reliance on oil, much of which is imported, with an eye towards sustainable sources in the long term.

Sen. Harry Reid and the oldest profession

Senator Harry Reid has certainly stirred up a hornet nest with his speech today in Carson City. (You can find the prepared text of his speech here.)


Should Nevada have the Lottery?

This question is being brought up as a means to help increase revenue for the schools.

The strongest and most common argument against having one is that it hurts poor people more than helps them. I understand this argument and accept that it has some validity.

But here in Nevada we have a different environment than elsewhere.

Our poor (and not so poor) are already chasing their dreams at the local casinos. Plus, given that the California state line is so close to our major population centers many are already playing the lottery and sending that money to California.

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