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Harry Reid is embarrassing Nevada

To the editor:

In his Sunday column, Geoff Schumacher states that Nevadans should give Harry Reid more pats on the back for undermining the president because “a large majority of Americans are sick of empty rhetoric about … Iraq.” I haven’t seen a poll stating that anyone was “sick.”

I have seen polls that state that Americans aren’t happy with progress in Iraq. Count me in. I have seen polls which state that Americans would like the troops home. Count me in. But based on these two statements, Mr. Schumacher would include me in his “majority.” Wrong.

Where is the poll which states that the American public is in favor of doing something so stupid as to cut and run? Too many pundits read what they want to believe into polls; when the questions in the polls are very narrowly structured and almost never have adequate follow-up questions.

Affecting the current funding for the war effort, as Harry Reid is threatening to do, is naive, irresponsible and stupid. It is a shame that Mr. Schumacher and Sen. Reid don’t understand. And even if Sen. Reid were correct in his beliefs, he has an obligation not to undermine the president and the troops. There is a long-standing tradition that our internal disagreements stop at the border; that tradition has served us well. Violating that tradition in a shallow attempt to attack the other party embarrasses Nevada.

There are many ways to convey to the administration an opposite viewpoint without a news conference or threats. The Democrats are supposed to be the loyal opposition. They have the opposition part nailed, but seem to have lost sight of the “loyal.”

Sen. Reid doesn’t need a pat on the back — he needs to be replaced. Nevada needs representatives who put their country ahead of their party and their egos.

Patrick S. Sharp


Partisan politics

To the editor:

In the Monday article, “Close call for Hafen surprising,” Andy Hafen’s campaign manager, Matt Higginson, stated that partisanship was brought into the nonpartisan Ward 2 election for Henderson City Council; that “the parties have never gotten involved like this before”; and that “the margin never would have been so slim if not for a letter encouraging voters to cast ballots for (Mr. Hafen’s opponent Thomas) Wagner that was sent by e-mail to registered Henderson Republicans the day before the election.”

Mr. Hafen echoes this sentiment with: “There’s no room for partisan politics at the local level.”

Did Mr. Higginson and Mr. Hafen forget about the letter I received as a Ward 2 resident, in which Democratic Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson encouraged me to vote for Mr. Hafen?

I received Mr. Gibson’s letter at least a week before the election; the e-mail that Mr. Hafen blames would have come too late for any voters who hit the polls for early voting.

Considering that it was Mr. Gibson’s letter endorsing Mr. Hafen that convinced me to vote for Mr. Wagner, perhaps these gentlemen should be looking inward to discover what they did wrong instead of blaming outside forces for the close call. Mr. Hafen seems to forget that he won, and should be thankful instead of casting post-election muck.

It is exactly this kind of political spin and finger pointing, along with a firmly held belief that anyone who desires to serve his community in a political capacity should be given the chance to do so, that has me voting to oust long-term politicians at just about every level. I welcome a recount, and will cross my fingers for Mr. Wagner yet again.



Protection racket

To the editor:

In your Monday editorial you revisited “the tale of Microsoft’s cold-dunk baptism into the Washington protection racket.” I would like to point out that the protection money forced out of big companies such as Microsoft and Wal-Mart does not just protect them — it protects all of us to some extent.

The S&P 500 closed at a high of 1,527 on March 24, 2000. The next week a judge ruled against Microsoft in the Clinton administration’s “anti-trust” extortion against the company. The handwriting was on the wall. It was clear to the market that the Washington powers were intent on destroying anything and anyone who is successful and does not cough up enough money to them and their special interests. The new high-tech U.S. industry had been put on notice that nothing they created would ever be safe. That was a signal to “get out” while you still could.

The long slide in the S&P 500 continued, and hundreds of billions of dollars of market value were erased until the S&P finally hit bottom at 769 (a 50 percent loss) on Oct. 10, 2002. And guess what? A few weeks later, on Nov. 1, 2002, Microsoft settled, and the long recovery began. In exchange for a few billion dollars from Microsoft, the Justice Department destroyed about half a trillion dollars in wealth.

Too bad Microsoft did not begin paying the protection money sooner. Maybe we could have salvaged something from the financial disaster caused by the Washington protection racket gang.

John M. McGrail


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