LETTERS: We must save the Jupiterian tortoise

To the editor:

I see that scientists have discovered that the Great Red Spot on Jupiter — which is actually a giant storm — is shrinking (“Jupiter’s Great Red Spot seems to be shrinking,” Saturday Review-Journal online). These same scientists are saying that follow-up studies are necessary to figure out what is happening to Jupiter’s atmosphere, no doubt at great taxpayer expense in the form of perpetual grants to these intellectually incestuous learned men.

Let’s just cut to the chase and save us all a lot of time and money. The inhabitants of Jupiter are driving their ammonia-powered vehicles way too much, producing excess hydrocarbons and mercury. This in turn is shrinking the Great Red Spot, inversely proportional to our own hole in the ozone layer (gasp!), and threatens the endangered Jupiterian tortoise. The science is settled, the debate is over. Now move along.



BLM bullying Bundy

To the editor:

Over the past several weeks, I have watched with interest the response from the media and the public to the cattle grazing conflict between the Bureau of Land Management and rancher Cliven Bundy. Most of the media attention has been a result of unbridled emotions and shooting from the hip. No one has stopped to analyze the situation and conditions regarding this case.

Mr. Bundy has been referred to as everything from an idiot to a gun-toting jerk living off of government welfare. I guarantee you he is none of those things. People making such allegations are completely ignorant as to what is required to operate and manage a cattle operation, as the Bundy family has for the past 140 years. A cattle operation requires backbreaking labor from daylight ‘til dark, seven days a week, 365 days a year. To manage a cattle operation, a person must be part financial manager, veterinarian, marketing expert, animal nutritionist, crop manager and range manager.

It must be recognized that the Bundy ranch abided by the BLM grazing requirement for decades, until 1993, when the desert tortoise became an issue and the BLM reduced Mr. Bundy’s grazing quota to 150 head. It was either the BLM’s intention to force Mr. Bundy out of business, or the agency was completely ignorant as to the herd size required to maintain a cattle operation such as his. It could not be done with a grazing allotment of 150 head.

There was no consideration given to the fact that cattle and desert tortoises had co-existed compatibly on the range since 1877, when cattle first began grazing that area. There is probably no doubt it was the intention of the BLM to force Mr. Bundy out of the cattle business. Why should Mr. Bundy pay the BLM to manage him out of business?

I salute Mr. Bundy and his friends for having the courage to stand up to the BLM and big government. Be assured this is only one case out of many in which the BLM and big government have used bullying and Gestapo tactics against other ranchers to force them out of business.

Mr. Bundy by himself doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning against the federal government. His only chance is if his friends and concerned citizens stand by and support him. It appears that guns are the only thing that the BLM seems to understand. If Mr. Bundy is forced out of business, the grazing potential will become another resource wasted by our all-knowing government.



Education in Nevada

To the editor:

Report cards are coming out, both for the students and for the educators. Why do I say that? Because how our kids advance or fail in learning is a direct result of the way they are taught.

The first three years of schooling are devoted to teaching students how to read, how to write and how to do basic math. They are regularly tested to ascertain their progress. But then the system goes astray. Far too many of these students aren’t performing at an acceptable level, but are promoted to the next grade anyway. This sets them up for failure. How in the world is this happening?

For the system to pass these students through nine more years of education with this level of learning is criminal. How are they going to get jobs? Industries expect an employee, even at the entrance level, to have basic skills such as reading comprehension, the ability to add, subtract, etc., and the ability to understand instructions. If students are unable to do these things, they are unemployable.

There needs to be an objective examination of our education system to find the causes of its problems, and recommendations made on how to fix the system. To get an objective look, it will have to be done by people with no direct chance of gain in what is adopted. Consultation with educators will have to be held, of course, but the decisions must be to improve the learning process for the children. In other words, put the kids first.

If this is not done soon, another generation of students will be shortchanged and forced into a life of poverty and dependence. We, the parents and taxpayers, are better than that. And our kids deserve better.



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