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Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic

To the editor:

In 1912, Capt. Edward Smith maintained to the dismal end his promise that his ship was unsinkable. The five containment areas below the hull would keep the ship afloat if any one of the areas was breached, he said.

Would that he could add lifeboats even after the Titanic struck an iceberg, creating a situation so dire as to guarantee that the promise could not be kept, one might surmise he still would have chosen to maintain the status quo.

Had the Review-Journal editorial board been covering the story and interviewing passengers who said they thought the ship was sinking, you might well have criticized their lack of specificity and pointed out the strength of Capt. Smith in keeping a promise in the face of such adversity.

Clearly, the wet passengers could not say exactly when the ship was going down. How many life rafts would they need? You would point out that “enough” is not a quantifiable answer.

The state of Nevada has hit an iceberg on the watch of Capt. Jim Gibbons, who has proposed the creation of cuts that negate the impact of our favorable tax structure in growing and diversifying our economy. Even with the “Draconian” California tax laws, every day corporations choose to locate to our neighbor to the west, despite our lower tax costs. Why is that?

Perhaps your newspaper could be at least as specific on that count as Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley. This is a challenge I think you may not meet.

Bob Stuart


Give it up, guv

To the editor:

I read John L. Smith’s Sunday column speculating that Gov. Jim Gibbons proposed these insane budget cuts because he plans to run for re-election and will tout himself as “tough on taxes.”

Mr. Smith said he couldn’t figure out the governor’s motivations, and neither can I. This governor has provided no vision since he took office — only national news stories about his various scandals. And now he wants to cut higher education funding by one-third.

I hope the Legislature can come up with a better plan. I don’t want to live in a state that is ridiculed not only for our embarrassing governor, but also for being last in the nation for education.

Nicole Scholvinck


Pay cuts

To the editor:

Just a few questions for teachers complaining about possible pay cuts.

How many Nevada workers in all professions have had a pay cut? Tax the heck out of business to make up the difference? How many business owners are running in the red trying to make it through this hard time, and how many haven’t made it?

Get in line with all the others who have taken a pay cut during these hard times and thank God you still have a job, unlike those with the ultimate pay cut: unemployment.

Brian Bresee


Unfunded liabilities

To the editor:

We are faced with two problems: unfunded liabilities with the state pension system and unfunded liabilities with Social Security. We can’t afford the state retirement system, and we need to give more taxes to Social Security.

Here’s a solution: Put all state and municipal “public servants” hired after July 1 under Social Security. That would create less future liability for the state system, and eventually that liability will die off. It would also put more money into Social Security.

Right now, the taxpayers outnumber the government workers. We need to push this while we still have a small voice in Carson City.

Robert Raider



To the editor:

In response to Jack Clark’s letter of Jan. 15, “Plate politics”:

Whether a personalized plate number is listed as available or unsuitable on the Department of Motor Vehicles Web site is only a starting point. The decision to issue a requested combination is always made by the staff.

The law, Nevada Administrative Code Chapter 482, specifically spells out what sort of personalized plate numbers are prohibited. Any requests that might fall into a gray area are forwarded to an inter-agency committee. And, finally, a motorist always has the right to appeal the department’s decision at an administrative hearing.

Mr. Clark refers to the plate combinations OBAMA, NOBAMA and NOBUSH. None of these are suitable under the above law, which, in part, bans plate combinations that express contempt, ridicule or superiority of race, ethnic heritage, religion, gender or political affiliation.

The OBAMA plate was issued through simple human error before our president became a major candidate. It is now expired, and we will consider a recall of this plate if we receive a formal complaint on it. A motorist applied for NOBAMA and was denied, causing that combination to be listed as unsuitable on the department Web site. No one has ever applied for NOBUSH, and so that plate was never considered. It showed as available on the Web site not because of any political consideration, but because it had never been listed as unsuitable.

It would be impossible to try to think of and list every objectionable plate combination, and the department has never done so. But, once again, just because a plate is listed as available on the DMV Web site does not mean it will be issued. This is clearly stated on the site along with the specifics of the law.

Kevin R. Malone



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