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August 30, 2014

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US policy of not paying ransoms for kidnapped Americans is on target
Before decapitating American photojournalist James Foley in the desert dirt, the insurgents of Islamic State sought — and failed — to persuade the United States to pay a multimillion-dollar ransom for his release. The United States, in keeping with its long-standing policy …
Little Leaguers showing the world another side of Vegas
For the first time, a team from Nevada is playing in the Little League World Series at Williamsport, Pa., and the kids of Mountain Ridge are doing our state proud. They should inspire us to present to the world another side of Las Vegas that we can all be proud of ...

Columnists »

Where I Stand »

Letters to the Editor

E-mail your submission. Letters to the editor should be no more than 250 words and include the writer’s name, address and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

Wealthy Bieber escapes justice
I guess money does talk. Justin Bieber cut a plea deal in a Miami DUI case if he takes a 12-hour anger-management course and donates $50,000 to charity.
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By Charles Berberian, Las Vegas
Don’t get involved in the ISIS mess
It’s time to address the hysterical overreaction to the ISIS threat. It does not have an air force or a navy, and it is much more of a threat to its fellow Muslims than it is to us.
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By Stan McClure, Las Vegas
Not all vehicles must be registered
In the Sunday letter “Will NRA back this plan?” the writer tried to draw an analogy between automobiles and firearms. He wrote: “Auto owners must register their autos when purchased and relicense and pay taxes every year. A person must be at least 16, in most if not all states, and have a license to operate the auto.” He concluded that firearms should have similar registration and licensing conditions.
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By John M. McGrail, Las Vegas
Idle minds in Ferguson
Some say an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Are the residents of Ferguson, Mo., at the workshop’s epicenter?
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By Richard Rychtarik, Las Vegas
Added sanctions may backfire
I had a tremendous opportunity at the end of July, as a member of a peace delegation, to visit my senators’ and representative’s offices in Washington, D.C. Berim.org and the Win Without War coalition sponsored the delegation.
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By Denise Kugler, Las Vegas
Ignoring Qatar’s role in ISIS threat
Isn’t it strange with all the discussion about what to do about the threat from ISIS — should we bomb the group in Syria, perhaps reconsider “boots on the ground,” etc. — I haven’t seen a single word about doing something about stopping ISIS’ major sponsor, Qatar.
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By Harold Wasserman, North Las Vegas
How Obama can appease the GOP
I recently read Republicans are angered by President Barack Obama having the audacity to take a vacation and play some golf. I think I’ve come up with a plan that will help the president relax and will meet with the approval of Republicans (especially Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain) in the hard-working, never-take-a-break Congress.
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By Terry Cox, Henderson
Columnist off-base about disease
Michael Hiltzik, columnist for the Los Angeles Times, obviously has not had a loved one die of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. His Saturday column about the ice bucket challenge is a travesty. He implies that since ALS is a rare disease, far outstripped by many other conditions, it does not warrant so much attention and money.
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By Susan Katz, Henderson
Reason behind teacher shortages
What other profession offers raises for the first 12 years of employment and then expects those employees to work for 18 more years without a raise? No cost-of-living raises for going on six years means most …
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By Jeremy Christensen, Las Vegas
Tax-paying secularist objects
Tax the churches (and temples, mosques, etc.). It needs to be said. And while we’re at it, let’s stop pretending that religious institutions aren’t in the business of …
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By David Klamann, Las Vegas

Other Voices »

  • The president who won’t look at me
    I have a complaint about our president. Mine differs from the complaints from kooks convinced he’s a Kenyan-conceived commie committed to conspiracy to convert our country to a caliphate.
  • Kicking the football habit unless game changes
    A few years ago, I began to feel guilty about watching football. What started it were the revelations about brain damage we now know the game caused in many retired players. But there was plenty more — the cynical commercialization of the sport, its cultish celebration of violence and the more subtle ways in which football warps our societal attitudes about race, gender and sexual orientation.
  • Truth about patient No. 9413
    My mother was a woman hollowed out like a tree struck by lightning. I wanted to know why.
  • Why Obama won’t abandon Israel
    The ongoing Gaza crisis seems to have broken a lot of crockery in the U.S.-Israel relationship.
  • Black, white and baseball in Philadelphia
    If you were looking last week for a thread of hope amid all the hurt in America and savagery abroad, for something to thrill to and cheer about, this is where you found it, on a baseball diamond in central Pennsylvania that really did amount to a field of dreams.
  • Our thoroughly modern enemies
    In his remarks on the murder of James Foley, the American journalist decapitated by the terrorists of the Islamic State, President Barack Obama condemned Foley’s killers, appropriately, as a “cancer” on the Middle East and the world. But he also found room for the most Obama-ish of condemnations: “One thing we can all agree on,” he insisted, is that the would-be caliphate’s murderous vision has “no place in the 21st century.”
  • The making of a global disaster
    Almost 13 years after 9/11, a jihadi organization with a murderous anti-Western ideology controls territory in Iraq and Syria, which are closer to Europe and the United States than Afghanistan is. It commands resources and camps and even a Syrian military base. It spreads its propaganda through social media. It has set the West on edge through the recorded beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley — with the promise of more to come.
  • Gift horses gone wild
    It’s a tribute to the level of terrible news we’ve been inundated with this summer that the corruption trial of ex-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell may qualify as a feel-good story. Unless, of course, you are McDonnell.
  • The president’s golf address
    Fore! Score? And 7 trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal when it comes to spending as much time on the links as possible — even when it seems totally inappropriate, like moments after making a solemn statement condemning the grisly murder of a 40-year-old American journalist beheaded by the Islamic State.
  • When mistakes become deadly
    To be young, male and black in America means not being allowed to make mistakes. Forgetting this, as we’ve seen so many times, can be fatal.
  • America’s war game
    The NFL will be visiting London this year. Three regular-season games are set for Wembley Stadium, where the NFL has touched down annually since 2007.
  • Israel and the US might want to rethink Iron Dome’s usefulness
    Strategically speaking, the Iron Dome antimissile shield, precisely because of its effectiveness, has been disastrous for Israel: It has saved Hamas from destruction and has helped to seriously undermine Israel’s image as a civilized state in the eyes of many in the West.
  • Are police departments in America overmilitarized and underaccountable?
    Americans have been transfixed for more than a week now by the protests in Ferguson, Mo., sparked when an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a police officer.
  • Arts feed curiosity, creativity, connection
    We need to keep teaching the arts in our schools. Classes in the arts are where kids learn that they can improvise and by making something up, make something new and better.
  • ‘Every student in every classroom’
    A friend of mine who owns a technology company recently told me, “In my line of business, if you’re doing something the same way you did it six months ago, you’re doing it wrong.” I don’t know if change is happening that rapidly in education, but sometimes it sure feels like it.