By DR. LARRY MOSES
This column marks the 10th anniversary of writing a column for the Moapa Valley Progress. I thought it would be a good time to revisit what that column looked like. This might fit into the series of articles, from the past, that have been featured recently in the Moapa Valley Progress. So here is the very first column I ever wrote. It is amazing how much things change and how much they stay the same.
No one asked me but… This is the first of what may become a regular column in the Moapa Valley Progress. After a number of discussions with the paper’s staff, I have decided to try my hand at something that I have often thought about doing. I guess I never really thought I would do it but with some encouragement, I will undertake the effort. As I told Tim Robison, this column will deal with a wide variety of issues. As an historian, I am aware of the effect of the really great columnist have had on the development of the United States and how people have loved some and hated others. I do not hold any hope that this column with rival “Poor Richard,” but heck, I knew Ben Franklin and I am no Ben Franklin. Many of the columns may deal with educational issues since that is where I lived for so many years. However, as this first column will evidence, any issue is open for opinion. The fact that I may not know much about an issue will not keep me from commenting; it is the privilege of the old. I will remind the reader this column is merely the observations of an old fellow who probably has more time on his hands than is healthy. Someone needs to review these retirement programs. Therefore, here goes the first attempt at becoming the next John Smith.
No one asked me but… Bruce Woodbury is one of a dying breed, a true public servant in an elected position. Bruce has truly been a friend of Moapa Valley. Bruce is a commissioner who has always dealt with any issue with dignity and class. He has been able to complete projects without being in the news; he just gets the job done. It would be wonderful if all elected officials attended a Bruce Woodbury school of ethics. I understand he is up for re-election and we in this valley should throw our complete support to Bruce.
No one asked me but… More Americans need to read and study the Constitution to understand how little the present government, on all levels, pays attention to it. A great place to start is a book entitled THE CONSTITUTION: A BIOGRAPHY by Akil Reed Amar, a Constitutional Law professor from Yale University. Unfortunately, we have become too comfortable in our life style and intimidated by the very government we elect to do much about it.
No one asked me but… It seems strange that a country that could feed the entire world is importing food from places like China. At a time when we subsidize farmers in America not to grow crops, we import inferior products from other countries. Speaking of China, I see where they pledge not to import any more toys with lead based paint to America. Does that mean that they will still produce such toys but will sell them to parents in other countries?
No one asked me but… I think it is kind of neat that a member of our community was awarded the Medal of Valor, the highest award for bravery issued by the Metropolitan Police Department. Sgt. Robert Schulz was given this medal for his actions against a criminal who ambushed him and then took a hostage in Las Vegas. Rob sustained a number of injuries but still apprehended the culprit. He is in his 29th year and is not talking retirement. I worked with Rob when he headed up the Metro unit in the valley and I was the principal of the high school. We worked on a couple of sheriff campaigns; I think we lost them both but it was a great adventure.
No one asked me but… The testing culture of the public schools in America is insane. Have you seen the practice math test on line? I challenge you go on line and take the exam. It can be found by going to Google and typing in Nevada State Practice Math Proficiency Test. If you complete the test and still feel that every American must have that level of math skills to be a proficient member of society, more power to you. While all knowledge is desirable not all knowledge is needed to be a proficient member of society. I believe what should be done is to have every legislator, state and federal, take the test and whatever their average score is this should become the score needed to get a passing grade for the graduating senior. I am willing to bet the cutting score would be lower than it is presently. If any legislator not able to meet the present cutting score had to resign their position, I bet you would see a drop in the cutting score of the test. I wonder how many of our school board members have taken and passed the test.
No one asked me but… It seems strange that a Wildlife Management Area would be closed because of cows. Now I must admit that I was raised in the city and I am afraid of any animal that weighs more than 100 pounds. However, a “Wildlife Management Area” is closed because of cows. Steven Irwin must have rolled in his grave. It was done to protect the hunters. Aren’t these the guys with guns? Tell me it was closed because of lions and tigers or bears- o’ my—but cows?
No one asked me but… A slogan from the Revolutionary War was “No taxation without representation.” Americans have come to learn that taxation with representation is not so great either.
Thought of the week… “The taxpayer: That’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service exam.”
– Ronald Reagan