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This, That and the Other
by Ken Mahal, NSC President
Originally published on  December 11, 2008 - reprinted with permission


   A diminishing number of us remembered Pearl Harbor Day and where we were on that infamous day in 1941. Sixty seven years is a long time to remember any event and in particular December 7th 1941. In my case I had just lost my job on the 5th and was in Minneapolis when the attack was announced. I was staying with a buddy of mine who in 1942 would be best man for Agnes and my marriage on December 26th 1942. Right, our marriage was the day after Christmas and would you believe it my dear wife until recently had always forgotten what happened that day after Christmas so many years ago.
Now of course both of us may have trouble in just remembering who we are in this day and age when so many things are happening to us and everyone in the entire world. It looks more and more like we have another kind of destabilizing event that most of us would rather we could skip but wont be able to. Anyway happy Pearl Harbor Day if such a thing could ever have anything happy about it.


   As projected by Tim Tetz Executive Director of the Nevada Office of Veterans Services there were about 150 veterans from several wars who met at the Cannery East casino for an all day work session on Saturday December 6th. It was a full day session with veterans and Cathy McClain of the legislature who met to discuss issues that might make it to the legislature and how to go about being heard in Carson City when the legislature convenes in February of 2009. You might be interested in knowing that there are 339,235 Veterans living in Nevada which is one of the larger per capita populations in any state. In the country as a whole there are an estimated 23,700,000 veterans with approximately 1,000 WWII vets passing away each day. Of the total veterans living about 1,745,000 are women GIs. I found it rather amazing that I, an ole timer had to remind them that another way to communicate with the legislature is by use of the Internet. It doesnít make a difference who you speak with there is always some special interest group who thinks their interest is more important than anyone else's. So is it any wonder that the legislature ends up with thousands of bill requests for new laws to be enacted into the books at every new session every two years? And if our legislature met every year we would just have more requests for new laws, so maybe we should have the legislature meet once every two years with the actual working time on bills being a full week and the rest of the time for the legislature to figure out for positive how to pay the bills for the next biennium without having to go into a special session as they just did over Monday the 8th of December.


   How many times will the governor and legislators have to do something about the shortfall in our state budget? I keep looking for the other shoe to drop that means reducing people power at the state level. They supposedly fixed the $340,000,000 shortfall, maybe by magic learned from the strip entertainers who can be very good at it but that is entertainment and our legislature should be doing things for real. Folks if you and I lived like our government does at most levels we would all be broke and our money would no longer be available for government to take and to spend. I find it hard to believe that they havenít seen fit to lay off any help when the economy in our state and communities have gone from overheated to there is no flame in the fire box of growth.


   How could that be possible other than maybe the news media are feeding us a lot of stuff about a business that they donít know much about. I see houses in the neighborhoods with for sale signs hung on the front yard for months and no buyers. Also, with funding very hard to come by, how does anyone know what the market is these days Remember it takes a willing seller and a willing buyer to make a deal? I think we all know the part of the equation that is missing is the willing buyer because they have no money. And in Las Vegas it is most likely one of two things Ė no money because they have invested it in the neighborhood casino or they are out of a job and no money to buy a house with. I think by now everyone must know that a lot of our buyers in the past have been people who had no money for the down payment and now even some of them no longer live here because there is no work for them.


   Where we live it seems that the airport is directing all of their flights over the short never intended northeast runway, how about the rest of you? At least we do not have it too badly when you stay inside because I had two feet of blow-in insulation put into the ceiling when I discovered that the insulation contractor even left out insulation all together over one bedroom, so when I brought that to their attention they were very nice about the price for a little extra insulation. Speaking of insulation that is the most reasonable way to save money on you heating and cooling bill and the best place to add is plenty of it over the ceiling wherever possible. Our ceilings are the biggest areas exposed most directly to the heat loss or gain in a house. This will also add quite a bit of sound deadening too.


   I hear these huge numbers of visitors to our fair city and often wonder given how things are always more than they seem here does that also mean that maybe someone is counting our visitors when they come to town and also when they leave town? If they did that it would really mean more like 20,000,000,000 people came to town and if that were the case it would also still be plenty of people as far as I am concerned, how about you?


   Can you believe the Mirage can afford to spend $25,000,000 to up grade the volcano which over the years will only be part of the cost when you consider how much gas is burned each time the volcano erupts? I hope that our assessor will remember that cost when he does an appraisal of the remodel work for next years taxes.


   I suspect almost everyone will be happy to see George from Texas leave office the 20th of January, letís start praying that Obama our president-to-be will have some wisdom for the job since he has almost no experience at managing anything at this point in time of his life. Also with a stock market that one day is in the pits 500 points and the next day is up 300 points. Letís hope that it comes to its senses in 2009 so that people can sleep a little better. Folks I have no idea where we are headed for in the New Year but I have to have faith that this great county has suffered other catastrophes and came through and I see no reason that the same wonít happen again. And with that we the directors of the Nevada Seniors Coalition wish all of you the very best fun filled Christmas with a New Year in 2009 second to none as a great year for a great country.