Our woman in Spain

Governments repeat over and over again the famous old history about the “welfare state” up to the point that many people have believed it and had a great disappointment. This is what happened to my colleague who works in an office of the state administration. About five years ago, she told me that she wished to retire to enjoy the welfare state and now, next to the retirement, she has terminal cancer.

We can think it’s just a case of bad luck, but it has made me thinking. If we look at what makes us happy, we realize that happiness is very fleeting and normal life goes in a different way, and we find that every day we have to face unpleasant and many times painful things with which we live together and we accept them, or become the most unhappy people.

The welfare state is like assuming that we are going to achieve heaven on Earth, and this is impossible. Pleasures are always very momentary, and sometimes leave us a taste quite unpleasant, such as another friend who went on a Mediterranean cruise thinking it would be the best and spent almost all the days vomiting from the seasickness provoked by the rolling of the transatlantic.

In addition, the welfare state for whom? It will be for those who can work and earn a decent salary, because for the millions of unemployed that sounds like a joke, because they know well that the politicians that proclaim it have big salaries.

Isabel Costa

Fraga, Spain

Welcome, Guv. Get to work.

Being neither a Democrat nor a Republican, I still hope for great success from our new governor and his transition team:

Being blessed with abundant sunshine, we in Nevada also have many areas of agricultural potential, a certain creativity that is not seen in other states, and an amazing climate.

In a time of declining fossil fuels I hope that you will look toward disentangling us from exotic inefficient transportation and supply systems. In other words, it may be time for us in Nevada to do things in Nevada rather than rely on external imports.

I would love to see a task force on using industrial hemp here for many purposes other than getting high. A nice pair of hemp Levi’s that would last 15 years would be delightful.

A fast rail system, unlike expensive high speed rail, could connect Reno, Elko, Las Vegas and other places.

A new look at housing requirements could provide smaller, more efficient houses at less cost for many people.

Free or low-cost municipal transportation in cities could help wean us off fossil fuels, and in the long run perhaps save the consumer a lot of money and grief.

Please rescind the unnecessary burdensome Department of Motor Vehicles requirements on low powered scooters and E bikes for our cities so we can have more sane transportation options.

I could go on, and I do go on, but I wish the best for you and us all.

Craig Bergland


Get back to where you once belonged

Re “Sales pitch” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, Jan. 3):

I read with great interest Bruce Van Dyke’s column reminiscing about kids’ television programs with a good, positive, entertaining format.

I had the pleasure of meeting a helmetless, barefoot Bruce on his motorized skateboard in the year 1980. I found him sponteneous, upbeat and fun to talk to. I have a sneaky suspicion somewhere between then and the present, Bruce has taken a nasty header on the sidewalk of life. “Cranial road rash,” so to speak.

Bruce, it is sad, for the weekly vile and contempt you spread far and wide does nothing to benefit any of us. There are countless thousands of us who enjoyed your stories of Death Valley in the spring or the time you had to outrun the dog in Spanish Springs, etc. Very funny. You are an excellent story teller, our Herb Caen replacement. Get to telling! Pleeeeeease! Thanks.

William Suggett


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *