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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
November 27, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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November 27, 1997

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10 Thursday, November 27, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette The First Thanksgiving -- never to be forgotten Religious persecution is the most terrible of all crimes. Throughout the ages human beings have tortured and killed others for no other reason than their beliefs. Over six million of the Jewish faith were killed during World War II by the Nazis. The Nazis tortured or killed other faiths as well, such as Jehovah's Witnesses. It is interesting that members of Jehovah's Witnesses needed only to disclaim their faith by signing a declaration of obedience to Hitler and they would be free to return to their homes. Very few did. Most went to their deaths in the concentration camps. Today, the media have coined a new word for this atrocity. They call it "ethnic cleansing." This term is used regularly in news reports from Bosnia and Africa. Whether this is some type of "politically correct" phrase to make something sound nicer than it really is, I don't know. What a disgusting attempt to make this sound like a legitimate occurrence of war. A look at our own history can leave one doubting the sanctity of democracy. Our treatment of Native Americans from the very day we landed is almost unbelievable. Our enslaving Africans is a horrible mark on our history. While such things would never happen in America today, our prejudices still run deep. There is much work to be done. Yet, for all of our problems and prejudices, America was founded on the principle of "One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. "And no other time under the calendar is more appropriate to think about this than now, Thanksgiving. We gather with family and friends, black, white, Jewish and Christian, to give thanks for the many things we have. For all the bad we can look back on, there is so much more good to be thankful for. In September 1620, two ships set out for America, the Speedwell and the Mayflower. The Speedwell was not sea- worthy and had to return to port. The Mayflower, with its 102 passengers including three pregnant women and a crew of unknown number, continued on to a land where it was believed they could escape religious persecution. They ar- rived offCape Cod on November 9, NORTHERN EXPOSURE by Dave Downing 1620. That first winter was as terrible a time as any group of people could behold. Poor in supplies they tried to survive the terrible winds of a New England weather. Sickness befell them and half of their numbers died. "It pleased God to visit us then with death daily, and with so general a disease that the living were scarce able to bur), the dead, and the well not in any measure sufficient to tend the sick," wrote William Bradford. Had it not been for the help of the Indians many more, perhaps all, of the Pilgrims would have died that winter. The Mayflower and her crew returned to England the following spring. The Pilgrims, despite the terrible suffering endured during the winter, were resolved to remain in Ply- mouth. Such is the spirit of America, even today. The following summer saw the Pilgrims regain their lives. Crops were sown and dwellings built. Agreement was reached among those left as to religious freedom, land use and government. It came to be known as the Mayflower Compact. Anyone committing a crime against the Indians was handled as a crime against humanity. There was no distinction be- cause of race, even though it was not the popular belief elsewhere in early America. When the leaves turned orange and the season winds became brisk there was certainly every reason in the world for the Pilgrims to be frightened of what lay ahead. There were many graves to remind them of the horrible conditions they had endured the previous winter. It was not to be. The Pilgrims invited the Indians to join them in a feast of thanksgiving. The First Thanksgiving in which they thanked God for all they had. "Our corn did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering, for we feared the)' were too late sown. The), came up vet). well, and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom. Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit o four labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, wham for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.." So wrote Edward Winslow of the First Thanksgiv- ing, published in 1622. Despite our problems we need only to reflect on this day ,to remember our foundation and our purpose. It is a day to remember that no matter how bad things are there is plenty to be thankful for. May God help us to improve our lot and let us thank Him for this help. Happy Thanksgiving. Aerospace Engineers...finally in demand again The aerospace industry has not been noted for long-term employment stability. Linked to the fluctuations in govern- ment demand for national defense, it has had its booms and busts. With the end of the cold war in 1991, government contracts drastically declined and many lay-offs occurred. Then a series of aerospace company mergers, with associ- ated downsizing, further reduced job opportunities. Inevitably college students ignored careers in science and technology, worried that they would be unemployable on graduation. Universities reduced their teaching capacities accordingly. It will take some time to turn things around. The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) predicts that the industry will employ about 134,000 engineers in 1997, about the same as it did in 1982 but far below the 205,000 employed in 1991. Commencing in 1995, the demand took a sharp upturn but the supply was not there. Colleges were not training them, many experienced engi- neers had shifted to other fields and not a few, like myself, had retired. As a result, young engineers in their twenties can claim $90,000 a year salaries. This is more than twice what I was earning at the peak of my career! Most in demand are software and computer engineers, but there is intense competition from software companies and technology-based entertainment and slot machine manufac- turers. Commercial space programs are filling the gap left by Changing Patterns by Richard Reul 00/00lllllll,,,,,iiiiiiiiiiiiii IIIii .............. Illl|l||lllll| government contracts and are currently driving the demand for engineers. Besides software, the needs are for mechani- cal, thermal, electronic, micro-electronic, electro-optic, safety and quality assurance engineers. Many companies are recognizing the need for continual engineering education and are subsidizing courses for their employees. Management has also become aware that, to keep young and talented engineers, they must be promoted faster into positions of responsibility. (This attitude was noticeably lacking in the industry I knew.) Most of the larger companies provide generous retirement programs, noting that engineers are paying increasing atten- tion to such benefits. With the demand high for their services, engineers are also likely to change employers more fre- quently. A general agreement may soon evolve for the portability of retirement pensions. (In my 44 year aerospace career, I was able to claim retirement benefits only for my 15 years at TRW and my seven years at Rocketdyne.) My alma mater, Purdue University, estimates that this year it will graduate only about half of the engineers it did in 1989. It believes that its sophomore class will be around 50% larger than last year. Students are taking longer to graduate. Many start out in one field and switch to another, or take a lighter course load to get better grades. Many companies have formed special relationships with univer- sities such as Purdue to gain access to engineering gradu- ates. The internet has also become a primary recruiting tool. Today the average graduate can expect to receive five or six offers. As one recruiter said,"This is the time to be a young and talented engineer!" Legal limbo This being married to a reporter ain't the easiest thing in the world as I am finding out. There's a big difference between being a columnist and a reporter. Me being the former, I, as a rule, don't have to go to meetings and don't have to bother with getting the facts right or the spelling correct. Main reason for me not going to meetings is that my attention span isn't too long and I have a tendency to fall asleep when somebody starts to drone on and on. But this last Tuesday I got roped into attending our local commissioners meeting at the insistence of my reporter bride. Seems that the bid item on the agenda was the selection of a new DA to replace the last one who resigned after being on the job only a couple of months. Apparently his lifestyle and inability to make friends didn't make for good community relations. When we showed up at the courthouse where the commis- sioners meeting are held, at first I thought that maybe there had been an accident or another rocket had gone off course as there were so many lawyer types in their suits standing around passing out their cards but there wasn't an ambulance in sight. What it was, was they were all here applying for the vacated DAjob. Some I heard from out of state even going so far as spending the night camped in their cars so as to have first shot at the job. Well, the commissioners did all their commissioner things and finally go it around to interviewing all these applicants one at a time. I think there were nine of them, but it was so hard to tell as they all looked pretty much alike and hadn't missed to many meals. Slim Sez by Slim Sirnes As this was an open meeting, the pub- lic was present to keep things legal. The public this time being better rep- resented than the last time a couple of months ago when the other DA was hired. So the three of us sat and listened as each of the contenders went though their spiel about their experience and how they would like to escape the big city hubbub etc., etc. When they passed the bar was another biggie although it and actual courtroom find Nevada experience weren't a deciding factor when the selec- tion was made. I think it was Mark Twain who said of fishers, hunters and golfers that the first liar didn't stand a chance. Hey, I should have applied for the job as I have had court appearances mostly as the alleged andjust that morning had passed a bar (closed) on the way to the meeting. When the final showdown came as for who would get this plum position, the commissioners came up with three names which, incidently, coincided with the same three that I who had been keeping a running scorecard kinda liked. My top choice had experience and could have stepped right into the job with no hassles or delays. The next choice being a guy who admitted being a jack-of-all-trades which could be an asset and lastly a young guy with little or no actual experience but who was pretty sharp. Guess who got the job as one of the commissioners who wanted someone with experience so couldn't go along with the other two on the final selection and abstained from voting. After the meeting, I learned that one the resume of some forty pages submitted by the victor too late for the commissioners to really study that he had learned of this vacancy from an attorney who had been active in the recall effort that brought on this whole mess. So it looks like Esmeralda County will be in legal limbo till the next election 11 months hence as this new guy learns the ropes. Sure hope he is as sharp as he claims to be in his resume.