Do We Need Someone in Thailand to Safeguard our National Treasures?

By Ralph Heller, Npri Senior Consulting Editor


Neapolitan Mayor Antonio Bassolino has become a surprisingly respected individual in many business circles despite his well known Marxist background. It seems that Mr. Bassolino shares with communist Chinese what has been called "an amazing aptitude for capitalist initiative."

Among his favorite projects is the tearing down of the ugly industrial properties at Bagnoli on the Bay of Pozzuoli, and to drum up enthusiasm for the project he began reminding everybody that Bagnoli had been where Cicero once had a villa as well as the place where Sophia Loren spent her childhood. Obviously a man who can appeal to serious students of Cicero and fans of the beguiling Miss Loren in the same breath is a marketing genius.

This is precisely the challenge facing all of us, of course, shop keepers and casino owners, politicians as well as publishers. The interests of the audiences one wants to reach are infinitely wide and varied, and even among conservatives one man’s joyful hobby and great interest may elicit little more from another man than a yawn.

With spring rapidly giving way to summer, NPRI turns this month momentarily away from such topics as education and taxes to take a closer, knowledgeable look at the great outdoors—with special focus on a learned study by Cornell University Professor Jeremy Rabkin who explains how Yellowstone National Park became a United Nations "World Heritage Site," to be watched in motherly fashion by the U.N.’s World Heritage Committee which is chaired by Dr. Adul Wichiencharoen, a resident of the obscure Rocky Mountain state of Thailand.

NPRI Managing Editor Erica Olsen has ably adapted Professor Rabkin’s study for NPRI readers, and reports that a consortium of no fewer than 14 zealous environmental groups prevailed on our obliging Department of Interior to invite a delegation from the World Heritage Committee here for a visit, although DOI subsequently denied picking up the tab for the visitors. Professor Rabkin raises an especially intriguing question: Is one of our American natural treasures really safe in the hands of a U.N. agency? He notes that like Yellowstone, the Mona Lisa might also be described as "belonging to the world," but it remains safe and sound in the security of French ownership.

Elsewhere in this issue Wyoming hunter and expert on the National Environmental Act Vance Haug takes readers along on an exciting hunters’ trek for elk, and shows us all convincingly the important role in today’s hunting played by private land owners.

One of the joys in publishing a magazine like this one is the opportunity from time to time to bring readers learned articles from national experts who happen to reside right here among us in Nevada. This month Robert C. Tauber, a longtime Department of Defense expert in technical intelligence analysis and weapons systems evaluation and now a resident of Henderson, provides readers with a far more complete analysis of the Chemical Weapons Convention than you have found in your favorite newspaper or favorite news magazine—and he explains that it amounts to a potentially dangerous game of smoke and mirrors.

Rounding out this issue are reports from three Nevada Journal regulars—Elko Daily Free Press Editorial Page Editor Dan Steninger, NPRI Research Analyst D. Dowd Muska and NPRI Executive Director Jason Barrett.

Something for everybody? You bet; Antonio Bassolino is a good teacher, and points out that not only Cicero and Sophia Loren once lived in Bagnoli, but that it was one of the places that made countless other eminences from Stendahl to Goethe fall in love with Naples. Let’s see, have we left anybody out?

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