I have a funny joke for our readers.
What is the difference between a journalist and a blogger?Learn more »
At the risk of angering somebody like MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, I sometimes used to joke that I only look white. Actually, I’m Irish. Meaning basically that I wasn’t raised to think the man in the big house had all the answers or deserved all the power he’d inherited.
It was in that spirit that I recently challenged Rep. Paul Ryan’s remarks about the shiftlessness of African-Americans. From the 17th century onward, I wrote, “virtually every negative stereotype applied to our ‘inner city’ brethren today was first applied to Paul Ryan’s (and my own) ancestors. Irish peasants were called shiftless, drunken, sexually promiscuous, donkey strong but mentally deficient. They smelled bad.”Learn more »
Was Jeb Bush right to insert love into a political debate? Such was the gist of a question I was asked on talk radio in response to the former Florida governor’s assertion that some immigrants come into the United States illegally as an “act of love.”
It would be trite to echo the Beatles and say, “All You Need Is Love.” It would also oversimplify and obscure rigorous policy differences. But it also could be a start.Learn more »
In the following open letter to the public, Nevada County Superior Court Judge Sean Dowling endorsed United States prosecutor Robert Tice-Raskin as the person most qualified to replace him:
Dear Nevada County Voters,Learn more »
Recently Hillary Clinton gave what appeared at first to be a rambling and unfocused answer when asked to name the proudest achievement of her four years as secretary of state. The short version is, she doesn’t have one. But Clinton’s words make a lot more sense when seen not as a nonanswer to a specific question but as an effort to lay the foundation and establish a theme for a presidential campaign.
The occasion was her appearance on a panel discussion at the Women in the World meeting in Manhattan. It was pretty easy going; the moderator, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, asked softball after softball. (Sample: Noting Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, Friedman asked: “What have you learned from her?”)Learn more »
Michele Spencer, in her Other Voices piece on April 4, states that everyone knows “that something is going seriously wrong in this country …” and cites the “growing income gap between the top 1 percent and the rest of us is likely evidence of the underlying problem.”
Boy, has she hit the nail on the head, but is entirely wrong as to the impetus of that gap.Learn more »
Californians don’t trust their state government. That’s nothing really new, but right now there’s as much cause for distrust as ever before in modern times.
There is, of course, the scandal that sees three indicted or convicted state senators under suspension after accusations of political corruption, gun-running and/or perjury, all refusing to resign.Learn more »
I have been reading a lot of conjecture and rumors lately regarding our nation’s new health-care system. For instance, a recent writer went so far as to say that doctors were refusing to take on new patients with Obamacare.
The true fact is that many doctors are not taking on new patients no matter what kind of insurance they have. There are just not enough primary care doctors, especially outside of major cities. More about doctors and Obamacare later …Learn more »
Except for last Thursday’s district attorney duke-out, the three candidate nights held so far in Nevada County have been relatively bloodless affairs, hardly in keeping with the full-contact politics favored by most partisans in the county.
The League of Women Voters means well, and there is enlightenment to be gained by having all of the candidates for an office respond to the same set of questions. But the unfailingly polite and bend-over-backwards fairness of these forums takes the spark out of the politics.Learn more »
The grand compromise on immigration passed by the U.S. Senate 10 months ago is now all but history, despite talk from President Obama and other Democrats about “comprehensive reform.”
For comprehensive immigration reform, as it’s understood in Washington, D.C., means granting undocumented immigrants some kind of pathway to citizenship. Only a very few Republicans are willing to allow this, no matter how arduous and long the path would be.Learn more »
There’s a heated debate going on in Congress and many state capitols this spring over raising the minimum wage. One of the key players — and a vocal opponent of wage increases — is the restaurant lobby, led by the National Restaurant Association (NRA).
So, when the Restaurant Association holds its lobby day in Washington, D.C., in late April, topping its agenda will be this: to stick a fork in the proposed federal minimum wage increase.Learn more »
Everyone who has been in high school knows how difficult it is to deal with peer pressure.
The Day of Silence provides an escape from the pressure.Learn more »
Journalism is not a crime. This is the rallying cry in demanding the release of four Al-Jazeera journalists imprisoned in Egypt. Three of them — Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed — have just passed their hundredth day of incarceration. The fourth, Abdullah al-Shami, has been in jail for more than six months. They have been charged with “spreading lies harmful to state security and joining a terrorist organization.” Of course, the only thing they were doing was their job.
Anja Niedringhaus also was doing her job as a photographer for The Associated Press when she was murdered last week in Khost, Afghanistan. She was covering the preparations for Afghanistan’s national election and was sitting in her car with AP reporter Kathy Gannon when an Afghan police officer opened fire, killing Niedringhaus and wounding Gannon.Learn more »
The recent letter proposing pipelines to bring water to California was intriguing, although I disagree that building more dams is “insane.”
Investing in infrastructure to bring water from as far away as Alaska and North Dakota to “fill California reservoirs,” as the writer suggests, would be economically pointless without expanding existing storage capacity.Learn more »
Regarding my letter of Feb. 28, I seem to have stirred up a “hornets’ nest” or struck a nerve with liberal Democrats who are blind to the truth regarding President Obama’s lack of transparency and dishonesty with the American people and also his abuse of power.
I would like to respond to Connie Barker who questioned, “if Obama was so powerful and dictatorial, why can he not get Congress to do anything?”Learn more »
“You will face many defeats in your life, but never let yourself be defeated.” — Maya Angelou
Learn more »
Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Tip O’Neill first used the phrase “All politics is local” in 1932. It became a common phrase in U.S. politics after he rose to the speakership. O’Neill served in the House of Representatives for 34 years, beginning in 1952 and including 10 years as speaker.
He was obviously well liked by his Massachusetts constituents. Americans generally like their elected representatives. They might not like the other guy or gal’s representatives. Maybe that’s just human nature?Learn more »
When did we convene a Constitutional Convention? What’s happening to our nation? I can remember when the U.S. Constitution was revered and respected. Now it is reviled and persecuted by those who have sworn an oath to protect and defend it and the people it represents against all enemies, foreign and domestic!
Chief Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated, when speaking to Egyptian officials in 2012: “I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in 2012. I might look at the Constitution of South Africa, that was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, had an independent judiciary … It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done …”Learn more »
Everybody knows that something is going seriously wrong in this country and that the growing income gap between the top 1 percent and the rest of us is likely evidence of the underlying problem.
Aside from the impact of the Wall Street debacle, various trade agreements and technology, the problem is the movement toward an oligarchic form of society in which all economic and political power rests with a handful of billionaires.Learn more »
So it turns out that millions of people dealt with the Affordable Care Act enrollment cutoff pretty much the way they habitually deal with the April 15 income tax filing deadline: procrastinating until the last minute to insure maximum stress and standing in line.
Like mobbing shopping malls on the day after Thanksgiving, it’s the American way of life.Learn more »
In 2008, both Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain supported defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
In 2012, only Republican Mitt Romney supported traditional marriage, Obama having announced a change of heart six months before the election.Learn more »
In honor of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it is important to address our role as a community in supporting survivors of sexual assault.
In its most basic definition, the word “awareness” means to simply be conscious of something, to know that it exists; however, the Miriam Webster Dictionary also defines “awareness” as “knowing and understanding a lot about what is happening in the world or around you.”Learn more »
While under the radar, in 2008, a huge trout eradication program began in Eldorado National Forest to save a frog. The public comment process was practically nil at that time and the U.S. Forest Service didn’t make a lot of noise either, lest the public be outraged at such an undertaking.
In a recent conversation with Eldorado National Forest fish biologist, Sarah Muskoph shared with me that tadpole-eating brook trout in seven lakes were the reason for an eradication program which had already been completed by 2011 and 2012.Learn more »
Take a look at your bills: What do you pay for food, housing, clothing, health care, utilities and transportation? How much would it take for your family to just get by? Could you make it on $15,000 a year? $21,000? What would your family have to do without to make ends meet?
What exactly does it take to make it in America?Learn more »
We first met Craig Zetterberg in the fall of 2008. Our oldest daughter, Angela, had failed to make the Nevada Union freshman girls volleyball team, and she turned to the sport of swimming instead. The following fall, swimming turned into water polo, and our relationship with Craig “Zeus” Zetterberg began.
Immediately after the close of that first water polo season, Angela was diagnosed with synovial cell sarcoma, a rare childhood cancer, and our lives turned upside down.Learn more »
I’d like to rally Nevada County Republicans to seriously consider the impact of affiliating with the Republican constituents represented by the Tea Party.
Since 2010, the Tea Party has coalesced around three key issues: 1. Meaningful immigration reform threatens the social order; 2. The ruling elite has lost its sense of American values as expressed by our Founding Fathers; 3. Central government is bloated and self-serving.Learn more »
Where is your “energism”?
That was the question a student asked a classmate as I walked onto the campus of Pleasant Valley School on Wednesday, March 19.Learn more »