I was inside the courtroom yesterday, and a part of the jury pool for trial.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), I was not selected. When we arrived in the courtroom, there were so many of us in the pool (I would guess over 100) that there were not enough seats for everyone.Learn more »
Facts don’t matter much in regard to climate change, because we adopt whatever opinion we jolly well please and then cherry-pick rationales to back it up.
Let’s face it: we’re beings of emotion who often favor feeling over fact. For example, many Americans who supported invading Iraq despite little or no evidence of WMDs are the same ones who choose to disregard the massive evidence indicating human-caused climate change.Learn more »
In the future, Americans will look back on our current abortion practices and wonder how we could have tolerated such inhumane acts of violence on the unborn.
The moral decline of our nation is reflected in an attitude of tolerance and acceptance toward unlimited abortions, late-term abortions, partial birth abortion and the selling of aborted remains in the name of medical research. This is not about women’s health care; it is about an attitude of complacency toward these horrific practices that has permeated our country.Learn more »
Stephen Colbert spent nine years mocking conservatives on a comedy program premised on mocking conservatives. It was a good fit; Colbert’s political views lean left, and even after leaving his right-wing loudmouth character behind, he’s been happy to dive into the most contentious political issues of the day. (Just watch the video he made in June celebrating the Supreme Court gay marriage decision and deriding its dissenters.)
Recently the new play-it-straight Colbert had Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz as a guest. Not long before, on his Sept. 8 premiere, Colbert had Jeb Bush. The appearances raised questions for Republicans considering future visits. Is Colbert really playing it straight? And is it worth appearing on his program?Learn more »
Amy Goodman And Denis Moynihan: No Papal bull — Francis hails peace and the activists who fight for itSeptember 30, 2015 —
Pope Francis has left the building. His first trip to the United States created news at every turn.
On Thursday, Sept. 24, Pope Francis made his historic address to the joint session of Congress, the first time for a pope. When dealing with refugees, he said, “Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’” To that assembly of lawmakers, a majority of whom support capital punishment, he called for global abolition of the death penalty. He also called for an end to the international arms trade, saying, “Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood.” Nevertheless, as he read his remarks aloud in a slow, careful English (his fifth language), he was frequently interrupted by rousing, bipartisan standing ovations.Learn more »
The column by Thomas Elias (Sept. 5) echoes the unexamined clichés and propaganda about vaccines common in the mass media.
I will list some reasons why informed, caring people (especially parents) should be skeptical about vaccination claims and why they should sign the SB277 Referendum petition to allow the people of California to vote on this drastic, draconian “forced vaccination” law recently passed by state politicians.Learn more »
California Forward, a political reform group, recently invited Californians to take a “Revenue Challenge.”
The challenge consists of an online survey where participants can rate how more than a dozen legislative proposals — mostly aimed at raising taxes — meet a set of criteria for a sustainable tax system. The goal is to gather feedback on existing proposals, identify ways to improve them, and generate new ideas for building a revenue system California can rely on.Learn more »
As a member of the Hospitality House board of directors, I have been following the response to the homelessness meeting sponsored by The Union and KVMR. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend due to a family commitment but have followed your reporting on it.
I was impressed with the great turnout for that meeting, which shows how concerned our community is with it. Being on the board, I’ve seen that concern displayed as compassion firsthand and it makes me so proud to live here.Learn more »
At first glance, the use of blue plastic bags to dispose of dog excrement deposited along the trail seems like a good idea.
Who doesn’t want a trail free of doggie-do?Learn more »
Economics Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman observed: “There is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.”
He should have added that because the free enterprise system eliminates coercive action from human relations, it is also the only moral and proper system for man.Learn more »
My recent attendance at the Sept. 15 Grass Valley Planning Commission meeting left me very disappointed with their past and present performance. The agenda item that I was interested in was titled: Tentative Subdivision Map Amendment Application (15PLN-14) for Berriman Ranch approved by the Planning Commission on Oct. 14, 2010 and City Council on Dec. 14, 2010.
The applicant was proposing the removal of a pedestrian path along the northern and western property boundaries and removal of Open Space Lots A, B, & C. So why was the applicant requesting these changes and more importantly —Why were they being considered on a project that had been approved five years ago?Learn more »
The Sept. 16 prime-time Republican debate at the Reagan Library went on for three hours. The CNN moderators asked more than three dozen questions on topics ranging from birthright citizenship to climate change to the safety of vaccines. Of the candidates, Donald Trump talked the most, taking up nearly 19 minutes, with Jeb Bush at nearly 16 minutes, and Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Chris Christie at about 13 minutes each.
Yet in all that time, with all those words spoken, the issue that remains the most important concern of voters across America —jobs and the economy— received scant attention.Learn more »
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the 78-year-old Argentinian known to the world as Pope Francis, made his first trip to the United States this week, bringing his uniquely progressive papal perspective. Almost a quarter of the U.S. population identifies as Catholic, but as a global religious leader, the pope’s influence extends far beyond the Catholic community. The pope has been frank in his criticism of much of the core of U.S. society: capitalism, consumerism, war and the failure to confront climate change. Pope Francis is widely adored, but his visit is also not without controversy, as he maintains age-old Catholic dogma regarding women in the priesthood, contraception and abortion. He also has provoked the ire of many indigenous people, as he reopens wounds inflicted during the violent Spanish colonization of California more than two centuries ago.
When he became pope, Francis surprised many, shunning the typical trappings of the highest position in the Catholic Church. He chose to reside in the Vatican’s guest quarters instead of the Papal Apartments in the ornate Apostolic Palace. He wears simple white vestments instead of the gilded robes of his predecessors. He rode the bus on his trips through Rome. It became apparent that this pope was walking the talk, as the first pope from the global south and the first non-European since a Syrian held the post in 741. He chose the name, Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi, the early 13th-century cleric who embraced a life of poverty and revered nature. Pope Francis made clerical history last May with the release of a papal encyclical on the environment and climate change, which he called, in Latin, Laudato Si, meaning, “Praise Be to You.” He took those words from his namesake Saint Francis, and opened the encyclical with the words “Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life. ... This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will.”Learn more »
One of the concerns around climate change is the cost of remediation and mitigation.
The gut reactions from all parts of the political spectrum are that the cost to reduce greenhouse gas emission is frightful. This is complicated by the political overtones on both sides: who should we trust?Learn more »
An individual named Norm Sauer did a tremendous disservice to your readers by spreading falsehoods about the topic of human-caused climate change in his recent commentary (“If you can control carbon, you control life”, Sept. 21).
Mr. Sauer parroted baseless talking points that have their origin in fossil-fuel industry-funded climate change denial propaganda, not honest scientific discourse. He shamelessly subjected your readers to falsehoods about my own work on climate change.Learn more »
I was sleeping when my daughter, Jackie, a junior attending college in Arkansas called.
“Dad guess what? Today I got to spell Tchaikovsky.”Learn more »
When is it OK for government to oppress its citizens? Never!
Listening to the public hearing about high-density housing in Nevada County reminded me of why we feel our liberty and freedom are fading away.Learn more »
Two Republican bills being considered by Congress are using the public’s fear and misunderstanding of wildland fire to mount one of the most extreme attacks on our national forests in history.
Both bills would suspend or weaken federal environmental laws and clear the way for the timber industry to dramatically increase commercial logging under the guise of “forest treatment” or “thinning.”Learn more »
Grass Valley and Nevada City are making me a better person.
A few months ago, my wife and I moved here from Los Angeles, and I’ve changed.Learn more »
What started as a senior project to help people with disabilities play basketball, has turned into so much more.
With the assistance of dedicated volunteers for more than 50 years, the Nevada County Association for the Developmentally Disabled has transformed from a tiny group of three to a collection of 120 athletes and numerous volunteers.Learn more »
“Don’t let aging get you down. It’s too hard to get back up,” opines the writer John Wagner.
If you’re of a certain age, that quote is likely to bring a chuckle of recognition.Learn more »
The case of Kim Davis —the Kentucky county clerk jailed for refusing to issue gay marriage licenses— has highlighted a deep cultural gap in the Republican Party.
And no one has exploited that gap more than Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor running for president.Learn more »
New York City Police Officer James Frascatore has given new meaning to the Grand Slam of tennis. Last week, he violently assaulted retired tennis champion James Blake in front of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, tackling Blake as he was waiting for a ride to watch the U.S. Open.
Blake, a 35-year-old African-American, was formerly the top men’s tennis player in the United States, was fourth in the world and has scores of trophies from around the globe. Blake didn’t know what hit him.Learn more »
On Monday, Sept. 21, 49er Fun Park will come alive with racing and mini-golf to raise money for one of our community’s many non-profits: The Friendship Club.
The Friendship Club has been active in Nevada County since 1995. This year they marked their 20th anniversary. The Friendship Club’s tagline is, “Guiding Girls to a Bright Future.”Learn more »
As I wrap up my recent run as a bi-monthly columnist with The Union, I want to thank the newspaper for the opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas on a regular basis, and thank my readers who engaged with these ideas.
I received many thoughtful responses, and some of you shared similar experiences and ideas with me. Writing or providing radio commentary in public forums is a bit like working in a vacuum unless you hear back from listeners.Learn more »
I have to say I was prepared to shoot some holes in Dr. Marbut’s presentation last Thursday, but came away agreeing with everything he said.
Marbut illuminated the problems homelessness creates in our community and also pointed out the failure of Nevada County in making any improvement in homelessness over the last decade.Learn more »
I was amazed to read the Other Voices column by George Rebane, PhD, criticizing an “Other Voices” by the Newsoms published by The Union, and aligning himself with our esteemed congressman Doug LaMalfa in denying the existence of climate change.
Mr. (should we really call him “doctor”?) Rebane’s piece provides irrefutable proof that the possession of a PhD degree does not render one incapable of emitting self-delusional didactic lunacy.Learn more »
On Sept. 7, our country observed its Labor Day. Picnics were held, sports games played, government offices closed, and many hard-working America’s had a day off from work.
The United States of America has one of the most productive workforces in the world. We grow crops, raise animals, refine, package and use or export these commodities worldwide.Learn more »
The final statement of Michele Spencer’s op-ed “What value does the pro-birth movement actually have?” (The Union, Aug. 22), suggesting abortion as a means of population control speaks volumes about our current culture of death.
It is most unfortunate when we are unable to see the connection between this devaluation of human life and the violence and carnage ubiquitously present in our society today.Learn more »