Is Monsanto poisoning the world’s food?
If Monsanto Chemical Corp. has its way, the days of buying fresh organic produce at a local farm or farmer’s market might soon end. Although Monsanto denies it, there is evidence the company is heading the lobby supporting S.510. The proposed federal bill is posted as “The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010” and is described by some as one of the most “dangerous” pieces of legislation proposed in U.S. history. I don’t know if I’d go that fa...
Rethinking crime and punishment
We have all heard the saying, “Let the punishment fit the crime,” but that phrase seems to be lost in our criminal justice system. It has been overridden by, “Get tough on crime.” The end result is that we have a booming prison population that costs us millions of dollars a year and has very little beneficial impact on our society. Our sentencing laws are extremely harsh and not subject to modification by a judge. We have mandatory minimum sen...
Driven to drink
The best thing about the 1950s is that most everyone who remembers them is dead. Presuming one was a teenager in that curious decade that makes the witnesses to the era well older than 70 and on the last few laps of the long race.
The act of being a politician
I’m not a politician; I just play one on TV. I recently read a manuscript (soon to be a book) as part of my managing editor duties at a publishing company. The book, “At Risk of Winning,” is a political thriller that takes place in the near future, about a “guy running for president.”
Class size is not such a big deal
Nevada gubernatorial candidates Rory Reid and Brian Sandoval each visited a Reno school this past week during the back-to-school hullaballoo, asking teachers about their biggest concerns. One educator, nearly in tears at Sierra Vista Elementary School, pleaded with Reid about helping the budget situation and prevent further impacts to class sizes. I’ve been on the education beat for the Tribune for a little more than two years and always have ...
Iraq: the beginning or the end of civilization?
It’s official: The United States has admitted it has been defeated in Iraq. President Obama announced our multi-billion-dollar war machine no longer will be engaged in combat with Iraqi civilians defending their land with handguns and homemade bombs. The Bush-orchestrated war seemed to end with a whimper as Obama said, “We have met our responsibility” in Iraq and that “it’s time to turn the page.” Absent from his statement was the claim to vic...
New mosque is nothing to fear
I grew up with images of Nikita Khrushchev pounding his shoe on a desk in the United Nations; Russian freighters heading for Cuba, loaded with missiles and turning back at the last moment; and Russian tanks rolling into Budapest, Hungary and firing into crowds of citizens to keep them under the control of the Soviet Union. It was with images of these near-war instances in my mind that I entered the University of Nevada, Reno. It’s little wonde...
The rural angle
You’re about to become very important, Ely. You, too, Winnemucca. And Yerington, you’ll be a sight for sore eyes.
Increasingly it appears that the nastier realities of the economy are going to drive the next decade of politics at every level.
Bringing East to West
“Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda makes clear why Yogananda was a saint who has influenced and still influences millions throughout the world.
Thumbs up, thumbs down
One Sunday a month, the Sparks Tribune will provide a roundup of miscellaneous community events, government action and everyday occurrences and give a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” in support or disapproval.