Gays Win Great Victory
“Sometimes — there’s God.” — Tennessee Williams in “A Streetcar Named Desire” The lame-duck session of Congress was expected to be just that: lame. But--astonishingly!--it produced historic legislation: abolishment of gay and lesbian discrimination in the armed forces. Congress overturned the heinous policy of don’t ask-don’t tell (DADT). The Senate and House voted overwhelmingly for tolerance, fairness, dignity and decency. And President Obam...
Ask not what Nevada can do for you
The inaugural words of John F. Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” inspired a generation of Americans like myself. Urging us not to be dependent upon, but to go beyond what government could do, JFK challenged each of us to rekindle the founding spirit of self-reliance that created a nation like no other in history. That wintery day 50 years ago, America’s youngest president stood shivering...
Time changes everything
Instant breakfast, instant coffee, instant gratification, Americas are in a hurry, perhaps from sub conscious awareness that we are all running out of time. Butterflies live a full life in just a few days. Turtles may live more than a hundred years, but they dance at slow time. Old growth Redwoods and Sequoia last a millennium, which is still childhood to the Bristle Cone Pine. All of which reminds me that long range planning and action are th...
Life’s too temporary for permanency
To start off 2011 right, I helped some friends unload a moving truck at a new house in Reno. They moved here from Carson City to finish college and start the rest of their lives. It was fitting, I thought, to spend the very first day of the year in an environment of hope and change. Mother Nature, though, was making it interesting for them. As I write this at 9 a.m. Saturday, several hours before the appointed moving hour, those friends are dr...
Boehner’s tears: Shower time in the White House?
By this time next week, most everyone will have had their fill of silent night, peace on earth and good will towards man. Hangovers from New Year’s Eve celebrations and buyer’s remorse will steer us back to the mundane world of reality.
Madhouse of irreconcilable differences
A distinguished author once noted that good stories involve the conflict between people. If you look for the meaning of life, that’s as good as any. If what matters is not the destination but the journey, then conflict serves as the learning tool. So in this season of peace on earth (which has almost never existed) to those of good will, herewith are harsh lessons of irreconcilable conflict. First, the easy ones: Is an early-term embryo in the...
Oh, thank heaven for 2011
Sitting in the newsroom on Saturday afternoons is always quiet but especially on Christmas Day. The police haven’t reported any exciting activity and though a lot of people are out and about there doesn’t seem to be any unusual excitement. Except for those who got exactly what they wanted from Santa. My Christmas has been very pleasant, especially since my staff did a lot of today’s work for me on Christmas Eve. My duty today is to keep an eye...
Evil of bigotry loses a big battle
WASHINGTON — Twenty years from now, no one will remember the tax deal that President Obama negotiated with Republicans, and the health care law will have undergone so many revisions that claiming credit for it could be problematic. But history will record one Obama achievement with the appropriate drum roll and without caveats, and that is the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” legislation that banned gays and lesbians from serving openly ...
Senator Sanders a heroic figure
“The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.” — Ibsen in “An Enemy of the People” Bernie Sanders is the strongest man in America. He stands alone. But in his case, as Ibsen writes, “the minority is always right.” Sanders, an Independent senator from Vermont, puts President Obama to shame, as a headline in Rolling Stone declared. Obama “punts on first down,” Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota observes. Online columnist Robert Kuttner ...
The main event
It is an unfortunate trend among the pundit class to try and explain our current rough daft of history through the use of sports metaphors. Phrases like “gaining ground,” “putting points on the board” and “knocking it out of the park” are common on the editorial pages and talk show news, but most such allegorical descriptions are too abstract from the real politic of our time. The first half of President Obama’s term has served to define the r...
Deliverance from Christ, Salvation for Humanity
Every Christmas the religious mantra of faith, peace, love, brotherhood, miracles and myth continue to share center stage with retail sales, politics, prosperity and the well-being of our economy. A good Christmas seems to be measured by corporate profits and how much money we spend on gifts for each other. I wonder what this man called Christ would think of his birth, his name, his teachings and his death on the cross being used as an excuse ...
Putting the unemployed to work
There are millions of Americans out of work and drawing unemployment checks until they are able to find jobs. Some even have run out of unemployment entitlements and are simply penniless and probably homeless. Many people think that no one should receive any unemployment money at all. If they’re out of work they’re out of luck apparently. These are the true scrooges in our society. I believe people should get unemployment benefits, but those b...
Politicians, prostitutes and tax cuts
What do politicians, prostitutes and tax cuts have in common? It is quite simple. Any politician who wants to give tax cuts to the rich is a prostitute. These politicians are just selling themselves to the highest bidder and not representing their constituency. During the eight years of the Bush-Cheney regime the filthy rich got voluminous tax cuts all on the trickle-down theory that it would be good for the economy. Well, it wasn’t. It led to...