Friday, December 19, 2014

America’s response to the torture report shameful

The reaction to the Senate report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s torture program has been almost as depressing as the report itself – which is saying something. There’s been impotent outrage from people you’d expect to be outraged; lame excuses from people you’d expect to make excuses; and muddled ambivalence from the vast uncommitted. I’d […]

Another look at school bonds

Property owners, have you noticed how much your tax bill has increased due to school bonds? The Fairfield-Suisun School District has two bonds on your property tax bill for Measure C (2002). We will be paying these for many more years even though the bond proceeds have already been spent. Solano Community College has two […]

News of the day strikes a chord

Let me start off with an admittedly trivial item, which many of you may have heard about. The first lady of the United States, the lovely and elegant Michelle Obama, related a story illustrating, in her mind, at least, the racist behavior she has encountered. She was shopping at Target in 2011, dressed very casually, […]

Roads, bridges, tunnels should matter to Americans

It’s almost a cliche at this point – the United States needs to spend more on infrastructure. Other countries are running circles around us in the infrastructure department. It’s fashionable to blame this on the Republicans’ scorched-earth tactics against President Barack Obama, and on conservative distrust of government spending in general. Those are certainly factors. […]

LA looks to election shift to boost turnout

In the six weeks since the Nov. 4 election, much has been said about its extraordinarily low, record-shattering voter turnout. Scarcely 42 percent of California’s 17.8 million registered voters, and just 31 percent of its 24.3 million potentially eligible voters, actually cast ballots. It resulted, one could say, from the perfect calm – no hot […]

What is Hanukkah’s significance?

Hanukkah is one of the best known Jewish holidays because it is close to Christmas on the calendar. Those who are not Jews often think of it as the Jewish version of Christmas. They may have heard of dreidels, or have a vague awareness that Hanukkah involves a miracle of lamps that had only enough […]

At UN climate talks, a crack in rich-poor barrier

LIMA, Peru — A last-minute deal that salvaged U.N. climate talks from collapse early Sunday sends a signal the rich-poor divide that long held up progress can be overcome with a year to go before a landmark pact is supposed to be adopted in Paris. Still, it remains to be seen whether governments can come up […]

Japan’s ruling coalition wins big in elections

TOKYO — Japan’s ruling coalition won a resounding victory in lower house elections Sunday, firming up Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s hold on power as he prepares to push forward on several politically difficult fronts. The conservative Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled for most of the post-World War II era, locked up a solid majority, and […]

Question of the week: Will you spend more or less on Christmas this year?

The National Retail Federation recently reported that a few countries will spend proportionally more of their income on Christmas this year than Americans. Will you spend more or less this Christmas? Take part in our poll. Last week’s poll: Will this season’s rainfall pull the state out of the drought? No: 68 percent Yes: 32 percent […]

Nigerian troops win back cities from extremists

MUBI, Nigeria — With a military escort instead of the usual pomp, the Emir of Mubi was reinstalled Friday in his palace, where until recently flew the black-and-white flag of Nigeria’s Islamic extremists, Boko Haram. An army tank now guards Mubi’s town gate, fortified by sandbags, as residents return from the mountain hideouts where they hid […]

Higher prices, shortages create pressure for IS

BAGHDAD — Saadi Abdul-Rahman was recently forced to pull his three children out of school in the Iraqi city of Mosul, where Islamic State militants have ruled with an iron fist since June. The cost of living has soared there, and the family is barely able to make ends meet, even after putting the kids […]

College leaders bow down to political correctness

Let me start with a word of thanks to a so-called protester in Berkeley the other night. When interviewed by a Chronicle reporter, the shrouded activist told the world what he thought about America, and what he wanted to do about it: “We want the utter and complete destruction of the police, the U.S. government, […]

No, Americans aren’t ‘fine with torture.’ They strongly reject it.

The Senate report on torture found that the “enhanced techniques” used by the CIA were ineffective as a mechanism for gathering intelligence. In fact, the report stated there was no actionable intelligence gained while employing the controversial tactics used under the Detention and Interrogation Program that President Barack Obama ended by Executive Order 13491 in […]

Moral posturing on torture just isn’t good enough

Reading the summary of the just-released report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation program is a deeply depressing experience. The accounts of torture in the name of national security are shaming and revolting. They are bound to incline any decent person to the view that torture is wrong, always and everywhere. That conviction, I’m sure, […]

42.9 million Americans have unpaid medical bills

WASHINGTON — Nearly 20 percent of U.S. consumers — 42.9 million people — have unpaid medical debts, according to a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The findings suggest that many Americans are being trapped by debt because they are confused by the notices they get from hospitals and insurance companies about the […]

Suisun City police log: Dec. 8, 2014

4:14 a.m. — Fraud, 1200 block of CHULA COURT 7:57 a.m. — Vehicle theft, 300 block of LARK CIRCLE 9:29 a.m. — Fraud, 500 block of EIDER LANE 11:34 a.m. — Harassment, 700 block of CIVIC CENTER BOULEVARD 5:15 p.m. — Fraud, 1400 block of PROSPECT WAY

Fairfield police log: Dec. 9, 2014

12:39 a.m. — Battery, 1200 block of B. GALE WILSON BOULEVARD 12:55 a.m. — Shots fired, sub-100 block of NORTH TEXAS STREET 8:38 a.m. — Hit-and-run, 800 block of TEXAS STREET 8:52 a.m. — Vehicle theft, 600 block of PARKER ROAD 9:43 a.m. — Brandishing a weapon, sub-100 block of EAST TRAVIS BOULEVARD 9:51 a.m. — Hit-and-run, […]

Fairfield police log: Dec. 8, 2014

12:27 a.m. — Indecent exposure, 2700 block of NORTH TEXAS STREET 1:01 a.m. — Vehicle theft, 3000 block of REDWOOD DRIVE 1:15 a.m. — Trespassing, 2200 block of GATEWAY COURT 4:51 a.m. — Vehicle theft, 2000 block of THRUSH WAY 5:58 a.m. — Vehicle theft, 800 block of EAST TRAVIS BOULEVARD 5:59 a.m. — Vehicle burglary, […]

My version of the progressive agenda fits on a little bag. Take that, complexity!

WASHINGTON — I was having a coffee with someone at the corner bakery who argued that the problem with the policy agendas of people like me is that they’re way too complex. “You couldn’t write it down on this little bag, for example,” he said. The topic is: “Ways to reduce inequality and generate broadly […]

A bogus excuse for Obama

President Obama’s former adviser David Axelrod is quoted as explaining Obama’s chronic emergency-response failure thusly: “There’s no doubt that there’s a theatrical nature to the presidency that he resists. Sometimes he can be negligent in the symbolism.” I don’t buy it. The candidate who modeled his presidency on Abraham Lincoln, who accepted the Democratic nomination […]

Truth about Pearl Harbor

Having been a docent, tour guide and narrator on the USS Potomac, FDR’s “Floating White House,” I absorbed a lot of information concerning President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and I had a lot of respect for the man. He certainly did a lot for this country and dedicated his life to serving the American people. I […]

It’s past time to address school start times

If one watches California’s educational politics – those practiced in the Legislature, in local school boards and in bureaucracies – long enough, an inescapable conclusion is that students’ welfare is often a secondary consideration. Of course the adults who engage in those politics claim that they’re doing what they do “for the kids,” but the […]

Marilyn Monroe’s lost love letters sold for $121K

BEVERLY HILLS — Joe DiMaggio’s love letter to Marilyn Monroe has sold for $78,125 at a Beverly Hills auction. Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills says the letter, written by the baseball great after Monroe announced she was divorcing him, was sold Saturday to an undisclosed buyer. The letter during their brief, volatile marriage was among […]