If Memory Serves...
Easter has long been my favorite holiday. Its message of love and life is universal. My childhood holiday memories around the Smith house weren’t always pleasant, but for some reason Easter was idyllic. It didn’t hurt that, in addition to the greater message of the special Sunday, for a kid Easter was as sweet as Halloween but without the spooky costumes and dark imagery. When I became a father, I vowed Easter would always be a special day for...
Slaves Taxes, Bread Crumbs and Another Brick in the Wall
There are no virgins in politics. The best you can hope for is that your friends treat you a little better than your enemies and promise to kiss you afterward. Alas and alack, the devolution of the middle class, heralded by the coronation of King Ronald the Vague, is morphing from class war into uncivil war. Brother fights sister for crumbs from the table of the rich, famous and powerful. The grovelers down on the floor are too desperate to lo...
It is unfortunate that our understanding of current is, at best, based on hindsight which, while accurate, is seldom helpful in the forging future. Recognizing past mistakes is painful but correcting them is even more so. In her recent tome, “The Shock Doctrine,” Naomi Klein points out the vulnerability of society to authoritarian take over in the wake of disaster, whether natural or man made. Using the crisis as their excuse, authorities of e...
College kids to the rescue
The worst place to live in America over the last five years has been the Gulf Coast. Between Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, not much worse could happen. OK, there’s probably something, but let’s try not to think of that. It’s pretty common for news reports to look back on such disasters and the subsequent recovery efforts when their anniversaries come around. The hope is that these stories will be about people persevering and overcomi...
The United States of China?
If a democratic government is meant to be a fulcrum rather than a wedge between collective freedoms and individual rights, our experiment in the two-party system of democracy isn’t working.
The post-dated recession
No matter your opinion of the stimulus package, the basic truth is that it shored up state, county and municipal budgets over the last two years.
May Day! T-Rump reduces president to peanuts
One night as the fireplace burned low after a 1977 holiday dinner in Carson City, a young lawyer asked Nevada Supreme Court Justice Al Gunderson how he rated Jimmy Carter’s first year as president. “About a C-minus,” replied the wise old judge who passed away last year. Gunderson went on to lecture us kids about President Carter’s mistakes, foreshadowing future errors that would make him a one-termer Gunderson rightly viewed Carter as too much...
Letters to the Editor
Dear Editor, Assembly Bill 545 will deny Washoe County School District millions of dollars in new funding. The bill seeks to change the population threshold for approximately $3.9 million in room taxes that WCSD is entitled to when Washoe County population reaches 400,000. U.S. Census 2010 reported Washoe’s population at 416,000. Additional millions for the school district are also available from real estate transfer taxes. The bill originato...
Disgusting return of McCarthy
Joe McCarthy’s ghost is haunting Wisconsin these days: the state Republican Party is demanding access to the emails and documents of William Cronon, a University of Wisconsin professor. Why? Cronon had the nerve to sketch online the history of union-busting and complaints about today’s union-busting by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Cronon, who has just been elected president of the American Historical Association, said that he had nothing to hi...
Get your tickets here!
For the most part, I am a very good driver. Some have called me a slow driver, some have said I drive too close to the center line, but in more than 15 years behind the wheel I have had only one collision with another moving vehicle and that was caused by an icy road. Until just two months ago, I had received only one traffic ticket. That ticket came about eight years ago thanks to a stoplight that stayed green for exactly three-tenths of a se...
Lost my Sense of Direction
My grandfather Smith was at home in the Eastern Sierra. With a fly pole in one hand, he had an innate sense of direction and had no need of a compass to find the trout that filled his creel. My father possessed an even greater ability to read nature like an Outdoor Life magazine. With his knowledge of everything from flora and fauna to scat sign and storm clouds, he was a one-man Audubon Society tour wherever we went. His sense of direction wa...
Barack the American
It is with an enormous sense of relief that I can reliably report that President Obama is, after all, an American. Like millions of others, I had been fretting over rumors that he was actually some sort of Kenyan infant, smuggled into the United States, with a cover identity from Hawaii, to one day become president, from which position of power he could launch the socialist revolution to establish a global autocracy. I mean, I really worried a...
Through a regular outpouring of bleak survey data, Nevada has somehow come to represent the seven deadly sins of America.