How to play pro ball and be cruel to your school
Last week, the Washoe County School District touted another literally incredible increase in high school graduation rates. At 72 percent, we are now approaching former Superintendent Heath Morrison's latest miracle in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina. Alas, this week the Nevada Dept. of Education released statewide ratings. "More than 20 percent of schools in Washoe County slipped in the ranking of 604 schools," wrote Reno Gazette-Journal...
Radical King’s ‘promised land’ of justice still distant
Most Americans today praise Martin Luther King, one of America’s great heroes. They laud his fight for racial equality. They admire his “I Have a Dream” speech. But precious few Americans know of his radicalism, his other battles for social justice and a decent America. King, who led 250,000 people on the great March on Washington 50 years ago, opposed the Vietnam War. “If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read ...
Muhammad Ali and Sir David Frost faced off here
I witnessed Muhammad Ali go mano y mano with Sir David Frost 41 years ago. Ali had been beaten in the ring for the first time in 1971, losing to heavyweight champion Joe Frazier on a 15-round decision. He would finally regain the title by knocking out George Foreman in the fabled 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" rope-a-dope bout in Kinshasa, Zaire (now Congo). In between, Ali fought light-heavyweight champion Bob Foster for the North American heavy...
All hail Manning, worthy of Nobel Peace Prize
Pfc. Bradley Manning, sentenced to 35 years in prison by a military court, deserves two things: a presidential pardon and the Nobel Peace Prize. President Obama has made plain his hostility to the heroic leaker so the odds are 5,000-to-1 against a pardon. Nor are the Peace Prize deciders in Oslo likely to honor Manning with such a prestigious award. But you never know about them. The “wizards” gave a peace prize to Obama in 2009 for his noble ...
Lawnmower man, smoke eaters & bladerunners
When I ventured into the smoky Seventh Circle of Hell that was downtown Reno last Saturday morning, I didn't expect to encounter Lawnmower Man. He wasn't as scary as the guy in the Stephen King novel, but disturbing just the same. The occasion was meant to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the legendary 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. As I walked through the forest-fired haze toward the federal courthouse, I noticed a man lift...
Veteran car dealer retires
Last week at the regular monthly meeting of the Reno Sparks New Car Dealers Association, veteran car dealer Ben Scott was honored on his retirement.
Dick Tracy fights the Patriot Act?
Within the next few months, Samsung will introduce an updated version of their wrist cell phone, proving the old adage that if you want to predict the future look to the past.
Snowden, Manning: ‘dangerous’ men praised as American heroes
The most dangerous man in America. —Government label for Daniel Ellsberg after he released Pentagon Papers, revealing U.S. lies and deceptions during the Vietnam War. America’s government under President Obama has become a Surveillance State with its National Security Agency spying at home and abroad. Before whistleblower Edward Snowden was recently granted asylum in Russia, Attorney General Eric Holder declared that Russian President Putin sh...
A quarter century of Barbwire, part deux
Twenty-five years ago on August 12, this column moved from regional magazines to the newly-daily Tribune. Last week, I told how I got here. This week, highs and lows from over 1,300 Barbwires. 1. THE UNIVERSITY SCANDALS OF 1996-97. Rambunctious UNR Prof. Howard Rosenberg was elected to the university board of regents. The establishment tried to negate his win, arguing that he should not serve because he was a system employee. The Nevada Ethics...
Alphabet soup of scandals
Despite the President’s protests, that the scandals engulfing Washington are “phony,” his popularity has hit a new low of 42 percent approval.