December 2, 2012 |
Despite the increasing number of those who hold other faiths or no faith, Christians still wield substantial influence on our nation's cultural and ethical norms. After all, 73% of Americans still identify as Christian, according to a 2012 Pew Forum Study. So the fact that many churchgoers have changed their views about gay civil rights in recent years is one of the major under-reported reasons why same-sex marriage is now legal in nine states. It is also one of the reasons that the constitutional challenge to Proposition 8, which took away gay Californians' right to marry, may get a hearing in the Supreme Court this term (an announcement is expected on Monday)
September 1, 2013 |
Both Gov. Jerry Brown's ill-considered plan for complying with a court-ordered prison population cap by contracting out for inmate beds, and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's much smarter plan to control the flow of new inmates into prison, are based on the desire to prevent, at almost all costs, the early release of inmates. And that is understandable. California's 33 prisons are overpopulated by about 9,600 felons, according to courts that have ordered the number of inmates to be reduced to 137.5% of design capacity by Dec. 31. The prospect of that many convicted criminals being released onto the streets in a single wave is frightening.
November 3, 2013 |
The day after Halloween, the federal government rolled back food stamp benefits for all 47.6 million people who receive them, officially ending one of the last remaining stimulus efforts left over from President Obama's first months in office - while also making it harder for millions of Americans to get enough to eat. The callousness displayed in cutting vital safety net benefits at a time when millions lack the resources to feed their families adequately...
August 20, 2013 |
For many college students, the semester abroad has become a rite of passage. But while many Americans study abroad for a semester or two, it is a rarity for high schoolers to apply outside the United States for their bachelor's degree. As many California universities hope to attract foreign students, who pay higher tuition, it's worth asking whether the state's students might find some advantages in looking abroad for a university. With rising tuition and dropping acceptance rates at many colleges and universities in the state, it's high time to think outside the quad.
November 4, 2013 |
You've probably seen the images of dolphins caught in abandoned monofilament fishing nets, or of vast areas of plastic trash floating in remote waters of the Pacific, or of sea turtles consuming plastic bags that look remarkably like one of their favorite foods: jellyfish. Or perhaps, after a rainstorm, you've walked on a beach that resembled a landfill. Some 20 million tons of plastic pollution enters the oceans each year, and it's devastating the marine environment. Plastic litter is also costly.
July 28, 2013
If you've ever tried to submit a poem to Opinion, you've probably gotten a reply noting that we simply don't print poetry. We didn't print the poem that came in the shape of the World Trade Center towers after 9/11; we didn't print the poem that came in this month after the Trayvon Martin verdict; and we didn't print any of the hundreds of poems that came in between those events. But we've decided to make a one-time exception. We are inviting Op-Poetry submissions from readers, and on Sunday, Aug. 25, we'll devote a page of our print section to the best of what comes in. And we'll feature more of it on the Opinion website.
April 7, 2013 |
In May 1943, President Franklin Roosevelt met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the White House. It was 17 months after Pearl Harbor and a little more than a year before D-Day. The two Allied leaders reviewed the war effort to date and exchanged thoughts on their plans for the postwar era. At one point in the discussion, FDR offered what he called "the best way to settle the Jewish question. " Vice President Henry Wallace, who noted the conversation in his diary, said Roosevelt spoke approvingly of a plan (recommended by geographer and Johns Hopkins University President Isaiah Bowman)
June 9, 2013 |
As an economist, an immigrant and a scholar of the effects of immigration on the U.S. economy, I find that few pieces of legislation have engaged me more than the proposal for comprehensive immigration reform that the full Senate will take up this week. The most heated debates have been about the path to legal status for those undocumented immigrants who are already in the United States. But this bill does much more than that. It changes the rules regulating the future flow of immigrants and of non-immigrant, temporary foreign workers.