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Opinion
Opinion

Pernicious push polls pervert politics

<strong>Pernicious push polls pervert politics</strong>
Courtesy of John CoupalThe lesson here is that voters need to take any polling with a grain of salt. ■ By John Coupal / Contributed “There are lies, damn lies and statistics,” goes the old saying. It has always been true that statistics can be presented in ways that are highly deceptive and intentionally misleading. A Midwestern city might truthfully claim that its average temperature is a perfect 74 degrees — just like the Hawaiian Islands. It could be technically true, except that the deviation from that temperature in the sub-tropical climate isn’t very great, while the Midwestern city might swing from below freezing in the winter to triple-digit heat in (more…)
Opinion

Turnout is fair game

■ By Bob Franken / Columnist It’s not something he does very often, but this time President Donald Trump was telling the truth when, in his rambles before the gun nuts—aka the National Rifle Association Convention in Dallas—he pointed out that the upcoming midterms will be determined by voter turnout. Turnout is always the be-all and end-all when it comes to any election, but it’s particularly vital in this one. The Democrats will get the chance to demonstrate whether they can abandon their usual backbiting and lethargy, and instead channel all the anti-Trump horror into crowds at polling places. Donald Trump is not even on the 2018 ballot. It’s a race (more…)
Opinion

LETTER TO THE EDITOR – May 17th, 2018

Hemet City Council should follow auditor’s recommendations Dear Editor, The people of Hemet were presented with Measure E and voted it down. Measure E was repackaged and presented to the people as Measure U with the promise of NO commingling of funds. Councilwomen Linda Krupa and Bonnie Wright were on the city council at that time and told the people that Measure U would solve the city’s budget problems. The budget crisis that could take the city into the bankruptcy courts continues to this day. The state auditor stated the following issues: • Use of city-supported library by nonresidents • Underfunded fire department • Inefficient structure of city government – (ineffective (more…)
Opinion

This ‘resistance’ legal action on pesticide is vital

■ By Thomas D. Elias / Columnist It is, quite simply, not within California’s power to rid its own food and fields – let alone all of America’s fields – of a pesticide derived from chemicals developed as a nerve gas by Nazi Germans who used them to fatally gas Jews, gypsies and others they crammed into airtight mobile vans before and during World War II. That’s why it was important for California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra to intervene in a federal lawsuit aiming to force the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make a required safety finding (more likely, a finding that the chemical is unsafe) in a case that (more…)
Opinion

A chance to fix biggest bullet train mistake

■ By Thomas D. Elias / Columnist By the beginning of next year, California will have a new governor and perhaps a new perspective on its largest building project of this and the next decade—the fractionally-built and ultra-controversial bullet train now under construction in Madera and Fresno counties. A new governor can mean a new board of directors for the High Speed Rail Authority and a new outlook on the current management’s biggest error—its insistence on routing the new train through the most populated parts of the Central Valley rather than along the much more open route of Interstate 5 on that valley’s western edge. It’s not often that a state (more…)
Opinion

African-American students with disabilities suspended at disproportionately high rates

■ By Lee Romney / EDSOURCE African-American special education students nationwide lose substantially more instruction time due to discipline than their white counterparts, according to a report by The Civil Rights Project at UCLA and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard University. The report, “Disabling Punishment: The Need for Remedies to the Disparate Loss of Instruction Experienced by Black Students with Disabilities,” extrapolated its findings from federal data from 2014-15 and 2015-16, the last year for which it is available. Released last month, it examined only white and black students, in part because research has found that black students overall are suspended at the highest rates (more…)
Opinion

Buying democracy

■ By Bob Franken / Columnist Let’s face it, the United States of America’s government is not a democracy like the textbook propaganda claims. No matter the intent of the founders, we have evolved into a pay-to-play oligarchy, where money rules. I have to say, I appreciate it when someone is so honest about his or her own dishonesty. Rarely, however, is someone so candid as Mick Mulvaney. He now heads the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget, and even more damagingly, has been appointed by the president, on an interim basis, to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB was formed out of the rubble of the (more…)
Opinion

Pruitt awaits his fate

■ By Bob Franken / Columnist In spite of all the controversy about Scott Pruitt’s cushy D.C. condo, it’s entirely appropriate that he was getting a sweetheart deal on a place to sleep. After all, for his entire political career, he’s been in bed with the special business interests who resist any and all government efforts to protect against their ravaging of the environment. In Oklahoma, as a state senator, then attorney general, and now the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Pruitt has been a stalwart opponent of any regulation that would get in the way of the energy companies that have been his patrons. They and their extremist advocates (more…)
Opinion

LETTER TO THE EDITOR – May 3rd, 2018

Ramona and tourism Dear Editor, We have been to the Ramona Bowl twice, including this year. The play makes each of the cultures come “alive.” A previous weekly question had asked about new businesses, and it got me thinking. Where are the vendors offering the following? 1. Hike the “Rock Indian” trail of The Ramona Bowl to see all the hiding places. Enjoy a panoramic view of the San Jacinto Valley. Take the bus to an authentic Native American luncheon that includes Native American dancing to entertain you during lunch. 2. Tour backstage at The Ramona Bowl and meet the cast members, then enjoy an authentic “fiesta” at the Hacienda. 3. (more…)
Opinion

Ramblin Man: Odd stories

■ By Dave Porter / Columnist I was reading a collection of odd stories about people getting fired for doing stupid things. I was reminded of a job I once had where one of my primary duties, it seemed, was to fire people. I can’t say that I ever liked firing people. No one else in management did either. I was the low person on the management totem pole, so I got to be the resident jerk. I got pretty good at getting people to quit. About half of the more than two dozen people I had to let go decided to quit. Some didn’t get the hint. Some dug in (more…)