Commentary

Southern California Focus

By Thomas Elias

Manson follower again tests Brown on parole

If this seems like déjà vu, that's because it is. For the 29th time since he was convicted in two of the nine gruesome killings conducted by the cult-like Charles Manson "Family" in the late 1960s, Bruce Davis, 72, is up for parole.

Anti-vaxxers threaten the freedoms of others

Imagine a California where polio becomes a threat to children's health as it was before the 1950s, when first the Salk vaccine and later the even more effective Sabin formula threw this dreaded and crippling disease and all its iron lungs into dormancy.

Federal regulators look as bad as state PUC

For many years before formal investigations by both state and federal authorities began, it was clear the California Public Utilities Commission consistently favored big utility companies over consumers at every opportunity.

State CEQA exemptions sully governor’s green reputation

Gov. Jerry Brown has never professed to be the model of political or ideological consistency. In fact, he’s a decades-long advocate of the “canoe theory” of politics, which goes like this: You paddle a little to the left and you paddle a little to the right, and you keep going straight down the middle of the steam.

Anti-Semitism issue again confronts UC Regents

Back in June, the president of the University of California promised on national radio that the UC Board of Regents would vote in its next meeting — in July — on whether to adopt the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism.

Prop. 47 looks like a well-intentioned blunder

The more time goes by since last fall’s passage of the high-minded Proposition 47, the more it begins to look like a well-intentioned mistake.

Line blurs further between citizens, non-citizens

Almost no one seemed to notice last month, when California's new budget took effect, that another distinction between citizens and non-citizens was breached. Voting now is about the only area left with a clear line between legal immigrants and citizens. Even for the undocumented, there are few privileges or rights they can't now enjoy.

Marijuana harm ignored in push for legalization

Four potential ballot initiatives completely legalizing marijuana are in the works for California’s next general election, with pot advocates yet to choose the variation that will get their concerted push.

Latino fears of losing clout may be valid

Fear and anxiety have been in the air around California’s Latino political leaders in the weeks since the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear arguments next fall in a Texas case challenging the 51-year-old legal and political doctrine of one-person, one-vote.

Gas 'shortage' doesn't stop exports from California

On June 25, just one week before many California motorists began paying upward of $4.30 a gallon for gasoline, the Bahamian-flagged tanker Teesta Spirit left Los Angeles headed for ports on the west coast of Mexico carrying more 300,000 barrels of gasoline refined in California.

Electric agency nod a reward for going along with corruption?

California consumers can be excused if they’re beginning to wonder whether Gov. Jerry Brown cares a whit about blatantly corrupt conduct by some of his appointees to very high state offices.

It’s about time to meter groundwater wells

Water flows downhill. It’s a basic reality now playing out 500 feet below the surface of California’s farmland from the fertile Central Valley to the citrus orchards of Riverside and San Diego counties.

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Thomas Elias

Columnist and author Thomas Elias writes a syndicated politcal column appearing twice weekly in 70 newspapers around California, with a circulation of over 1.89 million. He has won numerous awards from ...

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