Commentary

Think About It

By George Hawkins

California school assessment program is broken

Some people see the decision by the California Board of Education to suspend the Academic Performance Index for the second consecutive year as a step backward. It could just as easily be seen as a move to correct a problem. The API testing system has been abused.

Scott Walker and unions

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s confrontation with public employee unions a few years ago has propelled Walker to a political center stage. At Walker’s urging, Wisconsin now limits the bargaining authority of public employee unions.

Baseball season to start with stats, stats and more stats

If you read U-T San Diego or pay attention to sports shows, you’re probably aware that Major League Baseball games will be starting soon. The pre-season fuss has nearly drowned out the cacophony about where the Chargers may eventually play football. Baseball hype is ratcheting up with roster changes, coaching changes, predictions and an ever-expanding flood of statistics.

Family updates about life in Ukraine

Recent news from Eastern Ukraine seems hopeful. Some sort of agreement has, apparently, been reached in that tortuous fight. It will be some time before we know for certain what it will mean for the Ukrainian people who, in the early 1990s. believed they had escaped the clutches of a despotic Russian regime.

Taxes, government and the 1 percent

Here we go again. The 2016 election season is unofficially underway. Most Democrats seem to be holding off on announcing a run until a certain Clinton makes an official decision. Republicans are stumbling all over each other as they put their toes in the money-raising waters. The number of Republicans on some lists is staggering; there are new names and repeat performers.

Navy Broadway Complex and terrorists

Some residents and business owners near the 16-acre Navy Broadway Complex say there are sound reasons not to expand the site, but one of the reasons that has been offered doesn’t even come close.

Finding empathy with the homeless

As it reaches downtown San Diego, the Orange Line trolley passes through stretches that appear to be attractive to part of the county’s homeless. In some sections, blue tarps, an occasional tent, and many shopping carts line the sidewalks.

Trying to make sense of NTC walking tour

There are four historic districts in the city of San Diego listed in the National Register of Historic Places, according to a flier at the former San Diego Naval Training Center in Liberty Station. NTC is one of them.

‘Fear itself’ and keeping the populace alarmed

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to his first term as president of the United States in 1932. During his inaugural address in 1933, FDR said “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Should CIA torture report have been made public?

I have never been tortured. Never, unless, that is, you count being in the same house as a squalling 4-year-old. Even so, I doubt that sort of discomfort would force me to give up information; I can always escape to a remote room and close the door until the noise subsides. I have no real idea what it would be like if someone really made an effort to coerce me into revealing plans or other secrets.

Normalizing relations with Cuba

Long before there was any argument about building a fence along the southern border of the United States, I was driving in southwestern Texas traveling southeast along the Mexican border. All that was between me and Mexico was a stretch of land and the Rio Grande River.

A place to go

On Dec. 3, the city of San Diego gave the homeless a Christmas present. Tourists and the occasional local resident, at a loss as to where to “go,” can also use this gift. A Portland Loo has finally been installed in the city. It is the first of two the City Council approved in February.

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