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November 1, 2012 · Posted in Commentary · Comments Off on WHAT IS IT ABOUT ROMNEY THAT IS SO OBJECTIONABLE? 


For the last few weeks–ever since that first debate between Obama and Romney–my dislike of Romney has deepened. That first debate forced me to figure out why the man so got on my nerves. He obviously gets on other people’s nerves as well, even including some conservatives, and even other Mormons like Jon Huntsman and Harry Reid.

I’m afraid in that first debate, poor old Barak Obama was having a tough time concealing his disdain for Romney. I’ve heard that Obama is disdainful because Romney is a man without a core, without real beliefs–except for the tenets of his religion, which like most religions has very bizarre beliefs. Read more

The Hunger Ahead

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November 1, 2012 · Posted in Commentary · Comments Off on The Hunger Ahead 

Leslie Evans

The Coming Famine: The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It . Julian Cribb. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. 248 pp.

The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources. Michael T. Klare. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2012. 306 pp.

Back in 1798, Thomas Malthus published his Essay on the Principle of Population . He put forth the simple proposition that, land being finite, the food supply increases only arithmetically, by small percentages, while humans have multiple births that in the next generation have multiple births so that population increases geometrically and will periodically locally, and in the end globally, outrun the food supply. The premise would seem irrefutable, though the date when the ultimate bill comes due is uncertain. On the right, Malthus was rejected on the ground that God would take care of his own. On the left, for two centuries Malthus was dismissed with the argument that there would always be sufficient food if distribution were more equal. We are now in the endgame.

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November 1, 2012 · Posted in Commentary · Comments Off on A CITY THAT BECKONS AND SUMMONS THE PAST 




Views of Santa Barbara


By Bob Vickrey

As I drove north on Pacific Coast Highway and caught a glimpse of the place where mountains meet the ocean, there suddenly appeared a vista that rekindled old memories and also marked the dramatic passing of time. Read more

Chapter 1: Ishi. The First Chapter Of “Travels Through California Literature”

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November 1, 2012 · Posted in Commentary · Comments Off on Chapter 1: Ishi. The First Chapter Of “Travels Through California Literature” 

This is a painting of Ishi on the Oroville jail wall.

Phyl van Ammers

The highways, freeways, streets and back roads of the state lead through California’s literature.  Califia is the beginning of the journey for Europeans.  The real beginning is the immense literature of the native people.

Around 1500, Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo introduced Califia in The Adventures of Esplandián.  She ruled black women in her kingdom of California.

Whoopi Goldberg narrated her fictional life in a former attraction in Disney’s California Adventures before that site became the Little Mermaid ride.  From there, the trip should head northeast to Riverside County. Read more

Interspecies Friendships

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November 1, 2012 · Posted in Miscellany · Comments Off on Interspecies Friendships 

Humans are rapidly exterminating most of the larger animal species on our planet. Here are some photos to remind us what it can be like to share affection with other animals.



Forwarded to us by Kathleen Rosenblatt. NOTE: You can click within each photo to see the next one, or use the arrows at the bottom, but the full screen icon on the right doesn’t work and it doesn’t run as an automatic slide show.

If you have Microsoft PowerPoint or the PowerPoint Viewer and want to see this show full screen (much better!), Click Here

Honey walks in Black Diamond Regional Park

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November 1, 2012 · Posted in Notes from Above Ground · Comments Off on Honey walks in Black Diamond Regional Park 


By Honey van Blossom

(Honey is a Belgian Marxist former strip-tease artiste.)

The East Bay’s relentless march of urban sprawl — the vast numbers of identical houses with similar lawns now decorated with fake orangey spider webs and fake tombstones, without stores or schools within walking distance, everything a drive somewhere, stoked by the freeway system, financed by taxpayers to enrich developers, climate destroying — is startlingly interrupted by its parks.

The suburban tracts gather at one end up against Mount Diablo State Park. Read more