Why do we love reality TV?

Watching season five of American Idol auditions over the last few weeks, complete with humiliating scenes in which Simon Cowell tells someone that he looks like the Incredible Hulk’s wife, has renewed my fascination for the kind of pleasure this brings. “Elimination TV,” in which contestants, viewers or judges vote someone off the show each […]

Smaller schools for better educations

Better schools! This is the demand of parents and business. This is the promise of presidents, governors and mayors. This is the challenge of school district officials and administrators. Superintendents are expected to answer the demands, address the promises and meet the challenges in order for student learning to improve. The new superintendent of Fresno […]

Martin Luther King: the dream unfulfilled

On a hot summer day almost 43 years ago, tens of thousands of Americans—black and white—marched for change. They marched to fulfill the dream that began 100 years before when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. They marched to end injustice and oppression. They stood side-by-side in front of the Lincoln Memorial to hear that the […]

Want justice? Listen to the victim Central Valley a leader

Victims have been in the news lately. Hurricanes and earthquakes have killed thousands and displaced millions. Then there are the victims of wars and insurrections, with the daily toll of those killed by seemingly random bombs. Fears of a worldwide flu pandemic obscure the thousands dying daily of already endemic diseases. Last, but not least, […]

Educational reform—are we on the wrong track?

Will we one day look back at the current education reform movements and say, “Why didn’t we see the obvious?” While stressing the standards and the high school exit examination, will we loose a generation that could have been saved through vocational education? Are we running a train on one rail when we need two? […]

The Alberta connection: more oil…no blood

Our nation has a seemingly unquenchable thirst for oil. Oil is the life blood of our economy and the car is an essential part of American life. Even as manufacturing jobs stampede to lands with cheaper labor, one in six jobs still revolve around the automobile. Americans have more cars per capita and drive more […]