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Sep 21st
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Area Opinions

Columns - Opinion

Why Elon Musk is a Poor Person’s Worst Nightmare

Why Elon Musk is a Poor Person’s Worst Nightmare

In the movie Elysium, the wealthy and privileged flee Earth to inhabit a Larry Niven-like artificial ringworld, leaving the rest of humanity behind on a destitute planet. The future, if left to Elon Musk, bears an eerie resemblance to Elysium.

Musk, the chief executive officer (CEO) and chief technology officer (CTO) of SpaceX, the CEO of Tesla Motors, and chairman of the board of SolarCity, doesn’t care about the poor or middle-class and his business models prove it. The technology-centric crowd fawns over Musk like he is the second coming of Steve Jobs. He is a creative problem solver who looks to the future. However, his products serve only the wealthy and elite.

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Columns - Opinion

It’s About Justice For All, Not Marriage For Some

It’s About Justice For All, Not Marriage For Some

 

Marriage equality was merely the context of the recent marriage equality cases before the US Supreme Court. Neither case addressed the fundamental right of same-sex couples to marry. The content of both cases was discrimination, challenging laws that treated citizens unequally. Since the legacy of both rulings is not issue specific, there is huge impact towards a more just society for all.

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Columns - Opinion

Political Parties and Post Partisan Politics

Political Parties and Post Partisan Politics

Have you ever felt like our politicians in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. are never getting anything done? It’s gridlock baby and it’s our own fault.

There is a deep-seated human need to identify with a group and see other groups as the enemy. We haven’t evolved much from the Stone Age. It's one of the reasons sports are so popular—I have my team to cheer for and everybody else is the opposition to be defeated.

The duopoly that we call our political system today with the Democrats and Republicans fits cleanly into this deep psychological need that we have. Sadly, it has devolved into something akin to sport or even warfare. And the Internet, with the anonymity of attacks, has sharpened the edge of the divide.

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Columns - Opinion

This Is The End

This Is The End

This is traditionally such a busy and chaotic time of year for so many of us. Regardless of whether or not you align yourself with any particular spiritual or religious path and its seasonal celebrations, it seems that the general pace picks up all around us, and we’re often caught up despite our best efforts. And wouldn’t you know it, right in the thick of it comes another poker in the fire. I don’t know if you heard or not, but this weekend is kind of a big deal, and it pretty much blows everything else out of the celebratory water.

According to the Mayans (the formerly living Mayans—there are not any actual Mayans left), Friday is the end of the world! This Friday—Dec. 21.

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Columns - Opinion

The Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre: 'Enough'

Editor’s Note: In the wake of the elementary school shooting that took place on Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn.,  Rev. Deborah L. Johnson, founder of Inner Light Ministries, has issued the following statement:

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut is a tragedy. Inner Light Ministries and I extend our condolences and join in the chorus of prayers around the world. Flags on our government buildings fly half-mast as the nation grieves. Yes, we are all deeply saddened, but we must do more than mourn. We must act in accordance with a sense of purpose to be a voice of both compassion and action. It is time to call forth the best in our creative genius to create the world we want to see, the world that honors life as sacred and empowers people to be all that they can be. 

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Columns - Opinion

Looking For Solutions About Downtown

Looking For Solutions About Downtown

The character of Downtown Santa Cruz has pretty much been under discussion for as long as I can remember.

Longtime Santa Cruz residents love the tradition of what was once known as The Pacific Avenue Garden Mall, and that pride continues into its post-earthquake years.

But there’s an equally strong anti-downtown feeling from those who don’t like the so-called “social problems”—the panhandlers and groups of street people who line the sidewalks.

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Columns - Opinion

Four Eyes. Possibly More.

Four Eyes. Possibly More.

When they told me I needed glasses, I did what most 11-year-olds do. I plea bargained. “How about a monocle?” “You need both eyes corrected.” No problem. “Two monocles!”

A week later, I tried out my new glasses and decided they were uncomfortable and made everything look screwy, so I didn’t wear them. I only needed them to see things in the distance, and most of a child’s world is the near field, where the comic books and snacks and televisions are. There’s no need to read freeway signs at night or to check out hot people from a safe distance. When I needed to see those unimportant things farther away, like blackboards, I could bring them into focus using an affordable, all-natural technique called squinting.

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Columns - Opinion

A Righteous Display of Anger

A Righteous Display of Anger

The “Occupy” political movement is one of the most fascinating developments in recent years, as frustrated, self-described regular folks are stepping up to demonstrate just how furious they are with Wall Street.

They’re calling themselves the “99 percenters” and they’re focusing their antipathy towards the “1 percent” that they see as nearly taking down our economic system.

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Columns - Opinion

Carpe Diem. Tomorrow.

Carpe Diem. Tomorrow.

Time is a flirt, the little bitch. Time says, “I’ll always be here for you.” And you come to believe it, and get used to it, and then suddenly you really need Time, and then Time is nowhere to be found. You panic, you scramble, and somehow you learn to cope without it. Then there’s a knock at the door, and it’s Time with a bottle of wine and some sweet talk, and all you can remember are the good days.

It’s fall, and fall is procrastination season. For one thing, school has started. School is where we encounter our first deadlines and decide how we will fight their power. Will we finish the assignments early and thereby defuse the tension? Prudent, but bo-ring. Procrastinators such as myself prefer to live on the edge, racing toward deadlines with steely nerve in a temporal game of chicken to see who will flinch at the last second. Sometimes due dates get extended, and we get a sense of relief the Prudentarians will never enjoy, but more commonly we find ourselves paying the price with an all-nighter. Though we may be criticized for our sub-standard work, we can hold our heads high and say, “Sure, but considering I did a two week project in one night, not too shabby!” It may not be the best way to get our money’s worth out of an expensive education, but it gives us time to focus on other important fall things, like ... the holidays!

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Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
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Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.