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Apr 24th
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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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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

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Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management