Tom Elias

Anti-vaxxers threaten freedoms of others

Imagine a California where polio becomes a threat to children’s health as it was before the 1950s, when first the Salk vaccine and later the even more effective Sabin formula threw this dreaded and crippling disease and all its iron lungs into dormancy. Or a California where dozens of kids die every year from pertussis, […]

September 20, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Federal regulators look as bad as state PUC

For many years before formal investigations by both state and federal authorities began, it was clear the California Public Utilities Commission consistently favored big utility companies over consumers at every opportunity. But until a court order produced tens of thousands of emails between utility commissioners and executives of the companies they regulate, no one could […]

September 17, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Prop. 47 looking like a well-intentioned blunder

The more time goes by since last fall’s passage of the high-minded Proposition 47, the more it begins to look like a well-intentioned mistake. This was the ballot measure that turned some “minor” felonies into misdemeanor crimes, thus easing the crowding in state prisons and many county jails. It has unquestionably helped some ex-felons rebuild […]

September 11, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Anti-Semitism issue again confronts UC regents

Back in June, the president of the University of California promised on national radio that the UC Board of Regents would vote at its next meeting — in July — on whether to adopt the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism. It didn’t happen. There was no vote, no discussion, not even an agenda item. No regent — […]

September 08, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Canoe theory at work in gov’s CEQA exemption deals

Gov. Jerry Brown has never professed to be the model of political or ideological consistency. In fact, he’s a decades-long advocate of the “canoe theory” of politics, which goes like this: You paddle a little to the left and you paddle a little to the right, and you keep going straight down the middle of […]

September 06, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Huge oil company gains are a sign of gas price-gouging

The days when oil companies could easily deny they’ve gouged California motorists through much of this year should have ended with the second-quarter financial reports of Valero Energy Corp. and Tesoro Corp., which together control about 40 percent of the California gasoline market. But their denials won’t end despite the humongous windfall financial gains they […]

September 01, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Marijuana harm ignored in push for legalization

Four potential ballot initiatives completely legalizing marijuana are in the works for California’s next general election, with pot advocates yet to choose the variation that will get their concerted push. But one thing for sure: Whichever one they send out for signature-gathering will say nothing about the detrimental effects of the mind-altering weed, well known […]

August 30, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged , ,

Lines blur further between citizens, non-citizens

Almost no one seemed to notice earlier this summer, when California’s new budget took effect, that yet another distinction between citizens and non-citizens was breached. Voting now is about the only area left with a clear line between legal immigrants and citizens. Even for the undocumented, there are few privileges or rights they can’t now […]

August 25, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Latino fears on loss of clout may be correct

  Fear and anxiety have been in the air around California’s Latino political leaders in the weeks since the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear arguments this fall in a Texas case challenging the 51-year-old legal and political doctrine of one person, one vote. These fears may turn out to be far more correct […]

August 19, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged , ,

Go along with corruption and get another gig

California consumers can be excused if they’re beginning to wonder whether Gov. Jerry Brown cares a whit about blatantly corrupt conduct by some of his appointees to very high state offices. That feeling grew more intense recently with the appointment of Mark Ferron to the governing board of the state’s Independent System Operator, which manages the […]

August 14, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Gas ‘shortage’ doesn’t stop exports from California

On June 25, just one week before many California motorists began paying upwards of $4.30 per gallon for gasoline, the Bahamian-flagged tanker Teesta Spirit left Los Angeles headed for ports on the west coast of Mexico carrying more than 300,000 barrels of gasoline refined in California. The Teesta Spirit was just one of nine large […]

August 11, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Time for sanity in sanctuary city policies

There is no need — at least not yet — for total abandonment of the humane aspects of the immigration “sanctuary” laws now on the books in 276 American cities, counties and states. But in the wake of the seemingly random murder of a 32-year-old woman on San Francisco’s touristy Pier 14, not far from the landmark […]

August 07, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Vergara time bomb still hangs over public schools

Like a time bomb, the court decision in Vergara v. California has been mostly dormant since the last election season ended in November 2014. But its explosive potential remains as large as ever. Vergara, to refresh memories, is the ruling by a previously obscure Los Angeles County Superior Court judge that essentially would throw out […]

August 04, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Will Prop. 47 turn out to be a fire hazard?

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.” — Robert Burns in his 1785 poem, “To a Mouse” Robbie Burns couldn’t have known it, but as California approaches what many experts forecast to be the worst wildfire season on record, his description of how good intentions can go awry, not always turning […]

July 31, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

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