First Person: Academic Journey—Two Crashes

By Marvin Chachere
Wednesday December 17, 2008 - 06:51:00 PM

One Friday in early March of 1965 I received in the mail two job offers: mathematics instructor at Diablo Valley College and Extension specialist at the University of California, Berkeley. -more-

Dispatches From The Edge: Angels and Demons in Mumbai

By Conn Hallinan
Wednesday December 17, 2008 - 06:52:00 PM

Two things emerge from last month’s horrendous attack on Mumbai: one is how interconnected South Asia is with the rest of the world. The other is how the Carter Administration’s ill-conceived strategy in Afghanistan more than 30 years ago still reverberates throughout the region. Decades of subversion, terrorism and invasion have created what historian Vijay Prashad calls a “cauldron” from which has emerged avenging angels and dark demons in equal measure. -more-

Undercurrents: A Beginning Analysis of the Dellums Administration

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Wednesday December 17, 2008 - 06:53:00 PM

I have long believed that in the first term of a two-term, four-year administration, the second year is the one to watch if you’re trying to figure out where the administration is going. The first year can be spent getting oriented, hiring staff, learning the situation, and beginning the first policy initiatives. Unless the mistakes are spectacularly bad, there is plenty of time left in the term to make up for first-year mistakes. The fourth year is an election year, and the administrator—president, governor, or mayor—is either deeply involved in running for re-election or have decided to settle for one term. The record upon which a four-year administration is running for re-election, therefore, must be firmly established by the third year. Because most government policies take a long time to actually bear fruit, things which an administration wants to make manifest in the third year must have already been planted at least a year in advance. Thus, it’s at the end of the second year that you can start making judgments of possible success or failure. -more-

Wild Neighbors: A Wren in the Room

By Joe Eaton
Wednesday December 17, 2008 - 07:13:00 PM

I walked into my living room last Saturday morning and found a Bewick’s wren perched on the back of the armchair. -more-

About the House: Slavery Lite

By Matt Cantor
Wednesday December 17, 2008 - 07:12:00 PM

I recently received a letter from a reader (Let’s call him PR) about his experiences with a local contractor and his illegal help. His concern, which is to be commended, is in regards to the pay and working conditions afforded his helper, whom he pseudonymously called Gem (presumably his feelings about the worker, which he effused copiously in a letter which is too long to include herein). -more-