FIRST DRAFT: The Trashing of the Public University

By Ruth Rosen
Tuesday March 20, 2012 - 12:51:00 PM

Editor's Note: Twenty years ago, journalist and historians Ruth Rosen, then a professor at U.C Davis and a columnist on the op-ed page of the Los Angeles Times, anticipated the public and state's unwillingness to stop the decline of the University of California. We reprint this to remind our readers that the gradual free fall of education in California has a long history.

Californians can no longer assume that their children can aspire to attend one of our public universities. In the next few weeks, legislators and administrators, faced with the state's whopping budget crisis, plan to raise student fees, chop departments, slice budgets and fire hundreds of faculty. Before long, access to California’s public universities will be sharply limited and higher education will become a privilege for the few. -more-


By Joe Eaton
Monday March 19, 2012 - 10:20:00 PM
Tomato hornworm today, sphinx moth tomorrow.

Insect metamorphosis is a strange and stirring phenomenon. Complex metamorphosis, that is, the process as it occurs in beetles, butterflies, bees, and flies. Whereas grasshoppers, say, just get larger at each successive molt, a moth completely reorganizes itself at every life stage. Gross anatomy, internal organs, physiological processes—everything changes when it transforms from larva to pupa, and again from pupa to adult. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: The Limits of Medication

By Jack Bragen
Monday March 19, 2012 - 10:20:00 PM

Antipsychotic and other types of medications, when used to help people get well, are moderately good things. Before these medications existed, countless mentally ill persons spent a lifetime literally being chained up, and had nothing added to them to hold their horrific disease in check. If not chained up in an asylum, persons with severe mental illness often became the “town idiot” or the “town drunkard.” It isn’t accurate to claim that mental illnesses didn’t exist prior to the invention of the medications. They did exist, and they who suffered from them had a very sorry lot in life. -more-

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: Ireland’s Debt & the Heart of St. O’Toole

By Conn Hallinan
Friday March 16, 2012 - 08:40:00 AM

Someone has pinched the heart of St. Lawrence O’Toole, and thereby hangs a typical Irish tale filled with metaphors, parallels, and some pretty serious weirdness. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: Sarah Palin and the Republican Identity Crisis

By Bob Burnett
Friday March 16, 2012 - 11:40:00 AM

HBO’s splendid movie, Game Change tells the story of Sarah Palin’s rise and fall as John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential contest. It provides insight into the GOP’s identity crisis that’s produced this year’s demolition derby in the Republican primaries. -more-

SENIOR POWER: Bells are Ringing…

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday March 16, 2012 - 11:56:00 AM

In 1976 Margaret Elliot Murdock was interviewed about her father, printer Charles Albert Murdock (1841-1928), and early San Francisco and UC, B days for the Bancroft Library oral history program. From her responses, I have gleaned herstory. Part 1 (last week’s column) was mainly about her San Francisco childhood. Part 2 takes her to Berkeley and the University, and Part 3 (next week’s column) to the Sather Tower bells. -more-