Opinion

  • LOIS HENRY: No fireworks ban? OK, then let's tighten things up a bit

    Time to pick up the pieces, dust ourselves off and start over. And by that I mean renew efforts to ban all personal fireworks. (Professional shows, free to the public — si; personal incendiary devices in the hands of drunken numbskulls — no.) I’m writing this on Thursday, so I have no idea what

  • The Girl Scouts' inspiring example of moral courage

    Thank heaven for little girls. So sang French actor Maurice Chevalier in a famous song celebrating "their little eyes so helpless and appealing" and the fact that "they grow up in the most delightful way." Well, we are here to thank heaven for little Girl Scouts -- and for

  • Bakersfield Californian CEO Richard Beene.

    BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

    HISTORY: The political fracas over the Confederate flag has led to a new movement calling for the renaming of every street, school or county in the South named in honor of Confederate war dead. So where does all this end? If this country is going to embrace a long apology tour, we have a ways to go.

  • Obama's fuel-efficiency goals prove elusive, but reboot should help

    When you set big goals, sometimes you set yourself up for big failure. President Barack Obama's lofty plans to put more fuel-efficient vehicles on the roads crashed headlong into the realities of the marketplace. Even so, there is value in striving to attain a noble end, especially a difficult

  • Scalia is right about California and the West (for now)

    Let’s stipulate that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was wrong to dissent in last week’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. But Scalia was right when, in the same dissent, he suggested that California is a different place than the American West. And in so doing, he

  • Interim county animal control director Nick Cullen and George, a Rottweiler puppy.

    We've made a serious dent in animal euthanasia rates

    At Kern County Animal Services, our goal is to achieve a manageable population of healthy animals who are cared for by responsible owners. This is humane as well as critical to public health. I'd like to report on the progress we've made. Success or failure is widely judged by how many

  • Shoe on the other foot

    Remember when this Supreme Court gave the victory to the plaintiffs in Citizens United and corporations became people? Why didn't the Republicans cry foul then? Why didn't the Republicans call this Supreme Court a collection of non-elected judges? Why didn't the Republicans

  • Five despots have spoken

    Abraham Lincoln once described our system of government as being “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” In accordance with this concept of democracy, our form of government is not imposed upon us but rather consented to by those governed by it. Prohibition and its repeal

  • VA failed troops subjected to mustard gas tests

    An investigation by National Public Radio revealed last week that the Veterans Administration failed to follow through on its pledge to locate, medically treat and financially compensate about 4,000 World War II troops who were the subjects of Army mustard gas tests. The promise was made in the

  • Dying squeal of losers resounds over same-sex decision

    Now that the Supremes have handed down what President Barack Obama called the "thunderbolt" ruling allowing gay marriage, it is the law of the land, and it's kinda fun to watch the various Republican candidates try to suck up to their conservative -- make that ultra-conservative --

  • Next gay marriage battle: Can faithful act on moral beliefs?

    Everyone knows where the debate over gay marriage is going next. Now that the Supreme Court has imposed its edict on the land, the question is whether religious institutions and people of faith will still be permitted to act on moral beliefs that the court has portrayed as bigoted and deeply

  • U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks in reaction to the shooting deaths of nine people at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, from the podium in the press briefing room of the White House in Washington June 18, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

    Obama's eulogy points us to a path of grace

    The occasion, a funeral for a beloved man who was murdered, was tragic. The theme of grace that resonated throughout the eulogy delivered by President Barack Obama was anything but. The service Friday for South Carolina state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, pastor of Emmanuel AME Church, was steeped in

  • Supreme Court's white lie on Obamacare

    The GOP-majority Supreme Court saved President Barack Obama's bacon Thursday with a political ruling that papered over his signature Affordable Care Act. Writing for the majority in the 6-3 King v. Burwell decision, Chief Justice John Roberts noted that the 900-page law was written behind

  • Dr. Jared Salvo.

    Prevent another tragedy, teach CPR in high school

    How many more deaths from cardiac arrest does our community need before action is taken to change this grim reality? Every year there are almost 424,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the United States, and of this figure an estimated 10,200 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen to children.

  • Picking a woman who's right on the money

    America's been discussing women's influence on our nation's history, destiny and character. And we managed to talk about women's contributions for almost, oh, an entire quarter of an hour until the conversation veered back to men. Makes you proud, doesn't it? The topic under

  • Nicholas (Nick) Ortiz is the president of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce.

    Job growth and double digit energy cost increases don’t mix

     Although Bakersfield employment is on the rebound, unemployment is still higher at 10.3 percent than the state’s rate of 6.1 percent. We’ve seen progress, but we need our legislative representatives to hold the line against cost increases that will threaten businesses growth and

  • Same-sex decision victory for tyranny

    Christians who foolishly thought that all the homosexuals wanted was tolerance are going to find out that they want much more. The Supreme Court Decision giving gays and lesbians the right to marry is only the beginning. Actually, they have already punished many of those who believe in