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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Prop. 47 Looking Like A Well-Intentioned Blunder

Posted Aug. 30, 2015, 10:36 am

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.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist, Politics

Anti-Semitism Issue Again Confronts UC Regents

Posted Aug. 29, 2015, 9:05 am

Back in June, the president of the University of California promised on national radio that the UC Board of Regents would vote in its next meeting – in July – on whether to adopt the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Politics, Gas Prices

Huge Oil Company Gains A Sign Of Gas Price Gouging

Posted Aug. 23, 2015, 9:56 am

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.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Politics

Canoe Theory At Work In Governor Jerry Brown's CEQA Exemption Deals

Posted Aug. 22, 2015, 7:58 am

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 the steam.”

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Lines Blur Further Between Citizens, Non-Citizens

Posted Aug. 16, 2015, 9:07 am

Almost no one seemed to notice last month, 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 enjoy.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Marijuana Harm Ignored In Push For California Legalization

Posted Aug. 15, 2015, 8:15 am

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.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Los Angeles, Health, Opinion, California, Columnist

Condoms-In-Porn A Lock For 2016 Ballot

Posted Aug. 9, 2015, 9:36 am

The ballot initiative carnival predicted when it became clear how few valid voter signatures would be needed to qualify measures for next year’s November ballot is now officially underway.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Latino Fears On Loss Of Clout May Be Correct

Posted Aug. 8, 2015, 9:09 am

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 next fall in a Texas case challenging the 51-year-old legal and political doctrine of one-person, one-vote.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Electric Agency Nod A Reward For Going Along With Corruption?

Posted Aug. 2, 2015, 9:03 am

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.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Gas Prices

Gas 'Shortage' Doesn't Stop Exports From California

Posted Aug. 1, 2015, 9:11 am

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.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Time For Sanity In Sanctuary City Policies

Posted Jul. 26, 2015, 9:04 am

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 Ferry Building, there is surely a need for new sanity in sanctuary policies.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Politics

Donald Trump As The New Pete Wilson

Posted Jul. 25, 2015, 8:34 am

As Donald Trump, real estate mogul, TV star and Republican presidential candidate, made a whirlwind mid-July trip around the West in his private, blue-painted Boeing 767 jet, it almost seemed like he was trying to sabotage his own party. This was before he went off on the military record of the GOP icon, Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Will Prop. 47 Turn Out To Be A Fire Hazard?

Posted Jul. 19, 2015, 9:32 am

Bobby 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 out as planned, might come into play here soon.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Health, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Vaccination Vacillation Shows Governor Jerry Brown's Pragmatism

Posted Jul. 12, 2015, 9:37 am

“A foolish consistency,” the philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson once noted, “is the hobgoblin of little minds,” and no one has ever accused Gov. Jerry Brown of being small minded. So why be surprised when he completely reverses himself as he did the other day on vaccinations?

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Public Says It Likes Split Roll, May Get No Vote On It

Posted Jul. 5, 2015, 7:00 am

Firm Republican opposition to tinkering of any kind with the 1978 Proposition 13 is one reason voters may get no chance next year to decide whether or not to tax commercial and industrial land and buildings more than residential property.

The Food and Drug Administration, which oversees most food labels, requires food manufacturers to list Trans Fats on products with 0.5 grams or more of Trans Fat. In less than 3 years, trans fats will be banned from usage in food nationwide.

News, Health, California, Santa Monica

Trimming The Trans Fat: Helping The U.S. Get Healthy

Posted Jul. 4, 2015, 6:24 am

Trans fats; they are typically found in partially hydrogenated oils (PHO’s), which is used to deep-fry food and preserve processed foods like potato chips, cookies, and cakes. While trans fats are easy to use, inexpensive to produce, and last a long time, they are responsible for raising bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lowering good (HDL) cholesterol levels.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Long Wait Looms For GOP Congress Gains In California

Posted Jun. 28, 2015, 9:02 am

Few things gall California Republicans more than realizing they hold just 14 of this state’s 53 seats in Congress. That’s only 26 percent of California’s representatives, while the opposition Democrats, with a mere 14 percent more registered voters, hold 39 seats, or about 74 percent.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Lawn Replacement In California: Mixed Bag Of Good, Bad Effects

Posted Jun. 27, 2015, 7:42 am

Listen to water officials from Gov. Jerry Brown down to local officials and you’d think replacing lawns with drought-resistant plants or artificial turf is a pure good, no negatives involved.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist

Vergara Time Bomb Still Hangs Over California Public Schools

Posted Jun. 21, 2015, 8:53 am

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.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Education

UC Regents: Define Anti-Semitism Or Enable It

Posted Jun. 20, 2015, 9:12 am

Top University of California officials including President Janet Napolitano and several campus chancellors publicly deplore the way activists pushing UC to boycott Israel seemed to spawn outright anti-Semitic actions and outcries over the last few months.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Cali

Housing Now A Huge, Unheralded State Crisis

Posted Jun. 14, 2015, 10:02 am

In the Los Angeles area, fewer than one in four households headed by persons in their 20s or early 30s – known demographically as “millennials” – can afford to buy the median-priced home, which now goes for just over $500,000.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Bit By Bit, 'Disclose Act' Becomes More Real In California

Posted Jun. 13, 2015, 9:00 am

If there’s one main reason for the distrust many Californians feel for government and elected officials at all levels, it may be the way special interests from corporations to labor unions to individual billionaires pour millions of dollars into elections campaigns while hiding their identities.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Health, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Nurse Practitioners: A Boon For Underserved Areas

Posted Jun. 7, 2015, 10:00 am

Let nurse practitioners in California have almost all the authority that doctors now possess, urges the state Senate via a proposed law it has already cleared.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Gasoline Price Gouging Evidence Grows

Posted Jun. 6, 2015, 8:31 am

Just about two years ago, when gasoline prices in most of California last moved well above the $4-per-gallon level, crude oil cost $147 a barrel. Oil companies said the high price of crude was a major factor in that price spike.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Beam Us Up, Scotty; California Drought Spurring Ideas

Posted May. 31, 2015, 8:36 am

Ideas come fast every time California endures a drought of several years. Each time, some of them are accepted and put into use, thus making the next drought a bit easier to handle.

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