Expelling Confederate symbols from the military academy

Like everything at West Point, it’s all organized and planned. According to the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, Lt. Gen. Steve Gilland, while the Corps of Cadets is away this winter break, the beautiful campus overlooking the Hudson is being stripped of its shameful Confederate symbols.

Rainy Side View: The plumeria tree

In a corner of the yard at the house where I grew up, on Lono Street, is a plumeria tree. It’s a robust tree, the tough native kine and even during dormant months when leaves drop, it stands out with its beefy trunk and gnarled branches. And when it blooms — oh my! Large yellow and white flowers provide lei not just for friends and family, but for strangers who stop to ask if they can pick.

2 technology balancing acts

The internet and social media have provided organizations and people with a great many windows on the world compared to the three major television stations of the 1950s.

The pandemic drinking binge just keeps going

The arrival of COVID-19 and the societal disruptions that accompanied it understandably drove a lot of Americans to drink. But even as life has returned to more or less normal this year, the drinking binge has continued. The consumer spending statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis are the timeliest estimates of alcohol consumption available. They show November’s spending on alcoholic beverages, adjusted for inflation and seasonal spending patterns, to have been 3% higher than a year earlier and 15% higher than just before the pandemic. (1)

Los Angeles ballot measure raises hope for housing solution

Los Angeles voters approved a ballot measure in November to address the city’s housing crisis, which has left tens of thousands of people with no place to live, many others priced out of the area, and prompted recently elected mayor, Karen Bass, to declare a state of emergency. The measure, known as United to House LA, or ULA, is designed to provide both immediate protections to vulnerable tenants and to fund longer-term housing solutions.

It was a good year if you are a mainstream Republican

In many ways, 2022 might seem like it was a pretty bad year for Americans on the political right. After all, the year saw record budget deficits, spending bills loaded with corporate welfare, a legally dubious student loan scheme, and disappointing election results for the Republican Party.

The Senate fails Afghans and US service members

Let’s get right to the point: If and when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Chuck Grassley ever again try to prop up their bona fides as supporters of U.S. troops and our allies abroad, they should be laughed out of the room.

Thanks to FTX, regulating crypto should be easy

As the demise of the FTX crypto empire unfolds — on Twitter, in bankruptcy proceedings, in congressional hearings and potentially in criminal court — lawmakers and regulators are grappling with a question: What, if anything, should they do to civilize a market so rife with abuse?

Older workers shouldn’t have to live in poverty

On Dec. 2, Gary Rasor, an 83-year-old worker at Home Depot, died from injuries he sustained after being violently pushed to the ground while on the job. Rasor had worked at the store as an “associate” for nine years, and celebrated his 83rd birthday in the hospital just days after the attack.

Cleaner air, arriving soon by US mail

It’s the time of year when we see a lot more mail trucks trundling through neighborhoods as letter carriers work hard to deliver everyone’s holiday cards and packages on time.