How to make the Student Strike(s) really count

Photo by Tanja Heffner

To the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. You are MAGNIFICENTLY standing up, speaking out, calling B.S., and planning political action for reasonable legislation. THANK YOU! You are showing our country (and the world) the very best of who we are as human beings and as Americans. You are looking at the problem of gun violence, and particularly at mass shootings in our society, and … Read the rest

We’ve been here before: Lack of respect for experts and each other

Tom Nichols, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College and at the Harvard Extension School, is an expert and believes his information should have merit. However, as he writes, he says he expects his opinion should be respected as it comes from someone who has studied and is an expert on certain topics.

But that is not happening today. He is finding that expert opinion is not respected … Read the rest

COINTELPRO: The checkered history and recovery of the FBI

It’s not news that our Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) comes under attack over what some decry as overbearing behavior. It’s a tough job and often attacked by those who would least benefit from doing the job the agents signed up for.

A lot depends on who is in charge. This was particularly true in the 1960’s and 70’s when J. Edgar Hoover headed the agency. Back then, Hoover created … Read the rest

What Price Safety Over Privacy: A Slippery Slope Revisited

In 2012 I wrote a piece for the Huffington Post about what price do we pay for losing our privacy in the name of safety? The subject is still very pertinent today as it was when we were all discussing warrantless wiretapping by the Federal Bureau of Investigating (FBI).

I asked how much privacy are we willing to give up ensuring our safety against possible terrorist attacks?

Still not sure … Read the rest

Living in our Filter Bubble-breakout and smell the opposition

This post is prompted by an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle, How San Franciscans ruin Leibovitz — and the electorate by Daniel P. Beckmann, Ph.D., a former Obama campaign digital strategist. In it he bemoans a show of Annie Leibovitz photographs to the Bay Area audience that stifled opposition. Beckmann stated that the audience reaction took away from free interpretation of the photographs by voicing a loud opinion of … Read the rest

Violence at Home: Fear Of The Neighbor Terrorist

The horrific attacks in Las Vegas underscored a feeling for me of being truly wary of large groups of people and being at risk of a terrorist attack.

The police call these events “soft targets:” places where people gather and are unprotected and particularly vulnerable.
I shop, I go to malls and my husband and I travel and we attend events. In fact a couple of years ago I … Read the rest

How did I get here? –My Writer’s Journey from Reluctant Author to Movie Option

I have numerous requests asking me to write about my journey from a reluctant author to having a movie option for my book.

Here is how it goes:

I had no intention of writing a book. As I’ve said to many friends and strangers, I had no aspirations of being an author. Books take too long and are too difficult to write.

Well, we know that changed. It was a … Read the rest

You Want More In-depth Reporting? Add These Investigative Sources for Your News

In addition to the big newspapers, there are many other sources to find excellent, well-researched stories.

Bias alert here: While I was actively working at news agencies, I did not observe my colleagues slanting a story to suit their bias. In fact, more than once, during an investigation, there were surprises we did not expect while in working a story. Our pride was in doing the required amount of research, … Read the rest

Why I’m A Reading Tutor

I found a post on my Facebook page about a program called Reading Partners, funded by AmeriCorps, and it explained that there were schools in my neighborhood that were looking for volunteers to be reading tutors for kids in the elementary schools.

Reading. I take it for granted that I can read and have been reading for I don’t remember how long. I don’t recall if I had … Read the rest

The Gifts of Technology, Diversity, and Global Connections

Photo by Andrew Worley

In the jungle of offices at Rackspace on the South of Market tech hub, Shahin Shadfar sits at a desk cluttered with tech parts and points to his latest creation, an app called Zurf which is the latest in a string of successes for the San Francisco transplant. While Shadfar has gained a reputation for an innovative entrepreneur in Houston and Boston as well as San … Read the rest