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Phil Alden

Phil Alden

Former Journalist, Writer, Drummer/Percussionist
  • This is bad. One thing I have picked up about these climate change infrastructure reports is that they are at best optimistic. As we fail to make the needed changes to mitigate some of the more devastating effects of climate change these timelines will accelerate. Add to this the chronic underfunding

    This is bad. One thing I have picked up about these climate change infrastructure reports is that they are at best optimistic. As we fail to make the needed changes to mitigate some of the more devastating effects of climate change these timelines will accelerate. Add to this the chronic underfunding of our current infrastructure and you have a recipe for destruction and disruption on a massive scale. The article clearly states that the federal government is already failing to adequately fund current operations.

    The NEC is a vital transportation link that, as we look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, will only become more so. We should have long ago started to bring our rail systems into the 21st century. One look at systems like those in Japan and Europe makes it clear how far behind we are.

    And this is not the only piece of American rail infrastructure that we have neglected. I believe that the result of our most recent election has to do partly with our frustration of the apathy our government has shown towards our crumbling infrastructure. This is just one small piece of a larger and much darker picture.

  • I think that lauding Mattis is mistake. When you look a bit more deeply into his record and his statements you find that he's not a nice guy. Don't forget that he served for two years in this administration and has backed many of Trump's hideous policies, including the "family separation" and other immigration

    I think that lauding Mattis is mistake. When you look a bit more deeply into his record and his statements you find that he's not a nice guy. Don't forget that he served for two years in this administration and has backed many of Trump's hideous policies, including the "family separation" and other immigration moves that have caused the deaths of innocent people.

    I rebel against this "adults in the room" paradigm that some have put forward. If you have morals you don't spend two years defending a madman and serving the people around him.

  • I should start by admitting that I am a Taoist and my partner is Jewish, so the trappings of Christian holidays mean nothing to us. Christmas and Easter are simply great opportunities to get together with friends for a lovely dinner and evening.

    I was raised in a (liberal) Catholic family. I stopped

    I should start by admitting that I am a Taoist and my partner is Jewish, so the trappings of Christian holidays mean nothing to us. Christmas and Easter are simply great opportunities to get together with friends for a lovely dinner and evening.

    I was raised in a (liberal) Catholic family. I stopped going to church as soon as I was old enough. I never went to confession and other than baptism I didn't take any active part in my parent's religion. But holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter were very important to my mother. She was unhappy the year my brother and I decided to spend Christmas day at the beach with friends. Every year we drove over to Santa Cruz, cut down a living tree, and brought it home. We had ornaments that we used year after year, and by Christmas morning there were gift-wrapped boxes all around that corner of our living room.

    Even as a little kid I didn't like the fact that we were cutting down a living tree. (Our family felt that artificial trees were tacky and ugly.) There we were in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains, surrounded by the majestic Redwoods and towering Pines, cutting down a smaller version of the latter. The irony was not lost on me. I loved the smell of the trees, I still do, and I felt they should stay in the ground.

    Every year we would hear about or read news articles about houses burning down because some idiot would fail to keep the tree in water, use unsafe lights, or overload a circuit. Thousands of home fires every single year. And it's still happening. I've known firefighters who dread the winter holidays and hate Christmas trees. They've seen the damage, the lost lives, and the ruined homes. I was a forest firefighter, and although we didn't have house fires I have seen how fast a dry tree can burn.

    Now, with climate change on everyone's mind, we know that planting trees is one of the best ways to cool our planet. I've seen friends do some truly beautiful alternatives to cutting down a live tree; ornaments strung from the ceiling, lights strung against the wall in a tree-like pattern, and many other creative alternatives. Even artificial trees have improved. Maybe it's time to use these alternatives and keep living trees in the ground where they belong.

  • What we need is for the federal government to decriminalize marijuana. Almost every state has either; a) passed a medical marijuana bill or is considering it, b) has legalized recreational marijuana or is considering it. States are falling like dominoes, striking down marijuana prohibition.

    It's my personal

    What we need is for the federal government to decriminalize marijuana. Almost every state has either; a) passed a medical marijuana bill or is considering it, b) has legalized recreational marijuana or is considering it. States are falling like dominoes, striking down marijuana prohibition.

    It's my personal opinion that we should release every American citizen in prison for a marijuana-related offense and expunge their criminal record. It's also my personal opinion that we should decriminalize all drugs and put the wasted dollars into safe injection sites, treatment, and fact-based education. The so-called War On Drugs has caused untold misery and murder here and in Mexico. Our experience with alcohol prohibition taught us that it doesn't stop usage and breeds crime.

    A sane and progressive national drug policy can only accelerate the pace of state drug policy, and a medical marijuana patient wouldn't have to rely on Marinol, (the pharmaceutical version of marijuana,) when traveling within the U.S. I travel a lot, both domestically and internationally, and I have to use Marinol. Marinol sucks.

  • The Donald Trump of Nissan. Enriching himself and his family members sounds familiar.

  • It’s past time for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to go. On his “Intercepted” podcast Jeremy Scahill lays out the reasons for why Pelosi and Schumer are the old way, and if there’s anything this election showed us it’s that we’re sick and tired of the old way. Both Pelosi and Schumer voted for some of

    It’s past time for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to go. On his “Intercepted” podcast Jeremy Scahill lays out the reasons for why Pelosi and Schumer are the old way, and if there’s anything this election showed us it’s that we’re sick and tired of the old way. Both Pelosi and Schumer voted for some of the worst policies that exist. One example is the so-called “Patriot Act.” The authorization for the war in Iraq is another.

    Now Pelosi is talking about “working with Trump,” which is a slap in the face to those of us who voted for change. The simple fact that Donald Trump wants Pelosi to be the speaker, again, is reason enough to oppose her.

  • I agree with some of the other comments people have left about this article. “Cashless” transactions leave a certain percentage of people out in the cold, particularly the people with bad credit, the poor, and the homeless. We already discriminate against these groups unfairly and it seems to me this

    I agree with some of the other comments people have left about this article. “Cashless” transactions leave a certain percentage of people out in the cold, particularly the people with bad credit, the poor, and the homeless. We already discriminate against these groups unfairly and it seems to me this is one more example of that.

    I love using my Apple Watch for contactless payment, but I also want the cash in my wallet to as easily accepted. I may have personal reasons for wanting to pay with cash.

    If I’m not mistaken there was a time when accepting currency was the law of the land. I admit that currency exchange and economics in general are not my strong suit.

    I was born, grew up, and still live in Silicon Valley. My partner is a computer engineer and high-tech patent attorney. We both like good tech and we’re early adopters of new technology. Maybe I’m “old fashioned,” (or just old,) but this is one advance that I don’t feel comfortable about.

  • I’m not sure where Apple goes from here. There’s not a lot of upward technological growth in either smartphones or computers. The camera is currently at a peak as are processors. As consumers we have more “computing power” than we need, and with a strong network our devices are plenty fast.

    I’m sure

    I’m not sure where Apple goes from here. There’s not a lot of upward technological growth in either smartphones or computers. The camera is currently at a peak as are processors. As consumers we have more “computing power” than we need, and with a strong network our devices are plenty fast.

    I’m sure Apple is working on some new technologies, but from a sales standpoint I don’t know if they have much more to offer at the moment.

  • Just another pyramid scheme disguised as an “alternative currency.”