The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

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May 25, 2010
Chuck, Jack, '24' and a new mission

If you didn't get enough of Jack Bauer with the series finale of "24" last night, tune in to Chuck DeVore who, according to a YouTube video, may have rubbed elbows with the TV terrorist fighter and patriot in boot camp.

The YouTube video, which chronicles DeVore through his missions to Europe and the Middle East, states that the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate is now on his most important mission ever: to bring down Sen. Barbara Boxer. Of course, he has to take on Carly Fiorina and Tom Campbell.

Check out the video which says Chuck likes Gitmo and lower taxes and that he mows his own lawn and throws a mean hand grenade.

January 27, 2010
Mail bag: A new take on 'We the people' ...
"A direct attack on democracy."

That's how one letter writer describes the U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows corporations and unions to contribute directly to campaign coffers of those running for public office.

Last week's decision by the high court, striking down part of a 2002 campaign finance law, spurred Al Franklin of Auburn to conclude in Thursday's Letters to the Editor that our democracy will now be a government "of the corporation, by the corporation and for the corporation."

Kuo Liang Yu of Carmichael raises the Constitutional issue of free speech: "It does not guarantee the right of expression of corporations, which are not citizens. They are merely legal entities, not beings."
January 26, 2010
Mail bag: Lessons learned, or not
Xenophobia. Merriam-Webster Online defines it as "fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign."
Richard A. Clark of Paradise wonders in Wednesday's Letters to the Editor, "What sort of social environment would nurture the conditions likely to produce behavior of the type reported in the story" about Gary Tudesko, the Willows High School student whose expulsion from school was overturned last week. Tudesko, 17, who was expelled for having shotguns in his truck parked next to school grounds, had racked up a series of disciplinary actions for repeatedly using the N-word, for calling a teacher's assistant a "stupid Mexican" and for cussing out teachers.

Clark writes: "Social respect is an ideal which may be attained not only through our educational system, but also through instruction and modeling by parents, relatives and community."
January 22, 2010
Mail bag: No, no, not more homework
Oh, the wretched thought of homework - especially on a Friday afternoon.

Not only do students fret over it, parents and teachers do too, as The Conversation in last Sunday's California Forum revealed.

"I can tell you honestly," Jeremy Akiyama, a high school senior in Sacramento, writes in Saturday's Letters to the Editor, "that nothing kills a teenager's weekday evening more than a dreaded stack of homework to be completed before day's end."

The Conversation delved into the amount of homework young students can effectively handle each night, and asked readers to ponder the question, "Do teachers give students too much homework?" Guidelines from the National PTA and the National Education Association say that from kindergarten to second grade homework is more effective when it does not exceed 10 to 20 minutes a day.

Akiyama implores teachers to "stop imposing a homework quota on your students," and for parents to "stop asking for more homework."

Pete Martineau of Fair Oaks has a different take on homework and the mission of education. He writes, "The chatter about problems in education is overly focused on college-bound children." His concern is about preparing those young people enter the work force once they leave school by giving them "skills and information" to make a living.
January 21, 2010
Cheers and jeers from the upset in Massachusetts
MASSACHUSETTS.jpgInept, gutless Democrats; heartless, lying Republicans; and Massachusetts voters who, until now, had cast votes without engaging their brains.

The upset Senate victory by moderate Republican Scott Brown inspired letter-writers to get visceral and put pen to paper, or keystroke to The Bee's online letter form, after Tuesday's special election in Massachusetts. The deluge of letters inspired us to devote all of Friday's letter's space to responses to the Republican triumph that letter-writer Sam Catalano of Sacramento says was due to voters with a "very poor memory."

Catalano wrote, "Republicans know President George W. Bush bankrupted the United States with a war based on lies. ... But the Democrats let them get away with it instead of constantly reminding the voters that heartless Republicans were wrong and are to blame."

Nijole King of Woodland said of Brown's upset: "I love it. Massachusetts voters finally grew a brain ... California voters - I hope you're paying attention. It's time for change."

And Bob Schmidt of Sacramento sarcastically states, "Conservatives should be happy" because the election "certainly means the death knell for the silly liberal idea that everybody should have access to health care."

Check out the other comments in Friday's Letters to the Editor.
January 20, 2010
The Donald and The Mayor, or needed leadership
In Thursday's Letters to the Editor, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's strong mayor proposal gets mixed reviews from letter-writers responding to a judge's tentative ruling that would block the initiative from the June 8 ballot.

Andrew G. Mattson wants "to forge onward" and "definite change is needed." He also sees the need for strong leadership in county government, "where the currently legless Board of Supervisors reigns oblivious to the residents."

But Kyle Fournier likens "The Mayor" to "The Donald" and writes that the initiative is a waste of time and money. Fournier writes, "It is not 'The Apprentice,' where he can just say 'you're fired!' "

Read Thursday's Letters to the Editor for the complete letters and others about an editorial regarding the "Zero Tolerance" school policy on guns and the Republican victory capturing Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts' Senate seat.

April 6, 2009
Legalize marijuana?
A professor from McGeorge School of Law weighs the pros and cons of a bill in the Legislature that would allow marijuana to sold and taxed in California. Read the story here and enter the discussion in California Forum

About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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