Tom Gallagher

To the classrooms, Baby Boomers

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OPINION As long as I've been substitute teaching, people have asked what I thought we could do to improve public schools. With all of the classrooms I've been in, they figured I might know something. But I've never had a simple answer for them, because I don't actually think there is a single overriding educational crisis.Read more »

Suspension reform isn't so simple

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OPINION I wish I could get behind the current campaign to limit public school suspensions ("Suspending judgment, 12/3/13).

The intent is honorable. Any additional attention to the plight of black kids within our schools is laudable. But I've always suspected that some would think they'd accomplished something if suspension rates were evened across races, although this would have no more impact on any underlying problems than mandating racially equal grade ratios would eliminate an educational achievement gap.Read more »

Sacramento needs a foreign policy

The National Priorities Project puts the current cumulative cost of the Afghan war to California taxpayers at $48.5 billion

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OPINION "The country is rich, but not so rich as we have been led to believe. The choice to do one thing may preclude another. In short, we are entering an era of limits."

Presidential candidate Jerry Brown said that in 1976. Thirty five years later, second-time-around Gov. Jerry Brown has a profound opportunity to finish the thought — by pointing out that we can no longer afford follies like the Afghanistan war.Read more »

Green and red

A bio goes searching for Joschka Fischer — and finds leftist possibilities
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Now that the Iraq War and occupation is accepted as a permanent feature of American life, it seems worthwhile to reflect on how controversial it once was — not just among the millions who filled streets around the world to protest the impending invasion, but also within the governments of some of America's traditional allies. No one better expressed the rift it created in Europe than German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer when he publicly rejected Donald Rumsfeld's appeal for support at the February 2003 Munich security conference. Read more »

Speed Reading

The Three Trillion Dollar War, The Comic Book Holocaust, and The Klassic Komix Klub
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THE THREE TRILLION DOLLAR WAR: THE TRUE COST OF THE IRAQ CONFLICT

By Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes

W.W. Norton & Company

192 pages, $22.95 (hardcover)

336 pages, $14.95 (trade paperback available next month)Read more »

Pelosi backs Bush on Iran

How in the world does the representative of perhaps the most antiwar city in the country sign off on the United States doing this to another nation
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OPINION Has Nancy Pelosi signed off on the George W. Bush administration's covert CIA operations in Iran? Read more »

The case for Kucinich

If you don't vote in February for what you believe in, you won't get to vote for it in November
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OPINION At a recent Potrero Hill Democratic Club presidential forum, when the representatives of Hilary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama spoke more about how the candidates made them feel than about their positions on the issues, it first struck me as strange. Read more »

True crime

Documenting an assassination, novelist Francisco Goldman moves from fiction to political fictions
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lit@sfbg.com

REVIEW In a July 31, 2007, editorial, the New York Times decried the "more than 5,000 murders ... reported each year" in Guatemala, noting that "many are committed by the same groups — both left and right — that terrorized the country" during its 36-year civil war. Read more »