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  1. DAVID KERANEN: Homophobia is learned, homosexuality is not

    Tuesday, Oct 21 2014 11:02 PM

    "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught" is a show tune from the 1949 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical "South Pacific." Some of the lyrics are as follows: "You've got to be taught/To hate and fear/You've got to be taught/From year to year ... You've got to be taught before it's too late/Before you are six or seven or eight/To hate all the people your relatives hate/You've got to be carefully taught!"

    Unfortunately, too many people have been taught and acquired the disposition to hate people of a different race, or of a different ethnicity, or different sexual orientation. This is typical of a dualistic "us vs. them" mentality. They are different and therefore to be feared and hated.

    When it comes to sex, most people are born heterosexual; but...

  2. TIM STORMONT: Court has stolen 'marriage' from the people

    The U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear appeals surrounding the issue of the definition of marriage is an act of sheer cowardice on the part of the high court. In refusing to take action, the court has opened the door for the lower courts...

  3. KERRY McGILL: Anti-science ignorance has US headed in the wrong direction

    A recent article in the Los Angeles Times reported an increase in the number of children not being vaccinated. As of September, 950 kindergartens in the LA area had a vaccination rate of less than 92%. At that level, experts say the school...

  4. AUDREY CHAVEZ: Gays and lesbians are gifts; show them the love that God commands

    Positive assessments of gays, same-sex relationships, a recent statement from the Vatican that gays have "gifts to offer," and the Christian community acknowledging same-sex couples can give "precious support" to one another make me...

  5. LOUIS MEDINA: The story of two grants has a happy ending for local youth

    This is the story of two grants: one small, one large. I know, probably not the most animated and thrilling-sounding of protagonists. But it's a story that will illustrate the heroic impact of grant making on the lives of 150 low-income,...

  6. JACK BALFANZ: Cash 'coma'? Why city housing costs are worth another look

    An article in The Californian ("Courtyard project next low-income housing development downtown," Aug. 27) announced the ground breaking of the Mill Creek project, a 62-unit apartment complex for low-income seniors. The reported cost of the...

  7. CAROLE CASTEEN: You can't always trust the critics: 'Mormons' movie is very inspiring

    I went to Edwards Cinemas on Saturday and viewed "Meet the Mormons." And, yes, I am a Mormon, so I can't honestly write without bias. But I believe Barbara Vandenburgh's review of this movie didn't give the it the credit it deserved ("...

  8. MICHAEL TURNIPSEED: Proposition 47 worth supporting

    No one is a fan of crime, and no one favors illicit drug use. Citizens can likewise agree that it is critically important to identify ways to improve community safety while simultaneously conserving precious taxpayers' dollars. Proposition...

  9. MANUEL FUDERANAN: Going to war with ISIS certainly 'not as easy as eating bananas'

    "It is not as easy as eating bananas," our village wag used to quip when confronted with seemingly complex situations. I would like to surmise that Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Armed Forces,...

  10. AARON DAVID MILLER: Barack Obama, disappointer in chief

    All presidents disappoint. It comes with the job, the unreasonable expectations Americans have for their presidents, and the inherent conflict and disconnect between campaigning (promising people all they can have) and governing...

  11. FERNANDO JARA: When the root cause is a history of racism

    One sign of intellectualism is the ability, and willingness, to suspend judgement when confronted by the argument of another until we have carefully weighed that confronting position's evidence. On this point, I think that Brik McDill and...

  12. MICHAEL OLCOTT: Committed to a family oriented KC Fair

    On behalf of the Kern County Fair Board, I would like to thank everyone who attended and participated in this year's Kern County Fair. Although the final attendance figures have not been tallied, we are confident that our attendance...

  13. LISA GREEN: Nothing 'safe' about Prop. 47

    Proposition 47 is an initiative that will significantly reduce the criminal penalties for numerous crimes including drug possession, theft of a firearm and possession of date rape drugs. The so-called "Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act"...

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