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  1. PATSY OUELLETTE: Health care debate isn't about politics -- it's about morality

    At what point does morality trump politics? Sure, everyone knows we have blue states and red states. The parties have been fighting with each other since the days of the Federalists and the Jeffersonian Republicans. Heck, Jefferson and...

  2. GENE TACKETT: Reflections of a proud Okie son

    I can remember waking up in the back seat of my parent's '35 Chevy and opening the Mason jar with a screw-off canning top so I could eat my breakfast oatmeal. Both my parents were in the field picking grapes that would be laid in the sun...

  3. BRIK McDILL: Stereotypes: They're misleading, but they also can be dangerous

    It's more stereotype than truth that comedians are really depressives trying to make themselves happy, or trying to appear happy, or trying to mask depression-anger by appearing funny, or running from their depression, or trying to beat it...

  4. SCOTT ERWIN: Life after suicide for 'survivors'

    I'm a survivor of suicide. Just to be clear, I have never attempted to take my life. A few years in my teens could be construed as such by loving observers and insightful psychologists, but I have never given that thought any place in my...

  5. ANDREW PANDOL: Water, common sense both in short supply

    Our family has been farming in California since the 1940s. We farm about 3,500 acres in Delano and Arvin, mainly grapes. We currently have approximately 900 people working both in the field and in other capacities. These are people who...

  6. CHRISTINE LIZARDI FRAZIER: Every day counts: We must shore up student attendance

    Monday marks the first day of the 2014-15 academic year for the vast majority of Kern County's 178,000-plus schoolchildren. The first week of school conjures up images of backpacks stuffed with brand-new school supplies, bulletin boards...

  7. JEREMY ADAMS: John Keating is dead, but his lessons still echo in my ears

    I am 38 years old, and until Monday I never knew what it felt like to experience a throbbing and palpable sadness over the death of a celebrity. Superlatives abound on a global scale for a man who embodied a dramatic genius that is perhaps...

  8. THOMAS ANTON: Assembly bill is unnecessary, harmful

    Assembly Bill 1897 is a bad piece of legislation that will have an adverse impact on employees, employers and the state of California itself by imposing new regulations where protection already exists. Enough! Hiring and managing people...

  9. DEAN FLOREZ: Lawmakers squabble over storage

    On Tuesday, the California Legislature predictably gave itself another 48 hours to reach a water bond compromise, extending the time period needed to place revised language on November's ballot. To be clear, there is already an $11...

  10. APTOPIX Robin Williams.JPEG-07fbb.JPG

    MARK POWELL: Despite tragedy, remember the best of times

    Earlier this year, I finally binge-watched the last season of “Breaking Bad,” the epic fictional television series that chronicled the ascension and demise of teacher-turned-meth-lord Walter White. In one of the final episodes, White’s...

  11. JOHN PRYOR: Annexing local urban pockets: When it's 'the right thing to do'

    The Californian's recent story about current Bakersfield City Council candidates included an excellent map of Bakersfield's wards ("A dozen candidates, 2 with criminal pasts," Aug. 9). The map also clearly illustrated the multitude of...

  12. DOUGLAS MAIN: Tumbling tagalongs

    Kevin de Leon, the new leader of the California State Senate, recently caused a stir when he said that it would be a bad idea to begin building a proposed high-speed train in the San Joaquin Valley, in part because "nobody lives out there...

  13. JONATHAN TURLEY: 5 myths about impeachment

    Some 40 years after Richard Nixon resigned to avoid his likely impeachment by the House of Representatives, Washington is again talking impeachment. Members of Congress are denouncing the president's contempt for constitutional law, while...

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