Jake Highton

Jake Highton
Reno, USA
January 01
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor at the Reynolds School of Journalism in Reno, Nevada.


Jake Highton's Links

APRIL 1, 2014 6:25PM

Hordes mar visit to San Fran

San Francisco is one of the great cities of the world. Its surroundings are marvelous: the San Francisco Bay, the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. Its museums are first rate, its parks wonderful.

But that’s the problem: too many visitors.

People swarm atRead full post »

APRIL 1, 2014 6:24PM

Death penalty ban creeping

   Eighteen down, 32 to go. That’s the plodding progress to abolish the death penalty in this often inhumane nation. A 19th state, New Hampshire, is the on the verge of ending capital punishment.

One why of New Hampshire’s turnabout is significant. A Manchester, N.H., cop, JRead full post »

MARCH 21, 2014 10:25AM

Socialism forever

Seattle citizens had the wisdom to elect a socialist to city council in November. She is Kshama Sawant, 41, a native of Pune, India.

Sawant rightly denounces the “gigantic casino of speculation created by the new highway robbers on Wall Street.” She adds: “People areRead full post »

Remind me never to go to another lecture at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (Olli), the Elder College adjunct of the University of Nevada, Reno.

Phil Boardman of the UNR English Department was supposed to talk about Dante’s “Inferno.” One hour and 13 minutes intoRead full post »

MARCH 21, 2014 10:22AM

'Free' trade trickery

Beware of legislation called “fast track.” The words mask the truth.

 Fast track promotes privatization and harms consumers. It makes the poor poorer and the rich richer. It widens the already yawning income gap.

The latest scam is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). CongressionRead full post »

FEBRUARY 25, 2014 1:16PM

Stalinesque Putin’s Mafia politics

Russians love autocracies: the czars, the Soviets and now Putin.

President Vladimir Putin was elected three times but is still dictatorial. Putin personifies the worst aspects of centuries of harsh Russian rule: totalitarian regimes marked by censorship, arbitrary imprisonment, jailed demonstratoRead full post »

FEBRUARY 17, 2014 2:51PM

From pro football to the Post Office

Pro football never seems to grow up

Michael Sam, a gay All-American defensive end on the University of Missouri football team, is good enough to be a pro now rather than finish college next season as he plans.

But grossly ignorant NFL executives anonymously expressed fearRead full post »

Like similar sections in many publications across the nation, the Reno Gazette-Journal's Faith Forum appearing every Sunday is missing one important panelist: an atheist.

Atheism is also a faith, a deeply held and passionate view that the notion of God is an absurdity. The atheist’s truth isRead full post »

JANUARY 21, 2014 5:55PM

NSA surveillance unchecked

All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.

                                     &nbs… Read full post »

JANUARY 21, 2014 5:54PM

Enduring occupation

Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan is yet another U.S. euphemism to justify an endless war.  

Obama says he will pull all troops out of Afghanistan this year but keep some bases, some troops, some military contractors and exempt U.S. personnel from civil and criminal courts.  Some… Read full post »

JANUARY 21, 2014 5:53PM

Saudi women rebel

Saudi Arabia, the most oppressive dictatorship in the world, beheads people and discriminates against women. But human nature cannot be suppressed. The Saudi women are fighting back.

The monarchy bans women from driving but a few are driving anyway. Moreover,… Read full post »

JANUARY 21, 2014 5:53PM

What free press?


It is obvious that the link between advertising and the media undermines a free press.

The latest example is the case of Dick Metcalf, one of the nation’s top gun journalists. His articles have been dropped by Guns & Ammo magazine and his TV show folded.

His crime?… Read full post »

JANUARY 14, 2014 3:20PM

Humanities never outdated

I have taken all knowledge to be my province.
--Francis Bacon in a letter to Lord Burleigh, 1592

Bacon’s wisdom is an essential intellectual pursuit.

I have immersed myself in literature: novelists, playwrights, short story writers and poets. I have gazed at some of the great art, includingRead full post »

DECEMBER 26, 2013 10:24AM

‘Rite of Spring’ still modern

Before the year ends, let us pause to honor the one hundredth anniversary of  “The Rite of Spring,” Igor Stravinsky ballet that premiered in Paris in 1913. To me it still sounds amazingly modern. Imagine what it sounded like to listeners then!

That audience, used to the grace and elRead full post »

DECEMBER 26, 2013 10:22AM

Affecting film scene


  “Grand Illusion,” a 1937 film directed by Jean Renoir, is one of my favorite yesteryear movies. I watch it once every year or so from my video collection. The film contains a scene near the end that is one of the most affecting in all cinema.Read full post »

DECEMBER 26, 2013 10:22AM

Whittier poem stirs history

Sure it’s fiction, but stirring fiction. Poets are not historians.

  In the John Greenleaf Whittier poem entitled “Barbara Frietchie,” General Stonewall Jackson is leading his Confederate troops through Frederick, Md., in September 1862. A defiant 90-year-old Pennsylvania DutcRead full post »

A new biography of jazz colossus Duke Ellington by Terry Teachout notes that Ellington had many flaws, “from his relentless womanizing to his penchant for hogging credit from his collaborators.”

I know nothing about that. But I do know Ellington and his band “preached” theRead full post »

DECEMBER 26, 2013 10:20AM

‘Sometimes there’s God’

One of the great lines in literature appears in the Tennessee Williams play, “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Blanche DuBois, who has just been kissed, says with sudden happiness: “Sometimes there’s God.”

This line occurred to me recently when informed that surgeons had suRead full post »

DECEMBER 10, 2013 4:30PM

Frat boys cavort in NFL

Sports news is more and more leaping from inside sections to front pages.

The latest example is bullying, hazing and fraternity hijinks in locker rooms, behavior more suitable to school boys than professional athletes. Coaches of any sport at any level should not tolerate such antics.

RichieRead full post »

DECEMBER 10, 2013 4:29PM

Iran deal draws flack

President Obama seldom does anything right but when he does he is buffeted by Congress, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The “right thing”: Obama secured a groundbreaking interim deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program. Opposition was swift and predictable.

The usually liberal Sen. CharlesRead full post »

DECEMBER 10, 2013 4:28PM

School of assassin

Many Americans are demanding the close of Guantánamo as they should. But relatively few are clamoring to shut down the infamous U.S. Army School of the Americas at Ft. Benning in Georgia.

The school trains Latin American officers and soldiers in the dark art of assassination. It  producRead full post »

NOVEMBER 26, 2013 2:09PM

Author misses grandeur of genius

Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling

By Ross King

Penguin, 318 pages, 2003

Biographer Ross King did the almost impossible: write a bad book about Michelangelo, history’s greatest artist.

King recalls every obscure artist of the era, their character, hometown, who they were apprenti… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 19, 2013 1:40PM

Obama like JFK: failed president

Something was in dead in each of us, / And what was dead was hope. 

-- “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” by Oscar Wilde

The presidencies of John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama have some striking parallels: soaring rhetoric, Hope with a capital H and King Arthur’s Camelot… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 5, 2013 1:47PM

Top Sparks cop bungler

"The constable has blundered."

--Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo in 1961 (Mapp v. Ohio)


The annals of U.S. crime are full of miscarriages of justice and mistakes by police officers.

Innocent men accused of murder have been hanged. Other men have been wrongly convicted of rape andRead full post »

Sports columnists and TV commentators, wanting to show righteous rage over anti-racism, are howling over the nickname of Washington’s National Football League team.

But the nickname, Redskins, is hardly a pejorative like racist names of yesteryear: “spic,” “wop,” &ldqu… Read full post »