My friend Greg Jarrett from Fox News was the first to point out the irony. A few days earlier, I had made the point that it was a George W. Bush appointee on the federal bench who struck down the National Security Agency surveillance program that the Bush administration (as well as the Obama administration) relied upon. Three cheers for an independent judiciary. So what happens next? A different federal judge, this one a Bill Clinton appointee, has now declared that President Barack Obama's NSA plan does not violate the Constitution. As I told Greg, I really do love ...
There was way too much giddiness in the media about the first day of legal pot selling in Colorado. Instead of all the happy talk, I think it's time for some sober discussion and a strong dose of education about the addiction risks of smoking marijuana - particularly among young people. It may start out as a party, but it often ends up as something much, much worse.
With twin suicide bombings in Volgograd, at a train station and on a trolley, 34 Russians are dead and scores are injured and hospitalized.
Irony is dead. It has been garroted by reality.
A funny thing happened during Australian climate change professor Chris Turney's venture to retrace a 1912 research expedition in Antarctica and gauge how climate change has affected the continent: Two weeks into a five-week excursion, Turney's good ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy got trapped in ice. It turns out, global warming notwithstanding, that there's so much ice down under that two ice-breaking vessels sent to rescue the research team cannot reach the Australasian Antarctic Expedition.
"Don't be deceived," Duck Commander and A&E reality television star Phil Robertson insisted, when asked to define what he considered to be sinful behavior. "Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers - they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."
When President Richard Nixon arrived in Beijing in 1972, Chairman Mao Zedong - with his Marxist revolution, Great Leap Forward and Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution - had achieved an equality unrivaled anywhere.
In an attempt to shift public discussion from the Obamacare train wreck, President Barack Obama is again promoting universal tax-paid daycare for preschoolers. But spending $75 billion on free preschool for all won't work any better than the numerous times it's been tried before.
Twenty years after it took effect, NAFTA has failed the vast majority of Mexicans.
Let's assess the winners and losers in American culture for 2013. Our first obvious winner is "Duck Dynasty" and its Phil Robertson. He's a winner for standing by his Christian principles after some offensive remarks about homosexuality.
Here's a twist on Christmas that would make Jesus weep.
Pope Francis' call for a truce notwithstanding, the culture war rages on in America.
Just look at the chain's outlet in Canton, Ohio, where management set up bins for food donations, asking people to give generously to the poor who otherwise would not have a Thanksgiving dinner. But the bins weren't for customers - they were tucked back in the employees-only area.
What's been called the "War on Christmas" is often a case of secular liberals wanting to engage in Christmas denial. In the name of not wanting to offend people of minority faiths (or no faith), they remove the C-word from department store catalogs and Christmas songs from public school concerts, leaving us with lame messages about snow.
Here's a jarring headline: "Economic Populism Is a Dead End for Democrats."
The Metropolitan Opera in New York City is hardly a site for hundreds of angry protesters. But they have erupted over their current selection, an opera called "The Death of Klinghoffer." Leon Klinghoffer was the 69-year-old paralyzed New Yorker who in 1985 was aboard the hijacked cruise ship Achille Lauro, then executed by Islamic terrorists because he was a Jew. The terrorists forced the ship's barber and a waiter to throw his body and his wheelchair overboard off the coast of Egypt.
You heard it here first.
Here we go again - into yet another war in a tumultuous swath of the world we still don't comprehend. For a preview of what we're stepping into in Iraq and Syria, let's remember Afghanistan.
If you believe Houston Mayor Annise Parker, then you have to believe that when lawyers for her city subpoenaed five local pastors and demanded their sermons, the episode represented an unfortunate instance of lawyer overreach, with no intent to harass or intimidate the opposition.
I know Republicans who voted for Jerry Brown in 2010. They thought he'd be like Richard Nixon going to China and stand up to public employee unions by fixing a dysfunctional pension system. They thought he'd live up to his pose as elder sage, ready to do what's best for California. After he won a return engagement as governor, Brown liked to bloviate about the need for elected officials to demonstrate "loyalty to California."
In 1492, "Columbus sailed the ocean blue" and discovered the New World. And Oct. 12 was once a celebrated holiday in America.
Growing up in Washington in the 1930s and '40s, our home was, several times, put under quarantine. A poster would be tacked on the door indicating the presence within of a contagious disease - measles, mumps, chicken pox, scarlet fever.
I'd like to think that if I got the bad news that Brittany Maynard received - terminal cancer with a prognosis of less than six months left to live - I'd be like her. I'd like to be stoic and brave. I'd like to take charge of the rest of my cruelly abbreviated life. If I were facing death at age 29, I would want to find meaning in an end come too soon.
Just in the United States, the cosmetics industry pulls in some $70 billion a year in sales of what's commonly called "makeup." But lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, and the like aren't the only kind of makeup the cosmetic giants are peddling.
Corporations are funneling money to right-wing governors who work against the interests of their customers and employees.
Practically everyone expects California Attorney General Kamala Harris to win re-election handily in November. The Democrat won 53 percent of the vote in a crowded June primary. A rising star expected to ascend someday to the governorship, perhaps a U.S. Senate seat, Harris has won the endorsement of major newspapers in the state. She's such an attractive candidate that even though it was true, President Barack Obama had to apologize last year for calling her "by far the best-looking attorney general in the country."
Rather than urge guests to leave bigger tips and thank you notes, Marriott should pay its housekeepers a living wage.
I paid less than $10,000 to earn my college degree from a top-ranked school.
I hadn't heard from my friend John in some time.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Westover Vineyards of Castro Valley. Owner Bill Smyth is preparing to shutter his winery because the California Department of Industrial Relations slapped him with $115,550 in fines, back wages and penalties for using unpaid volunteers. Those fees put Westover in the red.