Would you believe that 45 million adult Americans still smoke? That's about one in five of us grownups. Worldwide this killer habit ends about six million lives each year. But what's most disturbing - 10 percent of victims never even took a puff. They got their cancer from second-hand smoke.
From electricity to earmuffs, once you buy a product or service from a company, it shouldn't be any of its business how you choose to use it. Your power company doesn't say you can't use the energy-saving features on your new refrigerator unless you buy more electricity. And your grocer doesn't make you buy an extra loaf of bread if you stop purchasing potato chips.
Arnold Schwarzenegger comes across a lot better in his memoirs, "Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story," than he did during a "60 Minutes" TV interview broadcast Sunday night.
Seated in the upper deck at San Francisco's AT&T Park, during a Giants-Rockies game, you wouldn't know millions of Americans are underwater and unemployed, or that the 2012 elections were less than two months away. The large man seated next to me cups his hand over his mouth to scream, "Colorado, you suck!" and other such sagacious slogans as the game creeps on, and the sun sets over San Francisco Bay.
After watching the national media's performance since the party conventions, one can only hope that college students are out on a summer safari or some Third World Peace Corps mission. Anything to avoid this mess. Sean Hannity is right. The establishment news media is dead. Whatever remains has only one standard. If it helps Obama, it's "news." If it doesn't, reporters should move on. There's nothing to observe here.
Mark Hanna, the Karl Rove of the old Robber Baron era, explained a century ago that, "There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can't remember the second."
The University of California has reached a $1 million settlement with UC Davis students who were pepper sprayed at an Occupy-inspired Nov. 18 demonstration to protest rising tuition. UC will pay student plaintiffs $30,000 each, and the American Civil Liberties Union will pocket up to $250,000. Everything that is wrong in California resides in this story.
If "journalism malpractice" were a crime, Nancy Grace would not be able to keep track of all the trials.
You can put earrings on a hog… but it won't hide the ugliness.
Candidate Barack Obama made this promise to Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos in May 2008:
For Americans of the Greatest Generation that fought World War II and of the Silent Generation that came of age in the 1950s, the great moral and ideological cause was the Cold War.
The "enlightened" who claim a firm grip on the steering wheel of Western civilization see the future through a lens in which man becomes ever more perfectible as outdated religious creeds fade away. And thus the irony. For all the contempt these cosmopolitans show for religion, there is one faith beyond public rebuke. Call it Islamic exceptionalism.
Food fight, everyone – let's all join the fun!
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Mitt Romney told donors in a $50,000-a-plate Florida fundraiser that was secretly recorded in May and released by Mother Jones this week. In an unfortunate choice of words, Romney described those 47 percent as people who "are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it."
"Back-to-school" sales seem to start earlier every year. These days, more than binders and backpacks are on offer. Now, public schools themselves are for sale.
The (well-funded, I am sure) opposition to San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener's ballot measure to tax soda and other sugary drinks calls itself the Coalition for an Affordable City. Its website features owners of corner markets explaining how the proposed tax would hurt their businesses and expressing their bewilderment at City Hall's picking on hardworking merchants.
There is no white Republican elected official today who is coming close to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's effort to reach out to black voters.
In June, President Barack Obama sent a letter to Congress asking for help to address the surge of illegal crossings at the Texas-Mexico border. Among other items, Obama asked Congress to grant him the legal authority "to exercise discretion in processing the return and removal of unaccompanied minor children from non-contiguous countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador."
Last week, by 2-1 vote, a Washington, D.C., appellate panel ruled that the Obama administration unlawfully changed Obamacare. Meanwhile, on the same day, on the same question, a panel from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the other way. This issue is headed for the Supreme Court.
Anyone who thinks the cultural left is going to stop its political correctness with the Washington Redskins isn't reading USA Today. On the top of their Sports front page on July 22, the paper reported on activists taking a stand against "redface," championing a group called Eradicating Offensive Indian Mascotry.
The New York Times has seen the light. On Sunday, the paper editorialized in favor of an end to the federal ban on marijuana. According to Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance, The Gray Lady has become the first major national newspaper to support legalizing marijuana.
When I heard our Congress critters are taking an extended vacation for all of August and part of September, I had two incongruous reactions: gratitude and anger.
The FBI's motto is "Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity." But given the FBI sting against Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow - a convicted felon who was freed from prison in 2003 because the feds got him to testify against a confederate - I suspect that a more apt motto might be "Fuggedaboutit."
The "crossfire" mentality that defines public discourse today has the obvious problem of ignoring the fact that most of us land somewhere in the middle, turning every debate into a shouting contest between the extremists who generate passion and ratings, and rarely reflecting the views of the majority in the middle. I've been saying for years that it might be just as entertaining, and certainly more productive, to see where ideological opposites find common ground. But until someone actually attempts it, we will keep spiraling down into extremism and incivility.
The news that Google executive Forrest Hayes died on a yacht after being injected with heroin by a "date" he met on a website that connects "sugar daddies" with "sugar babies" has prompted not only charges against the woman, 26-year-old Alix Tichelman, and an investigation of a similar death (ruled accidental) involving Ms. Tichelman in 2013, but also questions about the website that brought the dead husband and father into contact with the woman who literally killed him.
Hillary Clinton's $35 doorstop of a memoir is a flop. It was a best-seller to hard-core Democrats, but her advance is estimated at $14 million, which means Simon & Schuster is taking a bath in the hopes of a publishing a future president.
The bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie was premeditated mass murder. Gadhafi was taking revenge for Reagan's raid on Tripoli in 1986.
From 1776 forward, Americans have opposed having soldiers do police work on our soil. But in recent years, Pentagon chiefs have teamed up with police chiefs to circumvent that prohibition.
A group called Fossil Free UC wants regents to divest the University of California's endowment fund of all fossil fuel holdings. "As one of the leading public institutions in the world, we have the privilege and the responsibility to take action where we can influence change," Fossil Free UC explains on its website.
Can you have your hypocrisy and eat it, too?