When you think about it, it's amazing that the high-minded swells at the University of California didn't unveil a new logo sooner. The old logo, which will continue to appear on diplomas and official letters, features the school motto, "Let there be light." Ancient. An English translation of a Latin phrase. And a book. Dead-tree lit. 1868? Dead white guys. Under a star. Too militaristic.
Here we are on brink of a major historical moment. We're beginning to wind down the longest period of war in our history. And we're about to turn around a 13-year-long surge in Pentagon spending.
Christmas in my home city of Santa Monica is different this year. It used to be that there were elaborate displays depicting the birth of Jesus in the big public park by the ocean. I've always believed that Christmas is a major religious holiday, and the display reflected that. According to people who know more about such things than I do, the large dioramas told the story of Jesus' birth according to the Gospels of Luke and Matthew.
As the white flag rises above Republican redoubts, offering a surrender on taxes, the mind goes back to what seemed a worse time for conservatives: December 1964.
Bill O'Reilly asked this question on his Fox News program last week: "Why do I have to be the leader defending Christmas against its attackers?" O'Reilly was criticizing Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee's renaming his state's Christmas tree a "holiday tree."
More than 5 million young people are looking for work. College is increasingly unaffordable, while youth jobs are few and far between. For years lawmakers have been cutting programs that help young Americans find a productive path. And as if that weren't enough, budget cuts scheduled for 2013 may hollow out what's left of federal education and training programs.
Given the expectations raised by the Republican punditocracy - that Mitt was headed for a big victory - the jolt of defeat hit especially hard.
Remember the horrible murders in 1978 of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk? At the killer's trial, his lawyer argued for leniency, saying that a steady diet of junk food had addled his client's brain – a claim that entered the annals of jurisprudence as the "Twinkie Defense."
I am at war with my phone company. Compared with real wars, it is a nothing war, a luxury war. But every time I walk into my house, I face my enemy: a dead phone.
Those who say we should run government like a business must not be frequent flyers.
Ah, the hypocrisy of tax-hikers who do everything they can to avoid the taxes they wish to impose on others.
There's money to be made in wind and solar power, but so far, not very much. And that's the way fossil fuel giants aim to keep it. As of today, they're winning the energy battle because federal subsidies for renewable energy are about to expire, unlike Uncle Sam's giveaways to the oil, gas, coal, and nuclear industries.
Those who thought ObamaCare was set in concrete by Chief Justice John Roberts' decision last June are in for a shock. December 14 is the new deadline (extended from November 16) for states to let the feds know, yea or nay, whether or not they will be setting up a health insurance exchange, which is the key to participating in the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The biggest story in Washington is about something that doesn't really exist: the so-called "fiscal cliff." This manufactured panic is all about politicians and corporate interests getting things they want - things that don't have much to do with the "crisis" anyway. But instead of challenging this spin, big media outlets are playing along.
While America's CEOs are fretting about the government's so-called "fiscal cliff," millions of American workers face a financial disaster that gets much less media attention. There's a half-trillion-dollar deficit in the nation's worker retirement benefits.
In watching Baltimore burn, "progressives" run out of scapegoats. Over a week ago, a black man named Freddie Gray died after being arrested by police. Videotape shows Gray being dragged into a police van. Within a less than half an hour, his spine was somehow severed and he died seven days later.
They say there's honor among thieves. I say: That depends on the thieves.
"Peaceful protest turns violent," read the San Francisco Chronicle headline about the May 1 protest in Oakland that ended badly. Police arrested about a dozen people after activists trashed new cars and smashed bank windows. I love that headline. It makes it seem as if it's an anomaly when an Oakland protest ends with errant sparks and glass shards - even though a social-justice demonstration in Oakland has a better chance of ending with vandalism than a Hollywood marriage has in ending in divorce.
It's been about eight months since I came to Chicago for school, but come May 18, I'll be back home in Manteca. And in those eight months, I've learned a lot. Here are just a few of the things I've learned this year at Columbia College Chicago:
The last year could be described as The Year of Transgender Propaganda. The Hollywood and news media push on the latest frontier of "gender fluidity" demonstrates the libertine left's absolute arrogance that the LGBT revolution is an unstoppable juggernaut.
Wall Street arrogance seems to be accelerating even faster than our infinite cosmos is expanding.
Had Freddie Gray been robbed, beaten and left to die in the streets of his Baltimore neighborhood, no one would be mourning him today.
Even the word "greed" isn't negative enough to characterize the all-out assault on workers by today's corporate elite.
The North Korean email hack of Sony continues to haunt Hollywood. The leftist group WikiLeaks recently posted a searchable set of the documents and the London Daily Mail found a new scandal subject: Ben Affleck ... and PBS.
DEAR DIDI: My 2 year old poodle mix continues to chew blankets and soft materials. I have tried to get her to stop , but whenever she gets the chance she is back at it. Should I be concerned for her health if she is swallowing it? How can I get her to stop this bad habit? - Poodle Mommy
A number of GOP candidates are engaging in Hillary-bashing over allegations that she used her office as secretary of state to help her husband's business dealings, prop up speech-making fees and grease the path for foreign governments to donate massive amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation. But here's a warning to my friends on the presidential campaign trail: Bashing Hillary is only going to make the Republican Party look mean-spirited and snarky. It's no road to the White House.
Why was Walter Scott running away from a policeman who tried to stop him for a broken taillight? The media are trying to make a South Carolina policeman's killing of a black man, Walter Scott, another sensational case of racism, but the media have missed the point of the tragedy.
Imagine a political campaign against environmentalists that's so negative, so ridiculously slanted and downright dirty, that it actually repulsed executives of some of America's biggest fracking corporations.
Welcome to Hollywood, where dreams become real - and where logic, reason and economics 101 become dreams.
Radical activists in the gay community have put pedal to the metal to force gay acceptance from Christians - making not only their position but also their tactics anti-Christian. They are deliberately targeting the Christian wedding industry - the cakemakers, the caterers, the quaint bed-and-breakfast owners, and the like. They are headhunting Christians who refuse their business on moral grounds by slapping them with lawsuits or "human rights" complaints.