On Sept. 17, Army veteran Robert Van Tuinen decided to celebrate U.S. Constitution Day by handing out copies of the Constitution at Modesto Junior College, where he is a student. If he were at the University of California, Berkeley or another politically correct campus, some liberal students probably would have picked an argument with him and maybe even would have accused him of hate speech.
Whacking yourself on the head with a ball-peen hammer would be stupid. Doing it again and again? That's insane.
If Tuesday's argument before the Supreme Court is any indication, a Michigan law prohibiting "preferential treatment" is on its way to being upheld by the United States Supreme Court. The law was held unconstitutional last year by a panel of judges on the United States Court of Appeals because, in their view, the primarily white electorate was taking away from minorities the benefits of an admissions policy that supported racial diversity in the state college and university system.
What do you call waiting for the end of a partial government shutdown while waiting to see if Congress raises the debt limit while waiting to see if Bay Area Rapid Transit workers strike and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit workers join them? Waiting for the apocalypses? Or: Bargaining bad.
A national network reporter, during an interview about about the government shutdown, actually told me: "Democrats believe government should do some things. Republicans don't believe government should be doing anything." Where had we heard that characterization of the GOP?
Some aspects of American agriculture are quite odd. For example, to meet a farmer these days, you don't need to venture out to the hinterland. Thousands of our farmers are city slickers.
As video games grow ever more violent and realistic, the latest sign of "progress" is the arrival of female characters you can take into combat in the latest version of the war game "Call of Duty."
The Republican Party is paying a steep price for the House Republicans' decision to follow Sen. Ted Cruz's self-destructive crusade to partially shut down the government in a reckless gambit to defund Obamacare.
The Democrats are chanting that Republicans must fully fund Obamacare because it is the law of the land, passed by Congress, signed by the president and upheld by the Supreme Court. Therefore, they say, it must be obeyed and can't be altered by Republicans who want to defund it.
The fast-food chain swears it will offer plenty of healthy choices at all its restaurants but not
Actually, as best I can tell, it's not nuts: The FDA folks who are in charge of inspecting nut factories aren't working. Did someone say salmonella? Yes, we have a chicken problem, and it's not clear whether those folks are working, either. Apparently, the CDC has recalled some people to deal with salmonella, but flu is another matter. Seafood and produce from outside the country? That appears to be a no. Stay away from national parks. Waiting on a home loan? Wait. Small-business loan? Nope.
The founts of wisdom on the Affordable Care Act spent the past year anguishing over whether "young invincibles" - young adults with low medical costs and no health coverage - would buy policies under the act. If young adults instead chose to pay the $95 fine, experts predicted, Obamacare would falter.
Never before has an American president threatened and risked the U.S. economy and financial markets the way Barack Obama has in recent days. For his own narrow political ends, Obama and his minions have actually accused the Republican party of deliberately provoking a Treasury debt default because they don't agree with the Obama position on the continuing budget resolution and the debt ceiling.
Hey there, Mr. Speaker.
The feud between Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and David Vitter, R-La., doesn't have the import of the federal government shutdown, but it does shine a light on the Beltway's partisan rancor. If there is a lesson for Washington politicos from this mud fight, then it is this: Don't try to be clever. There will be blowback.
The Koch brothers - the GOP megadonors and fossil fuel magnates - live in their own special world, enshrouded in the fumes emanating from their family's enormous stockpiles of wealth.
That is how one unnamed official described the military option in Iraq, on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014.
At the end of the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama famously wrote that our world may be at the "end of history" where "Western liberal democracy" becomes "the final form of human government."
It has been a summer of remembrance.
Back in the 1950s, C.S. Lewis saw chastity as under attack with "all the contemporary propaganda for lust that makes people "feel that the desires we are resisting are so 'natural,' so 'healthy,' and so reasonable, that it is almost perverse and abnormal to resist them."
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.