My friend Julia died as we knew she would. Cancer had ravaged her body for a decade. She no longer could breathe. She was at home, under hospice care, when she asked for a dose of morphine that she knew would kill her but also keep her final moments free of pain.
The assisted-suicide movement is the rare self-proclaimed civil rights movement that exists to cater to the wishes of affluent Americans. Last week, the California Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on SB 128, a bill to legalize assisted suicide in the state. (Proponents don't like the word suicide, so they call the measure the "End of Life Option Act.") Supporters talk of their fear of medical personnel's prolonging their lives, of pain and lack of autonomy; opponents fear that the bill's passage would represent a callous act of cultural abandonment of the sick and disabled.
More than 30 years ago, conservatives managed to defeat the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, which would have added "sex" to the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection, by frightening women into believing that it would outlaw separate bathrooms for men and women. In the years since, the courts have effectively done what Congress couldn't, prohibiting discrimination in virtually every aspect of American life - except, of course, bathrooms, which never were really at issue.
Rand Paul's entry into the 2016 Republican presidential primary is good for the GOP. I won't proclaim that Paul, 52, has the gravitas or character to occupy the Oval Office - that remains to be seen - but I do believe that all the other Republican hopefuls should watch and learn from Kentucky's junior senator. His take on issues could make independents and Democrats take a second look at a party where they have not felt welcome.
Just last month, Apple chief executive Tim Cook made headlines when he wrote a piece in The Washington Post, panning Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act as "very dangerous." Apple, Cook wrote, does not believe in discrimination and strives to "do business in a way that is just and fair." This month, the San Francisco Chronicle's Wendy Lee reported, Apple fired some construction workers at Apple Campus 2 in January because they had been convicted of felonies or face felony charges. Just and fair? Hardly.
The debate about a "religious freedom" law being considered in Indiana has been making national news. The issue is whether the law would allow discrimination against gays. There has been a storm of protest both from inside and outside the state - with leading businesses threatening and threatened by a proposed boycott of the state; Silicon Valley, for the first time I can remember, taking effective political action; and Indiana legislators tripping over themselves to make sure everyone understands that the law is in no way intended to immunize or condone discrimination.
Imagine a government energy program that is such a disaster that the Environmental Working Group and the American Petroleum Institute both oppose it. The anti-poverty group ActionAid USA wants to get rid of it, as does the pro-business Competitive Enterprise Institute. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wants to end it. So does Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. They're both sponsors of the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015.
Don't pick your nose (at least in public). The other day while I was walking down the street, I saw a guy doing just that. He had the index finger of his right hand up his right nostril, and he was really digging in like he was searching for gold. As I walked past, he turned to face the other way, even though I could still clearly see him as he proceeded to pop the treasure he had found right into his mouth. Super gross.
Does Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., suffer from short, medium and long-term memory loss?
I never quite understood what "nursing" really meant until the past six months, when the supposed superstar doctor who operated on me in Phoenix (One of the smartest male doctors I know told me she was the best, a woman, how wonderful; beware gender bias.) made a mess of my intestines, leaving me rather critically ill with peritonitis and unbearable pain while she went to Maui. Some very fine physicians, in California and in Arizona, tried to clean up the mess she left, but it was the nurses who took care of me.
"Do the crime, do the time," goes the old saying.
A voracious and eclectic reader, President Nixon instructed me to send him every few weeks 10 articles he would not normally see that were on interesting or important issues.
In what has been called the "Catholic moment" in America, in the late 1940s and 1950s, Catholics were admonished from pulpits to "live the faith" and "set an example" for others.
The libertarian-leaning me believes an American employer should be able to hire pretty much anyone he or she wants to hire. But the taxpaying me believes that if the federal government limits immigration yet creates a special visa program for highly skilled foreign workers with the assurance that the program will not cut into the wages or jobs of American workers, then Washington ought to keep its promise.
Representative Steve Scalise might not be for sale, but he is available for long-term lease.
Everyone has a story: The time an unlicensed driver rear-ended me. The time an unlicensed driver ran a red light and killed a co-worker's dog as her husband was walking the dog in a crosswalk. It seems as if there are so many unlicensed drivers in California that authorities are not capable of deterring the unlicensed from getting behind the wheel.
In 2008 Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein declared: "There are parts of government that can be run like a business and should be run like a business."
At the declaration by Donald Trump that he is a candidate for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party, media elites of left and right reacted with amusement, anger and disgust.
Big news from that razzle-dazzle place I call "El Casino Grande" - otherwise known as Wall Street.
"You'd have to be made of stone not to feel for these students," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said as he announced an Obama administration decision to forgive as many as 350,000 loans taken out by students of the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges. "Some of these schools have brought the ethics of payday lending into higher education."
When a big-name retailer finds its sales in a slow downward spiral, the geniuses in the executive suite often try to keep their profits up by cheapening their product and delivering less to customers.
Not another Bush v. Clinton campaign, you hear from Republicans who aren't for Jeb Bush anyway. Why should these old fashioned brands have such appeal that we actually think we can turn the clock back to the time when the biggest worry was a blue dress. But even that isn't exactly right: There was after all the hopeless search for the weapons of mass destruction and the mission that has yet to be accomplished. Granted, I'm a Democrat. But at least I can find something to look back on fondly, or with amusement, or with anything but ...
The revenge of the status quo is brutish. "If you attack the establishment long enough and hard enough, they will make you a member of it," humorist Art Buchwald once observed. Those words never seemed truer than at the "Uber Turns Five" celebration at its San Francisco digs Wednesday. In the disruption economy, five years can carry a ride-service giant from disruptor to establishment.
The story of Bruce Jenner declaring against human reality that he's a woman was already a tired old story, exhausted last month in a one-hour prime-time ABC "news" special. But that's not how the grand pooh-bahs of our news and entertainment media see it. They can't get enough. Deconstruction is a tonic. And so the Kardashian-Jenner Inc. rollout continues, a perfect combination of shameless TV hucksterism and a leftist revolt against the old-fashioned notion of natural humanity. How yesterday.
The Clinton campaign has launched its campaign in the courts, being waged by a veteran of such battles but on a far larger scale. What the Clintons are doing is challenging the new round of regulations on voter identification and proof enacted in a handful of states with a history of discriminatory voting practices. In the past, these laws would not have stood up to the scrutiny of the Justice Department; in the new era, thanks to another misguided Supreme Court decision, the states are free to do what they want. Sadly, the best proof that the law is still ...
Fourteen to one, in favor.
Ann Coulter lives up to her reputation of issuing warnings and political commentary that nobody else dares to say in her newest book, "Adios, America!" It's aptly titled; she makes the case that it is goodbye to the America we know and love if we don't stop diluting our population with people who don't love America, don't respect our Constitution and laws, don't even speak our language, and commit all sorts of unspeakable crimes.
In Progressive World, there are at least four stages of legally becoming an adult.
If you're a student of public relations, you had to be impressed. The rollout of Bruce to Caitlyn has been handled with such mastery that you'd think we live in a country that long ago shed any deep hostility toward those who don't easily fit into boxes marked "male" or "female." From Diane Sawyer to Vanity Fair, it's been 5-star but tasteful, if you know what I mean, which is exactly what you'd expect from Alan Nierob, the longtime Hollywood pro who is reportedly running the show.
The culture war against Christianity is picking up speed.