In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy assessed the odd things she was experiencing and said to her little dog, "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
I have found the issue that can bring America together. Republicans and Democrats, urban hipsters and country folk, corporate scions and infrequent fliers - they all seem to agree: The federal government must not allow mobile phone use on planes.
"On Aug. 4, he's an Eagle Scout and has the highest honor," Pascal Tessier's mother, Tracie Felker, told a reporter. "Aug. 5, all of a sudden, he's no longer good enough to be a Boy Scout."
The angels cried for Caroline today. How could they not, looking down from the heavens, watching the mourners pack Blessed Sacrament Church. The funeral service was attended by hundreds, those closest to her, those who knew her, and those who knew of her. Those who could not attend found time to pray for her soul. One found the time to write about her.
It's back. The PATRIOT Act - a grotesque, ever-mutating, hydra-headed monstrosity from the Bush-Cheney Little Shop of Horrors - has risen again. This time, it's got an added twist of Orwellian intrusiveness from the Obamacans.
Hidden just below the surface of the liberal media is a barely noticed trend of patronizing contempt: Joe Biden is the Democrats' Dan Quayle, but because he is a Democrat, they'll do anything to avoid treating him like they treated Quayle.
Michael Sam appears to be a fine young man. But, no, he isn't the first openly gay male U.S. athlete to play in a major sport. And "brave"? Can we please dispense with the absurd Jackie Robinson comparisons? Wake me when a black collegiate pro prospect "comes out" as a Republican.
It's so great - truly heartwarming - to see billionaires devoting their deepest thoughts to finding solutions for eradicating poverty.
The Congressional Budget Office did not exactly say Obamacare would cost the nation 2.5 million jobs.
The delightfully naughty movie star Mae West liked to joke: "I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."
When my kids were little, an older and more experienced mother told me that one key to raising kids safely is to limit the number of "nos" to what really matters and insist firmly on those. Motorcycles and heroin, she said, which seems like a pretty good list. I added driving drunk or getting in a car with someone who had been drinking. I left heroin on the list, even though heroin use is totally foreign to me. I have friends and family who have struggled with alcohol (mostly) and other drugs, but heroin is outside of my life experience.
Do Americans want another Clinton in the White House? As former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flirts with running in 2016, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also a potential White House candidate, has put an interesting spin on Bill Clinton's White House years. Democrats shouldn't accuse the GOP of waging a "war on women," he recently told "Meet the Press," because President Clinton was a "sexual predator" with former intern Monica Lewinsky.
In 2010, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touted the Affordable Care Act as a bill "not only about the health security of America; it's about jobs. In its life, it will create 4 million jobs, 400,000 jobs almost immediately."
Democratic fundraiser/actor Ben Affleck - and the next big-screen "Batman" - recently gave an interview to Playboy. His own bias against Republicans, he admits, prevents him from fully enjoying a Republican actor's performance. "It's ... hard," said Affleck, "to get people to suspend disbelief."
President Barack Obama's support for the NSA's domestic spying program prompted a critic to say: "Given the unique power of the state, it is not enough for leaders to say: 'Trust us, we won't abuse the data we collect.'"
Old songs occasionally need to be refreshed with updated verses.
"A steady patriot of the world alone,
President Barack Obama inserted a jarring note in his speech to the annual Prayer Breakfast by insulting Christians with an inappropriate reference to the Crusades and charging that people "committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ."
How about this year's Super Bowl, huh?
What happened to California's death penalty? There has not been an execution since 2006, when a federal judge ruled against the state's three-drug lethal injection protocol. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld three-drug executions. It didn't matter. Though as candidates Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris - who both personally oppose capital punishment - promised to uphold the law, in real life they've let things slide. Fed up, two men related to murder victims have filed suit to push the state to carry out the law.
Kim Gunoo is a 15-year-old South Korean boy who has lived with perpetual diarrhea since birth.
If the most frequently dialed federal agency in America can't even answer two-thirds of the millions of phone calls it gets, should the government cut its budget?
Seeing clips of that 22-minute video of the immolation of the Jordanian pilot, one wonders: Who would be drawn to the cause of these barbarians who perpetrated such an atrocity?
This year marks the 102nd anniversary of the birth of Woody Guthrie, and in these hard times of tinkle-down economics, we sure could use some of his hard-hitting musical stories and inspired lyrical populism.
Life is short, so don't spend it beating yourself up.
I believe that parents should vaccinate their children. Because children are vulnerable, the media have a responsibility to inform parents about the risks involved when they don't vaccinate their children.
"Many people were inconvenienced by the Montgomery bus boycotts. Do you think Rosa Parks should pay restitution for that?" Mollie Costello hectored the Bay Area Rapid Transit board at a recent hearing. Costello is one of the Black Friday 14 - 14 protesters arrested Nov. 28 for shutting down the West Oakland BART station and four of five transit lines for three hours to protest the killing of unarmed black men by police officers.
Old songs occasionally need to be refreshed with updated verses.
I recently mentioned in a column on renewable energy that solar power could generate half of the world's electricity by 2050. I cited the International Energy Agency as my source.
The brilliant actor Benedict Cumberbatch is in hot water for getting his words wrong. Appearing on Tavis Smiley's show, the Oscar-nominated star of "The Imitation Game" took a strong stand in favor of greater diversity in Hollywood.