Rosa Parks became a powerful symbol of courage and defiance in the Civil Rights Movement by simply refusing to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back of the bus, as the racist culture of that time dictated she was supposed to do.
The day after 9/11, I called one of my friends and said we should write a "quickie" book on civil liberties in times of terror. We both knew what was about to happen; any half-serious student of constitutional law could figure it out. We, as a nation, were about to crack down.
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown is in an enviable position. He delivered a State of the State address Wednesday that did not require hand-wringing about ugly shortfalls and painful cuts for public schools. As he prepares to run for re-election, he doesn't even need to announce that he is running for re-election. No Democrat dares challenge the 75-year-old incumbent.
Or do we really need three?
The Hollywood blacklist, according to Wikipedia, is the term for "the mid-20th-century practice of denying employment to screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other U.S. entertainment professionals because of their suspected political beliefs or associations." The blacklist spirit is alive and living in San Francisco, but here and now the enemies of free thought have a new question: Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Republican Party?
The Manteca Bulletin asked a fair question: why should the public be concerned about the Forest Service's proposal to log about 30,000 acres in the 257,000-acre Rim fire (Editorial, January 3, 2014)? The reasons are simple. The proposed logging would heavily target the rarest, most threatened, and most biologically diverse and rich forest habitat type in the Sierra Nevada-"snag forest habitat"-and it would further threaten numerous rare and declining wildlife species that depend on this habitat, including the Black-backed Woodpecker.
As Republicans, we believe that your tax dollars should be spent responsibly on the priorities that matter most such as education. But in order to properly fund those priorities, we must have a budget that lives within its means and avoids the mistakes of the past. It is refreshing to see that Governor Jerry Brown recognizes these principles in his education budget proposal.
The takeover of Fallujah by al-Qaida wipes out our costly 2004 victory in which we captured the Iraqi city at the cost of 100 Marines and soldiers killed in action, and hundreds more wounded. Fallujah isn't just an Obama mistake; it's the exemplar of Obama's disastrous foreign and military policies designed to reduce the power and prestige of America on the world stage.
Can antibiotic medicines, long hailed as miracle drugs, be too much of a good thing? Yes.
The media quickly came up with a term for the apparently politically orchestrated George Washington Bridge traffic jam: "Bridgegate." Now what catchy term do the media attach to the explosive new book castigating the incumbent wartime commander in chief? "Gatesgate"? Hardly.
Sam Berns died last week, at the age of 17.
How near death is the California Republican Party? It's this bad. Democrats hold every statewide office. Term limits have opened up a few offices; still, no serious Republican plans to run for attorney general, lieutenant governor, treasurer or controller this year. If the lead Democrat for any of those offices were to die in September, there would be no Republican in the race to win in November.
As we approach the centennial of World War I, we will read much of the blunders that produced that tragedy of Western civilization.
Perhaps you thought the political world was finally safe from the dynamic duo of Rob Ford and Trey Radel. But no. Heeeere they come, rushing back into the limelight.
Liberals are angry President Barack Obama won a second term, and yet, they didn't get the liberal agenda items they wanted passed in 2013, including gun control and amnesty for illegal aliens. The complaint at the end of the year is that this was the "least productive Congress" in 66 years, with production always being measured by the amount of legislation passed.
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.