As recently as 1956, nearly 39 percent of blacks voted Republican in that year's presidential election. After the Civil War, Abe Lincoln's Republican Party easily carried the black vote - where blacks were allowed to vote. Unwelcome in the Democratic Party, most blacks voted Republican and continued to do so through the early part of the 20th century. It wasn't until 1948, when 77 percent of the black vote went to Harry Truman, who had desegregated the military, that a majority of blacks identified themselves as Democrats.
The legendary British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died, and the national media tried to pay their respects, not only for breaking Britain's "glass ceiling" with a "bruising" political style, but for transforming Britain and helping wind down the Cold War.
The Associated Press announced last week that it no longer sanctions the term "illegal immigrant" in its stylebook. Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll explained that the AP has decided it is wrong for reporters to use the word "illegal" to describe a person, but it's OK to use the word to "describe only an action, such as living or immigrating to a country illegally."
That America created only 88,000 jobs in March, less than half the number anticipated, was jolting news, indicating the recovery that the White House has boasted about may not be at hand.
Thanks to the industrializers of American agriculture, we finally know why the chicken crossed the road: to run away from the factory farm.
An invaluable bit of advice often shared within the military community is to never, ever, underestimate your enemy. The annals of history are replete with those who have ignored this axiom.
The philosopher George Santayana wrote: "Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it." That is what we're doing.
Whom does Barack Obama want to please more - out-of-work adults who would love a high-wage job building the Keystone XL pipeline or tony venture capitalists who travel cloistered in private jets when they're not complaining that Washington doesn't do enough about global warming?
DEAR DIDI: My dog runs out the door when I answer it. How do I keep him from doing this? -Doggy Mommy in Manteca
Readers share their ideas. Since the massacre in December in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 children and six elementary-school staff members dead, readers have passed on a host of so-called remedies. Let's make gun owners be licensed and pass a test, some have suggested. So the problem is, I ask them, that these mass killers aren't good shots?
Please don't fret about paying taxes. They're your most productive investment. As Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. noted more than a century ago, "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society."
"If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you," said Calvin Coolidge, who always counseled patience over the rash response.
Step right up, folks, and take your chances in the Amazing New American Workplace. Constantly high unemployment! Low wages always! No employee bargaining power! A corporate paradise!
My latest book, "Dear Father, Dear Son," focuses on the importance of fathers - and the increasing number of children who grow up in homes without one. Fox's Juan Williams understands this - sort of. He gets the "what," but not the "why."
The gagged townspeople of Sanford, New York are suing their town board over the infringement of their First Amendment rights.
At last month's California gubernatorial debate, Republican hopeful Neel Kashkari praised Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris for using their discretion not to appeal a court ruling that overturned the state's same-sex marriage ban. Kashkari then chided both Democrats for failing to use that same discretion when they appealed the Vergara v. California court decision. The suit is named after Beatriz Vergara, one of nine students who sued to eliminate the state's teacher tenure system.
Just when you thought the plutocratic profiteers running America's exploitative, low-wage economy couldn't get any more clueless, self-serving, pious, and mingy - along comes Lady Maria of Marriott, magnanimously saying: "Let them eat tips."
In his U.N. address, President Obama listed a parade of horrors afflicting our world: "Russian aggression in Europe," "terrorism in Syria and Iraq," rapes and beheadings by ISIL, al-Qaida, Boko Haram.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Lawrence Silveira is a Sierra High graduate now living in Chicago. In this column, penned on Sept. 5, he writes about the differences between the two locales, and what he's learned in his first few weeks at Columbia College.
"Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."
Here's an unusual super-rich guy with a strange message for his fellow 1-percent-of-the-1-percenters.
There's a photo-word montage on the Internet in which a little boy, presumably from Africa, looks skeptically at a woman who is apparently from somewhere else. The boy asks, "You mean to tell me you have so much clean water, that you (poop) in it?"
Where are the peaceniks? Why aren't they marching on Capitol Hill to protest President Barack Obama's use of military force in Syria and Iraq? The San Francisco Chronicle's Kevin Fagan interviewed peace activists who told him that their ranks are numb, in part because America has been at war for more than a decade. Some even wonder whether the Islamic State is so barbaric as to merit airstrikes.
"I see the media is at it again," an acquaintance said referring to the deluge of coverage after the Ray Rice assault on his wife. True, a ton of coverage on what became a national, if not international story.
For those of you who read my last column and thought I had crossed over to the dark side, this one should tilt the world back on its proper axis.
"You'll never meet anyone who says, 'I want to be a millionaire. I think I'll start a winery,'" owner Bill Smyth tells me from his small office over the tasting room of Westover Vineyards, nestled in Palomares Canyon. Smyth has worked in a number of fields. He made some money. He bought the vineyard property when he was young. His ex-wife bought him a kit to make wine, and his labor of love turned into a small business.
The video of a Syrian captor beheading American freelance journalist James Foley "has done more damage than any ransom ever could," former Iranian hostage Sarah Shourd warned on CNN recently. Foley's parents have been vocal about their frustration in knowing that their son remained a hostage as France and other European countries paid a reported average of $3 million-plus to free their citizens. The family wants to establish an organization to provide information to other families, presumably to get around a no-ransom policy.
When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down a mere a two-game suspension for domestic violence, he took his cue from some of the very same women's groups now calling for his head.
Supervisor David Chiu wants San Francisco to become the first American city to oppose any ban on sex-selective abortions. It apparently has not occurred to him why no other city has chosen to do so.
In its wisdom (such as it is), the California Legislature passed a measure that would change the standard of sexual consent on the state's college campuses. Gov. Jerry Brown should veto this bill. If the University of California and other institutions that receive state-funded student aid want to demonstrate they have "no tolerance for any form of sexual violence" when students report rape as state Sen. Kevin de Leon has argued, then they should call the cops, not academic panels.