At long last, our dream has come true, freeing us from the drudgery that has oppressed so many people over the past 500 years or so - namely, having to use our hands to open a bottle of wine.
It tells you something about the news media that before the House vote Tuesday, talking heads were warning Americans that unless the GOP House voted for a bill to stall our going over the fiscal cliff, taxes would go up on 98 percent of Americans. President Barack Obama's big talking point matched the cable news narrative. Breaking news: Republicans were ready to raise taxes on the middle class to shield top earners from a tax increase.
Millions of Americans watched the ball drop on New Year's Eve. The glitzy one in Times Square symbolized joy and hope for the New Year. Just a few hundred miles to the south, Congress dropped another ball - one that no doubt sent champagne glasses clinking among the richest 1 percent. But the rest of us shouldn't celebrate.
Unlicensed drivers are nearly three times likelier than licensed drivers to cause a fatal crash in California. Indeed, unlicensed drivers are likelier to cause fatal crashes than drivers who have had their licenses suspended or revoked. So found a new study released by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
It's not just about the bird.
The idea for massacring children in an elementary school or shooting up a mall filled with Christmas shoppers does not come from reading books, watching movies or listening to music. Does the incitement for such unspeakable acts come from hours of role-playing violent video games?
This special day got me to thinking about America's spirit of giving, and I don't mean this overdone business of Christmas gifts. I mean our true spirit of giving - giving of ourselves.
Sometimes, the folks who aren't protesting can be just as newsworthy as the crowds mobilizing in the streets.
Abandon all hope, ye who watch the "fiscal cliff" drama.
WASHINGTON - It's "Auld Lang Syne" time again. Robert Burns is credited with "collecting" the lyrics for the old Scottish drinking and dancing ballad that's become a traditional part of New Year's festivities. The most memorable verses - "should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind" and the chorus, "for auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we'll take a cup o' kindness yet for auld lang syne" - are often described as reminders of "the good old times" amid new beginnings. That's a tough task this year. Saying goodbye to 2012 won't ...
To a black ESPN sports analyst, this is the critical question: Is Robert Griffin III, aka RG III, the black rookie sensation Washington Redskins quarterback, "a brother, or is he a cornball brother?" What has RG III done or said to raise a suspicion about his bona fides as a black person? More importantly, what does this have to do with appreciating - or choosing not to appreciate - Griffin as an athlete?
When you lose an election, you get frustrated. When you're sitting in a subpar 2 percent economy, and are faced with tax hikes rather than marginal rate reductions, you get even more frustrated. And when you're staring at $47 trillion in spending over the next 10 years, and $8.6 trillion in deficits, your frustration levels climb even higher.
A "serious" proposal is one that has a reasonable expectation of resolving a conflict. Anyone studying Speaker Boehner's Plan B proposal knows it wasn't serious. Why are so many defending it and bemoaning its defeat?
The following is reprinted from the editorial page of the New York Sun. The editorial first appeared in 1897.
For most of my life, Christmas has been a strange, sad and lonely day. I've raised my children the way I was raised: to respect Christmas as a religious holiday, which is to say not our holiday.
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.