My new book, "Dear Father, Dear Son," talks about the No. 1 social problem in America - children growing up without fathers.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein began her war on allergy and cold sufferers in 2005. In an effort to prevent small-time dealers from buying allergy and cold drugs and cooking them into methamphetamine, she pushed through legislation requiring consumers to show identification before purchasing products with pseudoephedrine - otherwise known as the good allergy drugs, known only to those who know enough to ask for them.
Everyone can imagine the horror of a madman shooting up an elementary school, especially the horror of losing your six-year-old in the melee. But at some point, the news media's wallowing in Newtown reminds one of Don Henley's satirical song "Dirty Laundry," and how the anchors' eyes gleam through plane-crash news because "it's interesting when people die; we love dirty laundry."
My friends from out of town want to know what I thought of President Obama's State of the Union address. The answer is simple. I live in Los Angeles. I didn't see or hear the State of the Union address. I was watching the Christopher Dorner manhunt.
Along with many Americans, I watched President Obama's State of the Union speech last night. He is probably the most eloquent speaker that many of us have ever heard. He makes salient points on many issues that concern us, such as gun control and global warming. I do, however, have a few questions on some of his open-ended thoughts.
In his column Sunday, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown wrote that on Labor Day weekend, he'll be preening at the Bay Bridge opening ceremony, taking credit for obstructing plans to rebuild the Bay Bridge so that it could be the "the world-class wonder" he knows it will be.
Karl Rove has declared war on grassroots conservatives and Tea Parties. Rove, who had the richest super PAC in 2012 (American Crossroads, which reportedly spent $300 million in the 2012 election cycle), has started a new fund called Conservative Victory Project to spend big bucks in the 2014 Republican primaries to defeat Republican candidates not approved by the Establishment.
"To govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me."
Four years ago, Michelle Obama picked up a shovel to make a powerful symbolic statement about America's food and farm future: She turned a patch of White House lawn into a working organic garden.
This year, for the State of the Union address, Democrats and Republicans (those who can find "dates," anyway) will be sitting together. It is supposed to be a signal to the nation of bipartisanship - at least the kind that allows people from opposite parties, as we used to do decades ago, to put their differences aside at the end of the day.
On Tuesday, NBC released a confidential Department of Justice paper concluding that our government can authorize the use of drones to kill targeted terrorist leaders, including U.S. citizens abroad. This story bares the dividing line between honest liberals - such as Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the American Civil Liberties Union and the San Francisco Chronicle's editorial board, all of whom opposed some of the harsher anti-terrorism tactics employed under President George W. Bush's administration and under the current administration - and rank opportunists, such as President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who ...
The ancestors of many Americans came here to escape mingy monarchs, oppressive priests, and baleful barons who controlled all aspects of communal life back in their countries. They bravely left everything they knew behind in a quest for freedom.
San Francisco passed America's first ban on plastic bags in chain groceries and drugstores in 2007. In a research paper for the Institute for Law and Economics, law professors Jonathan Klick and Joshua Wright crunched state and federal data on emergency room admissions and food-borne illness deaths and figured that the San Francisco ban "led to an increase in infections immediately upon implementation."
"When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."
Tax-free gifts are solidifying the nation's financial dynasties.
San Francisco is foodie heaven. If you want to eat out, you will never lack for options. That's the plus side. On the downside, Ess Eff menus are getting so precious they take the fun out of eating.
The economy has been in a tepid, soft, slow recovery for the past five-and-a-half years. It's the weakest rebound in generations. The Commerce Department's revision of fourth-quarter GDP shows that nothing much has changed. Over the past year, real economic growth registered 2.4 percent, slightly higher than the recovery average. It ain't much.
The Republican rout in the Battle of Indianapolis provides us with a snapshot of the correlation of forces in the culture wars.
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.