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.
If I were governor of New Jersey and really wanted to know whether my staff had any involvement whatsoever in a nasty political prank that closed lanes and gridlocked traffic on the George Washington Bridge in September as payback for the Fort Lee mayor's refusal to endorse me, I would not do what Chris Christie did. That is, wait until December and then tell staffers that if they knew anything about the bridge mess, they had one hour to inform not me but my top underling or chief counsel.
In 2012, according to the CDC, 140 blacks were killed by police. That same year 386 whites were killed by police. Over the 13-year period from 1999 to 2011, the CDC reports that 2,151 whites were killed by cops - and 1,130 blacks were killed by cops.
Ask anyone under 40 to identify Paul McCartney or "I Want to Hold Your Hand," and the odds are you'll get a blank look in return. Ask someone under 30 to describe the Soviet menace and you may well get the same response. The first one is harmless ignorance, and some might argue the second one is as well. After all, it's over and we won, right?
When America was hit on 9/11, the world united around us. France just had its 9/11, and again the civilized world has come together, all except the United States. Where were America's leaders as the rest of the world united?
I love women. I've always loved women.
Minutes to midnight on New Year's Eve, I sat around a fire with friends, discussing plans for 2015. I told them mine: to hike over 200 miles on the John Muir Trail through the High Sierras, by myself.
Here's what I love about the French: They've long understood the dangers presented by radical Islam. French President Francois Hollande swiftly called the deadly Wednesday shooting at Paris' Charlie Hebdo magazine "an act of exceptional barbarity," without doubt a terrorist attack. There was no hedging. The Socialist leader didn't engage in the sort of blather White House spokesman Josh Earnest offered on MSNBC shortly after the shootings. Earnest called the attack a "terrible act of violence," but not necessarily terrorism.
Congress, which had been so tied up in a partisan knot by right-wing extremists that it became unable to move, suddenly sprang loose at the end of the year. Before heading home for the holidays, it put on a phenomenal show of acrobatic lawmaking.
For the third time, the cops of the NYPD have turned their backs on the mayor of New York.
While last year's voters put a pack of reactionaries in charge of the new Congress, let's not forget that bigger majorities of the same electorate leapt at the chance to say "yes" to an array of unabashedly progressive ballot initiatives.
"The Interview" is a funny movie that does a stand-up job showcasing how a not particularly serious or informed person would deal with Kim Jong Un - and evil itself, with all its blandishments. James Franco plays talk show host Dave Skylark, who discovers that the North Korean dictator loves his show. Skylark's susceptibility to flattery renders him willfully blind. Because Kim plays up to him, Skylark wants to believe that the phony grocery his chauffeured car happens to drive by is real, that reports that Kim starves his people are the result of media bias and that Kim, like ...
The past month of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the Winter Solstice, our hearts grew warmer and our thoughts turned to kindness and goodwill toward all.
In July of 1870, King Wilhelm sent Foreign Minister Bismarck an account of his meeting with a French envoy who had demanded that the king renounce any Hohenzollern claim to the Spanish throne.
It has become a never-ending quest to define millennials. Those between the age of 18 and 34 are often portrayed as a self-absorbed, narcissistic generation obsessed with technology. They are a group more likely to check their Twitter or Instagram apps than keep up with world events. In fact, voters age 18-29 made up a mere 13 percent of the vote in this month's mid-term elections.