It is always in poor taste for modern Americans to liken their ideological critics to Nazis. So when venture capitalist Tom Perkins wrote a letter to The Wall Street Journal that equated "the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the 'rich,'" with "fascist Nazi Germany," he opened his double doors to the cable TV umbrage-fest that followed.
Yes, we are a country of rugged individualists. Yet there's also a deep, community-minded streak in each of us. We're a people who believe in the notion that we're all in this together, that we can make our individual lives better by contributing to the common good.
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.
"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.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters descend on Washington every January to "March for Life," protesting the horror of more than a million abortions in America every year. Every year the "news" outlets report next to nothing, even when their reporters are there documenting the event as their cameras film it.
The Super Bowl is well timed. It comes mid-winter, a month after our New Year's resolutions begin deflating, when the market is teetering, our finances are squeezed, and the collections agencies calling day and night. For those who were fortunate to make some income last year, the 1099's or W-2s arrive, and we brace ourselves to face off with the IRS.
So why is it that while other states are now enjoying gas prices of less than $2 per gallon, California is still paying higher prices?
First lady Michelle Obama made an important statement when she showed up in Saudi Arabia with her husband Tuesday to mourn the death of King Abdullah and meet successor King Salman. Though the first lady dressed in a fashion respectful of Saudi custom - in black pants and a long, loose jacket that fully covered her arms and legs - she did not don a headscarf. Saudi women do not have that choice. Thus, the first lady made a fashion statement that sent a politely assertive message to the all-male Saudi delegation.
Within hours after the Supreme Court announced it would decide whether the Constitution requires every state to recognize marriages between persons of the same sex, the New York Times published an editorial gleefully predicting the inevitable outcome. When its ruling comes down in June, the Times assures us, the Supreme Court will "end the debate once and for all."
As messed up as it sounds, in the unending struggle for justice, there is such thing as a "positive negative." This occurs when you win a struggle that you never should have had to deal with in the first place.
Jeb Bush may be the front-runner in the GOP 2016 primary. He is the son and brother of former presidents and can tap into their vaunted fundraising machines. In some eyes, the former Florida governor always was the more disciplined, thoughtful and worthy son. Maybe. But Jeb Bush also has a problem: He is a boring speaker.
"I don't believe I'm poking anyone in the eye," House Speaker John Boehner asserted Wednesday. That was after His Speakership told the media that he had invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress about "the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life."
I recently addressed a rather odd topic for an audience of political progressives: "Who was your sports hero growing up?"
Where's the Clint Eastwood Million Cowboy March on Hollywood? The case for bias against Eastwood is far stronger than that of the alleged "snub" of the movie "Selma." "American Sniper," a new film directed by Clint Eastwood, set box-office records for a film opening in January. Yet he was "shut out" of the director category. Was Clint Eastwood, a white, unabashed George W. Bush-supporting Republican, a victim of political discrimination?
The New York Times published a provocative news story called "The New Math on Campus." No, it's not about the failure of Common Core to teach arithmetic; it's about the changing ratio of males to females on most college campuses.