Editor's note: Supervisor Bob Elliott is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He served his country for 30 years in the United States Army, and retired as a Colonel, US Army Special Forces (the Green Berets.) Supervisor Elliott was elected to the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors in 2012 and represents the Fifth Supervisorial District, which covers portions of south San Joaquin County, including Tracy, Mountain House, and half of Manteca. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board.
Hypothetical conundrums can provide valuable learning experiences for students of corporate management and ethics.
We tear up at the emotional TV commercials of soldiers returning home from a deployment; our airlines allow active duty military to board planes first; our politicians do anything they can to post photos standing with our service men and women.
Gosh, you've got to feel sorry for Pfizer. The poor drug giant has to pay taxes in our country, so it's leaving.
"San Francisco, open your Golden Gate. You'll let nobody wait outside your door." Those are the lyrics of the city's signature song, but now somebody should call "rewrite."
Attention, men. Yes, you people with Y chromosomes - it's time for some man-talk. Specifically, we need to address how you dress.
There are certain elections that make you want to wash your hands before voting. And that usually has something to do with the candidates.
My friends from outside of Los Angeles are horrified. "Donald Sterling is a pig?" they say with surprise. "A racist, ignorant, loud-mouthed fool?" And Jewish, to boot. This is not, my mother would have said, good for the Jews.
A poll released last week reported that 7 percent of American journalists say they are Republicans. The survey also found that the news force is aging, having a median age of 47. And 62 percent of journalists are men. A mere 8.5 percent of full-timers are minorities. Less than 1 in 4 are "very satisfied" with their job. In short, the profession that dubbed the Republican Party a refuge for "angry white men" is teeming with angry white men.
First the censorious left went after Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born critic of Islam's treatment of women, after Brandeis University had invited her to receive an honorary degree. Bowing to political correctness, Brandeis rescinded the invitation.
In August of 2011, the former child actor Corey Feldman made a stunning assertion to ABC News: "I can tell you that the No. 1 problem in Hollywood was and is and always will be pedophilia. That's the biggest problem for children in this industry ... It's the big secret." The rest of the media said nothing.
It tells you how completely California has become a one-party state that practically no one in Sacramento believes that a Republican can beat Gov. Jerry Brown in November. But GOP big shots think it is very important which Republican loses to Brown, 76, in November - former Treasury official Neel Kashkari or Assemblyman Tim Donnelly.
They're back. they're rested. they're ready!
"What Would America Fight For?"
In March 2006, CBS News announced that President George W. Bush had stumbled into a "record low" approval rating of 34 percent. All the other networks jumped on the poll. CNN was reporting the number every hour on the hour. The survey confirmed their suspicions. The wheels on the Bush presidency had come off.
That is how one unnamed official described the military option in Iraq, on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014.
At the end of the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama famously wrote that our world may be at the "end of history" where "Western liberal democracy" becomes "the final form of human government."
It has been a summer of remembrance.
Back in the 1950s, C.S. Lewis saw chastity as under attack with "all the contemporary propaganda for lust that makes people "feel that the desires we are resisting are so 'natural,' so 'healthy,' and so reasonable, that it is almost perverse and abnormal to resist them."
The (well-funded, I am sure) opposition to San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener's ballot measure to tax soda and other sugary drinks calls itself the Coalition for an Affordable City. Its website features owners of corner markets explaining how the proposed tax would hurt their businesses and expressing their bewilderment at City Hall's picking on hardworking merchants.
There is no white Republican elected official today who is coming close to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's effort to reach out to black voters.
In June, President Barack Obama sent a letter to Congress asking for help to address the surge of illegal crossings at the Texas-Mexico border. Among other items, Obama asked Congress to grant him the legal authority "to exercise discretion in processing the return and removal of unaccompanied minor children from non-contiguous countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador."
Last week, by 2-1 vote, a Washington, D.C., appellate panel ruled that the Obama administration unlawfully changed Obamacare. Meanwhile, on the same day, on the same question, a panel from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the other way. This issue is headed for the Supreme Court.
Anyone who thinks the cultural left is going to stop its political correctness with the Washington Redskins isn't reading USA Today. On the top of their Sports front page on July 22, the paper reported on activists taking a stand against "redface," championing a group called Eradicating Offensive Indian Mascotry.
The New York Times has seen the light. On Sunday, the paper editorialized in favor of an end to the federal ban on marijuana. According to Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance, The Gray Lady has become the first major national newspaper to support legalizing marijuana.
When I heard our Congress critters are taking an extended vacation for all of August and part of September, I had two incongruous reactions: gratitude and anger.
The FBI's motto is "Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity." But given the FBI sting against Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow - a convicted felon who was freed from prison in 2003 because the feds got him to testify against a confederate - I suspect that a more apt motto might be "Fuggedaboutit."
The "crossfire" mentality that defines public discourse today has the obvious problem of ignoring the fact that most of us land somewhere in the middle, turning every debate into a shouting contest between the extremists who generate passion and ratings, and rarely reflecting the views of the majority in the middle. I've been saying for years that it might be just as entertaining, and certainly more productive, to see where ideological opposites find common ground. But until someone actually attempts it, we will keep spiraling down into extremism and incivility.
The news that Google executive Forrest Hayes died on a yacht after being injected with heroin by a "date" he met on a website that connects "sugar daddies" with "sugar babies" has prompted not only charges against the woman, 26-year-old Alix Tichelman, and an investigation of a similar death (ruled accidental) involving Ms. Tichelman in 2013, but also questions about the website that brought the dead husband and father into contact with the woman who literally killed him.
Hillary Clinton's $35 doorstop of a memoir is a flop. It was a best-seller to hard-core Democrats, but her advance is estimated at $14 million, which means Simon & Schuster is taking a bath in the hopes of a publishing a future president.