With twin suicide bombings in Volgograd, at a train station and on a trolley, 34 Russians are dead and scores are injured and hospitalized.
Irony is dead. It has been garroted by reality.
A funny thing happened during Australian climate change professor Chris Turney's venture to retrace a 1912 research expedition in Antarctica and gauge how climate change has affected the continent: Two weeks into a five-week excursion, Turney's good ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy got trapped in ice. It turns out, global warming notwithstanding, that there's so much ice down under that two ice-breaking vessels sent to rescue the research team cannot reach the Australasian Antarctic Expedition.
"Don't be deceived," Duck Commander and A&E reality television star Phil Robertson insisted, when asked to define what he considered to be sinful behavior. "Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers - they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."
When President Richard Nixon arrived in Beijing in 1972, Chairman Mao Zedong - with his Marxist revolution, Great Leap Forward and Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution - had achieved an equality unrivaled anywhere.
In an attempt to shift public discussion from the Obamacare train wreck, President Barack Obama is again promoting universal tax-paid daycare for preschoolers. But spending $75 billion on free preschool for all won't work any better than the numerous times it's been tried before.
Twenty years after it took effect, NAFTA has failed the vast majority of Mexicans.
Let's assess the winners and losers in American culture for 2013. Our first obvious winner is "Duck Dynasty" and its Phil Robertson. He's a winner for standing by his Christian principles after some offensive remarks about homosexuality.
Here's a twist on Christmas that would make Jesus weep.
Pope Francis' call for a truce notwithstanding, the culture war rages on in America.
Just look at the chain's outlet in Canton, Ohio, where management set up bins for food donations, asking people to give generously to the poor who otherwise would not have a Thanksgiving dinner. But the bins weren't for customers - they were tucked back in the employees-only area.
What's been called the "War on Christmas" is often a case of secular liberals wanting to engage in Christmas denial. In the name of not wanting to offend people of minority faiths (or no faith), they remove the C-word from department store catalogs and Christmas songs from public school concerts, leaving us with lame messages about snow.
Here's a jarring headline: "Economic Populism Is a Dead End for Democrats."
Making fun of Fox News' Megyn Kelly for her vigorous-without-a-doubt-make-no-mistake insistence that Santa Claus and Jesus Christ are both white would be like taking candy from a child.
President Obama commuted the sentences of eight crack-cocaine offenders Thursday, including that of Clarence Aaron, who was serving a sentence of life without parole for a first-time nonviolent drug conviction when he was 23.
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 the wars she has fought, America has often allied with regimes that represented the antithesis of the cause for which we were fighting.