California's death penalty has been in limbo since 2006, when a federal judge stayed the execution of Michael Morales, who was sentenced to death for the brutal 1981 murder and rape of 17-year-old Terri Winchell. The judge was fearful lest the state's three-drug lethal injection protocol would cause Morales undue pain. Since then, a number of states have switched to a one-drug protocol. Why hasn't California? The answer could be that Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris don't want the death penalty to work.
"When Government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought. This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves."
The latest solid proof that Hollywood really can't stand traditional Christianity has arrived in an unfolding boycott of Chick-fil-A, a Georgia-based fast-food chain that's rapidly spreading franchises across America.
Can it really be a surprise that four out of five Americans have little-to-zero trust in big banks, that 62 percent of us believe corruption is widespread across Corporate America, and that three-fourths of us sense that business corruption has increased in the past three years? We have these views because we keep having their ugliness thrust in our faces.
About the tragedy in Aurora, Colo., rapper/actor Ice-T made more sense - and has a better understanding of the Second Amendment - than gun-control proponents.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper had the right idea when he refused to utter the suspected gunman's name in the Aurora multiplex theater shootings, which left 12 dead and 58 wounded. Instead of naming the alleged killer, Hickenlooper referred to him only as "Suspect A." At a prayer vigil Sunday, Hickenlooper read the names of each of the 12 people killed in the incident. After each name, the crowd repeated the refrain, "We will remember."
Photo voter ID laws, according to Attorney General Eric Holder, are a "poll tax." "Many of those without IDs," Holder recently told the NAACP, "would have to travel great distances to get them - and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them."
In January, prosecutors would not believe Eliana Lopez when she said her husband, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, did not hurt her when he bruised her arm during a Dec. 31 argument on the dubious grounds that as a battered woman, she was effectively brainwashed to rationalize the abuse. In July, as Mayor Ed Lee has to go through the San Francisco Ethics Commission in his bid to fire the sheriff, City Hall has concocted a new reason not to listen to Lopez: She's too happy.
"Why is the modern Republican Party so opposed to allowing the rich to pay just a little bit more in taxes to help solve the debt and deficit problem in this country that they would prefer no deal at all?" Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., asked at The Brookings Institution on Monday.
Back in 2007 and 2008, it was remarkable watching Barack Obama treated to one puffball interview after another, courtesy of Steve Kroft on "60 Minutes." Kroft compared him to Abe Lincoln and oozed about his "political poetry." But it's simply irresponsible, after three and a half years of President Obama wrecking the economy, that CBS - now with anchor Charlie Rose - is still in puffery mode.
The first criterion in choosing a vice president, it is said, is that he or she must be qualified to be president.
Californians have always thought of themselves as trailblazers for the rest of the country. As the biggest state in the Union that is home to the gems of Hollywood, Silicon Valley and the world's most productive agricultural land in the Central Valley, our state has proven time and time again to be ahead of the nation.
After years and years of over-the-top stories attesting to the character, honor, integrity and moral fiber of the late Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, we now know, after reading the 267-page Penn State internal report on child predator Jerry Sandusky, that the legendary coach was nothing more than a narcissistic, arrogant coward.
To measure how our economy is doing, media outlets keep a constant eye on the Dow Jones Average. But they're like cats watching the wrong mouse hole, for the great majority of Americans have between zero and next-to-nothing in the stock market.
There are some ideas so convoluted that only an expert (or wannabe expert) could love them.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to share his long-repressed feelings about a traumatic event. "It was," the Kentucky Republican confided, grim-faced, "the worst day of my political life."
DEAR DIDI: Our four year old pit mix will play with toys if we interact with them but if we throw the toy and ask him to fetch he loses all interest and walks away. He runs into things around the house fairly often so we are wondering if he has a balance or coordination issue. How PETS we work on this? We adopted him when he was a year old and he is so calm and such a joy to us. Our other issue, unrelated, is that he growls intensely at anyone that comes to our home even if ...
"The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature."
At last month's California gubernatorial debate, Republican hopeful Neel Kashkari praised Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris for using their discretion not to appeal a court ruling that overturned the state's same-sex marriage ban. Kashkari then chided both Democrats for failing to use that same discretion when they appealed the Vergara v. California court decision. The suit is named after Beatriz Vergara, one of nine students who sued to eliminate the state's teacher tenure system.
Just when you thought the plutocratic profiteers running America's exploitative, low-wage economy couldn't get any more clueless, self-serving, pious, and mingy - along comes Lady Maria of Marriott, magnanimously saying: "Let them eat tips."
In his U.N. address, President Obama listed a parade of horrors afflicting our world: "Russian aggression in Europe," "terrorism in Syria and Iraq," rapes and beheadings by ISIL, al-Qaida, Boko Haram.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Lawrence Silveira is a Sierra High graduate now living in Chicago. In this column, penned on Sept. 5, he writes about the differences between the two locales, and what he's learned in his first few weeks at Columbia College.
"Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."
Here's an unusual super-rich guy with a strange message for his fellow 1-percent-of-the-1-percenters.
There's a photo-word montage on the Internet in which a little boy, presumably from Africa, looks skeptically at a woman who is apparently from somewhere else. The boy asks, "You mean to tell me you have so much clean water, that you (poop) in it?"
Where are the peaceniks? Why aren't they marching on Capitol Hill to protest President Barack Obama's use of military force in Syria and Iraq? The San Francisco Chronicle's Kevin Fagan interviewed peace activists who told him that their ranks are numb, in part because America has been at war for more than a decade. Some even wonder whether the Islamic State is so barbaric as to merit airstrikes.