I woke up this morning to the news of the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo Magazine office in Paris. Twelve people were killed and eleven wounded, including two of my French cartoonist friends, Tignous and Wolinski. Cartoonists around the world are grieving.
We are all Charlie
Good-bye and good-riddance to 2014. As we move into 2015, what can we learn from how 2014 ended and how we're now "trending" in various areas? Here are a few items to watch:
The House is set to vote on the Keystone XL pipeline as their first order of business in the new Congress - and this time the newly-elected Senate is expected to have enough votes to break the anti-energy filibuster led by liberals Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer, who is urging President Obama to stop the pipeline with a veto.
Since New Year's is traditionally a time for resolutions, and since the new Congress convenes this week, I thought I would suggest some New Year's resolutions for Congress:
Pope Francis recently praised the benefits of big families - that a big family teaches children selflessness and sharing, which benefits the whole of society - and I couldn't agree more.
As children return to school after the Christmas break, they probably don't realize the fate of their public school education career will be based on decisions by the Legislature, Gov. Sam Brownback and members of the judiciary.
My mother's birthday is New Year's Day. This year, Matt decided it would be fun to take her, my father and our family, to Molly B and the Squeezebox Band which were performing at the Rose Garden Hall in Hays. Knowing full well that Molly B is second only to Anacani and Lawrence Welk in my husband's mind, I rolled my eyes wondering if the offer was self-serving or a genuine heartfelt gesture. However, as I know my German-Catholic mother from Liebenthal loves polka music, I conceded that it was a great idea.
What happens when the dog catches the car? Now that the Republicans control the Senate, will they continue to be the party of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories?
Now that dust from the midterms has settled, thousands of politicians-elect are taking office. In the predictably rough climate of American politics, there is serious controversy.
Just a reminder: January 8 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, the last major encounter of The War of 1812.
Get ready for our already ugly and violent 21st century to be the century of soft targets for terrorists. The number of places where people feel safe will diminish as terrorists pick new venues to increase body counts -- and grab more of that new and mainstream media publicity that helps with recruitment.
Hey guys. Did this whole crazy holy daze madcap bedlam thing sneak up on you this year, making the world speed up like a maglev Bullet Train going downhill lit by a strobe, like it did us? There's a perfectly reasonable explanation.
The Sony hacking story is the gift that keeps on giving. It's got it all: cyber crime, international intrigue, political posturing - plus a tantalizing trove of corporate and celebrity gossip.
Thank you, North Korea. Your alleged cyber attack on Sony has, I hope, awakened the American people.
Boy, does the world need a better sense of humor right about now.
Decades after being dismissed by George S. Kaufman as a genre that "closes on Saturday night," satire, like the measles and mumps, is making a comeback. And in many quarters, remains the most feared of the three conditions.
In the wake of the terrorist massacre in Paris, the new battle cry throughout the civilized world is "Je suis Charlie," meaning "I am Charlie." The phrase expresses solidarity for the four cartoonists and 13 others butchered by Islamic terrorists who attacked the satirical newspaper and a kosher market. But, actually, it's clear now that the slogan for this century should be another one: "We are screwed."
Hitler is in the news again, invoked by some ignorant people.
A decade ago, Rick Perry famously signed off an interview with the words, "Adios, mofo." Now, signing off as governor, he told the same reporter, "Adios, my friend." He might be on his way out, but he's leaving behind a cast of characters that promises years of entertainment. The price of oil might be tanking, but stupid will always be Texas' most abundant natural resource.
Since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, the dollar has lost over 97 percent of its purchasing power, the US economy has been subjected to a series of painful Federal Reserve-created recessions and depressions, and government has grown to dangerous levels thanks to the Fed's policy of monetizing the debt. Yet the Federal Reserve still operates under a congressionally-created shroud of secrecy.
Everyone from Jon Stewart to Ted Cruz has mocked President Obama for not flying to France last weekend.
I received an unexpected postcard in the mail the other day from an old friend. It made my day.
The politics of the crude exports issue are confused by a lot of irresponsible reporting. Almost every story on the issue asserts that allowing exports would be politically dangerous because it would supposedly raise prices at the pump, but the claim is never credibly sourced. In fact, every single serious study has found precisely the opposite: allowing crude exports would lower prices at the pump.
Elizabeth Warren continues to bedazzle people precisely because she's not running for president. If she were to actually run for president, her power to bedazzle would diminish in a flash. To quote the sage Bob Dylan, "What looks large from a distance, close up ain't never that big."
After the tragic shooting at a provocative magazine in Paris last week, I pointed out that given the foreign policy positions of France we must consider blowback as a factor. Those who do not understand blowback made the ridiculous claim that I was excusing the attack or even blaming the victims. Not at all, as I abhor the initiation of force. The police blaming victims when they search for the motive of a criminal.
As the controversy builds over anything and everything relating to Barack Obama, many Republicans have come to believe that their party will prosper as a result.
Since 9/11, 34 people have been killed in America by Islamic jihadist terrorists.
God Bless America and how's everybody?
Like blaming a rape victim for her "provocative dress," many press pundits blame the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists (and the Danish cartoonists before them) for crossing "red lines," and inviting trouble. In the past few days the small community of American editorial cartoonists have been getting calls from their local media, asking for comments about self-censorship and what subjects we should be forbidden to draw in a free society.