Sunshine Week, the national initiative by journalists to assure that sunshine illuminates every crevasse in the halls of officialdom, runs March 10-16. During that week, newspapers traditionally run editorials and columns extolling the importance of open government as it relates to our freedoms as Americans.
You can't change the facts of an explosion. A large fertilizer factory operated next to homes, a middle school and a nursing home. The factory blew, and 14 people died. We can't change those facts, but it's up to us to decide what they mean.
As Mother's Day approaches, the political scene makes me think of an old spiritual: "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child."
HOLLYWOOD--God bless America, and how's everybody?
President Obama's new "religious tolerance" consultant to the Pentagon, Mikey Weinstein, wants Christian military service members who openly talk about their faith in uniform to be charged with treason, which is a crime punishable by death according to military law.
Get this: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to ban the sale of cigarettes - now legal to people at age 18 - to people younger than 21.
Even back in 1980 when George "The Possum" Jones received a Grammy Award, I regarded him as an old fogey who should step aside for the younger set, such as, well, um, Kenny Rogers.
President Obama receives reports that 20 children and 6 adults have been murdered at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and decides the country needs national standards for gun accessories to protect our children. Limit ammunition capacities for rifle magazines. Outlaw triggers and stocks on rifles that look like pistols. Push for legislation requiring all law-abiding citizens to go through background checks and have the information stored for future reference.
F. Scott Fitzgerald famously uttered, "There are no second acts in American lives," but bless his heart, the besotted scribe seems blissfully unaware of the loophole large enough to taxi a C-130 through that exists for American politicians. These people are as indomitable as a mule falling off a bridge. More oblivious than a blind tortoise humping a rock. Limber like a deboned eel.
The beautiful Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs in Simi Valley, Calif., was the last place I expected to be reminded of the violence that paralyzed the city of Boston last week and turned it into a mini-Baghdad.
There are times when the words "never" and "always" are the only ones that work. In my case, "never" is becoming the word I must use to describe how I feel about certain candidates for high office. For example, I voted four times for a Bush and once for a McCain - something I will never do again.
HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
When James French became the last person to be executed in 1966 under Oklahoma's death penalty law, he uttered these famous last words (no joke) that quickly belong to the ages: "Hey fellas," he shouted to reporters there to witness his electrocution. "How about this for a headline for tomorrow's paper? 'French Fries!'"
Proms sure have gotten expensive these days.
Riveted to our screens, we learned last week of the enormous value of social media and surveillance video when tragedy strikes. But -- and this second point is as significant as the first -- we were also reminded of the importance of established, well-funded, conventional media, without which the big picture would have had gaping holes.
You got to love Thanksgiving. You do. It's the law. And be honest; doesn't a little tryptophan poisoning amongst family and friends sound pretty comforting right about now? What with Ebola infested ISIS members slithering across the border carrying photos of Bill Cosby ogling Kim Kardashian's butt?
Exclusive Excerpt from: "Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!" by Tom Purcell
There is no shortage of pundits who could do a worthy job of waxing philosophical about the things we should or shouldn't be thankful for at Thanksgiving 2014.
It will not shock readers to hear that quite often legislation on Capitol Hill is not as advertised. When Congress wants to do something particularly objectionable, they tend give it a fine-sounding name. The PATRIOT Act is perhaps the best-known example. The legislation had been drafted well before 9/11 but was going nowhere. Then the 9/11 attacks gave it a new lease on life. Politicians exploited the surge in patriotism following the attack to reintroduce the bill and call it the PATRIOT Act. To oppose it at that time was, by design, to seem unpatriotic.
Nothing is less important in Washington these days than how Barack Obama's executive order on immigration will affect millions of unauthorized immigrants. Obama has turned a population roughly equal to Alabama into taxpayers who can live in America without fear of deportation, and this town yawns. All anyone really wants to talk about is whether the Republicans will completely freak out or manage to hold it together long enough for the government to function.
Liberal billionaires reap the benefits of their XL pipeline lobbying and what do they get?
Jack Clayton's 1974 rendition of The Great Gatsby is the quintessential American epic, as well as a sophisticated blockbuster.
Talk about being in the middle of Middle America.
Illegal immigrants are the perfect Republican foe. They're easily exploited as low-cost workers benefiting business and easily maligned for being "lawless" benefiting politicians. They're a foreign other with a tendency not to speak English so suspicion is ready-made. Plus, how are illegal immigrants going to stick up for themselves? They're not. They're an ideal rival!
I've done my fair share of stupid things over my life.
I set out to write an obituary about my mother, who died Nov. 15, and was taken aback by how much she never accomplished in her 94 years.
The autumn dark is lengthening, which means the English-speaking, Judeo-Christian Holiday Season is about to split open wider than a crocodile mouth at the bottom of a baby duckling water slide. It begins with Columbus Day. No mail and the banks are closed. Much is to be said for starting slow. Then the downward hurtle is set off by Halloween, when people toss about candy, free, incognito.
Most Americans, regardless of ideology, oppose "crony capitalism" or "cronyism." Cronyism is where politicians write laws aimed at helping their favored business beneficiaries. Despite public opposition to cronyism, politicians still seek to use the legislative process to help special interests.
At least once in a lifetime every American should lay eyes on the Grand Canyon, whose brilliant colors and dazzling erosional landscape inspire a kind of planetary patriotism. Stretching 277 miles long and a mile deep, it is perhaps our nation's greatest natural treasure.