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.
Did the election last week really mean that much? I took to my Twitter account on Tuesday to point out that the change in control of the Senate from Democrat to Republican actually means very little, despite efforts by politicians and the mainstream media to convince us otherwise. Yes, power shifted, I wrote. But the philosophy on Capitol Hill changed very little. The warfare/welfare state is still alive and well in Washington.
So Jonathan Gruber thinks the American people are stupid, does he?
Usually when a burning issue arises, I feel compelled to squeeze every last drop of my own phrasing, logic and wit into this limited space.
What an amazing five years this has been!
So, that was fun. One minute we're promised a half dozen toss up races to determine control of the United States Senate, and the next Democrats are ducking under their desks as Massachusetts and Maryland elected Republican governors. Let the "Very Important Pundits" take turns on cable news assigning blame for the losses. I'm more interested in why the polls didn't tell us the wave was coming.
I admit it: I feel sorry for cigarette and cigar smokers these days. But changing fashions and the results of the recent election may offer them hope.