On Saturday, I was at my credit union about 45 minutes before the 3 p.m. closing time. More than 30 people were in the lobby area filling out application forms to open new accounts. These people were told it would take nearly two hours to process all the applications of everyone waiting in line. They were also informed that everyone there would have their applications processed that day even after the doors closed. Read More
The observation that “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner” contains some truth. But actually, anyone who votes can be counted among the wolves making the decisions. Read More
An oft-repeated cliche of political discourse — whose exact origin is unclear — goes something like this: “They didn’t see the light until we turned up the heat.”
Like many cliches, it has a valid core, and the California version is that the Legislature has tended to ignore a difficult issue until someone threatens to take it to the voters via an initiative ballot measure. Read More
It’s been 20 years since biologist Jonathan L. Atwood authored a study declaring the California gnatcatcher a distinct subspecies.
Based on Atwood’s conclusion, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1993 listed the small blue-gray songbird as “threatened,” restricting land use on nearly 200,000 acres across six Southern California counties, much of it privately owned. Read More
Finally, Congress is doing something smart. Well, almost. Two subcommittees of the House Energy and Commerce Committee met recently to discuss proposed “voluntary” guidelines that would restrict the marketing of food to children and adolescents.The original proposal called for a cease-and-desist on certain marketing techniques that many consider cross-generational cultural icons, such as Tony the Tiger and the Trix rabbit. Read More
Imagine someone showing up at your home and saying: “We’re from the government. This dwelling has more living space than you and your family need. There are so many people who do not have enough. So we’re going to move another family in with you.” Read More
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?That ancient philosophical — or would it be biological? — question has a political counterpart in California. Read More
If there was any doubt about the economic success of state-mandated green programs, it was erased this week after a state Senate hearing about the future of alternate fuels. By the end of the four-hour session, it was clear that environmental special interests are thriving in California.
At the hearing, Jane Williams of California Communities Against Toxics threw out statistics and emotional testimony about the increase in asthma in California children caused by vehicle emissions. Read More
The NATO-led coalition began its mission in Libya on March 19 with the limited objective of providing air cover to the rebel-held areas of the country, notably Benghazi, where Moammar Gadhafi, the nation’s dictator of 42 years, was threatening to exterminate the entire population.
That part of the mission, with the U.S. running interference to suppress Libya’s air defenses, disrupt communications and provide real-time surveillance, was almost immediately successful. Read More