Archives for Opinion

Lies in politics? Of course. So?

If you read closely, you can almost glean a laugh track from the transcripts (pdf) of the oral arguments presented to the Supreme Court on Tuesday in the political lying case, Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus. The justices sprayed gentle ridicule and subtle sarcasm on Ohio State Solicitor Eric E. Murphy as he attempted to defend a state law that bans false statements during a political campaign. Uniform enforcement of the Ohio law — and the dozen and a half other similar state laws — would reduce our political campaigns to what? Three or four months of observed silence
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The Easter Bunny and other great lies we tell children

Besides the religious implications of Easter, this particular Sunday is also dedicated to one the “three great lies” that parents tell their children. That lie, of course, is claiming that an “Easter Bunny” lays eggs.  A rabbit laying egg? Oh, please. The remaining two of these “three great lies” are the existence of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.  Back in the 1970s, when most of us were well past childhood, there were another three great lies: The check is in the mail; I’m from the federal government and I’m here to help you; and a third one that promised
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The right to believe, or not believe, in a god

A woman in New Jersey, who says she is an atheist, is suing that state’s department of motor vehicles because it turned down her request for a license plate that reads “8THEIST.” New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission said the plate “may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency.” Two hypocrisies at work here. One, New Jersey did issue a personalized plate — “ATHE1ST” — to the president of an atheist group in the state. Two, the woman entered the word “BAPTIST” online and it was instantly approved. On one hand, it could be argued that allowing the use of
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Was Robert E. Lee a patriot or a traitor?

Questions over the “legacy” of Virginia son and Confederate General Robert E. Lee are emerging once again on the campus of the university named for him and George Washington in Lexington. A group of law students want Washington & Lee to remove Confederate flags from the grounds, “acknowledge and apologize for participating in chattel slavery,” officially recognize Martin Luther King Day and ban a neo-Confederate march on campus during Lee-Jackson Day. Their demands, of course, are not sitting well in a town where some would prefer the Stars and Bars flying in place of the American flag on streets. Calling
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Hank Aaron and the continuing pain of racism

Hank Aaron, a deserving member of baseball’s Hall of Fame and the man who broke the total home runs record of Babe Ruth, made the mistake of speaking the truth recently when he told USA Today that America is still a racist nation. In 1973, I wrote a newspaper column about the racist-tinged threats that Aaron received over the winter months as he approached the season when he would break the career record of 714 home runs by Ruth. That column brought its own collection of hate mail from racists who decried the fact that a black man would soon
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Racist, rabid-right Republicans

Want to see the rabid right wing of the Republican party squirm? Just call them what they are: racists. Nothing makes an ultra-conservative more nervous because while they scream and moan that they aren’t bigots who hate blacks, other minorities, homosexuals and anyone else who doesn’t fit their lilly-white view of the world, they know down deep that racism drives their narrow focus view of the world and guides just about everything they do. And with a black President residing at 160o Pennsylvania, their racism is in full bloom.  It drives not only the party’s hatred of everything that Barack
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America’s fruitless search for a real leader

Diogenes, the legend goes, spent his life searching for an honest man. He never found one. Were he around today and living in America, his search would still be fruitless, especially when it comes to purported “leaders” of our nation. Which raises another question:  Can Americans find a real leader? A time existed when the President of the United States was also considered the “leader of the free world.” No more.  A “free world” no longer really exists and America hasn’t had a true leader in decades. True leaders are not controlled by the dictates of their political parties.  Our
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Obamacare works at our house

Obamacare skeptics and opponents took a hit Tuesday when President Barack Obama announced the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) met its goal of seven million signups by Monday night’s deadline with 100,000 to spare — 7.1 million. “The debate over repealing this law is over,” Obama declared. That, of course, is wishful thinking on the President’s part. The debate will not end, particularly in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, which has voted many times over to repeal the law, knowing fully well that move would fail in the Democratically-controlled Senate. As a professional skeptic, I have a lot
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Rand Paul, like his father, is a loser

Rand Paul, the tea party U.S. Senator from Kentucky, said Sunday that — like his father who tried and failed three times in runs for President — he may also run for the job but won’t make up his mind until after the mid-term Congressional elections later this year. If he decidea to run, Paul will arouse a small but loud group of followers driven by fanaticism but little of what is needed to actually win an election. Like his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, Rand Paul ended the annual comedy show called the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)
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CPAC: Constantly Pathetic Archaic Crackpots

Interesting that on the final day of the annual fantasy called the Conservative Political Action Conference, the rabid right wing trotted out the laughable Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann to claim the Republicans better serve women because “we are the party, the only party, that had a woman on the Presidential ballot this century.” Bachmann, of course, was referring to former Vice Presidential GOP candidate Sarah Palin, the cocaine-snorting, basketball-bedding bimbo who couldn’t even complete a single-term as  governor of Alaska and who, incredibly, served as keynote speaker for the gathering of the uninformed unenlightened and unworthy of serious consideration. Bachmann
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