‘Under God’ here to stay

March 26, 2010 The long, bitter and emotional legal battle over “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance may have come to a quiet end on March 11.That’s the day a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided by a 2-1 vote that “the Pledge is constitutional.” The ruling in Newdow v. Rio Linda Union School Dist. was greeted with a big yawn by the news media — and virtual silence on Capitol Hill.

Census 101

March 25, 2010 “I’m a busy person. Why do I have to fill out this U.S. Census form anyhow?”“The U.S. Constitution says that every 10 years, the federal government must count every resident in the United States. It sounds simple, but what it really comes down to is politics and money.”“How does it involve politics?”“There are 435 seats in the U.S. House. The government uses the population count to determine the number of seats your state will have. In 2002, after the 2000 Census results were tallied, 12 seats moved across 18 states.”“Change happens. What’s the big deal?”

Country in grim situation

March 25, 2010 If the situation weren’t so grim, it would be almost laughable, watching our political and business leaders explain and defend their practice of global trade. It’s as if they were all reading from the same play book.“Certainly global trade is good for American workers,” they say. “Just look at all the jobs being created by the export of our products and services to other countries.”(What they don’t say is that for the last 20 years, we imported much more than we exported — year after year, moving millions of living-wage American jobs to other countries.)

Moment deleted

March 24, 2010 Man, y’all missed a funny story. I had it all ready to go for Tuesday’s paper, and it got blocked by the subject of the piece, my wife. Seems some of the few folks who got the advance preview convinced her that the column was just so humiliating for her that nobody (besides them, of course) should be allowed to read it.Humiliating? Do these people know who they’re dealing with? I may not know a lot of stuff, but, let me tell you, I know something about humiliation. One autobiographical story in my first book was called “Golden Shower.” See if you can guess what it was about.

Affairs to remember

March 24, 2010 With all apologies to Tom Hanks and, perhaps, Danny Devito, I think it’s fair to say that the vast majority of married celebrity men have affairs. Give a guy a taste of fame and fortune— really any sort of celebrity — and most will “forget” their marriage with whatever bar skank points her synthetic cleavage and poorly-drawn tattoos his way.

Read the fine print

March 23, 2010 You’ve seen them on TV, men and women pitching fascinating products you wouldn’t buy in Wal-Mart for pocket change, then doubling the deal for no more than shipping and handling. Have your credit card ready and call now!Of course, I’m talking about health care reform. Read the fine print.

Some food for thought

March 23, 2010 It seems like everything gives us cancer these days, and now one of the latest Food and Drug Administration warnings is plastic — not all plastics (yet) but more specifically, the organic compound called Bisphenol A, commonly abbreviated as BPA.