A criminal is still a criminal

December 13, 2010 The state, in legal theory, is the entity claiming the sole right to define what is lawful or criminal activity in a given territory.Perhaps just coincidentally, the state tends to judge the actions of its official agents and favored clients by a less strict standard of criminality than the one it uses to judge the actions of its subjects. And it tends to hold those it regards as enemies to a much higher standard of legality than those it regards as friends — again, perhaps just a coincidence.

Snapshot of America

December 10, 2010 It was a fine night that offered an interesting snapshot of America.Over the Thanksgiving break, I joined with 50 others for an impromptu high school reunion.We grew up in Bethel Park, a fairly typical American suburb in Pittsburgh, PA that exploded in population in the ‘60s and ‘70s.Many of our parents had grown up in the city in the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s. They were brimming with optimism by the time they moved to Bethel.By 1946, America had won World War II. The baby boom was under way and would last some 18 years.

Offensive coordinator ‘graduates’

December 10, 2010 Gus Malzahn is finally getting some respect, and it is richly deserved.Malzahn, offensive coordinator for the 13-0 Auburn University Tigers — who will play 12-0 Oregon for the national college football championship on Jan. 10, won the Broyles Award, which goes to the nation’s top assistant college football coach, on Monday.Malzahn, 45, coached football teams at Shiloh Christian and Springdale high schools into the national limelight before getting into the Division I collegiate coaching ranks at the University of Arkansas in 2006.

Recruiting illegals into the military

December 9, 2010 When you read the mainstream media or listen to Capitol Hill open border lobbyists, you’d believe that every alleged U.S. job shortage can only be solved with visas for foreign-born workers.From Cape Cod, where restaurant owners clamor for employees to prepare lobster rolls to 3,000 miles away in the Silicon Valley where a “tech worker shortage” has Bill Gates demanding more software engineers, the solution proposed by elites is always more visas.

Happy holidays from the Ho, Ho, Hopelessly Anti-Science GOP

December 9, 2010 I grew up in Los Angeles, so the notion of living in or around snow was romantic — the thing of movies. Living in Washington, D.C. for the past several winters has proven to be an entirely different experience.Don’t get me wrong, the calm quiet brought to my neighborhood by several feet of fresh powder blanketing the streets and sidewalks can make for some amazing photos or an impromptu snowball fight or two. But Republicans and conservatives have spoiled the Rockwellian images that I’d always associated with snow in my youth.

Flying nekkid

December 7, 2010 Not many people know this, but I’m actually in the process of working on my 17th million dollars. The first 16 attempts were such abysmal failures that I gave up on them. But, this one ... this is a sure thing! Here it is: “Fly Nekkid Airlines.” Whattaya think? Here’s the copy for the TV ad.Uncover the beauty of Fly Nekkid Airlines.At FNA we’ll take the hassle out of air travel. No more invasive, embarrassing X-rays or being groped by strangers who won’t even buy you a drink first. Strip off! Liberate yourself! And leave the flying to us.

The forgiveness project

December 7, 2010 People are prickly about forgiveness. They often resist it because they think forgiveness means letting someone off the hook. But it doesn’t. Forgiveness is simply giving up the hope that the past could have been any different. (I heard that on Oprah so it must be true.) Forgiveness expert Dr. Fred Luskin says, “Forgiveness does not mean condoning hurtful things that people have done.”Luskin has found that people often have a harder time forgiving ex-spouses than they do violence.

Gift ideas

December 6, 2010 It’s the most ... wonderful time ...of the year. And the most frantic and anxious and mind-numbing and expensive. The rewarding part is my ongoing seasonal side job as a lumpy elfin holiday gift consultant, where it is an honor and a privilege to be able to pass along some hot tips for this year’s Christmas shopping lists. None of which involve surplus uranium tailings from sales to the Iranians.

Preserving the memories

December 6, 2010 When Scarlett O’Hara needed $300 to pay the taxes on Tara, she found a way to get it and she’d be proud to know the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas-Austin has done the same in the name of her dresses.It only took three weeks for “Gone with the Wind” fans around the world to respond to a request to raise the $30,000 needed to preserve many of the fragile dresses actress Vivien Leigh made famous as Scarlett O‘Hara in the 1939 epic.

Does God make a difference?

December 3, 2010 “American education proceeds on the assumption that God is either dead or irrelevant.”So argues philosopher Warren Nord in a provocative new book, “Does God Make a Difference?,” published by Oxford University Press.