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Nov 16,2007
SAN DIEGO - Contrition, if sincere, can be a moment of grace, even after a lifetime of the most egregious crimes. Rarely will the test of sincerity merit a more arduous standard than for Francisco Javier Arellano Felix, former boss of the Tijuana drug cartel, who was sentenced to life in prison last week in U.S. District Court in San Diego. Before the sentence he had already agreed to in pleading guilty last September was ... [full story]
2259 times read - No comment posted

Nov 16,2007
There are events in most of our lives that offer opportunities for us to change our ways. The strike by television writers affords one such opportunity.By its very nature, television is mostly illusion. During the golden age of television (that would be the '50s and '60s), real audiences laughed (or didn't laugh) at comedy shows, which were mostly live. If you weren't funny, you didn't get laughs. But most shows were genuinely funny and devoid ... [full story]
1782 times read - No comment posted

Nov 16,2007
Let's face it. Some people, especially liberals, just don't like the U.S. Constitution. Every few years, they come up with wild or devious plans to make major changes. The would-be rewriters of the Constitution do not merely propose amendments to remedy a problem, as allowed for in Article V. They seek structural change after hurling put-downs such as archaic and out-of-date. The latest to imagine that he can write a 21st century improvement on our ... [full story]
1465 times read - No comment posted

Nov 16,2007
Jose-Miguel Insulza, a Chilean diplomat and political official, was elected secretary general of the Organization of American States in 2005 for a five-year term. A member of Chile's Socialist Party, he served in successive Chilean governments in a variety of cabinet posts during the 1990s, including foreign minister. He visited San Diego recently as a guest of the Institute of the Americas and was interviewed by members of the San Diego Union-Tribune's editorial board. Q: ... [full story]
1669 times read - No comment posted

Nov 16,2007
Back in the days when Lawrence Welk was still banging out polkas on the accordion, an off-stage bubble machine would add some effervescence to his "champagne music." These days, of course, Welk wouldn't need the machine. All he'd have to do is hire the Federal Reserve and he'd be able to produce the biggest, costliest bubbles his waltzing fans could ever hope to see. Over the past decade, the U.S. economy has lurched from one ... [full story]
937 times read - No comment posted

Nov 15,2007
The plane had barely come to a halt at the gate when a passenger in an aisle seat popped up, snapped open an overhead compartment and jerked out his suitcase. A metal cane came tumbling with it, whacking the woman next to me on the head. Stunned, she grabbed her head and sat back down. Others around her started buzzing about what happened. "That man pulled out his suitcase and the cane was in front ... [full story]
1201 times read - No comment posted

Nov 09,2007
To all those who said the "surge" in U.S. forces in Iraq was doomed to fail, a look at the latest results should be instructive, if not humbling. Start with American military casualties. For October (36 Americans killed in action), they were the lowest for any month since February 2004, more than three years ago. U.S. casualties have now declined for five consecutive months even as American forces press the fight against al-Qaeda-in-Iraq terrorists and ... [full story]
1753 times read - No comment posted

Nov 09,2007
The media have designated the front-runners for Republican and Democratic nominations for the 2008 presidential election and seem to expect American voters to line up behind one of them right now even though the national nominating conventions won't take place until next summer. Most Republicans are still shopping, and here are some of the statements they would like hear from a presidential candidate. Republicans want a president to appoint only judges who will enforce the ... [full story]
2308 times read - No comment posted

Nov 09,2007
For anyone still wondering how Washington works, Michael Mukasey's upcoming confirmation as attorney general just about tells it all. Facing a crisis of mismanagement in the Justice Department, most senators would have favored an assertive, straightforward successor to the ineffable Alberto Gonzales. Instead, they're confirming a capable and happily noncontroversial lawyer-judge a year past what many Americans see as "retirement age." They're doing this mainly because the president wants him. Not only wants him, but ... [full story]
1328 times read - No comment posted

Nov 02,2007
SAN DIEGO - The images are seared into our recent national memory. Frantic people stranded on rooftops waving signs reading "help." Thousands crammed into a domed sports arena without food, water, adequate sanitation or police protection. Rifle-toting police and National Guard troops chasing away looters and looking for reported snipers. Weeks later, wrecked neighborhoods still abandoned with no public services or government presence of any kind. That was New Orleans, 2005, in the devastating wake ... [full story]
1612 times read - No comment posted

Nov 02,2007
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" is an old verse that just isn't true. Indeed, words can hurt, break up marriages, destroy careers, and defeat political candidates. Even words out of one's own mouth can be destructive. We recall such bloopers as presidential candidate George Romney self-destructing his 1968 presidential candidacy with the word "brainwashing," or President Gerald Ford losing in 1976 after saying "there is no Soviet ... [full story]
2163 times read - No comment posted

Nov 02,2007
When I signed on to help out at a dinner to raise money for a community food bank recently, I envisioned myself greeting patrons and passing out name tags. What actually happened was that the kitchen was short of servers, and within minutes of arriving, I had doffed my dress-up jacket and was waiting tables. Even before this memorable evening, however, I had never taken service personnel for granted. I say please and thank you, ... [full story]
801 times read - No comment posted

Oct 26,2007
John P. Walters, director, Office of National Drug Control Policy, was nominated by President Bush in 2001 and was confirmed by the Senate. He previously served as the ONDCP's first chief of staff in 1989-1993 and held posts at the Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 2001, federal statistics show significant declines in drug use by young people. Walters was interviewed by members of The San Diego Union-Tribune's editorial board. ... [full story]
2128 times read - No comment posted

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