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Liberals decide religious liberty isn’t so great

The American tradition of religious freedom has long included exemptions from laws that impose a burden on the exercise of faith. The Volstead Act implementing Prohibition, for example, made an exception for the sacramental use of alcohol. In recent years, though, liberals have started to turn away from that tradition – and come up with ever […]

Trump, Sanders and Obama’s stagnant ratings

Believe it or not, the presidential race has been astonishingly stable for the past six months. But will it stay that way for the rest of the “invisible primary” – the period leading up to the primary season that begins next winter? Here are five more questions for the next five months. 1. Panic or […]

Labor unions flex political muscle in Legislature

Only a sixth of California’s wage earners are members of labor unions, but they carry a very big stick in politics. Unions are the largest single source of legislative campaign funds, a recent Sacramento Bee compilation revealed, and among Democrats, their hegemony is even more pronounced. Not surprisingly, therefore, a Legislature dominated by labor-backed Democrats […]

Question of the week: Should Measure P’s 1 percent increase in the local sales tax be extended?

Measure P authorized a 1 percent increase in the local sales tax rate for five years to protect safety, services and the quality of life in Fairfield. Unless it is extended, Measure P expires March 31, 2018. Should it be extended? Take part in our poll. Last week’s question: Should the Pentagon change the ban against arming […]

Turkey couples IS bombing runs with striking Kurdish targets

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s sudden willingness to join the fight against the Islamic State group is a sign that it’s afraid of losing clout with the U.S., but its second front against Kurdish rebels in Iraq on Saturday could complicate Washington’s war. For months, Ankara had been reluctant to join the U.S.-led coalition against IS despite […]

Kurds fight the IS group while being bombed by Turkey

BAGHDAD — Turkish jets struck camps belonging to Kurdish militants in northern Iraq Friday and Saturday in what were the first strikes since a peace deal was announced in 2013. The strikes in Iraq targeted the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, whose affiliates have been effective in battling the Islamic State group. The Kurds of Syria […]

My daughter claims the ring she borrowed belongs to her

Dear Annie: I have a problem with my oldest daughter. She has always been a selfish child. For years, we did not get along, and many times, we stopped speaking. She popped back into my life last October through a Facebook chat. She was separated from her husband and had left her teenage children. She […]

Horoscope: July 25, 2015

Not only is it bad manners to interrupt people, but it represents a generally narcissistic worldview. The interrupter is suggesting through action that his or her expression is more important than the one currently taking the stand. Mercury newly in Leo warns against such rudeness and promises that hot tempers will follow disrespectful actions. ARIES […]

Bridge

THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder WILL YOU CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVES? A.J. Kitt, an Alpine skier who won one World Cup downhill race, said, “You have no control over what the other guy does. You only have control over what you do.” That has been the theme of this week’s deals. One defender has the […]

Who will flourish after Donald Trump self-destructs?

Donald Trump’s self-destruction will soon manifest itself in his drop in the polls. The problem remains for those GOP voters still seeking a candidate who is a viable alternative to Jeb Bush. It is not likely to be Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who has been outshone by more credible candidates and again showed bad judgment […]

Congress investigating Pentagon plan for a British base

Congress is investigating the U.S. military to evaluate charges that it manipulated studies to justify building an intelligence center in the United Kingdom. Over the weekend I obtained a letter to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, sent by Chairman Jason Chaffetz of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to request documents, communications and […]

July 22, 2015 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Legislature slides down slippery slope of moral impurity

The 2015 legislative session may – or may not – be otherwise memorable, but certainly will be known for symbolic gestures that drift into censorship. Earlier in the year, the Senate voted to remove the statue of Junipero Serra, the 18th century Spanish missionary who brought Christianity to California and built the first of the […]

Saudi Arabia says it stopped Islamic State attacks; 400 held

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia announced Saturday it has broken up planned Islamic State attacks in the kingdom and arrested more than 400 suspects in an anti-terrorism sweep, a day after a powerful blast in neighboring Iraq killed more than 100 people in one of the country’s deadliest single attacks since U.S. troops pulled out […]

Birth mother is reposting photos of my kids without permission

Dear Annie: I made contact with my birth mother several years ago, but we are not close. Recently, I found out from my sister that my birth mother has been reposting photographs of my children from other friends’ pages. I have set privacy guidelines for posting photos of my children and she has totally disregarded […]

Bridge

THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder SEND SUIT PREFERENCE EVEN IN NO-TRUMP Amy Lowell, who posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926, said, “In science, read by preference the newest works. In literature, read the oldest. The classics are always modern.” In bridge, read the suit-preference signals in partner’s cards — but only […]

Horoscope: July 18, 2015

Modern society brings more distractions than ever, and yet we are experts in navigating the dance between glowing objects and shiny subjects. As Venus enters earthy Virgo, the things that will most compel us have rock-like stability. They don’t glow, shift, game or ding. In this mobile phone world, seek the majesty of the immobile. […]

US seeks extradition of accused hacker

NEWARK, N.J. — A British man accused of hacking into U.S. government computer networks and stealing sensitive and confidential information was arrested in England on Wednesday, and U.S. prosecutors said they will attempt to have him brought to New Jersey. Lauri Love, of Stradishall, England, has been charged with hacking into agencies including the U.S. […]

Obama pays visit to federal prison

EL RENO, Okla. — Peering from the back seat of his armored black limousine, President Barack Obama rode into a razor wire-surrounded federal prison Thursday and said he met young inmates “who made mistakes that aren’t that different than the mistakes I made.” Obama came to the medium-security El Reno Federal Correctional Institution near Oklahoma […]

ISIS claims responsibility for attack on Egyptian navy

CAIRO — An Egyptian navy vessel was targeted on Thursday by militants affiliated with the Islamic State group, who claimed they destroyed it with a rocket while it was anchored off the Sinai peninsula’s Mediterranean coast. Egyptian military spokesman Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir said the vessel caught fire in an exchange of fire with “terrorists” […]

Fire aboard Delta flight forces an emergency landing

SEATTLE — Passengers saw flames shoot from an airliner’s engine and the Delta flight with more than 260 people on board was forced to make an emergency landing at the Seattle airport before dawn Thursday. “It was very scary, and I was sitting with my two girls and just trying to keep them calm,” passenger […]

Three dead following flooding in rural Kentucky

FLAT GAP, Ky. — The last time Heather Blair saw her disabled son, Richard, both were fighting for their lives as floodwaters rose inside their home. Richard Blair, unable to walk because of cerebral palsy, was on the bed as a swollen creek invaded the home that Heather Blair rented for her and her three […]

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