June 12, 2012
Four years ago, the Supreme Court did its duty as a guardian of the Constitution by ruling that Congress couldn't prevent inmates at Guantanamo Bay from filing petitions for habeas corpus, a venerable feature of Anglo-American law that allows prisoners to challenge their confinement in court. This week, the justices walked away from that responsibility by refusing to review lower court rulings that have narrowed the protections of its 2008 decision to the vanishing point. In granting inmates a right to habeas in Boumediene vs. Bush, the court sternly corrected an overreaching executive and a compliant Congress.
February 13, 2011 |
Gillian Anderson returns to American television Sunday night as Wallis Simpson in the "Masterpiece Classic" miniseries "Any Human Heart," based on William Boyd's sweeping novel of one man's life spanning the 20th century. The PBS series, also starring Matthew Macfadyen, Jim Broadbent, Hayley Atwell and Kim Cattrall, runs through Feb. 27. Wallis Simpson seems to be everywhere these days. She's also a character in "The King's Speech," although your portrayal of her in "Any Human Heart" was very different.
July 26, 2010
Democrats and Republicans validly debate the size and reach of government. But certain services have always been considered fundamental. During California's pioneer days, rudimentary municipal services sprang up when communities of settlers agreed to chip in to provide common law enforcement, fire protection and, usually, basic public education. In the latest efforts to close the gaps in public budgets, though, an increasing number of California cities are ripping holes in the fabric of local government.
June 21, 2010
The Supreme Court has in some cases been willing to temper the excesses of the war on terror, most notably in ruling that inmates at Guantanamo have the right to challenge their confinement in U.S. courts. But last week, it fell down on the job when it refused to consider the case of Maher Arar, the victim of an egregious and shocking violation of rights by the U.S. government In September 2002, Arar, a dual Canadian Syrian citizen, was detained while changing planes at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, based on inaccurate Canadian intelligence linking him to terrorists.
December 15, 2009 |
I was scheduled to be off Monday, eating breakfast at the Mini Gourmet in Yorba Linda, relaxed and reading the paper before spitting out my pancakes. Why am I reading about a 16-year-old girl about to sail around the world all by herself when I should be reading about her parents being hauled off to counseling or jail? Did you see the story in Monday's sports section? It was outrageous. Ridiculous. Incomprehensible insanity. And Plaschke didn't write it. We've got four pictures and this huge ode to Abby Sunderland , the child's preparations to put her life on the line, and so now we celebrate child abuse in the paper?
October 14, 2009 |
In May, President Obama completed his long-awaited "cyberspace policy review," concluding that cyberspace is a strategic asset that must be safeguarded from attack as a national security priority. He recalled how hackers had gotten into his own campaign servers, and he worried that crucial infrastructure, public and private, was vulnerable to hackers, cyber terrorists and even other governments. The president promised to appoint a permanent "cyber czar" who would coordinate the work of federal agencies charged with protecting us. But since "acting cyber-security czar" Melissa Hathaway resigned in August, the post has been unfilled.