The massacre in Oslo may seem like the work of one deranged right-wing Christian extremist, but that doesn't tell the whole story. There is a rising anti-muslim and anti-immigrant faction growing in places like Norway, Denmark and Europe. These elements are becoming more vocal and more violent.
Well, it is official! Ben Roethlisberger and Ashley Harlan have tied the knot. It was Pittsburgh's Royal Wedding. So where are all the t-shirts and figurines? William and Kate had souvenirs ranging from stamps to commemorative tea sets. Our royal couple deserves at least a shot glass or beer mug, don't you think?
It is sad and alarming to watch the global contrast between the obesity epidemic in this country and the global hunger epidemic. I am reminded of the mantra my parents used to use to get me to eat my vegetables: "Finish your dinner ... there are starving children in Africa." It was as if by finishing all my food it might somehow relieve the hunger of a child in Africa. It was nonsense, of course, but it made us feel guilty and we finished our vegetables.
The parking rate increases in downtown Pittsburgh and surrounding city neighborhoods are ridiculous. These parking hikes send a "stay home" message to people who might otherwise want to come into the city to enjoy the restaurants, sports and entertainment venues. Surely the city can come up with a better way to generate some revenue.
The heat dome that has been gripping the nation has been unbearable. It is almost as unbearable as people who still refuse to believe in climate change. While one hot summer is no indicator of global warming, the extreme weather and increased warming in recent years does point to change. It is real.
Campaign promises are bad enough, now some Republicans want people to sign their names to them. Signing pledges to special interest causes is the latest thing in distraction politics. Remember the flag-burning bill? Same kind of thing. When real governing (or campaigning) is too hard, the Right will accuse someone of flag-burning, or abortion-loving, or gay-sympathizing, etc. I guess they think it makes them look patriotic/morally superior while they are avoiding the tough job of political compromise. These pledges are not only a distraction from the real issues, they are an attack on personal liberties.