Thursday December 18, 2014
July 13th, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing to spend billions of dollars on a bizarre trip into the Soviet past, restarting construction on the storied and ill-starred Baikal-Amur Mainline railroad. Sadly, Putin's nostalgia will come at great cost to the country's future.
Around 5 p.m. on the Fourth of July - the day we laud the unalienable rights of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" - as I was firing up the grill for the family cookout, James Oh, 76, and his wife, Soonai Oh, 66, were being robbed at gunpoint by two men at the Ohs' corner store near my home in Washington's Petworth neighborhood. James Oh died four days later from a blow to the head that he received during the robbery; his wife is recovering from her own blow to the head.
Bad news. Horrible news. The Transportation Security Administration has come up with a new restriction: If you are flying back to the United States from overseas - especially Europe and the Middle East - you should not bring your phone unless it has enough power to turn on when you arrive stateside.
Well, that's it for me. My phone never has enough power to turn on even when I am safely ensconced on this side of the Atlantic.
It's a serious problem.
Google, once boastful that it was the leading defender of a free and open Internet, has gone into the shadows.
Since the Federal Communications Commission proposed in May to let cable and telephone companies offer special Internet fast lanes for companies willing to pay extra, lobbyists for Google haven't visited the agency to intervene, FCC records show. Facebook, the largest social network, also has been absent.
Congress likes to put fancy titles on its legislative handiwork, but they should probably just call everything the Law of Unintended Consequences, especially immigration bills.
The 1965 Cuban Adjustment Act gave all people fleeing that Communist island the right to legal residence once they reach U.S. soil. Over time, this evolved into the "wet foot, dry foot" policy, whereby the U.S. government could exclude a Cuban rafter caught in the surf off Key West - but not after he had touched the beach.
This is not my first time in Gaza, but it is my first time here during a military operation. It is disorienting. The distances are so close.
Don't you see what they're doing?
The shopping binges, the bizarro legislation and now the alleged sex and sexting with a teen? It makes perfect sense when you contemplate what must be the real reason Virginia legislators are acting like wackos. They're trying to help the commonwealth by making it home to a top-rated reality show.
Parents of military veterans who took their own lives after surviving combat told a congressional panel on Thursday how not to prevent suicide:
* Turn away a veteran of some 400 combat missions in Iraq because he's no longer active in the National Guard.
* Then turn him away because he was previously in the Guard and refer him to a military facility where he's promptly referred back to the VA.
Every so often, we get a poignant reminder of what has been lost now that letter writing has been replaced by texting, emoticons or nothing at all, if you're a politician afraid to commit anything to paper for fear it will show up on page one or be read aloud by a committee chairman on a tear.