Commentary

Think About It

By George Hawkins

Never giving up can turn a life around

There is a persistent belief that former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave a five-word commencement speech at Harrow School, his alma mater. The story goes that he walked to the center of the stage and said, “Never, never, never give up.” And then, according to the tale, he sat down.

Patriots, detractors, wealth and success

Many in this country who consider themselves patriots accept the fact that the U.S. system of capitalism and democracy has flaws, but they consider those flaws minor compared to other ways people have of managing their societies. As Winston Churchill has oft been quoted, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

The rights and wrongs of flying the American flag

Van T. Barfoot died March 2. He was the man who was told by his homeowners association that he could not erect an American flag on a free-standing pole outside his home in Virginia because it violated an aesthetics guideline in the HOA’s covenants.

Paying it forward with courtesy

I don’t remember where I was when I first heard the phrase “someone is always watching.” Most likely it was at church-related youth fellowship meeting I sometimes attended as a teenager.

Personal wealth and presidential qualifications

Presumably looking to establish her cred with voters, Hillary Clinton has said she and her husband, Bill, were “dead broke” when the couple left the White House in 2001.

Public assistance and traditional values

Three members of the San Diego City Council in 2003 were accused of extortion, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud for allegedly accepting illegal campaign contributions from a strip club owner. The accusation was related to an apparent desire to end the city’s no-touch laws.

Work begins on county grand jury

The 19 members of the 2014-15 San Diego County grand jury have been sworn in. Work began Tuesday. The Hon. David J. Danielsen installed the jury, including myself, and has supervisory responsibility over it.

Caught between legalization and zero tolerance

With the exception of medical marijuana, it is illegal to possess any amount of any material deemed to be an illegal drug in 48 of the 50 states. When nearly two-thirds of Colorado voters changed that law as it concerns recreational marijuana in Colorado, surrounding states, Utah in particular, may have seen a potential for some extra cash.

Does teacher tenure protect children or employees?

In a U-T San Diego article, Alex Caputo-Pearl describes a Los Angeles Superior Court ruling that struck down teacher tenure as unconstitutional as “an attack on teachers.” Caputo-Pearl, president-elect of United Teachers of Los Angeles, adds that challenging tenure is “a socially acceptable way to attack children.” People say the darndest things.

Raising minimum wage won’t reduce poverty

Once a politician adopts a position on a sexy proposal that appeals to many, it is hard to get that position changed. Facts be damned.

The confusing, contradictory case of Sgt. Bergdahl

The political and news uproar after the swap of five men who had been imprisoned in Guantanamo for more than 10 years for one American who had been held by hostile forces for five years doesn’t tell us what really happened.

New Waterfront Park is nice but …

Our family spent a couple of very pleasant hours on Mother’s Day afternoon at the new San Diego Waterfront Park. To us, this 12-acre, $50 million facility has a subtle eloquence.

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