(Bill Press is filling in for Clarence - ed.)
HAVANA, Cuba -- If you want to see the face of the new Cuba, talk to Niuris Higuiera, co-owner and chef of Havana's Paladar Atelier (paladar's the name Cubans use for privately-owned restaurants).
Higuiera's not only a top chef, the Alice Waters or Nora Pouillon of Cuba, she's as sharp an ...Read more
Maybe some people didn't understand the question.
It was posed in this space a few weeks ago by Tracy, a self-described 55-year-old white woman from Texas who is sick and tired of the mounting litany of police violence against unarmed African-American boys and men. She wanted to know what actions she, as an average person, might take to help ...Read more
News that B.B. King has died aggravates my anecdotage, the stage of life in which every new development reminds you of an old story.
I was not much of a blues fan before I, as a young Chicago reporter in March of 1972, was enlightened by Riley B. "B.B." King. That's the full name of the great blues king who had been branded "Blues Boy" years ...Read more
If Michelle Obama's critics actually paid attention to her recent commencement speech, they would hear a lot of advice that conservatives like to hear -- when it is not coming from Michelle Obama.
Rest assured, you can enjoy the first lady's speech to graduates at historically black Tuskegee University without being a white-hating racist, ...Read more
Some people unfortunately think that the best way to respond to the intolerance of Muslim fanatics is to insult all Muslims.
That's the twisted thinking behind professional Muslim-baiter Pamela Geller's ill-advised contest in Garland, Texas. Her organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, offered a $10,000 prize to a ...Read more
Riots can bring out the best in politicians -- and the worst.
The Watts riots in Los Angeles 50 years ago, among other civil disturbances of that period, led President Lyndon B. Johnson to pass the Fair Housing Act of 1968. They also led him secretly to look for possible communist conspiracies behind the uprisings.
Michigan Gov. George Romney,...Read more
Unlike my own parents, I normally do not condone lifting a hand to spank, slap or whip misbehaving children. Yet I salute Toya Graham, now known widely known as Baltimore's Angry Mom, for making corporal punishment look like high art.
Graham became an Internet sensation after she was caught on video in the act of snatching her 16-year-old son ...Read more
Some people protest police brutality in ways that only remind us of why we need police.
That's how I feel about the Baltimore rioters who some news reports described as "protestors."
The label falsely flatters the thugs and hooligans who set fires and attacked police, merchants and journalists after the otherwise respectful funeral on Monday ...Read more
Rory: King of PetlaJennifer Zartman
Rory Anderson, an epic-nerd on an ordinary science field trip, is pulled through a portal into Zed, a place outside of time. His perception of reality shifts, and the King of the Fountain of Life commissions him as an ambassador to Petla, a place in another galaxy. He arrives wearing the ...
Everyone, it seems, has a proposed solution to Europe's tragic "boat people" crisis. Some are breathtakingly bad.
Making a grab for top honors is controversial conservative columnist Katie Hopkins of Britain's The Sun, who proposed greeting migrants, whom she compared to "cockroaches," with gunships.
Mother Teresa she is not. The timing of her...Read more
What if you happened to record video on your smartphone of a police officer as he shot an unarmed suspect in the back? What would you do with it?
That disturbing question faced Feidin Santana, the Dominican immigrant said on NBC's "Today Show," after he recorded police officer Michael Slager's fatal shooting of unarmed Walter Scott after a ...Read more
Can robots make good Christians? As computer science races ahead, at least one forward-looking Florida pastor sees a future for the faith in whatever passes for a soul in robots, androids, cyborgs and other forms of artificial intelligence.
No, I'm not making this up.
When the Rev. Christopher Benek, an associate pastor of the First ...Read more
In the business of low political blows, gun rights advocate Wayne LaPierre reminds us of Hillary Clinton's best not-so-secret weapon: her amazing ability to drive her rivals and critics nuts.
"I have to tell ya," said the National Rifle Association's executive vice president and CEO to thundering applause at their annual meeting Saturday, "...Read more
Once again, what a difference a video makes.
As soon as I saw the cellphone video of the fatal shooting of Walter Scott by Officer Michael Slager of the North Charleston Police Department in South Carolina, I wondered how the apologists for police misconduct were going to spin this one.
The universal presence of cellphone cameras and Twitter-...Read more
Is Trevor Noah the new Charlie Hebdo?
Most of the civilized world seemed to rise in heartwarming solidarity after that French satirical magazine was attacked by Islamic terrorists in January. But some of that support suddenly softened as many discovered just how offensive many of the edgy publication's cartoons actually were.
Sure, the weekly ...Read more
You can tell that a movement is scoring some important points when its opponents want to change the subject.
That thought comes to mind when I hear critics charge Apple CEO Tim Cook with hypocrisy in his recent protests of "religious freedom" legislation in Indiana and Arkansas that has been criticized by Cook, among others, as anti-gay.
As ...Read more
Neither side in the uproar over Indiana's "religious freedom restoration" law has been totally candid about its benefits or its dangers.
That often happens in politics, an arena in which it often seems that no statement is too good to be overstated.
For example, defenders of controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which Indiana Gov. ...Read more
Now that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has thrown his cowboy hat into the ring for president, it's time to start handicapping the candidates, even if some of us may wish that we had more choices.
That's OK, my fellow Americans. You vote for -- or against -- the choices that you have. Do you hear me, progressive-wing Democrats who are begging ...Read more
A surprising contriteness has taken hold of Bill Maher and David Letterman about one of their favorite high-value targets: Monica Lewinsky.
After reading Lewinsky's first-person essay in last June's issue of Vanity Fair, Maher said on his HBO show "Real Time with Bill Maher" that, "I was moved by it. I gotta tell you, I literally felt guilty." ...Read more
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is urging baristas to engage customers in discussions about race and inequality -- as if his employees already were not busy enough trying to tell my coffee-and-espresso-shot from the next guy's vanilla latte.
Does Schultz really want to go there? I know he's a ...Read more
Frat boys caught on video singing a racist chant are shocking but not as surprising as we might think. New studies show young folks to be no less prejudiced than their elders. They just believe they are.
And so do we, their elders.
That belief stems largely and ironically from our reluctance in today's polite society to talk about race ...Read more