My Two Cents: My take on news, noteworthy events

Here are my thoughts and opinions on a variety of news items from around the world. Enjoy.

Beheadings by terrorists: I would hope the recent spate of horrific beheadings of civilians by terrorists in Saudi Arabia and Iraq clearly shows why we are fighting these Islamic fanatics. The terrorists, for all their pious rhetoric and tough talk, demonstrate their cowardice by attacking innocent men, women and even children. These people – and I use the term loosely – don’t hate America for anything we’ve done. They hate us for what we are: a free society that is the most successful in the history of the world. Our mere existence is an affront to these people, and they will do anything in an attempt to bring us down. Can there be any question that the only proper response is to destroy them? Those who argue that our fight against terrorists is only creating more terrorism and thus making the world even less safe are delusional, in my opinion. That’s like saying you shouldn’t raze a hornets’ nest because in doing so you will make the stinging insects even more angry. War is hell, but sometimes it’s necessary for the long term good.

Smoking ban in Iran. Now I know the anti-smoking hysteria has gone too far – to Iran, specifically. Iranian authorities are trying to snuff out one of the country’s favorite pastimes, the smoking of hubble-bubble water pipes, famous for their apple and citrus tobaccos. Police said pipes were not targeted, adding the after-dinner relaxants had just fallen victim to a directive banning smoking in all public places. I can only wonder how the Iranian government – which has been known to lop off the limbs of criminals – would punish people who violate the law.

Bryant lawyers bring up race. Lawyers for Kobe Bryant want to ask prospective jurors in his rape trial their views on interracial dating. L.A. Lakers superstar Bryant, of course, is black and is accused of raping a 19-year-old white woman last summer in a Colorado resort where she worked. I suspected it was only a matter of time before race was injected into this case. Of course, all indications point to the fact that this case doesn’t have anything to do with race, but that probably won’t stop defense lawyers from trying to paint Bryant – who is incredibly successful (but, sadly, didn’t win an NBA title this year), filthy rich and married to a beautiful woman – as a victim of racism.

“My Two Cents” is a weekly column where the author gets in his two cents worth in spite of the old saying that you only get a penny for your thoughts. Feel free to e-mail comments to the editor at: