Catalan secessionists ladle a soup of fiction and paranoia

Beneath the sleek surface of this sparkling Mediterranean metropolis boil passions generated by Spain’s version of identity politics. The passions are aroused by demagogues who hope to shatter a nation. The turmoil in Catalonia — the northeastern of Spain’s 17 regions, which exercise considerable autonomy (over police, health care, education, etc.) — is the toll taken by lies used to manufacture grievances. This is pertinent to the United (for now) Kingdom, and wherever populist resentment-mongers stoke feelings of victimization.

My Turn: ‘Aloha spirit’ alive and well on Maunakea

This past Sunday, Jan. 19, my friend, Eric, and I and my dog drove on the Mauna Kea Access Road to the summit of the mountain to check out the condition of the snow. Eric has been a surfer and skier for a longtime. Somewhere above the Visitors’ Center, still on the 4-wheel-drive part of the road, one of the four ranger SUVs on duty that day, was behind us. Eric pulled over to the right and waved to the ranger to pass. Instead of passing, the ranger pulled up beside us and motioned for Eric to roll down the window, which Eric did, only for the ranger to inform us that it is not allowed to stop on this road.

Commentary: Senators at Trump’s impeachment trial aren’t impartial ‘jurors.’ But they shouldn’t be partisan hacks either

Reporters who cover Congress are rightly protesting restrictions on press coverage of President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial. In a letter to Senate leaders, my Los Angeles Times colleague Sarah D. Wire, who chairs the Standing Committee of Correspondents, objected among other things to a proposal that reporters be confined to “pens” preventing them from “freely accessing senators as they come to and from the chamber.”

My Turn: Impeachment is a political death trap

Who would have ever thought that the timing of everything is so unique in the political world. On one side, you have a president who has the possibility of being booted out of office, and on the other hand, a charismatic orchestration of divine opposition to that president.

Trump pushes his party to normalize corruption

With the impeachment trial of Donald Trump beginning in earnest, right-wing populism has come full circle. Trump was elected on the theory that American politics had become corrupt and broken. Now he is calling upon his party and his followers to normalize corruption and brokenness as essential features of our political order. It is a bold maneuver by a skilled demagogue. Trump has cultivated disrespect for politics as a dirty business and now seeks to benefit from dramatically lowered public standards.

Obenski column: All governments lie — and that’s the truth

“Government lies” or “governments lie”— the expressions are like yin and yang. For 20 years the governments told us the lower speed limit was saving lives. When states raised the speed limit to 65 on rural interstate highways, the accident rate in those states decreased, we were told oafishly, I mean officially, that the number of accidents on rural interstates had increased.