Editor’s note: The powers that be at WND.com have told Michael Ackley he may submit the occasional column. As Golden State madness has accelerated in this election season, Mr. Ackley has succumbed to the urge to get back in the game. Hence, the items below. Remember that his columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell the difference.

The more things change, the more they stay the same …

The website Campus Reform’s report on the negative reaction of New York college students to President Trump’s then-unannounced Supreme Court nominee brought to mind a scene I witnessed on Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue.

It was about two blocks from the entrance to the University of California, and a bearded man had just collected a signature on a petition of some sort.

He had started walking up the street when a young woman ran after him, yelling for him to stop.

“Wait!” she hollered. “I want to sign it, too. … What is it?”

And so it is with the New York students who were ready to sign on to anti-nominee sentiment, without knowing who it was they opposed. They might as well have yelled, “I’m against him. Who is it?”

When was the Berkeley street scene? It was in 1960.

Behavior merits comment

As chronicled in WND, the vice mayor of Dixon, California, Ted Hickman, is under fire for writing there should be a “Straight Pride” event, like the many “Gay Pride” parades.

Poor Mr. Hickman. He referred to some paraders as “faries” (sic). Those of delicate sensibility are outraged, not at Hickman’s orthographic solecism, but for lampooning “gay” behavior.

But shouldn’t behavior – as distinct from existence – be subject to comment?

We cite as an example the sad death of a UCLA professor who passed away in a ritual involving his being swathed in plastic wrap. Certain hardware also was involved.

The Los Angeles County coroner described his demise as “sudden death during recreational mummification bondage” in the “dungeon” of a television executive.

You are permitted to wonder what the deceased was teaching as a professor of LGBT Studies. May not one reasonably apply the term “pervert”?

Behavior is the key, and if gentlemen in leather athletic supporters prance up a public street, flaunting their promiscuity, Mr. Hickman may be forgiven for characterizing their “love” with an anachronistic epithet.

It’s working; it must be stopped …

Anti-gang injunctions in San Francisco have correlated with a decline in homicides, so citizens of the town have petitioned to have them stopped. The orders are “embarrassing” the city, you see.

The court actions really are anti-association orders, designed to keep gangsters away from their gangs and, more importantly, to keep them away from rival gangsters.

Opponents say the injunctions have led to “police harassment” of “people of color.”

Well, there you have it. Those lousy cops!

Humane journalism

The New York Times, learning reporter Ali Watkins had a lengthy relationship with a “high-ranking aide” for the Senate Intelligence Committee – which was on her beat – has transferred her from Washington, D.C., to New York City.

There she has been assigned a “mentor,” apparently to instruct her on the finer points of conflict of interest. She is way better off than her friend with the Intelligence Committee. He has been charged with lying to the FBI.

Ms. Watkins’ boss, Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet, wrote, “We hold our journalists and their work to the highest standards. We are giving Ali an opportunity to show that she can live up to them. I believe she can. I also believe that The Times must be a humane place that can allow for second chances when there are mitigating circumstances.”

The 26-year-old Ms. Watkins must be an incredible journalistic talent. We recall when reporters engaged in conflicts like hers were simply fired.

“Highest standards,” Mr. Baquet? And please define “mitigating circumstances.”

Sharks have feelings, too

A dead great white shark – a nearly 9-footer – washed up on a beach in Santa Cruz County, and a marine biologist had a colleague lie on the sand next to it to provide scale for a photograph.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the scientist subsequently was attacked on social media for being insensitive. Well, I should say. Imagine how other sharks felt, seeing that photo.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.