Here’s this week’s OpinionList, with some of the week’s hottest news.

Princess, Die!:  Just in time for the 16th anniversary of Princess Di’s death on August 31, 1997, the question of whether she was murdered resurfaces. This time it involves a Special Forces sniper, who allegedly confessed to his wife  that his commando unit was involved in Diana’s death, back when it happened. Many conspiracy theories about the royal family’s involvement is Princess Di’s death have popped up throughout the years.  The author of the book “Diana and the paparazzi” explains, “People don’t want to believe that someone as loved as Princess Diana can just die in a road accident.” I have another explanation. For centuries, the history of the British monarchy was riddled with stories of family members backstabbing each other and  stabbing each other’s backs—literally. It’s not hard to see why so many believe that Diana was murdered. Now, good luck proving it.

Not Kiss & Tell, Tell & Change: This week, Bradley Manning, who leaked secret government information to Wikileaks, was sentenced to 35 years in prison. But that’s not all the news regarding Manning. He now wants to receive hormone therapy and  live his life as a female.  According to the New York Times “Defense lawyers raised the fact that Private Manning is transgender during the sentencing phase of his court-martial, describing the emotional stress he endured while deployed in Iraq.” I’m not sure why this would lead him/her to divulge government secrets, but I am sure of one thing. He may want to change his name to Chelsea, but there’s one name  he won’t ever be able to shed: Wikileaker.

Tuff Is Tough: Antoinette Tuff convinced a gunman carrying an AK-47-type weapon not to go on a shooting spree at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy outside Atlanta. The gunman, Michael Brandon Hill, who is not mentally stable by his own admission, was carrying 500 rounds of ammunition. There is no doubt that Ms. Tuff deserves all the praise that she’s getting for the way that she handled the situation and for averting what would have surely turned into another Sandy-Hook-type massacre. But what would have been even better is if Hill had not been able to get his hand on an assault weapon because we would have the appropriate bans in place.

Pants On Fire? Please!: Since October of last year I’ve been saying that Politifact’s “Pants On Fire” label is no longer (if it ever was) adequate to describe the gross lies being told by conservatives today, especially those concerning President Obama. One of the latest claims by conservative bloggers is that Obamacare will allow for “forced home inspections” by government agents. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course. As for a more truthful description of this blatant lie I could start with “disgusting,” and go from there.

Gold Rush?: I hear that Apple is coming out with a cheaper iPhone 5 that will come in different colors a la iPod Touch. I think that this is an excellent idea.  But I’m also hearing that the new iPhone 5 will also come in gold (well, at least gold-color), and I ask “why?” For me Apple is design, sometimes fun, mostly sophisticated, always classy.  Is Apple now moving towards tacky? First there were those WTF? TV ads and now a gold iPhone? iWorry and iDoubt that throngs of people would rush to buy a golden phone. Then again….Apple might know something many things that I don’t.

Obama Cares, Republicans Don’t: The crazies are at it again. ABC News reports, “More than a third of House Republicans urged their leader Thursday to trigger a government shutdown rather than fund the implementation of the health care overhaul they call ‘Obamacare.'” Never mind what a government shutdown would mean for government employees, social-program beneficiaries and the image of our country as a beacon of a functioning democracy (ROFL). But nothing new here. President Obama cared enough to come up with a healthcare plan affordable to all Americans. In the meantime, the GOP has been busy trying to repeal it, as well as turning “Obama” and “care” into bad words.

And You Are?…: According to CNN, starting in September, The Huffington Post will no longer accept anonymous comments. Apparently, too many trolls have been too nasty, too often. This is a classic case of “the just paying for the sinners.”  I am not a troll. I am building my online presence with my “The Opinionista” pseudonym and I like to use it when I leave online comments, so this sucks, as does Ariana Huffington’s comment, “Freedom of expression is given to people who stand up for what they’re saying and who are not hiding behind anonymity.”  No, freedom of expression is given to everyone. It’s just too bad that some use it so poorly.

Filner Is Finished: San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is reportedly resigning today after being accused of sexual harassment by 18 women. The Week reports, “A steady stream of new allegations have emerged over the past six weeks since the first woman, Filner’s former communications director, came forward with a lawsuit accusing him of improper sexual advances. As more accusers emerged, Filner’s hold on office became increasingly untenable, with national Democrats urging him to resign, and residents launching a recall effort to oust him themselves.”  The Week explains that he’s been accused of serial sexual harassment. I guess that makes him a serial sexual “harasser,” and after tomorrow a fired one.


Note:  Original Publication Date: 8-23-13. Publication date has been changed exclusively for display purposes.