Local columns

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Monday, July 11, the 193rd day of 2016. There are 173 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On July 11, 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounded former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton during a pistol duel in Weehawken, ...

Libertarianism for beginners

NEW YORK - It took me years to figure out that markets work better than government.I started out as a typical Ralph Nader-influenced consumer reporter, convinced that companies constantly rip us off. To me and most of my fellow left-leaning reporters, the answer was always: more ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Saturday, July 9, the 191st day of 2016. There are 175 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On July 9, 1816, Argentina declared independence from Spain.On this date:In 1540, England's King Henry VIII had his 6-month-old marriage to ...

The ‘Death’ of the GOP

WASHINGTON - In 1986, some 34 years after he had first been elected to the U.S. Senate from Arizona, Barry Goldwater, the hero of the conservative movement that made possible the eventual election of Ronald Reagan, retired. As Sen. Goldwater cleaned out his Capitol Hill office, I was privileged ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Friday, July 8, the 190th day of 2016. There are 176 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On July 8, 1947, an object crashed onto a ranch in Roswell, New Mexico; a local newspaper, the Roswell Daily Record, reported that the nearby ...

Clinton, Snyder and the Detroit Tigers

FLINT - As political scandals go, Hillary Clinton's use of private email servers is watered-down, low-fat vanilla yogurt. One might even say (if one is trying to irritate one's smug Republican friends) it's even Whitewateresque - generating lots of smoke from the faux outrage crowd but little ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Thursday, July 7, the 189th day of 2016. There are 177 days left in the year.Today's Highlights in History:On July 7, 1976, President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford hosted a White House dinner for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. The ...

What are we celebrating?

WASHINGTON - There was a time when the Fourth of July meant something more than a three-day weekend. Speeches, writings and commemorative ceremonies reminded us of the origins and greatness of America. No matter where in the world our ancestors came from, we today are almost invariably better ...

How They Voted

The House and Senate are on a summer and primary election season break. Therefore, this report contains several recently introduced bills of interest.Senate Bill 563: Ban "sky lanterns"Introduced by Sen. Dale W. Zorn (R), to ban the use or sale of "sky lanterns," which are miniature, ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Wednesday, July 6, the 188th day of 2016. There are 178 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On July 6, 1944, an estimated 168 people died in a fire that broke out during a performance in the main tent of the Ringling Bros. and ...

Two types of patriotism

BERKELEY - We hear a lot about patriotism, especially around the Fourth of July. But in 2016 we're hearing about two very different types of patriotism. One is an inclusive patriotism that binds us together. The other is an exclusive patriotism that keeps others out.Through most of our history ...

Campaign conversion?

WASHINGTON - Following a meeting between a group of evangelical leaders and Donald Trump last week, Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, was interviewed by Pennsylvania pastor Michael Anthony. Dobson told Anthony that Trump had recently come "to accept a relationship with Christ" ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Tuesday, July 5, the 187th day of 2016. There are 179 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On July 5, 1946, the bikini, created by Louis Reard (ray-AHRD'), was modeled by Micheline Bernardini during a poolside fashion show in ...

The corrupting crusade against ‘corruption’

WASHINGTON - The progressive drive to broadly define and thoroughly eradicate political "corruption" has corrupted politics. But discord is not altogether pandemic in Washington, and last week a unanimous Supreme Court, in this term's most important decision, limited the discretion prosecutors ...

Britain to EU: Good riddance

WASHINGTON - Maybe it was those college courses on the history of Europe that soured me on the idea of a united continent. How could a conglomeration of nation states noted for invading each other, pillaging and warring against each other form a union? How could a continent with different ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Monday, July 4, the 186th day of 2016. There are 180 days left in the year. This is Independence Day.Today's Highlight in History:On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by delegates to the Second Continental Congress in ...

Too much of a good thing

FLINT - I love fireworks. The state should ban fireworks. Again.I don't mean smoke bombs, sparklers and snakes. Those are boring. Banning them would be like banning oatmeal, which come to think of it, isn't a bad idea. But then why bother - bland bans itself, in a sense, right?I mean ban fun ...

Convicted and Unemployed

NEW YORK - Just got out of jail? Odds are that within five years, you'll get caught doing something illegal and go back to jail.This is bad for ex-cons, their victims, their families and America.Some of these people, of course, are career criminals who ought to stay in jail. But most are people ...

Almanac

By The Associated PressToday in HistoryToday is Saturday, July 2, the 184th day of 2016. There are 182 days left in the year.Today's Highlight in History:On July 2, 1937, aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first ...

The 2016 election is not over

WASHINGTON - "Everyone in Washington wants to write that this election is over," cautions respected pollster Peter D. Hart, that Republican Donald Trump - after six weeks of highly public unforced errors - has effectively shattered his chances of winning the White House. Hart, after conducting ...