Local columns

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, Dec. 6, the 340th day of 2017. There are 25 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Dec. 6, 1917, some 2,000 people were killed when an explosives-laden French cargo ship, the Mont Blanc, collided with the ...

Is Mnuchin a fool or a knave?

BERKELEY — One of the most dangerous consequences of this awful period in American life is the denigration of the truth, and of the institutions and people who tell it. There are two kinds of liars — fools and knaves. Fools lie because they don’t know the truth. Knaves lie because they ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, Dec. 5, the 339th day of 2017. There are 26 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Dec. 5, 1952, the Great Smog of London descended on the British capital; the unusually thick fog, which contained toxic ...

Cake and constitutionally protected speech

WASHINGTON — The conversation about a cake lasted less than a minute but will long reverberate in constitutional law. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear 60 minutes of speech about when, if at all, making a cake counts as constitutionally protected speech and, if so, what the ...

Over by Thanksgiving

WASHINGTON — In August, when President Donald Trump’s lawyers persuaded him to refrain from attacking independent counsel Robert Mueller publicly — he had many times called Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt” — they also told him that the investigation was not aimed at him and ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 2017. There are 27 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Dec. 4, 1942, during World War II, U.S. bombers struck the Italian mainland for the first time with a raid on Naples. President ...

The Evil Rich

NEW YORK — As Republicans struggle to agree on a tax plan, Democrats and much of the media label each attempt at reform a “gift” to rich people. In one sense, they are right. Any tax cut disproportionately favors rich people since the rich pay much more tax. But the media and ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, Dec. 2, the 336th day of 2017. There are 29 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Dec. 2, 1942, an artificially created, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated for the first time at the ...

‘Punching down’ is not American

WASHINGTON — Americans have traditionally responded more positively to humor that “punches up” rather than “punches down.” To “punch up” means to make a joke at the expense of those who have more power, privilege or property than the audience or the humorist. “Punching down” ...

The return of virtue

WASHINGTON — Rarely has the idiom “virtue is its own reward” looked better than it does in light of the sex scandals sweeping the nation. The so-called “prudishness,” of a previous generation and the respect most men were once taught to have for women — and which Hugh Hefner and his ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, Dec. 1, the 335th day of 2017. There are 30 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Dec. 1, 1942, during World War II, nationwide gasoline rationing went into effect in the United States; the goal was not so much ...

High school mascots not changing

LANSING — Our high school mascots are not changing Gladstone High School will remain the home of the Braves. The same goes for the Escanaba Eskymos and North Dickinson Nordics. Recently, a Democratic state senator from Detroit submitted legislation calling for the elimination of all ...

Things to be thankful for

TRAVERSE CITY — Last week I got my annual “What I’m Not Thankful For” list out of my system. Sorry. It had to happen. You ever try holding that many gripes and whines inside? Not easy or healthy. This week it’s time for a few utterly random things and people I’m thankful for. Such ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, Nov. 30, the 334th day of 2017. There are 31 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 30, 1835, Samuel Langhorne Clemens — better known as Mark Twain — was born in Florida, Missouri. On this ...

Alabama Senate race gives GOP voters an uncomfortable choice

HOMEWOOD, Ala. (AP) — With two weeks to go until the Alabama election for U.S. Senate, Kathie Luckie of Hoover said she is “teetering” with her choice. A Republican, she usually supports the GOP candidate. But she said Roy Moore has always been “a little radical” for her taste, even ...

The US-Saudi Starvation Blockade

WASHINGTON — Our aim is to “starve the whole population — men, women, and children, old and young, wounded and sound — into submission,” said First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill. He was speaking of Germany at the outset of the Great War of 1914-1918. Americans denounced ...

Better late than never: Really?

WASHINGTON — The English poet of the Middle Ages, Geoffrey Chaucer, is generally credited with coining the phrase that has been updated in modern English to read, “better late than never.” It means to do something or to arrive later than expected may not be good, but it is better than not ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, Nov. 29, the 333rd day of 2017. There are 32 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 29, 1947, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the partitioning of Palestine between Arabs and ...

A backlash against the bullies

BERKELEY — Why are so many women now speaking out about the sexual abuses they’ve experienced for years? Is there anything unique about the time we’re now living through that has encouraged them to end their silence? I can’t help but think that their decisions are part of something ...

Bannon has House Republicans looking over shoulders for 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — Steve Bannon is telling people he’s not coming after mainstream Republicans in the House the way he’s targeting senators with anti-establishment disrupters in primaries. Many in the House are looking over their shoulders all the same. “I can’t read Mr. ...