Local columns

The Creepy Line

NEW YORK — This morning Google told me that it would not allow my YouTube video “Socialism Leads to Violence” to be viewed by young people. It violates “community guidelines,” said the company in a computer-generated email. Anti-capitalist bias? Or just an algorithm shielding ...

A lesson as we remember President Bush

WASHINGTON — The scene at the U.S. Capitol on Monday as former President George H.W. Bush lay in state presented a tableau and a lesson for those who seek earthly power and believe it can change things. As the TV cameras panned the crowd, I was struck by how many aging “formers” there ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, Dec. 8, the 342nd day of 2018. There are 23 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Dec. 8, 1941, the United States entered World War II as Congress declared war against Imperial Japan, a day after the attack ...

‘College’ Dropouts

WASHINGTON — In spite of continued attempts, either misguided or malevolent — or both — by national leaders to undermine public trust and confidence in the American free press and free elections, the United States’ model of political and individual freedom has inspired billions around ...

A witch hunt or an investigation by a brutal book?

WASHINGTON — The nation has paused this week from its toxic political battles to remember the kindness and gentleness of President George H.W. Bush. He was kind to Bill Clinton, who defeated him in 1992, and to Ross Perot, whose unusual entry into the presidential race that year siphoned ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, Dec. 7, the 341st day of 2018. There are 24 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as part of its plan to conquer ...

Hockey pucks and school shootings

TRAVERSE CITY — Oakland University is passing out hockey pucks to faculty and students to chuck at would-be mass shooters on campus. If that wasn’t so sad, it’d be funny. We seemingly will do anything to avoid re-instituting the assault weapon ban and taking other common sense steps to ...

George H.W. Bush: Man of character

WASHINGTON — I first met the man who would become America’s 41st president in 1968. He was a Houston congressman and I was a young reporter for a local TV and radio station. My first impression was how kind he was to this “kid,” who had just moved to Texas from the Washington, D.C., ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, Dec. 6, the 340th day of 2018. There are 25 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Dec. 6, 1907, the worst mining disaster in U.S. history occurred as 362 men and boys died in a coal mine explosion in ...

Is Putin the provocateur in the Kerch crisis?

WASHINGTON — On departure for the G-20 gathering in Buenos Aires, President Donald Trump canceled his planned weekend meeting with Vladimir Putin, citing as his reason the Russian military’s seizure and holding of three Ukrainian ships and 24 sailors. But was Putin really the provocateur ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, Dec. 5, the 339th day of 2018. There are 26 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Dec. 5, 1994, Republicans chose Newt Gingrich to be the first GOP speaker of the House in four decades. On this date: In ...

Trump’s assault on the rule of law

BERKELEY — The “rule of law” distinguishes democracies from dictatorships. It’s based on three fundamental principles. Trump is violating every one of them. The first is that no person is above the law, not even a president. Which means a president cannot stop an investigation into ...

Sanders eyes ‘bigger’ 2020 bid despite warning signs

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — An insurgent underdog no more, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is laying the groundwork to launch a bigger presidential campaign than his first, as advisers predict he would open the 2020 Democratic presidential primary season as a political powerhouse. A final decision ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 2018. There are 27 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Dec. 4, 1783, Gen. George Washington bade farewell to his Continental Army officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York. On this ...

The Supreme Court jumps to unanimity

WASHINGTON — Unanimity is elusive in today’s America but the Supreme Court achieved it last week. Although the dusky gopher frog is endangered, so are property rights and accountable governance. Both would have been further jeopardized if the frog’s partisans in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife ...

How They Vote

Senate Bill 1171, Initiated minimum wage law ‘re-do’: Passed 26 to 11 in the Senate To revise an initiated law enacted in September that increased the state minimum wage. The measure was brought to the legislature by a petition drive, and originally would have increased the current $9.25 ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, Dec. 3, the 337th day of 2018. There are 28 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Dec. 3, 1984, thousands of people died after a cloud of methyl isocyanate gas escaped from a pesticide plant operated by a ...

Pro-smoking government

NEW YORK — E-cigarettes let people get a hit of nicotine without burning tobacco. Avoiding burning tobacco is the single greatest preventative health measure human beings can take, given the diseases conventional cigarettes cause. Unfortunately, our government and media now act as if ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, Dec. 1, the 335th day of 2018. There are 30 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, a black seamstress, was arrested after refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, ...

The cases against Pelosi don’t hold up

WASHINGTON — For loyal Democrats, it must be painful to realize that so much of the criticism of your party turns out to be true. No better Democrat ever drew a breath than the late congressman from Arizona and presidential candidate Mo Udall, who candidly observed, “When Democrats organize ...