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Local columns

Pandemic has exposed American exceptionalism as a mirage

BERKELEY — No other nation has endured as much death from COVID-19 nor nearly as a high a death rate as has the United States. With 4.25 percent of the world population, America has the tragic distinction of accounting for nearly 30 percent of pandemic deaths so far. And it is the only ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, May 19, the 140th day of 2020. There are 226 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 19, 1943, in his second wartime address to the U.S. Congress, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill pledged his ...

A nation of sheep

WASHINGTON — “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) — — — To Thomas Jefferson, the fulcrum between the people and the government they have elected was fear. He argued ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, May 18, the 139th day of 2020. There are 227 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 18, 1980, the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state exploded, leaving 57 people dead or missing. On this ...

You’ll freeze in the dark!

NEW YORK — Last Sunday, Mother’s Day, made me think how my mom warned me, as a young teen: “Work hard! Or you’ll freeze in the dark!” Sometimes, the warning ended, “Or you’ll starve in the cold.” She grew up during the Depression. She and her peers were sensibly worried ...

Poll shows partisan split over virus-era religious freedom

NEW YORK (AP) — As the nation’s houses of worship weigh how and when to resume in-person gatherings while coronavirus stay-at-home orders ease in some areas, a new poll points to a partisan divide over whether restricting those services violates religious freedom. Questions about whether ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, May 16, the 137th day of 2020. There are 229 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 16, 1943, the nearly month-long Warsaw Ghetto Uprising came to an end as German forces crushed the Jewish resistance and ...

Many Republicans DO have a sense of humor

WASHINGTON — An American politician can help herself politically by being able to believably use self-deprecating humor, which sends a clear message: “I am not pompously self-important or thin-skinned; I do not take myself completely seriously.” No one was better at self-deprecation ...

Opening up America

WASHINGTON — The choice before us seems to be no choice at all: stay inside and have no human contact with another soul, keep businesses closed, denying a livelihood to millions, or step outside and risk death. Though I believe the risk is small when comparing the number of people who have ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, May 15, the 136th day of 2020. There are 230 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 15, 1948, hours after declaring its independence, the new state of Israel was attacked by Transjordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq ...

Michael Flynn’s exoneration

WASHINGTON — For three years former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was put through a legal and financial wringer by top officials within the FBI, including its then-director James Comey. The FBI investigation threatened to destroy Flynn’s career, finances and life, as, according to ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, May 14, the 135th day of 2020. There are 231 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 14, 1940, the Netherlands surrendered to invading German forces during World War II. On this date: In 1643, Louis XIV ...

Behind Trump’s strategic pivot

WASHINGTON — After Pearl Harbor, FDR declared that his role of “Dr. New Deal” had been superseded, replaced by his new role, “Dr. Win the War.” Tuesday, President Donald Trump signaled that, in the war on the coronavirus pandemic, he, too, is executing a strategic pivot. Where ...

How They Voted

Senate Bill 899, Extend coronavirus epidemic liability waivers for medical care providers: Passed 25 to 13 in the Senate To extend through the end of the coronavirus state of emergency a medical malpractice liability exemption granted to health care professionals and facilities by the 1976 ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, May 13, the 134th day of 2020. There are 232 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 13, 1940, in his first speech as British prime minister, Winston Churchill told Parliament, “I have nothing to offer ...

Trump’s reopening strategy will be lethal

BERKELEY — Donald Trump is getting nervous. Internal polls show him losing in November unless the economy comes roaring back. But much of the American economy remains closed because of the pandemic. The numbers of infections and deaths continue to climb. So what is Trump’s re-election ...

COVID-19 not the only threat from China

WASHINGTON — The destruction of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent demise of the Soviet Union two years later lulled the West into a false sense of security. Many appeared to believe that an age of unending peace and prosperity had been ushered in. While terrorism would become a ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, May 12, the 133rd day of 2020. There are 233 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On May 12, 2002, Jimmy Carter arrived in Cuba, becoming the first U.S. president in or out of office to visit since the 1959 ...

Do we still have a Constitution?

WASHINGTON — I have been taking some heat from friends and colleagues for my steadfast defense of personal liberties and my arguments that the Constitution — when interpreted in accordance with the plain meaning of its words, and informed by history — does not permit the government to ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, May 11, the 132nd day of 2020. There are 234 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 11, 1502, Christopher Columbus left Cadiz, Spain, on his fourth and final trip to the Western Hemisphere. On this ...