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Peter Hannaford

Editor’s note: Peter Hannaford, a faithful contributor to this site for many years, filed this column on Friday morning. On Saturday, we learned yesterday, he died suddenly at his northern California home. His young colleague Robert Zapesochny, with whom he…

If you’d mentioned the name of the 25th president before this week, that’s the answer you would have gotten from about everyone except some Ohioans and the residents of a small California city (more about them later). President Obama changed…

Donald Trump is commanding center stage with his pronouncements on illegal immigration. He says he will build a wall along the Mexican border, from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico, and that he will get the government of Mexico…

Since February, Niger’s army has been battling Boko Haram in its Diffa region. It borders Nigeria’s northeastern region where Boko Haram is trying to establish an Islamic state. This terrorist organization has killed more than 15,000 people and created 1.5…

Having created the problem of too many passengers lugging their suitcases aboard airplanes by charging for checked bags, the major airlines are now planning to make checked bags even more unpopular. The are testing various methods for making bag-checkers do…

Human tragedies and anxieties bombard us everyday in news stories online, in print and broadcast, and via Twitter and Facebook.  There isn’t much we can do about it, other than try to escape now and then. TV has situation comedies,…

Marijuana “grows” are the new environmental menace. Teams of sheriff’s deputies from three northern California counties found ample evidence of this in raids on several illegal grows last week. They were in a remote area called Island Mountain, where the…

In announcing his presidential candidacy, Donald Trump used his patented carnival barker’s routine. After that he took off for New Hampshire to actually campaign.  At his first stop he drew a good-sized crowed. After his pitch, reporters asked some of…

Many states, counties, and cities are in a budget vise caused by funds they are required to set aside to pay pensions for retired public employees. California may be in the worst shape. Ever since Jerry Brown—in his first incarnation…

In California in 2009, Abel Maldonado, a liberal Republican state senator, made a Faustian bargain with the Democrats who controlled the legislature. They needed one more vote to pass their budget. He would give it to them in exchange for…

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