The Hallinans in the ’40s

Terence Tyrone “Kayo” Hallinan entered the ring in 1937, the second of five boys born two years apart, as per mother Vivian’s plan, and given nicknames by father Vincent, who would train them to be roughnecks. Before Kayo came  Patrick (“Butch”) and after came Michael (“Tuffy “), Matthew (“Dynamite”) and Conn (“Flash” at first, “Ringo” […]

Remembering Kayo

Being the son of a great man isn’t easy. As a reporter I had seen Terence Hallinan in some very dramatic situations over the years. In an Army courtroom defending 14 Presidio stockade prisoners charged with mutiny. At City Hall in San Francisco, imploring his fellow supervisors to pass a resolution enabling Dennis Peron to […]

Most Iraq/Afghanistan Vets Now Regret the Mission

“Trump’s Opposition to ‘Endless Wars’ Appeals to Those Who Fought Them” read the headline above a front-page story by Jennifer Steinhauer in the New York Times November 1. The percentage of vets deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan who disapprove of US intervention there has almost doubled since 2011! Key excerpts follow. “Among veterans, 64 percent […]

The Sheriff is a Realist

Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said something America needed to hear on ’60 Minutes’ last Sunday (October 27). The segment, narrated by Sharon Alfonsi and entitled “Growing Pains for Legal Weed,” was making the point that unlicensed growers are taking business away from growers who obtained the costly permits required after California legalized marijuana for […]

Paul Krassner Dead at 87

The tabloid he founded in the 1950s, The Realist, violated every taboo. If you discovered Mad in your early teens, at 17 you were mad for The Realist.  Krassner was a leader of the Yippie contingent at the Democratic National Convention in ’68, and wrote a piece for the Ramparts Wallposter describing some of their […]

AIDS & Medical Marijuana

Dennis Peron is the Rosa Parks of the medical marijuana movement, the one who would not move to the back of the bus. Dennis refused to accept that anybody — any cop or DA or judge — could tell him he didn’t have a right to smoke marijuana. “And the right to smoke it means […]

Humboldt Humbled by Legalization

Although it’s entitled “How Legalization Changed Humboldt County Marijuana,” Emily Witt’s article in the current New Yorker is not about new plant varieties but about new social realities.  She opens with an assertion sure to please her recent hosts (whose hope is that a Humboldt appellation can ward off the looming Appalacian economy): “For more than 40 […]

The Essential Fech

David Fechheimer, San Francisco’s premier private investigator, died April 2 after open-heart surgery. We’d been friends for 44 years, minus two. David is Stephen Best in this piece the AVA ran in January, 1990. The original title was ‘Nuts.’ — FG Stephen Best, the private investigator, got a call last week from a woman with […]

Hardly Strictly Peace Movement

The Times’ CIA correspondent David Sanger reported Oct. 7 that Gen. William Westmoreland had requested “tactical” nuclear weapons to be shipped to Vietnam in February, 1968 for use in the event that US troops were overrun at Khe Sanh. President Lyndon Johnson, notified by an adviser, immediately nixed Westy’s mad scheme, which had been dubbed “Operation Fracture […]

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