Columns

Trump scrambles to clean mess of his own making

WASHINGTON — President Trump, having impetuously undone his historic meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, has hastened to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. He tweeted Friday: “Very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea” indicating it might agree ...

Singular mother was not alone

At the last minute, with an unfortunate combination of bad news and gratuitous drama, the divorced father was unable to attend his daughter’s wedding. Who hasn’t heard a version of that story? It’s always something with these broken families, as we love to call them. As if every intact ...

NFL should maintain morality drive to end zone

It took two years, boycotts by fans, declining TV ratings, growing alarm among advertisers, a drop in the sale of gear and especially a public shaming by President Trump, but the owners of NFL teams have finally decided their players will not be allowed to kneel or make other protests during ...

Conspiracists see b/w in gray ocean

The Trump presidency is often a kind of political “Rashomon,” with partisans on either side looking at the same facts and coming to wildly different conclusions. So it’s all the more remarkable that the central controversy of our time isn’t a fight over one story with different ...

Commencement Speech You Never Hear

My youngest son’s college graduation ceremony was scheduled to be held outdoors. The invitation specified that it would be moved inside to the gym only in the event of “severe” weather. As it turned out, the day was unseasonably cold (low 50s) with occasional drizzle — probably about as ...

Trump’s curious coalition

Donald Trump’s strategy for keeping power is to build up his coalition of America’s white working class and the nation’s ownership class. It’s a curious coalition, to say the least. But if Democrats don’t respond to it, it could protect Trump from impeachment and even re-elect him. ...

Spying on Trump is departure from norms

“F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims,” read the headline on a lengthy New York Times story May 18. “The Justice Department used a suspected informant to probe whether Trump campaign aides were making improper contacts with Russia in ...

Bicycling with common sense

Summer weather generally brings out people who enjoy riding their bicycles. Mountain biking on the trails, roadway bicycles on the highways and streets, and BMX riders doing stunts on any piece of dry pavement or area that creates a challenging obstacle for them. Though this is a healthy, ...

School shooters are symptom of culture that is ill

I know two Greek-American kids who brought shotguns to high school. My brother Peter and me. There were two 12-gauge shotguns. We were going hunting. I suppose that sounds crazy, after what happened at the Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday. Another mass school shooting, another horror ...

More attention needed to prevent mass shootings

In the wake of the latest school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, there was a Keeping our Kids Safe Town Hall meeting held at Ishpeming High School on Sunday. The town hall, hosted by state Rep. Sara Cambensy, brought together members of law enforcement, school administrators and legislators to ...

Philadelphia’s War on Catholics

WASHINGTON — At a time when more than 400,000 children are in foster care nationwide, the city of Philadelphia is threatening to cut ties with Catholic Social Services because of the group’s policy against placing foster children in same-sex households. On the surface, one might say this ...

Tribal politics has taken over common ground

In Marine Corps jargon, a “duty station” is the military base or camp where a Marine is assigned to live. Reflecting our national inclination both to romanticize what is past and to criticize what is current, Marines will regularly gripe that there is no duty station better than the one ...

Forensic science still snares innocent

On TV crime shows like “CSI,” “NCIS” and “Law & Order,” science gets the bad guys. In real life, “science” often ensnares the innocent. Former NYPD Detective Harry Houck gets annoyed when TV shows make forensic science look infallible. “You watch a detective get ...

Gangs of goons in Gucci grease gluttons of greed

In the fierce labor wars of the last century, industrial barons employed Pinkertons and other goons to bloody the heads of laborers or simply gun down those struggling for a share of economic and political power. It was brutal, but organized workers persevered and eventually gained a share of ...

For some, ‘faith’ little to do with Jesus

Today, we will discuss one of the most pressing threats to American Christianity. Meaning, of course, American Christians. Yes, that’s an overly broad statement. All those Christians whose faith requires them to live the Good News, to feed the hungry, to house the homeless, speak for the ...

Trump, Giuliani declare war on FBI

WASHINGTON — After some early missteps, the new defensive team of Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani is engaged in a bold and brash attempt to stand the Mueller investigation into Russian election meddling on its head. Embellishing on Trump’s repeated allegations of a “witch hunt” and a ...

Reducing Racial Profiling

The post-9/11 mantra “If you see something, say something” appears to have taken an ugly turn these days. It used to relate to concerns about terrorism. If you saw an abandoned backpack or van, or if you discovered evidence that could be construed as bomb-related, the instruction was to ...

Republicans’ fear of fear factor is losing strategy

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” he could not have foreseen today’s Republican Party. A bill authored by Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, that would require the federal government to balance the budget each year was soundly ...

Truth Is Best Antidote to Prejudice

The man yelling in a video that has gone viral this week threatens employees at a New York deli that he will call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement because he overheard employees speaking Spanish: “If they have the balls to come here and live off of my money — I pay for their ...

Right must reckon with generation gap

The conventional image of baby boomer political rebellion features a young left-wing activist organizing, protesting or otherwise agitating, ideally with Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” playing in the background: “There’s something happening here / What it is ain’t ...