Columns

Bloated military not good for country

Donald Trump once wanted to cut military spending. Before running for president, he said Congress’ automatic “sequestration” cuts didn’t go far enough, that they were “a very small percentage of the cuts that should be made.” Then he ran for office and said he would “make our ...

Naming of NMU poet laureate good for UP

Poetry and the Upper Peninsula are intertwined, and that’s a good thing. Marty Achatz, an Ishpeming native, has just been named the U.P.’s third poet laureate, succeeding Andrea Scarpino and Russ Thorburn. Achatz was to give a reading, along with other poets and writers, Tuesday night ...

Wall Street plowboys get rich working system, not land

John Steinbeck’s novel “Grapes of Wrath.” Woody Guthrie’s ballad “Deportee.” Edward R. Murrow’s documentary “Harvest of Shame.” Every decade or so, the public is shocked by yet another discovery that migrant farmworkers are being horribly abused by the wealthy masters of the ...

Words about Trayvon, 5 years later

A few words on the innocence of Trayvon Martin. The very idea will outrage certain people. Experience says the notion of Trayvon Martin being innocent will offend them deeply. But they can get over it. Or not. Because it is five years now since Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin’s unarmed ...

Has GOP been rebranded as a Trump property?

WASHINGTON — Last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, featuring lengthy remarks from President Trump and his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, telegraphed their plans to commit the whole Republican Party to their concept of economic nationalism. Bannon declared that ...

New Rules, Same Old Humans

On Tuesday morning, less than an hour after U.S. officials deported Guadalupe Olivas Valencia to Mexico, the 45-year-old man leapt to his death from a bridge that connects our two countries. BBC News reported witnesses describing Olivas as distressed and saying he shouted that he did not want ...

Whatever happened to conservative optimism?

I had never heard of Milo Yiannopoulos until recently, perhaps because I don’t visit some of the websites where his musings are published. Milo, as he calls himself because of the difficulty some have pronouncing his last name, was disinvited from this week’s Conservative Political Action ...

Press is not the enemy, but …

Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” had an unfortunate turn of phrase the other day. She said it’s the mission of the press to “control exactly what people think.” My suspicion is that this was less a Freudian slip than a simple slip-up. Brzezinski was referring to ...

What’s up with sexual assault in Sweden?

President Donald Trump was more right than wrong about Sweden. Fox News was slightly misleading. As you’ve heard, Trump referred to “(what happened) last night in Sweden.” On Twitter, smug critics circulated lists of anodyne events like concerts and road accidents and accused the ...

Where are deep thinkers, big ideas?

WASHINGTON — Remember when conservatism meant deep thinkers and big ideas? Get over it. Today, conservatism means get your Miley (Cyrus) on and show us your tongue, shout Trump to the rafters, if you can pony up the privilege of “free speech,” and young -- very young -- ...

Trumponomics is recipe for failure

When Donald Trump gave a speech last Friday at Boeing’s factory in North Charleston, S.C., unveiling Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner, he congratulated Boeing for building the whole plane “right here” in South Carolina. It’s pure fantasy. I’ll let you know why in a moment. Trump also ...

End of Cold War and 2017 American politics

In 1988, a full year before the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet empire broke up, Georgy Arbatov, a Soviet expert on the United States, offered this prophetic prediction about how the end of the Cold War would change the United States: “We are going to do a terrible thing to you. We are ...

Trump has grating style but significant substance

Substance and style — it’s easy to get them confused or mistake one for the other. And they’re never entirely unconnected, though exactly how much so is a matter of debate. That’s especially true when it comes to evaluating Donald Trump’s performance — a word particularly ...

Angel Program allows addicts to seek help from State Police

Tactics to combat illegal drug use, abuse, sales, and addiction is constantly evolving and a mixture of failures and successes. Limiting the availability of illegal narcotics is a struggle and uphill battle. When there is some success at limiting the availability of a particular drug, it ...

Liberal journalists’ mission found in time of Trump

Journalists “find a renewed sense of mission,” reports The New York Times. That’s nice. There is some truth to this. And it’s not fake news. With the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, journalism, in a typical pattern of self-congratulatory excess, has dusted off an old ...

Trump over top calling media ‘enemy’

“Fake News!” shouts our president, calling out CNN, The New York Times and others. I love it. Although it’s not really true — not the way President Donald Trump means it. The media rarely “fake” anything. Over time, they generally get the facts correct. But the president makes ...

Wall Street flimflammers picked to create American jobs

Of all the economic pain in America that Washington ought to be relieving, what group would you choose as the top priority? Public opinion surveys consistently reveal that the great majority of us say that people on the lower rungs of the economic ladder — the poor and the failing middle ...

Open letter to so-called president

Dear Mr. So-Called President: So let me explain to you how this works. You were elected as chief executive of the United States. I won’t belabor the fact that you won with a minority of the popular vote and a little help from your friends, FBI Director James Comey and Russian President ...

Trump’s pre-emptive strike at the press is ranting

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s first solo White House news conference as president Thursday, launched with little advance notice, was a bold and aggressive strategy to co-opt one of the news media’s prime information vehicles. He filibustered for more than an hour of the traditional ...

This is ‘The Problem We All Live With’

Ruby Bridges was 6 years old when federal marshals escorted her through a screaming crowd of angry white adults so that she could be the first black child to attend an all-white school in the South. On the morning of Nov. 14, 1960, the marshals drove Ruby and her mother to her new school, ...