Columns

Fellow citizen punished because he asked for help

Could everyone reading this just pause for a bit and really think about our fellow citizens who put their lives on the line for us every day? I'm talking about police officers and firefighters who face deadly dangers and serious stressors on a regular basis: gruesome car accidents, raging ...

Vaping just as dangerous in nicotine drug delivery

Recently, there have been requests locally for presentations and information on vaping. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, vaping is basically a means of extracting nicotine from an oil by turning the oil into a vapor and then inhaling it. It has become more and more popular, especially ...

Knee-jerk reaction to Waffle House killings counters facts

Travis Reinking, the mentally disturbed man charged in the Waffle House killings, had his guns taken away with the help of law enforcement. This is a fact. But the guns were returned to him by his father, and four people were killed the other day in that Waffle House in Nashville, ...

To mock or mentor is question

WASHINGTON — There are few sympathetic characters in the landmark lawsuit between Marquette University and a suspended professor that’s heading later this month to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The professor, John McAdams, is suing the university for indefinitely suspending him without ...

Born, raised, married in privilege, Barbara touched us all

She was born into comfort in Manhattan and raised in Rye, a leafy, exclusive suburb in New York’s Westchester County. She would leave college before graduating to marry. She never had a career beyond wife, mother and citizen. But her death, in her 10th decade, evoked an almost spontaneous ...

Gun-toting teachers not so horrible

What should be done about school shootings? After the horrible shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Trump suggested that some teachers carry guns. “We need to let people know, you come in to our schools — you’re gonna be dead.” Anti-gun activists were horrified. But they ...

Wealth concentration poses threat to majority rule

Many Americans are reluctant to accept that coup conspiracies are part of country’s history. We tend believe that plots to overthrow the government are totally foreign to our national character. But we do do coups. In fact, the country itself was founded on an armed coup to replace the ...

Racism is white people’s problem

Racism is a white problem. I know that many white people will instinctively and emphatically resist that observation. They’ll note the self-evident truth that prejudice is confined to no one culture or color. Having known more than a few African-American bigots, homophobes and anti-Semites, ...

Rule of law — and of sanity — in Trumpland

WASHINGTON — With our executive branch in the hands of Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled legislative branch now essentially subservient to him, the judicial branch and the Justice Department in his own administration now remain the principal defenders of the rule of law in this ...

Barbara Bush was all that

In 1989, first lady Barbara Bush publicly disclosed that she had struggled with depression after her children had grown. The women’s movement, she added, was a contributing factor. “I believe it made me feel inadequate. I’m not quite sure how. You were made to feel demeaned a ...

Question is simple: Follow Jesus or follow Trump?

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” — Matthew 6:24 The verse refers to money, but in light of today’s debate about the unaccountable devotion many Christian leaders have for ...

US not as intolerant as made out to be

I don’t normally watch the GLAAD Media Awards. Not that there’s anything wrong with them. GLAAD, by the way, originally stood for “Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation” before the organization declared that GLAAD was its name and not an acronym. But I did see a video of ...

Playboy comes to Washington — of course it does

Playboy Enterprises just announced that it has purchased a table at this year’s White House Correspondents Association dinner. Swell. Just what we need. The dinner, as you’ve probably heard, is an annual ritual of narcissism in which leading press figures don black tie and hope to see, or ...

Gluttonous materialism and other random thoughts

They say “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Well, maybe. Human nature doesn’t change, but situations do. For example, let’s look at the world we live in today from a not-too-long ago. And wonder. We went through a Great Depression, followed by years of ...

Dogs of war hunt for right enemy

WASHINGTON — As sabers rattle ever louder across fields, plains, oceans and deserts, President Trump’s words from earlier this year haunt the stable mind: “I would love to be able to bring back our country into a great form of unity,” he said. “Without a major event where people ...

Taxes hidden in fees, charges

The cable bill was the last straw, says Kristin Tate. “That’s the one that really made me mad.” Comcast included $36 in charges for mysterious things like “utility tax” and “government access fee.” That motivated her to research obscure taxes and put what she learned in a ...

Kochtopus preserves plutocracy using dark money

Multibillionaires Charles and David Koch want nothing less than to supplant America’s core democratic principle of majority rule — the will of The People — with their core plutocratic principle of inviolable property rights, also known as domination by the wealthy minority. Their notion ...

No excuse excuses Trump’s actions

“We kind of gave him — All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here.” — Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, on the white evangelical response to Donald Trump’s alleged tryst with a porn star “He’s new at government, and so therefore I think that he is learning ...

Is Mueller time now or later following midterm elections?

WASHINGTON — As Donald Trump wreaks havoc in both domestic and foreign policy with his governing by impulse and bias, the Justice Department investigation into Russian election meddling remains a darkening cloud over his presidency. His threats of a trade war with China, of military ...

Paul Ryan’s Family Legacy

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s stated reason for leaving office after this year’s election sure is getting a lot of traction. “If I am here for one more term, my kids will only have ever known me as a weekend dad,” he said. “I just can’t let that happen. So I will be setting new ...