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Columns

Why wages won’t rise

Jobs are coming back, but pay isn't. The median wage is still below where it was before the Great Recession. Last month, average pay actually fell.What's going on? It used to be that as unemployment dropped, employers had to pay more to attract or keep the workers they needed. That's what ...

The better option

It's easy to fire a business that rips you off. Just go to a different one. It's a lot easier to patronize another business than to get government to fix the problem.But bad businesses and the politicians they own, I mean influence, often don't want you to have that choice.I've written about ...

Why it was right not to go to Paris

If we can be serious for a moment: The president made an error in judgment by not sending someone with a higher profile than our ambassador to join world leaders Sunday at a solidarity rally in Paris.The White House has admitted the error.This more or less sums up the news of the past two days, ...

Basic economics

"Whether one is a conservative or a radical, a protectionist or a free trader, a cosmopolitan or a nationalist, a churchman or a heathen, it is useful to know the causes and consequences of economic phenomena." That quotation, from Nobel laureate George J. Stigler, is how Dr. Thomas Sowell ...

New Year’s irresolution

President Barack Obama's absence from the great gathering in Paris of national leaders from other countries, to show their solidarity with France in its opposition to Islamic terrorists, was another sign of the Obama administration's continuing irresolution in the face of terror.Even the recent ...

Risk and protective factors for toxic stress

I've been thinking a lot about how we protect our children from emotional distress, especially when toxic stress is present. I want to focus on protective factors that may decrease the harm of risk factors for bad outcomes related to the experience of toxic stress.Let me define some of these ...

Terrorists usher in the end of satire

Dear Terrorists:OK, you win. We surrender.Never thought I'd say that, but then, I never thought I'd see gunmen burst into the offices of a satirical magazine as happened last Wednesday in Paris. Never thought I'd see 12 people killed most were employees, two were police officers because a ...

China’s choice

WASHINGTON - One of the few incontrovertible assertions one can reasonably make is that no one supports forced abortion.Yet, coerced abortions, as well as involuntary sterilizations, are commonplace in China, Beijing's protestations notwithstanding. While the Chinese Communist Party insists ...

Bill Clinton and the company he keeps

It is from an Aesop fable we get the phrase, "A man is known by the company he keeps."The British and American media are carrying salacious stories about Prince Andrew keeping company with registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, now accused of keeping underage girls as "sex slaves" for ...

Paris attack puts West in bad spot

The vigils in Paris are moving. The hashtag plumes of #JeSuisCharlie ("I am Charlie") are endearing. The expressions of condemnation from Muslim leaders are commendable, as are the assurances of solidarity and support from Western governments.But, as a practical matter, they don't change a ...

Common Core: Republican minefield

Nine months from now, Republican candidates for president will meet on the stage of the Reagan Presidential Library (with the old Air Force One providing great visuals) for the first debate of the 2016 race.It seems likely that among those in attendance will be at least four - Chris Christie, ...

My 2015 food resolution

For the last week, I have watched my Facebook feed blow up with people's New Year's resolutions. I found myself laughing - this was more like a list of things I would NOT be doing in 2015.Girl 1: "I am going to run two miles every day!"Me: "I am only running if there is a fire. Or a 75 percent ...

Be someone who matters, to someone who matters

What if every child was sent on the right path in life? What if every child stayed in school? Attained education or training beyond high school? Gave back to their communities? What if every child was encouraged and empowered to fulfill their potential? Well, that would be something BIG ...

Send agitators back to the soapbox

Recent events from Ferguson, Mo., to Staten Island, N.Y., might prompt an observer to infer that American cops are racist and that a bigoted white populace tolerates unnecessary lethal force against minorities.One might also conclude that America has a hearty appetite for the carnival barker, ...

Tortured reasoning

Some time ago, burglars in England scrawled a message on the wall of a home they had looted: "RICH BASTARDS."Those two words captured the spirit of the politicized vision of equality - that it was a grievance when someone was better off than themselves.That, of course, is not the only meaning ...

Tips for winter safety

Winter in the Copper Country provides us with weather that is constantly changing from snow to sleet to ice. Aspirus has a Safe Worker Awareness Team that created a list of suggestions for safer walking outdoors for our staff. I thought there were some good tips to share:Wear rubber soled ...

Peiffer’s Corner

HANCOCK - When he's not in Washington, D.C. playing Assistant Principal Horn as part of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, John Peiffer can be found in the Copper Country where he makes his home for part of the year.This Saturday he'll be playing with local musician Steve Jones at The ...

Rainbow of protests follow grand jury decisions

They have not stopped.That's one of the most heartening things about the demonstrations against police brutality that began with the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August and renewed with a grand jury's decision last week not to indict a New York police officer who choked ...

In 2014, the joke’s on us

A writer seeking profound pronouncements for a year-end column is likely instead to find herself awash in punch lines.Life isn't a comedy. It's a joke.Hey, did you hear the one about North Korea hacking Sony Pictures Entertainment and threatening to blow up movie theaters that showed the film? ...

Studying ISIS, and ourselves

The commander of American Special Operations in the Middle East, Major Gen. Michael K. Nagata, is reported to be seeking help in learning why the Islamic State is so dangerous. If he doesn't know, what does that say about the prospect for victory over these radical terrorists who seek to ...