Opinion: Columnists

Apr. 19, 2014 @ 08:53 PM

Regulatory overkill against political speech

Occasionally, the Supreme Court considers questions that are answered merely by asking them. On Tuesday, the court will hear arguments about this: Should a government agency, whose members are chosen by elected officials, be empowered to fine or imprison any candidate or other participant in the political process who during a campaign makes what the agency considers "false statements" about a member of the political class or a ballot initiative?


Apr. 19, 2014 @ 05:56 PM

A better world for movement Steinem, others led

At 80, Gloria Steinem is still a powerful voice for equal rights and opportunities for women, causes for which she has championed since being one of the founders of the feminism movement in the 1960s.


Apr. 19, 2014 @ 11:13 AM

Little of value can emerge from today’s debates

I don’t blame Thom Tillis for refusing to attend one of the three televised GOP Senate primary debates. The only mystery is why he (or any candidate) is bothering with any of them.


Apr. 19, 2014 @ 12:08 AM

Choice program deserves defense

Liberal activists may fume, and left-wing editorialists may grind their teeth, but legislative leaders are going to defend their 2013 opportunity scholarship bill against lawsuits by the teacher union and other special interests.


Apr. 18, 2014 @ 02:48 PM

From Manhattan to Washington, Indians get snookered

Twenty-four dollars.

That, supposedly, was the price Gov. Peter Minuit paid American Indians for the island of Manhattan in 1625. It's a tale historians find suspect.
In the first place, whatever Minuit paid was in goods valued at 60 17th-century Dutch guilders; the calculation that this equaled 24 U.S. dollars was made two centuries later -- on what basis, evidently, no one can say. In the second place, the Indians with whom he traded had no understanding of the European idea that land could be sold, no conception of it as a thing one could own.


Apr. 15, 2014 @ 10:41 AM

Saying thanks is not enough

We say, “Thanks for your service,” when we met veterans of the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq veterans.

They can be forgiven if they think “Thanks for your service” is an incomplete thank you, an insincere and hollow expression, showing a lack of understanding and real appreciation of what these men and women had been through.


Apr. 14, 2014 @ 02:25 PM

...and this is Overkill News Network

Please, for the love of Cronkite: Give us a break from the missing plane. Yes, we all wonder what happened to it. Yes, our hearts go out to the families seeking resolution. But really, CNN ... enough. Put your hands up and step away from the story.


Apr. 13, 2014 @ 11:07 AM

FCC should let markets work

In February, Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler declared that the North Carolina General Assembly had no authority to determine telecommunications policy in North Carolina.

Well, okay, Wheeler didn’t single North Carolina out for particular scorn. 


Apr. 12, 2014 @ 11:35 PM

A counter for hysterics in Michigan

Robert Griffin, now 90, who rose to be second in the Republican U.S. Senate leadership, was defeated in 1978. Since then, only one Michigan Republican, Spencer Abraham in 1994, has been elected to the Senate and for only one term. Evidence that former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land might end this GOP drought is that Democrats are attacking her for opposing "preventive health care."


Apr. 12, 2014 @ 03:57 PM

Are we skimming through life on digital brains?

As the “Here and Now” transcript puts it, “With digital devices, we are constantly consuming information, from short tweets and text messages to online articles and blog posts. We jump around, skimming and scanning.”

These are not just quirks. Our brains may, neuroscientists are finding, be adopting new processes. The change may be making it more difficult for us to read closely and absorb lengthy or complex material closely.


Apr. 12, 2014 @ 11:12 AM

More sunny or cloudy days ahead for the economy?

Economists love numbers -- some might call it an occupational hazard. Numbers are our window into the workings of the economy. Without numbers, we’d have a difficult time understanding how the economy is changing, both in positive and negative ways.


Apr. 11, 2014 @ 10:20 AM

Wake up, people, and see the danger we're in

This is a column about campaign finance reform.
And your eyes glazed over just then, didn't they?
That's the problem with this problem. Americans know that government truly of, by and for the people is unlikely if not impossible so long as the system is polluted by billions of dollars in contributions from corporations and individual billionaires. Half of us, according to Gallup, would like to see public financing of campaigns; nearly 80 percent want to limit campaign fund-raising.


Apr. 09, 2014 @ 08:48 PM

A recourse to budgetary inaction

From the Goldwater Institute, the fertile frontal lobe of the conservative movement's brain, comes an innovative idea that is gaining traction in Alaska, Arizona and Georgia, and its advocates may bring it to at least 35 other states' legislatures. It would use the Constitution's Article V to move the nation back toward the limited government the Constitution's Framers thought their document guaranteed.


Apr. 08, 2014 @ 03:38 PM

From ash pond, to river, to your bloodstream

When you have finished drinking this bottle of water, fill it with our tap water for liquid refreshment that tastes as good and is just as pure as what was in the bottle.


Apr. 07, 2014 @ 11:11 AM

Again, Christianity the last to get it right

Eleven years ago, Richard Stearns went to Washington.

Stearns -- president of World Vision, the billion-dollar Christian relief organization -- joined other faith leaders in lobbying Congress to spend $15 billion combating AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean. He acknowledged he and his fellow evangelicals were late to the fight against this pandemic and explained their tardiness with remarkable candor.