Politics, Moderate



Immigrants should feel protected by local police, not threatened

CHICAGO -- Most immigration policies impact all Americans, not just the ones who moved here from another country. This is especially so when it comes to matters of public safety.

Last week, a federal district court judge ruled that the U.S. Justice Department cannot require local police departments to help immigration agents in exchange for ...Read more

'The Pale King' is the 'Moby-Dick' of taxes

CHICAGO -- This year, we get two extra days to file our taxes. Due to a combination of April 15 landing on a Sunday and Emancipation Day in the nation's capital on Monday, the deadline is the 17th.

It's the end of a long slog for those whose tax season starts in the middle of January, when the tedium of receipt-sorting, document scanning and ...Read more

We can all be guardian angels to vulnerable neighbors

CHICAGO -- There's an elderly gentleman in my community who is known by most of the gas station attendants, baristas and store managers as "Ray."

If you drive along any of the streets within about a three-mile radius of my house, you'd know Ray if you saw him: He's a tall, gray-haired man who walks up and down the road -- rain or shine, ...Read more

You don't have to speak Spanish to be Latino

CHICAGO -- Way to guilt-trip me about my parenting choices, Pew Research Center!

According to their newest report on language acquisition, 85 percent of Latino parents say they speak Spanish to their children, but only 71 percent of U.S.-born Latino parents with at least one immigrant parent of their own do so.

It's small comfort to know that ...Read more

Why does the media ignore when bad things happen to black people?

CHICAGO -- The irony of the diverse and wide-ranging #neveragain movement to reduce gun violence is that -- even as it has captured the nation's attention -- it has underscored racial stereotypes about victims and survivors.

Why did the country have what countless media commentators called "a watershed moment" after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas...Read more

Citizenship question would muck up census results

CHICAGO -- Some very wise men once said, "There will be no second chance to get the 2020 census right ... [and] we will all live with the results for a decade."

Vincent P. Barabba and Kenneth Prewitt, both past census directors, made these statements in a Washington Post op-ed last summer, when they warned the nation that the Trump ...Read more

We all need to actively fight the reality of racism

CHICAGO -- Boy, there's nothing like research findings to make you feel like a big-time liar.

As a teacher, I've spent the last decade trying to convince low-income black and Hispanic students that education is their golden ticket out of poverty and into a safer, more comfortable life. But that seems to be untrue.

This school year, nearly ...Read more

'Dolores' spotlights labor leader's triumph over adversity

CHICAGO -- In the opening moments of the new documentary "Dolores," an elderly but still spry Dolores Huerta is asked what she hoped for as a young girl. Her response is haunting: "I guess my only dream was just to be accepted, I think that's what a lot of young children feel."

Adults, too.

Today, that's a tall order in Donald Trump's America,...Read more

Binge drinkers put all of us at risk

CHICAGO -- Quick quiz: Is the average binge drinker likelier to be a kid or an adult?

If you're like most people, your mind leaps to images of high school and college students hitting wild parties and keggers until all hours.

Actually, more than half of the 17 billion binge drinks consumed in 2015 were by adults age 35 or older, according to ...Read more

Every second counts for babies who need help to hear

CHICAGO -- Feel like experiencing a few heart-squeezing moments of pure joy?

Just do a quick web search for videos of deaf babies and toddlers hearing their parents' voices for the first time.

Go ahead -- and I dare you not to get teary.

I couldn't help it, that's for sure.

Though some lifelong deaf and hard-of-hearing people reject the ...Read more

Breathtaking book stirs America's cultural stew

CHICAGO -- Despite how much some people reject, resist or fear cultural assimilation, it turns out to be yawningly mundane.

Take, for example, this family-gathering scene from Luis Alberto Urrea's breathtaking new novel, "The House of Broken Angels":

"Little Angel was thwarted in his hopeless search for homemade Mexican food. In his mind, ...Read more

The results are in: Babies are all too human

CHICAGO -- For a while there, it seemed like you couldn't get away from headlines wailing about "baby geniuses," the "Tao of babies, or that special "baby wisdom."


It always seemed to me that the people who go on and on about how great babies are have never had to get through the night with one. Sure, you adore them, but "enlightened...Read more

Hollywood still has a long way to go in casting Latinos

CHICAGO -- In the aftermath of a somewhat snoozy Academy Awards ceremony, here was my favorite headline: "This was the most Latino Oscars ever (but still not so much)."

It was a reference to the fact that plenty of Hispanic and Latin American people appeared onstage to present and receive awards, but there weren't any nominated for the top ...Read more

Counting calories won't cure childhood obesity

CHICAGO -- As with every other marker of affluence in America, the line between a healthy childhood and one marred by obesity is firmly drawn between whites and Asians on one side and blacks and Hispanics on the other.

And despite reports that obesity rates among children have started to level off or decrease, a new study arrives at a different...Read more

Florida students reclaim passion of Stoneman Douglas

CHICAGO -- It would, no doubt, repulse Marjory Stoneman Douglas to know that an unthinkable shooting at a high school bearing her moniker has sullied her good name.

But we can't let that horror recast such a remarkable woman's legacy -- she was far too accomplished to sacrifice her name to the worst possible bad news.

Marjory Stoneman was born...Read more

To make students eager to learn, show them it's worth the hard work

CHICAGO -- When asked what one thing he would change to improve the education system, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said it was students' intrinsic motivation about learning and their mindset toward it.

"The ideal is that the students [understand] that by engaging in something fairly abstract and disconnected, like writing an essay or figuring ...Read more

Arming teachers could backfire on students

CHICAGO -- An Ohio sheriff, a few fervent bloggers and, implicitly, even our nation's education secretary recently suggested that preventing the next school massacre might be as simple as permitting teachers to carry guns.

People took to social media to roar that many schools can't even afford pencils, let alone armaments.

First, as a teacher ...Read more

Heritage months spotlight forgotten heroes

CHICAGO -- Let's face it: If it weren't for celebratory months like Women's History (March), Asian-Pacific American Heritage (May) and Hispanic Heritage (September/October), America's school children would rarely hear about little-known people who changed the nature of life in the United States.

Today's textbooks are overburdened with covering ...Read more

Hispanic or Latinx? The key is to treat others with respect

CHICAGO -- The student newspaper of the University of Texas at Austin recently asked its readers to select a favorite term to describe people of Latin American descent.

"Which term are you supposed to use?" wrote Daily Texan reporter Maria Mendez. "Well, it depends."

It sure does.

There's "Hispanic," "person of color," "Latino/a," and the ...Read more

Don't cater to stale stereotypes with ladies-only snacks

CHICAGO -- There are many important issues weighing on the soul of our country right now. So many, in fact, that we need a mental break from them. So let's chew on some controversial snack news.

Recently, on economist Stephen J. Dubner's fantastic "Freakonomics" podcast, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi implied that the company would soon be introducing...Read more


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Signe Wilkinson Mike Lester Chip Bok Steve Benson Mike Luckovich Jeff Danziger