Politics, Moderate



What cures poor sleeping habits of teens? Jobs.

CHICAGO -- It's back-to-school season and time for the annual tradition of floating education policy ideas that no one really supports but that still get attention during the sleepy Labor Day weekend.

Exhibit A: The Rand Corp.'s new report suggesting that if public school start times were delayed to about 8:30 a.m., the higher academic ...Read more

For refuge in these troubled times, take in these podcasts

CHICAGO -- It's too much. It's all just too much. Amid angry clashes in the name of social justice, biblical floods and North Korean missile tests, we all need to get our minds off things.

Might I suggest binge-listening to fun podcasts?

I'm a huge fan of the medium and though I've been listening to podcasts for 10 years now, it hasn't been ...Read more

Another slap in the face of minorities

CHICAGO -- Sometimes you're just going along, having your morning coffee, getting into your paper and a headline leaps off the page and slaps you in the face.

That was the feeling I and countless other Hispanic college graduates had when we saw a recent New York Times article titled "Even With Affirmative Action, Blacks and Hispanics Are More ...Read more

When you need to go deep, don't let your devices be a distraction

CHICAGO -- There's nothing that digital addicts hate more than being told they need to pay closer attention to real life.

In a recent screed titled "It Would Be Great if Celebrities Could Stop Talking About the Joys of 'Unplugging,'" Slate blogger Heather Schwedel complained that comedian Aziz Ansari's declaration of independence from the ...Read more

How misunderstandings can become stereotypes

CHICAGO -- After weeks of racial unrest, protests, animosity and even some evocative demonstrations of support for communities of color, I've come to the conclusion that the most powerful thing we can do right now is watch out for each other.

As a result of 24-7 coverage of torch-wielding white supremacists and reactions from those the brazenly...Read more

Will white people now be profiled, just like the rest of us?

CHICAGO -- If it's true, as some assert, that the increased stridency of white supremacists has made it acceptable to show racial prejudice, then white people are going to start feeling the pain of being associated with a small, fringe group of over-the-top racists.

The other day, when riding the train in Chicago, I noticed that I was ...Read more

College isn't the only way to achieve the American dream

CHICAGO -- The tide is turning on the "college-for-all" movement. Policymakers are finally starting to understand that while in a perfect world every student would emerge from 12 years of public education excited and prepared for the rigors of college, this just isn't realistic.

It's no wonder, really. Though the career earnings of college ...Read more

Publishers shouldn't confine Latino authors to just 'immigrant stories'

CHICAGO -- A day or so after Sonia Sotomayor's biography, "My Beloved World" was released, I got a call from a New York Times reporter asking me how well the book would sell. She jumped in to the first question: "Why don't Latinos read?"

I wasn't ready for that one. I thought: "Which Latinos don't read? All the ones I know read," but the ...Read more

An engaging study of unruly women

CHICAGO -- As someone who shuns celebrity "news," gossip and whatever is "breaking the internet" on a given day, Anne Helen Peterson's new book, "Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman," was not a natural fit for me.

But as a rich reality-TV star tweets policy from the White House, it seems warranted to consider ...Read more

Hunger on campus is a real problem with real solutions

CHICAGO -- When people my age look back on their college days, they often recall being "starving" students. But, back in a time when it was possible to complete a university education with some scholarships, a modest student loan and a part-time job, few of my peers were ever truly hungry.

Fast forward to today: Due to hiring norms, it's ...Read more

The heartbreaking case of Charlie Gard is not a parable -- just one family's tragedy.

CHICAGO -- Before 11-month-old Charlie Gard died in Britain last week from complications of a rare disease, his short life triggered debate about when it's appropriate to stop treating patients and allow them to die.

His parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, mounted an epic struggle, trying every conceivable effort to save their son. In the end...Read more

Hispanics' sunny spirit is a reminder of what made America great

CHICAGO -- News headlines are screaming about how fearful Latinos are due to moves the Trump administration is making toward stepping up deportations. These are valid concerns for many Hispanics, a majority of whom have acquaintances or family members who could be at risk.

Yet Hispanics always seem to look on the sunny side of life when things ...Read more

TV shows depicting alternate histories can teach us something about our reality today

CHICAGO -- There's a scene in episode nine of the first season of "The Man in the High Castle" -- Amazon's show based on Philip K. Dick's novel -- that seems designed to induce giddiness in a series that, up to that point had been serious, restrained and often drab.

A disillusioned high-ranking Nazi official who trades secrets with the Japanese...Read more

Social Connections


Signe Wilkinson Andy Marlette Nick Anderson Darrin Bell Lisa Benson Chip Bok