Commentary: Court should end excessive fines on kids

Politics / Op Eds /

When Shyara Hill of Philadelphia was 16 years old, she was arrested in school after defending her little brother from a bully. Three years later, she still couldn't close her juvenile justice case because, having just started her very first job the previous week, she didn't have the $420 in fees that the court required. For that reason only, she...Read more

Martin Schram: Giving thanks for values we share

Politics / Op Eds /

In this Thanksgiving week, we really ought to focus, for just a bit, on our shared core values.

For example, think about the core values President Donald Trump's fervent supporters are so proudly proclaiming across their red baseball caps: "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN."

Now think about the core values Trump's political opponents are proudly and ...Read more

Editorial: Facing Facebook and Google: Without a fairer market, quality news can't thrive

Politics / Op Eds /

We often deliver frank advice to members of Congress. Today we deliver a frank alert: If companies that provide high-quality reporting and commentary can't freely bargain with the likes of Google and Facebook for a fair marketplace, then the news industry's downward financial spiral will only intensify. News staffs will continue to shrink, ...Read more

Editorial: Much blame to go around in deadly Camp fire — starting with failed warning systems

Politics / Op Eds /

The Camp fire in Butte County is unbelievable. Dozens of people dead. Hundreds missing. Thousands of structures destroyed. Tens of thousands of acres burned. And still maybe 10 days from full containment. After years of stories about severe wildfire risks in California, how could this have happened?

According to a Bay Area News Group report, ...Read more

Commentary: Mueller's potential blockbusters

Politics / Op Eds /

Commentators predict the next chapter of the Department of Justice's Russia investigation at their peril, but there is good reason to expect one or more blockbuster developments in the next few weeks.

There are concrete indications that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is now about the business of laying down the last big pieces of the ...Read more

Editorial: Find a permanent replacement for Matthew Whitaker and do it fast

Politics / Op Eds /

Alarm bells understandably rang earlier this month when Matthew G. Whitaker, the chief of staff to fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, leapfrogged over more senior -- and Senate-confirmed -- Justice Department officials to become President Trump's acting attorney general.

It's hard to imagine a less reassuring replacement. As a commentator, ...Read more

Patricia Murphy: Cue the 'Jaws' soundtrack, Pelosi is hunting for votes

Politics / Op Eds /

When Nancy Pelosi's supporters talk about her strengths for the job of speaker, "counting votes" is usually right at the top of the list. But counting hardly describes the process that Pelosi has deployed for the last 16 years as the Democratic leader in the House to pass more landmark pieces of legislation than any other sitting member of ...Read more

Stu Bykofsky: How to keep peace at your Thanksgiving table

Politics / Op Eds /

Uh-oh, it's here again. The day we are supposed to use to give collective thanks for our blessings, but we fear that our Thanksgiving table will become a bloody battleground, not over who gets the wishbone, but between the left and right wings of the family.

The fear of dysfunction is not imaginary.

"Argumentation could be high, as there are ...Read more

Commentary: Ivanka's emails are an embarrassment, but she's no Hillary Clinton

Politics / Op Eds /

Supporters of Hillary Clinton in 2016 -- and even a few non-supporters -- are having a good laugh over the report that first daughter/senior advisor Ivanka Trump used a personal email account to transact official business.

On Twitter, John Dean (yes, that John Dean) opined: "Dems should run this to ground given her father thought a very big ...Read more

Editorial: And now, a massacre at Mercy Hospital

Politics / Op Eds /

This time the bloodshed that indelibly stains Chicago violated this city's first chartered hospital, a haven and healer that's given life for 166 years. We'll likely learn more in coming days about the why of this massacre on a Monday. For now, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's characterization will suffice: What took the lives of innocents at Mercy Hospital...Read more

Timothy L. O'Brien: Ivanka's email scandal has a familiar moral

Politics / Op Eds /

Ivanka Trump used her personal email account last year to handle as many as 100 discussions of official White House matters. If that doesn't strike you as a rather ironic turn of events then fine-tune your antennae by looking up any old online video of her father threatening to put Hillary Clinton in jail for using a private email server, ...Read more

Gina Barreca: I can't wait for leftovers, they're the best part

Politics / Op Eds /

Leftovers are not only the best part of Thanksgiving; for many of us, leftovers are actually the best parts of life.

Most people won't give you the evil eye if you're going for what remains after they've made their choices. I learned early that if you focus your appetite on what others don't want, you can feast every day. Here's the real secret...Read more

Commentary: My Malibu house made it through the fire. I nearly didn't

Politics / Op Eds /

My phone has been blowing up -- perhaps a poor choice of words in this context -- dinging and donging with calls, texts, emails, direct messages.

How did you do it? Where can I get a fire pump? What's the name of that chemical?

The number of those asking for my firefighting tips is nearly as long as the list of friends needing a place to live....Read more

Commentary: To lessen climate change, educate the public

Politics / Op Eds /

As extreme weather strikes with greater frequency and ferocity -- especially on the East and West coasts of the U.S. -- media attention rightly focuses on the often heroic response of the emergency services. What is missing from these accounts, however, is a similar emphasis on climate change as a source of the increasing extremity of these ...Read more

Commentary: The betrayal of Jonestown

Politics / Op Eds /

Forty years ago, an American preacher and madman named Jim Jones orchestrated the largest mass murder in recorded history when he forced more than 900 men, women and children to drink a cyanide-laced punch at his eponymous settlement in Guyana.

Early news reports referred to Jonestown as a "cult of death" and spread the idea that residents ...Read more

Editorial: In the wake of deadly wildfires, California needs a reliable emergency alert system to save lives

Politics / Op Eds /

When fast-moving fires swept through both suburban neighborhoods and rural enclaves in California wine country last year, many residents complained that they only learned of the late-night blaze from neighbors banging on their doors, barking dogs or calls from friends -- not from official emergency alerts. With flames at their doorsteps, people ...Read more

Dahleen Glanton: Michelle Obama's story is amazing. But it's hers, not ours

Politics / Op Eds /

The story of a young South Side girl who became Michelle Obama is amazing. But we must remember that it is her story, not everyone's.

Certainly, when reading her new memoir, "Becoming," most of us can find something that is familiar. For me, it was her story of taking piano lessons as a child on an old upright with uneven colored keys and a ...Read more

Noah Smith: Can Democrats save capitalism?

Politics / Op Eds /

With the Democrats having retaken the House of Representatives, and with socialists gaining more clout within the Democratic Party, the U.S. is awakening to the reality of a reinvigorated left. Long decades of increasing inequality have taken some of the shine off of capitalism, and the disappointment wrought by the Great Recession seems to have...Read more

Commentary: 'Medicare for All'? A grim prognosis

Politics / Op Eds /

Now that Democrats are poised to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives in January, taxpayers can expect a major push to achieve the "progressive" goal of total government control over American health care.

Their leading legislative proposals for government-controlled health system -- H.R.676 and S. 1804 -- are broadly similar. Rep. ...Read more

Commentary: For sheep's sake, ditch wool this holiday season

Politics / Op Eds /

Sheep are such gentle individuals that children sing nursery rhymes about them and adults count them to help us doze off. Yet when we buy wool sweaters and winter coats, we are supporting a violent industry that leaves these animals broken and bloody.

Surprised? In the past four years, PETA and its international affiliates have exposed the ...Read more


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Chris Britt Gary Varvel Ken Catalino Clay Bennett Steve Benson Signe Wilkinson