Other Commentaries

Opioid crisis needs help from above

Most of us, whether Catholic or not, have heard the story of Saint Maximillian Kolbe (1894-1941), the Polish saint who died in Auschwitz, a German death camp. Father Kolbe was a Franciscan priest who volunteered to take the place of an inmate who was sentenced to death. Because three ...

Lawsuit aimed at Big Pharma a welcome step

One disturbing aspect of the opioid addiction crisis is the legal and commercial avenues through which it was propagated. Long known and abused for their pleasing, analgesic effects, opioids gained force in this latest deadly resurgence amid the marketing of pain-killing opioid drugs. ...

Beware, Chinese big brother

Upset because Facebook and Google invade your privacy? Be glad you don’t live in China. Facebook and other Western apps are banned there. The government views their openness as a threat. So the Chinese use platforms like WeChat and Alibaba. Now the Chinese government takes data from ...

Politicos to hold gov’t accountable

Political leaders often talk as if the right to vote is our most powerful tool for holding government accountable. Voting is important, but its impact is limited by an electoral process that protects incumbents and offers voters few meaningful options. Fortunately, as the Seattle City ...

AG Shapiro failed in Higgins’ case

On April 4, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro issued a press release regarding criminal charges against Bedford County District Attorney William Higgins. In his press release, Shapiro told us all the sordid details of the alleged conduct, which shocked the conscience of ...

Redistricting reform starts to show focus

The clock is ticking down on redistricting reform in Pennsylvania, a long-delayed effort to scrap the state’s uber-partisan redrawing of congressional districts. The state House of Representatives and Senate have about a month to agree on a bill outlining a constitution amendment — a ...

NFL owners have more work to do

It took two years, boycotts by fans, declining TV ratings, growing alarm among advertisers, a drop in the sale of gear and especially a public shaming by President Donald Trump, but the owners of NFL teams have finally decided their players will not be allowed to kneel or make other protests ...

To colleges, students are adults

Across the nation, parents are in the process of either welcoming their college kids home for the summer or making preparations to send them off to college in the fall. Some will be letting go of their children for the first time, excited and anxious about the next chapter of life. Let this be ...

Reaching out can reduce loneliness

Global health service company Cigna (NYSE: CI) released results from a national survey earlier last month exploring the impact of loneliness in the United States. The survey, conducted in partnership with market research firm, Ipsos, revealed that most American adults are considered lonely. ...

May the American flag forever wave

Sorrow so deep that it can be seen but not said. “Strong men grasped each other’s hand, none able to express their sympathy to the bereft except by look.” A tide of sorrow swept over the small village, a silence of sadness breached only by the occasional “outburst of anguish ...

Kick-starting an economic revolution

PIKEVILLE, Ky. — On Election Day 2016, Jonathan Webb found himself on a lavish cruise liner with America’s elite, gliding along the Atlantic outside of Miami. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, was there, and so were Quentin Tarantino, Erin Brockovich, TV legend Norman Lear and ...

Conspiracy theorists see no gray

The Trump presidency is often a kind of political “Rashomon,” with partisans on either side looking at the same facts and coming to wildly different conclusions. So it’s all the more remarkable that the central controversy of our time isn’t a fight over one story with different ...

Bill would improve state redistricting

Anyone who has observed the political slime that has been Pennsylvania’s redistricting map changes of recent months should be heartened that even some members of the sitting Legislature are embarrassed enough to change the process. The Senate’s State Government Committee this past week ...

County jails housing wrong people

It may shock you to learn that county jails have become the largest mental health facilities in America. County jails and taxpayers dollars are increasingly being used to detain pre-trial offenders and house inmates who suffer from serious mental illness and developmental disabilities; the ...

Seeing both sides of Betsy DeVos

People hate Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. When she spoke at the Kennedy School of Government, students held up signs calling her a “white supremacist.” When she tried to visit a school, activists physically blocked her way. The haters claim DeVos knows little about ...

Draining food stamp swamp

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is high on the Republican list of programs targeted for reform — and justifiably so. The program has gone from 17 million enrollees in 2000 to about 43 million today, with outlays up from about $25 billion to more than $70 billion. The Trump ...

Post-high school education good for kids, state

For most students and their families, it’s not just a matter of which college offers the best education, or where the college is located, or which has the most beautiful or well-appointed campus. The deciding factor — or at least one of the deciding factors — may be which college ...

Graduates: remember your ‘peeps’

This year’s graduates have come of age during two decades of the most intense change this planet has ever known — in all its billion years imagining and reforming itself. For this year’s graduates, change isn’t just constant. It’s both constant and exponential — happening so fast ...

Address campaign finances

PennLive.com Late last month, Gov. Tom Wolf, joined by his Democratic allies in the state House and Senate, rolled out a comprehensive suite of reforms aimed at restoring public trust in the electoral process and limiting the influence of special interests in state politics. Included among ...

Educational fraud continues

Earlier this month, the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress, aka The Nation’s Report Card, was released. It’s not a pretty story. Only 37 percent of 12th-graders tested proficient or better in reading, and only 25 percent did so in math. Among black students, only 17 ...