Other Commentaries

College about more than rankings

It’s rankings season, and we college presidents are explaining, decrying and celebrating. We insist rankings don’t matter and then rush to talk about how we did. This isn’t hypocrisy on our part. Presidents know people look at rankings. They look because rankings appear to provide ...

Americans’ ignorance worrisome

At a National Archives ceremony last Friday in Washington, D.C., 30 immigrants became naturalized U.S. citizens. In a video, President Donald Trump encouraged them to embrace the “full rights, and the sacred duties, that come with American citizenship.” It was a noble sentiment that once ...

Climate consensus needed

If the American people, collectively speaking, had enough sense to come in out of the rain, the climate “debate” — long settled almost everywhere else on earth — would be over. No, it’s not possible to assert with mathematical certainty that hurricanes Harvey and Irma were caused by ...

How Democrats won the presidency

WASHINGTON — Rarely, if ever, have so many presidential winners and losers been so incessantly chatty. Hillary Clinton — who lost the 2016 election, in case you weren’t sure — is on a book tour with her campaign memoir, “What Happened.” Donald Trump is chatting up Democrats to ...

The Wall, the deal and Trump

Build that wall. Eventually. Or at least patch up some existing fencing. If Chuck and Nancy will agree. Donald Trump’s signature pledge to build a border wall, aka The Wall, is diminishing almost by the hour. No battle plan survives contact with the enemy, said Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, ...

War demands equality of sacrifice

Three aging U.S. veterans of the war in Vietnam, each of whom still bears the scars of battle, took their seats on the stage of Washington’s Kennedy Center on a cool September evening. They were there to discuss Ken Burns’ historic 18-hour PBS project, “The Vietnam War,” which will ...

US in dire need for tax reform

Thirty-one years ago, President Ronald Reagan signed the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the largest tax reform and simplification bill in American history. Since then, our country, global economics and the way the world does business have all changed dramatically while the U.S. tax code has failed ...

Free market vital to Americans’ lives

Though my family escaped Hurricane Irma’s wrath here in northern Indiana, we had our own little mess when our septic tank overflowed this weekend, spewing nasty “water” all over the basement bathroom floor. After several frantic calls to plumbers (who correctly diagnosed it as a septic ...

Trump’s option play debt deal

What just happened? President Donald Trump cut a deal with Democrats to pay for hurricane damage relief and raise the debt ceiling without getting anything in return, except the temporary avoidance of a government shutdown. How to describe this? Was it a sellout, or a pragmatic act? It’s ...

Gallagher hasn’t forgotten his roots

My sister Cindy, who lives in Florida, was coming home over Labor Day weekend, which was her 60th birthday. She wasn’t concerned about her birthday. All she wanted to do was go to the Cambria County Fair to see Josh Gallagher sing. She is his No. 1 fan in Florida. Because my ...

Celebrating Constitution Day

It’s not every year that Broadway’s Best Musical Tony Award goes to a show about a rapping founding father, but that’s just what happened with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. Not surprisingly, Alexander Hamilton — an original signer of the Constitution — recognized how important ...

Want kids to play? Give them space

If we’re going to complain about young people spending too much time texting on their cellphones, watching TV or playing indoor video games, we need to make sure they have plenty of outdoor recreation spaces. That means parks, playgrounds, courts and ballfields, of course. It’s time to ...

New year resolutions, predictions

Labor Day has already come, and summer is all but over. Autumn — with shorter days, cooler nights and a new school year — is upon us. Now — in beautiful September and not in the dead of winter, overshadowed by Christmas — ought logically to be New Year’s Day, which means resolutions ...

Inspiration gives way to caution

WASHINGTON — It was all so very brave, the way Houstonians and other Texans faced the storm of a lifetime. Their actions seemed to turn on its head everything we had been fearing about the decaying American character. Increasingly, we have feared selfish behavior dominating our lives; so ...

Parents: Beware the Devil’s playground

I have a child in sixth grade. The more I talk to parents, the more I am mindful of how clueless many of us are about raising our kids in the Internet age — an age that only recently came into being. It is even more difficult to raise your kids in a world where you may have Christian values, ...

Remember when you were a dreamer?

Do you remember when you were 6 years old? Try, please. Hark back to that faraway time in your life when you had no control over your circumstances — when the adults were in charge of you, for good or bad. Where did you live? Did you grow up in one of the biggest houses in your ...

Trump gets DACA decision right

Even in our divided politics, it should be a matter of consensus that the president of the United States can’t write laws on his own. That’s what President Barack Obama did twice when he unilaterally granted amnesties to swaths of the illegal immigrant population. The courts blocked one ...

Workers must remain the priority

Labor Day is a time to remember and honor the achievements of working people across America. For our country and our commonwealth, it’s been a long year. Today, we see more opposition from corporate special interests than ever before. Our economy remains skewed in favor of corporations ...

Forced union dues are an injustice

As you watch your children board the school bus for the first day back to classes, consider this: That school bus driver is likely forced to pay fees to a union as a condition of driving that bus. Why? Because Pennsylvania is one of the 22 forced unionism states in America — states where a ...

A late summer night’s dream

Labor Day is reflexively regarded as the end of summer and with it the end of the gardening season. Not so fast, my fellow Americans. Summer will be with us for a few weeks yet, until the autumnal equinox on Friday, Sept. 22. But the best is yet to come. While we harvest our lima beans, ...