Other Commentaries

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, ...

Discord offers teaching moment

By Tom Foley This has been a contentious couple of weeks in American political life, heck, in American history — from violent protests in Charlottesville and Phoenix, to national and local debates about statuary in public squares from Richmond to Philadelphia. We have witnessed ...

Al Gore’s hype plain scaremongering

I was surprised to discover that Al Gore’s new movie begins with words from me. While icebergs melt dramatically, Gore plays a clip of me saying, “‘An Inconvenient Truth’ won him an Oscar, yet much of the movie is nonsense. ‘Sea levels may rise 20 feet’ — absurd.” He used this ...

A letter to Trump about racism

Dear Mr. President: After your initial remarks addressing the tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, I wrote that you were correct. I agreed with you, and honest scrutiny of the facts of what occurred there that day bear out, that bigotry and violence were on display on “many ...

Is Afghanistan a bottomless pit?

President Donald Trump is not the first U.S. leader to pivot when it comes to foreign policy. His speech Monday night before American military personnel at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia, was in stark contrast to his campaign pledge to put “America first” and his promise to avoid ...

Time for new statues, remembrances

If your precious “Southern heritage” includes swastikas, you may as well quit reading right here. But odds are astronomically high that it doesn’t. The vast majority of Southerners are as repelled by those goons as everybody else. Rebel flags, in comparison, strike me as merely ...

Laws that subvert the rule of law

WASHINGTON — When John Adams wrote into Massachusetts’ Constitution a commitment to a “government of laws and not of men,” he probably assumed that the rule of law meant the rule of laws, no matter how many laws there might be. He could not have imagined the modern proliferation and ...

If we erase history, who are we?

When the Dodge Charger of 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer James Alex Fields Jr., plunged into that crowd of protesters last Saturday, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer, Fields put Charlottesville on the map of modernity alongside Ferguson. Before Fields ran down the protesters, and then backed ...

Grieving father: ‘It takes a village’

By Paul Johnson On June 3, 2016, my son Dennis Paul Johnson died of an overdose. He was addicted for at least 15 years. I tried everything I could to help my son recover. Major Richard Kuhl, former director at Salvation Army Adult Rehab Center, told me of the possibilities of many relapses ...