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Other Commentaries

Help (urgently) needed

The American president, in addition to serving as commander in chief, is expected to be this nation’s consoler in chief, as well as the nation’s teacher and even preacher. Who alive on Jan. 28, 1986, does not remember the words of then-President Ronald Reagan from the Oval Office following ...

We’re living in the (almost) best of times

The best of times, the worst of times. Your instinct on which one we’re living through is affected by your basic temperament, but it also depends on how well you’re observing — and quantifying — things in the world around you. Temperamentally, in the United States — or at least in ...

‘No diversity’

About the cabinet of newly elected President Barack Obama, the Los Angeles Times gushed in 2008: “Seldom has a presidential Cabinet included so many intellectual and political heavyweights. Obama’s other achievement is to have assembled such an impressive team with due deference to the need ...

North central Pennsylvania is pro-business

When Priority Bicycles, a company based on low maintenance bicycles, started five years ago, we needed a warehouse and logistics center that was convenient for shipping, had a large talent pool to grow with us, and was accessible from our New York design office. We quickly landed in Montgomery ...

Distrust

In a front-page story in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette pre-Thanksgiving, an article appeared written by Mohammed Daraghmeh. The story is nothing like journalism, but rather is an opinion piece based upon absolutely false statements. The author reported on riots propagated by Arabs in ...

Final Jeopardy for Democrats?

While watching “Jeopardy” the other night, I had a fantasy. Suppose Alex Trebek had a Final Jeopardy category called “The Ultimate Impeachment Hypocrite”? Here’s how I thought it might go. Trebek: “We go first to Joe, who is in third place, and he wrote, ‘Who is Bill ...

The right to keep and bear arms

In a 2008 case called District of Columbia v. Heller, and again in a 2010 case called McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Supreme Court interpreted the Second Amendment. That amendment was written, the court ruled in both cases, to mandate the obligation of the federal government, as well as ...

Partisanship doesn’t entirely explain impeachment

The new normal is to worry about impeachment becoming the “new normal.” On Wednesday, during the interminable “debate” on articles of impeachment, one Republican House member after another warned, threatened, lamented or just plain promised that the Democrats’ decision to impeach ...

The victim president

President Donald Trump’s impeachment letter to Nancy Pelosi is nothing if not sincere. The missive establishes, if there were any doubt, that Trump hates impeachment with a passion, and he expresses his contempt in his own inimitable voice — scornful, hyperbolic, colloquial, on brand ...

The ultimate in wisdom: Find the good and tilt the ratio in favor of kindness

My fraternity brother at the University of Michigan was dying from diabetes, having already endured a series of minor amputations. But Art loved music and continued composing songs and singing them while playing a banjo. When the popular quartet, the Brothers Four, came to campus for a concert, ...

Grieving at Christmas

“There’s a grief that can’t be spoken. There’s a pain goes on and on. Empty chairs at empty tables Now my friends are dead and gone.” — Marius, from the musical “Les Miserables” “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” Andy Williams reminds us over tinny ...

Shall anyone be above the law?

The rule of law is a cornerstone of American democracy and is integral to the Constitution. It stands for the principles that no person is beneath the laws’ protections. No person is above the laws’ requirements. And the laws apply equally to all people. That is the theory of the rule of ...

The insane effort to make homeless encampments a de facto constitutional right

The Supreme Court just ensured that the nation’s homelessness crisis will continue. The court declined to take up an appeal of a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, covering the western United States, that homeless encampments are a de facto constitutional right. The 9th Circuit ...

We have two moon parties, no sun party

Here’s a theory for why our politics are so confusing these days: Neither party wants to be a majority party. From an ideological perspective, majority parties are, by nature, weird. For instance, the long-dominant FDR coalition included a strange mix of blacks and segregationists, corrupt ...

Impeachment inquiry deserves more than political theatre

“The answer is yes.” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Gordon Sondland swore under oath. Yes, to confirm the existence of an agreement between Trump administration and Ukraine. Yes, to extortion. Yes, to the only way to describe that agreement. And no. This is not debatable. Even ...

The Christmas scrapbook traces life’s arc and what really matters

And so this is Christmas. With about seven decades of these on life’s ledger, there is quite a scrapbook to look at. The first photos are in black and white, long before cellphone cameras and instantly digital images. The pictures are grainy, but the memories are indelible. There was ...

What Senate acquittal will mean

If I have this straight, House Republicans are united in the belief that public integrity is critically important for our nation. Accordingly, Joe Biden deserves to be impeached. During a meeting of the Rules Committee, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., referencing Biden’s supposed role in pressuring ...

Dems’ plan to drag out impeachment

As the impeachment battle moves to the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is wisely holding the line against Democratic efforts to drag it out. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is demanding that Democrats be able to call new witnesses. He insists an impeachment trial has to “pass the ...

Corrupting our social norms

Here are several questions for biologists and medical professionals: If a person is found to have XY chromosomes (heterogametic sex), does a designation as female on his birth certificate, driver’s license or Social Security card override the chromosomal evidence? Similarly, if a person is ...

The (sometimes) bizarre race for the Democratic nomination

Some recent news stories verge on the bizarre — the House Democrats’ futile fuss over impeachment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s acceptance of President Donald Trump’s U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade treaty. But they’re not as bizarre, or possibly as consequential, as unanticipated developments ...