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Other Commentaries

Immigration thread joins French, American elections

In case you’ve been confused by the last few days of punditry, let me say outright that France is not America. For example, we recently concluded a presidential election in the United States in which many argued that it was imperative to smash the “final glass ceiling” by electing a ...

No one owns science

Science joined the #resistance over the weekend, or so the organizers of the March for Science would have us believe. Thousands of demonstrators marched in Washington, D.C., and in cities around the country under the banner of science and in the spirit of the Women’s March opposing ...

Hypocrisy in the Anti-O’Reilly Army

Fox News took Bill O’Reilly off the air after a heavy campaign to fire him led by CNN’s media unit and The New York Times. If all the charges of sexual harassment are true, his case is indefensible. That said, it’s time for his media critics to stand down. They are guilty of rank ...

The battle against sex trafficking of minors

PHOENIX — Three months ago, State Trooper Jonathan Otto, 33, of the Arizona Department of Public Safety pulled over a car that had caught his attention by traveling 104 miles per hour long after midnight, just south of Kingman. He smelled marijuana in the car. It was driven by a man with ...

PNA launches ‘Demand Facts’ campaign supporting real news

The term 'news media' can mean a lot of different things these days, but at the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, the news media that we work with, are Pennsylvania's newspapers and online-only news publications. There are 77 daily newspapers in Pennsylvania, more than 175 non-daily ...

Long may you wave – the legacy of Law Day

On our East Coast, President Trump completed his first 100 days in office Saturday. Although his presidency is in its infancy, political pundits treated the event as a milestone. His supporters cheered his successes, his detractors highlighted his disappointments. Although the president’s ...

A Trump victory on the border

Donald Trump’s saber rattling may or may not deter Kim Jong Un, but it’s had an effect south of the border. In the first few months of this year, illegal border crossings have dropped precipitously. It is an early proof of concept that yes, it is possible to secure the border and a ...

Can special elections to the U.S. House predict our future political outcomes?

Is there an emerging national pattern to be found in special House elections, such as the one that just happened in Georgia to fill the reliably Republican House seat once held by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, most recently held by the current secretary of health and human services, Tom ...

March for Science

Do you have march fatigue yet? The left, apparently, does not, so we’re in for some street theater on Earth Day, April 22, with the so-called March for Science. It’s hard to think of a better way to undermine the public’s faith in science than to stage demonstrations in Washington, ...

Two very different Tax Days

Leftist protesters around the country used the tax deadline on April 18 as an occasion to hold rallies demanding the release of President Trump’s tax returns. They could use large inflatable chickens and signs with hammers and sickles saying “Show us your rubles” and no journalist would ...

Death penalty debate can get dishonest

The debate over the death penalty can be infuriatingly dishonest. Consider the April 17 broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Special Report with Bret Baier” (a show on which I am an occasional commentator). Casey Stegall reported on the legal battle in Arkansas, where officials want to ...

What next with North Korea?

There was a moment at Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s White House briefing Monday that was significant. Asked by a reporter about North Korea’s missile launch last weekend, Spicer said the administration was aware of the launch and that “it failed.” End of story. Next question, ...

Reform the tax code now!

Thanks to the beneficence of the federal government (and the calendar), we Americans had until midnight on April 18 to file our income taxes. It’s too bad filing taxes wasn’t an easier process. President Trump has pledged to reform our tax code, which, to most people, currently reads like ...

No, Trump is not a neocon

With U.S. missiles flying in Syria, the “mother of all bombs” exploding in Afghanistan and an aircraft carrier strike group heading toward North Korea, has there been a revolution in President Donald Trump’s foreign policy? His most fervent supporters shouldn’t get overly exercised, ...

One (restrained) cheer for Washington

We’ve all heard the tiresome and discouraging refrain: Washington, our beautiful capital city, is broken. Dysfunctional D.C. does not work. Even with majorities in both the House and the Senate, congressional Republicans could not pass a resolution commending Mother’s Day. But wait. We do ...

We’ve all heard the tiresome and discouraging refrain: Washington, our beautiful capital city, is broken. Dysfunctional D.C. does not work. Even with majorities in both the House and the Senate, congressional Republicans could not pass a resolution commending Mother’s Day. But wait. We do have an actual example of the heeding of the people’s voice and the prevailing of their will in our national government. Here is the evidence: Cellphone calls will continue to be banned on airline flights. This is one small step for sanity and civility, but it deserves to be celebrated. You don’t have to be a frequent flyer to know that American air travel has become increasingly miserable for the public. For paying passengers, there is the discomfort of ever less legroom and ever smaller seats. The luggage space shrinks, while the cost of it climbs. If farm animals were this crammed, the PETA people would be picketing. The continuing mistreatment of passengers must somewhere have been outlawed by the Geneva Conventions. The flawed case for increasing the already high tension and stress of airline passengers — by encouraging your seatmate to invade your privacy by boasting interminably, in your ear, on his cellphone about the biggest deal east of Yorba Linda he’s just about to close or how irresistible he was to that sweet young thing from accounting last night — was that cellphone use in the air no longer poses any safety problem of interfering with pilots’ communications with ground control. Bipartisanship, so sadly lacking from our national conversation, was temporarily revived by the possibility of cellphone calls in the air. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee spoke for both sides of the airplane’s aisle: “Imagine 2 million passengers hurtling through space, trapped in 17-inch-wide seats, yapping their innermost thoughts. The Transportation Security Administration would have to hire three times as many air marshals to deal with the fistfights.’’ My libertarian friends may argue that this cellphone ban is just one more example of the federal government’s encroaching on individual freedom and imposing a burdensome regulation on citizens and business. OK, put me down on the side of regulation, just the way I was when the feds imposed the ban on smoking on flights and when the federal government decreed that airplane wings, before attempted takeoff in subfreezing temperatures, would first be de-iced. United Airlines — having ordered airport security guards in Chicago to forcibly remove a seated paying customer from a flight (because United had overbooked), which resulted in the passenger’s suffering a concussion, a broken nose and the loss of two teeth — inflicted a damaging body blow on the commercial air travel industry. As was noted, United put the “hospital’’ back into “hospitality.’’ One U.S. carrier that does treat its passengers with respect and professionalism and whose employees often seem even happy to see you is price-conscious Southwest Airlines. One customer went so far as to create a new slogan for Southwest in response to United’s stupidity and cruelty: “Southwest: We beat the competition. Not you.’’ Admittedly, it’s only a small victory in a big struggle. But the feds’ decision to continue the ban on cellphone calls in flight is a win for common sense, civility and American peace of mind.

We’ve all heard the tiresome and discouraging refrain: Washington, our beautiful capital city, is broken. Dysfunctional D.C. does not work. Even with majorities in both the House and the Senate, congressional Republicans could not pass a resolution commending Mother’s Day. But wait. We do ...

Preventing children’s scraped knees

WASHINGTON — When not furrowing their collective brows about creches and displays of the Ten Commandments here and there, courts often are pondering tangential contacts between the government and religious schools. Courts have held that public money can constitutionally fund the ...

Whose life matters more?

Black Lives Matter. . . All Lives Matter. . . Blue Lives Matter. With all the arguing over which lives matter, we never really seem to address the real question… Does someone’s life matter more? Due to the nature of law enforcement work, there are always going to be scenarios ...

State Budget Wonderland

In Lewis Carroll’s classic wonderland tale, Alice famously asks the Cheshire Cat, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” the feline answers. The response was meant for Alice, but it could equally ...