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Editorials

  • GUEST OPINION: A look at the news with freedom’s eye

    By GENE POLICINSKI

    First Amendment Center

    The public furor and the televised flames that reached from Ferguson to Baltimore over the last 10 months have faded — for now — from the headlines.

    For some, though, consideration of what happened and how the news of those events was reported remains very much in mind — an aspect of First Amendment freedoms we don’t often consider.

  • GUEST OPINION: Love reporters, but hold them accountable

    By LEE HAMILTON

    Center on Congress

    A robust, inquisitive congressional oversight process should be capable of revealing what is too often hidden, but it’s not. We need journalists to do it.

    I have been involved in politics and policy-making for over 50 years, and as you can imagine, I hold strong feelings about reporters and the media.

    They’re not what you might think, however.

  • GUEST OPINION: Learning to be a citizen

    Solving problems in our democracy requires bringing different points of view together, talking face-to-face with others who may differ with you, and learning that these differences can exist without personal animosity.

    The question usually comes toward the end of a public meeting. Some knotty problem is being discussed, and someone in the audience will raise his or her hand and ask, “OK, so what can I do about it?”

    I love that question. Not because I’ve ever answered it to my satisfaction, but because it bespeaks such a constructive outlook.

  • GUEST OPINION: ‘Sometimes you got to think before you do it’

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Who would have thought that star Little Leaguer Mo’ne Davis could also throw a pretty good First Amendment “conceptual fastball” over the plate?

    Bloomsburg University sophomore first baseman Joey Casselberry, the team’s second-leading hitter this season, was tossed off the team by the public university for a tweet in which he called the 13-year-old Mo’ne a “slut” after reading that Disney was making a film about her Little League World Series experience.

    The tweet went “viral” and Casselberry was reprimanded, later apologizing profusely.

  • GUEST OPINION: Experts give 2014 a barely passing grade of C-minus

    By LEE HAMILTON
    Center on Congress
    For the second straight year, a group of academic experts who were asked to evaluate Congress’s performance gave the institution a barely passing grade of C-minus.

    “This is a dismal assessment,” said Indiana University political scientist Edward G. Carmines, director of Research for the Center on Congress at Indiana University.

    The C-minus grade for 2014 is the same mediocre mark the institution earned in 2013.

  • GUEST OPINION: Govt.-funded news bureau dies the death it deserves

    By GENE POLICISNKI
    First Amendment Center
    This “just in”: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said last week he has terminated development of a state-run, state-funded news operation called “JustIn” which reportedly would have published stories based on state-written news releases about state programs, policies and government officials.

  • GUEST OPINION: Religious, LGBT advocates must erase some lines

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    The New Year begins much like the old year ended with bitter, emotional clashes between proponents of LGBT rights and religious objectors to same-sex marriage.

    When same-sex weddings commenced in Florida on Jan. 6, several county clerks immediately announced that although required by law to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, they will no longer perform marriages for anyone — to avoid participating in same-sex ceremonies.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: ‘Characters’ continued: Dr. Neal’s O.R. history

    Today, gentle reader, we begin the second in our series of brief recollections of extraordinary characters we have been lucky enough to encounter in our lifetime, which we began a couple of weeks ago with some paragraphs about the late Joe Posey.

  • GUEST OPINION: Je suis Charlie, it’s another way to say freedom

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Cowards!

    There’s no other word for the armed gunmen who killed 12 people in the attack last week on the Parisian offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

    Once again, terrorists ignore the lessons of history: individuals may be silenced by violence from time to time, but ideas live on and ultimately will find their way to the world.

    Once again, innocent lives are lost in the futile attempt to force one point of view onto others, or to prevent other points of view from being heard.

  • GUEST OPINION: In public schools, when should holy day be holidays?

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    The school board in Montgomery County, Md. ignited a national debate earlier this month by voting to eliminate the names of Christian and Jewish religious holidays on the school calendar – while still planning to close schools on those days.

    The board’s action was in response to the local Muslim community’s longstanding request to add at least one Muslim holiday to the list of days when the district’s schools would close.