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Editorials

  • 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.

  • GLIMPSES: A second American Revolution?

    By MARK BANKER

    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column: 1) None of us see the past or present with absolute clarity; 2) Each of us has the capacity for glimpses of informed insight that draw from and reflect our personal values; and 3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

  • To vegan or not to vegan, and giant debt of cable giant

    The author of your letter of Feb. 17 has written a thinly veiled call to a vegan diet.

    Using Lent as a smokescreen, she cleverly insinuates that animal torture is widespread without sinking to use the term “mule skinner.”

    Is it cruel to ride a donkey? Who rode donkeys (asses) in the Bible?

    Today I saw a TV ad from a group wanting to defend such attacks against farmers and farming. I cannot see a stampede — no pun intended — toward a vegan diet or the general use of phony manufactured fake supermarket meats and phony veggies.

  • GLIMPSES from a Teacher Historian by Mark Banker

    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column: 1) None of us see the past or present with absolute clarity; 2) Each of us has the capacity for glimpses of informed insight that draw from and reflect our personal values; and 3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

    The irregularity of this column is not due to a dearth of deserving topics.

  • 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.

  • GUEST OPINION: Ebola reporting and the media — the bottom line

    By GENE POLICINSKI 

    First Amendment Center

    So how scared should we be about the worldwide Ebola virus crisis?

    For nearly all of us, the answer to that question will come through what we see, hear and read in the news media and in the U.S. that places a unique burden on those free to print, broadcast or post stories as they wish about efforts to control the spread of the virus.