Columns

Why I’m pulling for Brian Williams

Newsrooms are snake pits. I say this with great affection.Newsrooms are tribal and competitive, fueling pettiness in the most honorable people. Editors cling to turfs like dictators policing their borders, and sometimes they mistake intimidation for management.As for reporters, they make their ...

Why did Brian Williams do it?

These are tough times for NBC's Brian Williams - and tougher times for journalism.The NBC newsman was suspended Tuesday night for six months amid charges that he misremembered or conflated wartime incidents he reported on from Iraq and Israel. He has also come under scrutiny for possible ...

Aetna bumps up pay for workers

Business schools preach a strict, anti-social doctrine of corporate management that comes down to this: CEOs must be idiots.By that I mean the original Greek word idiotes, which applied to people who care only about themselves and the prosperity of their immediate family. They're the ones who ...

Let us prey at prayer breakfast

There was a time when the 63-year-old National Prayer Breakfast was a rather mundane affair.It rarely made news. Speakers - evangelist Billy Graham spoke at most of the early ones - talked about Jesus and salvation.Presidents, beginning with Dwight D. Eisenhower, would follow with unremarkable ...

Don’t blame income for everything

Oxfam reports that the richest 1 percent of people in the world own 48 percent of the world's wealth. Many claim that we should be alarmed by income inequality because it hampers upward mobility. Others argue that because income is distributed so unevenly, justice and fairness require income ...

Budget cuts to IRS won’t save money

If the most frequently dialed federal agency in America can't even answer two-thirds of the millions of phone calls it gets, should the government cut its budget?Congress thinks so. That agency is the Internal Revenue Service. And lawmakers have hacked at its budget yet again.Worse still, those ...

Online dating a double-edged sword

She was a lawyer, noisy but nice. He was a Marine, quiet and even nicer. They seemed an attractive, comfortable couple, so I was greatly surprised when - after he left to use the men's room - she leaned over to me at the next table and asked, "What do you think of him?"They had connected ...

Price of privacy high in NMU cases

Over last several weeks, our community has been engaged in a dialog about finding a delicate balance - a balance between the need for transparency weighed against a fundamental right to privacy.Transparency is central to meeting our mission as a public university. All of us have a ...

County Road 595 a bad idea in wrong place

Proposed Marquette County Road 595 would irreversibly impact high quality wetlands at the headwaters of several watersheds and foreseeably lead to additional roads that would open up one of Michigan's last remaining wilderness areas to resource exploitation.Wetlands are a foundation of our ...

Mommy truce: Do what feels right

In the early 1990s, I used to perm my hair into spring coils and wore padded shoulders that gave me the wingspan of a whooper swan, but I thought my biggest problem was my 5-year-old daughter's occasional bed-wetting.So off I went to the pediatrician's office to unravel my woes.Before we ...

Seeking a vaccine for ignorance

WASHINGTON - Flashback: Galileo is under house arrest pondering the unyielding ignorance of The Church for refusing to consider his heliocentric proposition that the Earth circled the sun.We find this historical anecdote preposterous today, but people were persecuted for lesser heresies in ...

Stormy weather and politics

It was refreshing to see meteorologists apologize for their dire - and wrong - predictions of an unprecedented snow storm that they had said would devastate the northeast. It was a big storm, but the northeast has seen lots of big snow storms before and will probably see lots of big snow storms ...

President Obama tips his hat to FDR

Whatever happens over the next two years, you can bet that 22nd century school children will know more about President Barack Obama than kids learn today about, say, Calvin Coolidge. He made history just by being the first non-white man to occupy the White House.What else will tomorrow's kids ...

Misinformation on torture clouds issue

When the Senate released its shocking report on CIA torture late last year, it renewed a debate from the Bush years about the merits of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques."Polls released afterward suggested that most Americans thought that torture was effective and, in some cases, ...

Tragic school stories keep coming

New York's schools are the most segregated in the nation, and the state needs remedies right away. That was Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch's message to New York's governor and Legislature. She said that minority children are disproportionately trapped in schools that lack teaching talent, course ...

US could have had better Cuba deal

Cuban President Raul Castro has issued new demands for normalizing relations with the U.S. He wants us to lift the trade embargo, remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terror and give Cuba the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay.One can imagine President Obama being awfully tempted to ...

Internet of every damn thing is here

Federal Trade Commission head Edith Ramirez put the matter plainly: "If I'm wearing a fitness band that tracks how many calories I consume, I wouldn't want to share that data with an insurance company."In a study last year, the FTC found that 12 mobile fitness apps shared information with 76 ...

Here is a list of my mistakes about 2014 presidential race

Some columnists write New Year's columns chronicling the mistakes over the last year. I don't, but as this January has rolled on, it's become clear I've made many about the 2016 presidential race.One is that I assumed Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush wouldn't run. Now it seems both are. I thought that ...

Netanyahu takes center stage in Boehner’s folly

WASHINGTON - Not since Gen. Douglas MacArthur was called on to address Congress after being fired by President Harry Truman in 1951 has such an invitation to an outsider caused such a stir as House Speaker John Boehner's welcome mat to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.MacArthur was ...

Good idea: Why not teach them how to fish?

According to an article published by FoxNews.com on Aug. 29, approximately 110 million Americans, or one-third of our population, is currently receiving some sort of assistance.These statistics don't include Medicare or Social Security which most Americans contributed to since their inception ...