Columnists

No knees, please

Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about the apparel young women wear on television: “Dear Heloise: I have a comment and a question. Why is there not enough budget money for the news and weather women to have clothing that would cover their knees?” - Anonymous in San ...

Trump Is Right: Bigotry, Violence ‘on Many Sides’

British writer and theologian G.K. Chesterton observed, “It is hatred that unites people — while love is always individual.” The use of hatred to mobilize has a long and bloody history. We should understand why it works so well. It taps into human weakness. It exploits the unwillingness ...

The Group That Got Ignored in Charlottesville

The “alt-right” is evil. White supremacism is evil. Neo-Nazism is evil. I’ve been saying these things my entire career; I’ve spent more than a year slamming various factions on the right that refuse to disassociate from and condemn popularizers of the racist alt-right. The media, too, ...

Trump’s inability to handle the truth drags his party down

In case you’ve been wondering why President Trump flip-flopped twice in assigning blame for the Charlottesville street violence last weekend, the reason was simple. As he told reporters in the Trump Tower lobby on Tuesday, he didn’t have the facts at the time of his first comments, and when ...

Parents want to coax daughter out of shyness

Q: Our daughter is painfully shy. As a toddler, she would run behind her mom’s legs when guests visited. Even now, as a young teenager, she struggles to look people in the eye. She does well in school, but we’re still concerned. How can we help our girl overcome her fear of social ...

Armageddon postponed

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un appears to have blinked and President Trump can claim a foreign policy victory and justification for his strategy. Reminiscent of President Ronald Reagan’s “peace through strength” approach to deterring adversaries, President Trump stood up to the ...

The Press Is Not Trusted or Popular

CNN delighted in reporting the results of a recent poll question that asked: “How much do you trust the things you hear in official communications from the White House? Do you trust almost all, most of it, just some of it, or nothing at all?” If a regular viewer of CNN were to choose ...

Prisoners’ Summer Swelter

I received an unusual letter from Arizona recently. It was written by an inmate held at the Lewis state prison complex in Buckeye, Arizona, and signed by 39 other prisoners. Their complaint? That life inside the Buckley unit there is like hell. The record-breaking heat there this summer has ...

Owning My Age

Last month, I turned 60, and just like that, I swear, something changed in me. It was as if my guardian angel reached into my soul and flipped a switch without warning. What a character, that one — a tall and wiry number with wild hair and a smoker’s hack. I’m not complaining. Let’s ...

Google’s ‘Tolerance’ Requires Repression

Last month, I turned 60, and just like that, I swear, something changed in me. It was as if my guardian angel reached into my soul and flipped a switch without warning. What a character, that one — a tall and wiry number with wild hair and a smoker’s hack. I’m not complaining. Let’s ...

Thank you, President Eisenhower

A cross-country trip by a U.S Army convoy in 1918 that made its way through Tama (and possibly Marshalltown) would later pave the way for the national interstate system. One of the officers included would go on to lead allied forces to victory in World War II, and serve two terms as ...

Burning the Heretics

James Damore, a Google employee with a Ph.D. from Harvard, penned a memo that cost him his job. Damore wrote that Google, in trying to advance diversity internally, needed to do it in different ways. One would never know that from the media’s coverage of his memo. It was a “controversial ...

Jeff Flake’s ‘Conservative Conscience’

The book pulls no punches. It sharply condemns conservatism for its role in a “culture of vicious dehumanization,” not to mention its sins of incoherence, rejection of empirical fact and plain hypocrisy. Writing of the rush by the conservative party, i.e., the GOP, to embrace the ...

Home improvement debt?

Dear Dave, I’m debt-free except for my home, and I’m considering having solar panels installed on the roof of the house. It would cost about $27,000. I have $80,000 in savings, but the company doing the installation will finance it all for just one percent interest. It’s almost like ...

Is the American Empire Worth the Price?

“When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight,” Samuel Johnson observed, “it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” And the prospect of a future where Kim Jong Un can put a nuclear weapon on a U.S. city is going to cause this nation to reassess the risks and rewards of the American ...

Trump’s Deadly Ego Trip

Even before the embarrassing demise of his health care legislation, Donald Trump could no longer claim that he would “take care of everybody” with a “beautiful” new system that insures all Americans, regardless of their ability to pay. Such election-year vows were abandoned months ago, ...

Single-Payer Will Cut Boomers’ Lives Short

If you’re a baby boomer, you’re expecting Medicare to pay for that knee replacement or cataract operation you’ll need in 10 or 20 years. Don’t count on it. Health care reform is taking a dangerous turn. Democrats, energized by the failure to repeal Obamacare, are again pushing a ...

‘Fire and Fury’ unleashed on gold and stocks

A war of words between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un spooked global investors this week. On Tuesday, President Trump warned that the United States would unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it made further threats on the United States. Kim Jong-un responded by ...

Freedom behind the fences

A rose bush, a fragile sort of thing, thrives with a little pruning, a little protecting from aphids, a little nurturing. And so it is with freedom. As I am thinking of freedom, I am wondering, is it a right? Is it a privilege? And I come to believe it is both and more. It is a condition. It ...

Expert advice for your next weigh-in

Eleven-time five-division professional boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. is set to fight two-division world mixed martial arts world champion Conor McGregor on Aug. 26, the pair making approximately the same amount of money as the combined GDP of Zimbabwe and Jamaica. Mayweather is ...