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Columnists

The Devil’s Silence

Reflect for a moment, if you will, on a gathering of Christians in Nashville, TN, a week ago. A few hundred of the most prominent Christian leaders in the country across all denominations came together to sign what is being called “The Nashville Statement.” The statement merely reaffirms ...

Who Defines Hate?

As if recent events don’t give us enough to worry about, now we have a new missive in The Atlantic from former Vice President Joe Biden concerning the incident in Charlottesville. Biden wants to declare America a hate-free zone. He says we should declare “no place for these hate groups ...

Pre-paid debit cards for kids?

Dear Dave, I’ve seen lots of companies marketing pre-paid debit cards for kids. They seem to position them as a way parents can set spending limits for their children. Do you think these are a good idea? It seems to me they are just a form of conditioning to get kids to rely on cards. — ...

What Harvey Wrought

Like 9/11, Hurricane Harvey brought us together. In awe at the destruction 50 inches of rain did to East Texas and our fourth-largest city and in admiration as cable television showed countless hours of Texans humanely and heroically rescuing and aiding fellow Texans in the worst natural ...

Reprimand to Trump from Pittsburgh Voters: ‘It’s Not About You’

On a late summer night, some 230 days into the Trump presidency, a dozen Pennsylvania voters gathered around a conference table in Pittsburgh and were asked by respected Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart to just give “a word or a feeling about Donald Trump.” The answers from this group ...

Our better nature

I learned war is a funny thing. War! Hahaha! There is a notion called the "deep roots theory of war." It implies war is an innate quality of our humanness…that war is in our genes. E.O. Wilson, who has been called the father of sociobiology, has said war is "humanity's hereditary curse…" ...

What Hurricane Harvey Teaches Us About Humanity

The pictures, videos and social media posts coming out of Houston, Texas, thanks to Hurricane Harvey are horrifying: children camped out on kitchen counters in order to avoid flooding; elderly women stuck in rest homes and up to their waist in water; tweets from local police departments ...

Trump’s response to Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey may have wreaked havoc among thousands of Texans, but it has thrown a political lifeline to Donald Trump, handing him a much-needed opportunity to demonstrate he can play president in a time of national emergency. The last Republican in the Oval Office, George W. Bush, ...

Yale offers a tutorial in social descent

Summer brings no respite for academics committed to campus purifications, particularly at the institution that is the leader in the silliness sweepstakes, Yale. Its Committee on Art in Public Spaces has discovered that a stone carving that has adorned an entrance to Sterling Memorial Library ...

Mall musings

Dear Readers: The recent subject of the FATE OF THE SHOPPING MALL brought in a lot of mail. Here are some responses: “I’m in favor of having shopping malls, because that’s where we like to shop. We want to be able to see the merchandise, to check its quality. We also enjoy the ...

ASK AUGUSTINE

It is true that everyone has the right to interpret the Bible however they want. Our forefathers died for the right of private interpretation and every Christian has the right to read the Bible and interpret it for themselves. When interpretation became an issue during the Reformation, the ...

Broad set of principles when managing money

Q: My wife just got a new job with a substantially better salary, and I received a significant promotion. We’re empty-nesters and want to handle our increased income responsibly. (We haven’t always been the best financial decision makers in the past.) What should we keep in mind? Jim: ...

First Responder Network crucial for Iowa’s safety

I’ve served as a law enforcement official in Iowa for nearly 30 years. During that time, I’ve had vast experience with the kinds of circumstances first responders are called to respond to in our communities. This includes training on mass casualty incidents. I also served in the Iowa ...

Pardoning Sheriff Arpaio

President Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, has drawn predictable responses. The left, which long ago exceeded its sell-by date when it comes to ideas that work, denounced the decision as racist (that’s all they have) and a perversion of justice. ...

What Do We Make of Us?

We were standing in the checkout line at our local grocery, this stranger and I, admiring each other’s necklace. Hers was a ruby embedded in a tiny gold leaf, a gift from her grandmother when she was a child. Mine was a rough-hewn silver cross from Ireland, a gift from my daughter. Being ...

County history book is a treasure

The Continuing History of Marshall County, 1997, may be one of the best kept secrets in Marshall County, and yet a top resource in the Times-Republican newsroom. It was authored by a group of county historians, among them the late, esteemed Dorothy Apgar. More importantly, the large, thick ...

America repudiates its president

A remarkable thing happened last week. You might have missed it, because while it happened in plain sight, it also happened in increments. You had to put the pieces together to appreciate the magnitude of it. Last week, you see, America repudiated its president. This, of course, was in ...

A Pyrrhic Victory

We are seven months into the Trump Administration and have over three years to go. I do not know that the nation can handle three more years like the past seven months. But whether it can or cannot, we should pause for a moment to reflect on the president’s agenda. Things are not looking ...

You need a better plan

Dear Dave, My husband opened his own commercial painting business in May. He knows he will have about three months in the year where he’s making little to no income. We’ve gotten $1,000 set aside for our Baby Step 1 beginner’s emergency fund, but because of that down period he would ...

Al Gore’s Hype

I was surprised to discover that Al Gore's new movie begins with words from me! While icebergs melt dramatically, Gore plays a clip of me saying, "'An Inconvenient Truth' won him an Oscar, yet much of the movie is nonsense. 'Sea levels may rise 20 feet' -- absurd." He used this comment from ...