×

Columnists

Real political scandals are rarely about sex

As the Trump presidency fades into the past, we are reminded of the sex scandal at its dawn. The Federal Election Commission has just dropped its probe into former President Donald Trump’s alleged hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. Charges that Trump broke campaign finance laws ...

Check your Obama privilege

Former President Barack Obama’s bitter other half is at it again. Just when you think the former first lady’s deep well of racial resentment has run dry, her headline-generating grievances gush forth anew. Gripe springs eternal. This week, Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey’s bestie Gayle ...

Anti-transgender bills are latest strategy to rally conservatives’ base

On April 6, despite Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto, Arkansas became the first state to prohibit physicians from providing gender-affirming medical care like hormone treatments designed to delay puberty in transgender youth. So-called “puberty blockers” are used to delay the ...

How to conduct a childcare interview

When my son was an infant I provided child care out of my home. From the beginning, I sought out to make it a business. I was a registered home provider who utilized the food program to offer healthy meals, provided various play experiences, and had a contract with parents. Because families ...

Exercise your freedom of speech — write an op-ed

Iused to write a mommy blog for a parenting publication. After it won an award (and with my editor’s support), I approached the publisher to explore ways to help it grow. Turns out the publisher had never actually read my blog, and this prompted her to take a look. When she did, she deleted ...

88-year old woman finds her 98-year old country school teacher

88-year old Elna Greenfield of rural Birmingham in Van Buren County had heard that the country-school teacher she had at Mt. Zion was still alive and living in Keosauqua. Elna remembered the teacher’s name, it was Veneta Pierce, and she was 10 years older than Elna. So she would be 98. ...

Successful without college

Americans took out $1.7 trillion in government loans for college tuition. Now, some don’t want to pay it back. President Joe Biden says they shouldn’t have to. He wants to cancel at least $10,000 and maybe $50,000 of every student’s debt. “They’re in real trouble,” says Biden ...

Eliminating educational standards only ensures failure

An article published this week in Quillette (which, along with Substack, is one of the best sources of thoughtful, intelligent journalism in America today) argues persuasively that grade inflation is destroying education in the United States. Author Shane Trotter describes a system where ...

What the legislature focuses on at the end

As we work toward adjournment, the focus remains on budget bills and lingering policy issues. This is the last scheduled week of the 2021 legislative session, but we remain focused on accomplishing our priorities for the year, like tax relief and responsible budgets. During floor debate, the ...

The 2020 Census: Small Republican gains in a nation hunkered down

The COVID-delayed results of the 2020 census are finally in, with totals for the 50 states and the District of Columbia at nearly one-third of a billion — 331,449,281 — and with surprises having to do with the short run and what French historians call the “longue duree.” The ...

To our surprise, face masks will be partly missed

When told to wear face masks two COVID-plagued winters ago, we thought: “Can’t wait until this is over and we no longer have to wear a piece of cloth over our mouth and nose. It’s ugly. It interferes with breathing. It muffles voices and makes some conversations hard to follow.” But ...

Why white evangelicals should care about racial reconciliation

These past few years have been a journey for many white evangelicals. Before we start, I have to confess that I am a recovering racist — not the KKK type or the Confederate flag waving type or even one that used language like the “N” word. I was more of a subtle racist. The type you ...

Times when you simply must close your mind

Thirty years ago, when I was still a music critic, I received a letter from a lady who informed me in no uncertain terms that I didn’t know what I was talking about. This was after I’d written about the origins of gospel music, a subject on which I considered myself, if not expert, ...

The circular logic of systemic racism

Last week, ex-police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The evidence on the murder charges was weak; the evidence on manslaughter was significantly stronger. Still, the jury took only 10 hours and zero questions to ...

Biden to Congress: Step up to the hard work

In his first address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday, President Joe Biden laid out more details of his agenda, including a huge jobs-creating effort that he called “a blue-collar blueprint to build America.” Coming as he approached his first 100 days in office, Biden had already ...

To some, reparations are common sense

AHouse bill to study reparations for slavery, H.R. 40, resurfaced in committee this April and is dusting up old debates about how much is owed, to whom, and who should pay. The issue can be divisive. But as a supporter of reparations, a recent Jeopardy clue (of all things) left me feeling ...

I back the blue

We are entering what is scheduled as the last week of the legislature. This is the week when we will debate and vote on budgets and other bills. Many of the budget bills are large and involved with millions of dollars appropriated. Also at this time of the session, many things can get added to ...

Remember to say ‘thank you’

It takes just two simple words. Just two. I was raised, and I would hope my children are, to use the words “thank you” everywhere and anywhere. April is known as Volunteer Appreciation month. Think about the numerous volunteers that cross your path every day. Who are they and how are ...