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Rampell: The myth about America’s public schools

WASHINGTON — Have America’s public schools gotten worse over the years? Americans seem to think so. Every time I write about why attending college is so crucial for moving up the income ladder — or, these days, for landing any job at all — I’m …

Rutter: Maybe we’ll find a reason to stop the violence

My father did not spank. He ground his teeth in a circular biting anguish when he wanted to hit something. Mother never spanked me, either, though she often threatened to snitch to dad, and he would be home presently to make me sorry. I’d intermittently …

Milbank: Republicans saddle their warhorses

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was testifying Tuesday about the need for military action in Syria and Iraq when Ann Wright, an anti-war demonstrator in the audience, rose and began shouting, “No more war! No more war!” U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of …

Niedner: History shows our enemies often become friends

When we finished our arithmetic in the two-room elementary school I attended, we had discretionary time while children in other grades had their lessons. I used it to pore over World War II issues of National Geographic magazine. Wartime photos and descriptions from Europe and …

Rutter: Federal judge to Indiana — You’re a bunch of dopes

When Judge Richard Posner wrote the unanimous marriage-equality opinion for the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Court in Chicago, he had words about Indiana, though he wasn’t talking personally to you. To be fair, he had similar words for Wisconsin, too, but it’s Wisconsin, …

Guest opinion: Education is worth the investment

There is no greater financial investment in one’s future than a college degree. While this viewpoint has its critics, the reality is that the value of a degree has never been greater. Despite growing public questions about a degree’s worth, the pay gap between college …

Niedner: Back to school is a time for reflection

Despite all the wrangling over funding, curricula and privatization of our schools, these late-summer weeks remain a hopeful sacred season as we witness the return of youngsters and teachers to their classrooms. Photos of first-time students appeared this week on my Facebook page. Parents of …

Rutter: Speak your mind at your own risk

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sends me “Dear David messages” by email. She says, “Dear David, I need your help.” I am smitten. It’s disturbing. Vice President Joe Biden congratulates me for my soaring intelligence by using my actual name. I’m less smitten. U.S. Sen. …

Milbank: Obama’s unnerving happy talk

WASHINGTON — President Obama is not worried. And that is unnerving. British Prime Minister David Cameron presented to Parliament on Monday the alarming conclusions of European leaders who had met in Brussels over the weekend. “The European Council believes the creation of an Islamic caliphate …

Rutter: How Indiana slipped into burger-flipping poverty

Pull up a chair. I’m afraid I have bad news. In between burgers on the grill and fireworks this Labor Day weekend, try to remember when you aspired to a middle-class life. Are you there yet? Probably not. If you are like a million other …

Guest opinion: Labor Day 2015 — a call to action

If I were to choose two words to describe the state of labor and work in America today, they would be “precarious” and “devalued.” Precarious because the majority of new jobs are part-time, temporary or subcontracted. Devalued because wages keep sliding downward, producing ever-declining standards …

Rutter: Anti-drug meatloaf will make us all more sober

Once upon a time, I stood in a batter’s box and faced a baseball pitcher who threw so hard I could not even see the ball. I just heard it go by. The 1960s were like that, too. I apparently missed the 1960s though I …

Niedner: Three notable deaths follow familiar patterns

Nearly 7,000 Americans die each day. Most of their names show up somewhere on an obituary page. A few, mostly accident and homicide victims, make the local news. A tiny few overwhelm the news and leave millions stunned and bewildered. Three highly publicized deaths this …

Guest commentary: At what cost Israel’s battle with Hamas?

Many people are quick to judge Israel regarding its staunch defense against Hamas in Gaza. Hamas’ mission is not to achieve political gain but to create an Islamic caliphate throughout the entire region. In Hamas’ charter, it states clearly that its extremist stance is uncompromising …

Guest commentary: Reclaiming the promise of Gary’s public schools

We’ve been through some hard times in Gary, but through it all the spirit of our community has lifted us up. That spirit of persistence, determination, grit, sticktoitiveness, resilience — no matter what you call it — is growing and transforming Gary’s public schools. The …