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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 …

David Rutter: Questions for which we have no good answers

Like a meteor that flickers in the night sky and dies, Robin Williams was incandescent light and then was gone. We seek answers because it is our nature, because we aspire to understand the profound, the transcendental mystery. So I have wondered what the death …

Guest Commentary: Not yet Purdue University Northwest

We recently have cleared a major hurdle in selecting a name for the university created by the merger of Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central — Purdue University Northwest. The Purdue University Board of Trustees approved the name at its July 18 meeting. For the …

Milbank: The not-so-transparent CIA

If the CIA spends half as much energy finding terrorists as it has spent fighting Congress, we should feel very safe. The spooks, taking a break from the mundane work of protecting the nation, have lately been turning their spycraft against the lawmakers who are …

Rutter: Happy 79th birthday to Social Security

There were rules at dinnertime when I was 10. Food placed on our plate was to be eaten. All of it. Even beets. I hated beets. Washing dinner dishes was a piece of cake. We ate everything, especially the cake. There was nothing much to …

Rutter: What sort of Christianity is this?

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! ” — Emma Lazarus poem on the Statue of Liberty …

Niedner: Too many monsters endanger world’s children

More often than not, my summertime binge of novel reading fails to provide genuine escape from the real world’s agonies. Having arrived at the mid-point of M.L. Stedman’s “The Light Between Oceans,” it seems my heart must prepare for unspeakable sorrow. The novel’s narrator skillfully …

Milbank: Putting political ideology ahead of lives

WASHINGTON — On July 1, the hospital in rural Belhaven, North Carolina, closed — a victim, in part, of the decision by the governor and the legislature to reject the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. Six days later, 48-year-old Portia Gibbs, a local resident, had …

Rutter: When ‘human’ corporations are weasels

Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine tried to warn us, but people with more money and less sense had their way Their apprehension about granting unfettered “personhood” to business corporations was well-founded. Massive wealth being harnessed to serve itself while damaging democratic well-being was no mystery …