Post-Tribune Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us (Editor) Post-Tribune 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ ]]> Lead story image

… ]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 17:42:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rampell: The myth about America’s public schools ]]> Lead story image

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 inundated with emails blaming the country’s K-12 system. Today’s workers have to go to college, readers argue, because our increasingly broken public schools have ceded responsibility for educating them. Data from the annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll, a survey about education, reflect similar views. Over the past four decades, respondents have become increasingly likely to … ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 02:06:27 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rutter: Maybe we’ll find a reason to stop the violence ]]> Lead story image

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 be ordered to retrieve a switch from that lousy little tree in the back yard and stand ready to “get it, mister, when your father gets home.” But the actual switching never happened. That was good because those switches could lacerate steel. That tree was denuded of all foliage by the time we moved, but … ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 02:06:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ Milbank: Republicans saddle their warhorses ]]> Lead story image

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 the Armed Services Committee, hammered the gavel. “You’re acting very war-like yourself,” he told Wright. Must be going around. With extraordinary speed, the nation and its leaders have rallied behind war to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group. President Obama still holds to a “no boots on the ground” pledge, but to listen to recent … ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:11:22 -0500 <![CDATA[ Niedner: History shows our enemies often become friends ]]> Lead story image

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 the Pacific captivated me, although they didn’t make me dream of becoming a soldier. Too many revealed the human cost of war, and I felt no urge to risk paying it. A visit to the U.S. Marine Corps Museum in Virginia this past week left me feeling like I’d stepped inside those old magazines. Here … ]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:28:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rutter: Federal judge to Indiana — You’re a bunch of dopes ]]> Lead story image

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, so who really cares? It’s significant that the words were Posner’s because he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, and his conservative, moderate credentials do not seem stained by partisanship. Remember when “moderate” was a word you could use about political conservatives? Who is he? He has written 40 books. The Journal of … ]]> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 02:08:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Guest opinion: Education is worth the investment ]]> Lead story image

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 graduates and those without a degree reached a high in 2013. Americans with four-year college degrees made 98 percent more an hour on average than those without a degree, according to new data from an analysis of Labor Department statistics by the Economic Policy Institute. And the wage gap is only increasing — up from … ]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 02:07:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ Niedner: Back to school is a time for reflection ]]> Lead story image

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 preschoolers and first graders posted pictures of backpack-toting children — so lately in diapers, it seems —who will now be out of their sight for much of the day. Moms and dads who helped move those all-too-recent first graders into college dorms have posted photos, too. Anyone who has ever taken such a picture knows … ]]> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 02:07:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rutter: Speak your mind at your own risk ]]> Lead story image

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. Dick Durbin emailed to congratulate me for personally shaming Walgreens into staying in America and shunning fat Euro tax breaks. He says I can have one of his campaign T-shirts for $25. Sorry, don’t think so. Now The Prez comes knock-knock-knocking at my email door. Says Mister Obama in my personal email inbox — “Nancy … ]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 23:52:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ Milbank: Obama’s unnerving happy talk ]]> Lead story image

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 in Iraq and Syria and the Islamist extremism and export of terrorism on which it is based is a direct threat to every European country,” Cameron said. “To confront the threat of Islamist extremism, we need a tough, intelligent, patient and comprehensive approach to defeat the terrorist threat at its source. We must use all … ]]> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 02:08:49 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rutter: How Indiana slipped into burger-flipping poverty ]]> Lead story image

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 Hoosiers, it’s been a Lost Decade. You might have missed the event, and state politicians won’t ’fess up to their complicity. Indiana’s commonly shared delusion suggests that we are one, giant middle class. We get what we earn honestly, and our toil produces safety and prosperity for our families. Indiana is the American Dream. We’re … ]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 02:07:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ Guest opinion: Labor Day 2015 — a call to action ]]> Lead story image

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 of living for working people. Who could possibly live on the current minimum wage? Your family? I don’t think so. No family can survive on $7.25 an hour. And when that low pay comes with an unreliable number of hours and a changing schedule that makes a necessary second job hard to arrange, then many … ]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 02:07:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rutter: Anti-drug meatloaf will make us all more sober ]]> Lead story image

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 was standing in the batter’s box. Missed drug temptation and curiosity, except for Novocain. It’s a gap in my life, which probably means I won’t be enlisting in the “transformational” anti-drug crusade in Porter County. We appreciate the urgency to spend as much of other people’s money as possible and appear to exemplify good motives, … ]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:08:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ 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 month have reminded us of the sadly familiar nature of most mortality-related news. When a veteran NASCAR driver struck and killed an angry, young, fist-waving fellow driver we learned again that testosterone remains one of the planet’s deadliest substances. When a St. Louis-area police officer pumped six rounds from his service revolver into an unarmed … ]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:08:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ 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 with regard to Israel. It expresses total opposition to any agreement or arrangement that would recognize Israel’s right to exist. I do not condone the killing of innocent people, but what would any country do if for 12 years rockets regularly rained on them? Terror takes two forms, psychological and physical. Over the years, Israel … ]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 12:17:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ Guest commentary: Reclaiming the promise of Gary’s public schools ]]> Lead story image

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 West Side Leadership Academy boy’s track team won the state championship this past school year. The Gary Area Career Center is expanding course offerings, which will help students become more competitive for high-paying jobs in trades and technology. The Bethune Early Childhood Development Center gives our youngest learners a great start as the only preschool … ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:27:28 -0500