Editorials and columns

How technology might affect future communications

If you ask Siri for something, do you say please before your request, and then say thank you after she assists you? For those of you who don’t know, Siri is the “intelligent assistant” that Apple has developed to allow users of the iPhone and other Apple devices to use their natural voice ...

Given a choice between fear and apathy, I’ll take fear

Dystopia is in the air these days. George Orwell’s “1984” is selling like hotcakes — if hotcakes still sold well in this low-carb world. Is the president to blame? I think historians, no doubt working from their subterranean monasteries, bunkered from the radioactive wasteland ...

To counter ISIS there has to be improvement in propaganda program

Republican and Democrat members of Congress seem to agree on one thing: An incompetent attempt to counter Islamic terrorist propaganda is worse than none at all. They are right. Lawmakers are looking into a Defense Department attempt to stymie an Islamic State campaign to recruit ...

Gottleib should be confirmed quickly so he can get to work

One of the villains in last year’s scandal over EpiPens sold by Mylan Pharmaceuticals was the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as we pointed out. That agency is about to get a new director. Public outrage focused on Mylan for its pricing of the EpiPen, a device used to inject a drug ...

The story of an American dream

As the July sun warmed the sand, my kids splashed near the beach. I watched a bird flittering through scrub grass in erratic spurts; a signal that I should pay attention. Hopping on one foot with one wing held at an awkward angle, the bird kept me mesmerized. Killdeer birds are master ...

Senate sends loud, clear message on hate crimes

Every member of the U.S. Senate, all 100 of them, signed a letter to President Donald Trump last week, asking for more federal action to find those behind threats targeting nearly 100 Jewish synagogues, community centers and schools during recent weeks. One arrest has been made, but that ...

Struggling schools back in the news

It was one of those rare moments in state government where lawmakers sat around the table and celebrated a state program that actually does what it's suppose to do. Years ago state officials grappled each year with school districts that were swimming in red ink. If those districts ran out ...

Maybe a resident has an idea to stop Asian carp

The warnings of Asian carp potentially reaching the Great Lakes has been in the news for several years, and for some the message likely has become background noise. Well the invasive fish is now less than 50 miles from Lake Michigan so the question simply isn't “if,” but “when.” The ...

Some ideas to stop Asian carp

In his State of the State address last month, Gov. Snyder offered a million bucks (really) to whoever comes up with the best idea to stop the dreaded Asian carp that are headed for the Great Lakes via Chicago's waterways. Once they make it — gulp, gulp, gulp — there goes the $7 billion ...

Washington needs a new way to deal with North Korea

North Korea’s new test of medium-range missiles a few days ago puts an exclamation point on the major foreign policy challenge facing President Donald Trump. For decades, presidents, secretaries of state and defense, and members of Congress have searched for a way to curb North Korea’s ...

Trump, Congress need to examine defense budget for waste first

President Donald Trump wants to boost defense spending by $54 billion a year. He is right to point out the armed forces need better equipment. But before shoveling that much money into the military-industrial-political complex, Trump and Congress ought to mount a surprise attack on defense ...

The journey of a native son

It goes so fast. They come, change your life, then they’re gone. My Father said his job was to teach me to walk, then walk away. As often happens a son follows his father’s parenting philosophy. I did. I think the old man would be pleased with the results. Both my sons were able to ...

It’s time the county creates a written plan for the Dark Sky Park

We have to commend the new Emmet County Board of Commissioners for holding county officials' feet to the fire concerning the Headlands International Dark Sky Park near Mackinaw City. The park, in northern Emmet County, has long been criticized by this newspaper's editorial board for its cost ...

Gang of 12 may hold all the power

Playing the legislative game is a lot like baseball. At the end you count the number of runs scored or the number of votes cast and you can determine the winner. In the Michigan House 55 votes is the magic number to pass legislation. Since Republicans have 63 votes and the Democrats 47, as ...

Congress needs to support Trump’s outline for health care reform

Implacable critics of President Donald Trump dismissed his Tuesday speech to Congress as full of platitudes and short on substance. One can only wonder whether they dozed off during much of the address. Trump offered a variety of policy prescriptions during the presentation. One of them ...

On Trump’s speech, MSP cracking down and the Tigers

Come Heller high water … ∫ Whoa, whoa, whoa, just because Trump ratcheted down the hate a bit doesn't mean his State of the Union was presidential, hopeful or optimistic, as some are saying. It was none of those things. What I heard was a guy grossly overstating the nation's problems — ...

Hats off to those we trust to keep us safe

You might think that because we've had such a mild winter in Northeast Michigan, everyone might have had one eye on the coming spring when Wednesday's storm hit despite the warnings. And who could blame them. However, those we trust with our safety and those we trust with the safety of our ...

The problems from Obamacare need to be confronted

You have to give former President Barack Obama credit for one thing: He and those in Congress who aided and abetted him did everything in their power to ensure Obamacare’s most glaring flaws could never be eliminated. They did so by crafting perhaps the most massive income transfer in ...

Aristotle and developing good habits

Aristotle is credited with the following quote, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Someone who knows I am a quote person read this to me recently. A side note: when she first read it to me, I thought she said a quote by “Eric Stottle.” I had no ...

Untouchable line items

Government budget writers often point to fixed costs as one reason they cannot reduce spending. To an extent, they have a point. Here in West Virginia, there are several examples of untouchable line items in the budget. Funding for the state-federal Medicaid program cannot be reduced easily, ...