Search recent columns

More Columns

Where are the voices of Gaza’s victims?

BY DEANNA OTHMAN: Anchors on CNN and MSNBC tout Israel as raising the standards of moral warfare, praising it for giving families 58-second warnings before demolishing their homes, reducing these people to stereotypes, equating all with Hamas — denying their humanity.

The criminal in the Kremlin

The bodies of 298 passengers and crew of Malaysia Air Flight 17, 80 of them children, lie unburied in a Ukrainian field while Vladimir Putin’s men fire their weapons into the air to keep international investigators from approaching the site. Yes, “Putin’s men.” Calling them …

CSU’s anti-bullying policy is not anti-First Amendment

BY WAYNE D. WATSON. Chicago State University recently took significant steps to protect students and employees on campus by adopting an anti-bullying policy. In response, two faculty members filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming the policy is “aimed at squelching criticism” and that their First Amendment rights are somehow violated by the University’s efforts to put an end to bullying. The misleading statements in the lawsuit and in public forums deserve a response.

Good parenting alone isn’t enough to prevent violence

BY RHONDA PRESENT: Growing up, one of my favorite toys was a View-Master, a little red stereoscope into which I would load photographic reels filled with scenes from cartoons and faraway lands. Yet, somehow, the idyllic pictures I once loved have been replaced with horrific images of children dodging bullets and makeshift memorials that keep flashing over and over in my mind.

Police abuse allegations finally go public

BY CRAIG FUTTERMAN, JAMIE KALVEN, JON LOEVY AND FLINT TAYLOR: We stand at a watershed in the long history of efforts to address patterns of police abuse in Chicago. On March 10, the state appellate court held in Kalven v. Chicago that documents bearing on allegations of police misconduct are public information. On July 11, the Emanuel administration announced that it will not appeal Kalven and that it has adopted a set of procedures for implementing the decision.

When academic committees play police

If one believes even a significant fraction of the horror stories in the national news media, beastly male behavior has become almost epidemic on American college campuses. Tales of drunken sexual assaults and worse multiply from sea to shining sea. Even the Obama administration is …

How illness shaped a writer’s life

BY HARRY MARK PETRAKIS. Illness came in my 11th year like a thief in the night, intent upon stealing my life. The only hint of a serious affliction was a daily weariness that had me needing to rest after school.The doctor’s X-rays revealed tubercular lesions on my lungs. In the following months, I began to read as soon as I awoke, and I read through the day.

Global warming threatens Chicago tourism

BY HOLLY AGRA: Millions of tourists and residents enjoy the wide variety of activities that Chicago offers. These industries are of great importance to the economy. As president of a tour boat company in Chicago, recent experience has me concerned that a fluctuating economy is not the only danger to my business. Climate change has brought Chicago unpredictable and increasingly extreme weather.

Hamas and Israel: A clear moral distinction

BY DANIEL ELBAUM: Consider Israel’s response to rocket fire in Gaza. After the murder of three Israeli teenagers, Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization, began firing hundreds of rockets into Israel. After several warnings, Israel launched airstrikes aimed at eliminating the rockets. Those who cannot tell the difference between Israel’s actions and those of Hamas simply do not want to. There is no moral haziness here.

Taking care of our caretakers

BY LISA MADIGAN AND THOMAS PEREZ: Every day, two million people care for people in their homes. They bathe our parents and grandparents and help our children with disabilities get dressed. Their work is demanding. It can be dirty. But it can also be enormously satisfying. Most importantly, it allows our loved ones to live in their homes with dignity and independence, rather than in institutions.

Daley: A falling star in Chicago

BY RICHARD C. LONGWORTH: Few politicians have seen their reputations dive so far and so fast as Richard M. Daley, the former mayor of Chicago and the symbol of what’s great and what’s grim about the city he ruled for 22 years.

Street heat for action on climate

BY MARCUS EVANS AND CHERYL JOHNSON: After decades of pollution that has bombard our South Side neighborhoods and hurt our health, we’re taking on the fight to cut pollution and beat back climate change.

A crime no man can commit

BY JACOB SULLUM: A crime no man can commit: Tennessee’s law criminalizing drug use during pregnancy heaps punishment on reviled women.

Only Clinton can keep Democratic coalition from splintering

BY PAUL GREEN: The Tea Party movement in the Republican Party has been the hot political party topic for the last several years. Meanwhile, on the other side, Democrats have had a relatively peaceful time generally uniting behind President Barack Obama’s governing record. Will the Democratic Party’s left wing start making some serious political noise?

The heartlessness charge

BY MONA CHAREN: Charges of Republican or conservative heartlessness about the children flooding the border have been common. Some journalists seemingly cannot type the word Republican without the modifier “heartless.” But where is the evidence of this supposed callousness, and why is it any greater among Republicans than Democrats?

College can start in high school

BY CHERYL L. HYMAN AND BARBARA BYRD-BENNETT: We can shorten the path to college by giving more high school students access to college-level courses.

Stopping violence starts with hope

BY JOHN MAKI: A state criminal justice reform committee holds its first public hearing on Tuesday. Its members should look for opportunities to address the crisis of gun violence that plagues Chicago’s poorest communities — but first the committee must understand what this crisis is really about.