EDITORIAL: Kevin Trudeau is still in jail. Talk about your feel-good stories. We don’t normally admit to visceral satisfaction when somebody gets locked up, even if we feel it. The story is usually too grim and tragic or, as in the case of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, just pathetic. But this Trudeau fellow.
EDITORIAL: What a disappointment. On Friday Juan Rangel, head of the politically powerful United Neighborhood Organization that he both created and lead to impressive heights, finally resigned. A skilled and engaging leader with a real vision for Latino empowerment, Rangel was the master of his own undoing.
EDITORIAL. Hard to believe perhaps, but the world is a less violent place. Harvard professor Steven Pinker documents this truth in a 2010 book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined,” and offers several explanations, including stronger central governments, greater global trade and the spread of democracy.We would add this: Nelson Mandela and the example he set.
EDITORIAL: Thirty people were murdered in Chicago in November, adding to Chicago’s regrettable reputation as a violent town. So we tread lightly in pointing out that there is good news hidden in the latest Chicago homicide numbers, reflecting in part the effectiveness of aggressive police strategies, even as homicide rates remain disturbingly high in specific neighborhoods.
EDITORIAL: Few legislators took pleasure in Tuesday’s difficult but crucial vote to scale back pensions for teachers, state workers, university employees and legislators. Plus, the honest ones know the work has only just begun.
EDITORIAL: Over the weekend and on Monday, a handful of poorly informed sideline critics jumped up at the last minute to argue against a bill in Springfield designed to end the state’s employee pension crisis: It doesn’t save enough money; it’s a sellout to union bosses; it’s a secret tax hike. Nonsense.
EDITORIAL: Electronic cigarettes, those hip new cigarettes that blow a thick white vapor rather than smoke, are clearly less harmful than real cigarettes. But that doesn’t mean e-cigarettes are harmless.And until we know something different, that’s how we ought to treat them.
EDITORIAL: Small children do not know if they are rich or poor. That comes later. All they know is that Christmas carols are pretty and Christmas trees are beautiful and if they write a letter to Santa he might bring a present. And so they write the most charming letters, quite a few of which have made their way to the Sun-Times this year because we’re working as Santa’s helpers.
EDITORIAL: On this of all days — as Hanukkah, the triumphant against-all-odds story, gets underway — our faith in miracles has been restored. Now, if only we could be sure that petty politics — gubernatorial and otherwise — won’t get in the way.
EDITORIAL: Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, a news reporter and a story of compassion on this Thanksiving day.
EDITORIAL: Here’s something Chicagoans can be thankful for this year: The Chicago Public Schools is exactly one year removed from the start of a bruising and damaging months-long process that culminated in a May vote to close an unprecedented 50 schools for low enrollment. This year, as CPS approached its Dec. 1 deadline for announcing school “actions” (a euphemism for a school closure or another radical overhaul), the news is a mere ripple in the pond.
EDITORIAL: SuperPACs — called “dark money” groups because they do not reveal their donors — spent more than $256 million in the 2012 federal elections, according to ProPublica, the investigative journalism outfit. In Illinois, about $800,000 in dark money was spent on state legislative races in 2012, according to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.
EDITORIAL: The Ventra race is on. On Dec. 18, the RTA is expected to complete an audit of what its chairman calls the “systemic failure” of the CTA’s new Ventra fare payment system. Which will CTA riders get first: A fully functional Ventra system (no more double charges or malfunctioning card readers, thank you very much) or the audit results? We’re putting our money on the audit.
EDITORIAL: Public support for boot camps — an excellent alternative to prisons in concept — is undermined when judges send the wrong people there. And support for tougher mandatory minimum sentences, though a bad idea, grows stronger when judges exercise their powers of discretion poorly.
EDITORIAL: Your average American 10-year-old may know nothing about Harry Truman or Dwight Eisenhower or the Cuban Missile Crisis, but chances are he or she has heard of John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was the magic president, part real and part myth, whom parents and teachers naturally talk to children about because it’s a way of telling them about the promise of America.