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Columns

  • Interstate 70 is out of control

    On Nov. 30, 1965, Ralph Nader’s “Unsafe at Any Speed” was released to the chagrin of auto manufacturers. Few thought the book would sell, but within six months, it became a New York Times bestseller alongside Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”
    The auto industry’s outrage was palpable, but several months later, a once-resistant Congress created the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and features we take for granted — air bags, safety harnesses, rearview cameras — have become standard.

  • Can a swamper drain a swamp?

    Christmas is that bittersweet time when we adults sadly recall having to accept the reality of Santa Claus. Interestingly, this right of passage usually leads to a new and deeper meaning of the holiday, one that transcends the commercial aspect.
    Well now, we have to be adults and accept the reality of our federal government. In addition to the worn-out criticisms of detachment and unlimited growth, we now have to confront the reality of criminal activity in the very halls of the highest anti-criminal institution. The swamp is populated by criminals.

  • The subtle politics of bullying

    I’m guessing that most readers have by now heard of or seen the video of young Keaton Jones of Eastern Tennessee, a victim of bullying. Who can deny the cruelty and withhold their sincere sympathy for the pain inflicted upon this young man by his schoolmates?
    Admirably, athletes and celebrities have rallied around him in support. But it seems to me that we have to look past this event and reflect upon some darker realities.

  • Subjective morality

    Alisha Hill

  • Let’s make Idaho Springs more like Mayberry

    Alisha Hill

  • The new scarlet letter

    In his classic novel “The Scarlet Letter,” Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays a heroic woman in Hester Prynne, who is forced to bear a mark of shame by wearing a red A, meaning Adulteress, on her bosom. Hester, though, refuses to accept that judgment, not by refusing to wear it but by wearing it nobly. She embroiders it with gold thread and walks with her head high despite being ostracized by the tongue-wagging, judging Puritan society.

  • The problem with ‘news porn’

    “The trouble with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wishes to hide.”
     — Hannah Arendt, 20th-century German historian and philosopher

  • Rescuing civics through volunteering

    My last column detailed and bemoaned the planned demise of basic citizenship education. The removal of civics as a requirement for our national definition of basic schooling and education does not bode well for any substantial hope for an informed voter.
    In concluding my last column, I tried to sound a cautionary alarm, but the alarm was not accompanied by any suggestions for redress. This has bothered me tremendously. The challenge then becomes what can be done to start a reversal of this downward spiral, this lack of understanding of the basic tenets of citizenship?

  • How civics were co-opted by design

    My last column dealt with a wholly original idea regarding how we evaluate and improve the effectiveness of our national education system. Today’s column is going to examine the intentional cause and effect that has led to fundamental changes in the perception of our roles and obligations as citizens.
    It is intuitively and objectively obvious that our national system today, while attempting to address improvement in STEM-related subjects, fails miserably in addressing this most fundamental and important topic for all Americans.

  • She said, he said

    Alisha Hill