As I See It: On penmanship

My handwriting is horrible. No, it’s worse than that. Illegible would be a compliment. I don’t know whether it is my heredity or environment. It seems like the creative part of my brain works about 10 times as fast as the part that controls my writing hand. I start to write something and it turns from capital to lowercase to a series of wiggly lines. That’s heredity. My mother’s poor penmanship was legendary, she excused it by calling it library-backhand as if that made it special, it was mostly illegible.

COUNTERPOINT: Keep governments out of data debates

With the increasing digitization of everything from social interaction to shopping to maps and our real-time locations, there are growing calls to regulate technology companies and pass privacy laws mandating how data can be collected. But private data collection during our use of products and everyday services can be done in a way that doesn’t violate consumers’ rights. A willing exchange of goods and services is one of the core forces driving free markets, including today’s technology and demand for personal data.

POINT: Better data collection will reduce digital inequalities

It’s become a popular talking point to list all the risks of data collection, whether it be privacy and surveillance or the lack of transparency that can come with data ownership. But rather than stay bogged down in the potential risks, it’s time to consider how a lack of data collection about some individuals and communities can negatively affect their quality of life.

Editorial: Why is it so hard to build in America? Blame red tape

President Joe Biden says the Inflation Reduction Act, which contains some $370 billion in climate spending, represents the most sweeping government investment in clean energy “ever, ever, ever.” To ensure that investment is worthwhile, he’ll need an equally unprecedented overhaul of federal rules and regulations. Congress should make such reforms a top priority.

Editorial: Cheap oil talks louder than justice in Biden’s diplomacy with Saudi Arabia

When President Joe Biden screws up, he deserves to be called out just like any other American president. He had already generated considerable controversy with his hat-in-hand visit to Saudi Arabia during the summer to plead for more oil production to ease pressure on oil prices. The valid question at the time was whether Biden was doing it in a sincere effort to help American motorists or to deprive his Republican critics’ of a major point of attack heading into the fall election season.

Commentary: The military must take responsibility for ‘forever chemicals’

Since the early 20th century, the U.S. military’s negligent use, storage and disposal of harmful chemical substances on its bases has exposed countless troops to severe health hazards. One example is Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in North Carolina, where toxic contamination went unnoticed for several decades until measures were taken in the mid-1980s. As a result, thousands of veterans and their family members developed life-threatening and debilitating diseases.

Commentary: What a last-minute voter taught me about our system in a time of election denial

She was a tall 30-something who walked into the polling place at 6:50 p.m. on Election Day. I was standing by the door the woman entered, fulfilling my role as a poll watcher at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Palos Heights, Illinois. She turned to me and asked with a deadpan face: “What are the odds that I can both register and vote in the next 10 minutes?”

Editorial: America’s return to the moon could spur science and renewed national purpose

NASA’s Artemis program is edging toward a return to the moon — this time to stay — with its successful launch this week of an uncrewed rocket. Some Americans looking at the Earth-bound problems all around us might reasonably ask: Why? The answer is not just about the scientific discovery that a permanent presence on the moon promises but also the much-needed sense of national purpose it could recapture.

COUNTERPOINT: Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase harms democracy

Social media has gotten a bad name in recent years, much of it deserved, as it has played a sizable role in spreading right-wing backwardness and even authoritarianism in much of the world. This includes, most prominently, the reach and especially staying power of the world’s most powerful politician in the world’s most powerful country, Donald J. Trump.

Ramesh Ponnuru: Trump is on the defensive for the first time in years

We’re used to watching Donald Trump going on offense. In announcing that he will run for president once more, though, Trump sounded unusually defensive. Last week’s midterm elections, he suggested, had gone well for Republicans, giving them control of the House, and would have gone even better if only the American public fully understood how dire the country’s condition is.

Editorial: Voters in 6 states have now stood with women. Pro-choice forces must persist

In the first nationwide test of public sentiments since the Supreme Court last summer ended abortion rights in America, voters got to have their say. So far, their verdict has been resounding: Voters in almost a half-dozen states cast their ballots Nov. 8 for measures to protect the biological self-determination of women — and nowhere did voters turn back those rights. Exit polls indicated it was the second-most important overall subject motivating voters and by far the most important one motivating people to vote Democratic.