Commentary: Reproductive health care is a human right

As a sociologist who has researched reproduction and reproductive technologies for the last 12 years, I’ve learned that individuals are only one part of the equation. The choices people make are never removed from public policy or the resources — or lack thereof — made available by state and federal government.

Editorial: As US posture weakens, China’s threat to Taiwan grows ominous

President Joe Biden’s administration could soon have its foreign policy mettle tested like never before as China boosts its military aggression against Taiwan while proceeding with its naval expansion into the South China Sea. If Biden thought he would get a breather from major national security challenges after the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, he figured wrong. A direct confrontation between China and Taiwan would dwarf the significance of Afghanistan. And the repercussions could hit every American hard in the pocketbook. So it’s worth paying attention.

Commentary: Noisy jobs report sends mostly competing signals

A relatively favorable interpretation of Friday’s U.S. jobs report is that reversible COVID-19 effects are temporarily undermining a strong and consistent economic recovery. A less favorable one is that the labor market is becoming more vulnerable to stagflationary winds. Unfortunately, the particularly noisy report does not allow for a firm conclusion. That may be good news for the Federal Reserve in the short term despite longer-term policy complications. The implications for Congress are less conflicting and call for more urgent action on physical and human investment.

Editorial: Facebook needs to empower parents, not censor political speech

Facebook has become the latest company that everyone loves to hate, and internal documents stolen by an employee have become an opening to blame the social-media giant for America’s ills. The company has made mistakes, but it’s worth sorting the genuine issues from the opportunism of politicians looking to censor opponents.

Editorial: In post-census fight for seats, both parties play the dirty gerrymandering game

The post-census redistricting process now underway around the country presents an important test for centrists to either live up to fundamental ideals such as fairness and choosing what’s best for the country, or go for the jugular the way the extremists in both parties do. Nice folks who play by the rules tend to finish last in politics, especially when it comes to the kinds of gerrymandering designed to determine election outcomes favorable to the dominant party in power.

Commentary: Fighting for a fair deal for farmers

Denouncing corporations is easy. Using actual policy tools to hold them accountable and check their power is more difficult. Yet this is precisely what the National Farmers Union (NFU) is pushing the Biden administration to do.

Editorial: COVID vaccine requirements are succeeding in protecting additional Americans

For all the manufactured controversy around COVID vaccine mandates, one thing no one can deny is that they’re fulfilling their intended purpose. From health care workers in California to employees of the food production behemoth Tyson, tying vaccination to continued employment is pushing people around the country to get the jab and help at long last restrict the virus’ ability to kill and propagate itself.

As I See It: Some of my pet-unnecessary-peeves

I remember lot of great gadgets we had back in the ‘50s, they were made in places like Youngstown Ohio, out of real steel, worked well, cost 69 cents and lasted a generation, rusty. Now they are made in China, of plastic or thin beer-can aluminum, cost $6.98 and bend, or break the third time you use them, if they work at all. You can buy an electric version for $69.89; it might work. Sadly, they are marketed under an American or American-sounding brand. Part of the problem seems to stem from a cultural gap in which the product may not be used by upper management, just their minions or household servants so managers never encounter the flaws.

Editorial: Top US commanders opt for blunt honesty, even when their bosses won’t

Congressional testimony this past week by the top Pentagon officials charged with the Afghanistan pullout made clear that President Joe Biden opted against their recommendation against completely withdrawing U.S. troops. Instead, Biden insisted on a hasty pullout, leading to disastrous results. The advisers didn’t seem proud about their assessment, nor did they try to sugarcoat the Pentagon’s various missteps that blocked a successful end to the 20-year war.