Today's Opinion

Mixed results on ACT report card

As usual, there was good news and bad news in reports about Wisconsin scores in the ACT, the college entrance exam used by most universities in the Midwest.

Wisconsin scores are among the highest in the nation, second only to Minnesota.

Health incentives pay dividends

Good health pays.

That’s the clear message from a program aimed to improve the health of Kenosha County employees. Employees who achieve certain health goals save money on their health insurance premiums, and their employer saves money on reduced health insurance claims.

The retirement savings deficit

It’s a little bit surprising that more than one third of Americans have no retirement savings, but it might only be surprising because the soaring stock market has overshadowed other news about the economy., which publishes information on personal finance, released a survey Monday that indicates 36 percent of Americans have saved nothing for retirement. Among them are 14 percent of people who are of retirement age, 65 or older.

Local Columnists

Love, running, and the meaning of life

By David Chrisinger

Once we got to the 36-mile mark, we entered uncharted territory. Neither one of us had ever run so far, and neither one of us knew how our bodies would respond. With every stride, we were redefining what was possible for us.

But with that exhilarating sense of accomplishment also came the realization that we still had 14 miles to go. “I think I’m burning my matches,” I told Brett. There’s an old adage in ultra-endurance racing that each athlete starts a race with a book of matches. It is said that whenever you put out an effort that exceeds the maximum effort you can sustain evenly from start to finish, you burn a match. There are only so many matches you can burn, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. “Grin and bear it,” Brett told me. “Just grin and bear it.”

An ongoing war on black males


Just days after shaking my head at the discussion on political talk shows about the Democratic Party’s “war on whites,” (a term coined by a congressman from Alabama), I was saddened to wake up on a recent Sunday morning to a familiar but disturbing news story: A young, unarmed black man had been shot to death by a white police officer, this time in the small (population about 20,000) city of Ferguson, Mo., 12 miles outside of St. Louis.

The story is still unfolding as I write this, and details are few. It is in the hands of the St. Louis County Police (who have taken over from the Ferguson Police). I feel better knowing that the FBI is also involved.

Almost no surprises

By Steve Lund

Wow, talk about predictable! If you thought something surprising might happen in Tuesday’s elections, the results were pretty disappointing.

Syndicated Columnists

Is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge the new selfie?

By Reg Henry

If you are on Facebook — and if you are not, let me just observe how well that speaks of you — a strange phenomenon has undoubtedly come to your attention. Many of your friends and relations are pouring cold water over their heads.

This is good in many ways. Who hasn’t wanted to pour cold water on their friends and relations on occasion? Now they are doing it themselves to save you the trouble. But, as always, the temptation to pour more cold water on a good practice seems irresistible to those of us in the curmudgeon community.

Ferguson divides us less than we imagine

By E. J. Dionne Jr.

What you have probably heard up to now is how racially polarized the country is in its reaction to the shooting of Brown by a police officer — at least six times, including twice to the head. But polarization is the wrong concept here. The fact is that white Americans are clearly divided in their reactions, a sign that a broad national dialogue leading to change is possible — if, for once, we step outside the usual boundaries of our discord.

African-Americans are not divided. In a Pew Research Center survey conducted from Aug. 14 to Aug. 17, 80 percent of blacks said the case “raises important issues about race that need to be discussed.” In addition, 65 percent said that the police response had gone too far.

Scandals hiding in plain sight

By Catherine Rampell

A rash of relatively convoluted, thoroughly unsexy political scandals involving governors is moving through the country. So many of them involve Republican presidential hopefuls that conspiracy theorists could argue they must be manufactured, or at least overhyped, by wily Democratic strategists. At least one Democratic governor has also been implicated, though.

Most of the scandals (or, to be fair, sometimes pseudo-scandals) are pretty hard to follow unless you’re paying really close attention. Which most Americans are not. So here’s an overview:

Politics in Video

Voice of the People

‘A Small Act’ celebrates gift of education
Letter writer’s zany analysis brings laughs

Christopher Columbus should be embarrassed
Democrats own all the problems in Illinois

Property valuations in Silver Lake aren’t fair
Streetcars should go west, provide rides to schools

Since when does the sheriff punch a clock?
Dissolving village will bring tax relief to some