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Short-changed by grade inflation

My two sons have been indoctrinated by their well-meaning public schools to believe that college is a punishingly difficult pursuit of knowledge. Around the dinner table, however, they get the skinny from their parents: “It all depends on your major.”

The Gruber confession

It’s not exactly the Ems Dispatch (the diplomatic cable Bismarck doctored to provoke the 1870 Franco-Prussian War). But what the just-resurfaced Gruber Confession lacks in world-historical consequence, it makes up for in world-class cynicism. This October 2013 video shows MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, a principal architect of Obamacare, admitting that, in order to get it passed, the law was made deliberately obscure and deceptive. It constitutes the ultimate vindication of the charge that Obamacare was sold on a pack of lies.

Common Ground | Mayor’s forum celebrates people who make things

The art of making things is making a comeback in the United States and Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz is hosting a “Makers Forum” next Thursday to highlight some of the impressive efforts — both industrial and small-scale — happening in the Wenatchee Valley.

They’re angry, we pay the price

Labor disputes with all the ugly trimmings — strikes, walkouts, lockouts, slowdowns, threats, etc. — are often baffling to the innocent bystanders. You can’t choose sides, not knowing what makes those people so angry. You know they fight over profits and who gets what, but right and wrong are in disguise. When both sides look rich, we ordinary people will never understand.

Rethinking U.S. foreign policy

Barack Obama’s coming request for Congress to “right-size and update” the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against terrorism will be constitutionally fastidious and will catalyze a debate that will illuminate Republican fissures. They, however, are signs of a healthy development — the reappearance of foreign policy heterodoxy in Republican ranks.

Traffic jams are our shared future

For reasons I can’t quite explain, I recently found myself sitting in a rental car on a freeway, somewhere near the center of Houston, Texas. This is one of the biggest and busiest cities in the hemisphere and so I wasn’t surprised to be trapped in the vast regional gridlock, crammed in with a few million people on six lanes of hell. Time is money, I thought, as I tried to figure out which of a hundred dash buttons turned on the radio. Good thing for them I’m not getting ...

Democrats in need of a rebuilding plan

All right, all right, I didn’t see the wave coming. All those margin-of-error polls seemed to suggest that Democrats would likely hold their own — probably not keep the Senate but make a respectable showing overall. Wrong.

Editorial: Annexation is a natural next step

City limits are arbitrary things. There’s nothing natural about a city’s’ boundary ending at the shore of a river, for instance. If there is a natural city limit, better it be where city ends and country begins. Far better that those receiving municipal services be constituents of the municipality.

Editorial: Esparza is ready

The Wenatchee City Council was presented with an excellent field of candidates to replace recently resigned Councilman Tony Veeder, and its final choice was excellent: Ruth Esparza.

Editorial: Still the advocates

The Columbia Basin Development League held its 50th annual meeting at Moses Lake last week, and paused only briefly to dwell on a half century as advocates for an economic miracle. As is typical, the focus of the meeting quickly turned to the great work ahead. The Columbia Basin Project is not complete. Land needs water, the nation needs food.
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This truck can really grow

Can you grow food sustainably in a truck that has been converted into a moving greenhouse?

Tracy Warner | The salmon feast on the Columbia

What if we invested hundreds of millions in the recovery of a once-disappearing salmon species only to discover nearly half of the fish that return to the Columbia are eaten by rapidly multiplying, out-of-control, ravenous mammals? The fish-eaters simply ignore the Endangered Species Act, dine without regard to regulations and legal protections, care nothing about salmon survival, and spend their days feasting on some of the most valuable fish in the world.

Immigration limited

For a large segment of Hispanics, the dust-settling period following the midterm elections will consist of one big question: “Well, President Obama, what are you going to do about immigration?”