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America Dumps Its Fracking Waste in My Ohio Town

America Dumps Its Fracking Waste in My Ohio Town

My southeastern Ohio town in the Appalachian foothills is a small, rural place where the demolition derby is a hot ticket, Walmart is the biggest store, and people in the surrounding villages must often drive for 30 minutes to grocery shop. We hold the unfortunate...

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Bad Bureaucracies Are Fraying the Social Safety Net

Bad Bureaucracies Are Fraying the Social Safety Net

I've always believed in government. That is, I believe there are roles in society that can be best performed by a government — to serve the people, rather than a profit motive. But I'm fed up. It's like a crisis of faith. I'm trying to believe the best about the...

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In OtherWords: January 31, 2018

In OtherWords: January 31, 2018

President Trump gave his first official State of the Union address last night. Under the bipartisan facades, there were some familiar hardline demands — especially on immigration and the military. This week in OtherWords, I parse the Trump-GOP line on immigration and...

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What Trump Wants on Immigration Is Ethnic Cleansing

What Trump Wants on Immigration Is Ethnic Cleansing

I’ll be honest: I didn’t watch Trump’s State of the Union address when it aired. Instead, I put my baby to bed and watched reality TV with my wife. If that rattled a few brain cells, hopefully I saved a few more by not guzzling the bourbon I’d set aside to steel...

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Huge Military Budgets Make Us Broke, Not Safe

Huge Military Budgets Make Us Broke, Not Safe

We’re all tense. Hearing about our fellow citizens in Hawaii scrambling around, looking for a place to hide from a nuclear bomb, will do that to you. So will contests between two unstable world leaders over the size of their nuclear buttons. Now, some politicians say...

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A California Trend Worth Catching: College for All

A California Trend Worth Catching: College for All

California can be an annoyingly trendy state. Think avocado toast, In-N-Out Burger, Hollywood fashion, even legal pot. But Californians are now in the vanguard to fix the serious problem of how to pay for public higher education. Over 44 million households in the U.S....

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Colleges Are Screwing Both Teachers and Students

Colleges Are Screwing Both Teachers and Students

On Friday, January 26, I was in a good mood. I was about to start teaching for the spring semester on Monday. I had set everything up online, and my syllabus was ready. I'd even emailed my students to let them know which textbook to buy. Then I got a phone call from...

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