August 22, 1996 |
Americans fashioned a system for governing the country that left individuals free to do whatever they thought best. Yet we knew from the very beginning that unbridled individualism would do us in if we didn't have something to bind us together. So we agreed on a Constitution with a common set of laws. We raised barns together and told stories about the past in order to impress upon the next generation the importance of mutual aid. We created symbols to evoke a shared sense of allegiance.
October 17, 2006 |
I'm at the kitchen table, flipping through paperwork from the human resources department of my new employer and finding myself utterly baffled at the information fanned out in front of me. With all the education inside my head - two years of graduate, four of undergraduate, 12 of high/middle/elementary, and a year's worth of preschool - I cannot make sense of this. Retirement plans, tax forms, the insurance triumvirate (health, dental, life), pre-tax withholdings - I'm assailed by armies of razor-edged letters and numbers: W-2, W-4, 401(k)
August 22, 1998
Tobacco companies, whose products kill hundreds of thousands of customers a year, won big last week. A court ruling gave thumbs-down to federal efforts to regulate cigarettes as "drug-delivery" devices. So it's high-five time for the peddlers of lung cancer and heart disease. Some antitobacco leaders shrugged off the decision, noting that the appellate court panel split 2-to-1 over it and that this happened in tobacco-friendly Richmond, Va. We'll win on appeal, they say. And so they might, but it's no slam dunk.
March 17, 1995 |
Like other companies grappling with the federal regulatory octopus, Custom Print owner Stu McMichael currently fills out 20 toxic-emission forms for his Virginia print shop. But under regulatory reforms announced by President Clinton yesterday, he'll be able to breeze through with only one form. With the Republican-led Congress pushing sweeping changes to curb federal regulation, Clinton announced a series of more modest steps aimed at freeing businesses from cumbersome rules.
March 17, 1995 |
Having just returned home from five weeks in places where wars are raging or brewing, I find that something seems to have gone missing in American politics. Common sense. I usually breathe a sigh of relief after returning home from countries where political leaders indulge in the kind of vicious polemics that encourage longtime neighbors to start killing each other. Not this time. A week back in the United States and my eyes and ears are overwhelmed by the kind of blatant demagoguery from Washington that I associate with leaders of failing states.
April 14, 1998 |
Opponents of the auto-inspection test implemented last year are bringing their fight to the polls. "Instead of taking and accepting candidates presented to us, we're telling our members to write in an alternative name as a protest vote," said John DiPrimio of the group Citizens for Common Sense. DiPrimio said voters could write in his name or a name of their own choosing. The campaign won't change the outcome of the election but will "draw more attention to our cause," said DiPrimio, a general contractor.
August 29, 2005 |
With the deadline to qualify in New Jersey's first "Clean Elections" only eight days away, rules have been eased for collecting the 1,500 small contributions candidates need to participate in the public-financing pilot program. The State Election Enforcement Commission will now allow voters to make online contributions of $5 and $30 using debit or check cards at a Web site the state Treasury Department expects to have operating later this week. Assembly candidates in Camden County's Sixth District and Monmouth County's 13th District - the only two legislative districts participating in the state's Clean Elections experiment - have in previous weeks had to collect contributions solely by check or money order.
March 4, 1993 |
Dave Mock surveyed the large crowd, his head shaking incredulously. "My biggest concern," said the president of the Rotary Club of Feasterville, "was that no one was going to come. " Call it a sign of the times. At least 200 people turned out last week to learn how they could protect themselves if they became targets of a carjacking. Scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Street Road, people - old and young, men and women - began filing in before 6:45 p.m., quickly filling the small room as special agents from the FBI - the scheduled guest speakers - fiddled with a television set and checked the overhead slide projector.
June 18, 1996 |
The understanding has hit home, all over the big-business college sports landscape, that the system is broken. Even the NCAA seems to have gotten the message. The news hits that a top basketball player like Marcus Camby has taken money and jewelry from an agent and has said he would do it again, and that at the same time he has filed criminal charges against the agent for blackmail. The news hits, and nobody at the NCAA is surprised. It "reconfirms" the problems the organization has, one of its staff members said.
October 22, 1992 |
From the moment he put on his Boy Scout uniform, from the first time he counted his extra pay for delivering newspapers in dangerous neighborhoods in Texarkana, Texas, Ross Perot, patriot and capitalist, did not just chase the American dream - he lived the American myth. In time, he became a national emblem of hard work, entrepreneurial fire and common sense. He embraced family, country, charity, loyalty, contempt for sloth and self-indulgence, intolerance of fools and their follies.