The Edward H. Arnold Institute for Policy Studies

Alarms Over Gun Violence Obscure Deadly Tool From Child Abuse

With the plague of mass shootings afflicting America, the casualty toll adds up quickly and alarmingly.  Child abuse claims victims one or two at a time, but is so pervasive that these sad numbers pile up too.  While each sparks calls for adding effective preventative measures, emotionally fraught debates, rallies, and marches over gun violence […]

What, Pray Tell, Are We Thinking?

  Following the Flint, Michigan scandal, there are rising demands for testing water in schools for the presence of lead, a serious health hazard for children particularly.  Unrelated news reports suggest we may want to test the water everywhere for whatever toxin is making our nation senselessly hard-hearted in setting spending priorities. A two-year federal […]

Recognizing A Standout Public Servant

  One of our family’s favorite children’s books across two generations is A Regular Flood Of Mishap,by Tom Birdseye.  It is an entertaining and clever tale of compounding catastrophes, which are not enough to undo the love and forgiveness of her family. That book title came to mind the other day when the headline appeared […]

Trying To Find The Ever More Elusive Middle Ground

  Sitting up in the Bob Uecker seats, looking at the political process from a distance, affords a reflective view of the daily games.  Unfortunately, there is not much to cheer for lately. The only thing that seems to be melting away faster than glaciers and polar icecaps is the middle ground of American politics.  […]

Good News: Voters Get Their Say On A Major Constitutional Revision

  No matter how much is accomplished during any two-year legislative session, the menu of reforms and systemic changes sought by taxpayers, commentators, and interest groups never seems to diminish.  There are multiple avenues for changing state government – through laws, regulations, executive actions, court decisions, and federal dictates. The kingmaker of change is an […]

AOC and the Singularity of the Holocaust

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (or AOC) has once again created a whirlwind of controversy by using words in a reckless manner.  Her carelessness this time was particularly egregious and evoked such strong emotional reactions by using the term “concentration camps” to describe detention facilities set up to house migrants crossing illegally into the United States from […]

A Positive Reaction From Reality Colliding With Misconception

This title may have a “Say What?” nature, but it squares with the impressions that follow.  People of a certain age remember Art Linkletter achieving television immortality through a popular segment titled “Kids Say The Darnedest Things.”  A modern variation is: “Surprising Things You Learn By Quizzing College Students.”  They too give delightfully candid answers […]

We Must Save Our Republic While We Still Have The Chance

The “American experiment” is on life support. We don’t realize it yet, or perhaps we simply don’t care, but as the most notable Founding Fathers feared, majority-rule democracy has created an America headed toward catastrophe. Benjamin Franklin, when leaving the Constitutional Convention, was asked by a citizen: “Mr. Franklin, what kind of government have you […]

Faulting Teachers Is Not Fixing Education

During the four decades I have been around state politics, arguments over the quality, cost, and access to education have dominated the agenda.  Education funding and performance constitute the highest intensity controversy zone in Pennsylvania politics, apart from abortion.  This is partly explained by each of us holding views and perceptions shaped by our experience […]

Charity May Begin At Home, But Good Works Reach Beyond Our Borders

In a recent issue of TIME magazine, Queen Rania of Jordan provided a piece advocating empowering girls with education, citing the value and virtue derived from such efforts.  Both the message and the messenger have significance.  As we know, arguments over the place of women in Islam are escalating.  Even so, it is not just […]