Taking Issue

KENNEDY: The age of propagandaRestricted Content

September 20, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
We live in an age of disinformation. Fox News, MSNBC, CNN. Some are better than others, but not much.
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RUSTHOVEN: No dispute about civil illiteracyRestricted Content

September 13, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
My friend and Taking Issues counterpart Sheila Kennedy and I disagree on many things. But Kennedy, who heads Indiana University’s Center for Civic Literacy, is dead right about the woeful ignorance among Americans about our history and governmental system.
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KENNEDY: In the country of the blindRestricted Content

September 6, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Two unrelated articles in the Aug. 31 New York Times brought me up short. The first was yet another analysis of (un)representative government in Ferguson, Mo.; the second addressed the growing power of Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers’ political organization.
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RUSTHOVEN: A president dangerously in denialRestricted Content

August 30, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
The videotaped beheading of American journalist James Foley by ISIS terrorists is a gruesome reminder of the reality of evil—a reality our president and many Americans are reluctant to face.
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KENNEDY: Daniels diminishing higher learningRestricted Content

August 23, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
The current political focus on what we used to call “vocational education” not only minimizes the value of a liberal education, it ignores the reality of today’s job market.
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RUSTHOVEN: Carter keeps the world ‘enlightened’Restricted Content

August 16, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
Former President Jimmy Carter recently volunteered his wisdom on the conflict between Israel and Hamas. In Carter’s view, hostilities were not sparked by Hamas’ firing rockets at Israeli citizens, nor tunneling from Gaza into Israel to kill and kidnap civilians.
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KENNEDY: Indianapolis needs a commuter taxRestricted Content

August 9, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
No matter how nostalgically we think of Indiana as a patchwork of small, quaint towns and family farms, those days are gone. Indiana’s workforce and population are increasingly metropolitan, and our growth will continue to be in our urban centers.
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Pence, gay marriage and media biasRestricted Content

August 2, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
The notion that Pence put gay marriage in “legal limbo” is fanciful. The limbo is due to the legal situation, with one court striking down the law, gay couples getting married before the stay, and no one knowing how the case will come out.
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KENNEDY: Buggy whips, rotary phones and coalRestricted Content

July 26, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
he history of business success has been the history of innovation—the triumph of visionary entrepreneurs who saw where the wind was blowing and left their more stubbornly traditional compatriots in the dust.
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RUSTHOVEN: Lawsuit could rein in Obama overreachRestricted Content

July 19, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
Speaker John Boehner’s plans to have the House file a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s refusals to enforce federal laws has elicited predictable derision in liberal and media circles (which overlap on a Venn diagram).
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KENNEDY: We need to connect the civic dotsRestricted Content

July 12, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
It isn’t only democratic institutions and behaviors that are affected by profound ignorance of our history and government.
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RUSTHOVEN: Things you don’t know about Hobby LobbyRestricted Content

July 5, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
From reaction on the left to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, you’d think it ruled that corporations have First Amendment “free exercise of religion” rights, allowing them to refuse contraceptive coverage for women employees despite the Affordable Care Act’s statutory command. You’d be wrong. Literally none of this is true.
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KENNEDY: Maybe it’s a systems failureRestricted Content

June 28, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Next weekend is the Fourth of July. Along with the barbecues, parades and neighborhood get-togethers, we’ll hear speeches about Truth, Justice and the American Way. We might raise a toast to the Founders, and count ourselves fortunate to live in a (mostly still) democratic country.
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RUSTHOVEN: Tea Party victories send wrong messageRestricted Content

June 21, 2014
One benefit of writing a regular column is reader feedback. Occasional kind comments from friends are, of course, encouraging. But critiques are more frequent and often more interesting.
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KENNEDY: Constitutional convention is idea whose time is not nowRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Periodically, lawmakers impatient to change government policies of which they disapprove will call for a constitutional convention.
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RUSTHOVEN: Tea Party, Chocola never seem to learnRestricted Content

June 7, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
On June 3, Mississippi Republicans took a step down the path traveled two years ago by their Indiana counterparts. Ordinarily, Hoosiers might think Mississippians would do well to follow our lead. Not this time.
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KENNEDY: A rose by any other nameRestricted Content

May 31, 2014
What was that line from Romeo and Juliet? “That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.”
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RUSTHOVEN: Pence pushes plan to national stature

May 24, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
A while back, we wrote about Gov. Pence’s efforts to use federal health care dollars for our state’s successful Healthy Indiana Plan, rather than expanding the failure that is Medicaid.
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KENNEDY: The luck of the (economic) drawRestricted Content

May 17, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz recently testified before a Senate committee on the issue of America’s growing inequality. His observations were sobering.
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RUSTHOVEN: The union vote proved toothlessRestricted Content

May 10, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
Two races on my 2014 watch list were challenges to GOP state representatives Bob Behning of Indianapolis and Jerry Torr of Carmel. The issues differed, but each race showed continued erosion of union political power.
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KENNEDY: The tax-cutters are too clever by halfRestricted Content

May 3, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Tax cuts have consequences as predictable as the sunrise. The politicians who cut taxes boast about their concern for taxpayers and their superior efficiency; they assure us that our low taxes will lure new business, then they run for higher office or otherwise head for greener pastures where the accuracy of those claims is unlikely to be tested. The politicians who have been left to operate with less money engage in equally predictable behaviors.
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RUSTHOVEN: High court opted for common senseRestricted Content

April 26, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
In Plessy vs. Ferguson, decided in 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court held it constitutional for states to discriminate on the basis of race, pronouncing the now-discredited notion that “separate but equal” comported with the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of “equal protection of the laws.”
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KENNEDY: First, eat the spinachRestricted Content

April 19, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
There is probably not a parent on the planet who hasn’t delivered the time-honored dinner lecture, “No dessert unless you eat your vegetables.” We want our children to understand that first things come first—that consuming healthy food has to come before sugary treats, no matter how tempting.
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RUSTHOVEN: Glad Kentucky went down in the finals

April 12, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
In sports, I typically root for my team to win, not for another team to lose. Exceptions are the New England Patriots (Colts loyalists need no explanation) and the New York Yankees, justly despised by all us Boston Red Sox fans and other real Americans.
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KENNEDY: Hobby Lobby’s unintended consequencesRestricted Content

April 5, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
All eyes are on the Hobby Lobby lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court. Most of the commentary revolves around whether a for-profit corporation should be able to disregard a law of general application if that law offends its shareholder/owners’ “sincerely held” religious beliefs.
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