The Columbia Chronicle

Illinois must stop refunding big retailers

By Editorial Board

February 16, 2009

Chicago has the highest sales tax in the nation at 10.25 percent, and it would be right for taxpayers to assume this all goes to public funds. But a little-known law, now in the spotlight, gives 1.75 percent of Illinois sales tax back to retailers, amounting to $126 million a year, more than any other state, according to a study done by Good Jobs First, a Washington D.C.-based research group.The study shows that 26 states...

You’re either a libertarian or a fascist

By Steven Schnarr

February 16, 2009

With all this talk of a stimulus plan uniting the country, it is easy to lose focus of ideals, even for someone as idealistic as me.But when it comes down to it, not one major politician in the public eye has said anything that makes sense.The U.S. Congress couldn't seem to reach a bipartisan agreement over the current proposal on the bill. Even though President Barack Obama stands able to unite the nation, and is trying, it seem...

Michael Phelps smoking pot harmless

By Lauren Kelly

February 9, 2009

Michael Phelps can be called an Olympic superstar, a 14-time gold medal winner, a record-breaking athlete, an all-American swimmer and, most recently, a pot smoker.A photograph of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps smoking marijuana from a bong surfaced last week after being published in a British tabloid. The photo has since circulated in the media, forcing the press to talk about the issue of recreational cannabis use in the Unit...

Birth control provisions necessary in stimulus

By Steven Schnarr

February 9, 2009

On Jan. 27, The U.S. House dropped the most justifiable and necessary provision from the stimulus bill-$200 million for new contraceptive services and prevention of STDs.If any of the provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are worthwhile, birth control initiatives are, and have been, the most needed.Some argue that birth control is an unrelated part of the bill, rather than directly affecting stimulus. But...

No reason to shut Scientology group out of South Loop

By Editorial Board

February 9, 2009

Although controversy surrounds the Church of Scientology, the group has just as much of a right to have a presence in the South Loop as any church.As reported in an article in the Feb. 2 issue of The Chronicle, local residents are at odds over plans for a Scientology Center to be built in the South Loop at 650 S. Clark St.Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd ward) held a community meeting to discuss a proposal by the religious group to hav...

Students, teachers need cooperation for better future

By Editorial Board

February 9, 2009

In these dire times, hope is not the only thing students are holding onto.Not too long ago, the economy seemed to be chugging along just fine. Students walked down hallways thinking about homework due in two hours. School seemed a chore at times, and entertaining at others. There was no serious concern to the future possibility of a job. It seemed they were being prepared just fine.Now, despair seems to hide in the corner ...

Parking is for public, time to put stop to dibs

By Editorial Board

February 2, 2009

Laundry baskets, orange cones, lawn chairs or milk crates-whatever it is-it's time to go.Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation recently said it would begin cracking down on the long-honored tradition of dibs-where people claim parking spots on the street by placing random objects in the street after shoveling snow out of a spot. But even weeks after a snowstorm, people continue to claim spots.Although the penalti...

Obama’s nod to nonbelievers sets accepting tone

By Thomas Pardee

February 2, 2009

President Barack Obama was elected on the premise that he would bring a fresh outlook to the White House, and so far he's doing just that. But after his first speech as president, he's already drawn criticism for being a little too fresh.During his inaugural speech on Jan. 20, Obama did something unprecedented. As he listed some of the United States' most prominent religions, he finished with a nod to Americans who don't wo...

Weapons of mass instruction

By Steven Schnarr

February 2, 2009

Federal funding for education is a policy that has been largely present in the United States since 1965, and it is a policy that never should have started in the first place-but it's getting worse.On Jan. 28, the House passed an $819 billion stimulus package, which has about $142 billion reserved for education, more than any other project. But just like any time the federal government hands out money, there are strings attach...

New aid to students a good start

By Editorial Board

January 26, 2009

On Jan. 14, President Warrick L. Carter sent out a memo to the Columbia community regarding the 2009-10 budget, providing an excellent start to help Columbia and its students in such odd financial times.Tuition this fall is set to increase 3 percent, as opposed to last year’s 4.95 percent increase, according to the memo. Also, the school aims to increase scholarship funding by 50 percent, using initiatives such as matchin...

Living alone means never having to say you’re sorry

By Joel Alonzo

January 26, 2009

School is starting up again and students are moving back into dorm rooms, apartments and their parents' basements. At some point during all of this movement, some people are going to choose to live on their own-and although there is a stigma attached to living alone, it's worth it to spend some time in college by yourself.As we go through life, we are constantly surrounded by people. Before we move out of the house, it's o...

Reflecting on eight painful years of Bush

By Editorial Board

January 26, 2009

Former President George W. Bush, initially elected eight years ago, ran on a platform to reduce national debt and pledged against nation-building and big government. Since then, he has done just the opposite. Though there is no way to recount the worst things Bush supported, there are several aspects of his duties as Commander-in-Chief that should be reviewed.Managing the administration: If this can be taken in a positive w...

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