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Post-Gazette -- OPINION

Updated: 2017-09-21T10:35:41




Pittsburgh is a city where dozens of the top 1 percent of 1 percent of robotics minds in the world gather to drink beer and eat wings. That proximity and informality puts the city “in the top 10 in a small amount of things that are about to explode.’’



President Donald Trump made an impression in his Tuesday speech to the U.N. General Assembly. These speeches by heads of government and state, given the forum and attendance of world leaders and international figures, can be considered a statement of a nation’s foreign policy, much more so than campaign speeches, media interviews and tweets.



The initial impact of the state’s 2-month-old budget standoff landed Friday, when Gov. Tom Wolf froze about $1.2 billion in Medicaid payments to insurers who cover the state’s poor and vulnerable. Insurers said they wouldn’t shut off coverage, but there’s bound to be a ripple effect. If insurers have to borrow at some point to pay for health care services, doesn’t that mean less service or more costly care down the line?



At this shank end of a summer that a calmer America someday will remember with embarrassment, you must remember this: In the population of 325 million, a small sliver crouches on the wilder shores of politics, another sliver lives in the dark forest of mental disorder, and there is a substantial overlap between these slivers. At most moments, 312 million are not listening to excitable broadcasters making mountains of significance out of molehills of political effluvia.

GOP, put your focus on people rather than repealing Obamacare


I am so tired of these Republican senators and representatives, who when asked if people with pre-existing conditions will be able to afford health care with any of their new proposed plans, they immediately go to Obamacare. We are not talking about Obamacare; we are concerned about what they might put in effect with their new proposed health care plans. 

Ahead of our time in life sciences


Pittsburgh is usually ahead of its time. Occasionally we get reminded of this in surprising and satisfying ways.

Leaders, stop the politics and treat health care as the serious business it is


Health care is an essential issue that affects all Americans, rich or poor. I insist that our elected senators and representatives take this matter seriously and improve health care policy — rather than worsen it — by working together for as long as it takes. 

My longtime enthusiasm for the Pirates is greatly diminished


My return on investment in the Pittsburgh Pirates covers decades; it started at Sunday doubleheaders at Forbes Field with my father in the mid-1940s. The cost of tickets, travel, parking and hot dogs over many years may be a small price to pay for special memories.

The PSO players were the highlight of the Steelers game


On Sunday, I attended the football game against Minnesota and had a fine time. The Steelers played like real professionals and won handily. The Pitt band played and marched well.

Climate crisis is a more accurate term for what is happening


Why do we keep saying climate change? A more accurate term is climate crisis. Al Gore said it. Let’s all run with it.



Our forefathers established for our great country a government of, by and for the people. It is a wonderful democracy established to protect and give voice to those without power or money. It is why the vote is our most important and precious right. However, with gerrymandering, the manipulation of district lines, used by both political parties over the years, our vote is often negated by the politicians for the benefit of the politicians.



When Donald Trump ran for president, he criticized the interventionist policies of his Republican and Democratic predecessors, sparking fears that he would usher in a new era of American isolationism. But at the United Nations this week, Mr. Trump laid out a clear conservative vision for vigorous American global leadership based on state sovereignty.



There are at least a couple of difficulties in writing a book about a living thing, such as Pittsburgh.



Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel has had no problem holding people in contempt of court over the years. That makes it especially important that she show all due respect to orders from the judges above her. Right now, she’s flirting with contempt herself.

Do your jobs and fix the state budget mess


The Sept. 16 headline “Wolf Follows Through on Promise to Curtail Spending, Freezes $1.2 Billion in Medicaid Funds” was the last straw for me. The inability of our state representatives and governor to work together to fulfill their obligations to the people they represent is appalling. Without a budget, some of our organizations who serve our poorest residents/​taxpayers in our state will be denied the support they require to continue their much-needed services.



Every night with the window open, I lie in bed listening to the wistful sound of train whistles. The sonic pleasure evaporates as I remember that many of these trains are hauling 100 or more oil cars. 

South Side facts: The whole neighborhood is not 'plagued' by problems


I was taken aback when I read the Sept. 14 headline “DA Zappala Announces New Surveillance Cameras to Monitor Problem-Plagued South Side.” The article detailed Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala’s announcement that he had installed 13 new surveillance cameras along Carson Street. It is true that the saturation of bars in a five-block area contributes to a variety of nuisance crimes on Friday and Saturday evenings. But, it is important to note that the activity in this section of Carson Street should not define the South Side as being problem-plagued.

White supremacy and anti-Semitism: We must defeat them together


Regarding “White Supremacist Arrested in Connection With Anti-Semitic Flyers in Squirrel Hill” (Sept. 15): Issues of white supremacists and Nazis go far beyond Hardy Lloyd. White supremacy and anti-Semitism are systemic issues that we, a Pittsburgh community, must work to dismantle.



What happens when Norway — a Scandinavian country whose government provides its citizens a lifestyle that includes the world’s highest measures of quality in health care, education, labor standards and wages — holds elections?

Dan Simpson: It's the preposterous season


The fall, my least-favorite season, despite its beauty, because of certain unfortunate autumn events in my life, enhances my sense of the preposterous.