Recovering to Death

TOM H. HASTINGS: If stimulus packages for corporate sinkholes are good enough for the American taxpayer, why can’t we find $5.4 billion to create minimum wage jobs, with full health care benefits, for the 216,000 Americans who lost their jobs in August? Coincidentally, $5.4 billion is the amount the Pentagon will spend next year on unmanned vehicles, such as the Predator, which is killing so many civilians in Pakistan and turning our friends into our sworn enemies.

When “Public Options” Serve the Public — and When They Don’t

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER: Currently, there is nothing more controversial in President Barack Obama’s health care reform proposal than the “public option.” Much of the controversy, of course, has been generated by private insurance companies, determined to safeguard their hefty profits, and by Republican politicians, eager to destroy anything that might redound to the benefit of the Democrats. Even so, a little clear thinking on the subject of public programs might illuminate their advantages and disadvantages.

Insitu Deserves a Harder Look

SUSAN GARRETT CROWLEY: Insitu, a local drone developer now owned by Boeing, has recently approached cities in the Columbia River Gorge as a part of a public relations campaign to develop public support for its operations. Since Boeing/Insitu has initiated this discussion, Washington and Oregon citizens may want to carefully consider the true nature of what it is designed to do for the U.S. military.