opinion By Virgie Rollins Published 3:15 p.m. UTC Jun 19, 2018 Nearly two in three Michigan college graduates face student loan debt. The average graduate owes $31,000. With hefty monthly payments hanging over their heads and virtually no savings in their bank accounts, many grads struggle to pay for expenses like car insurance or security deposits. Juggling these bills would be tough for anyone -- but it's even tougher because many new graduates lack credit histories. That makes it nearly impossible to get a short-term bank loan. Fortunately, Michigan's representatives in Congress have a chance to help these young Michiganians secure the low-interest loans they need to start their professional lives off strong. The legislation would allow community banks to partner with financial technology firms to offer affordable loans to folks with poor or no credit histories. By joining this effort, lawmakers could give working Michiganians the … [Read more...] about Opinion: Struggling with student loans? Think ‘fintech’
opinion By Dylan Hernandez Published 3:15 p.m. UTC Jun 19, 2018 Up in Flint there’s a school dispelling notions about the city. At dismissal, preppy students in uniforms hop into Jeeps and dash to a downtown cafe for iced coffees and group study. Boisterous drama kids assemble in the new auditorium to rehearse lines for another sold-out production. And the girls and boys soccer teams are both reigning state champions who host matches at a new artificial turf stadium. You can find similar scenes in a handful of tony Metro Detroit enclaves, but it’s an unexpected sight in Flint. From the time I transferred into the co-ed Powers Catholic High School in 10th grade, I’ve watched this develop. The school was an immediate success when it opened on the border of Flint in 1970, but job losses and growing local poverty led to plummeting enrollment. Like so many other urban Catholic schools around the country, Powers’ leaders worried about the school’s … [Read more...] about Opinion: Flint school rises above challenges
If patriotism is the “last refuge of a scoundrel,” the biblical proof-text is one of his favorite diversionary tactics. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ use of a passage — from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans — to support the Trump administration’s policy of separating mothers from their children at the border is a particularly egregious example. In addition to being susceptible to a facile cynicism, there are a number of obvious problems with proof-texting (the practice of quoting an isolated Bible passage to support a particular opinion). First, a verse or passage separated from its context can almost always be countered by another proof-text. For example, Sessions’ use of the Romans passage (“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God …”) to call for unquestioning support of the government is … [Read more...] about Jeff Sessions, immigration and the Bible: The problems with citing a passage to support an opinion
opinion Christopher Wray Gannett News Service Published 6:51 p.m. UTC Jun 18, 2018 There has been no shortage of commentary and debate about the FBI lately, and the new report from the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General is a welcome contribution from an independent voice on events of the 2016 election season. The Bureau is entrusted with a lot of authority to carry out our mission, and with that power comes close scrutiny. That’s as it should be. Fair and independent oversight makes the FBI a stronger organization — and that, in turn, makes our country safer. While the Inspector General didn’t find any evidence of political bias or improper consideration impacting the investigation under review, all of us at the FBI take this report seriously and we accept its findings and recommendations. We’ve already taken steps to address many of the concerns it raises. We’ll change what we need to change and improve what can be made … [Read more...] about Opinion: We’re fixing concerns raised by FBI report
opinion Leonard Pitts Jr. Tribune Content Agency Published 11:15 p.m. UTC Jun 18, 2018 Singer Joan Osborne famously asked that question in 1995. In her Grammy-nominated hit, “One Of Us,” she envisions the author of all creation as “a slob like one of us, just a stranger on a bus trying to make his way home.” The idea of eternity contained in mortality was controversial. But it turns out that envisioning God as “one of us” is not at all uncommon. Indeed, our conceptions of God tend to be colored, perhaps inevitably, by our social affiliations. So says a new study in which University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers tested 511 American Christians to see how they envision God. The one thing respondents agreed on was that God does not resemble Michelangelo’s stern old white man with a flowing beard. Other than that, there was no consensus. African Americans saw a God with African-American features. Young people saw a younger … [Read more...] about Opinion: What if God were one of us?