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Serious mayhem occurred at the Capitol on Wednesday. There was a lockdown, gunfire and a fatality. Lawmakers had to be evacuated. (Associated Press)

America’s mental health crisis is here

With all the recent talk of “trusting the experts” it’s easy to forget that the best barometer of how things are faring is almost always ourselves. After all, we don’t need a federal jobs report to tell us our neighbor no longer has a small business; we don’t need to read a newspaper to tell us our parents are ill-protected in their nursing homes; and we sure don’t need mental health professionals to inform us that our children are psychologically breaking down.

President Joe Biden speaks about the coronavirus in the State Dinning Room of the White House, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Biden’s road more traveled

The inauguration of Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the 46th president returns the United States to the direction from whence it came. For the tens of millions who voted for him, his ascendance to the White House means the nation is getting back on track. Those who did not dread the U-turn he has vowed to make.

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In this Thursday, May 7, 2020, photo, Bob Berkel reads a couple of newspapers during the coronavirus pandemic outside the Stockbridge Library, in Stockbridge, Mass. (Ben Garver/The Berkshire Eagle via AP)

Supporting journalism's role in civil society

These days it is both common and unpleasant to hear espoused, especially by members of the elite, that the coronacrisis is helpfully accelerating the demise -- if not total destruction -- of sclerotic industries. One such industry, and everyone's favorite whipping boy, if we are being honest, is the media, particularly newspapers, which seem to have now regressed from a decade-long serious condition to one in need of critical attention.

President Barack Obama listens to President-elect Donald Trump speak during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

From 'Russiagate' to 'Obamagate': The tables turn on Obama administration

The wheels of justice may turn slowly, as dictum claims, but those who ignore the relentless grind risk a painful surprise. That is the lesson for mischief-makers who engaged in a cloak-and-dagger plot to depose President Trump. More than 1,200 days have passed since Mr. Trump arrived in the White House -- three times longer than it took to build the Empire State Building. It's long enough for justice to run -- or walk -- its course.

A parking lot at a JC Penney store is empty in Roseville, Mich., Friday, May 8, 2020. Across the country, in industries of every kind and size, the coronavirus pandemic has devastated businesses small and large. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Getting America going again by incentivizing a return to work

In as dramatic a turn of events as we've seen in our lifetimes, America went from virtual full employment to the highest level of unemployment in just about a blink of any eye. The economy is as flat on its back as it's been since any time since the worst parts of the Great Depression and, as yet, no one has come up with the way out.

A United States Postal worker makes a delivery with gloves and a mask in Philadelphia, Thursday, April 2, 2020. The U.S. Postal Service is keeping post offices open but ensuring customers stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart. The agency said it is following guidance from public health experts, although there is no indication that the new coronavirus COVID-19 is being spread through the mail. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

How to save the Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service has been sick for a long time. The coronavirus has put it on the critical list at the same time we're more dependent on it, especially for packages with essential supplies, medicine and even food because of the self-quarantine imposed on most all of us. What to do?

Americans have confidence the work of the federal government will continue even if members of Congress become ill with coronavirus. (Associated Press)

Bailing out the broken pension system

As Democrats and Republicans prepare for a fight over whether the federal government should print even more money to bail out states running short of cash because of the coronavirus shutdown, some governors see an opportunity to blame the pandemic for long-standing financial problems.

President Donald Trump speaks after signing a coronavirus aid package to direct funds to small businesses, hospitals, and testing, in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, April 24, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Immigration put on pause

Last week, President Donald Trump made an announcement via Twitter just about no one saw coming: "In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!" By Wednesday the proclamation had been signed, and just like that, immigration into the United States, with some exceptions, was put on pause.

Pedestrians wearing protective masks cross Canal Street Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The year of the asterisk

If the asterisk didn't already exist, someone would need to invent it. The little starburst is destined to appear everywhere the details of pandemic-dominated 2020 are documented. Wherever it pops up, the asterisk will serve to remind future readers something happened that year which requires additional explanation to grasp. The billions living through the coronavirus contagion, though, will have their own disturbing flashbacks that recall a year like none in living memory.

People wearing a protective face mask as a precaution against the coronavirus walk past a mural of the world in Philadelphia, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. April 22 is observed as Earth Day every year as a tool to raise ecological awareness. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Digging disease on Earth Day

Earth Day has reached the ripe old age of 50. In all those years, the day of action on behalf of the planet has never produced the real-world impact of the current coronavirus contagion. Now that climate activists have witnessed what a genuine global emergency looks like, their passion for a repeat may prove irresistible. The segment of society that feeds, clothes, shelters and heals humanity -- that is, almost everyone -- should beware of efforts to hitch an environmental crisis to the ravages of a pestilence the world is already battling.

A bee takes off from a flower Monday, April 20, 2020, at Sheldon Lake State Park and Environmental Learning Center in Houston. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered state parks to reopen Monday after being closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Make Earth Day a time to come together

For the first time since it was conceived, Earth Day will be, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, observed virtually. That's a big change for a 50-year-old cultural event celebrating the wonders of creation and the beauty of the big blue marble on which we all reside.

President Donald Trump listens during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Monday, April 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Pinning the quack tail on The Donald

There is a glimmer of reason to suspect the dreaded coronavirus has summited its American mountain of death and is poised to start a downward slide toward normalcy. The hope-filled development has prompted President Trump to ponder what he calls "the biggest decision I've ever had to make": When to reopen the economy. Whatever course of action the president chooses, one thing is certain: His critics will consider him a coronavirus quack.

President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Saturday, April 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Anticipating Opening Day

The coronavirus curve is finally flattening, but so is the U.S. economy. When a full month of dutiful adherence to stay-at-home advisories has passed, Americans rightly expect to see a loosening of restrictions. With thoughtful attention to proper balance between health and financial well-being, authorities will hinge their legacies on whether they choose wisely before hitting hit the "start" button.