Phil's column

Archived columns

A Chinese voice on Trump, free speech and political correctness

A heavily censored Chinese media is not conducive to a well-informed citizenry. But free speech alone won’t solve problems facing the U.S.

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In an era of fake news and layoffs at the dailies, you can count on Bridge

Your tax-deductible investment in nonprofit journalism will help Bridge expand our data-driven policy analysis, political watchdog work and the best education coverage in the state.




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Reflections on Trump’s election: Taking the long view

There is often a direct relationship between a candidate having a compelling vision for our society and the enthusiasm of the voters




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After bitter campaign, dark days for the Republic

When we cannot even agree on facts, how can we reasonably discuss politics or policy, much less governance?




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Tom Hayden, reflections on an old friend

Admiring the leadership traits that turned the University of Michigan student into the leading voice of the 1960s campus anti-war movement.




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Vote yes on the metro Detroit mass transit proposal

The RTA plan isn’t perfect, but it may be our last, best chance for moving our region forward.




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Bridge Magazine turns 5 with pride

Fighting the tide of media cutbacks, Bridge journalism provides insight into the events of the day and a sense of community togetherness




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Will Lansing commit to transparency and high education standards?

Here’s hoping the Senate won’t weasel out of a bill that makes lawmakers subject to the open records law. Lansing must also keep the rigorous M-STEP test, Michigan’s best bet for accurately gauging our students’ success.




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Saving money on the backs of college grads

Students today are being asked to assume debt levels that are far higher than they were before Lansing started cutting back on support for higher ed




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Two Kalamazoo leaders put their hearts, and money, into city

As the state continues to starve Michigan cities of needed revenue, two civic-minded philanthropists are working to ease the financial burden on their beloved Kalamazoo.




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An educational system doomed to keeping failing

A very big reason Michigan students are falling behind is the very structure of our education system blurs responsibility and eliminates accountability.




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When elites ignore the people, the center cannot hold

History teaches that when political leaders are tone deaf, frustrated and aroused citizens often take things into their own hands.




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Savor the wonders of summer with this family cherry pie recipe

Reflecting on the special glories of a Michigan summer holiday.




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Finding lessons in Flint’s tragedy

Bridge Magazine’s new book on the Flint water crisis, “Poison on Tap,” reminds readers what can happen when our institutions start breaking down.




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Transgender bathrooms or crumbling infrastructure?

It’s time for leaders in the legislature to put aside short-term skirmishes that produce momentary headlines and focus on longer-term imperatives that will leave a lasting mark.




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Binding cities, with few ways out

State policies over many decades are choking off revenue to cities across the state. Is Michigan willing to change?




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A death on the Internet and the gift of time

Acceleration of events imposes dimly perceived but very important changes in the way we think.




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Chinese copy cats and Japanese bullet trains; lessons for America

On a trip overseas, the perils of international free-trade agreements appear in China, and the wonders of a strong infrastructure unfold at 200-mph in Japan.




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