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Students finally will receive financial education

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As school is back in session, it is encouraging to think about all that our children will learn in this new academic school year. 

This school year, Arizonans have something new to smile about as all our high school students will be taught financial literacy during their economics class as a requirement before they graduate.

This change is due to legislation I advanced during my first weeks in office as the Arizona State Treasurer. Senate bill 1184 passed through both the Arizona Senate and the Arizona House of Representatives with wide, bipartisan support and was signed by Governor Doug Ducey on April 11. 

The importance of Arizonans knowing the basics of personal money ma...

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Fame has become a disease in the video age

You know what affliction never gets the attention it deserves? Fame. That’s a disease I hope never to catch.

Sure, famous people probably don’t wait 45 minutes for a table at Oregano’s. And they get treated as VIPs when they go to a U2 concert or a sporting event. Even so, despite the benefits, being famous looks awful to me.

Case in point: This week’s flap over CNN anchor Chris Cuomo flipping out when some jerk with a video camera called him “Fredo,” a reference to the dumb, traitorous Corleone son in “The Godfather.”

Lost in the altercation’s storm of f-bombs and testosterone — and Cuomo’s bizarre comparison that calling him Fredo was no different than slurring a black pe...

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Massacres underscore need for gun control

Here’s a sad, shameful confession: No longer do I pay attention to news coverage of American mass shootings.

That sounds callous, as if I mean to minimize the grief of those who have lost loved ones. Nothing could be further from the truth.

But when it comes to angry white males mowing down multiple human beings with a semi-automatic assault weapon, I have seen this picture show enough to have it memorized.

The first time I saw it up close was April 1999, when the Big Newspaper in Phoenix flew me to Colorado to write about the Columbine tragedy. The police were still on the scene when I arrived.

I spent days talking to high school students and grieving pare...

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Too many kids aspire to be too little in life

When I was a little boy growing up in Queens, New York, in the 1970s, my career aspirations inevitably focused on who got to drive the biggest truck. I wanted to be a garbageman, because that truck was loud and crunched things. The allure wore off in first grade when I realized that garbage was heavy and smelled.

After that, I went through a bus driver phase and then a firefighter phase. Again, talk about enormous, cool vehicles. Mixed in was an obsession with Julius Dr. J. Erving and a long stint hoping I would one day become a plainclothes police detective.

The reason I mention this is a Harris poll that came out the other day and depressed the hell out of me.

To mark the...

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Auschwitz visit becomes more than a history lesson

We should be finished with Auschwitz by now.

After three-quarters of a century, the subject should be closed.

It shouldn’t be necessary to write about the place.

It shouldn’t be necessary to go there.

And it wouldn’t be, if “never again” were true.

But something deep and dark and evil roils beneath our facades, and new Auschwitzes erupt, time and again.

Sometimes the scale approaches that of the original, as in Rwanda, 1994, or the concentration camps currently being built by China for ethnic minorities. And sometimes it’s the work of a single warped mind – slaughter at a Pittsburgh synagogue, at a Charleston church, at a N...

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