What to expect this election year

by Ellen Ratner -- Everyone is having a field day analyzing the current primaries and the November general. Every other year it is a time to look at the state of America more…

Ego fest or words of inspiration?

by Ellen Ratner -- This is the graduation season. The president and first lady are giving graduation speeches, and so are many others. I have sat through many graduations in my day, more…

Satire: How our democracy can remain strong

by Ellen Ratner -- I have traveled to many countries, including Soviet Russia, Africa, China in the '80s and Romania under Ceausescu. I have seen what totalitarian and corrupt governments will do, more…

History repeats itself

by Ellen Ratner -- There are times in Washington when genuine bipartisanship exists. It's rare. The press does not cover it, and we rarely hear about it, but it exists. Such is more…

A new approach to mental health

by Ellen Ratner -- Having spent 15 years working in the mental health-care field, I got a birds-eye view into some of the cost challenges within the nation's health-care system. Recently, a more…

Fat, dumb and happy?

by Ellen Ratner -- I just left a country (Southern Sudan) where there is very little food. In the parlance of development talk, it is called food insecurity. What it means is more…

Helping souls recover from a living hell

by Ellen Ratner -- It was the week before Easter two years ago that I was in Southern Sudan. I went there again and just returned yesterday – the week before Easter. more…

3 heroes with political courage

by Ellen Ratner -- "Profiles in Courage," written by then–Sen. John F. Kennedy, highlighted people who went against the grain and against their party and took actions of political courage. As the more…

The wrong kind of unit cohesion

by Ellen Ratner -- I was quite amazed to see a commentary in the Friday edition of the New York Times written by Merrill A. McPeak, also known as Gen. Tony McPeak, more…