O. Ricardo Pimentel

O. Ricardo Pimentel

O. Ricardo Pimentel has been a journalist for about 40 years. He was most recently the editorial page editor for the San Antonio Express-News in Texas; the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel before that. He has also worked in various editing and reporting positions in newspapers in California, Arizona, Texas and Washington D.C., where he covered Congress, federal agencies and the Supreme Court for McClatchy Newspapers. He is the author of two novels and lives in Wisconsin.

Boy selling newspapers--black and white photo

We are losing the values good journalism taught

By: - October 19, 2021

Everyone should be a journalist. The problem is, few people understand what journalism really is, yet everyone with a social media account is a self-styled journalist these days. Hence the rampant embrace of myriad crackpot beliefs. We are all familiar with  these fact-free notions that have stained our collective consciousness like red wine on white […]

Thousands of white flags on a field representing COVID deaths

Debate on COVID vaccinations is reminiscent of smoking bans

By: - August 10, 2021

This notion that one’s “rights” are more important than the health and well-being of others has a long history. Our problem with the unvaccinated is just the latest manifestation. Right. Americans are belatedly lining up in impressive numbers to be immunized against COVID-19. And, still, at about 60% of the population, not enough are doing […]

WASHINGTON, - JUNE 06: Demonstrators march past the Lincoln Memorial during a protest against police brutality and racism takes place on June 6, 2020 in Washington, DC. This is the 12th day of protests with people descending on the city to peacefully demonstrate in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

What’s behind the outrage about critical race theory 

By: - July 13, 2021

The following headline appeared in the satirical publication The Onion in 2011: “Judge Rules White Girl Will Be Tried as Black Adult.”  Here’s a sure bet: Even those who denounce critical race theory get the joke. They know they wouldn’t want to be tried for any crime as a Black man.  At a very basic, […]

US map made out of guns gun control NRA

Legally purchased guns are killing us

By: - May 26, 2021

Many have said it: Gun violence is a stain on the American character or, as President Biden said in April, an “international embarrassment.” No two words demonstrate just how deep is the stain than these: legally purchased. You may have noticed. These words get high placement – deservedly – in many of the news accounts […]

Focus in on sign at protest: You have no right to take away my Right to Vote

New voter restrictions fit a long pattern

By: - April 6, 2021

In this current debate about whether to expand or restrict voting, each side is probably  spot on about the basic motivations of the politicians on the other side of the argument. GOP legislators say expansion, such as expressed in a sweeping measure in Congress, H.R.1, intended to achieve nearly universal voting, is a power grab […]

U.S. President Donald Trump stands in the colonnade as he is introduced to speak to March for Life participants and pro-life leaders in the Rose Garden at the White House on January 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Adios, Donald Trump

By: - January 8, 2021

Donald Trump is responsible for Wednesday’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. This is obvious. He is as much cause and effect as fire causes charred, burned-out buildings.  Our president the arsonist … of democracy. But, unlikely as it seems, this final act of arson engenders a faint hope within my breast. It is a hope […]

Demonstrators and immigrants protesting with We Are Human sign

After a bitter election, forgive and forget?

By: - November 16, 2020

There is sweeping the land a plea for everyone to forgive and forget after perhaps the most bitter presidential election in at least the last 120 years.  I am, frankly, not in the forgiving mood. President Trump is assuredly not our first racist president. But he is the first in this modern era to have […]

President Donald J. Trump waves Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, at Joint Base Andrews, Md., as he boards Air Force One to begin his trip to Florida. | Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian via Flickr Public Domain

Trump is trying to nullify our democracy

By: - September 28, 2020

Sitting at a bar recently, a self-described “Trumper,” unbidden, explained his support of our current president. Trump’s tweets and other utterances are nonsense, he said, but he supports the president because he has opened his eyes to the “deep state.” This is a variation of a common assertion by Trump supporters. They overlook various flaws […]

historic painting of President James Polk

Here’s another statue that needs to come down

By: - July 3, 2020

I nominate James K. Polk. We seem to be in the mood of late to reexamine our “great men.” Certain statues are coming down or there is a clamor for them to tumble.  Polk, our 11th president, has long been in need of such scrutiny.  What better time than July 4, when we are supposed […]

Supporters of the DACA program rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court. (Robin Bravender/ States Newsroom Washington Bureau)

Between ‘them’ and ‘you’ there is a nexus: the American Dream

By: - June 26, 2020

“First of all, if you learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” […]

Riot police block the freeway access for protesters during the second day of protests. (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Law and order won’t save us

By: - June 3, 2020

The angry, blaring buzzes came first, interrupting my radio oldies. The nearby City of Kenosha was telling me one recent evening of a state of emergency that required residents there to stay in their homes. Other public announcements followed from Milwaukee, also warning residents it was time to stay in their homes. In America in […]

A resident waits in line to vote at a polling place in Milwaukee for the April 7, 2020, primary election. Residents waited sometimes more than two hours to vote at this site, one of the few polling places open in the city after most were consolidated due to a shortage of poll workers fearful of contracting COVID-19. Photo by Scott Olson | Getty Images

The bigger story of Wisconsin’s pandemic election

By: - April 21, 2020

There is a certain satisfaction — on the order of that joyful dance that Snoopy of Peanuts fame has gifted us — when a bully is thwarted.  One contemporary example of bullying is when an outnumbered group games the system to impose its will on the more numerous simply to maintain power. In political parlance, […]