Columns

A single flower rests in a paper cup on the finish line of the Boston Marathon after the verdict in the penalty phase of the trial of Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Friday, May 15, 2015, in Boston. Less than three years after bombs killed three people and wounded more than 260 others at the Boston Marathon, two movies, a documentary play and an HBO documentary are all in the works. Those most touched by the 2013 attack have decidedly mixed feelings about seeing the tragedy told on the stage and screen. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Column: Are Conspiracy Theorists Prone to Violence?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

On Jan. 26, FBI agents made public a foiled plot against the Freemasons. Samy Mohamed Hamzeh was arrested with a machine gun and silencer. The FBI alleges that he intended to storm the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple in Milwaukee and kill upwards of 30 people. The complaint quotes him as saying: “They are all Masonic; they are playing with the …

Column: What Good Are Health Insurers, Anyway?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

When I was a university student in Canada, I heard an economics professor explain the difference between U.S. and Canadian health care in a way that went something like this: Most U.S. hospitals have rooms full of staff whose only job is to trade paperwork with private insurance companies. The cost of that …

Column: Let’s Talk About Death — Specificially Yours

Sunday, February 14, 2016

In his only novel, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, the poet and philosopher Rainer Maria Rilke had his protagonist expound on an old wisdom, one in which “people knew (or perhaps had an intuition) that they bore their death within them like the stone within a fruit. . . . It was …

Column: Trump and Sanders Offer Magic

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Washington The New Hampshire results have solidified the reigning cliche that the 2016 campaign is an anti-establishment revolt of both the left and the right. Largely overlooked, however, is the role played in setting the national mood by …

Column: There’s Life in the Bush Candidacy Yet

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Washington A most unfamiliar likeness of Jeb Bush appeared on Americans’ television screens the morning after the New Hampshire primary. This version looked alive. The onetime front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination was asked, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, …

Column: Welcome, Boredom

Saturday, February 13, 2016

At the post office, the queue was seven agitated people long. Normally I’d have put in earbuds, listened to something on my phone. But I’d quit recently: No more headphones. No more podcasts on the go. No more Spotify at the gym. Boredom was my new fix, an …

Editorial: Court Puts Brakes on Clean Power

Saturday, February 13, 2016

While Washington was glued to the New Hampshire primary results, the Supreme Court dropped a bombshell, placing a hold on the core of President Obama’s global warming policy, the Clean Power Plan. This will inevitably prompt speculation that the five conservative justices meant to tie up the program …

Column: Tech Industry Must Confront Wealth Inequality

Friday, February 12, 2016

There are very few issues that Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton all agree on. One of them is the growing problem of inequality in income and wealth. From the extreme left to the extreme right, everyone is angry about the 1 percent who have …

Column: Kids Bear the Brunt of GOP Debates

Friday, February 12, 2016

We try so hard to protect our children from danger, but that’s not always possible. This sad truth hit home Saturday night when my 6-year-old daughter came running down the stairs in her Peanuts pajamas, sobbing hysterically and shivering with terror. “Daddy, Daddy, I’m frightened!” she cried, throwing …

Column: Steinem and Albright Are Wrong About Young Women

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I have spent most of my adult life feeling grateful to Gloria Steinem, whose clear-headedness and apt prose helped turn me into the feminist I am today. She has devoted her life to making the world a better place for women, and has, in many spectacular ways, succeeded. …

Column: Rubio Stumbles and Falls in N.H. Primary

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Washington Let’s dispel once and for all with this fiction that Marco Rubio knows what he’s doing. A week ago, the youthful senator from Florida was in great shape. His surprisingly strong finish in the Iowa caucuses left …

Willem Lange: When Bob and Ray Had Us in Stitches

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Montpelier Almost obscured by the noise surrounding the presidential primaries was the sad announcement, last week, of the passing of an American treasure. Bob Elliott, 92, the surviving member of the Bob & Ray comedy team, died at his home in Cundys Harbor, Maine — one of those …

Column: Restore the Draft for a Better America

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The commandant of the Marines and the Army’s chief of staff testified before a congressional committee last week that they would like to see women register for the draft. That follows the December order from the secretary of defense, Ashton Carter, that all front-line combat units must be …