Columns

Column: What Bin Laden Was Reading — Conspiracies

Saturday, May 23, 2015

While the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has been busy clouding the history of Osama bin Laden’s years on the lam in Pakistan, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence cleared things up a bit by releasing a list of documents found at the lair in Abbottabad where he was killed in 2011. Intelligence experts may be most interested in the newly declassified communications between bin Laden and his terrorist …

Column: Debates Promise Cheap, Watchable Entertainment for Cable

Saturday, May 23, 2015

We’re about to see some wild behavior from the Republican presidential candidates. At least that’s what the cable networks are trying to arrange. To understand why, look at how Fox News and CNN have set their debate rules for the first GOP debate, which will take place on Aug. 6 on Fox. The Washington Post explains how Fox’s rules work: “To qualify for …

Column: Walk in Lebanon for Campaign Finance Reform

Friday, May 22, 2015

I recently found myself speaking with an unsuspecting group of political pundits in Lebanon. A dozen teenagers with a hacky sack were passing the time after school near the steps of City Hall as I came out of the building. I asked them a simple question: What do you think about politics? The words they used in response cannot be printed in this …

Column: American Dream Isn’t Dead Yet

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who’s running for the Republican presidential nomination, issued a stark warning recently. “Today, for the first time in history, a majority of Americans believe that our kids will have a worse life than we do,” Cruz told conservatives in South Carolina. “That has …

Editorial: Military, Police, Weapons

Friday, May 22, 2015

The police protect the public. The military protects the republic. In an age of terrorism, their jobs necessarily overlap, especially in large cities. But some lines between police officers and soldiers ought to remain distinct, and President Obama took an essential step this week toward reining in the …

Column: So Many GOP Candidates, So Little Room

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Washington “If you can’t take a joke,” Lindsey Graham has said, “don’t run for president.” Graham, a senator from South Carolina and one of umpteen Republicans running for president, can take a joke — which is why he …

Column: GMOs Are Safe, and State Labeling Laws Are Unnecessary

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Science, innovation, safety and affordability. Who could oppose United States food policy based on these core principles? Unfortunately, this idea has become unnecessarily controversial in agriculture. The unmerited fear of genetically modified organism crops threatens scientific advancements in biotechnology needed to meet the growing global demand for safe …

Column: Test Upper Valley Well Water for Arsenic

Thursday, May 21, 2015

While thousands of Lebanon residents recently scrambled to boil water in response to fears about e-coli bacteria in the municipal water supply, some of their rural neighbors may have appreciated their private well water, perhaps even offering to top off their less fortunate friends’ bottles. What Upper Valley …

Column: It’s Spring, and the Birds Are Back in Town

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Montpelier Harry Woodpecker and his current partner are setting up housekeeping somewhere very nearby, and they’re eating me out of house and home. The suet is disappearing almost as fast as I can load it in. But they’re …

Column: Crash Stirs Fear of Loss for one Survivor

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

N ew York When I was 20, the man I was dating died. We were traveling together thousands of miles from home in a remote part of Southeast Asia, and one morning, he didn’t wake up. His breathing …

Column: Train Travel is Safe ­— Very Safe

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

With the loss of eight lives, last week’s train crash in Philadelphia is of course a national tragedy. It’s crucial to understand why the accident occurred and to take steps to make such tragedies less likely in the …

Column: Is the American Public Warming To Redistribution of Wealth?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The erosion of the U.S. middle class is changing how Americans see themselves. It might also be changing the way they view government redistribution of wealth. The stagnation of earnings for most American households has been well established. From 1979 to 2007, real after-tax income grew 37 percent …

Column: Sanders, in the Grand Democratic Socialist Tradition

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is the first such effort by a democratic socialist since Norman Thomas waged the last of his six such campaigns on the Socialist Party ticket in 1948. It’s about time. Historically, the role …