Columns

Column: Food Deserts, Food Jungles

Sunday, December 21, 2014

If I need a gallon of milk, I can travel three miles to my town general store. If I need a spaghetti squash, I can find one in season at a farmer’s stand four miles away. Fresh sushi? I can have a California roll after traveling just five miles to the cooperative grocery store. (That’s pretty good, considering the Upper …

Column: ‘Hunger Games’ Vision of Rebellion Is Sheer Fantasy

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The latest Hunger Games film, Mockingjay- Part 1 , is topping the international box office. Although it’s a Hollywood blockbuster aimed at young adults, it presents potentially quite subversive ideas of mass revolution, economic sabotage and the populist fight against oligarchy. These themes of popular uprising are particularly relevant in light of the …

Column: Merry Christmas, Really, From an Atheist

Sunday, December 21, 2014

On one of my infrequent visits to Facebook, where I silently observe the interests and opinions of extended family members, I’ve noticed a small but growing anti-secular campaign. Many folks, including several of the aforementioned, vigorously object to the phrase “Happy Holidays.” It is apparently too euphemistic for their tastes. They demand that “Christ” be put back in Christmas. Some people say “Happy …

Innovation Wave On the Horizon

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Changes in technology are happening at a scale which was unimaginable before and will cause disruption in industry after industry. Here are five sectors to keep an eye on: Let’s Start With Manufacturing Robotics and 3-D printing have made it cheaper to manufacture in the United States and …

Making a Deal With Cuba: Who Will Win?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Washington The U.S. embargo on Cuba — or what’s left of it after President Obama’s dramatic Cuba policy announcement — may be a futile gesture. But it is, or was, not an empty gesture. It put the United States firmly on record that it would have as little …

Returning to Cuba, With Complex Emotions

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ann Arbor, Mich. I walk a tightrope with Cuba. I’m a daughter of Cuban exiles who’ve pledged not to return until there is political change. Yet I’ve traveled to the island numerous times since the early 1990s; it’s …

Transparency About Medical Costs Is Key to Controlling Them

Friday, December 19, 2014

U.S. health care spending has never grown as slowly as it did last year. Dwight D. Eisenhower was in the Oval Office when the U.S. government began recording health care spending in 1960. Since that time, growth in health care spending has never been lower than the 3.6 …

Shumlin: Why I Put Single-Payer Aside

Friday, December 19, 2014

Earlier this week, I made one of the most difficult decisions of my public life when I announced that I cannot support a move to a publicly-financed health care system in Vermont at this time. I have advocated …

Editorial: Cuba, Si — Isolation, No

Friday, December 19, 2014

A 45-minute phone call — the first between presidents of Cuba and the United States in more than 50 years — sealed an agreement that could end the pointless economic standoff that has held the island’s people hostage for generations. It will take an act of Congress, long …

For Cops, Ignorance of the Law Is an Excuse

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Well, you heard it here first: Ignorance of the law is an excuse, so long as you’re the police. Or so the U.S. Supreme Court has said in a 8-1 decision that symbolically strengthened the hand of the police to make stops even on the basis of nonexistent …

FairPoint Workers Deserve Our Support

Thursday, December 18, 2014

In the United Church of Christ, and in other Christian denominations, we are in the midst of the season of Advent, a time of expectation and hope-filled waiting as we move toward the celebration of the birth of …

Horror In Peshawar Violates Our Shared Sense of Humanity

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The world seems full of crises and disasters: from political stasis and racial standoffs in Europe and the United States, to the classic conflicts of capitalism in “emerging” economies (inequality, weakening states, authoritarianism), to tribal conflicts and sectarian uprisings in the Middle East and Africa. But the small …

A Visit to Mexico, Home of Drug Cartels and Vital Grasslands

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reserva Biologica el Uno, Chihuahua, Mexico Just before bedtime I opened the big, solid front door and stepped out onto the front porch of the ranch house where we’re staying here. I wanted a look at the stars before the moon came up. In the dim light from …