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Columns

Column: I Know All About the Paddle and the Pain

Friday, September 19, 2014

Washington Adrian Peterson, the NFL running back, has been indicted for injuring his 4-year-old son. According to sources in law enforcement, Peterson used a tree branch to discipline the boy, leaving cuts and bruises. Peterson’s lawyer says his client meant no harm. “Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son,” says the attorney. “He used the same kind of discipline with his …

Column: Can Tweets Help the Police and Public Engage?

Friday, September 19, 2014

In the tiny town of Jun, Spain (population 3,000), meeting rooms in city hall have their own Twitter accounts. When residents want to reserve them, they send a direct message via Twitter; when it’s time, the door to the room unlocks automatically in response to a tweet. Jun’s mayor, Jose Antonio Rodriguez, says …

Column: Illegal Drugs Aren’t as Dangerous as Scientists Say

Friday, September 19, 2014

Is America’s scientific research biased to focus on the harmful effects of drugs? That was one of the questions at the heart of a congressional hearing this summer seeking to understand more comprehensively the scientific evidence related to marijuana. And it was how Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found herself being grilled by Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va. …

Column: Republicans Agitate for a Broader Ground War

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was testifying Tuesday about the need for military action in Syria and Iraq when Ann Wright, an anti-war demonstrator in the audience, rose and began shouting: “No more war! No more war!” Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, hammered the …

Column: Airline Execs Should Try Sitting in Those Knee-Banger Seats

Thursday, September 18, 2014

There’s an old Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Elaine are about to board a plane and the gate attendant tells them she can bump one of them into first class. Jerry immediately takes the offer, explaining to Elaine that he’s flown in first class before — she hasn’t …

Column: Obama Goes on the Offensive

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Here’s the nightmare scenario that kept Obama administration officials awake at night this summer as they watched the black-masked guerrillas of Islamic State sweep across Iraq: First, the insurgents could invade Baghdad, toppling Iraq’s government and forcing a Saigon-style evacuation of the U.S. Embassy. Then they could move …

Column: That Doomed Expedition to Discover the Northwest Passage

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Montpelier The recent discovery in the Canadian Arctic of what is certainly one of the lost ships of the doomed 1845 Franklin expedition has our northern neighbors abuzz with excitement. Even the Prime Minister, who had made a …

Column: Voiceless Brits and the Fate of the Union

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

To misquote Winston Churchill, this is not the end of the beginning. But it is, perhaps, the beginning of the end. The United Kingdom might have a day to live. The polls in advance of tomorrow’s Scottish independence referendum show a neck and neck contest. After a collapse …

Column: Video Put a Face to Domestic Violence — Ray Rice’s

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

When a police photo of Rihanna’s battered face was leaked in 2009, I was outraged. I criticized the media for disseminating it and refused to link to the image, because I found it “a sickening violation of Rihanna’s privacy.” I ended that column on Salon.com by hoping the …

Column: Domestic Abuse Is an Equal Opportunity Horror

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I’ve never been a victim of domestic violence, but I’ve loved people who have been. I say “people” because some of the victims have been men, despite the general Burning Bed stereotype of the muscled brute beating the living daylights out of the 100-pound female. Violence is violence, …

Column: The Political Magic of Rwanda’s Remarkable Road System

Monday, September 15, 2014

A friend was asking me about my recent trip to Rwanda. What, he wanted to know, surprised me the most? “I think it was the roads,” I said. “The roads were amazing.” “I’ll bet,” he said. “They must have been a mess, right?” No, just the opposite. I …

Column: Ebola Patients Can’t Wait for Assistance

Monday, September 15, 2014

Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain the disease. Leaders are failing to come to grips with this transnational threat. In West Africa, cases and deaths continue to …

Editorial: CVS Shuns Cigarettes

Monday, September 15, 2014

CVS stopped selling cigarettes last week. The move may be little more than a business calculation for the pharmacy chain. But it is one worth cheering: It makes the sale of cigarettes less ubiquitous, and it shows that, after decades of effort, smoking is getting the stigma it …