Columns

Mary Ann Vecchio gestures and screams as she kneels by the body of a student lying face down on the campus of Kent State University, Kent, Ohio on May 4, 1970. National Guardsmen had fired into a crowd of demonstrators, killing four. (AP Photo/John Filo)

Column: May 4, 1970 — Four Dead in Ohio

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Forty-five years ago, on May 4, 1970, at half past noon, I was watching pints of blood flow out of Jeffrey Miller’s head onto the asphalt parking lot of Kent State University. He had been shot by Ohio National Guardsmen during a student protest, not over the Vietnam war, but over the presence of guardsmen who had taken over the …

Column: Shame Can Be a Force for Good

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Leadership gurus often talk about blame-storming, which is just like brainstorming except that the purpose is to find a scapegoat for something that’s gone wrong. Social media is now producing what you might call “shame-storming,” where some offense (real or imagined) is uncovered, and a horde of indignant tweeters quickly assembles to publicize …

Column: The Brain Is Hard-Wired to Make Grammatical Errors

Sunday, April 26, 2015

I am a writer, which is why it’s particularly embarrassing that I sometimes type the word “right” when I mean to type “write.” Shouldn’t I know better? Just yesterday, I typed “there” when I meant “their.” And I’ll even admit that I’ve committed the most mocked grammar error on the Internet: “your” instead of “you’re” (and vice versa). And yet, I have stood …

Column: The Trade Deal Isn’t a Good Deal for Us

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The arcane details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership are probably boring . . . but we don’t know since the negotiations and complex details have been shrouded in secrecy. TPP is a pending trade agreement among a dozen countries. President Obama and Congress intend to put TPP approval on …

Column: Sexism Hindered, And Helped, My Career

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I got my job as a reporter at The New York Times in 1977 partly because I was a woman. Some said that I lost my job at the paper almost 30 years later for the same reason, but, while I was certainly affected by sexism, my departure …

Column: U.S. Isn’t a Good Neighbor to Canada

Saturday, April 25, 2015

In a world full of bad news, North America has been having quite a good run lately. Energy production is off the charts in the United States and Canada, and much-needed political and economic reforms are steadily advancing in Mexico, while fewer Mexicans are moving to the United …

Columnist: The Billionaires Choose Their Candidates

Friday, April 24, 2015

The news that delivered the biggest jolt to the 2016 presidential campaign this week wasn’t anything the candidates said or did. It was an offhand comment from a billionaire, David H. Koch, at a dinner of wealthy Republicans …

Column: The Campaign Finance Mess

Friday, April 24, 2015

I’m embarrassed by our campaign finance system. And as a long-time participant in the system, for me to get here, it must be pretty bad. So-called “campaign finance reform laws” have created a surreal world where the official campaigns aren’t where the campaigning is being done. I can’t …

Column: When Child-Support Law Punishes Parents

Friday, April 24, 2015

In the 1980s and 1990s, the government found itself financially supporting a lot of single-parent families in which one parent was not contributing to the children’s support. Unsurprisingly, this led authorities to crack down on “deadbeat dads,” with stiff penalties for parents who didn’t pay the money they …

Column: Death Penalty and the Boston Marathom Bomber

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Washington How should we think about whether Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev deserves the death penalty? Perhaps you oppose the death penalty in all cases, on the grounds that state-sanctioned homicide is wrong, that it diminishes the moral authority of the state and its citizens. As Pope John …

Column: Rich Grow Richer Still; That’s a Bipartisan Issue

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Expect income and wealth inequality to be a prominent theme for the candidates who declare an interest in running for president in 2016, whether they are Republicans or Democrats. The issue is important on its own merits, but also because of its connections to economics, politics, demographics, race, …

Column: Greece Needs a New Government

Thursday, April 23, 2015

As Greece stumbles toward an exit from the European Monetary Union, it may still have a chance to avert calamity — on one critical condition: If snap elections were held to replace the Syriza government with one that would bring some reason to the negotiations with international creditors. …

Willem Lange: On the Road Again; Just Can’t Wait to Be Back in My Own Bed

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Oneonta, N.Y. This is our last night on the road — I hope. We should be pulling into our driveway in Vermont about midafternoon tomorrow. Sipping my evening coffee and looking around our room here at the Holiday Inn, I can’t help but reflect on the history of …