Columns

Column: Will We Let Tragedy Divide Us?

Friday, September 4, 2015

San Francisco We have a choice to make. We can look at both violence and racism as scourges that all of us must join together to fight. Or we can turn the issues of crime and policing into fodder for racial and political division. In principle, it shouldn’t be hard to recognize two truths. Too many young African-Americans have been killed in confrontations with police when lethal force should not …

Column: Trump, Sanders and the Constitution

Friday, September 4, 2015

Ernest Hemingway once said that courage was “grace under pressure.” Two presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, have recently tested this proposition. And how each man responded revealed the type of person he is and the type of president he would make: Trump authored his own doom, and Sanders opened immense new …

Column: Passion Is Often Overrated

Thursday, September 3, 2015

There is way too much passion in our midst. I don’t mean the passion of love and romance. There’s never enough of that. And not the passion of creativity, intellect and art. There’s a deficit of that. I mean the passion of commencement addresses, resumes and Twitter bios. I mean passion as in the advice thousands of college grads hear every spring to …

Column: GOP’s Denali Denial

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Washington Come now the Denali deniers. President Obama’s conservative critics have long said there is no depth to which he will not sink in his zeal to trash the Constitution. Now, apparently, they also think there is no …

Column: Don’t Mock ‘Micro-Aggressions’

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Everyone knows that kids find their elders deeply uncool. We’ll reveal our own uncoolness by citing John Sebastian’s 1969 song Younger Generation to prove the point. “Why must every generation think their folks are square?” he asks. The lyrics go on to offer an uncomfortable futuristic scenario: a …

Column: Back-to-School Dream — The Best Year Ever

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Even in places that remain in touch with the rhythms of agriculture, few seasonal markers prove as heady, reliable and poignant as the reopening of school. Every September the crosswalks ripen with kids in their back-to-school clothes; the long yellow buses harvest our lanes and streets. First the …

Column: How Does the GOP Solve a Problem Like Trump?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Every major Republican presidential campaign and every allied super PAC confronts the same question at their morning strategy meetings: What do you do with a problem like Donald Trump? For weeks the businessman/impresario has been running first in every national poll of Republicans. He dominates the race and …

Willem Lange: Family Campout Memories

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hyde Park, Vt. During the month of August in 1971, our family — my wife, the three kids and I — paddled the headwaters of the Allagash River in Maine and followed it to its mouth. Then we stashed our canoes and hiked across Baxter State Park. The …

Column: Many Share Blame in St. Paul’s School Case

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Surfing on television the other day, I lingered on a movie, Little Miss Sunshine, only long enough to hear the irascible Alan Arkin, with typical Hollywood tastelessness and cynicism, advise his pretend grandson to get all the sex he can while a teenager, especially with younger girls who …

Column: Markets Fluctuate; Retirees Need Security

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Volatility in the stock market over the last couple of weeks has caused enormous unease among investors big and small. Tens of millions of people with much of their retirement money in the market are worried about seeing a sudden plunge in prices. Many of these people will …

Column: Stop the Insanity of Weak Gun Regulation

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Last Wednesday, my daughter Alison was brutally struck down in the prime of her life by a deranged gunman. Since then, I have stated in numerous interviews with local, national and international media that I plan to make …

Column: Raising Pandas for Profit

Monday, August 31, 2015

With spin that would make even P.T. Barnum blush, the keepers at the National Zoo are claiming that taking newborn cubs away from panda mother Mei Xiang is for her own benefit. She has strenuously resisted losing her …

Column: Islamic State Needs Oil Money

Monday, August 31, 2015

The battle for Baiji, site of one of Iraq’s major oil refineries, is heating up again. Since May, Islamic State fighters have been chipping away at the Iraqi government’s control. Now it seems possible that the empty city and the shuttered refinery could fall. Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar …