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Columns

Willem Lange: John Stark, the Grumpy Colonial Hero

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Montpelier In recent years, against my better judgment, I’ve been becoming a blurber: one of those people you kind of know who writes brief blurbs of praise to print on the back covers of paperbacks. Trouble is, you can’t write a blurb about something you haven’t read. As a result, the volume of my reading has increased dramatically. Recently I was asked to read and comment briefly on an illustrated …

Column: Latest Clinton Email Flap Isn’t a Scandal

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Washington The latest controversy over Hillary Clinton’s emails — the allegation that classified information was improperly transmitted on her private email server— is, or should be, a non-scandal. Clinton has only herself to blame for a lot of the email mess. She should have behaved like other government officials and used an official …

Column: FDA Makes a Muddle of Nutrition Labels

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Since 1993, most packaged food sold in the U.S. has been required to include a Nutrition Facts label that lists the amount of fat, cholesterol, sodium, protein, carbohydrates, fiber and sugar in a serving, and includes some information on recommended daily intakes. During that same period, Americans’ diets have gotten worse, their waistlines have expanded and public-health problems related to poor nutrition have …

Column: What’s Behind Polarization of Voters?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Washington So accustomed are we to highlighting the polarized nature of our politics that we often forget how many Americans decline to be painted in bright reds or bright blues. Among us, there are pinks and turquoises and even purples. And these voters will matter a great deal …

Column: There Is Blame to Go Around in Bland Case

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Washington One would hope that it is possible for a white policeman and a black citizen to come into contact in a routine traffic stop without it becoming a matter of race and ending badly. But maybe not. …

Column: Police, Power and the People They Serve

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I am struggling mightily with the death of Sandra Bland. Struggling to understand it, struggling with the tragedy of it, and struggling especially with how utterly unnecessary and unfair it feels. And how depressing it is to watch the video of her initial encounter with police. I am …

Column: Video Confronts Us With Reality of Abortion

Monday, July 27, 2015

“Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.” — Barack Obama, address to Planned Parenthood, April 26, 2013 Washington Planned Parenthood’s reaction to the release of a clandestinely recorded conversation about the sale of fetal body parts was highly revealing. After protesting that it did nothing illegal, it apologized …

Column: Should 90-Year-Old Ex-Prison Guard Be Prosecuted?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Should Denmark prosecute a 90-year-old Dane who volunteered as a Nazi concentration-camp guard more than 70 years ago? The question isn’t hypothetical: The Simon Wiesenthal Center has presented Danish authorities with a dossier urging the prosecution of Helmuth Leif Rasmussen, who by his own account was present at …

Column: Neville Chamberlain Deserves a Fairer Hearing Than History Has Provided

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Washington After the final agreement with Iran over its nuclear program was announced in Vienna earlier this month, references to one long-gone politician surged on social media: Neville Chamberlain. This is not surprising. The late British prime minister, …

Column: Ronda Rousey’s Powerful Argument for Women’s Sports

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Everyone has been talking about Caitlyn Jenner’s inspiring ESPYs speech earlier this month — and with good reason. The recipient of the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage pledged to use her platform to shed light on the plight …

Column: Long Live Long Lunches in France

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Like nearly everyone with roots in Norwich, I have long known the operating hours of Dan and Whit’s General Store. If it is between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., the store is open, except on Thanksgiving and Christmas …

Column: The Cars of My Youth Live On in Cuba

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Cuba, diplomatically unfrozen after 50 years, is more than an economic treasure for investors now that the Cuban flag flies over an embassy in Washington. It is an automobile time capsule. And it should be preserved as such, …

Column: The Risk of Sanctuary Cities

Friday, July 24, 2015

In reality, there is no free lunch. In the alternate reality known as the American political debate, however, that’s the only kind on the menu. Conservatives say tax cuts boost economic growth, which yields higher revenue. No need to worry about bigger budget deficits. Meanwhile, over on the …