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Columns

A teenage tuber makes his way back to shore after a ride in the White River in Hartford, Vt., on July 19, 2013. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)<p><i>Copyright © Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.</i></p>

Column: So Much to Do in the Upper Valley, So Little Time

Saturday, August 29, 2015

It appeared to be a mirage in the middle of West Lebanon. Earlier this summer, during a drive on Route 10 near the Wilder Dam, my husband and I stopped at the Boston Lot parking area. We’d driven by hundreds of times, but never gave it much thought. However, we had our dog in the car, and we thought it …

Column: Obama Watches While Putin Pushes Limits

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Washington On Sept. 5, 2014, Russian agents crossed into Estonia and kidnapped an Estonian security official. Last week, after a closed trial, Russia sentenced him to 15 years. The reaction? The State Department issued a statement. The NATO secretary-general issued a tweet. Neither did anything. The European Union (reports The Wall Street Journal) said it was too early to discuss any possible action. …

Column: Julian Bond Knew the Value of Keeping the Faith

Monday, August 24, 2015

Combing through the many tributes that have appeared since Julian Bond’s death, I was struck by one photograph in particular. A young Julian is standing beside a seated Paul Robeson. The giant of a man — scholar, athlete, singer, actor and civil rights activist, who was blacklisted during …

Column: Loss Aversion Frames the Iran Deal Debate

Monday, August 24, 2015

Of all the findings in behavioral science, the most significant may be “loss aversion,” the idea that people dislike losses a lot more than they like equivalent gains. Loss aversion can create big trouble for businesses and investors. And it can badly confuse political debate — as it …

Column: Yoga Is Much Misunderstood

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Yoga has become more popular in the United States in recent years, with the number of people taking part in the discipline almost doubling between 2002 and 2012. Today, nearly 10 percent of Americans have tried it, and …

Column: Article on Amazon Workplace Culture Presented a Rorschach Test

Sunday, August 23, 2015

It was last weekend’s great litmus test. After reading Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld’s epic New York Times account of what it’s like to work at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, were you appalled or impressed? Would you never …

Column: Summer’s Lease Hath All Too Short a Date, But It Is Renewable

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A friend of mine recently said that it seemed like I’d had a good summer, and I did, but the word had made me sad. Like most Midwesterners who endure brutal winters, I never want summer to end. This time of year, after the sunflowers have bloomed and …

Column: The Fed Is Running Big Risks and Ought to Be Audit Thoroughly

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The U.S. Federal Reserve has grown massively in recent years. Since the 2008 financial crisis, it has increased its balance sheet from less than $1 trillion to an incredible $4.4 trillion. Given this sharp increase in the Fed’s risk, it’s reasonable that the Fed should be audited more …

Column: A Cinderella Story That Traversed a Slippery Slope

Saturday, August 22, 2015

When I was a student in England I walked almost everywhere. Everywhere I couldn’t reach by walking, I reached by bicycle. Cinderella I wasn’t; glass shoes would not have withstood the mileage. At Cambridge University, my college was up a steep hill. New Hall was a modernist building …

Columnist: Walker’s Health Plan Is Good Unless You Need Insurance

Friday, August 21, 2015

When I first heard that a new repeal-and-replace-Obamacare plan was coming from Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin currently posing as a candidate for president, I set a challenge for myself. I wrote down every provision I expected to find in the plan, sealed the list in …

Column: Move to End Birthright Citizenship May Doom the GOP in 2016

Friday, August 21, 2015

It may not seem like it, but this week has seen the most significant development yet in the immigration debate’s role in the 2016 election. I’d go even further — it’s possible that the entire presidential election just got decided. Is that an overstatement? Maybe. But hear me …

Column: The Shift to Renewable Energy Must Account for the Huge Costs

Thursday, August 20, 2015

If promises matter, it’s been a very good stretch for renewable power. At the end of July, Hillary Clinton said that as president she would aim to get 33 percent of U.S. electricity from renewable sources by 2027 — up from about 13 percent today (half of it …