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Columns

Valley News - Shawn Braley

Column: Tomato or Eggplant? How French Intellectuals Settled the Shape of the Earth

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Two hundred and 30 years ago, Charles Marie de la Condamine returned to France with proof about the shape of the Earth after spending 10 years in Latin America. For thousands of years, human beings had roamed the planet indifferent to its form until the 18th century, when the subject became embroiled in an intense rivalry between England and France. …

Column: Separating Secret Service Fact From Fiction

Sunday, October 26, 2014

During the past five years, the U.S. Secret Service inadvertently let uninvited guests crash a state dinner, fired 10 agents for allegedly hiring prostitutes, pulled members of an elite counterassault team back from overseas duty for drinking, learned from housekeepers that bullets had hit the White House, failed to capture a fence-jumper before …

Steve Nelson: Can We Speak of Religious Intolerance?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Islam is all the rage these days, multiple meanings intended. Perhaps most notably, Bill Maher and his Real Time show on HBO recently kicked up a major kerfuffle when Maher and celebrity atheist Sam Harris suggested that Islam is far from an innocent faith. Other guests, particularly Ben Affleck, who maintained a steady state of apoplexy throughout the proceedings, accused Maher and Harris …

Willem Lange: There Was a Time When Scrappy Americans Pulled Together

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It’s difficult, I suppose, for the majority of our population — those between, say, 20 and 60 — to appreciate the enormity of the challenges our nation has faced and overcome in the lifetimes of those of us ending our eighth decade. My parents were married during the …

Column: Beware a Republican-Controlled Congress

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

With two weeks to go until the midterms, and with polls pointing to the prospect that Republicans could take control of the Senate, the stakes are high — not just for the Obama administration and congressional Democrats, but for the United States. The consequences of Republican control of …

Column: Beating Ebola Through a National Plan

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The appointment of Ebola czar Ron Klain is an important initial step in mobilizing a coordinated national effort to confront this deadly virus. As the first U.S. hospital to successfully treat Ebola patients, Emory University Hospital has a unique perspective on the scope of the effort and skill …

Column: They’re Proud to Be ‘Clinton Democrats’

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In Georgia, Democrat Michelle Nunn is giving Republicans a real scare in a Senate race the GOP thought it had put away. Some of her new momentum comes from a sustained attack on David Perdue, her businessman foe, for his work shipping American jobs overseas. One ad includes …

Column: Why U.S. Should Provide Ukraine Weapons

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko spoke to a joint session of Congress last month, he thanked the United States for its assistance in confronting Russian aggression, and indeed, our country, along with our NATO allies, has done much. …

Column: Most Common Side Effect of Ebola Is Fear

Monday, October 20, 2014

When you work in public health, you become tuned in to fear. And the fear level in the United States just ticked up a notch. All our high-tech equipment, protective gear and disease management didn’t protect two Dallas …

Column: Events Expose Depth of Racial Injustice

Monday, October 20, 2014

There’s a social-justice movement taking hold across the nation. Michael Brown’s death, which turned Ferguson, Mo., into a battleground this past summer, has helped catalyze a larger struggle for racial and economic justice in America. And St. Louis, where 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers Jr. was shot and killed by …

Column: America Must Help Homeless Female Veterans

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ginger Miller served in the U.S. Navy as a bosun’s mate, receiving a medical discharge for an in-service accident. Although her service skills didn’t readily transfer to civilian life, she never dreamed she’d end up homeless, living on the streets for three years with her 2-year-old son and …

Column: When the West Wanted Islam to Curb Christian Extremism

Monday, October 20, 2014

The tiresome debate over whether Islam is somehow more violent than other religions unfortunately won’t go away. Recent spats between outspoken commentator Reza Aslan, TV host Bill Maher and neuroscientist Sam Harris — who said on Maher’s show that Islam was “the mother lode of bad ideas” — …

Column: A Return Trip to Holland Is Different With a Tablet

Sunday, October 19, 2014

When I returned to Holland after a 10-year absence, I realized how much technology complemented my connections with people. I traveled to the Netherlands for vacation in July. I once lived there, and the trip was my first …