Columns

Column: The Reluctant Grownups

Thursday, May 28, 2015

In a recent interview, actor Simon Pegg — Shaun of the Dead, various Star Treks, and noted geek — said a number of things that immediately got the Internet up in arms: Comic-book movies are infantilizing us. We care too much about superheroes. We no longer frequent Gritty Adult Dramas Like They Used To Make Back In The ’70s. He has since walked it back a bit (don’t bite the …

Column: Rand Paul’s Stands Hurt Him in the GOP

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Washington Rand Paul took a left turn on his journey to the Republican nomination, and now his hopes seem to be headed south. The libertarian Kentucky senator’s new book, Taking a Stand, came out Tuesday, and it is chock-full of lines that would position Paul well — if he were running against Hillary …

Column: The Beautiful Ideas of John Nash Changed Economic Thinking

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The world will be a poorer place without John Nash, one of the pioneers of game theory, who died Saturday at 86 in a car crash along with his wife. Most Nash retrospectives (and the movie about him) focus considerable attention on his mental illness, but I think this is overdone. We should …

Column: Is Christianity Moribund?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Several days from now, at the invitation of the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, I will head to Washington to participate in discussions about intercommunion between Episcopalians and United Methodists. Although I am new to the conversation, …

Column: What Bin Laden Was Reading — Conspiracies

Saturday, May 23, 2015

While the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has been busy clouding the history of Osama bin Laden’s years on the lam in Pakistan, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence cleared things up a bit by releasing a list of documents found at the lair in Abbottabad where …

Column: Debates Promise Cheap, Watchable Entertainment for Cable

Saturday, May 23, 2015

We’re about to see some wild behavior from the Republican presidential candidates. At least that’s what the cable networks are trying to arrange. To understand why, look at how Fox News and CNN have set their debate rules for the first GOP debate, which will take place on …

Column: Walk in Lebanon for Campaign Finance Reform

Friday, May 22, 2015

I recently found myself speaking with an unsuspecting group of political pundits in Lebanon. A dozen teenagers with a hacky sack were passing the time after school near the steps of City Hall as I came out of the building. I asked them a simple question: What do …

Column: American Dream Isn’t Dead Yet

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who’s running for the Republican presidential nomination, issued a stark warning recently. “Today, for the first time in history, a majority of Americans believe that our kids will have a worse life than we do,” Cruz told conservatives in South Carolina. “That has …

Editorial: Military, Police, Weapons

Friday, May 22, 2015

The police protect the public. The military protects the republic. In an age of terrorism, their jobs necessarily overlap, especially in large cities. But some lines between police officers and soldiers ought to remain distinct, and President Obama took an essential step this week toward reining in the …

Column: So Many GOP Candidates, So Little Room

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Washington “If you can’t take a joke,” Lindsey Graham has said, “don’t run for president.” Graham, a senator from South Carolina and one of umpteen Republicans running for president, can take a joke — which is why he …

Column: GMOs Are Safe, and State Labeling Laws Are Unnecessary

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Science, innovation, safety and affordability. Who could oppose United States food policy based on these core principles? Unfortunately, this idea has become unnecessarily controversial in agriculture. The unmerited fear of genetically modified organism crops threatens scientific advancements in biotechnology needed to meet the growing global demand for safe …

Column: Test Upper Valley Well Water for Arsenic

Thursday, May 21, 2015

While thousands of Lebanon residents recently scrambled to boil water in response to fears about e-coli bacteria in the municipal water supply, some of their rural neighbors may have appreciated their private well water, perhaps even offering to top off their less fortunate friends’ bottles. What Upper Valley …

Column: It’s Spring, and the Birds Are Back in Town

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Montpelier Harry Woodpecker and his current partner are setting up housekeeping somewhere very nearby, and they’re eating me out of house and home. The suet is disappearing almost as fast as I can load it in. But they’re …