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Columns

Column: In Mideast, Patience Before Retribution

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My reaction to the murder of American reporter James Foley at the hands of his knife-wielding Islamic State killer was visceral: Send in the Marines and clean the Islamic State’s clock. It was a sentiment, I am sure, that was shared by many of my fellow Americans. But, as understandable as this emotional response might be, it would not be …

Willem Lange: A Return to Maine, and Camelot Summers

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lincolnville, Maine During the late summer of 1964, I was browsing through a copy of Life and came across an article titled Marshmallow Becomes a Man. It followed a kid named (as I recall) Mike Kobulnicky as he struggled through a course at the Colorado Outward Bound School and emerged, after 26 days of stress, as a tough, confident young man. I was …

Column: Plight of Adjunct Professors Is Colleges’ Dirty Little Secret

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We are the stoop laborers of higher education: adjunct professors. As colleges and universities rev for the fall semester, the stony exploitation of the adjunct faculty continues, providing cheap labor for America’s campuses, from small community colleges to knowledge factories with 40,000 students. The median salary for adjuncts, according to the American Association of University Professors, is $2,700 per three-credit course. Some schools …

Editorial: Prosecuting Politicians

Friday, August 22, 2014

There are many fair grounds on which to criticize Rick Perry’s performance as governor of Texas: his rejection of federal funding for Medicaid expansion and his grandstanding deployment of the state’s National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, to name just two. But the list does not include …

Column: Of Apps and Aptitude: We Could Teach Grandma to Code

Thursday, August 21, 2014

American businesses are aging, as is the country; and this is bad for the economy, say Ian Hathaway and Robert Litan of the Brookings Institution. They reported in July that the share of older firms, aged 16 years or more, has increased from 23 percent in 1992 to …

Column: Obama Tests Limits on Executive Orders

Thursday, August 21, 2014

There are two words every president, including Barack Obama, hates to hear: “lame duck.” He’s in year six of his eight-year run. His biggest accomplishments are all in the past; his remaining proposals are stymied by Congress. His …

Willem Lange: Paddling Down the River With Good Company for a Good Cause

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Just about 30 hours ago I turned into the narrow entrance lane to the refurbished and improved boat launch site in Orford. There were people everywhere in white T-shirts with the word “Volunteer” on the back, waiting to help the expected crowd. I was early, as is my …

Column: Frustration in Ferguson has Economic Roots

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It was the middle-class suburb of Ferguson that boiled over last week, but to the rest of the world this was a St. Louis crisis. All that folks elsewhere know is that greater St. Louis has some problematic …

Column: Will Scotland Really Vote for a Divorce?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

We’re now a month away from a vote to determine whether Great Britain will have to continue on as not-quite-as-great Britain. On Sept. 18, Scots will head to the polls for a long-awaited independence referendum, and while the “no” camp — those opposing secession — continue leading in …

Column: The Lessons I learned From Harold Luce

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

There can never be enough words to describe Harold Luce and his profound impact on traditional fiddling, and on me, personally. I first knew Harold and his wife, Edith, through the Grange. My father knew Edith, as she …

A Better Idea For Reforming the Tax Code: Taxing Consumption

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

According to much conventional wisdom, the flap over corporate “tax inversions” is just the latest evidence that the tax code needs a comprehensive overhaul like the one agreed to by congressional leaders and President Reagan in 1986. Whether you consider it greedy and unpatriotic for U.S. companies to …

Vacationing Presidents Get Little Time Off

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Here are five myths about presidential vacations: 1: Presidents get vacations. “Presidents don’t get vacations — they just get a change of scenery,” Nancy Reagan once said in defense of her husband’s frequent trips to his ranch in …

Live Free and Drink Wine in New Hampshire

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

There are more than 7,700 wineries in the United States. Production is at record levels. Prices are skyrocketing, too: As of 2013, the average bottle cost $10.85, up from $9 the previous year. The debate over which state …