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Columns

Column: Video Put a Face to Domestic Violence — Ray Rice’s

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

When a police photo of Rihanna’s battered face was leaked in 2009, I was outraged. I criticized the media for disseminating it and refused to link to the image, because I found it “a sickening violation of Rihanna’s privacy.” I ended that column on Salon.com by hoping the image would “spark a national conversation about domestic violence,” but also by asking, “Shouldn’t Rihanna get to decide whether she becomes the …

Column: Domestic Abuse Is an Equal Opportunity Horror

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I’ve never been a victim of domestic violence, but I’ve loved people who have been. I say “people” because some of the victims have been men, despite the general Burning Bed stereotype of the muscled brute beating the living daylights out of the 100-pound female. Violence is violence, victims are victims and abusers are abusers regardless of gender, color, religion and affluence. This …

Column: The Political Magic of Rwanda’s Remarkable Road System

Monday, September 15, 2014

A friend was asking me about my recent trip to Rwanda. What, he wanted to know, surprised me the most? “I think it was the roads,” I said. “The roads were amazing.” “I’ll bet,” he said. “They must have been a mess, right?” No, just the opposite. I explained that the streets in Kigali, the capital, are smoothly surfaced, with nary a pothole …

Column: Americans Are More Tolerant, but Are Keeping Their Distance

Friday, September 12, 2014

Americans like to believe that our exceptional story was cooked up in the proverbial melting pot. And it’s true that we’ve broadly taken strength from our diversity. But the way we engage our differences has more recently begun to shift. We’re more tolerant today than we’ve ever been, …

Column: From Teachout, a Lesson for Democrats

Friday, September 12, 2014

That was a notably unimpressive victory that Andrew Cuomo secured in Tuesday’s Democratic primary election in New York, receiving his party’s nod for a second term as governor. Cuomo defeated Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout, a largely …

Column: The Victim and the Abuser: A Love Story

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Reader, she married him. The day after he was indicted on a charge of aggravated assault for knocking her unconscious. I would say allegedly knocking her unconscious, but there’s no doubt: Janay Palmer — now Janay Rice — …

Column: Progressives Should Get Serious About Cutting Nation’s Debt

Thursday, September 11, 2014

There is nothing progressive about red ink. This year, progressives will run on strengthening the economic recovery, reducing inequality, improving college affordability, promoting broad-based wage growth and making sure the most vulnerable among us are well cared for. And if we want all these to happen, we also …

Column: Fair-Circuit Animals Have a Lousy Summer

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My friends and family are lamenting the end of summer, but all I feel is a deep sense of relief. As the season winds down, so do state and county fairs. It’s been a long, hot summer for animals used as midway props, and for them, autumn can’t …

Column: A Bold Move for the President: Visit Iran

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

President Obama has vowed to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State, or ISIS. That will be difficult without boots on the ground, and if those boots are American, it means a major war in Iraq and Syria. Furthermore, …

Willem Lange: The Easy Life and Comfortable Times of Our Inscrutable Cat

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The sun has slipped far enough down the southern sky that here, at the equinox, it shines in through the big gable window and warms the living room floor for several hours before and after noon — just as it was designed to do. The patch of sunlit …

School Reform Should Focus On the Quality Of Principals

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

As we go back to school this fall, parents will naturally be fretting about teachers — mainly, did their kids get the best ones? But what if, in the interest of educational improvement, we paused to examine the role of one person who rarely gets talked about, but …

Column: A Response: Hartford Bus Bids Were Proper and Saved Money

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

(Editor’s Note: Tom DeBalsi is superintendent of schools in Hartford.) I feel compelled to respond to the Valley News article about alleged irregularities in the process of contracting Hartford’s school transportation. First, the district began this process after many years of struggling to keep up with the demand …

Column: E-Cigarettes Need Regulatory Oversight

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

E-cigarettes pose a public policy conundrum. They are a gateway drug — but it’s not, or hasn’t been, entirely clear in which direction most traffic through that gateway flows. For some existing smokers, particularly those for whom other efforts to quit have failed, electronic cigarettes offer the advantage …