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Columns

A homeless man pushes a shopping cart full of his belongings across an intersection in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles, Friday, March 29, 2013. The area, originally agricultural until the 1870s when railroads first entered Los Angeles, has maintained a transient nature through the years from the influxes of short-term workers, migrants fleeing economic hardship during the Great Depression, military personnel during World War II and the Vietnam conflict, and low-skilled workers with limited transportation options who need to remain close to the city's core, according to the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Column: Rising Tide of Income Inequality Is Politically Unsustainable

Sunday, April 20, 2014

New York Inequality has come out of the fiscal shadows. U.S. President Barack Obama, a scrupulous consensus-builder who long avoided all zero-sum formulations, is now rallying citizens to stand with him against “the relentless, decades-long trend” of income inequality. Bill de Blasio became New York’s mayor by campaigning on the issue. And earlier this month, Christine Lagarde — the executive …

Column: When Full Disclosure Promotes Mischief

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Washington The debate over campaign contributions is never-ending for a simple reason: Both sides of the argument have merit. On the one hand, of course money is speech. For most citizens, contributing to politicians or causes is the most effective way to augment and amplify speech with which they agree. The most disdainful …

Column: Kansas, the KKK and the Pernicious Undercurrent of Hate

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like to imagine that the KKK belongs to a long-gone South and anti-Semitism to a distant 20th century. Sadly, this better reflects a …

Column: The Senate and CIA Must Resolve Ugly Dispute About Torture

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., voted to declassify parts of its report on the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program. The White House, the CIA and the Senate still have to negotiate which portions of the report will be redacted before …

Column: Vets Feel Good About Wartime Experience

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

For better or worse, ours is today a warlike nation that depends on volunteers to fill the ranks of its armed forces. Young men and women have a variety of motives for signing up. No doubt some do so for high-minded, even idealistic reasons. For many, however, more …

Column: Prosecutors Increasingly Use Rap Lyrics as Evidence in Court

Monday, April 14, 2014

For 16 months, San Francisco Bay area rapper Deandre Mitchell — better known as Laz Tha Boy — has been sitting in a jail cell faced with a decision no artist should have to make: whether to defend his innocence at trial, knowing his music likely will be …

Column: The Brave New World of Medicine

Monday, April 14, 2014

Health care is a misnomer for our medical system. It should be called sick care. Doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies only make money when we are in bad health. If we could instead prevent illness and disease, it would turn the entire medical system on its head and …

Column: Alan Dershowitz Takes the Stand

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The snow has finally ended, spring break is behind us, and major-league baseball is under way. That means the 2013-14 college year is entering the home stretch, and at Harvard Law School a legendary law professor will soon …

Column: Boston Marathon Bombing Still Shrouded in Misinformation

Saturday, April 12, 2014

As the Boston Marathon approaches this week, its host city is marking one year since Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly planted two bombs at the finish line, killing three and injuring hundreds more. As the nation commemorates the …

Column: My Little House With a Big Heart

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I have the tiniest house on my street. Typically, that’s not a bragging point. But lately I’ve grown especially proud of my home. For one thing, it’s cheaper (and easier) to heat than bigger homes — a big …

Column: Vermont School Governance Is Out of Date

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Before the turn of the 20th century, there were more than 2,500 school districts in Vermont. Back then, as it is today, debate was passionate. How should schooling be organized to meet our shared goals? In 1892, the Legislature took courageous action by abolishing those micro-districts and transforming …

Column: Achievements Go Back All the Way to LBJ

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Washington History offers a rough kind of justice. As the nation’s current president and three of his predecessors gathered this week at the University of Texas for an LBJ Library conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 …

Column: Information to Help You Know Your Doctor

Saturday, April 12, 2014

This week, the federal government released a massive database capable of providing patients with much more information about their doctors. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency that runs Medicare, posted on its website detailed information about how many visits and procedures individual health professionals …