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Columns

Column: How The American Psychological Association Lost Its Way

Monday, August 3, 2015

The American Psychological Association is in crisis. Last December, a Senate Intelligence Committee report laid bare the extensive involvement of individual psychologists in the CIA’s black-site torture program. Then, in early July, a devastating independent report by a former federal prosecutor determined that more than a decade ago APA leaders — including the director of ethics — began working secretly with military representatives. Together they crafted deceptively permissive ethics policies …

Column: Critics Hate Benghazi Film They Haven’t Seen

Monday, August 3, 2015

Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi might not turn out to be the biggest film of 2016, but it could prove the most controversial. The studio released a two-and-a-half-minute trailer this week, and already critics are denouncing what little they’ve seen. Bay’s gaudy, implausible popcorn movies — the Transformer series, for instance — are often derided as “Bayhem.” But this …

Column: The Harm of Overdiagnosing Breast Cancer

Sunday, August 2, 2015

If you haven’t gotten this message already, you should heed it now: The benefits of screening for breast cancer are limited. We should be doing fewer screening mammograms, not more. The data that support this conclusion come from studying the effects of mammography across time and place. A couple of years ago a …

Column: NRA Leader Promises Apocalypse Now

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Louisiana’s Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, who presides over a state with a high rate of gun violence and a low quality of gun laws, is shocked. “We never would’ve imagined it would’ve happened in Louisiana or Lafayette,” he …

Column: Concealed Handguns Make America Safer

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Americans are increasingly convinced that owning a gun makes them safer. A new Rasmussen poll found that an overwhelming majority of Americans (68 percent) “feel safer in a neighborhood where guns are allowed.” And a series of polls by Gallup, the Pew Research Center, and ABC News and …

Column: The Senate Strikes Back, and Ted Cruz Loses a Battle

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Washington Who’s afraid of big, bad Ted Cruz? Not Lamar Alexander. The Tennessee Republican went on the Senate floor to accuse his fellow Republican of proposing actions that would “render ourselves lawless” and cause “chaos.” Alexander reminded the …

Willem Lange: John Stark, the Grumpy Colonial Hero

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Montpelier In recent years, against my better judgment, I’ve been becoming a blurber: one of those people you kind of know who writes brief blurbs of praise to print on the back covers of paperbacks. Trouble is, you can’t write a blurb about something you haven’t read. As …

Column: Latest Clinton Email Flap Isn’t a Scandal

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Washington The latest controversy over Hillary Clinton’s emails — the allegation that classified information was improperly transmitted on her private email server— is, or should be, a non-scandal. Clinton has only herself to blame for a lot of …

Column: FDA Makes a Muddle of Nutrition Labels

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Since 1993, most packaged food sold in the U.S. has been required to include a Nutrition Facts label that lists the amount of fat, cholesterol, sodium, protein, carbohydrates, fiber and sugar in a serving, and includes some information on recommended daily intakes. During that same period, Americans’ diets …

Column: What’s Behind Polarization of Voters?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Washington So accustomed are we to highlighting the polarized nature of our politics that we often forget how many Americans decline to be painted in bright reds or bright blues. Among us, there are pinks and turquoises and even purples. And these voters will matter a great deal …

Column: There Is Blame to Go Around in Bland Case

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Washington One would hope that it is possible for a white policeman and a black citizen to come into contact in a routine traffic stop without it becoming a matter of race and ending badly. But maybe not. …

Column: Police, Power and the People They Serve

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I am struggling mightily with the death of Sandra Bland. Struggling to understand it, struggling with the tragedy of it, and struggling especially with how utterly unnecessary and unfair it feels. And how depressing it is to watch the video of her initial encounter with police. I am …

Column: Video Confronts Us With Reality of Abortion

Monday, July 27, 2015

“Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.” — Barack Obama, address to Planned Parenthood, April 26, 2013 Washington Planned Parenthood’s reaction to the release of a clandestinely recorded conversation about the sale of fetal body parts was highly revealing. After protesting that it did nothing illegal, it apologized …