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Columns

Column: The Oversized Appeal of Little Libraries, in Hanover and Elsewhere

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hanover’s Little Free Library, not much bigger than a breadbox and perched on a post outside Town Hall, was well stocked the day I peered inside. There for the taking was a novel by John Updike, a copy of Gossip Girl, and a selection of children’s stories, among other titles. The shelves were so full, in fact, there wasn’t room …

Column: A Message to the Young Entitled Man: Get a Job, Get a Life

Saturday, January 31, 2015

“What’s your goal in life?” I asked a cheerful young man at an alumni event. “I want to retire by 35” was his snappy answer. He smiled, cocked his head as if auditioning to play George Clooney’s kid brother and waited for what he clearly expected to be my delight. The line was rehearsed and he was close to 25; obviously it had …

Column: They Put Down My Pats — I Shake Them Off

Friday, January 30, 2015

Washington I never knew how much fun it was to be loyal to a hated outlaw sports team until the whole world came down on my dear New England Patriots. Having rooted over the years for Boston teams that many felt sorry for — God help us — and found psychologically interesting, it …

Column: Over 70 Years, Water Fluoridation Has Proven Its Value

Monday, January 26, 2015

Imagine most of your friends and family living with a chronic disease that is rarely life-threatening, but it’s painful and sometimes interferes with eating, sleeping and even speaking. Researchers who discovered how to reduce the rate of this disease by 25 percent would be honored as heroes, right? …

Column: Can-Do Spirit Brings Growth to New England

Monday, January 26, 2015

The woman in the cute fake fur coat got out of her car and immediately slipped on the ice in the parking lot. “Is this it?” she yelled, laughing and grabbing the car door to keep from falling. “Do they have it? Please tell me they have it!” …

Column: U.S. Fiddles While Iran Burns the Mideast

Monday, January 26, 2015

Washington While Iran’s march toward a nuclear bomb has provoked a major clash between the White House and Congress, Iran’s march toward conventional domination of the Arab world has been largely overlooked. In Washington, that is. The Arabs have noticed. And the pro-American ones, the Gulf Arabs in …

Column: Fill Up on Cheap Gasoline While You Can

Monday, January 26, 2015

Raise that thermostat and fire up the SUV: West Texas Intermediate crude is hovering around $45 a barrel, and the Costco near my house is currently vending gasoline for under $2 a gallon. But don’t start pricing Hummers just yet, because we don’t know how long this will …

City of Paris Might Have a Defamation Case Against Fox News

Monday, January 26, 2015

American commentators were quick to dismiss Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s threat to sue Fox News over its false and mistaken claims that certain areas of the city were “no-go zones” for non-Muslims. It’s true that Fox News doesn’t broadcast in France, and also true that in the U.S. …

Column: Cheap Oil and SUVs are a Sucker’s Bet

Monday, January 26, 2015

Where is the logic in buying a gas-guzzling SUV just because gas prices are so low? As gas prices have tumbled, gas-hog sales have soared. November sales of the Cadillac Escalade SUV were up 91.5 percent over November …

Column: The Middle Class Gets Attention, but Poor Need College Aid

Monday, January 26, 2015

One could be forgiven for thinking that it’s the middle class who have suffered most from America’s failed higher-education policies, which saddled students with years of debt. Putative reformers invoke the plight of the middle class almost exclusively. President Obama’s plan to link financial aid to certain college …

Editorial: No Need for Nerdy Google Glass

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hard to believe it was just a few years ago when we first heard about Google Glass, the breakthrough in augmented-reality eyeglasses. And today — what a marvel! — millions of us wear this futuristic headgear to surf the Web, video-chat with mom and take hands-free photos. Oops. …

Column: Remember Rick Perry — He May Run Again

Monday, January 26, 2015

Washington Many people are holding their breath waiting for Rick Perry to announce whether he will run for president again. As Perry ponders, among those who wait nervously, are the folks who work at the Department of Commerce, Education and Energy, which Perry presumably still wants to eliminate …

Column: Fear in Our Times, and Overcoming It

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Terror began to influence American politics well before Sept. 11, 2001, but the day’s events surely intensified the role fear plays in our nation’s public life. My own response that day was a mixture of denial and unfocused fear. In the weeks and months that followed, I resisted …