Columns

Willem Lange: Time Marches On, and We Are Just the Keepers of the Clocks

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Montpelier Those of us who yearn for the good old days might reasonably be accused of having short memories. How soon we’ve forgotten the days before painless dentistry, antibiotics, 12-volt car batteries, touchtone phones, convenient indoor plumbing and light switches. “Going to bed with the chickens,” considered evidence of rural virtue, was instead born of a necessity in poor households that couldn’t afford kerosene (then popularly called “coal oil”) to run lamps for such foolishness as recreational reading. It’s hard to believe that Abraham Lincoln was able to achieve his mastery of language when, according to legend, he learned to read by firelight, jotting his …

Column: Iran Policy Opens a U.S.-Israel Family Feud

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Washington A slide projected onto the wall at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee gathering Monday contained a warning to delegates: “AIPAC is Bipartisan,” it said, next to an image of a Democratic donkey and Republican elephant in boxing gear. “Check your gloves at the door.” They checked their gloves, all right — …

Column: An Old Idea Resurfaces: National Land Tax

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

In the lasting debate over Thomas Piketty’s book on outsized returns on capital, a significant fact has been obscured: If you exclude land and housing, capital has not risen as a share of the U.S. economy. If you’re surprised, you’re not the only one. Intuition suggests this capital-output ratio should be higher today than it was in the early 1900s. Yet, in the …

Column: The Crorys Gave Me the Chance of a Lifetime, and Even More

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Longtime state representative Elizabeth Crory of Hanover passed away this month at age 82. She was a tireless advocate for the underserved, a dedicated public servant and someone who touched the lives of many, including my own. Elizabeth …

Column: Concessions to Iran Would Be Dangerous

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Washington A sunset clause? The news from the nuclear talks with Iran was already troubling. Iran was being granted the “right to enrich.” It would be allowed to retain and spin thousands of centrifuges. It could continue construction of the Arak plutonium reactor. Yet so thoroughly was Iran …

Column: China’s Fertile Ground for Islamic State recruiters

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Three hundred Chinese citizens, members of the country’s Uighur ethnic group, have recently traveled to the Middle East to join the Islamic State. Those Uighurs are part of a broader Muslim migration, spurred by a government crackdown, away from China’s western province of Xinjiang, where Muslims have lived …

Column: ‘Mein Kampf’ and the Lure of Martyrdom

Friday, February 27, 2015

Washington As The Washington Post reported this week, Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf is expected to be reissued in Germany for the first time since the end of World War II. Although widely available elsewhere in the world, the book — Hitler’s testament and what’s considered the founding text …

Column: A Liberal View of American Exceptionalism

Friday, February 27, 2015

“I don’t hear from Obama . . . what an exceptional country we are,” former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani recently declared. “With all our flaws we’re the most exceptional country in the world.” Giuliani has been roundly — and rightly — criticized for his statements, since President …

Column: Engineering the Climate

Friday, February 27, 2015

What makes climate change dangerous isn’t just what we know, which is that human activity is warming the planet. It’s also all that we don’t know. How far will temperatures rise, and how fast? What damage will it cause? Will governments finally confront the problem seriously, and how …

Friday, February 27, 2015

Column: My Story: The Cancer Cure That Wasn’t

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I am dying, literally, at my home in Hollywood, of metastatic breast cancer, the only kind of breast cancer that kills. For six years I’ve known I was going to die. I just didn’t know when. Then, a couple of weeks before Christmas, a new, deadly diagnosis gave …

Column: The Case for a Presidential Love Deficit

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Is it possible that a reasonable person could think President Barack Obama doesn’t love America? Well, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani has faced heavy criticism for saying just that, but Giuliani isn’t crazy. His thoughts are usually …

Willem Lange: The Temperatures Can Only Go Up From Here

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Montpelier If you’ve ever competed in a tug-of-war — at a picnic, maybe, or summer camp — you probably remember the first few seconds of effort after the starting signal, when you could sense whether or not the next few minutes were likely to go well. Your opponents’ …