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Columns

Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press

Column: Let’s Talk About the Wide Racial Divide

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The tragic events in Ferguson, Mo., following the police shooting death of a young African-American man, have ignited a national conversation around deeply rooted racial tensions in America. Last week at Michael Brown’s funeral, where thousands of family, friends, civil rights leaders and residents gathered, came calls for justice and dignity for all families. But while Brown’s death is an …

Column: Health Care and Climate Catastrophes

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Last week, leading health authorities were huddled at World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, discussing how to confront one of the most urgent threats to humanity. It’s not Ebola. And it’s not HIV/AIDS, malaria, cancer, obesity, heart disease or diabetes. The problem — a changing climate — doesn’t fit the traditional definition of health hazard and yet it threatens to undermine the …

Editorial: A Climate for Change: U.S. Can Lead Global Carbon Cuts

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Probably the most persuasive argument against U.S. action on global warming is China. No U.S.-only initiative can stop the planet from warming. Any effective response to climate change will require broad, international effort. All true. But such coordination is not as out of reach as many believe. It is quite possible — if the United States does its part. The European Union has …

Column: Attack Ads Aren’t as Bad as You Think

Friday, August 29, 2014

Negative campaign ads appear to be on the rise with the approach of this fall’s congressional elections and the 2016 presidential campaign. Hardly anyone has a good word to say about them. The standard critique — that they …

Column: Send in the Drones, but After the Lobbyists

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Oh no! The United States is falling behind in yet another big area — commercial use of drones. (Those things that buzz around and gather information and drop bombs overseas but don’t yet deliver Amazon packages.) Although drones seem to be in wide use elsewhere, the Federal Aviation …

Column: Should We View a Barbaric Terrorist Act, or Ban Its Showing?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Don’t watch the video. Don’t share it. That’s not how life should be.” So tweeted Kelly Foley, a cousin of beheaded journalist James Foley, as the video of the brutal execution began to go viral — as the …

Column: Report From the Front Lines in Ferguson

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Night had just fallen in Ferguson, Mo., as I watched a standoff from the town’s main thoroughfare. Approximately 150 protesters stood on West Florissant Avenue, their hands held up to symbolize nonviolent compliance. A hundred yards south, the …

Column: In Mideast, Patience Before Retribution

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My reaction to the murder of American reporter James Foley at the hands of his knife-wielding Islamic State killer was visceral: Send in the Marines and clean the Islamic State’s clock. It was a sentiment, I am sure, …

Willem Lange: A Return to Maine, and Camelot Summers

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lincolnville, Maine During the late summer of 1964, I was browsing through a copy of Life and came across an article titled Marshmallow Becomes a Man. It followed a kid named (as I recall) Mike Kobulnicky as he struggled through a course at the Colorado Outward Bound School …

Column: Plight of Adjunct Professors Is Colleges’ Dirty Little Secret

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We are the stoop laborers of higher education: adjunct professors. As colleges and universities rev for the fall semester, the stony exploitation of the adjunct faculty continues, providing cheap labor for America’s campuses, from small community colleges to knowledge factories with 40,000 students. The median salary for adjuncts, …

Column: What You Probably Don’t Know About ALS

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Unless you’ve been living with your head under a bucket, you’ve heard about or participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge — an effort to raise money for ALS research by dousing cold water on yourself and/or donating $100. The success of the viral marketing campaign will not be …

Editorial: Everyone Needs to Chill Out ... on Vacation

Monday, August 25, 2014

Just before he flew off to Martha’s Vineyard for a two-week vacation, President Barack Obama fielded some questions about the U.S. military campaign against Islamic State militants in Iraq. We imagine that he also had Syria (rebels besieged in Aleppo), Afghanistan (election recount debacle), Ukraine (plane shot down, …

We Need a Common Understanding on Race

Monday, August 25, 2014

African-Americans are not alone in being horrified by the killing of Michael Brown. They are not alone in their concern over the police’s behavior. And there’s evidence that a large number of white Americans have still not fully formed their views on this tragedy. This means that how …