Columns

VA System Has Been Unfairly Maligned by the Nation’s Media

Monday, December 22, 2014

One of the biggest — and most misunderstood — stories of 2014 was about the nation’s largest health care system, the Veterans Health Administration. Revelations that managers at the VA were concealing long wait times led to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and has left the lasting impression that the VA does not deliver high-quality care. The drumbeat of negative coverage has also made it difficult for the …

My Rape Story: The Price of Staying Silent

Monday, December 22, 2014

As the Washington Post Cairo bureau chief, I live and work with the risk of sexual violence all around me. I’ve covered war and political turmoil in the Middle East for the past seven years, spending five of those in Cairo, where sexual harassment is an almost daily experience. When I was groped amid a crowd of protesters battling police outside Cairo’s al-Azhar …

Editorial: A Cyberattack Against Free Speech

Monday, December 22, 2014

The cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has taken an even more disturbing turn. First it demonstrated how cyberthieves can raid a company’s most valuable trade secrets. Now it has escalated into a blatant terrorism threat by a group linked to North Korea and an assault on the freedom of speech directed from a capital of totalitarianism. Both the cyberattack and the coercion are …

The ‘Cromnibus’ Passes, for Better or Worse

Monday, December 15, 2014

Washington The so-called “Cromnibus” is an ugly piece of work. On balance, I’m glad — no, make that relieved — it passed. The Cromnibus is the giant $1.1 trillion spending bill that will keep the government functioning — …

Last Call for British Pubs?

Monday, December 15, 2014

The British pub is slowly dying, with more than 30 closing every week, according to the Campaign for Real Ale, a lobby group for pub owners and customers. The government needs to give publicans a helping hand before the heart gets ripped out of more communities. Cozier than …

Column: The Conservative Case for Police Reform

Sunday, December 14, 2014

New York If a neoconservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality, as Irving Kristol once put it, what do you call a conservative faced with video footage of the chokehold death of Eric Garner, a …

Column: Creationism Is More Nuanced Than You Think

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Washington In a dozen polls taken from 1982 to 2014, Gallup has asked Americans to choose among three views of evolution. One view is that humans “developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but …

Column: When Bad Things Happen at Frat Houses

Sunday, December 14, 2014

When Dartmouth’s student daily called for abolishing fraternities in an October front-page editorial, I remembered an essay I published more than 20 years ago in Antioch Review. Teaching since 1966 at Denison University, where fraternities controlled the campus …

Column: Are Social Services Driving School Costs?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Exhibit A among current critics of Vermont’s education funding system is some version of a chart showing annual education expenditures going up over time and school enrollment going down. Why are we spending more and more money to educate fewer and fewer kids? A recent two-day education summit …

What Really Makes Lefties So Different better)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

When our son was born two years ago, my right-handed wife prayed he would be a lefty because she believed lefties were disproportionately talented. It seems that he is left-handed, as am I and my older son, but new research suggests that may not carry the benefit my …

What Other Countries Can Teach America About Retirement

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Good news, America: A new report says you can alleviate your social-policy problems by copying other developed countries. Wait, don’t stop reading! I don’t mean single-payer health care, paid maternity leave or affordable preschool. And I’m certainly not talking about functioning mass transit, national climate policy or mandatory …

CIA Did What Needed to Be Done After 9/11

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Washington The report by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding CIA interrogation essentially accuses the agency under George W. Bush of war criminality. Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein appears to offer some extenuation when she reminds us in the report’s preamble of the shock and “pervasive fear” felt …

The CIA Report and the National Image

Friday, December 12, 2014

Our belief in the national image is astonishingly resilient. Over more than two centuries, our conviction that we are a benign people, with only the best of intentions, has absorbed the blows of darker truths and returned unassailable. …