Columns

Column: Death Panel Hoax Is Put to Rest

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Washington Sometimes it’s good news when a story isn’t news. Such was the case when Medicare announced in early July that it intended to reimburse physicians for time spent counseling patients about choices for their “advanced care,” that is, medical treatment when they are very sick and near the end of life. The announcement didn’t get much news coverage and didn’t stir up much controversy. Why should it? Of course …

Column: Clinton Gets Specific on Corporate Reforms

Saturday, August 1, 2015

By any measure, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent and avowed democratic socialist, is running to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s left as they seek the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Surprisingly, though, it’s Clinton who has been proposing to push U.S. big business in a more social direction. Sanders, to be sure, has long advanced …

Column: A Rescue of Syrian Christians

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Washington Christianity, whose presence in the Middle East predates Islam’s by 600 years, is about to be cleansed from the Middle East. Egyptian Copts may have found some respite under Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, but after their persecution under the previous Muslim Brotherhood government, they know how precarious their existence in 90 percent Muslim Egypt remains. Elsewhere, it’s much worse. Twenty-one Copts were beheaded …

Column: Gossip Is Good

Friday, July 24, 2015

Last week the gossip site Gawker published a story apparently outing a heterosexually married New York media executive of high social class, connections and reputation. The material came from a gay male escort who had tried and failed to persuade the executive in question to help him resolve …

Column: Mad as Hell, and Supporting Donald Trump

Friday, July 24, 2015

Donald Trump is now the 2016 GOP frontrunner. That sentence would have sounded ridiculous a month ago, but here we are. The billionaire real estate mogul and reality star has tough-talked his way to the top of the ticket for 24 percent of Republican voters, according to the …

Column: Patchwork Ethics, or Are Quilters Stealing?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Did I plagiarize a quilt? The design was lovely: three patchworked ribbons twisting around each other and blending where they intersected. The moment I saw it on Pinterest, I knew I had to make it. I clicked: only more photos. No pattern to buy, no directions to download, …

Column: The Case for the Iran Deal

Friday, July 24, 2015

When President Obama took office, he faced an Iran that had mastered the nuclear fuel cycle, had constructed a covert uranium enrichment facility inside a mountain, was on its way to installing nearly 20,000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment, was developing advanced centrifuges and was building a heavy-water reactor …

Editorial: A Poor Check-Up for Planet Earth

Friday, July 24, 2015

The climate got its annual physical last week, and the results were not good. The comprehensive report, compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found that last year was the warmest in the 135-year record of modern temperature measurement. One very hot year doesn’t prove that the …

Kasich Offers GOP a Path to the White House

Thursday, July 23, 2015

If the Republicans want to save themselves from the demolition derby of their presidential primary race, they would flock to the side of Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Kasich stands out in the field. He broke records in his …

Yes, Philosophy Could Trend on Facebook

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Academic philosophers tend to have a narrow view of what is valuable philosophical work. Hiring, tenure, promotion and prestige depend mainly on one’s ability to produce journal articles in a particular theoretical, abstract style, mostly in reaction to a small group of canonical and 20th century figures, for …

Willem Lange: If It Sounds Too Good to Be True ...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Montpelier Many years ago (Good grief! Was it almost half a century?), during my days as a high school English teacher, the sophomores and I were briefly studying advertising. One morning, quite casually, I mentioned that the school maintenance people were concerned about air circulation in the classrooms. …

Column: From One Billionaire to Another

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I’m worth $10 billion. There, I’ve said it and it feels good. I’ve always been hesitant about disclosing my wealth, largely because going public creates a lot of problems that average Americans aren’t familiar with: cold calls from …

Column: Candidates Agreeing to Disagree, Even When They Agree

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

With the spotlight on Donald Trump’s continuing attacks on John McCain, you may have missed a more traditional skirmish in nomination politicking: the pretend fight between Jeb Bush and Scott Walker over the U.S. deal with Iran. At issue (supposedly) is whether the new president will start to …