Columns

Column: Back-to-School Dream — The Best Year Ever

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Even in places that remain in touch with the rhythms of agriculture, few seasonal markers prove as heady, reliable and poignant as the reopening of school. Every September the crosswalks ripen with kids in their back-to-school clothes; the long yellow buses harvest our lanes and streets. First the brightly colored backpacks and then, as if in imitation, the autumn leaves. Everyone has a share in the emotions that accompany this …

Column: How Does the GOP Solve a Problem Like Trump?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Every major Republican presidential campaign and every allied super PAC confronts the same question at their morning strategy meetings: What do you do with a problem like Donald Trump? For weeks the businessman/impresario has been running first in every national poll of Republicans. He dominates the race and consumes vast amounts of media oxygen, forcing other candidates to alter their tactics and strategies …

Willem Lange: Family Campout Memories

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hyde Park, Vt. During the month of August in 1971, our family — my wife, the three kids and I — paddled the headwaters of the Allagash River in Maine and followed it to its mouth. Then we stashed our canoes and hiked across Baxter State Park. The baby, Martha, was only 21/2 years old, but she did amazingly well, after first loudly …

Column: Trump Has a Message Washington Should Hear

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

In many ways, Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency is so preposterous that it demands to be dismissed as a joke. This would be a mistake. Trump deserves attention — though not because he’s likely to win the Republican nomination, much less the presidency. Almost anything is possible …

Column: Women Don’t Need Protecting on Abortion

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It’s been a month since the antiabortion group Center for Medical Progress released an undercover video purporting to prove that Planned Parenthood is illegally selling fetal parts. The charge was complete nonsense, and mainstream media sources quickly debunked …

Column: Celebrating Women Separately Can Be a Trap

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

When is “celebrating” women not all that good for women? Let’s face it. Something tagged exclusively for or about women is all too often a revenue-generating strategy alongside a way to deflect criticism about the lack of attention to women and an opportunity for the powers-that-be to say, …

Column: Julian Bond Knew the Value of Keeping the Faith

Monday, August 24, 2015

Combing through the many tributes that have appeared since Julian Bond’s death, I was struck by one photograph in particular. A young Julian is standing beside a seated Paul Robeson. The giant of a man — scholar, athlete, singer, actor and civil rights activist, who was blacklisted during …

Column: Loss Aversion Frames the Iran Deal Debate

Monday, August 24, 2015

Of all the findings in behavioral science, the most significant may be “loss aversion,” the idea that people dislike losses a lot more than they like equivalent gains. Loss aversion can create big trouble for businesses and investors. And it can badly confuse political debate — as it …

Column: Yoga Is Much Misunderstood

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Yoga has become more popular in the United States in recent years, with the number of people taking part in the discipline almost doubling between 2002 and 2012. Today, nearly 10 percent of Americans have tried it, and …

Column: Article on Amazon Workplace Culture Presented a Rorschach Test

Sunday, August 23, 2015

It was last weekend’s great litmus test. After reading Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld’s epic New York Times account of what it’s like to work at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, were you appalled or impressed? Would you never …

Column: Summer’s Lease Hath All Too Short a Date, But It Is Renewable

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A friend of mine recently said that it seemed like I’d had a good summer, and I did, but the word had made me sad. Like most Midwesterners who endure brutal winters, I never want summer to end. This time of year, after the sunflowers have bloomed and …

Column: The Fed Is Running Big Risks and Ought to Be Audit Thoroughly

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The U.S. Federal Reserve has grown massively in recent years. Since the 2008 financial crisis, it has increased its balance sheet from less than $1 trillion to an incredible $4.4 trillion. Given this sharp increase in the Fed’s risk, it’s reasonable that the Fed should be audited more …

Column: A Cinderella Story That Traversed a Slippery Slope

Saturday, August 22, 2015

When I was a student in England I walked almost everywhere. Everywhere I couldn’t reach by walking, I reached by bicycle. Cinderella I wasn’t; glass shoes would not have withstood the mileage. At Cambridge University, my college was up a steep hill. New Hall was a modernist building …