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Columns

This painting depicts Francis Scott Key seeing the American flag flying over Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor the day after he witnessed the British bombardment of the fort in the War of 1812.  This sighting inspired the poet to write "The Star-Spangled Banner," which became the official United States national anthem in 1931.  (AP Photo)

Column: ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ Deserves Its Status

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Last weekend marked the 200th anniversary of the writing of The Star-Spangled Banner. Over the years, many debates have surrounded the national anthem — involving its meaning, its quality and the circumstances under which Francis Scott Key came to write it. Before you hear “Oh say, can you see . . . “ at the next ballgame or school assembly, make sure you’ve dispelled these myths first. ∎  The Star-Spangled Banner was written about an insignificant battle in an insignificant war. The nation’s future was at stake in 1814, with the United States on the brink of defeat in the third year of the War …

Column: Shed a Tear for the iPod

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Quietly, even stealthily, Apple last week brought about that moment that many of its most loyal followers dreaded would happen: It killed off the iPod. Oh, the name lives on for now, attached to a suite of weird late-generation devices — the Shuffle, the Nano, the Touch — but when the Apple Store …

Column: Princeton’s Faculty Stands With Students Against Sexual Violence

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Amid increasing national pressure on colleges and universities to more aggressively tackle sexual assault, Princeton University has finally decided to overhaul its policies and procedures. At 4 p.m. on Monday, university faculty members packed storied Nassau Hall for their first regularly scheduled meeting of the year. Arguably the most important item on the agenda: a vote on the following recommendations set forth earlier …

Dan Mackie: Time for a Smarter Watch

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Apple’s new smart watch was announced this week, and because it’s Apple, it will be insanely great, for starters, and do about a million things beyond the pedestrian task of telling time. Insanely great, for anyone who hasn’t been paying attention to tech since the launch of the …

Editorial: Fighting the Islamic State

Friday, September 12, 2014

The civil war that erupted in Syria three years ago spawned the vicious, and ambitious, terror force known as the Islamic State, a major threat to the Middle East, Europe and the United States. The rise of the Islamic State, or something like it, was a foreseeable consequence …

Column: Americans Are More Tolerant, but Are Keeping Their Distance

Friday, September 12, 2014

Americans like to believe that our exceptional story was cooked up in the proverbial melting pot. And it’s true that we’ve broadly taken strength from our diversity. But the way we engage our differences has more recently begun to shift. We’re more tolerant today than we’ve ever been, …

Column: From Teachout, a Lesson for Democrats

Friday, September 12, 2014

That was a notably unimpressive victory that Andrew Cuomo secured in Tuesday’s Democratic primary election in New York, receiving his party’s nod for a second term as governor. Cuomo defeated Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout, a largely …

Column: The Victim and the Abuser: A Love Story

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Reader, she married him. The day after he was indicted on a charge of aggravated assault for knocking her unconscious. I would say allegedly knocking her unconscious, but there’s no doubt: Janay Palmer — now Janay Rice — …

Column: Progressives Should Get Serious About Cutting Nation’s Debt

Thursday, September 11, 2014

There is nothing progressive about red ink. This year, progressives will run on strengthening the economic recovery, reducing inequality, improving college affordability, promoting broad-based wage growth and making sure the most vulnerable among us are well cared for. And if we want all these to happen, we also …

Column: Fair-Circuit Animals Have a Lousy Summer

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My friends and family are lamenting the end of summer, but all I feel is a deep sense of relief. As the season winds down, so do state and county fairs. It’s been a long, hot summer for animals used as midway props, and for them, autumn can’t …

Column: A Bold Move for the President: Visit Iran

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

President Obama has vowed to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State, or ISIS. That will be difficult without boots on the ground, and if those boots are American, it means a major war in Iraq and Syria. Furthermore, …

Willem Lange: The Easy Life and Comfortable Times of Our Inscrutable Cat

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The sun has slipped far enough down the southern sky that here, at the equinox, it shines in through the big gable window and warms the living room floor for several hours before and after noon — just as it was designed to do. The patch of sunlit …

School Reform Should Focus On the Quality Of Principals

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

As we go back to school this fall, parents will naturally be fretting about teachers — mainly, did their kids get the best ones? But what if, in the interest of educational improvement, we paused to examine the role of one person who rarely gets talked about, but …