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Column: Stop Paying for Dumb Science Research

Monday, July 6, 2015

The National Science Foundation too often shortchanges American taxpayers by funding low-value, low-priority social science projects. Here are some doozies: the veiling-fashion industry in Turkey, Viking textiles in Iceland, the “social impacts” of tourism in the northern tip of Norway, legal careers in transition following law school, and whether hunger causes couples to fight (using the number of pins stuck in voodoo dolls as a measure of aggressive feelings). In …

Column: What Would Confucius Say About Gay Marriage?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Gay marriage isn’t legal in China, and it won’t be any time soon. But thanks to the U.S Supreme Court, and its decision to legalize same-sex unions, the subject is suddenly a national topic of conversation. Leading newspapers and academics are weighing in, Chinese social media — the surest barometer of Chinese middle-class opinion — are awash with posts and tweets, and Chinese …

Column: Cars Endanger Kids and Pets in Summer

Monday, July 6, 2015

It had been a long night for Jimmy and Hector, two K9 officers with Florida’s Hialeah Police Department. Following their overnight shift on May 27, Jimmy worked several more hours to help search for a missing senior citizen. Both dogs were probably ready for a good, long nap. But instead, they were reportedly left in the back of an SUV in their human …

Column: The Court at Its Best

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

In his powerful dissenting opinion from Friday’s same-sex marriage decision, Chief Justice John Roberts asks an excellent question: “Just who do we think we are?” That question deserves an answer. If we look at the arc of the …

How I Learned to Hate, and Then Stopped

Monday, June 29, 2015

Since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of being a warrior. I learned to read early and would sit in the library pouring over books of Greek and Norse myths, gravitating to the parts about …

Column: For Some Soldiers and Their Families, the War Is Never Over

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Joe Briseno wasn’t there for a lot of the early moments of his three kids’ lives. That’s not unusual for Army dads like him who were deployed to foreign countries when diapers needed changing. So now, at 57, …

Column: Vermont Reads Abolitionist Frederick Douglass

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The following are excerpts from abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ July 5, 1852 address on T he Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro. T he Vermont Humanities Council is encouraging readings of the speech throughout the state …

Column: The First, Brief Flight of Dartmouth Airways

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It was approaching the end of May 1946 and the big excitement was that the Upper Valley was going to get its own airfield. A huge gathering was in the planning stages for the opening day — Girl …

Column: The Confederate Flag Is Lowered

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Washington After a massacre like the one at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, our immediate reaction is to do something. Something, for politicians, means legislation. And for Democratic politicians, this means gun control. It’s the all-purpose, go-to, knee-jerk …

Column: Court Saves GOP From Itself

Saturday, June 27, 2015

With its 6-3 decision Thursday upholding the Affordable Care Act’s federal subsidies for health insurance buyers in all 50 states, the U.S. Supreme Court wrote an end to the discreditable effort by anti-Obamacare partisans to undermine the law …

Column: HCRS Is Providing Transparency

Friday, June 26, 2015

Recent coverage of Health Care and Rehabilitation Services of Southeastern Vermont in the Valley News has created several impressions that call for clarification. In news articles and editorials the newspaper has discussed losses HCRS incurred in a failed …

Column: Reframe the Argument About Guns

Friday, June 26, 2015

Washington Advocates of a saner approach to guns need a new strategy. We cannot go on like this, wringing our hands in frustration after every tragedy involving firearms. We said “Enough” after Sandy Hook. We thought the moment for action had come. Yet nothing happened. We are saying …

Column: Some Cultures Work More, Others Value Leisure

Friday, June 26, 2015

Why do people in some countries work more hours? The most common explanations have to do with labor regulations and taxes, but anyone who travels frequently will notice that work and leisure are valued differently in different places. If this sounds like prejudice, consider the findings of two …