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Columns

Willem Lange: Even in the Bustle of the City, People Crave the Natural World

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The TV crew and I stood this morning beside a couple of fortresslike granite buildings with 19th-century-style hip roofs, ocher-colored grout, and fancy exposed rafter tails. They were designed, a brochure informs me, by the famous architect Henry Hobson Richardson. There was water on one side of the buildings: an imperceptibly flowing stream named, appropriately, the Muddy River. Both banks of the stream were lush with greenery; Canada geese paddled …

Column: In a Time of Crisis, the Usual Petty Politics

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tragedies concentrate the mind. American politics was trundling along on its usual unserious and trivial trajectory when news of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine shook the world. Suddenly, the stakes in public life and foreign policy were very high. Vladimir Putin’s recklessness in Ukraine was no longer just about …

Column: Man Walked on the Moon, and We All Watched

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It was, after all, only a boot-crunching dust. You wouldn’t think the sight would affect so many or change so much. But we saw it, on TV. We saw it and were changed, along with the human world around us. Like many readers, I was sitting in a room with my family July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong hopped off that ladder onto …

Column: Bring Us the Head of Glenn McCoy — Or Is It OK to Be Offended?

Friday, July 18, 2014

I can’t decide if I should get agitated, be amused or just remain bemused by the tempest in an inkpot surrounding the political cartoons by Glenn McCoy that occasionally pop up in the Valley News . I always …

Column: Maybe Obama Should Embrace the Theater

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

“This is not theater.” That was President Obama’s answer in Dallas last week to critics who said he should have gone to the border to see firsthand the mass immigration of unaccompanied minors that has suddenly seized Washington’s …

Column: America’s Immigration Crisis Is a Moral Crisis

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Glenn Beck says he has come under fierce attack from some of his fellow conservatives for a grave transgression. His crime? He announced plans to bring food, water, teddy bears and soccer balls to at least some of …

Column: U.S. Is Losing the Message War in the Mideast

Monday, July 14, 2014

What, exactly, does the United States stand for in the Middle East? More important, what would the average Iraqi, Syrian, Egyptian or Yemeni say that it stands for? The suggestion that the United States is retrenching might seem …

Column: This Country Needs a ‘Good Jobs’ President

Monday, July 14, 2014

Last month, President Obama defied Republican threats to file suit against him for his use of executive orders. “If House Republicans are really concerned about me taking too many executive actions,” the president said, “the best solution to that is passing bills. Pass a bill, solve a problem.” …

Editorial: Borderline Inaction

Monday, July 14, 2014

Nobody knows for sure how much weight, or blame, to assign each of the factors that have contributed to the flood of unaccompanied children and teens crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months. The surge of illegal entries has crested into a full-blown immigration crisis, the resolution of …

Travelers, Never Mind MERS, Pay More Attention to Measles

Monday, July 14, 2014

As Americans head off on summer vacations this year, federal health authorities are keeping a wary eye out for an unwanted traveler: one of the most contagious infectious diseases in the world. The microscopic droplets that spread this virus can remain suspended in the air for up to …

Column: Raise the Gas Tax and Then Abolish It

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The federal Highway Trust Fund, which helps pay for transportation projects all over the country — non-highways included — now looks as if it will run out of money in August. That timeline sets up another last-minute, high-stakes confrontation in Washington over how to replenish an essential program …

Column: Devastation Led to Call for Protection of Vermont’s Environment

Sunday, July 13, 2014

As we celebrate the success of the federal Endangered Species Act, currently in its 40th year, we are taking stock of the role it has played in the restoration of many fish, wildlife and plant species across the …

Column: Poverty Is a State of Mind as Much as a Fact

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hartford, Conn. Sara Bareillis played softly through the surround-sound speakers of my husband’s 2003 Mercedes Kompressor as I sat idling at a light. I’d never been to this church before, but I could see it from where I was, across from an old park, abandoned in the chilly …