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Columns

Column: Of Apps and Aptitude: We Could Teach Grandma to Code

Thursday, August 21, 2014

American businesses are aging, as is the country; and this is bad for the economy, say Ian Hathaway and Robert Litan of the Brookings Institution. They reported in July that the share of older firms, aged 16 years or more, has increased from 23 percent in 1992 to 34 percent in 2011. Start-ups have become a smaller proportion of the economy, going from 15 percent to 8 percent. This is …

Column: Obama Tests Limits on Executive Orders

Thursday, August 21, 2014

There are two words every president, including Barack Obama, hates to hear: “lame duck.” He’s in year six of his eight-year run. His biggest accomplishments are all in the past; his remaining proposals are stymied by Congress. His popularity is mired near 40 percent, and voters tell pollsters they see him as a …

Willem Lange: Paddling Down the River With Good Company for a Good Cause

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Just about 30 hours ago I turned into the narrow entrance lane to the refurbished and improved boat launch site in Orford. There were people everywhere in white T-shirts with the word “Volunteer” on the back, waiting to help the expected crowd. I was early, as is my wont, so I got a lovely spot to stash my canoe and gear beside the …

Column: Sprawl, and Hipsters, Come to the South

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Should the Piedmont area of the Carolinas and Georgia have stayed a poor region of mill villages and farms? Should prosperity be a first-come-only-served condition? Do new houses represent prosperity in the Northeast but pollution in the South? A new paper from the U.S. Geological Survery and comments …

Column: How to Lose Friends: Politics on Facebook

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Shortly after Israel invaded the Gaza Strip in 2009, a close Muslim friend I’d known since elementary school suddenly disappeared from my Facebook feed. She’d been excoriating Israel in her posts, and I’d said nothing. Then I posted a statistic showing the number of Hamas-fired missiles landing in …

Willem Lange: A Musical Web Link Sends Me on a Sentimental Journey Home

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I wandered today to the hill, Maggie, to watch the scene below: The creek and the old rusty mill, Maggie, where we sat in the long, long ago. I really should spend less time in front of this computer. Like a maelstrom, it can suck you into so …

Column: Missouri’s Alternative for Primary Care

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Everyone agrees that the United States does not have enough primary-care physicians. There are huge swaths of the nation, especially rural and inner-city areas, that lack any primary-care physicians. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the shortage is at least 16,000 doctors. Various strategies have …

Column: The Iraq War Sequel Needs a Cast of Allies

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

With the bombing campaign launched by the Obama administration against the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, America’s unending war in the Middle East has come roaring back after a two-year intermission, under new ownership. Welcome …

Column: There Go the Neighborhoods, Authors Say

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Consider how our definition of “neighborliness” has evolved. Once upon a time, being neighborly meant “reaching out to the people who lived next door” by, among other things, “offering to watch the kids in a pinch.” Now, “being ‘neighborly’ means leaving those around you in peace.” Or think …

Column: Obama Mulls Cynical Immigration Order

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

President Obama is impatient. Congress won’t act on immigration, he says, and therefore he will. The White House is coy as to exactly what the president will do. But the leaks point to an executive order essentially legalizing an enormous new class of illegal immigrants, perhaps up to …

Editorial: It’s Sunny, In a Bad Way

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

You probably haven’t noticed, but the sun has been more restless lately. Scientists have been predicting an upswing in volatile solar behavior, resulting in “space weather” that poses a surprisingly dangerous threat to modern society. A big “coronal mass ejection” is one of the least commonly discussed natural …

Column: Impeachment Is Rare for Good Reason

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Some 40 years after Richard Nixon resigned to avoid his likely impeachment by the House of Representatives, Washington is again talking impeachment. Members of Congress are denouncing the president’s contempt for constitutional law, while the president is raising …

Column: The Inequality Problem in the U.S. Is Lack of Equal Opportunity

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Our political discourse today is riven by the issue of inequality. Some commentators embrace inequality as an inevitable byproduct of free markets. Others say inequality is greatly overstated. Both claims are harmful and deceptive. Defenders of inequality begin with an incontrovertible fact: Free markets rely on inequality. It …