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Columns

Column: Send in the Drones, but After the Lobbyists

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Oh no! The United States is falling behind in yet another big area — commercial use of drones. (Those things that buzz around and gather information and drop bombs overseas but don’t yet deliver Amazon packages.) Although drones seem to be in wide use elsewhere, the Federal Aviation Administration is nervous about letting U.S. skies fill up with them, citing safety and privacy concerns. The FAA already fined a photographer …

Column: Should We View a Barbaric Terrorist Act, or Ban Its Showing?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Don’t watch the video. Don’t share it. That’s not how life should be.” So tweeted Kelly Foley, a cousin of beheaded journalist James Foley, as the video of the brutal execution began to go viral — as the Islamic State intended. Beheaded journalist. How horrible to write a sentence featuring that shorthand, so …

Column: Report From the Front Lines in Ferguson

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Night had just fallen in Ferguson, Mo., as I watched a standoff from the town’s main thoroughfare. Approximately 150 protesters stood on West Florissant Avenue, their hands held up to symbolize nonviolent compliance. A hundred yards south, the six-lane avenue was blocked by a line of police vehicles, including armored SWAT carriers. The …

A Better Idea For Reforming the Tax Code: Taxing Consumption

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

According to much conventional wisdom, the flap over corporate “tax inversions” is just the latest evidence that the tax code needs a comprehensive overhaul like the one agreed to by congressional leaders and President Reagan in 1986. Whether you consider it greedy and unpatriotic for U.S. companies to …

Vacationing Presidents Get Little Time Off

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Here are five myths about presidential vacations: 1: Presidents get vacations. “Presidents don’t get vacations — they just get a change of scenery,” Nancy Reagan once said in defense of her husband’s frequent trips to his ranch in …

Live Free and Drink Wine in New Hampshire

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

There are more than 7,700 wineries in the United States. Production is at record levels. Prices are skyrocketing, too: As of 2013, the average bottle cost $10.85, up from $9 the previous year. The debate over which state …

Column: U.S. Needs a Mideast Strategy; Here’s One

Monday, August 18, 2014

What would it look like if America actually had a Middle East strategy? To begin with, of course, it would hardly look like what we are seeing today. At the moment, we are confronted with an unprecedented regionwide series of crises that are each seemingly being treated by …

Editorial: Containing Ebola: Gloves and Masks Are Needed, Not Drugs

Monday, August 18, 2014

The question of how to fairly distribute scarce doses of experimental Ebola treatments is capturing the world’s attention. Yet the fate of the epidemic doesn’t rest on getting these expensive and unproven drugs to the afflicted African countries. What medical teams there need most are protective masks, goggles, …

Column: What Wilderness Can Teach Us

Sunday, August 17, 2014

In a society preoccupied with electronic devices, it came as a ray of natural sunlight to read in the Valley News in spring about Vermont families escorting frogs, toads, newts and salamanders across busy roads to the vernal …

Column: Is Amazon Friend or Foe to Authors?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Seattle Times recently invited children’s book author Nina Laden and writer Frank Schaeffer to debate the fractious contract negotiations between online retailer Amazon.com and book publisher Hachette. Laden argues Amazon is a marketing behemoth with far-reaching tendrils …

Column: In Hinckley’s Case, What’s Done Is Done

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The government would have to overcome major legal hurdles to charge John Hinckley Jr. in the murder of James Brady some 30 years after the fact. But if that were the morally right thing to do, it would …

Steve Nelson: Let Me Rant About the Trouble With Men

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A lot of grim news this week. Every week, it seems. Unarmed teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Mo,, a suburb of St. Louis. He was confronted by the police while walking in the street with a friend. Moments later he was dead on the …

Column: Roll Back the Militarization of the Police

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The most striking photographs from Ferguson, Mo., weren’t of Saturday’s demonstrations or Sunday night’s riots; they were of the police. Image after image shows officers clad in Kevlar vests, helmets and camouflage, armed with pistols, shotguns, automatic rifles …