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Columns

Column: The Reluctant Grownups

Thursday, May 28, 2015

In a recent interview, actor Simon Pegg — Shaun of the Dead, various Star Treks, and noted geek — said a number of things that immediately got the Internet up in arms: Comic-book movies are infantilizing us. We care too much about superheroes. We no longer frequent Gritty Adult Dramas Like They Used To Make Back In The ’70s. He has since walked it back a bit (don’t bite the …

Column: Rand Paul’s Stands Hurt Him in the GOP

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Washington Rand Paul took a left turn on his journey to the Republican nomination, and now his hopes seem to be headed south. The libertarian Kentucky senator’s new book, Taking a Stand, came out Tuesday, and it is chock-full of lines that would position Paul well — if he were running against Hillary …

Column: The Beautiful Ideas of John Nash Changed Economic Thinking

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The world will be a poorer place without John Nash, one of the pioneers of game theory, who died Saturday at 86 in a car crash along with his wife. Most Nash retrospectives (and the movie about him) focus considerable attention on his mental illness, but I think this is overdone. We should …

Column: Crash Stirs Fear of Loss for one Survivor

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

N ew York When I was 20, the man I was dating died. We were traveling together thousands of miles from home in a remote part of Southeast Asia, and one morning, he didn’t wake up. His breathing …

Column: Train Travel is Safe ­— Very Safe

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

With the loss of eight lives, last week’s train crash in Philadelphia is of course a national tragedy. It’s crucial to understand why the accident occurred and to take steps to make such tragedies less likely in the …

Column: Is the American Public Warming To Redistribution of Wealth?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The erosion of the U.S. middle class is changing how Americans see themselves. It might also be changing the way they view government redistribution of wealth. The stagnation of earnings for most American households has been well established. From 1979 to 2007, real after-tax income grew 37 percent …

Column: Sanders, in the Grand Democratic Socialist Tradition

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is the first such effort by a democratic socialist since Norman Thomas waged the last of his six such campaigns on the Socialist Party ticket in 1948. It’s about time. Historically, the role …

Column: No Such Thing as a Shovel-Ready Project

Monday, May 18, 2015

The deadly Amtrak derailment last Tuesday is just another symptom of Congress’ refusal to address the United States’ decrepit infrastructure. Amtrak is notoriously underfunded, with a huge capital expenditure backlog. While the cause of the crash is not …

Be Better, and Be Humble, Advises David Brooks

Sunday, May 17, 2015

David Brooks wants you to be in a Bible study. You’ll get more out of it than you would at a dinner party, he says, if you find places where you can talk about pain and suffering. In …

Column: A Norwich Expat Is Moved by French WWII Commemoration

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I’ve always been prone to crying. The Star Spangled Banner got me when I was a high school hockey player on the ice at Campion Arena before a game. My eyes have leaked during the Norwich Memorial Day …

Column: Call Me the Other Mom, or Dad for Short

Saturday, May 16, 2015

I was walking across the street to collect my 3-year-old son, Hanno, when I overheard a neighbor boy taunt him for not having a father. I’d always wondered how I was going to broach this subject with Hanno. Suddenly it was floating at me in singsong across the …

Column: Was the Killing of Bin Laden a War Crime?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

We’ll probably never know the accuracy of all the details in Seymour Hersh’s alternative account of the killing of Osama bin Laden. But Hersh’s version has enough verisimilitude that it calls for reconsidering what has always been the most troubling legal question, even under the official version of …

Column: Preserve the World’s Bio-Diverse Savannas

Friday, May 15, 2015

In recent years, as governments have begun to protect tropical forests because of the carbon they store, other vast tropical ecosystems have come under increasing threat. These are the wet savannas, which have a mix of grasses, trees and shrubs and receive enough rainfall to grow crops. Farmers …