Columns

Column: Open “The Arsenal of Democracy” for Ukraine

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I traveled recently with Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., to eastern Ukraine to meet with the courageous men and women fighting there for their country’s freedom and future. I arrived on a solemn day as Ukrainian volunteers grieved the loss of two young comrades killed by Russian artillery the day before. They had lost another comrade a few days before that, and four more the previous week. …

Column: Confederacy’s Ugly History Is Not Forgotten

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The lowering of Confederate battle flags across the South is not a victory. It’s a correction, a small one, and to treat it like a victory is wrong and divisive given the example in Charleston, S.C., where the forgiving grace of nine families in funeral corteges is a continuing miracle that makes the head bow with humility. What good is it to lower …

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 court’s history, we might be able to offer one. Contrary to appearances, the court usually …

Column: How About Marriage for None?

Monday, June 22, 2015

If you happen to pay extremely close attention to internecine debates within the LGBT community, you may know that not everyone lined up in favor of pursuing marriage equality at the federal level. Much of the debate over the last decade was about strategy — avoiding backlash for …

Column: Despite What You Read, Nobody Knows How Many Rape Accusations Are False

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rape statistics are a mess. Rape is at the center of the national debate, and it’s no wonder: the Obama administration’s push to crack down on campus rapes through the Civil Rights Act, the notorious and retracted story …

Column: The Soul of a Tree

Sunday, June 21, 2015

How much can we really know about the lives of trees? I know that in my woods a blight is killing the beech trees, and yet they reproduce in a frenzy. I watched a tiny cherry tree near …

Column: Solitary Confinement Makes Teenagers Depressed and Suicidal

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Washington The tragic suicide of 22-year old Kalief Browder shocked the country. Browder was arrested at 16 and spent years at the Rikers Island jail, including 800 days in solitary confinement. He was never tried or convicted of a crime. I, however, am no longer surprised by any …

Steve Nelson: Putting the Co-op Issues in Perspective

Sunday, June 21, 2015

I come to neither praise nor bury the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society, aka the Co-op. But a little perspective might be helpful. There is a tendency among populists and progressives, admirably exercised by Valley News columnist Jim Kenyon, to champion the underdog, to shine light on injustice and …

Column: Graduation Letter to My Grandson

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dear Carter, Here on my desk is a photo — yes, now an old photo of you when you were 3, climbing a bright white Vermont snow bank near your house, in yellow boots and a purple, one-piece snowsuit. A handsome little munchkin I could easily pick up …

Column: Stop Scapegoating Teachers

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Where is the single, national voice of the teacher in the United States decrying the fallacy that teachers and teachers unions are destroying American education? I have been, for the last 40 years, a public high school teacher and English department supervisor in New Jersey. I am responsible …

Column: We Need a New Strategy in Iraq and Syria

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Washington It’s time for a new strategy in Iraq and Syria. It begins by admitting that the old borders are gone, that a unified Syria or Iraq will never be reconstituted, that the Sykes-Picot map is defunct. We may not want to enunciate that policy officially. After all, …

Column: Threatening Times for American Muslims

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ramadan has always been a time of reflection, a chance to stop and recharge my batteries, an opportunity to take a break from the regular pace. Islam prescribes this month of fasting, and as with many, my favorite place to be during Ramadan is the mosque in the …

Column: The ‘Green Pope’ Issues a Call

Friday, June 19, 2015

Washington “He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. He shows us just how inseparable is the bond between concern for nature, …