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Columns

Column: Video Put a Face to Domestic Violence — Ray Rice’s

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

When a police photo of Rihanna’s battered face was leaked in 2009, I was outraged. I criticized the media for disseminating it and refused to link to the image, because I found it “a sickening violation of Rihanna’s privacy.” I ended that column on Salon.com by hoping the image would “spark a national conversation about domestic violence,” but also by asking, “Shouldn’t Rihanna get to decide whether she becomes the …

Column: Domestic Abuse Is an Equal Opportunity Horror

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I’ve never been a victim of domestic violence, but I’ve loved people who have been. I say “people” because some of the victims have been men, despite the general Burning Bed stereotype of the muscled brute beating the living daylights out of the 100-pound female. Violence is violence, victims are victims and abusers are abusers regardless of gender, color, religion and affluence. This …

Column: The Political Magic of Rwanda’s Remarkable Road System

Monday, September 15, 2014

A friend was asking me about my recent trip to Rwanda. What, he wanted to know, surprised me the most? “I think it was the roads,” I said. “The roads were amazing.” “I’ll bet,” he said. “They must have been a mess, right?” No, just the opposite. I explained that the streets in Kigali, the capital, are smoothly surfaced, with nary a pothole …

Column: Recline of Civility: Flyers in a Space Crunch

Friday, September 5, 2014

For the third time in about a week, aisle rage erupted on Monday after a dispute over a reclined seat led a Delta flight to make an unscheduled stop. One passenger was taken off of the plane in …

Column: Amazon Ruined the Book Business

Friday, September 5, 2014

Almost 20 years ago, during one of my brief but most notable periods of insanity, I bought a bookstore. Yes, I ventured into the bookselling business. I was floating on some years of experience as a book critic, journalist, book buyer, reader and idealistic dreamer about the kind …

Column: The Bravery of Steven Sotloff

Friday, September 5, 2014

Steven Sotloff was brave. As a journalist, he ventured into conflict zones and dark corners of the Middle East to tell the stories of people who often are too fearful to speak for themselves. He worked as a freelancer, without the security apparatus provided by major news organizations. …

Editorial: NATO Finds Its Mission

Friday, September 5, 2014

Say this for Russian President Vladimir Putin: He has ended NATO’s decades-old existential crisis. As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization meets in Wales, the abstract question of the alliance’s purpose in a post-Soviet world isn’t on the agenda. Instead, its leaders must devise a plan to counter the …

Column: Who Wrote the Book (and Data) of Love?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Gosh, am I tired of the pop sociology and pop psychology studies popping up in my news feed. Almost every one of these has severe limitations that get ignored in the hype. I’m going to pick on one example. According to a new study by the National Marriage …

Column: The World Must Mobilize to Combat Ebola

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

If the Ebola epidemic devastating the countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone had instead struck Washington, New York or Boston, there is no doubt that the health systems in place could contain and then eliminate the disease. Hospitals would isolate suspected cases. Health workers would be outfitted …

Willem Lange: The People You Meet in the Great Outdoors

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

One of the nicest things about my part-time TV job is that it gets me outdoors, as well as all over the map, to places I’d probably otherwise never have visited: mountains, rivers and lakes, and what New Hampshire calls the Great North Woods, or on some of …

Column: Let’s Talk About the Wide Racial Divide

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The tragic events in Ferguson, Mo., following the police shooting death of a young African-American man, have ignited a national conversation around deeply rooted racial tensions in America. Last week at Michael Brown’s funeral, where thousands of family, …

Column: Health Care and Climate Catastrophes

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Last week, leading health authorities were huddled at World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, discussing how to confront one of the most urgent threats to humanity. It’s not Ebola. And it’s not HIV/AIDS, malaria, cancer, obesity, heart disease or diabetes. The problem — a changing climate — …

Editorial: A Climate for Change: U.S. Can Lead Global Carbon Cuts

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Probably the most persuasive argument against U.S. action on global warming is China. No U.S.-only initiative can stop the planet from warming. Any effective response to climate change will require broad, international effort. All true. But such coordination is not as out of reach as many believe. It …