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Columns

Column: Hope and Change, As in Climate Change

Friday, August 22, 2014

A few years ago, I discovered my undergraduates had informally renamed my Intro to Environmental Studies class. They called it “Environmental Depression.” I’ve been teaching college undergraduates about the environment for 20 years. Like many others, I focus on how humans are changing the earth system through pollution, deforestation, resource exploitation and climate change. I school them on the inadequacies …

Column: A Fairer Way to Elect House Members

Friday, August 22, 2014

In the original conception of our Constitution, the House of Representatives was to be the branch of government that best reflected the will of the people. House members cannot serve without being elected — vacancies are not filled by appointees — and they must face the voters every two years. Notably, the House holds pride of place as the first branch of government …

Editorial: Prosecuting Politicians

Friday, August 22, 2014

There are many fair grounds on which to criticize Rick Perry’s performance as governor of Texas: his rejection of federal funding for Medicaid expansion and his grandstanding deployment of the state’s National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, to name just two. But the list does not include the charges newly levied against him by an Austin grand jury. It’s true that the …

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 …

Column: Come to the Fair — Support People and Traditions

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Next weekend, I have one of the most enviable tasks in the Upper Valley — tasting the cakes, pies and cookies entered in the Cornish Fair. As head of the fair Culinary Department, one of my jobs is …

Column: Older Men and Women Unite, in Defense of Infertile Marriage

Sunday, August 10, 2014

No one is as passionate about a cause as someone touched personally by it. Sympathy for strangers with dread diseases is nothing like the angst you feel when a member of your family is sickened. You may pity victims of hurricanes, but there’s nothing like wandering your own …

Column: Remember the Cold War, Don’t Forget Its Lessons

Saturday, August 9, 2014

In announcing new sanctions on Russia last week, President Obama was at pains to insist that the standoff over Ukraine doesn’t mark the beginning of a new Cold War. No doubt he’s right — but commentary on the …

Column: The Real Border Problem and the Solutions

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The faces of frightened young children huddling together just inside our border are heartrending. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has the right attitude. Enough talk. Let’s act. Merely deploying National Guard units underscores the pressing need for a national dialogue that places immigration into a more sensible context. Too …

Column: The Flag of the Confederacy Rises Again

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hubert Wayne Cash, 65, a Navy veteran and retired phone company worker, spent an hour at his home Tuesday explaining why he allowed the recent erection of a giant Confederate battle flag in his wooded back yard north …

Column: Are Campuses as Dangerous as Stats Claim?

Friday, August 8, 2014

If you believe statistics mouthed by your president, and if you still define rape as it has been traditionally defined — sexual intercourse without consent, usually using force — our universities have become some of the most dangerous …

Release the CIA Report

Friday, August 8, 2014

More than a year and a half ago, the Senate Intelligence Committee approved a voluminous report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation of suspected terrorists after 9/11. Those who have read the report say it concludes that the agency used brutal and sometimes unauthorized interrogation techniques, misled policymakers …