Columns

Marcia Maria, who is seven months pregnant, waits to be examined at the IMIP hospital in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. Brazil is in the midst of a Zika virus outbreak, spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is well-adapted to humans, thrives in people's homes and can breed in even a bottle cap's-worth of stagnant water. The virus is suspected to be linked with occurrences of microcephaly in new born babies, but no link has been proven yet. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Column: Health Officials Are Steering the Right Course on Zika Outbreak.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

No matter how things play out with the fast-spreading Zika virus, people are likely to end up angry at public health authorities. It’s possible the situation will become worse than expected, both worldwide and in the U.S., where some spread can’t be ruled out. Zika may be blamed for some U.S. cases of microcephaly — the birth deformity tentatively linked …

Column: At 92, Bob Dole Still Talks Tough — About His Party

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Bob Dole may be 92 years old, but his grasp of the current political climate shows no sign of aging. When we recently spoke by telephone, the former Senate majority leader, two-time winner of the Iowa caucuses and 1996 GOP standard-bearer was eager to share his views on the 2016 Republican front-runners, particularly …

Steve Nelson: The Big Lie and Education Reform

Sunday, February 7, 2016

What major event changed the course of recent history and was based entirely on a falsehood? The obvious answer is the Iraq war. Hundreds of thousands of lives and several trillion dollars have been squandered. All of this tragic waste was triggered by false claims of weapons of mass destruction, a lie that was too easily swallowed in the hunger for revenge following …

Column: This May Be a Lesser-of-Two-Evils Election

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The American body politic is in a state of toxic shock in the days before real voting commences in the presidential primaries. From left, right and center, top to bottom, our limbs and joints are in spasm. The …

Column: The Good News, and the Bad, About Social Security

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Americans are embracing the idea that we should expand Social Security. A movement started by a few progressive activists spread to opinion makers and ultimately to presidential candidates such as Sen. Bernie Sanders. But is a broadly expanded Social Security program really necessary? And can we afford it? …

Column: Can Zombie-Like Fossil Fuels Be Killed?

Monday, January 25, 2016

When I was a kid, I was creepily fascinated by the wrongheaded idea that your hair and your fingernails keep growing after you die. The lesson seemed to be that momentum was hard to kill. The same thing …

Column: Is a Drunken Driver Responsible for Everything That Follows?

Monday, January 25, 2016

I can’t be the only one who thinks they should bring back the original Law & Order. If NBC did, the show’s first case should be one that went on trial this week in a local court in Mineola, N.Y. A man has been charged with homicide in …

Column: A Gift Alzheimer’s Could Not Take Away

Monday, January 25, 2016

I once read that memory is what forms one’s identity. It contains one’s life narrative. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s means a person loses the ability to remember, but does she then cease to exist? While you learn to adjust and accept that all the long-cherished memories you’ve shared …

Column: Creativity Thrives on Hardship

Sunday, January 24, 2016

It’s a new year and that means new bean bag chairs. Chances are high that someone in your office — the Chief Innovation Officer, perhaps, or the Senior Motivational Poohbah — will decide that your firm is not …

Column: There Are No Healthy Foods, Only Healthy People

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Recently I watched a woman set a carton of Land O’ Lakes Fat-Free Half-and-Half on the conveyor belt at a supermarket. “Can I ask you why you’re buying fat-free half-and-half?” I said. Half-and-half is defined by its fat …

Column: My Connection With Vermont Soil Goes Deep, as in Digging Deep

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Some say you aren’t a real Vermonter unless both your parents are buried in Vermont, as if the Vermont soil does something special to the genetic code. Both my parents are quietly resting under the Connecticut soil, so …

Column: Mother Nature Says: Take Notice

Saturday, January 23, 2016

For those still unconvinced about the reality of climate change, the year that just ended should erase any doubt. Climate data from the air, land and water all reveal an indisputable portrait of a warming world. On Wednesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA jointly announced …