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Columns

Column: America the Indebted: It’s Really Piling Up

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Washington Oh, the debt. Yawn. How passe. How 2009. Once, President Obama held a summit on fiscal responsibility (2009). Once, he gave an entire speech devoted to the subject (2011). Once, his State of the Union addresses (2010, 2011, 2013) were studded with double-digit references to the problem of sky-high deficits and lingering mountains of debt. Now, the topic receives just glancing mention, a clause (“shrinking deficits”) in a series …

Column: The Kochs Buy Into the 2016 Elections

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Koch brothers are done being shy. That’s the conclusion one would have to draw from their announcement that they hope to spend $889 million on the 2016 election, an unprecedented amount of outside money. It won’t all be theirs — they’re assembling a kind of plutocrat Politburo, a group of billionaires and …

Column: The Graying of America’s Corporate Boards

Thursday, January 29, 2015

These are tough times in the U.S. for workers older than 50. Buffeted by the Great Recession and big technological changes, many have been thrown out of the workforce and are finding it hard to get back in. They are the “new unemployables,” Boston College researchers declared a couple of years ago. There’s at least one group of over-50 workers that’s doing awesome, …

Column: Black Lives Mattered Then, and Do Now

Monday, January 19, 2015

For this year’s national holiday celebrating the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., all of the speeches, marches, singing and rallies have to somehow have roots in Ferguson, Mo. It’s because a year ago Michael Brown …

Editorial: Government Must Help Stop Hackers

Monday, January 19, 2015

Hackers defaced Crayola’s Facebook page last week with some offensive and off-color posts that no parent would want children to see. Separately, intruders managed to hijack the YouTube and Twitter accounts of U.S. Central Command, posting videos and documents to taunt the military. Both cyberattacks were symbolic annoyances …

Column: Whose Life Is It, Anyway?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Over the past 17 years, I have lived a good life. It has always just been me and my mom and all of our pets. My mom raised me well, to be a strong, competent and independent woman. …

Column: The French Are Complicit in the Assault on Free Speech

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Within an hour of the massacre at the headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper, thousands of Parisians spontaneously gathered at the Place de la Republique. Rallying beneath the monumental statues representing Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, they chanted “Je …

Steve Nelson: Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie

Sunday, January 18, 2015

No, I am not Charlie. The New York Times is not Charlie. The Valley News is not Charlie. The murder of a dozen magazine staff members in Paris has generated a fascinating debate about freedom of expression. No person, save the demented followers of extremist Islam, can view …

Column: Why Electricity Costs Spiked

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Forum letter writer was speaking for many recenly when he asked about huge electric rate increases this winter and paltry explanations for them. David C. Montgomery of Hanover said his electricity bill had increased by 72 percent, …

Column: A Question for the ‘Valley News’ — To Publish, or Not, the ‘Charlie’ Cartoons

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Inquiring-minded readers are wondering why the Valley News has not reprinted some of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons to which Islamic terrorists took murderous offense earlier this month in Paris. The short answer is that we are not Charlie Hebdo. Although journalistic provocateurs certainly have an important role to …

Column: American Expats Face Tough Questions About Our Guns, Health Care and More

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Oslo, Norway In my long nomadic life, I’ve been to both poles and most countries in between. I still remember when to be an American was to be envied. The country where I grew up after World War II seemed to be respected and admired around the world. …

Column: It’s Time For Vermont To Grab a Share Of New Hampshire’s Primary Spoils

Friday, January 16, 2015

Now that the Vermont Legislature has returned to Montpelier, I’d like to suggest again that it consider a plan to alter New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary. I’ve said this before, and nobody paid any attention. Things have not gotten …

Column: Presidents, in Context, at Their Libraries

Friday, January 16, 2015

When Jonathan Zimmerman, professor of history and education at New York University, suggests that a single “Center for Presidential Research” take the place of our presidential libraries, he echoes arguments that were made by Rep. Hamilton Fish III, R-N.Y., as he spearheaded opposition to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s plan …