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Columns

Willem Lange: Even in the Bustle of the City, People Crave the Natural World

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The TV crew and I stood this morning beside a couple of fortresslike granite buildings with 19th-century-style hip roofs, ocher-colored grout, and fancy exposed rafter tails. They were designed, a brochure informs me, by the famous architect Henry Hobson Richardson. There was water on one side of the buildings: an imperceptibly flowing stream named, appropriately, the Muddy River. Both banks of the stream were lush with greenery; Canada geese paddled …

Column: In a Time of Crisis, the Usual Petty Politics

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tragedies concentrate the mind. American politics was trundling along on its usual unserious and trivial trajectory when news of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine shook the world. Suddenly, the stakes in public life and foreign policy were very high. Vladimir Putin’s recklessness in Ukraine was no longer just about …

Column: Man Walked on the Moon, and We All Watched

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It was, after all, only a boot-crunching dust. You wouldn’t think the sight would affect so many or change so much. But we saw it, on TV. We saw it and were changed, along with the human world around us. Like many readers, I was sitting in a room with my family July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong hopped off that ladder onto …

Column: Losing, and Finding My Way in the Woods

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Once, nearly forty years ago, I lost my way in the woods. I was never in danger, just disoriented enough to feel my heartbeat quicken and to know I would have to think carefully about the slant of …

Editorial: The Web, Entangled; Vermont Towns Struggle With Online Posts

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The law of unintended consequences now has an online version. In Vermont, several towns recently disabled their municipal websites because officials weren’t sure they could meet provisions of the state’s revised Open Meeting Law, which requires cities and towns with websites to post minutes of public meetings online …

Column: A Co-op Response: We Benefit Our Members and Workers

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Over the past several months, opinion columns in the Valley News have focused on the employment practices of the Co-op Food Stores, taking information only from a small group of people while ignoring additional information that disputes those claims. Most recently, without evidence to back his charge, columnist …

Column: Fix Immigration Law to End Influx of Minors

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Congress likes to put fancy titles on its legislative handiwork, but they should probably just call everything the Law of Unintended Consequences, especially immigration bills. The 1965 Cuban Adjustment Act gave all people fleeing that Communist island the right to legal residence once they reached U.S. soil. Over …

Column: Americans Gave ‘Beautiful Game’ a Long Look And Loved It

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Unbelievably, World Cup soccer has become the topic of conversation around the water cooler at work. In recent weeks television ratings for the sport have soared, with games involving Team USA equaling the recent NBA finals and surpassing baseball’s World Series. “Watch Parties” drew tens of thousands nationwide …

Column: In China, and Elsewhere: Molding Young Minds Through the Curriculum

Friday, July 11, 2014

It was the summer of 2012, and Hong Kong was in an uproar. The pro-Beijing government’s attempts to put in place a so-called “patriotic education” curriculum — one with lessons similar to those taught in mainland China — were met with howls of protest across the city. The …

Column: In Palestine,Where It’s ‘Trayvon Martin, En Masse’

Friday, July 11, 2014

The scene opens with two masked men kneeling over what looks like a rice sack, one man holding it down, the other man repeatedly raising his right fist and pounding it. The fisted man stands up, giving us …

Editorial: Stop the Madness — A Declaration on Gun Violence

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Fourth of July, that most American of holidays, is typically celebrated with parades, fireworks and backyard cookouts. In Chicago this year, the holiday weekend was scarred by what tragically has become another American tradition: gun violence. In …

Column: The Hating of the President

Thursday, July 10, 2014

President Barack Obama: the worst president since World War II. That’s what a new poll says. Well, sorry, folks, but Obama is not the worst president — he is not even close to being the worst president. But …

Column: The Founders Reined In Inherited Wealth, but It Grows Again

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thomas Piketty, writing from France, is the latest person to sound an alarm about the growing inequality of income and wealth. But his ideas have distinctly American roots that date to the country’s formation. The American Revolution was in part a revolt against hereditary wealth and aristocratic privilege, …