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Column: We Can Stop The Worst People on Earth

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Baghdad called President Obama’s bluff and he came through. He had refused to provide air support to Iraqi government forces until the Iraqis got rid of their divisive sectarian prime minister. They did. He responded. With the support of U.S. airstrikes, Iraqi and Kurdish forces have retaken the Mosul dam. Previous strikes had relieved the siege of Mount Sinjar and …

Column: Inequality in Suburbia: Ferguson Isn’t Alone

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The current turmoil in Ferguson, Mo., follows the trajectory of urban riots in Newark, Detroit, Cincinnati, Miami, Oakland, Los Angeles and elsewhere. They typically begin with an incident of racially tinged police abuse. Outraged members of the black community organize protests, the police overreact, and the protests become more violent and threatening. But …

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 …

Column: There Go the Neighborhoods, Authors Say

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Consider how our definition of “neighborliness” has evolved. Once upon a time, being neighborly meant “reaching out to the people who lived next door” by, among other things, “offering to watch the kids in a pinch.” Now, “being ‘neighborly’ means leaving those around you in peace.” Or think …

Column: Obama Mulls Cynical Immigration Order

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

President Obama is impatient. Congress won’t act on immigration, he says, and therefore he will. The White House is coy as to exactly what the president will do. But the leaks point to an executive order essentially legalizing an enormous new class of illegal immigrants, perhaps up to …

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 …