Columns

Column: Do You Know Where Your Solar Energy Is Going?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Vermonters are signing up for solar energy in record numbers. With current federal and state incentives, going solar has never been cheaper and is a great way to have a lesser impact on our warming planet. Unfortunately, more and more Vermonters who believe they are buying solar energy from local companies are actually supporting fossil-fueled energy and worsening their carbon footprint in the process. Let me explain. Historically, one of …

Column: Big-Game Hunting Isn’t a Test of Manhood

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The unseemly saga of Cecil the lion versus Walter Palmer, Minnesota dentist, reminds me of Ernest Hemingway’s masterpiece on big-game trophy hunting, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber. Published in 1936, this spare story is a brilliant expression of the dubious Hemingway-esque connection between courage and manhood, especially as represented in the …

Column: In Hillary Clinton We Trust — or Not

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

This isn’t a glorious summer for Hillary Clinton. She’s running for president as hard as she can, rolling out wonky policy proposals, holding town meetings, even talking with reporters now and then. But her poll numbers are down, especially on whether she’s trustworthy and honest. Surveys that once had her trouncing any Republican opponent (Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, for example) show the gap …

Column: Mad as Hell, and Supporting Donald Trump

Friday, July 24, 2015

Donald Trump is now the 2016 GOP frontrunner. That sentence would have sounded ridiculous a month ago, but here we are. The billionaire real estate mogul and reality star has tough-talked his way to the top of the ticket for 24 percent of Republican voters, according to the …

Column: Patchwork Ethics, or Are Quilters Stealing?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Did I plagiarize a quilt? The design was lovely: three patchworked ribbons twisting around each other and blending where they intersected. The moment I saw it on Pinterest, I knew I had to make it. I clicked: only more photos. No pattern to buy, no directions to download, …

Column: The Case for the Iran Deal

Friday, July 24, 2015

When President Obama took office, he faced an Iran that had mastered the nuclear fuel cycle, had constructed a covert uranium enrichment facility inside a mountain, was on its way to installing nearly 20,000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment, was developing advanced centrifuges and was building a heavy-water reactor …

Editorial: A Poor Check-Up for Planet Earth

Friday, July 24, 2015

The climate got its annual physical last week, and the results were not good. The comprehensive report, compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found that last year was the warmest in the 135-year record of modern temperature measurement. One very hot year doesn’t prove that the …

Kasich Offers GOP a Path to the White House

Thursday, July 23, 2015

If the Republicans want to save themselves from the demolition derby of their presidential primary race, they would flock to the side of Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Kasich stands out in the field. He broke records in his …

Yes, Philosophy Could Trend on Facebook

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Academic philosophers tend to have a narrow view of what is valuable philosophical work. Hiring, tenure, promotion and prestige depend mainly on one’s ability to produce journal articles in a particular theoretical, abstract style, mostly in reaction to a small group of canonical and 20th century figures, for …

Willem Lange: If It Sounds Too Good to Be True ...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Montpelier Many years ago (Good grief! Was it almost half a century?), during my days as a high school English teacher, the sophomores and I were briefly studying advertising. One morning, quite casually, I mentioned that the school maintenance people were concerned about air circulation in the classrooms. …

Column: From One Billionaire to Another

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I’m worth $10 billion. There, I’ve said it and it feels good. I’ve always been hesitant about disclosing my wealth, largely because going public creates a lot of problems that average Americans aren’t familiar with: cold calls from …

Column: Candidates Agreeing to Disagree, Even When They Agree

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

With the spotlight on Donald Trump’s continuing attacks on John McCain, you may have missed a more traditional skirmish in nomination politicking: the pretend fight between Jeb Bush and Scott Walker over the U.S. deal with Iran. At issue (supposedly) is whether the new president will start to …

Column: Clinton’s Growth Agenda

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

For most of a generation, Democrats have divided into two broad camps on economic policy. There are “growth Democrats,” who argue that a rising tide will lift all boats; that was the reigning view during the Bill Clinton administration under Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence H. Summers. …