Columns

Column: Whites and Blacks See Obama’s Legacy Far Differently

Monday, February 8, 2016

Who was Obama, and how will he be remembered? Now that he’s on his way out — the Iowa caucuses being the official prelude to a new political era — the consensus that’s been building is that although Obama more than qualifies as successful, he has not been transformational. He has not fulfilled the early promise of change. That hoped-for change was not just political but also spiritual — it …

Column: There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute, and He Thinks He’s Extraordinary

Monday, February 8, 2016

A few years ago, an internationally respected 68-year-old physicist fell for a sweetheart scam. Paul Frampton met a young supermodel online, became convinced he was corresponding with the new love of his life and traveled to La Paz, Bolivia, to meet her. By the time Frampton arrived, the supermodel had been called away to a photo shoot in Brussels, but she left behind …

Editorial: Be Frank With Asian Leaders

Monday, February 8, 2016

President Obama has invited 10 heads of state from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to an unprecedented summit in California later this month — the first between ASEAN and the United States to be held on American soil. Obama’s aims are to advance his strategy of “rebalancing” U.S. foreign policy toward Asia and (though this is largely unspoken) to counter China and …

Willem Lange: In Maine, Fishermen Are Holding On for Grandchildren’s Sake

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Stonington, Maine The best place to get a feel for a small town is at the diner where the old guys gather early in the morning. There are few alternatives to the Harbor Cafe in wintertime Stonington; so when I learned it opened at 6:30 for breakfast, I …

Column: Michigan Governor Can’t Sidestep Blame

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Washington Jeb Bush explained Sunday why he still thinks Rick Snyder has been “a great governor for Michigan,” even after the mass lead poisoning because of tainted tap water in Flint. The disgrace over Flint’s water, the Republican …

Column: Republicans Who Hate Cruz Should Chill

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. This sound aphorism may have a less pithy political corollary: Never attribute to strategy what can be explained by emotion. Only this truth can help us understand why Republican officials have started saying they prefer Donald …

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 …