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Columns

Column: I Know All About the Paddle and the Pain

Friday, September 19, 2014

Washington Adrian Peterson, the NFL running back, has been indicted for injuring his 4-year-old son. According to sources in law enforcement, Peterson used a tree branch to discipline the boy, leaving cuts and bruises. Peterson’s lawyer says his client meant no harm. “Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son,” says the attorney. “He used the same kind of discipline with his …

Column: Can Tweets Help the Police and Public Engage?

Friday, September 19, 2014

In the tiny town of Jun, Spain (population 3,000), meeting rooms in city hall have their own Twitter accounts. When residents want to reserve them, they send a direct message via Twitter; when it’s time, the door to the room unlocks automatically in response to a tweet. Jun’s mayor, Jose Antonio Rodriguez, says …

Column: Illegal Drugs Aren’t as Dangerous as Scientists Say

Friday, September 19, 2014

Is America’s scientific research biased to focus on the harmful effects of drugs? That was one of the questions at the heart of a congressional hearing this summer seeking to understand more comprehensively the scientific evidence related to marijuana. And it was how Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found herself being grilled by Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va. …

My Client Was Just Freed From Death Row, And I’m Furious

Monday, September 8, 2014

Watching an innocent client walk out of prison is every defense lawyer’s dream, especially for those of us who represent people condemned to die. This week, I got to watch my client, Henry McCollum, North Carolina’s longest serving …

Column: Obama Is Tougher on Terror Than He Sounds

Monday, September 8, 2014

Question: Who said this about the war on terror? “I don’t think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.” Answer: Not Barack Obama, but the …

Column: An Entrepreneur Who Pioneered in the Howard Dean Campaign

Sunday, September 7, 2014

San Francisco At age 30, Zachary Rosen has three startups to his name and thousands of miles logged on his bicycle. The serial entrepreneur founded Chapter Three, a web design consulting business, in 2006, not long after dropping …

Column: Urging Precautions Doesn’t Mean Blaming the Victim

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Washington Hello, Internet users, it’s Megan McArdle again, with a friendly message about morality: You shouldn’t look at stolen nude photographs of celebrities. Yes, yes, I know — it’s not like your self-restraint will prevent millions of other …

Dan Mackie: We Cut Our Cable, and Survived

Sunday, September 7, 2014

About two years ago, we cut the cord. I don’t remember what made me it do — I have canceled cable TV in moments of cheapness or distress about lousy shows before — but this time it stuck. …

Column: Passenger Pigeons Once Filled the Skies Here

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Connecticut River Valley was once home to the passenger pigeon, the most abundant denizen the area has ever known. Feeding and nesting in the millions, the slender, beautiful bird made its home in the river valley, feasting on nuts from the massive oaks, chestnuts, hickory, walnut and …

Column: A Political Wife Is Thrown Under the Bus, and Suffers in Silence

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Maureen McDonnell, having uttered not a single word in court for five weeks, stepped into a car and rode away from the crowd a newly convicted felon, still silent. Her husband, who made history as the first Virginia …

Column: Why the Sunday Talk Shows Still Matter

Saturday, September 6, 2014

This weekend, Chuck Todd of NBC News officially joins the ranks of journalists assigned to host the venerable Sunday morning network news programs. Though often derided as wonky and formulaic, these shows retain value — journalistic and financial — in a fractured media world. So let’s dispel some …

Column: Recline of Civility: Flyers in a Space Crunch

Friday, September 5, 2014

For the third time in about a week, aisle rage erupted on Monday after a dispute over a reclined seat led a Delta flight to make an unscheduled stop. One passenger was taken off of the plane in …

Column: Amazon Ruined the Book Business

Friday, September 5, 2014

Almost 20 years ago, during one of my brief but most notable periods of insanity, I bought a bookstore. Yes, I ventured into the bookselling business. I was floating on some years of experience as a book critic, journalist, book buyer, reader and idealistic dreamer about the kind …