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Columns

Column: How The American Psychological Association Lost Its Way

Monday, August 3, 2015

The American Psychological Association is in crisis. Last December, a Senate Intelligence Committee report laid bare the extensive involvement of individual psychologists in the CIA’s black-site torture program. Then, in early July, a devastating independent report by a former federal prosecutor determined that more than a decade ago APA leaders — including the director of ethics — began working secretly with military representatives. Together they crafted deceptively permissive ethics policies …

Column: Critics Hate Benghazi Film They Haven’t Seen

Monday, August 3, 2015

Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi might not turn out to be the biggest film of 2016, but it could prove the most controversial. The studio released a two-and-a-half-minute trailer this week, and already critics are denouncing what little they’ve seen. Bay’s gaudy, implausible popcorn movies — the Transformer series, for instance — are often derided as “Bayhem.” But this …

Column: The Harm of Overdiagnosing Breast Cancer

Sunday, August 2, 2015

If you haven’t gotten this message already, you should heed it now: The benefits of screening for breast cancer are limited. We should be doing fewer screening mammograms, not more. The data that support this conclusion come from studying the effects of mammography across time and place. A couple of years ago a …

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. …

Column: Border ‘Crisis’ Is Easing, Not Getting Worse

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Washington Donald Trump is entitled to his own opinions, not his own facts, to paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Trump gets a lot wrong in his comments about immigration and Mexico. There is no evidence that Mexican officials are dispatching criminals across a porous border, and immigrants don’t commit …

Column: Court Must Uphold Religious Freedom

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A group of Catholic nuns, the Little Sisters of the Poor, wants relief from the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that it offer contraceptive coverage to its employees. The nuns lost a court case last week — and everyone who cares about religious freedom should be troubled by the …

Column: The Iran Deal Is Worse Than I Feared

Monday, July 20, 2015

Washington When you write a column, as did I two weeks ago, headlined “The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history,” you don’t expect to revisit the issue. We had hit bottom. Or so I thought. Then last Tuesday, the final terms of the Iranian nuclear deal were published. …