Columns

Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press

Column: NRA Leader Promises Apocalypse Now

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Louisiana’s Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, who presides over a state with a high rate of gun violence and a low quality of gun laws, is shocked. “We never would’ve imagined it would’ve happened in Louisiana or Lafayette,” he said after last week’s movie theater shooting in Lafayette, La. Jindal responded with a kind of gunner jujitsu, calling for other states …

Column: Concealed Handguns Make America Safer

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Americans are increasingly convinced that owning a gun makes them safer. A new Rasmussen poll found that an overwhelming majority of Americans (68 percent) “feel safer in a neighborhood where guns are allowed.” And a series of polls by Gallup, the Pew Research Center, and ABC News and the Washington Post show similar results. But it isn’t just what people say. They are …

Column: The Senate Strikes Back, and Ted Cruz Loses a Battle

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Washington Who’s afraid of big, bad Ted Cruz? Not Lamar Alexander. The Tennessee Republican went on the Senate floor to accuse his fellow Republican of proposing actions that would “render ourselves lawless” and cause “chaos.” Alexander reminded the Texan that the Senate “requires restraint and goodwill.” Not John Cornyn. The senior senator from …

Column: A Rush to Judgment on Iran Deal

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Washington Negotiators in Vienna had announced the Iran nuclear deal only an hour earlier, but Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a Republican presidential candidate, was already on the airwaves denouncing it. “You have created a possible death sentence for Israel,” he declared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “This …

Column: Columbia Divests From Prison Corporations

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Columbia University recently announced that it is divesting from private prison companies. The move sends a powerful message that institutions should not profit from the mass incarceration of people. The Ivy League school, with an endowment of $9 billion, is selling its reported 220,000 shares in private prison …

Column: Iran Deal and Limits of U.S. Power

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Of all of the surreal moments Tuesday in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal, the most bizarre was the conclusion of President Obama’s address from the White House. After touting the pact’s promises of greater monitoring and transparency, and the limits it places on Iran’s nuclear enrichment, …

Column: Generation X Earns More, but Has Less

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

It’s pretty common these days for the media to make fun of millennials. But back in the 1990s, the previous generation, Generation X, got much the same treatment. They were slackers, they were entitled, blah, blah, blah. In truth, members of Generation X — Americans born between 1965 …

Column: The North Isn’t Free of Shame Over Slavery

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

With astonishing speed — and a surprising new consensus — the status of the Confederate battle flag has been altered. While a reconsideration of that symbol’s original meaning is long overdue, there is a countervailing risk that the righteous satisfaction in some quarters at lowering the flag may …

Willem Lange: We’ve Reached Pluto, but Still Have Problems at Home

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Montpelier I was 10 years old the night the United States first bounced a radar beam off the moon. In an experiment nowadays regarded about as crude as the discovery of fire, scientists showed that signals beamed from Earth could penetrate the ionosphere in both directions. Their success …

Column: Losing Faith in Our Fathers

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What’s an English teacher supposed to do when Atticus Finch, white paradigm of colorblind justice as a lawyer in To Kill A Mockingbird, is toppled from his pedestal, and by his own creator, Harper Lee? I feel like my world has come undone. The New York Times was …

Column: Is Your House Monitoring You?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Palo Alto, Calif. Your toaster will soon talk to your toothbrush and your bathroom scale. They will all have a direct line to your car and to the health sensors in your smartphone. I have no idea what …

Column: Clinton Launches Economic Debate

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Washington Will the 2016 presidential campaign continue to be held hostage to Trump-mania and stories about a rope separating Hillary Clinton and journalists at a New Hampshire parade? You can be certain that Donald Trump will not allow …

Column: Whose Alexander the Great?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Alexander the Great was the first global celebrity: a hero, a superman and, so he believed, a god. Not only did he rule most of the known world at the time of his death in 323 BC, he …