Columns

VA System Has Been Unfairly Maligned by the Nation’s Media

Monday, December 22, 2014

One of the biggest — and most misunderstood — stories of 2014 was about the nation’s largest health care system, the Veterans Health Administration. Revelations that managers at the VA were concealing long wait times led to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and has left the lasting impression that the VA does not deliver high-quality care. The drumbeat of negative coverage has also made it difficult for the …

My Rape Story: The Price of Staying Silent

Monday, December 22, 2014

As the Washington Post Cairo bureau chief, I live and work with the risk of sexual violence all around me. I’ve covered war and political turmoil in the Middle East for the past seven years, spending five of those in Cairo, where sexual harassment is an almost daily experience. When I was groped amid a crowd of protesters battling police outside Cairo’s al-Azhar …

Editorial: A Cyberattack Against Free Speech

Monday, December 22, 2014

The cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has taken an even more disturbing turn. First it demonstrated how cyberthieves can raid a company’s most valuable trade secrets. Now it has escalated into a blatant terrorism threat by a group linked to North Korea and an assault on the freedom of speech directed from a capital of totalitarianism. Both the cyberattack and the coercion are …

Column: George Bailey’s Right: It’s a Wonderful Life

Monday, December 8, 2014

After decades of watching, I still cannot suppress a smile when I reach the climactic moment in the film Miracle on 34th Street when Kris Kringle’s lawyer dumps thousands of pieces of mail onto the desk of the …

Column: ‘Moneyball for Government’ Might Work

Monday, December 8, 2014

Washington One of the lovely formulations in John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address expressed his hope that “a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion.” Kennedy was talking about the Cold War, but we could use a little of this in the partisan and ideological warfare …

Editorial: Stifled Justice

Monday, December 8, 2014

I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” With increasing panic, Eric Garner left no doubt regarding his distress as he was wrestled to a Staten Island sidewalk by …

Column: Even Climate Change Experts and Activists Are in Denial climate change

Monday, December 8, 2014

Colchester, England Another month, another important U.N. climate change conference. The latest is in Lima, the capital of Peru. Thousands of experts from the world of politics, business, academia and civil society — and Leonardo DiCaprio — have flown around the world to urge us all to curb …

Column: GOP Candidates Should Seize the Opportunity to Speak About Ferguson

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Washington Will a potential Republican presidential candidate give a speech about the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri? It would be a political opportunity, a chance to prove that he is precisely the type of leader the likely 2016 candidates …

Column: The Amazons of History Still Have Much to Teach Us

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Some 2,500 years ago, the Greeks had a big Amazon moment. Warrior women who gloried in their freedom rode into Western culture in the myths, artwork and histories of classical antiquity. On horseback, shooting bows, swinging battle-axes, hurling …

Column: Letter From Pearl Harbor

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Early in December 1941, as the USS Arizona steamed around the Hawaiian Islands on maneuvers, Capt. Thomas L. Kirkpatrick took advantage of some free time aboard ship to write home. An outgoing, Nebraska-born Navy chaplain, Kirkpatrick penned a …

Steve Nelson: Fear of Young Black Men Affects Police, and Some Educators, Too

Sunday, December 7, 2014

“Miscreants are placed on the bench, must wear signs around their neck that say ‘BENCH,’ eat at a quiet table and write letters of apology to each student before explaining to the class how they will change their behavior.” This description of the disciplinary practices of the Knowledge …

Randall Balmer: Whatever Happened to Honor at College?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

As reported in the pages of the Valley News, my course at Dartmouth this past term, Sports, Ethics & Religion, was wracked by a cheating scandal. Midway through the term, I discovered that 43 students, out of a …

Column: Can Russian Leadership Survive Oil Slump?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Will plummeting oil prices succeed in reining in Vladimir Putin’s aggressive foreign policy where Western diplomacy and economic sanctions have so far failed? Might the shock to Russia’s oil-exporting economy be so great as to destabilize Putin’s regime itself? “It is not clear,” writes Martin Feldstein, the eminent …