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Column: Of Apps and Aptitude: We Could Teach Grandma to Code

Thursday, August 21, 2014

American businesses are aging, as is the country; and this is bad for the economy, say Ian Hathaway and Robert Litan of the Brookings Institution. They reported in July that the share of older firms, aged 16 years or more, has increased from 23 percent in 1992 to 34 percent in 2011. Start-ups have become a smaller proportion of the economy, going from 15 percent to 8 percent. This is …

Column: Obama Tests Limits on Executive Orders

Thursday, August 21, 2014

There are two words every president, including Barack Obama, hates to hear: “lame duck.” He’s in year six of his eight-year run. His biggest accomplishments are all in the past; his remaining proposals are stymied by Congress. His popularity is mired near 40 percent, and voters tell pollsters they see him as a …

Willem Lange: Paddling Down the River With Good Company for a Good Cause

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Just about 30 hours ago I turned into the narrow entrance lane to the refurbished and improved boat launch site in Orford. There were people everywhere in white T-shirts with the word “Volunteer” on the back, waiting to help the expected crowd. I was early, as is my wont, so I got a lovely spot to stash my canoe and gear beside the …

Willem Lange: Forgotten Slides are Found, and a Flood of Memories Ensues

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The time was the start of the Sixties; the camera was a tiny 35mm Zeiss-Ikon Contina, with probably the best lens I’ve ever used. But it lacked a built-in light meter, so I carried one with me; camera in one breast pocket, meter in the other. The common …

Column: The Nixon Resignation, 40 Years After

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Forty years after he slunk out of office, Richard M. Nixon retains the capacity to astonish and disgust. Just when you thought you could no longer be shocked by Nixon’s willingness to abuse power, his seething resentments and …

Column: The Case for Malpractice Reform: Lawyers Benefit, Patients Don’t

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The medical malpractice process was designed to allow fair and just compensation when a patient is harmed through negligent health care; it is an important part of our health care system. Ideally, it would function smoothly, bringing prompt justice to those who have been wronged. Unfortunately, that is …

Column: The Good News in Social Security Trustees’ Report

Monday, August 4, 2014

The annual trustees reports for Social Security and Medicare customarily give rise to an outburst of disinformation from the enemies of social insurance programs — that comes with the territory when you’re putting out hundreds of pages densely packed with graphs, charts and statistics. There may be less …

Column: In Afghanistan, American Dollars Have Bought Little

Monday, August 4, 2014

In June of 1947, Secretary of State George Marshall delivered a wholly unexpected commencement speech to the newly minted graduates of Harvard University. The United States, Marshall announced, would launch a massive reconstruction effort to rebuild Europe in the devastating aftermath of World War II. The subsequent effort, …

Column: Trading Telegrams on the Way to Catastrophe

Sunday, August 3, 2014

One hundred years ago this month, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany exchanged a series of telegrams to try to stop the rush to a war that neither of them wanted. They signed their …

Column: How War Came

Sunday, August 3, 2014

World War I broke out 100 years ago this summer. In late June, Gavrilo Princip, a 19-year old terrorist loosely associated with the Greater Serbia secret society “Black Hand,” assassinated the heir to the Austrian throne in the …

Randall Balmer: Politicians and the Bible Have Conflicting Message on Immigrants

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The images are searing, the stories nothing short of tragic. Thousands of women and children have been detained at the border between Texas and Mexico. They tell harrowing stories of harassment by gangs, of family members killed or …

Steve Nelson: Slow and Steady We Lose the Race, but a New Hip Buys Time

Sunday, August 3, 2014

There’s nothing quite like a loud crashing noise to rouse one quickly from a deep sleep. Adrenaline is much more efficient than caffeine. Several nights ago I bolted upright in response to a sound I’d never before heard. Thunderous, but the sky was clear. A tour of the …

Column: Independent Scotland Could Be Nuke-Free

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Novelist and longtime Scotland resident J.K. Rowling did not mention national security issues when she recently donated 1 million pounds ($1.71 million) to the Better Together Campaign, which wants Scottish voters to reject the independence option in the …