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Columns

When I Got Too in Touch With Local Food

Friday, April 18, 2014

The chickens are out of feed. Before they can make a dash through the coop’s open door, I hoist the round metal feeder from its hook and squat-walk backward until I can stand straight again. I turn my back on the flock, fill the feeder and crouch back into the coop. I am one-twelfth of the Chicken Tenders, a Tucson chicken-tending attempt at collective urban homesteading. Months before, we’d each …

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo A dust-diffused brightness illuminated female speakers dressed in patterns of orange and green, yellow and blue as they addressed a group of journalists and activists about the many challenges facing women in their country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These challenges include low literacy, a lack of representation in politics and disenfranchisement from access to other …

Column: A Wounded Boston Marathoner Now Revels in the Ordinary

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It is a weekend for working around the house. My fiancee, Erin, and I have the baby’s room to paint and some IKEA furniture to assemble. I roll out of bed early — 10:30 — and get into my wheelchair. Erin is already making coffee in the kitchen. “I started the first wall,” she says. “I love that gray.” Erin never bugs me …

Column: Christie, GM Cover Themselves in Whitewash

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Washington Lawyering-up used to be a sign of guilt. Hiring lawyers to try to pre-empt a raft of independent investigations is a sign of futility. Last Thursday, we got the results of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s inquiry …

Column: Fast-Food Chains Steal Wages From Workers

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Last month, McDonald’s was hit with multiple class-action lawsuits alleging that the company routinely violated minimum wage, overtime and other workplace laws through a variety of illegal schemes that had one goal in common: drive down labor costs by stealing from workers. On Tuesday we learned that law-breaking …

Column: The Planet’s Largest Habitat Remains Unexplored Territory

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jet aircraft are large, but not compared with the ocean. The weeks-long search for some physical sign of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is not something we should wonder at, considering the frontier nature of our blue planet. The 29 percent of our planet that is land is inhabited …

Column: In the Good Old Days, I Was in the Driver’s Seat

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Montpelier I’m sitting here in front of a computer that’s made a tremendous difference in my life. It keeps my checkbook, monitors my bank accounts and credit card charges, composes stories and columns (with a little help from …

Column: GOP Pivots From Party of Entrepreneurs to Party of Work

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Washington Finding a way out of our current political impasse requires some agreement on what problems we need to solve. If anything should unite left, center and right, it is the value of work and the idea, in Bill Clinton’s signature phrase, that those who “work hard and …

Column: When Walking Was the National Pastime

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Opening Day reminds us that baseball is America’s national pastime. It’s hard to imagine a time when baseball wasn’t considered the national game, but long ago another sport was far more popular: competitive walking. In the 1870s and 1880s, the country’s largest arenas were packed to the rafters …

Column: Secretary Kerry’s Mideast Policy Is Delusional and Dangerous

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

During a tour of the Middle East in November, Secretary of State John F. Kerry portrayed the region as on its way to a stunning series of breakthroughs, thanks to U.S. diplomacy. In Egypt, he said, “the roadmap” to democracy “is being carried out, to the best of …

Column: Are We Heading for the Fall of Democracy?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Behind dysfunctional government, is democracy itself in decay? It took only 250 years for democracy to disintegrate in ancient Athens. A wholly new form of government was invented there in which the people ruled themselves. That constitution proved marvelously effective. Athens grew in wealth and capacity, fought off …

Column: Legal Ruling Could Put an End to ‘Student-Athlete’ Charade

Monday, March 31, 2014

New York A regional office of the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that Northwestern University football players are employees with the right to unionize. It’s an unexpected and potentially momentous decision that could change college sports. If it holds up on appeal, this may well be the …

Column: Strangely Joyless Road to College Admissions

Monday, March 31, 2014

“I’d like to congratulate you on raising an exceptional student,” read the letter from a Midwestern college I’d never heard of before. “Because I’m impressed by your son, I offer to send a guide to help with the college selection process.” A booklet, as glossy as a fashion …