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Columns

Column: Actions for a Better Claremont

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Last week a group of citizens of Claremont and I gave the City Council a presentation in which we outlined what we learned through an unofficial survey about the issues (we call them opportunities) that deter the city from moving forward. We are a group of average residents, business people, moms, dads, state representatives, bankers, teachers and retirees. We want anyone to join us and we have three simple rules: …

Column: Bad Timing for Eric Holder’s Resignation

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Who’ll be the next attorney general? Washington’s favorite parlor game is filling Cabinet vacancies; I like playing as much as the next pundit. Still, the more telling question is: Why are we playing this game at all? Why wasn’t the White House, which knew for months that Eric Holder was itching to leave, …

Column: Missing History’s Lessons

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Refuse to think, assume the worst, overreact, disregard laws and rules and then pronounce yourself someone standing up for the best in education. That’s what we’ve recently witnessed in Colorado’s Jefferson County, the scene of pretentiously delinquent student walkouts and teacher stay-at-home protests cheating young people out of learning. Let’s get to the protests and what instigated them after first noting how American …

Column: Video Put a Face to Domestic Violence — Ray Rice’s

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

When a police photo of Rihanna’s battered face was leaked in 2009, I was outraged. I criticized the media for disseminating it and refused to link to the image, because I found it “a sickening violation of Rihanna’s privacy.” I ended that column on Salon.com by hoping the …

Column: Domestic Abuse Is an Equal Opportunity Horror

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I’ve never been a victim of domestic violence, but I’ve loved people who have been. I say “people” because some of the victims have been men, despite the general Burning Bed stereotype of the muscled brute beating the living daylights out of the 100-pound female. Violence is violence, …

Column: The Political Magic of Rwanda’s Remarkable Road System

Monday, September 15, 2014

A friend was asking me about my recent trip to Rwanda. What, he wanted to know, surprised me the most? “I think it was the roads,” I said. “The roads were amazing.” “I’ll bet,” he said. “They must have been a mess, right?” No, just the opposite. I …

Column: Ebola Patients Can’t Wait for Assistance

Monday, September 15, 2014

Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain the disease. Leaders are failing to come to grips with this transnational threat. In West Africa, cases and deaths continue to …

Editorial: CVS Shuns Cigarettes

Monday, September 15, 2014

CVS stopped selling cigarettes last week. The move may be little more than a business calculation for the pharmacy chain. But it is one worth cheering: It makes the sale of cigarettes less ubiquitous, and it shows that, after decades of effort, smoking is getting the stigma it …

Column: Hope Is Leaking Out of Politics Like Air From a Balloon

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Washington The Iowa State Fair is over, but the circus is coming to town. Today, Hillary and Bill Clinton are scheduled to attend the 37th annual Harkin Steak Fry, the famous Iowa political event named after Sen. Tom …

Column: Congress Must Join the Growing Consensus on Climate Change

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Since the 1980s, the dangerous long-term consequences of largely human-caused climate disruption have been plainly and forcefully explained to us. Repeatedly, scientists — generally a conservative lot — have issued new reports that promise accelerating degradation of the …

Steve Nelson: Leaders Grandstand After Great Tragedies; Nothing Changes

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I write on Sept.11. Moments ago I stood, greeting students, on the steps of the Manhattan school where I work. Thirteen years earlier, nearly to the minute, I stood in exactly the same spot and answered a cell phone call from my son, who lived in North Carolina …

Column: Power Must Be Employed With Caution

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Over the last decade, the views of Americans on foreign policy have swung sharply from support for intervention to a profound mistrust of any military engagement overseas. Over the same period, political debates on foreign affairs have been …

Column: Congress Wanted to Be First in War, but Washington Prevailed

Saturday, September 13, 2014

President Obama is asking Congress for its “buy in” for military operations to combat the Islamic State, which has captured large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria. This approach, which puts Congress in the role of merely …