Columns

Column: A Populist Stirring on the Democratic Left

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Washington Scenes from an insurrection: In Madison, Wis., last Wednesday, 10,000 people showed up to rally for longshot presidential candidate Bernie Sanders — giving the self-declared “democratic socialist” the largest crowd any candidate has had so far this election cycle. Sanders, running on a shoestring and a prayer, has closed to within single digits of Hillary Clinton in some New Hampshire polls and is surging in Iowa. In New York …

Column: Bernie Sanders Is No Gene McCarthy

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Can we please stop predicting that Bernie Sanders is going to be the Eugene McCarthy of 2016? The chain of events supposedly goes like this: The early support the Vermont senator is generating will grow into something bigger, and that in turn will encourage new candidates to enter the Democratic contest and just possibly cause Hillary Clinton to drop out. I’ve seen this …

Column: America Needs a Strong Middle Class

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

America’s middle-class origins were central to our success as a nation, but our future greatness is in grave jeopardy because the middle class is now so weak. When the United States declared its independence from the British, it was the most middle-class society in the world. America’s carpenters, shopkeepers and farmers enjoyed a higher standard of living than workers in other parts of …

Column: Capitalism Can Stop Climate Change

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pope Francis has made it clear that all of us have a responsibility to be good stewards of this planet, and as such must address the challenge of climate change. Many frame this issue as capitalism versus Christianity, as economic prosperity versus morality. But it doesn’t have to …

Column: End Lifetime Court Appointments

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

In the third season of House of Cards, conniving President Frank Underwood colludes with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jacobs on the timing of Jacobs’ retirement. Their plan: to have the justice step down before his Alzheimer’s disease becomes perceptible and before Underwood leaves office, but only after …

Column: When Will We Ever Learn?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Washington We Americans are exceptionally good at evasion when we want to be. Our skills in this sphere are particularly impressive on the matter of race and the subject of guns. Nonsense, you say. Have we not been …

Column: It Was Terrorism

Monday, June 22, 2015

Police are investigating the shooting of nine African-Americans at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston as a hate crime committed by a white man. Unfortunately, it’s not a unique event in American history. Black churches have long been a target of white supremacists who burned and bombed them in …

Column: How About Marriage for None?

Monday, June 22, 2015

If you happen to pay extremely close attention to internecine debates within the LGBT community, you may know that not everyone lined up in favor of pursuing marriage equality at the federal level. Much of the debate over the last decade was about strategy — avoiding backlash for …

Column: Despite What You Read, Nobody Knows How Many Rape Accusations Are False

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rape statistics are a mess. Rape is at the center of the national debate, and it’s no wonder: the Obama administration’s push to crack down on campus rapes through the Civil Rights Act, the notorious and retracted story …

Column: The Soul of a Tree

Sunday, June 21, 2015

How much can we really know about the lives of trees? I know that in my woods a blight is killing the beech trees, and yet they reproduce in a frenzy. I watched a tiny cherry tree near …

Column: Solitary Confinement Makes Teenagers Depressed and Suicidal

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Washington The tragic suicide of 22-year old Kalief Browder shocked the country. Browder was arrested at 16 and spent years at the Rikers Island jail, including 800 days in solitary confinement. He was never tried or convicted of a crime. I, however, am no longer surprised by any …

Steve Nelson: Putting the Co-op Issues in Perspective

Sunday, June 21, 2015

I come to neither praise nor bury the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society, aka the Co-op. But a little perspective might be helpful. There is a tendency among populists and progressives, admirably exercised by Valley News columnist Jim Kenyon, to champion the underdog, to shine light on injustice and …

Column: Graduation Letter to My Grandson

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dear Carter, Here on my desk is a photo — yes, now an old photo of you when you were 3, climbing a bright white Vermont snow bank near your house, in yellow boots and a purple, one-piece snowsuit. A handsome little munchkin I could easily pick up …