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Columns

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 ramp. A pair of ladies under a …

Column: Frustration in Ferguson has Economic Roots

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It was the middle-class suburb of Ferguson that boiled over last week, but to the rest of the world this was a St. Louis crisis. All that folks elsewhere know is that greater St. Louis has some problematic relationships between black and white, and between police and the community. All of St. Louis …

Column: Will Scotland Really Vote for a Divorce?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

We’re now a month away from a vote to determine whether Great Britain will have to continue on as not-quite-as-great Britain. On Sept. 18, Scots will head to the polls for a long-awaited independence referendum, and while the “no” camp — those opposing secession — continue leading in the polls, it’s still too close for comfort as far as London’s concerned. One recent …

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 …

Column: When Can Israel, or Hamas, Declare Victory and End the Fight?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I’ve written a couple of posts already about why all the international calls for a cease-fire in Gaza haven’t yet borne fruit — it’s mainly because the two sides doing the fighting have irreconcilable goals and are under little domestic pressure to stop — but is there any …

Column: Boehner Fiddles, Far Right Burns to Impeach

Friday, August 1, 2014

If you attack the president repeatedly for law-breaking, executive overreach and deceiving the public and Congress, do you have an obligation to impeach him? This is the logical question Republicans are now trying to duck. There is a reason why impeachment is a big deal in Washington this …