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Columns

Column: The Greatest Stories Ever Told

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Montpelier Last Sunday in church, we read, as has been our custom for several decades now, the so-called Passion of Christ: the story of the last few days of Jesus’ earthly life, from the palm-strewn entry into Jerusalem to his trials and death by crucifixion. Members of the the congregation assumed various speaking roles in the drama, with everybody chiming in vehemently when Pilate asks them what they want him …

Technology Offers a Relief Valve for Teens

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

If you’re like most middle-class parents, you’ve probably gotten annoyed with your daughter for constantly checking her Instagram feed or with your son for his two-thumbed texting at the dinner table. But before you rage against technology and start unfavorably comparing your children’s lives to your less-wired childhood, ask yourself this: Do you let your 10-year-old roam the neighborhood on her bicycle as …

The ‘Marriage Penalty’ Victimizes the Poor

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In a few short months, I’ll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears — before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love — that she’s willing to pay a much higher tax rate. Yes, dear readers, yesterday was my last …

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 …

Column: Workplace Training Starts With the Core

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Like many manufacturers around the state, Hypertherm needs critical thinkers and people capable of solving problems that require a strong foundation in math. Yet I often observe that far too many high school graduates applying for jobs don’t have the math skills required to succeed in advanced manufacturing …

Column: The Truth of Anita Hill Marches On

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Charlottesville, Va. It’s fair to say that the target audience for the new documentary Anita is not Ginni Thomas. One of the ways we know this is that the movie, about Anita Hill, opens with the audio of …

Column: Remembrance of Snowstorms Past

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A March storm of deep snow and howling wind can make you search for meanings when your thoughts should be of spring. The pictures my wife posted show drifts up to our kitchen windows on one side of …

Column: Don’t Vote? Then Maybe You Need a Nudge

Saturday, March 29, 2014

When this November we elect the people to lead our country, maybe 40 percent or even fewer will go to vote. Is it too late to stop this disgrace? To take a page from Nudge, by Richard Thaler …

Column: Fulbright Scholars Are a Diplomatic Bargain Worth Saving

Saturday, March 29, 2014

St. Louis Each year, a few thousand high-achieving American and international students succeed in the rigorous, hypercompetitive application process for a Fulbright grant, after which they often go on to great things. Among the 325,000 alumni of the program are John Hope Franklin, John Lewis Gaddis, Renee Fleming, …