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Columns

Column: Food Deserts, Food Jungles

Sunday, December 21, 2014

If I need a gallon of milk, I can travel three miles to my town general store. If I need a spaghetti squash, I can find one in season at a farmer’s stand four miles away. Fresh sushi? I can have a California roll after traveling just five miles to the cooperative grocery store. (That’s pretty good, considering the Upper …

Column: ‘Hunger Games’ Vision of Rebellion Is Sheer Fantasy

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The latest Hunger Games film, Mockingjay- Part 1 , is topping the international box office. Although it’s a Hollywood blockbuster aimed at young adults, it presents potentially quite subversive ideas of mass revolution, economic sabotage and the populist fight against oligarchy. These themes of popular uprising are particularly relevant in light of the …

Column: Merry Christmas, Really, From an Atheist

Sunday, December 21, 2014

On one of my infrequent visits to Facebook, where I silently observe the interests and opinions of extended family members, I’ve noticed a small but growing anti-secular campaign. Many folks, including several of the aforementioned, vigorously object to the phrase “Happy Holidays.” It is apparently too euphemistic for their tastes. They demand that “Christ” be put back in Christmas. Some people say “Happy …

Column: GOP Candidates Should Seize the Opportunity to Speak About Ferguson

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Washington Will a potential Republican presidential candidate give a speech about the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri? It would be a political opportunity, a chance to prove that he is precisely the type of leader the likely 2016 candidates …

Column: The Amazons of History Still Have Much to Teach Us

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Some 2,500 years ago, the Greeks had a big Amazon moment. Warrior women who gloried in their freedom rode into Western culture in the myths, artwork and histories of classical antiquity. On horseback, shooting bows, swinging battle-axes, hurling …

Column: Letter From Pearl Harbor

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Early in December 1941, as the USS Arizona steamed around the Hawaiian Islands on maneuvers, Capt. Thomas L. Kirkpatrick took advantage of some free time aboard ship to write home. An outgoing, Nebraska-born Navy chaplain, Kirkpatrick penned a …

Steve Nelson: Fear of Young Black Men Affects Police, and Some Educators, Too

Sunday, December 7, 2014

“Miscreants are placed on the bench, must wear signs around their neck that say ‘BENCH,’ eat at a quiet table and write letters of apology to each student before explaining to the class how they will change their behavior.” This description of the disciplinary practices of the Knowledge …

Randall Balmer: Whatever Happened to Honor at College?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

As reported in the pages of the Valley News, my course at Dartmouth this past term, Sports, Ethics & Religion, was wracked by a cheating scandal. Midway through the term, I discovered that 43 students, out of a …

Column: Can Russian Leadership Survive Oil Slump?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Will plummeting oil prices succeed in reining in Vladimir Putin’s aggressive foreign policy where Western diplomacy and economic sanctions have so far failed? Might the shock to Russia’s oil-exporting economy be so great as to destabilize Putin’s regime itself? “It is not clear,” writes Martin Feldstein, the eminent …

Column: Arab Spring Gets Death Sentence in Egypt

Saturday, December 6, 2014

When 188 people are sentenced to death in the same trial, as happened last week in Egypt, you know something’s gone terribly wrong in the system of justice. It’s undeniable that there was a protest in the Kerdasa neighborhood of Cairo on Aug. 14, 2013, the same day …

Column: The Supreme Court Should Be Accountable

Friday, December 5, 2014

Justice Samuel A. Alito’s sister is a high-powered labor attorney who represents management in disputes with workers. Justice Elena Kagan’s brother, a teacher at an elite public school in New York, has protested the school’s admissions process because of low minority enrollment. And Justice Stephen G. Breyer’s son …

Column: Your Child Is Special, but Maybe Not as Special as You Think

Friday, December 5, 2014

It is natural for parents to value their child — and feeling valued is key to children’s well-being; but some parents “overvalue” their child, believing their child is more special and more entitled than others. The idea of parental over-valuation was first introduced in psychology by Sigmund Freud, …

Column: Let’s Talk About Race, as Long as It Takes

Friday, December 5, 2014

Washington The events in Ferguson, Mo., have actually led to that national conversation on race we regularly recommend to ourselves. But it is the same conversation we always have: not a dialogue but entirely separate discussions in which …