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Editorial: Into the Fryer; A Hard Line at McDonald’s in Russia

Friday, October 24, 2014

In January 1990, when the dreary and declining Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev was opening to the world, McDonald’s arrived as a symbol of American prosperity and freedom. Long lines of Russians, used to stores with empty shelves, were stunned by the cornucopia of burgers, fries, Cokes and milkshakes. There were even smiles from the staff, a Chicago Tribune correspondent noted. That first Moscow McDonald’s stands today, but it is …

Editorial: What the Pentagon Knows About Climate Change

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Americans love to be scared to death, as evidenced by the enduring popularity of horror movies and Halloween. The terror of the moment is the Ebola virus, which succeeded in the national consciousness the Islamic State, which took the place of Ukraine, which was preceded by Central American children crossing the border into the United States. Surveying the scene, Marilinda Garcia, the Republican …

Editorial: The Girth of a Nation

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Economics is sometimes called the dismal science, but the study of weight loss is nearly as dreary. A recent story in this newspaper, however, seemed to offer a morsel of hope when its headline declared: “Study: Rapid Weight Loss Just as Good.” Or, just as good as the long slog of what is sometimes called a sensible diet. On the surface, that finding …

Editorial: The Health Coverage Gap

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wal-Mart’s decision to stop paying for health insurance for employees who work less than 30 hours a week may sound like bad news, especially for those 30,000 workers and their families. But it could become good news ­­— for those families and everyone else — if it generates …

Editorial: Different Strokes

Thursday, October 9, 2014

It is said that Americans are moving apart, both politically and literally. The trend, social observers say, is for liberals to seek out blue neighborhoods, blue friends, blue churches, blue Facebook posts and finally, blue states. Or, if one prefers, red. What’s lost in this national separation is …

Editorial: Teaching for America

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Teach for America, which recruits college seniors to teach for two years in predominately poor neighborhoods, has enjoyed a solid reputation. Urban districts throughout the country rely on the young recruits to teach in sc­­hools that struggle to retain professional educators. Big corporations and foundations are also enthusiastic …

Editorial: Upward in West Windsor

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

There may be sure-fire businesses in this world, but ski areas are not among them. Operating one in New England is a risk worthy of a black diamond rating, partly because the annual winter snow blanket isn’t as reliable as it once was, no matter what climate change …

Editorial: Children In Need

Monday, October 6, 2014

Before there was an Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) helped plug one of the many coverage holes in the nation’s health insurance system. At an annual cost of $13 billion, most of which comes from Congress and the rest from state governments, CHIP …

An Excess Of Inmates

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Exports are generally considered good for a state’s economy, but there are exceptions. A notable one is Vermont’s shameful practice of shipping inmates out of state for incarceration, something that has been going on since the Howard Dean years in the mid-1990s. Currently, nearly 500 Vermont prisoners are …

Editorial: Massaging the Message

Saturday, October 4, 2014

What we have here,’’ said the prison warden in Cool Hand Luke, the 1967 film starring Paul Newman, “is failure to communicate.’’ That phrase could have been a hot Internet meme, those sayings plastered on funny or pointed …

Editorial: The Upside of Carbon Taxes

Friday, October 3, 2014

Where they’ve been tried, the evidence shows, well-designed carbon taxes have succeeded in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. But that doesn’t necessarily end the debate over their effects — nor should it. The next question is whether that success is bought at the expense of jobs and incomes. The answer …

Editorial: The Joys Of Summer

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Before consigning summer 2014 to the dustbin of memory, let’s tie up some loose ends. First, the weather: With the dark season on the near horizon, we’re trying to remember when late summer and early autumn treated the Upper Valley to more lovely weather than they did this …

Editorial: Your App, Yourself; Smartphones Will Watch Over You

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

When the developer of a new smartphone application says it has aspects that are “a bit creepy,’’ we sit up and take notice. And so we are impressed, but naturally wary, about StudentLife, a smartphone application under development by Dartmouth professor Andrew Campbell and researchers including psychiatrists and …