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Editorial: Stop Seizing Assets Without Charges

Sunday, January 25, 2015

While America’s shamefully high incarceration rate is the most visible result of the ruinous war on drugs that the nation began waging in the 1970s and ’80s, almost as notorious is civil asset forfeiture, a practice that was greatly expanded during that time. Under civil forfeiture, law enforcement authorities can seize property including cars, cash, other valuables and even homes from people without ever bringing criminal charges against them, much …

Editorial: Big Money and a Lack of Transparency

Friday, January 23, 2015

Five years ago , the Supreme Court turned a corner on campaign finance. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the court held that corporations could undertake unrestricted independent spending in election campaigns, overturning decades of restrictions on corporate money in politics by saying that the money represented free speech. At the same time, the court, in a decision written by Justice Anthony …

Editorial: Hartford’s Recycling Program Is Not a Waste

Thursday, January 22, 2015

In response to a new state law designed to increase recycling in Vermont, the Hartford Selectboard is proposing to . . . dismantle the town’s successful curbside recycling program. Why? Don’t ask us. No persuasive rationale has been articulated so far for doing so. Selectman Ken Parker, who has been riding this particular hobbyhorse hard, claims that the state is “creating a problem …

Editorial: Scraping By In Winter

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Creeping home along Interstate 89 during Tuesday night’s storm, when the only thing whiter than the pavement was our knuckles, we found ourselves — not for the first time — a victim of unrealistic expectations: Despite the thickly descending snow and near zero visibility, we were disappointed that …

Editorial: Click Here and Learn

Saturday, December 13, 2014

“A little learning is a dangerous thing,’’ wrote poet Alexander Pope in 1709 or 1711, according to conflicting Internet sources. Pope was to suffer a fate oft repeated in our times. His phrase was misquoted by a couple of authors, morphed into the better known “A little knowledge …

Editorial: Encouraging The Vote

Friday, December 12, 2014

Given that it’s the world’s oldest living democracy, it’s odd that the United States puts so many obstacles between its citizens and the voting booth. It’s not perhaps odd, but it is depressing how many Republican-led states over the past several years have added to those obstacles. So …

Editorial: Ruth Dwyer and the View From Thetford

Thursday, December 11, 2014

When we saw in Saturday’s paper the picture of the giant shade-cloth screen erected along Sawnee Bean Road in Thetford, our first thought was that the artist Christo had somehow slipped into town unnoticed and embarked on another of his celebrated fabric-in-landscape installations. The reality, as described by …

Editorial: Raising the Roof in Hartford

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

White River Junction certainly isn’t known for its skyline, but Hartford’s historic railroad village suddenly has more architectural upside. New York and Chicago won’t have to sweat the competition; the Hartford Selectboard increased the maximum height of buildings in certain zones from 40 feet to 60 feet — …

Editorial: A Long Way To Prosperity

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

“Blockbuster” and “spectacular” are not words normally used to describe reports by government agencies, but analysts could hardly contain themselves Friday when the Labor Department reported that employers added 321,000 jobs in November, the largest monthly increase in three years, and that average hourly earnings rose by 0.4 …

Editorial: Art, Violence And Intent

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Despite its many miracles, the Internet often seems to be the new Wild West, a lawless frontier where the sheriff is always outgunned by users engaging in serial defamation, bullying, copyright infringement and a host of other antisocial activities for which they seem to enjoy impunity or legal …

Editorial: Teaching and Technology in Lebanon

Saturday, December 6, 2014

If technology weren’t so enticing to many, fewer would stampede into stores on Black Friday, when in recent years people have snapped up with abandon desktops, laptops, netbooks and tablets, the latest and greatest in gadgetry. Wishful thinking powers the technology surge. People believe they will write novels, …

Editorial: The Slacker Congress

Friday, December 5, 2014

Mere days before a scheduled Dec. 11 deadline, the ever-fractious Republican House may be arriving at a consensus, of sorts, on immigration, taxes and spending. The speaker of the House, John A. Boehner, R-Ohio,, has said that his GOP majority would be willing to fund the government through …

Editorial: N.H. Needs More Treatment Programs, Not More Jail Cells

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Back in August, when ground was broken at long last for a new, 224-bed women’s prison in New Hampshire, officials were full of pride and optimism, despite the fact that it had taken 20 years and a couple of lawsuits to compel the state to do the right …