Columns, Perspective

  1. Column: Government exaggerates college cost

    Columns

    The government's official statistic for college tuition inflation has become somewhat infamous. It appears frequently in the news media, and policymakers lament what it shows.

  2. Column: At Market Basket, profits with purpose

    Columns

    Who is a company? If we speak of the men and women of Boeing, say, or Wal-Mart or Market Basket, a supermarket chain in New England, where this question is being posed most emphatically of late, are we referring to the company's employees? Its founders? Its founders' grandchildren, even if they play no role in the …

    Market Basket employees picket in front of the supermarket this month in Haverhill, Mass.
  3. Column: Government shackled by 'dead men'

    Columns

    In theory, the American people's elected representatives decide every so often how much to tax the public and how to allocate the revenue among various priorities, both short-term and long-term. In practice, however, Congress and the president have almost no such fiscal latitude. The vast majority of anticipated tax …

  4. Perspective: Save America: End partisan primaries

    Perspective

    WASHINGTON — Polarization and partisanship are a plague on American politics.

    We need open primaries.
  5. Perspective: Twitter takes followers to war's front lines

    Perspective

    My social media feed has taken a bloody turn in the last few weeks, and I'm hardly alone. Along with the usual Twitter wisecracking and comments on incremental news, I have seen bodies scattered across fields and hospitals in Ukraine and Gaza. I have read posts from reporters who felt threatened, horrified and …

  6. Guest column: Voting lets us touch the future

    Columns

    During our July 4th Honor America Celebration in Tallahassee, where I was a Kiwanis Club volunteer, 18 of our neighbors took an oath to become naturalized U.S. citizens. It was such an emotional event, with tears of joy and hugs of accomplishment from family members, friends and complete strangers.

    Jack Levine
  7. Guest column: Protecting public's health is role of health departments

    Columns

    When the Florida Department of Health opened its doors in 1889, Floridians were afflicted with smallpox and yellow fever, and the idea that government should intervene to help keep residents healthy was a new one.

    Jocelyn Howard is the Community Health Improvement Plan coordinator at the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County.
  8. Perspective: The Great War and the death of illusions

    Perspective

    TURNER, Maine

    One hundred years ago the guns of August let loose. On July 29, Austro-Hungarian artillery and gunboats on the Danube began shelling Serbia — the first shots of the great cataclysm that over the next 4½ years would remake our world for the worse, in every conceivable way.

    American draftees gathered to enter the service and prepare for the trenches in 1917, in the war that most certainly didn’t end all wars.
  9. Perspective: GOP may boast best field ever

    Perspective

    WASHINGTON — What if they held a presidential campaign and a think tank broke out? House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who is considering running for president, recently offered his thoughts on poverty. Sen. Marco Rubio has been giving regular policy speeches on poverty, college loans and helping …

    Rick Santorum
  10. Perspective: Where reason ends and faith begins

    Perspective

    STANFORD, Calif.

    Not long ago, I was at an event in which many people, most of them professors, were arguing for the existence of things that many of their colleagues did not believe in. Someone gave a talk in which he explained that he knew that UFOs existed even though evidence for them turned out to be false. …

  11. Ruth: Florida politicians all hail King Sugar

    Columns

    This could have been very messy. Since the famed King Ranch in Texas is known as a très chichi hunting preserve, it's a wonder the freeloading Florida politicians schlepping through the woods weren't mistaken for fat, juicy wild hogs as they tore up the landscape in the search for six-figure campaign …

  12. MEMENTOS FROM CAPTIVITY: Items saved by Harald Ickler, a Swede living in Germany, from his 54 days as a hostage in 2003. He was on what he thought would be a four-week adventure vacation when he was kidnapped in the Algerian desert by jihadists who would soon become an official arm of al-Qaida. A ransom was paid to release him and other hostages — and a pattern was set.
  13. Column: Paul Ryan's plan for the poor: It's a start

    Columns

    Cover your eyes and hide the kids: A Republican is talking poverty.

    Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., proposes an “Opportunity Grant,” consolidating federal antipoverty programs into 50 chunks of money to be administered by each state as it sees fit.
  14. Column: Drug war's racial targets

    Columns

    Excerpted from a New York Times editorial:

    The drug war aims overwhelmingly at African-Americans on the street, while white users smoke safely behind closed doors.
  15. Column: Good news for Medicare

    Columns

    Nobody can agree on what caused the good news in the latest Medicare Trustees report, that Medicare Part A spending fell from $266.8 billion to $266.2 from 2012 to 2013. The trustees certainly can't.

  16. Column: No war is an island

    Columns

    It's amazing how much of the discussion of the Gaza war is based on the supposition that it is still 1979. It's based on the supposition that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is a self-contained struggle being run by the two parties most directly involved. It's based on the supposition that the horror could be ended if …

    Israeli missiles hit smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip in Rafah, southern Gaza, earlier this month. The war in Gaza is not self-contained but part of a wider conflict in the region.
  17. Column: Withdrawal pains

    Columns

    A stunning unfolding of international crises, from Iraq to Ukraine to Syria to Gaza, has prompted some less-than-edifying Washington debate: It's all President Barack Obama's fault. No, it's not his fault at all.

  18. Column: Lust for vengeance (w/video)

    Columns

    Rather than getting on with the country's business and focusing solely on can't-wait issues before they jet out of town this weekend — like the unfinished bill to fix veterans' health care and the stalled bill to deal with the humanitarian crisis of Central American children arriving at the border — House …

    If Speaker John Boehner and the Republicans in the House push to sue President Obama, it will add to a  long list of what Democrats view as extraordinary slights against this president and is likely to excite a liberal base in dire need of excitement.
  19. Column: Angell in the outfield

    Columns

    NEW YORK

    Roger Angell takes off his brown J. Press sports coat and blue cap, yanks out his hearing aids, stashes his cane, and sits down for a shave and haircut at Delta barbershop at 72nd and Lex., the same spot he's patronized for 40 years. "I don't see Henry Kissinger doing any interviews in a barbershop," he …

    Writer Roger Angell is honored at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  20. Nickens: Vetting the candidates

    Columns

    Either we are getting soft or the candidates are getting tougher.