Commentary

A snow-covered orchard with the sun behind an overcast sky

Editor’s Notebook: Postcards and dispatches as the clock ticks

BY: - January 27, 2023

The Doomsday Clock is now set at 90 seconds until midnight, and I’m running out of room for the shoveled snow. Problems come in all sizes. According to the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the clock has never been so close to “global catastrophe.” Climate change, biological threats, and […]

COVID deaths in US continue to be undercounted, research shows, despite claims of ‘overcounts’

BY: , , and - January 26, 2023

Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020, a recurring topic of debate has been whether official COVID-19 death statistics in the U.S. accurately capture the fatalities associated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Some politicians and a few public health practitioners have argued that COVID-19 deaths are overcounted. For instance, a January […]

Inflation hasn’t increased US food insecurity overall, according to new tracker

BY: and - January 25, 2023

Grocery prices soared by 11.8 percent in 2022 – the swiftest pace since the early 1980s. Rapid inflation is, naturally, leading to concerns that it’s getting harder for Americans to put food on the table. Indeed, Feeding America, a nonprofit that supports and connects roughly 60,000 food banks and pantries nationwide, has said that at […]

Scales of justice and a gavel

Deja vu over federal judges

BY: - January 24, 2023

If it wasn’t clear already, the U.S. House speaker debacle was the nail in the coffin of any hope of bipartisan legislating over the next two years. With a divided Congress, President Joe Biden and the Senate will need to look somewhere other than to legislation to improve people’s lives and address our most pressing […]

How racism hurts us all, including racists

BY: - January 23, 2023

An accomplished chef settles in New Hampshire. He breathes new life into an old diner in a struggling downtown district. Mindful of his context, he maintains the same menus and decor. The chef is “Black” but the food and vibe he is serving are “white.” Things are going fine. Five months later, in April of […]

In the absence of Roe v. Wade

BY: - January 20, 2023

Jan. 22, 2023, was to mark the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that protected the privacy of a woman and her physician in her decision about pregnancy.  It respected a woman’s right to choose if and when she would have children. It supported the notion that everything we […]

Editor’s Notebook: If you’ve already bailed on that New Year’s resolution, this one’s for you

BY: - January 19, 2023

For a guy who doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions, I sure think about them a lot. Last year around this time I summoned the late Alan Watts to help explain why resolutions are doomed to fail, and then offered a counterpoint by way of an essay by Ann Patchett titled “My Year of No Shopping.”   […]

Parents had alarming rates of anxiety and depression during COVID – and that affected kids

BY: - January 18, 2023

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the mental health of kids and parents alike. In a 2020 survey, 71 percent of parents said they believed the pandemic had hurt their children’s mental health. The American Academy of Pediatrics declared a national emergency in child mental health in October […]

The natural world is not a safe place

BY: - January 17, 2023

Most people likely believe the natural world they live in is a safe place. Certainly, it’s a less dangerous place for humans than it was thousands of years ago when predators, diseases, infant mortality, and natural disasters meant average human life spans were measured in a just a few decades. Today in developed nations we […]

On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, no one should settle for ‘a piece of freedom’

BY: - January 16, 2023

Some historians mark the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder as the end of the civil rights movement. Over an arc of 14 years – from the 1954 Brown Decision to King’s death in 1968 – the nation attempted to address its racial caste system. The same nation that launched a war on hunger and […]

Lobsters versus right whales: The latest chapter in a long quest to make fishing more sustainable

BY: - January 13, 2023

Maine lobster fishermen received a Christmas gift from Congress at the end of 2022: A six-year delay on new federal regulations designed to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. The rules would have required lobstermen to create new seasonal nonfishing zones and further reduce their use of vertical ropes to retrieve lobster traps from […]

‘I was a kid off the boat, adrift in the New World’: Remembering NH poet Charlie Simic

BY: - January 12, 2023

Charlie Simic was an adopted son of New Hampshire, having arrived here 50 years ago, but as a poet, literary critic, and commentator, he remained a citizen of the world. He lived in a blue saltbox near Bow Lake in Strafford with his wife, Helen Lubin, while sharing his world view and faith in the […]