Commentary

Banned books on display

Commentary: Battles over book bans reflect conflicts from the 1980s

BY: - March 8, 2022

A conservative leader found fault with how “respect for our nation’s heritage” had been mostly stripped from the textbooks of public schools. “From kindergarten right through the total school system, it almost seems as if classroom textbooks are designed to negate what philosophies previously had been taught,” the conservative leader lamented. “[M]any textbooks are actually […]

People hold signs to protest anti-transgender bills

Commentary: States advance anti-transgender agendas – a strategy by conservatives to rally base

BY: - March 7, 2022

Transgender girls in Iowa will no longer be allowed to compete in girls’ sports – the latest in a rash of anti-trans initiatives sweeping across the United States. On March 3, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law legislation that affects transgender girls and women wanting to compete in accordance to their gender identity. It comes […]

A person in a boat next to an island of plastic pollution

Commentary: Plastic pollution is a global problem – here’s how to design a treaty to curb it

BY: - March 4, 2022

Plastic pollution is accumulating worldwide, on land and in the oceans. According to one widely cited estimate, by 2025, 100 million to 250 million metric tons of plastic waste could enter the ocean each year. Another study commissioned by the World Economic Forum projects that without changes to current practices, there may be more plastic […]

Vladimir Putin on television

Commentary: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has Kremlin battling for hearts and minds at home

BY: - March 3, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin is locked in a vicious struggle not only to subjugate Ukraine, but also to keep his own citizens united in support of Kremlin policy. But as Ukrainian fighters capture the admiration of the world in Twitter posts and TikTok videos, even the illusion of Russian unity is beginning to crumble. A […]

Books by Albert Camus spread out against a black background

Editor’s Notebook: The news of the day

BY: - March 2, 2022

Long ago, as a front-page designer for a daily newspaper, I viewed newsworthy events in terms of the headline size they deserved. A typical lead story on a typical news day carried a 54-point headline, with carefully considered size increases signaling to readers that something truly significant had happened in their city or state, their […]

A photo illustration of a white man's face being scanned

Commentary: Facial recognition disproportionately harms people of color, women

BY: - March 1, 2022

Facial recognition technology gives our government, companies, and individuals unprecedented power to track and log our every move – where we worship, seek therapy, visit a health care provider, protest, meet friends, and more. That is, when it works as advertised.  While facial recognition technology is, at its core, a tool that allows governments to […]

A woman shown in profile in a dark room

Commentary: The workforce problem is a mental health problem

BY: - February 28, 2022

During the winter months I do most of my running on a treadmill with a screen and access to a training platform. Coaches prompt me to go faster than I might on my own. You will have to be of a certain age to get this reference, but at times I find I have accelerated […]

Money attached to a fish hook

Commentary: The dark money behind the push for vouchers, ‘divisive concepts’ legislation

BY: - February 25, 2022

As education debates roil New Hampshire on issues ranging from vouchers to outlawing the discussion of “divisive concepts” (accurate history) to teachers’ loyalty, the dark money behind these policies slips below the radar. When right-wing forces tried to privatize public education in Massachusetts, community groups and teachers unions used my research to help expose the billionaires […]

Aerial view of a cornfield

Commentary: Farmers are overusing insecticide-coated seeds, with mounting harmful effects

BY: - February 24, 2022

Planting season for corn and soybeans across the United States will begin as soon as March in Southern states and then move north. As farmers plant, they will deploy vast quantities of insecticides into the environment, without ever spraying a drop. Almost every field corn seed planted this year in the United States will be […]

Justice Stephen Breyer along with Judges John Roberts and Elena Kagan.

Commentary: The pragmatic consequentialism of Justice Breyer

BY: - February 23, 2022

Justice Stephen Breyer’s announcement of his intention to retire at the end of the Supreme Court’s current term provides occasion to contrast his approach to judging with the very different approach of the court majority he leaves behind. The contrast is frequently explained in partisan terms: Justice Breyer is a “liberal” who was appointed by […]

Students of color in a classroom

Commentary: Commissioner Edelblut, please don’t whitewash history at our children’s expense

BY: and - February 22, 2022

This month, the New Hampshire Department of Education under Commissioner Frank Edelblut released four 3-minute videos which, it claimed, “provide a robust and complete story of American history and the Black American experience.” The taxpayer-funded videos were created in partnership with “1776 Unites,” a collection of essays in the conservative Washington Examiner whose stated goal […]

A young girl receives a shot

Commentary: Immunization registry helps keep New Hampshire healthy

BY: - February 21, 2022

The immunization registry is a tested and standard tool that provides critical information on vaccinations for use in monitoring immunization programs, guiding public health action, and keeping accurate records. It is used by 49 other states and Washington, D.C. As a public health strategist at the city of Nashua’s Division of Public Health and Community […]