Commentary

People voting in voting booths

Commentary: Local election officials shaped changes to the For the People Act

BY: - June 21, 2021

No matter what we look like or who we vote for, most of us believe that our elected leaders should deliver for us and protect our democracy. But a handful of politicians in state legislatures across the country and here in New Hampshire are actually working against the will of the voters. However, this week, […]

Several soldiers march away from the camera

Commentary: New study finds racial bias makes white Americans more likely to support wars in nonwhite foreign countries

BY: and - June 18, 2021

The effects of American racial bias and anti-Asian sentiment do not end at the nation’s borders. The racial attitudes of white people also influence their support for American military intervention abroad, according to our working paper on U.S. foreign policy and racism. White Americans who hold racist beliefs are significantly more likely to endorse aggressive […]

A close up of an eye being read by a biometric scanner

Commentary: The state of privacy

BY: - June 17, 2021

When I moved to New Hampshire, one of the first things I was told about the state was that it cared about privacy. New Hampshire was even a national leader on privacy. That was just a few years ago. My how things change. New Hampshire is in the grips of an identity crisis, exemplified by […]

Exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court

Commentary: ‘Divisive concepts’ bill finds no basis in equal protection

BY: - June 16, 2021

New Hampshire Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley has stressed that the “divisive concepts” bill under consideration by the New Hampshire Legislature would only preclude state government from instructing that some people are oppressive, or enjoy social advantages, merely because of an inherent characteristic, like race. Bradley described the law as “affirm[ing] the 14th Amendment of […]

A photo of Jupiter

Editor’s Notebook: Maybe, maybe not

BY: - June 16, 2021

Despite my lifelong struggle to grasp the fundamentals of STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – I love science journalism. Any writer who can take the immensely complex and distill it down to 1,200 words or so of pure illumination has my undying respect, admiration, and readership. And so I was instantly hooked […]

A masked woman unlocks a store at the a Mall

Commentary: Will we return to public life as before, or can we do better?

BY: - June 15, 2021

“I’m feeling a little sheepish about today, but better to be 1,000 percent safe, right?” my friend Jenna texted after I told her that my husband was waiting for the result of his COVID test, and I offered to reschedule our get-together. Jenna lives in Boston, and we hadn’t seen each other since the beginning […]

Guns on a table as gloved hands reach out

Commentary: What are ‘ghost guns,’ a target of Biden’s anti-crime effort?

BY: - June 14, 2021

It’s not expensive or difficult to produce large numbers of untraceable firearms in the United States. Whether for private use, sale on the criminal market, or arming violent extremists, it’s actually startlingly cheap and easy to mass-produce firearms that police can’t track – what are often called “ghost guns.” For just over $2,000 I can […]

A teacher talks to students sitting at their desks in a classroom

Commentary: Here’s what I tell teachers about how to teach young students about slavery

BY: - June 11, 2021

Nervous. Concerned. Worried. Wary. Unprepared. This is how middle and high school teachers have told me they have felt over the past few years when it comes to teaching the troublesome topic of slavery. Although I work with teachers in Massachusetts, their reaction to teaching about slavery is common among teachers throughout the U.S. Fortunately, […]

A man holds a young girl while walking along a highway in Guatemala.

Commentary: As more climate migrants cross borders seeking refuge, laws will need to adapt

BY: , and - June 10, 2021

Climate change is upending people’s lives around the world, but when droughts, floods, or sea level rise force them to leave their countries, people often find closed borders and little assistance. Part of the problem is that today’s laws, regulations, and international agreements about migrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees offer few, if any, special protection to […]

A supermarket door with a poster explaining mask rules

Editor’s Notebook: The great mask conundrum

BY: - June 9, 2021

Last week, Washington Post columnist Tamar Haspel tweeted: “My local supermarket has (a) sign saying they ‘strongly encourage’ everyone to wear a mask. Do you wear one, and feel silly engaging in hygiene theater? Or not wear one and feel a little like an (a–hole)?” It’s a great question, and on a lot of people’s […]

A pride flag outside

Commentary: With ‘divisive concepts’ language, Pride Month is under attack

BY: - June 8, 2021

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month, but if a public school teacher even mentions that fact in the classroom, they may be the subject of a complaint under the “divisive concepts” law. What if the teacher mentions that February is Black History Month or March is Women’s History Month? Would they […]

The Tennessee Capitol

Commentary: Why it matters that seven states still have bans on atheists holding office

BY: - June 7, 2021

Tennessee’s constitution includes a provision that bars three groups from holding office: atheists, ministers, and those engaging in duels. Efforts are underway in the state legislature to remove this exclusion for ministers, but not for duelists – or atheists. In January, Republican Tennessee State Senator Mark Pody proposed Senate Joint Resolution 55 to amend Article […]