Commentary

Editor’s Notebook: ‘Boy With Improbable Ducks’

BY: - November 3, 2021

For the first two decades of my journalism career, I worked nights in the large open space for copy editors and reporters known as the “bullpen.” Not only was it a lot of fun, it’s where I learned how to be a journalist in practice rather than theory. I paid close attention to how reporters […]

Elon Musk

Commentary: Why taxing US billionaires’ wealth – as Biden tried to do – will never work

BY: - November 2, 2021

The speed with which a tax on billionaires came and went as a means to pay for President Joe Biden’s economic agenda shows why it’s so hard to tax wealth in the United States. Democrats unveiled their proposal on Oct. 27, and it was nixed that same day, replaced with a surcharge on millionaire incomes. […]

Protesters march against new abortion law in Texas

Commentary: Erosion of Roe v. Wade and abortion access started in Pennsylvania in 1992

BY: - November 1, 2021

Abortion rights are more vulnerable to Supreme Court reversal now than at any time since the court legalized the procedure in its landmark 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade. The court is set to weigh in on abortion restrictions from at least two states this term. The first is a Texas law effectively outlawing abortions after […]

Smoke stacks

Commentary: What Big Oil knew about climate change, in its own words

BY: - October 29, 2021

Four years ago, I traveled around America, visiting historical archives. I was looking for documents that might reveal the hidden history of climate change – and in particular, when the major coal, oil, and gas companies became aware of the problem, and what they knew about it. I pored over boxes of papers, thousands of […]

A boy stands with his arms crossed as a bus moves behind him

Commentary: Why student absences aren’t the real problem in America’s ‘attendance crisis’

BY: , and - October 28, 2021

Nationally, one in six children miss 15 or more days of school in a year and are considered chronically absent. Education officials have lamented that all this missed instruction has for years constituted an attendance crisis in U.S. elementary, middle, and high schools. The fear among policymakers is that these chronically absent students suffer academically […]

A tree-lined paved road leading toward sunshine

Editor’s Notebook: A weather report in mid-fall

BY: - October 27, 2021

Robert Frost tried to warn us about falling into the trap, but we’re just a couple of suckers. “Nothing gold can stay,” he said, but there we were on Sunday afternoon, casually drinking up the sunshine from red camp chairs as if we hadn’t already arrived at the archway to endless gray. I’ve lived in […]

People sit at desks during a summit

Commentary: How global climate negotiations work and what’s expected from COP26

BY: - October 26, 2021

Over two weeks in November, world leaders and national negotiators will meet in Scotland to discuss what to do about climate change. It’s a complex process that can be hard to make sense of from the outside, but it’s how international law and institutions help solve problems that no single country can fix on its […]

Hall of Flags in the N.H. State House

Commentary: The unresolved constitutional issues in redistricting

BY: - October 25, 2021

It was encouraging to watch the New Hampshire House Special Committee on Redistricting finally discussing draft maps at their recent work session on Wednesday, Oct. 20. Rep. Carol McGuire presented N.H. House maps that she had developed for three counties: Belknap, Grafton, and Merrimack. She had clearly put significant effort into developing the maps, the […]

Offshore wind turbines

Commentary: Biden calls for a big expansion of offshore wind – but where will the turbines go?

BY: - October 22, 2021

The Biden administration has announced ambitious plans to scale up leasing for offshore wind energy projects along the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts. In an announcement released on Oct. 13, the U.S. Department of the Interior stated that it will “use the best available science as well as knowledge from ocean users and other stakeholders […]

Scales of justice

3-Minute Civics: The jury is still out

BY: - October 21, 2021

“You’ve been selected for jury duty.” For some, it’s a thrilling opportunity for vital community participation. For others, it’s the worst news they’ll ever receive from a court.  Of course, “You are hereby charged with the following crimes” is a far more chilling phrase, and thanks to the Sixth Amendment, these two statements will forever […]

Guy Clark

Editor’s Notebook: Guy Clark Magical Music Hour

BY: - October 19, 2021

My older daughter was born six weeks early, arriving on her mom and dad’s first anniversary. And long before she announced her impending arrival in the middle of a quiet celebratory dinner at The Common Man in Concord, I had already started planning her musical education. I would never be able to teach her how […]

A boy rides on his dad's shoulders on a sidewalk

Commentary: How ‘managed retreat’ from climate change could revitalize rural America

BY: and - October 19, 2021

Southern Italy’s rural Calabria region announced an innovative project in 2021 to breathe new life into its small towns. It plans to offer young professionals thousands of dollars if they move in and commit to launch a business, preferably a business the community needs. Northwest Arkansas has a similar program to draw new residents to […]