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Columns

Bruce Watson

Bruce Watson: It’s that ho-hum time of year ... again

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

LEVERETT — First the bad news: Due to tedious circumstances, the opening ceremonies of National Boredom Month have been canceled. We boredom aficionados are mildly upset. Don’t we deserve another NFL Training Camp Roundup? Another Low-level City Official Speech-a-thon? Another Marathon Chair Slouch? But now the good news: This weekend, in lieu of the usual kickoff to August ennui, comes Great Moments in American Boredom. The 18-hour event is presented by the National Boredom Month Historical Subcommittee and its honorary chairman, the late Ed Sullivan. Some highlights: August 1795 — George Washington, bored silly by a summer in D.C., becomes the first president to fly to Camp David. Airplanes, of course, lie far in the … 0

Darien Gardner: For those with chronic pain and illness, self-starvation just one method to end one’s life

Monday, July 28, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — In most cases a pet owner is doing the good and right thing by having their beloved pet put down to save it from needless and lengthy suffering, and similarly, in most cases human beings are doing the good and right thing by ending their lives for the same reasons. But in the same circumstances, the medical profession may do nothing … 0

Vijay Prashad: Impunity for Israel’s bombardment of Gaza

Monday, July 28, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Over the course of 18 days, the Israeli assault on Gaza cost over 1,000 Palestinian lives, with many thousands wounded. Gaza’s infrastructure has been pummeled — its water and sewer systems, its hospitals and its schools have been rendered inoperative. Jens Laerke of the United Nation’s humanitarian agency says, “Our aid … 18

Ralph Dolan: Edwards’ faith reached beyond fire and brimstone

Monday, July 28, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second part of the columnist’s look at the life of 18th century preacher Rev. Jonathan Edwards. NORTHAMPTON — Jonathan Edwards was described as a “frail, scholarly” youth of 24 when he arrived in … 0

Gustav Niebuhr: The bishop and Abe Lincoln An example of religion’s positive influence on politics

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Founding Fathers had good reasons for explicitly barring government from inserting itself into matters of religion. But nothing in the Constitution forbids a president from consulting with clerics, and meetings between presidents and religious figures have, on occasion, helped shape history. One such time came when an … 0

What’s your elevator pitch?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Let’s say you step into an elevator, push the button for the 10th floor, watch the doors slide shut and cast a quick glance at the other passengers in the car. Lo and behold, you spot one of the Koch brothers! No, it’s the CEO of ExxonMobil! Or … 0

Don Robinson column: Freedom Summer 1964

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The civil rights movement came to a head a half-century ago, during the summer of 1964. I was a graduate student and spent most of that summer in Mississippi. While largely a spectator, speaking to gatherings of white people (church groups, Rotary Clubs and the like), I saw … 0

Sara Weinberger: Loving our way out of Mideast war

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Two weeks ago, my daughter texted me, “What are you supposed to do when there is a siren?” Under ordinary circumstances, that would have been an odd question. My daughter, however, was texting from a hotel room in Jerusalem, where the sirens meant “Take shelter,” because … 2

Paul Greenberg: Bring back local seafood

Monday, July 21, 2014

The United States should be a very fishy country. In all, we control 2.8 billion acres of ocean, more than any other nation. Despite all that ocean, nearly 90 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad. … 0

Pre-campaign hits and misses

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hillary Clinton reportedly plans to spend most of the summer in relative seclusion, after a month-long pre-campaign road test promoting her qualifications from being secretary of state and testing her stamina for a potential marathon ahead. But frenzied … 0

Rick Hood: Amherst commitment to school equity real, growing

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

AMHERST — The Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee did the right thing by meeting this week. Dr. Amilcar Shabazz did the right thing by apologizing at that meeting. But there is more to be said about this. This situation was not a failure of the chairs of the committees; … 0

What the Second Amendment intended

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

As school shootings erupt with sickening regularity, Americans once again are debating gun laws. Quickly talk turns to the Second Amendment. But what does it mean? History offers some surprises: It turns out in each era, the meaning is set not by some pristine constitutional text, but by … 3

Jay Fleitman: Columnist responds to letter about IRS investigation

Monday, July 14, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a response by Gazette columnist Jay Fleitman to the writer of a recent letter. The letter-writer took issue with a July 1 column by Fleitman about the investigation into Lois Lerner of the … 0