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Tarin Weiss: School start not about shopping

Friday, August 29, 2014

WESTHAMPTON — Right now, in the world of K12 it’s all about “Back to School.” New clothes, new shoes, and new school supplies top the list of must-haves to prepare our children for … for what, exactly? If “Back to School” equates doing well with looking good, then we’re all set. A popular clothing store states that our kids can earn high honors if they’re well-dressed and that their intellect is obvious if they just wear the right T-shirt. A major office supply store touts that school success comes with their pencils, pens and notebooks! But, we know that academic achievement has never been that … 0

Don Robinson: The new world information order

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ASHFIELD — For those concerned about the health of democracy in America and around the world, this has been a deeply troubling summer. President Obama is faring reasonably well. He has had to defend himself against charges that he has not been nice enough to members of Congress, but otherwise, he has been pretty much free to do as he chooses in far-flung … 0

Frank Gatti, M.D.: Police must help protect mentally ill from needlessly violent deaths

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

AMHERST — I just watched a video of the police killing of Kajieme Powell, age 25, in St. Louis on Aug. 19. He is the other police killing. He is the one thought to have been mentally ill and to have decided to die in the method known as “suicide by police.” It is terribly sad that he was killed and I, for … 0

Jay Fleitman: Obama muffs what Truman got right

Monday, August 4, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The most famous quote about the lessons of history reads, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." There is a converse to this idea, as history has also had successes and those … 2

Jonathan Klate: Trying to get our souls free

Sunday, August 3, 2014

I came upon a child of God He was walking along the road And I asked him where are you going And this he told me I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm I’m going to join in a rock ‘n’ roll band I’m going to camp out … 0

Bill Newman: How Hatfield resident William Burke III was found guilty of a thought crime

Friday, August 1, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Headlines in western Massachusetts newspapers at the conclusion of the recent federal criminal trial of former Probation Commissioner John O’Brien and his assistants, Elizabeth Tavares and Hatfield resident William Burke III should have read, “Jurors reject … 5

Rich Szlosek: Where sun still sets on a bit of the English empire

Thursday, July 31, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — I come from a family that never traveled anywhere. My parents seemed unaware of the concept of a vacation and so, not surprisingly, until I met my wife I had no idea I would enjoy trips … 0

Marty Nathan: A pipeline we don’t need for gas we don’t want

Thursday, July 31, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — I was thinking hard about writing a piece on the planned Northeast extension by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. when we received word from our next-door neighbor that the Northampton fire and police departments had been … 0

Jackie Wolf: Happy Birthday, Medicare — the best form of health insurance

Thursday, July 31, 2014

AMHERST — There is a joke that goes: What’s so good about turning 65? Answer: Insurance agents stop calling. I would like to suggest a variation on that joke: What’s so good about turning 65? For almost all people in the United States, the good news is they … 3

Bruce Watson: 'North Dakota becomes a state ... no one knows why' In celebration of National Boredom Month, great moments in American ennui

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 … 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 … 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 … 19