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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

Jonathan Kahane: A World Cup viewer raises a flap about the flops

Thursday, July 3, 2014

WESTHAMPTON — I played high school and collegiate soccer in the 50s and 60s. Has the game ever changed! We had boots the size of barges that navigated the Erie Canal. We nailed in our cleats. Balls were kicked in from the sidelines — there were no throw-ins. … 0

Rich Szlosek: Of fireworks and feuds of past Fourths of July

Thursday, July 3, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — When I was a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, I regularly took the subway to downtown Philadelphia to visit Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. There was something about … 0

Keith Eddings: A mother’s lasting lesson about the joy of giving

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

AMHERST — My mom’s last generous act came June 22, two years after she died, at the lawn sale we held to distribute the last vestiges of her life, accumulated over 60 years of marriage and family. The … 0

Bruce Watson: This summer’s irresistible page scrollers, 'Your email,' 'Wikipedia'

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

LEVERETT — This summer, like all summers, will see its share of beach books, “page turners” and “great summer reads.” Yet if the rest of the year is any judge, summer reading is changing. Gone are the lazy … 0

Jay Fleitman: About those ‘lost’ IRS emails

Monday, June 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The IRS has been accused of targeting conservative groups by selectively pulling their applications for tax-exempt status for prolonged scrutiny in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election. By delaying and denying approval of those applications, … 2

Melissa Perot: Hope for North Amherst, a village on the rise

Friday, June 27, 2014

AMHERST — The North Amherst Library’s garden started it all, perhaps, by making that difficult intersection such a pleasure to pass by or, if on foot, to stop and appreciate the space carefully tended by the Amherst Garden Club. W.D. Cowls Inc. added a bus stop seat, book … 1

Steve Jones & Lindsay Jakows: Ballot measure can crack down on corrupting power of money in Massachusetts politics

Friday, June 27, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Represent.Us volunteers are gathering signatures to put a question on the November ballot in state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg’s district. The proposed ballot measure asks Rosenberg to vote for legislation to reduce the corrupting influence of money in Massachusetts politics. It would do that by: • Prohibiting … 1

Pat Schneider: Moved by Bill Newman’s homefront account of Vietnam era

Thursday, June 26, 2014

AMHERST — Today I am reading Bill Newman’s book, “When the War Came Home.” It is a portrait of a generation, written not in reflection long after events, but in immediate responses as journalist, memoirist, commentary, poet. Newman … 0

Don Robinson: A fossil fuel emancipation? Comparing numbers, and strategies, with end of slavery in US

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

ASHFIELD — To understand the challenge of climate change, Christopher Hayes argues that we can compare it to ending slavery in the middle of the 19th century. As Hayes recognizes, in a brilliant May 12 essay in The Nation, historical analogies are never perfect. There is no moral … 2

Christopher L. Doyle: WWI, A war too easy to forget

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Commenting recently about seeing the play “War Horse,” one of my 11th-grade students expressed surprise that “even some of the Nazis had humane feelings” for the plight of animals caught up in war. “It’s about the First World … 0