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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sets to throw during NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Mark Zinan: The lighter side of a personal darkness

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SUNDERLAND — Anxiety, biologists inform us, is the human evolutionary psyche on super alert to the physical dangers of the pre historic world. Beware the leopard, tiger and shark. For millions of people, in our relatively physically safe environment, anxiety is the emotional predator. Let’s leap backwards. To the summer of 1971. For 99.9 percent of the American population, childhood …

Tynan Power: Time to face facts on anti-Semitism here in Valley

Monday, January 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Last week, the Gazette reported on vandalism at and near residences on Sherman Avenue, which included anti-Semitic graffiti. (“Northampton teens face charges after vandalism with swastikas,” Jan. 21). The article reported that the perpetrators, girls aged 14 and 15, were not yet being charged with a hate crime because the residents — none of whom are Jewish — did not feel …

Mehammed Amadeus Mack: On the plight of French Muslims

Sunday, January 25, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — While French Muslims are not and should not be the only lens through which we observe the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, they will likely feel the consequences of the events in an especially acute way. The events could not have come at a more horribly appropriate time in my teaching, as I have just wrapped up a section on …

John Paradis: A baseball fan wastes no time in throwing in the towel

Thursday, January 8, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — This weekend, it’s estimated that more than half of all Americans will tune in to an NFL playoff game to see football players who make on average $2 million a year. Tickets for Saturday’s game in Foxborough sold out within 15 minutes two weeks ago. Over …

Vijay Prashad: The real adversary of police

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The tussle between Alisa Klein (Northampton city councilor) and Joshua Wallace (president of Local #390 of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers) is a more polite mirror of the bitter struggle in New York City between Bill de Blasio (mayor) and Patrick Lynch (president of the …

Gina-Louise Sciarra: Advisory board on compensation has not adequately answered questions

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — While I plan to vote against the proposal to increase compensation for Northampton’s part-time elected officials, I strongly disagree with a Gazette editorial’s characterization that the City Council has gone “rogue on pay” by selfishly ignoring the recommendations from the independent Elected Officials Compensation Advisory Board. …

Jay Fleitman: Are attitudes about police conduct really so different by race?

Monday, January 5, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The controversy that emerged from the events of Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri, has had a life of its own. That night, white police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown. The first depictions of the shooting in the media had the 18-year-old black man surrendering …

Bill Newman: On Bryan Stevenson’s long search for justice

Friday, January 2, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I want to share with you a story about compassion and courage, life and death, despair and jubilation. I want to tell you about Bryan Stevenson. In 1986, I traveled to Georgia to meet Stevenson, an …

Martin Schram: Let’s declare worldwide war on robocall scammers and criminals

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The attackers struck without warning during the hectic holiday season, pinpointing a target in our homeland from half a world away. It was your home telephone. And even though you realized what the evildoers were doing — telemarketing or even worse, scamming — you felt powerless to make …

Andy Morris-Friedman:

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Andrew Trushaw: When protesters turn around and ‘profile’ police officers

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — On Nov. 25, I was in downtown Northampton and watched as a crowd of several hundred gathered to express their feelings and protest the decision by a grand jury in Missouri not to indict Officer Darren …

The myth of ‘public’ and ‘private’ in contemporary life

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The accepted distinction between the public and the private has no meaning when seriously viewed. Rhetoric, not reality. A large, vital and expanding part of what is called the public sector is for all practical effect in the private sector. — John Kenneth Galbraith, “The Economics of Innocent …