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Columns

Steve Randall: The shape of class in America

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The market system has built-in mechanisms to ensure that employees’ total compensation does not “get out of hand” (from the capitalists’ viewpoint) … and that employees will dutifully take the command and direction of their bosses at work. The critical key to both these constraints on employees is unemployment in the labor market — an excess supply of labor, or people looking for jobs who cannot find them. — Eric A. Schutz, “Inequality and Power: The Economics of Power” (2011) In capitalist America, most people identify with the middle class. But while many do claim that status, a survey conducted by the American Payroll Association, and reported in the Huffington Post in September 2012 shows …

Jody Kasper: In modern policing, officers must be far more than ‘enforcers’

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following are excerpts from Jody Kasper’s remarks upon taking office Tuesday as chief of the Northampton Police Department. NORTHAMPTON — Over the past few weeks, when news of my selection as police chief became public, many people contacted me with their congratulations and support. A number of these calls and …

Stan Rosenberg: How Bay State helps lead the US, once again

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

BOSTON — In one historic 48-hour burst last week, the Supreme Court affirmed what we here in the commonwealth know well: Massachusetts is a trailblazer for equal rights and social justice in the country and the world. On Thursday, the court upheld the Affordable Care Act, a law that was of course modeled on the health care bill we passed here nearly a …

Carl Doerner: Waiting for true account of Robert F. Kennedy’s killing 47 years ago

Thursday, June 4, 2015

CHARLEMONT — June 6 marks the anniversary of the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy in the kitchen of a Los Angeles hotel. The man convicted of the shooting, Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan, remains in prison. That Sirhan shot at …

Marty Nathan: The $5.5 billion pipeline dinosaur that should never come to life

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Psychological warfare is being waged in Massachusetts towns as natural gas local Distribution Companies (LDCs) declare moratoria on new subscribers until the building of Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct (NED, also known as the Tennessee Gas) …

Kathryn Eiseman: Hearing offers residents chance to sound off on pipeline proposal

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

CUMMINGTON — Gov. Charlie Baker and his administration need to hear from opponents of the Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline en masse. There are numerous policy decisions being made and proceedings underway at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities that will have a direct impact on …

Richard M. Clifford Sr.: Taking stock of the way three friends, lost too soon, lived their lives

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 tells us, “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under Heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die.” In the past two and a half years I have lost …

Questioning the moderator — an exchange between Southampton officials on May 19 Town Meeting

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an exchange between Gary R. Swanson, chairman of the Southampton Board of Assessors and a former Town Meeting moderator, and Robert Floyd, the current moderator, over handling of the May 19 meeting. At the May 19 Southampton annual Town Meeting, Moderator Robert Floyd …

Michael Engel: A fresh look at an American epithet: the ‘s-word’ — for socialism

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: Michael Engel, a professor emeritus of political science at Westfield State University and former Easthampton selectman and bookshop owner, is the author of a new book on socialism. The “s-word” — socialism — is and always …

In sifting through corporate pitches, it pays to consider the fine print

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Mark Zinan: In sifting through corporate pitches, it pays to consider the fine print …

Mary Olberding: Why we must do more to get the lead out

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — On Tuesday, I testified before the Joint Committee on Public Health at the Legislature in support of House Bill 2049, a measure meant to update consumer protections in keeping with new information about lead dangers. Among its provisions, this bill would double tax credits to incentivize …

Jim Ayres: Saluting lives of remarkable ordinariness

Monday, June 1, 2015

At first glance, it might seem the nominations the Gazette and United Way of Hampshire County received for our first Person of the Year Award are in the realm of ordinary. There is no one who dedicated their …

Jay Fleitman: What is it that makes America, well, America?

Monday, June 1, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — There is nothing like traveling in another country to make you reflect on what it means to be a citizen of your own. We had just returned from three weeks traveling in Ireland — a very pretty country, intensely green like a well-manicured park, with large …