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Don Robinson: How firm is the U.S.-Israel alliance today?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

ASHFIELD — “Netanyahu apologizes; White House Is Unmoved,” blared the headline in Tuesday’s New York Times. The victor in Israel’s parliamentary election had invited leaders of the Arab community to his official residence and told them he regretted remarks he had made on election day — Arab voters were being driven “in droves” to the polling places, he had said. The comment, an effort to rally Jewish Israelis to the …

Doug Roosa: All shook up over folly of deferred road maintenance

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

FLORENCE — The first orange traffic barrel to cover a pothole landed in my neighborhood the other day. Nothing special about this hole: It’s only one of several dozen that have appeared in recent weeks, half of which are on Hinckley Street — my street — which I believe holds the record for …

Stan Rosenberg, Bruce Tarr & Michael Rodrigues: Shining light in on operations of state Senate

Monday, March 23, 2015

AMHERST — Since we took office Jan. 7, we’ve initiated a sweeping set of reforms that promise to change the culture of the Massachusetts State Senate and make it more accessible, more open and more transparent in its procedures. Some consider these changes long overdue. We share their instinct — the time is ripe for action. We have spent the last weeks on …

Malcolm X as relevant now as at his death 50 years ago

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fifty years ago, on Feb. 21, 1965, Malcolm X was brutally murdered in New York City. With his assassination, the United States missed a chance to fully address some of the racial issues that persist to this day. …

Andrew Larkin: Riddles of a frozen Connecticut River

Thursday, February 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Last fall I wrote on this page that the Connecticut River might freeze this winter because of the closing of the nuclear reactor in Vernon, Vermont, and the loss of its thermal pollution of the river. …

Tracey Belliveau: My father’s hospice care at Northampton VA came with compassion — and cats

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — “I’ve got bad news.” This was the beginning of a phone conversation with my 91-year-old father, Robert L. Belliveau, from his bed in Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Doctors would not be able to operate on his failing …

Adam Fisher: A scholar who moves like a moth to hypocrisy

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — My friend Brian Victoria, a Zen monk and author of “Zen at War,” is a pain in the patoot. But because he is a pain in the patoot, I know him as a friend I value …

Peter Vickery: Free speech offers the best route to truth

Monday, February 16, 2015

AMHERST — Two recent letters to the editor of the Gazette suggest taking legal action against people who challenge the prevailing consensus on climate change. A Florence resident wrote that Sen. James Inhofe, Sen. Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, all of whom were lawfully elected, should …

John Paradis: Enduring love across the decades. Yes, it’s possible

Thursday, February 12, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Tomorrow is the feast of St. Valentine, the third-century martyr who, according to history and legend, was persecuted, tortured and ultimately beheaded by the Romans for proselytizing and for performing secret Christian marriages. Another tale says he was killed because the Emperor Claudius didn’t want young …

Doug Hall: Obama budget for 2016 a step in the right direction

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — On Feb. 2, President Obama released a budget outline for fiscal year 2016 that should be widely popular with the American people. The $4 trillion proposal is only a starting point for lengthy budget negotiations in the Republican-controlled Congress; however, it does provide important detail about …

Barry Hirsch: Let’s be real about Obama-Netanyahu fracture

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Jay Fleitman’s column Feb. 3 defending Netanyahu’s decision to speak to the Congress attempts to portray a U.S. president who has repeatedly missed clear opportunities to shape a more stable Middle East and has consistently disrespected Netanyahu. Most of us know there is not much in …

P. Craig Browning: Amid all the snow, an appeal from a power chair user: Help us get through

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — It seems that nearly every year someone in the area media notes all the wheelchairs out in the middle of the road and wonders why that’s the case. Well, here’s one man’s view of that issue. …

Guest column: What would Confucius say about lack of trust in US government?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — In the widely revered “Analects of Confucius,” one of his disciples asks him about the essence of good government. Confucius replies as follows: “The requisites of government are that there be a sufficiency of food, enough military equipment, and the confidence of the people in their …