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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 …

Clare Higgins: Do we pass Hubert Humphrey’s moral test of a society?

Friday, May 29, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Hubert Humphrey: “It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, …

Don Robinson: Debating issues of day remains citizen’s true calling

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

ASHFIELD — This is a tale of American democracy at work on two extreme levels. On the first Saturday in May, Town Meeting in Ashfield was asked to decide whether to mount a preschool for all children in the nine-town regional school district of which Ashfield is a …

J.M. Sorrell: Never more proud to be of Irish heritage

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

HAYDENVILLE — Never have I been more proud to be Irish than on May 22. The Irish people — urban and rural alike — voted for marriage equality. In a country where close to 90 percent of the population is Catholic and goes to Mass every Sunday, they …

Jane Lyons: The long wait for what’s right — child welfare on margins in Massachusetts

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

HADLEY — It just hit me. If a person went to a hospital emergency room and wasn’t treated for days or months, we would all be outraged. If there were inadequate numbers of staff to treat us, or a family member or friend, we would demand that the …

Lynne Bertrand: A spring visitor in Williamsburg comes bearing a reminder

Friday, May 22, 2015

WILLIAMSBURG — A black bear materialized yesterday in the yard, a sudden presence in the shadows at the river out back. He ambled up the hill and past the house, giving off the appearance of someone who had …

Rev. Peter Kakos: What if the Valley were fracked?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — With the necessary attention being paid to the proposed pipeline of natural gas obtained through hydraulic fracturing that would snake its way through our Commonwealth, let’s imagine the plight of our beloved Valley were we the site for invasive extraction. The immediate effect would be coping …

Rekha Basu: Progressives, like libertarians on right, forcing party soul-searching

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Every presidential election cycle, the tension between moderate and evangelical conservative voters in the Republican Party becomes the subject of hand-wringing speculation: Could a moderate seeking the Republican nomination win in an early voting state like Iowa, where evangelicals dominate? Could an evangelical candidate win the general election? …

Adam Fisher: Douglas M. Hughes’ air mail message of protest

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I wonder if Hillary Clinton or Rand Paul or Jeb Bush or Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz will show up tomorrow. May 21 is the day when Douglas M. Hughes is due back in a Washington federal court, accused of various offenses related to his April …

Christopher W. Norris: Mutual aid critical piece of emergency response in cash-strapped communities

Monday, May 18, 2015

WESTHAMPTON — Last month I saw a report on a local TV news station regarding the Southampton Fire Department not responding to an emergency medical call and having to rely on a neighboring community for assistance. The report was critical of the department and its personnel. I want …

Sara Weinberger: Putting one’s faith into action

Sunday, May 17, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I first met Michael Kane when we joined a group organized by Congregation B’nai Israel in Northampton to raise funds for humanitarian relief for victims of the genocide in Darfur. Today, Michael and I are once again working with communities of faith, this time to spread …