March 22, 2013 RSS feed / Commentary

Economic reality transforms the American Dream

Welcome to the new version of the American Dream.  It may look the same as the old one — personal prosperity and owning your own home — but fewer people are likely to live it, and if they do, it will happen later in life.  More...

Hard lessons linger from the Iraq war

Ten years ago, America invaded Iraq; somehow, our political class decided that we should respond to a terrorist attack by making war on a regime that, however vile, had nothing to do with that attack.  More...

The problem with health care is cost

The problem with health care is not Medicare, Medicaid or Obamacare.  It’s what health care costs.  The United States leads the world in one area of health care — it costs more here than in any developed country.  Higher co More...

Changing the world is so boring

Because I have to generate two columns a week for you, Dear Reader, I spend some time hunting for new ideas on the conference circuit. More...

Readers will decide the fate of local news

There’s a saying in the world of “new media.” You’re either free, or you compete with free.  Our readers know — sometimes painfully — that The Times Record requires a subscription for online access to our jour More...

RSU 1 referendum will bring cost fairness

Education issues are once more at the center of discussion in Augusta and here in the communities of Regional School Unit 1.  More...

Crystal Spring Farm a Brunswick trail fest

Trust fun

Suppose you find yourself in possession of 150 acres of pine, spruce, birch and hemlock, inhabited by foxes and fishers, salamanders and squirrels, turkeys and turtles.  Suppose you’d like people to be able to walk in these verdant woods, More...

Newspaper paywalls gaining traction

GUEST COLUMN

The money now flowing into newspaper companies from paywalls is getting to be countable.  For the New York Times Company, circulation revenue increased $63 million in 2012. More...

Can colleges compete in an online world?

I just spent the last two days at a great conference convened by MIT and Harvard on “Online Learning and the Future of Residential Education” — aka “How can colleges charge $50,000 a year if my kid can learn it all free from m More...

Wise to government lies

Take President Obama and his Cabinet of Liars, please.  We all know what dirty tricks they played to try and stop the sequester’s automatic budget cuts.  They spent weeks trying to frighten the America people into believing the countr More...

A remote-control military

If you find the use of remotely piloted warrior drones troubling, imagine that the decision to kill a suspected enemy is not made by an operator in a distant control room, but by the machine itself. More...

Clash of the dueling budget plans

For the first time in a while, we actually have two competing budgets out of Congress.  The Senate budget was put together by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. It emerged largely intact from a committee hearing last Thursday. More...

The conservative hypocrisy on health care

RE:MAINE

Gov. Paul LePage thinks paying hospitals for past Medicaid services is the most important issue facing state government, and went into campaign mode last weekend to press the point. More...

Bath’s hipster culture thrives

“Hip” is not a word that normally comes to mind when you think of Bath, but one thing that Bath does have in common with so-called “hipster” culture is the strong do-it-yourself ethos and entrepreneurial spirit with which peop More...

POPE FRANCIS I

A conclave fixed in time

And now the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church retreat into the Sistine Chapel, hordes of journalists flitting breathlessly around St. Peter’s Square, one question above many others hanging in the air. More...

Deficit hawks fiddling while economy smolders

For three years and more, policy debate in Washington has been dominated by warnings about the dangers of budget deficits. More...

Alfond: Municipal tax shift a ‘nonstarter’

RE:MAINE

The Legislature has been at work two months, but it seems it’s just getting started. When I sat down with Senate President Justin Alfond last Tuesday, he acknowledged the slow pace, and had a two-word explanation: term limits.  More...

The hard lessons of contracting government

A few months ago, I helped a municipality deal with a U.S. More...

Survival of the brutal

Let’s say you were a power hitter during baseball’s steroids era. You may have objected to steroids on moral and health grounds. But many of your competitors were using them, so you faced enormous pressure to use them too.  More...

Wins and losses in 10 years fighting domestic violence

This April will mark 10 years I have served as the domestic violence investigator for the Sagadahoc County District Attorney’s Office. More...