Democratic Sen. Byron P. Harrison of Mississippi called the remarks "unfortunate in the extreme." Sen. Thomas E. Watson of Georgia wondered why it was necessary for the speaker to travel to the South "to lecture their people." Today's historians regard the address as surprising. And even a c…

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Democratic Sen. Byron P. Harrison of Mississippi called the remarks "unfortunate in the extreme." Sen. Thomas E. Watson of Georgia wondered why it was necessary for the speaker to travel to the South "to lecture their people." Today's historians regard the address as surprising. And even a c…

Over my 45-year career as a doctor — the last 36 as a clinical cardiologist in rural East Texas — I’ve struggled to make my peace with death.

Courageous journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia have just received the Nobel Peace Prize. Each of these remarkable leaders personifies great courage and reflects a nation experiencing challenge to internal repression.

In 2009, I was nominated to be the 16th supreme allied commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. While I had already served three years heading one of the military’s 11 combatant commands — U.S. Southern Command, focused on Latin America — this new job would be jumping into the deep end of the pool.

A week ago I had a two-hour conversation with a close relative of mine who is a full-time floor nurse at one of the largest and busiest hospitals in Worcester. We got together specifically to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and what some of its consequences have been for the nurses who have be…

The Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary heard testimony recently on a long list of criminal justice- related bills. Among them was H. 1797, An Act to Reduce Mass Incarceration, sponsored by state representatives Liz Miranda and Jay Livingstone.

Here is where the Old Contrarian (me) seeks to diminish the importance of what Old Yeller (not the 1956 children’s book, but the 45th president of the United States) did the other day by traveling to Iowa and proclaiming that the 2020 election was “rigged” and that Washington Democrats are t…

Right now, more than 70 people with unique skills from different sectors and diverse organizations are working together to help ensure all residents of Essex County have access to our increasingly online world.

In the second week of August the United Nations released a landmark paper, “A Code Red for Humanity.” This report is a partial release of a more detailed forthcoming paper on the viability of humans to continue to live on our planet in its trajectory in a negative reality.

The government of France bitterly denounces Australia’s decision to purchase nuclear submarines from the United States and Britain. One byproduct is cancellation of a sale of French conventional subs to Canberra.

Author and policy expert Robert Kagan drew broad notice with his Washington Post essay declaring that the nation is “already in a constitutional crisis” and may be on the cusp of “mass violence,” but he is hardly the first to forecast democracy’s demise.

PITTSBURGH — In December 1833, a young man from Chester, N.H., moved to Washington to take up a position as a clerk in the House of Representatives, spending his first day touring the city with Rep. Franklin Pierce, who later would become president and a profoundly divisive figure in the country.

On Dec. 16, 2020, the city launched the Salem Skipper in partnership with Via. The Skipper is an app-based, on-demand transit service offering shared rides that operates within the city limits. The service has been available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1…

The Afghanistan aftermath drama is underway, featured center stage in the always-intense theater known as the United States Congress. Generals Mark Milley and Kenneth McKenzie, respectively chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and commander of the U.S. Central Command, testified before Cong…

Last week saw a rare triumph of substance over politics in Washington. In testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke in favor of abolishing the debt ceiling. She’s right: The debt ceiling deserves to go. This strange quirk of U.S. budget pr…

Over the past 20 years, I have written more than 750 columns, numerous magazine pieces, and a 300-page book. All of them have focused on current events and the more significant forces and aspects of our society and world.

In August 2021, Fox News’ “Gutfeld!,” a late-night comedy-talk show hosted by right-wing pundit Greg Gutfeld, overtook “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in overall ratings.

My wife is an honors student at UMass Lowell, soon to graduate with a degree in literature, but they fool you sometimes in academia, and instead of just making you read books, they make you watch movies.

The Maasai in Africa greet each other with “Kasserian Ingera” meaning, “And how are the children?” Tribal members, even those without children, respond, “All the children are well,” indicating the society has prioritized protection of the young, which reflects the community’s wellness.

Once again, North Korea is engaging in disturbing provocation. The totalitarian regime in Pyongyang has announced successful launch of a cruise missile. This follows many years of testing both rudimentary ballistic missiles and nuclear explosives.

The Biden administration has laid out a bold vision to conserve and restore 30% of our nation’s land and waters by 2030. Biden’s “America the Beautiful” plan sets the first-ever national conservation goal.

The four-day workweek’s moment has arrived. With California Congressman Mark Takano’s introduction of legislation to reduce the standard workweek from 40 to 32 hours, awareness of a shorter workweek — and enthusiasm for it — is gaining. And so is the skepticism around it.

The single element that Canadians most resent about Americans’ views toward their northern neighbor may be the conviction in the United States that Canadians are just like us. This week, in the wake of a Canadian national election that Americans all but ignored, it is time to turn the tables…

On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, former President George W. Bush offered a perspective on the dramatic shifts in American politics of the last two decades. On 9/11 this year, at the site of one of the terrorist attacks in a field in Pennsylvania, he described an America in which, “There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home….And it is our continuing duty to confront them.”

Music seems magical, but it takes hard work and skill and discipline and some other words I’m largely unfamiliar with.

“Everywhere I go, there’s housing being built, but I’m homeless,” said Boston city bus driver Kafi Dixon in the new documentary by James Rutenbeck, “A Reckoning in Boston.” Despite making a decent wage, Dixon could no longer afford her apartment after the rent was jacked up by overdevelopmen…

The Jan. 6 House Select Committee has only just begun its work and it’s already proving the great value of congressional investigations to the country.

The past weeks surrounding the 20th anniversary of 9/11 were a somber and sobering reminder for all of us. The videos and remembrances brought those of us who experienced it back to that place of deep grief. There is a way that grieving together offers the unexpected and welcome comfort of community. It is the reason that congregations of various religious traditions have rituals for grieving. It was also a sobering time as the acute awareness of our divisions, discord and delusions stood in stark contrast to the sense of connection we all shared on the weeks following 9/11. The silhouettes of those devastated towers seem more representative of our current connection, or lack thereof.

Last week's 20th anniversary commemorations of the terrorist attacks of 2001 stirred passions deep and wide. They reminded us of the fear that gripped us, the urgency we felt and the sense we had of sharing a perilous moment of history. And the remarks uttered to mark the passing of two fraught decades reflected both the tensions of that time and ours.

William Faulkner once wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even the past.” He meant that events from the past can still affect us now or in the future. He might have been referring to COVID-19 infections, for there is growing concern that the pandemic could have its own set of health consequences years or even decades from now, so-called long COVID-19, and this may ultimately exact a huge economic and social toll on the world.

Five years after the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument was written into existence by President Obama, it’s currently without full protections under President Biden after his January promise to review its status. Why is such an important symbol of ocean conservation all…

New regulations from the National Marine Fisheries Service designed to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales from deadly fishing gear used in the U.S. lobster and crab fisheries fall short and continue to put whales at risk of deadly fishing entanglements.

The 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center twin towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and in the skies over Pennsylvania, demands considered reflection.

President Joe Biden has a huge opportunity in the next few months to regain his footing as a foreign policy president after the fall of Kabul — a chance to demonstrate that the United States can still lead and to push back against China.

On that day 20 years ago this week, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared war on Pentagon bureaucracy, saying that it was a threat to national security and "a matter of life and death." A day later, the nation's security would be breached and there would be a new threat that truly wa…

Five years ago this month we finished work on Salem’s Age-Friendly Action Plan, the outcome of which was the Salem for All Ages initiative.

It has been a tough year in schools. No one wants another. Gov. Baker has promised that, “School this fall will look a lot more like it did before the pandemic.” Business as usual and back to normal. But is that what we really want? Is that what all our students need? As educational leadersh…

Everybody knows that life in the physical world has three dimensions. But another dimension — time — is often forgotten, or perhaps seen as backdrop. Its significance can sometimes seemingly be outcompeted by physical realities.

After a rocky start, Massachusetts has scored some significant victories in the battle against COVID-19, most notably the success of our vaccination efforts. Today, Massachusetts is one of the most highly vaccinated states in the country, and efforts targeted at the most difficult to reach p…

One thing had led to another, and one confrontation of company-dispatched detectives and miners had led to another -- truly the tensions were high and 10 were dead -- and eventually open warfare broke out in the southern coalfields of West Virginia. The security forces were determined, the m…

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Essex County, nonprofit organizations working to nourish the region’s most vulnerable residents were among the first in the sector to feel its impacts. Heavily dependent on volunteers, food pantries found themselves short-staffed as helpers – made up largely…

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