Category Archives: Columns

Newspaper columns, Bangor Daily News

Vermont’s motto madness shows science education is not enough

Something happened the other day in Vermont that reminded me of the saying, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” After an eighth-grade student wrote to a state legislator to propose Vermont adopt a Latin motto and the proposal went forward, some less-than-knowledgeable residents got really angry. There was, as Senate Minority Leader Joe […]

As economic and snowstorms hit us, how do we dig out?

This big storm put me in mind of what a friend, the photographer Jeff Kirlin, said the other day: “I love the sound of the Socialist snowplows scraping up my Socialist streets.” We pay taxes for government services that serve the public good — in this case, the ability to get places safely and not […]

With LePage’s budget, Maine must decide on the reality it wants

When Gov. Paul LePage unveiled his budget proposal last week, it was reminiscent (but partly in a good way) of something said about a decade ago by an aide to President George W. Bush. This aide, widely reputed to be Karl Rove, told journalist Ron Suskind that reporters were part of “the reality-based community” but […]

A momentous year in health policy — and the people who put it into perspective

It wasn’t the cold of the day that deeply chilled the six-year-old’s parents, although, with a low of three degrees, Feb. 28 this year was colder than average. That winter day little Wynter Przybylski of Brewer was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Soon after Wynter’s cancer was diagnosed, a tumor was found on her spine […]

Reject moral relativism in the face of terrorism and threat

How would you respond if an “intellectually challenged” American with no involvement in violence was held by another country and tortured so a tape of him crying could be used to try to get a family member to supply information? What would you feel if an American imprisoned by non-Americans was told that his mother […]

This year, Bangor’s economy, schools and wages are on the ballot

We built it. Bangor’s great schools and fantastic library, excellent health care facilities, outdoor music, new civic center and vibrant downtown didn’t just happen by accident. Many people put work into creating what we have and making Bangor a thriving regional center. This is a city that doesn’t say “no” to new ideas. But what’s […]

Ebola anxiety can’t be cured by cutting government

Ebola is a horrific disease that’s become a target of overreaction by frightened people who, like most, do a poor job in judging what’s a real risk. But it’s also an example of how inadequate health programs are dangerous. Even before Ebola came to our shores, government mattered. The lack of any credible public health […]