Columnists

  • Ukraine’s Asian echoes

    Last week, President Biden met with the leaders of nine Southeast Asian nations — the first such gathering since 2016 and the first ever at the White House. The event was greatly overshadowed by the ongoing war in Ukraine, but it took on added significance precisely because of the events in Europe. East Asia/Southeast Asia

  • Party platforms tread worn paths

    Maine’s two major political parties have held their conventions, and there were no surprises. The platforms approved by the conventions reflect the current ideological contrasts between the parties. Neither one gave Maine voters much cause to reconsider their allegiance to one party or the other. Republicans met first, in late April. They brought a proposed

  • High stakes — and rising

    The full magnitude of seminal events can be hard to grasp when we are in their midst. The ongoing war in Ukraine is far more than a bloody, but localized, conflict on Russia’s western periphery. It began with a massive miscalculation by Vladimir Putin — that he could invade and occupy Ukraine with minimal resistance

  • Health care by the numbers doesn’t add up

    Last week we considered the growing distance between health-care providers and their patients, driven by increasing demands by payers for providers to account for every minute of their time and to increase their “outputs.” Those outputs revolve around you, shivering in your hospital gown in a chilly exam room, awaiting your 10 minutes of time

  • The Cold War — again

    It is still the early stages; the final outcome of the war in Ukraine is unknown. Many scenarios, including a protracted bloody stalemate, are possible. However, it is increasingly clear that this war will shape the international strategic landscape in ways more profound than any since World War II. Wars in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian

  • Human connection missing from modern health care

    What is it with health care these days that is so deeply unsatisfying? Though diagnosis and treatment get better and better, once you have made your way into the hands of a practitioner an experience that was once personal, even intimate, is now one frustration after another. Most providers are no longer willing to give

  • Middle East glass half empty

    The Middle East has long been a thorn in the side of American foreign policy. Entire careers at the State Department have been expended on the Israeli-Palestinian problem with little to show for it. Civil wars in Syria and Yemen have continued unabated year after year. Iran has been a running sore in regional and