• America’s culture of stuff

    Among the addictions that plague America is one that doesn’t involve substance abuse. It doesn’t even involve health care issues. It involves stuff. As residents of the world’s most affluent country, Americans seem obsessed with stuff, the eclectic assortment of lifestyle flotsam that clogs basements, attics, spare bedrooms, garages and off-site self-storage unit facilities, which

  • Fighting the obesity epidemic

    There is no shortage of angst and hand-wringing within the global public health community about the many ways obesity is undermining the health of not only Americans, but citizens of countries such as China, India and Japan that are now embracing Western ways of eating. Two-thirds of adults and one-third of children in America are

  • The Rubik’s Cube at Camp David

    America already is well into its next presidential campaign — almost two years before the election. This campaign already has one familiar characteristic: among a raft of candidates for the Republican nomination not one has a shred of foreign policy experience. Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, already has pronounced that foreign policy doesn’t require

  • Fanning the flames of partisanship in Augusta

    Oh dear, oh dear, just when it is critical that the Legislature pull together to pass a budget, fault lines are appearing all over the Statehouse. In Ring 1, Governor Paul LePage is holding hostage the voter-approved bonds meant to fund Land for Maine’s Future Projects. The bonds may be ransomed if legislators agree to

  • Saigon in Retrospect

    Forty years ago, Saigon fell to North Vietnamese forces, making it clear that America’s decade-long war in Indochina had been lost. The significance attached to that anniversary varies dramatically by generations. Today’s college students barely know the war even happened, much less anything about it. For their grandparents, however, it was a profound and defining

  • Winter snow: A boon for berries

    What has been described, apparently accurately, as a record-breaking and soul-crushing winter has proven to be a blessing in disguise for the Downeast wild blueberry industry. Blueberry barrens from Ellsworth to Eastport have been buried in snow since mid-November. Turns out that’s a good thing for growers, for whom the more snow the better. The