Where to go from here

Subscriber onlyIt has been almost eight years since the Federal Reserve began the unconventional policy known as "quantitative easing," with the goals of stemming financial panic and restarting economic growth. And it has been seven years since then-Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke assured the public, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, that the Fed had thoroughly studied the matter and could eventually unwind the massive bond-buying program "in a smooth and timely manner," without setting off inflation. Continue reading...

For healthy forests

House bill protects state, nation

Subscriber onlyIn 1966, I announced that I was moving to Arkansas. My mother was horrified. Where??? Continue reading...

The best stuff

Subscriber onlyIt's an irresistible impulse--the making of lists of the best this or that; and then comparing what I've come up with to the lists of others. I'm even a sucker for those online pieces on the world's 10 best beaches or the best hamburger joints and steakhouses in each state. Continue reading...

Letters

Subscriber onlySave strategic reserve Continue reading...

NWA LETTERS

Subscriber onlyLane Hotel school not win-win for all Continue reading...

Class dismissed

Subscriber onlyAfew weeks ago I met a guy in Kentucky who’d lived through every trend of de-industrializing America. He grew up about 65 years ago on a tobacco and cattle farm. But he always liked engines, so even while in high school he worked 40 hours a week in a garage. Then he went to work in a series of factories—making airplane parts, car seats, sheet metal and casings for those big air-conditioning fans you see on the top of buildings. Continue reading...

Monuments men

Baltimore’s better options

Subscriber onlyWHENEVER somebody starts talking about removing statues of Confederate generals, or renaming parks, or renaming schools, our first reaction is to think back to the late but unlamented Soviets, and how they erased their history from time to frequent time. A fellow traveler of bad standing needs to be removed from a film clip? Edit it. Somebody who is no longer much of a comrade needs to disappear from a photograph? Crop it. Continue reading...

Foreign-policy unicorns

Why won’t they go away?

Subscriber onlyUnicorns are mythical beasts, supposedly imbued with many attractive, even magical, qualities. But alas, they are not actually real. I've never seen one. Nor have I seen any orcs, basilisks, balrogs, or any of the other evil creatures dreamt up by fiction writers: These don't exist and never did. Apart from CGI-enhanced movies, anyone who claimed they could find or create one of them would be regarded as something of a crackpot. Continue reading...

Attention paid to inattention

Subscriber onlyTo say that silence is golden is to say too much. To say more or even to imagine more is more than enough. It clutters the blank corners of the mind, filling them with the opposite of rest and recreation. Continue reading...

A dream leads to new space race

Subscriber onlyElon Musk's rocket-building company SpaceX and Jeffrey Bezos' similar Blue Origins have grabbed the headlines in the space race. But there is a fascinating back story about how the private space industry came into being. It is the tale of renegade entrepreneur Peter Diamandis, who founded the XPrize Foundation to encourage rocket-building in order to find a way into space himself. Continue reading...

Edward Snowden should come home

Subscriber onlyThe case for Edward Snowden is on. A new movie directed by Oliver Stone, a new push by the ACLU, and strong voices in the Washington Post are all urging President Barack Obama to pardon the whistleblower-turned-refugee before a new president is sworn in Jan. 20. Continue reading...

Cities stand up to suburbs

Subscriber onlyIt's been a great couple of decades for America's cities. Long-held anti-urban attitudes have given way at least partially to a realization that walkable, transit-rich cities are healthier, more environmentally sound places to live than car-dependent suburbs. Economists such as Enrico Moretti at the University of California at Berkeley have also documented how a few big cities with high concentrations of talent have become hugely productive innovative factories that drive the nation's economy. Continue reading...

How forecasters peek into the future

Subscriber onlyWhen it comes to making forecasts--whether it's predicting the outcome of an election or determining whether a marriage will last--what good is intuition? Can our gut instincts guide us to correct outcomes, or are they too unreliable to be useful in a world ruled by data? Continue reading...

What to know about presidential health

Subscriber onlyBoth our presidential candidates have been pressured to release more information about their health. But such information may not be as useful as we think. Past assumptions about the health of presidents and candidates often have been shrouded in misconceptions, such as the following: Continue reading...

Pain management's growing body count

Subscriber onlyThe way we manage pain in this country is killing us. Continue reading...

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