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Art Hobson: The fog of America's wars

Nation’s ease of involvement came with a serious cost

Subscriber onlyThe Vietnam veteran had never talked about it, but three weeks ago in a "StoryCorps" National Public Radio interview with his wife, the story finally emerged. Continue reading...

Art Hobson: The power of pedaling

Goal should be making all comfortable with cycling

Subscriber onlyNovelist and futurist H. G. Wells once said "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." It's a notion we might well adopt for Northwest Arkansas cities. Imagine what it would mean if, say, 50 percent of our commuters got out of their cars and bicycled to work. This is not pie in the sky. In the much larger city of Copenhagen, population 500,000 -- three Little Rocks -- where one might think bicycling is more difficult than in smaller towns, 56 percent of those who work or study in the city commute by bike every day. Many European cities achieve similar figures. Continue reading...

Art Hobson: A possibly revolutionary election

How big Clinton wins matters to nation’s culture

Subscriber onlyI seldom devote a column to elections because culture, not politics, is the real driver of human events. But 2016 is different. By changing the direction of our politics, this election could change our culture. Continue reading...

Art Hobson: Sing it, Frankie

Mankind lucky to find its place in ‘this fine old world’

Subscriber onlyFrankie's song said it well: "That's life. That's what people say. You're riding high in April, shot down in May. ... But I don't let it, let it get me down. 'Cause this fine old world -- it keeps spinnin' around." Continue reading...

Art Hobson: Spooky action at greater distances

Shedding light on the behaviors of photons

Subscriber onlyThree weeks ago, Chinese scientists launched into space a beautiful physics experiment that will, if successful, establish a new world record for the long-distance "nonlocal entanglement" of quantum particles. Continue reading...

Art Hobson: The populist revolution

Accountability, lack of frankness among movement’s causes

Subscriber onlyBernie Sanders, Brexit and Donald Trump surprised us all by rising from "unthinkable" to "game-changer" within the past year. Suddenly, a socialist became a plausible presidential nominee, Britain withdrew from Europe and a lineup of establishment Republicans was beaten by a political outsider. An anti-establishment populist revolution appears to be sweeping the U.S. and Britain. What's going on? Continue reading...

Art Hobson: America's unexamined gun problem

Firearms backers resist research on their favored weapons

Subscriber onlyGun violence kills far more people in the U.S. than in any other developed nation. Our per-capita firearm homicide rate is 20 times that of other industrialized (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) nations. It's a heavy toll: Some 30,000 firearms-related homicides and suicides annually in the U.S. Continue reading...

Commentary: Another gratuitous war?

Push for Syria intervention would be disaster

Subscriber onlyHave we learned nothing from U.S. regime-change failures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt and Libya, not to mention counterproductive tinkering in civil wars in Somalia, Yemen and Syria? American meddling has helped produce six failed states in the Mideast and North Africa. Will we go to war against yet another Mideast dictator? Continue reading...

Commentary: A planet in need of peace

U.S. remains too strong militarily for own good

Subscriber onlyBarack Obama made history on May 27 when he become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, where on Aug. 6, 1945, we dropped the first of two nuclear bombs that destroyed two cities and killed 220,000 people. The bombs ended the world's most brutal war, a struggle that killed 60 million, 3 percent of the world population. The visit was a bold and humane move by our greatest president since Franklin Roosevelt. Continue reading...

Commentary: Fires of the Anthropocene

Humans inaction setting stage for dire consequences

Subscriber onlyThe astonishing fire at Fort McMurray evokes the legend of the monster destroying its maker, reveals the looming outlines of the age of human domination called by many geologists the "Anthropocene," and should be an awakening for us all. Although it's always hard to ascribe individual weather events to general climate trends, the fingerprints of global warming are all over this conflagration in Canada's Alberta Province. Continue reading...

Commentary: Greening a troubled planet

Movement toward change provides some home

Subscriber onlyScience has known since about 1990 that everything we hold dear is endangered by global warming. If we had taken the problem sufficiently seriously then, greenhouse gas concentrations would today be far lower than they are and we would be on the road to a healthy future based on clean energy. Instead, the fossil fuel industry and our own self-indulgence persuaded us our carbon-burning lifestyle was just peachy. Continue reading...

Commentary: An exciting age in astronomy

Gravity waves a ‘new window to universe’

Subscriber onlyWe have entered the era of gravity waves, a window on the universe that will reveal startling new realities much as Galileo's light wave telescope, four centuries ago, revealed a universe unlike anything imagined by medieval culture. Continue reading...

America’s exodus from Mideast

Disengaging from region after doing more harm than good

Subscriber onlyAs America’s movies, sports, gun culture, murder rate, incarceration rate, death penalty and history all testify, we are a violent nation. So it’s not surprising we are hawkish abroad. In particular, America’s involvement in the Middle East has been too militarized and, for this reason, counterproductive. Continue reading...

Commentary: The religious war on women

Belief alone a prescription for poor decisions

Subscriber onlyWith religious-based terrorism so much in the news, we need to recognize America's home-grown Christian terrorism. Its fundamentalist roots have important parallels with the more massive Islamic terrorism. Continue reading...

Commentary: A few realities about global warming

People can take action by voting Democratic

Subscriber onlyOf the 136 years on the global record books, 2015 was by far the hottest. The year before was the second hottest. Fifteen of the 16 hottest years occurred after 2000. Last year was so hot it will probably hold the record for several years, causing global warming deniers -- always frantic for statistics that seemingly support their non-existent case -- to argue that everything's fine because temperatures have now leveled off. It's an ironic argument that deniers have made before, following an extremely warm year in 1998. Continue reading...

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