Columnists

In putting The Star together we agree that it benefits not just from a variety of feature and news stories each week but diversity among the opinion pieces. “How about the holidays or a funny anecdote?” I’ve been asked when trying to come up with a topic of late. In recent weeks, though, it has not always been easy to supply the requisite...
Mobutu Sese Seko was by the time I arrived in Africa as a college student in 1985 renowned as one of the globe’s most corrupt leaders. Zaire, as the Congo was then called, had withered under his rule. The story was that you could have driven a Cadillac from the Rift Valley in the east all the way to the Atlantic without hitting a single pothole...
My sister, who has agreed that she was “a basket case” not so long ago, has made a complete turnaround, thanks to an Egyptian-born psychiatrist who utterly revamped her medications with what I would call miraculous results, “and, ultimately, God.”
We’ve heard a lot these days about fake news and know that cyberspace is crowded with misinformation — and disinformation — which often make it hard for anyone to know who and what to believe. But I never expected to find a film on a kids’ TV channel infested with advertising masquerading as a happy holiday production for the whole family.
Having spent most of the past two weeks in bed with what appeared to be the flu, Twitter and I have gotten to know each other well. Not that I tweet, or post, much; instead I have spent hours upon hours following various threads on which the authors express outrage about the election. Twitter is as good a place as any to drive you to despair. But...
It was Tuesday night when it occurred to me that I hadn’t — because I was flying back from having spent the weekend in Pittsburgh — seen the first half of the Steelers’ delightful 24-14 win that Sunday over the Giants.
If, when you get behind the wheel of a car, your thoughts turn toward auto accidents, or if, when you board a plane, you worry that it will crash, you are apt to face your digital life with trepidation, too.
David Brooks wrote recently about the lack of trust in our society, and how corrosive walling oneself off can be when it comes to the intermingling a thriving democracy requires.
The distance between my house and the Star office building is less than a hundred yards, and some of the nicest moments of otherwise ordinary days are spent walking between the two. It’s a quick moment of stolen solitude, to listen to the wind in the high trees and, quite often, the roar of the ocean, about a mile away. I am supposed to walk a lot...
Not that I want to talk politics (we’ve all heard enough), but November’s election surprise did give me pause. Polls aside, why most of the national media missed the scale of Donald Trump’s strength among voters might be explained by the long and ongoing decline of regional and small-city newspapers, which in their heyday might have noticed.
I’ve been reading in comparative mythology recently, about ritual regicide, virgin births, thefts of fire, trees of life and of death, resurrections . . . that kind of thing, and apparently, at least according to Joseph Campbell, it’s all one — more or less the same stories and symbols from Day One aimed at reconciling earth with the heavens.
Does merely passing through someplace on a bus count as actually visiting that place?
According to Kathleen Wall of the museum at Plymouth, Mass., the colonists and their Wampanoag guests in 1621 ate shellfish and wildfowl, perhaps with herbs and berries, but their meat was accompanied by no potatoes.