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Into a new void?

This far into the human story, only the historically uninstructed are startled by what they think are new permutations of evil. So, when Russia sliced Crimea off Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry was nonplussed: “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext.” If, however, Vladimir Putin is out of step with the march of progress, where exactly on history’s inevitably ascending path (as progressives like Kerry evidently think) does Kerry, our innocent abroad, locate the Islamic State?

A lesson in a STEM study

Every once in a while, research quantifies the effects of certain education policies on students. Then, the results are often shelved in favor of the prevailing “common sense.” As in: If you want more scientists, mandate more science courses in school.

When it’s oil vs. food, we burn

Selling agricultural commodities is a kind of dance, with time limits. Once the sale is consummated, the clock starts. The buyer needs it on time, because customers don’t pay for empty shelves. Food is often perishable — faster is fresher, and fresher is better. Then, with bulk commodities like grain, loaded on ships and sent to the far corners of the globe, there are schedules to meet, and promises to keep. The owners of ships don’t like to see them sitting around waiting for the cargo. Delays due to a ...

Congress, do right by fire budgets

By now we are accustomed to Congress doing nothing. Our expectations are very near zero, but we are not yet fully numbed. To see so many elected leaders standing by, thumb twiddling as the West burns, pains us greatly. It is maddening that a natural disaster of on the scale of this year’s fires will produce no action out of the ordinary, and that emergency funding to fight them can be brushed off as a budgetary annoyance.

The Miller example

It is difficult to drive up Wenatchee’s Miller Street without dismay. The pavement is only months old and already melted into ruts of oily black crud between strips of sandy gray gravel and pockmarked intersections. It looks awful. It contributes to the nagging feeling that our local infrastructure is slowly degrading.
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Baptism by wildfire for Red Cross leader

It has been a baptism by wildfire for Nicolle LaFleur, executive director of the North Cascades and Apple Valley chapters of the American Red Cross.

Gathering to watch history

We gathered around the cheap black-and-white television to watch history, 40 years ago today. There were just a handful of us, college students who shared the rent at this run-down house near campus. We had been enjoying the leisurely pace of a summer semester, now suddenly interrupted as the world turned upside down.

Amnesty as impeachment bait

President Obama is impatient. Congress won’t act on immigration, he says, and therefore he will. The White House is coy as to exactly what the president will do. But the leaks point to an executive order essentially legalizing an enormous new class of illegal immigrants, perhaps up to 5 million people.

Meeting crisis with chaos

Immigration is not easy, legal or illegal. This is particularly true when the would-be host nation has a government that cannot function, run by people who cannot solve even simple problems, much less decide monumental issues like who stays and who goes.

The reason for Watergate?

At about 5:15 p.m. on June 17, 1971, in the Oval Office, the president ordered a crime: “I want it implemented on a thievery basis. Goddamn it, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it.”