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Obama vs. Putin: Mismatch

The United States does not view Europe as a battleground between East and West, nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game. That’s the kind of thinking that should have ended with the Cold War.

When geography matters

Igor Stravinsky, the Russian composer, said of Poland, perilously positioned between Russia and Germany: “If you pitch your tent in the middle of Fifth Avenue, it is quite likely you will be run over by a bus.” Poland has been run over hard and often; indeed, between 1795 and 1918 it disappeared from the map of Europe.

Dershowitz and Starr: A matter of principle

When it comes to tackling complicated legal issues, one would be hard-pressed to conjure a less likely partnership than Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and Baylor University President Ken Starr.

Wilf Woods | Shackleton’s ‘lost men’

Among the heroes of exploration is Ernest Shackleton, whose ship was crushed before he reached Antarctica in 1914. But he took a small boat across the stormy Antarctic seas, rescuing every one of his crew.
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Photo-opping salvation

WASHINGTON — This week’s meeting between Pope Francis and President Obama holds great promise in a time of turmoil, though not necessarily in the ways some may hope.

Economic growth can be ours

The recent release of air quality samples from Northwest Washington are the latest factual findings in a series of air-agency reports from across the region in recent years that have shown no actual impacts from coal dust.

A half-century in denial

Critics of Rep. Paul Ryan’s remarks about cultural factors in the persistence of poverty are simultaneously shrill and boring. Their predictable minuet of synthetic indignation demonstrates how little liberals have learned about poverty or changed their rhetorical repertoire in the last 49 years.

Making history come alive

Throughout my formal academic career, history classes bored me. The timelines, the outdated maps, the tiresome chronology that seemed always to begin with ancient earthen pottery and end with the Beatles making crowds of teenage women faint. Snore.

The invasion will be catered

Early in the Ukraine crisis, when the Europeans were working on bringing Ukraine into the EU system and Vladimir Putin was countering with threats and bribes, one British analyst lamented that “We went to a knife fight with a baguette.”

Buds of the socialist spring

While Vladimir Putin, Stalin’s spawn, ponders what to do with what remains of Ukraine, remember: Nine years before the January 1942 Wannsee Conference, at which the Nazis embarked on industrialized genocide, Stalin deliberately inflicted genocidal starvation on Ukraine.

Difficult as it is, conversation with your kids is worth the effort

CHICAGO — Talking to your kids can be hard. Really hard. Even children who never stop rattling off every imaginable detail about their favorite cartoon become completely unresponsive when asked “How was your day?” “What did you learn at school?” or “What’s new?”
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The CIA is out of line

WASHINGTON — We now have even more proof that our burgeoning intelligence agencies, which were given unprecedented latitude to wage war against terrorists, are dangerously out of control.

To keep them down on the farm

Someone who is determined to disbelieve something can manage to disregard an Everest of evidence for it. So Barack Obama will not temper his enthusiasm for increased equality with lucidity about the government’s role in exacerbating inequality.