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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.”

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 The timelines, the outdated maps, the tiresome chronology that seemed always to begin with ancient earthen pottery and end with the Beatles making crowds of teenage women faint.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.

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.
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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.

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?”

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.

How to stop Putin

The president of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council challenges critics of President Obama’s Ukraine policy by saying “What are you going to do, send the 101st Airborne into Crimea?” Not exactly subtle. And rather silly, considering that no one has proposed such a thing.

The benefits of prudence

In September 1958, a future columnist, then 17, was unpacking as a college freshman when upperclassmen hired by tobacco companies knocked on his dormitory door, distributing free mini-packs of cigarettes. He and many other aspiring sophisticates became smokers. Six years later — 40 years ago: Jan. 11, 1964 — when the Surgeon General published the report declaring tobacco carcinogenic, more than 40 percent of American adults smoked. Today, when smoking is considered declassee rather than sophisticated, fewer than one-fifth do.
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The American story of slavery

WASHINGTON —Hollywood has finally taken an unflinching look at slavery. It’s past time for the rest of the country to do the same.

Chicago at war over student testing

CHICAGO — As education reform takes hold across the country, we find ourselves traveling through another dimension — one not only of hysterics but also of childish behavior. There’s a signpost up ahead, our next stop: The Stupid Zone!

The face of IRS behavior

What’s been said of confession — that it is good for one’s soul but bad for one’s reputation — can also be true of testifying to Congress, so Lois Lerner has chosen to stay silent. Hers, however, is an eloquent silence.