Turn up the pressure and counter the Russian bear in Ukraine

Ukraine will either fall to Russian hegemony, or finally determine its own future — if America balances Russia’s power. Whether anything Barack Obama says or does would stop anyone remains questionable, but surely the West has more financial clout than Russia’s kleptocratic economy that exports little but oil, gas and vodka.

Hillary Clinton stands to affirm an era of change

An observer can be forgiven for being heartened at the prospect of Hillary Clinton campaigning for president in 2016, much less a Clinton victory. Either would send a much-needed message to those who are still waiting for America to get back to “normal,” a world wherein straight, white Christian men still call all the shots.

President Obama’s focus on at-risk youths is late, but a welcome move

Whatever one’s politics, President Barack Obama’s new outreach initiative to help at-risk boys of color is great news for the country. A nation can’t long flourish without the commitment of fathers to raise their sons — and, yes, their daughters, too. It is gratifying progress and marks a victory of common sense over ideology.

Let the authority of ‘hidden law’ rule in Arizona

Future historians will likely be flummoxed by the moment we’re living in. In what amounts to less than a blink of an eye in the history of Western civilization, homosexuality has gone from a diagnosed mental disorder to something to be celebrated — or else.

Democrats distracted by feel-good, errant issues

Climate alarmism validates the progressive impulse to micromanage others’ lives — their light bulbs, showerheads, appliances, automobiles, etc. Although this is a nuisance, it distracts liberals from more serious mischief.

New economy at work in Facebook’s $19 billion deal

If you ever wonder what’s fueling America’s staggering inequality, ponder Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp. The mobile messaging company’s value doesn’t come from making anything. It comes instead from two other things that need only a handful of people. First is its technology. Second is its network effect.

The narrative shifts in political Middle Earth

Whether discussing women’s reproductive systems or offering up unelectable candidates, Republicans couldn’t stop handing gifts to their opponents. Meanwhile, Democrats successfully labeled the GOP as the “party of no.” But then one day, President Barack Obama apparently lost his magic ring.

When ‘diversity’ is an excuse for intolerance

Swarthmore College invited a famous left-wing Princeton professor, Cornel West, and a famous right-wing Princeton professor, Robert George, to have a debate. The two men are friends, and by all accounts they had a civil exchange of ideas. But that only made the whole thing even more outrageous.

Failed Syria policy ramps up uncontainable threat

From a U.S. perspective, this disaster in Syria is not just humanitarian but strategic. A Somalia-like future for Syria would be an uncontainable regional and global threat. One of the largest challenges is strategic despair. It is easy to argue that any given policy change would be inadequate, late or risky.

Vote at Tennessee car plant is a major victory

For 30 years, the the United Auto Workers union has tried and failed to unionize a “transnational” — a factory making foreign-brand vehicles — in the South. The union may never have a better chance than it had at the 3-year-old Volkswagen plant Chattanooga, Tenn.

What happened to a sense of mutual responsibility?

America has a serious “we” problem — as in, “Why should we pay for them?” The question is popping up all over. It underlies the debate over extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed and providing food stamps to the poor.

A last chance for a good Israeli-Palestinian pact

Secretary of State John Kerry has done Israelis and Palestinians a huge favor by pushing them to make one last try at negotiating a two-state solution. Yet Kerry has managed, by his obsession, to force both sides to face the consequences if his efforts end in failure.

Out of the shadows and onto the heroic games

One of the best ways to counter stigma has been pioneered by Special Olympics. Here in Malawi, participants grow close to their coaches, perhaps the first non-related adults they encounter who do not view them as useless.

‘Downton Abbey’ lessons appeal to U.S. audiences

It is fitting that PBS offers “Downton Abbey” to its disproportionately progressive audience. This series is a languid appreciation of a class structure supposedly tempered by the paternalism of the privileged. And if progressivism prevails, America will be Downton Abbey: Upstairs.

The rise and fall of widely shared prosperity

As the gap between America’s wealthy and the middle has widened, those at the top have felt even richer by comparison. Although a rising tide would lift all boats, many of America’s richest seem to prefer a lower tide and bigger yachts.

The health care myths and policies we live by

After “first, do no harm,” medicine’s second great motto should be “above all, humility.” Even the tried-and-true may not be true. Considering how dicey biological “facts” can be, imagine how much more problematic are the handed-down verities about the workings of our staggeringly complex health care system.

King’s legacy: A family bickers over money

What would Martin Luther King Jr. think of the fact that these bickering, tiresome children of his are forever in litigation and public squabbles with one another and that money always seems to be at the root? Especially since he famously disdained “shallow things” like personal gain?

Please practice what you preach, Mr. President

At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, President Barack Obama lamented eroding protections of religious liberty around the world. Just not, apparently, in America. It is true that our religious-liberty issues are tamer than those mentioned by Obama, but we are in the midst of a muddle about where religion and state draw their red lines.