Five reasons why China has no friends

In 2010, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told a gathering of Asian countries that the United States “has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons and respect for international law in the South China Sea.”

Earn more, be happy by coming of age in boom times

It’s bad luck to be born 20 years before a time of high unemployment. It affects your income when you enter the workforce, naturally, but that’s not all. It can keep your earnings relatively low — and chip away at your health and happiness, as well — for a lifetime.

VA nominee will find out that government isn’t Procter & Gamble

For 33 years, Robert McDonald rose through the ranks of brand managers and junior executives at Procter & Gamble, overseeing international operations in Canada and Asia for the consumer goods giant before taking charge as CEO in 2009. President Obama has named the West Point graduate to head the scandal-plagued Department of Veterans Affairs, which is reeling from revelations that officials had falsified records and concealed extraordinary waiting times for patients seeking treatment. If the problems at the VA stemmed from failures of branding and salesmanship, McDonald would be a fine choice. Unfortunately, they do not.

Are we scared of our own shadow?

America’s infatuation with the World Cup came at the perfect moment, illuminating the principle that you can lose and still advance.

Ohio leads the way on breaking through the rape-kit backlog

It’s often said that justice delayed is justice denied. This is especially true for victims in sexual-assault cases that were never prosecuted or even fully investigated.

About those presidential polls

Perhaps you’ve heard that President Obama was named the worst resident since World War II in a recent poll. It isn’t all that surprising. Given the current mood of the country, it’s likely that if St. Francis of Assisi were in the White House, he would be getting terrible ratings, too.

What about workers who don’t live near Ikea?

Congratulations, Ikea workers — you’re getting a raise.

TV series ‘Tyrant’ full of vicious Arab stereotypes

The FX channel’s much-hyped series, Tyrant, displays some of the most racist anti-Arab images I have ever seen on American television. And I’ve spent 40-plus years documenting TV’s images of Arabs.

The IRS isn’t the only agency with an email problem

Washington sure does love a political scandal, and no one more than House oversight committee Chairman Darrell Issa. The story of the missing IRS email provides all the necessary ingredients: an agency accused of abusing its authority, outstanding congressional document requests and email messages from a key IRS employee gone missing. That was all Issa needed to launch a vicious attack on the credibility and integrity of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who appeared before the committee Monday night to explain what happened to the missing email and why. But between Issa’s outrage and Koskinen’s effort to avoid responsibility, not much was revealed.

The United States needs a rulebook for drones

To understand why U.S. drone strikes outside traditional battlefields make so many people so uneasy, look to the past and look to the future.

A grope and a shrug

It was fully a decade ago that Dov Charney, the founder and (at that point) chief executive of American Apparel, decided that the right way to behave in front of a female journalist doing a profile of him was to masturbate. Not once, mind you. “Eight or so times,” according to the story, in Jane magazine, which is no longer around.

LBJ’s second great battle: enforcing the Civil Rights Act

When Lyndon Johnson became president after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, so closely had he played his political cards that nobody was exactly sure what he believed in. Very quickly, the surprising answer became clear: civil rights. Johnson went all-in on Kennedy’s stalled bill, declaring: “What’s the point of being president if you can’t do what you know is right?”

It’s way too soon to give up on the Arab Spring

Three and a half years ago, the world was riveted by massive crowds of youths mobilizing in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand an end to Egypt’s dreary police state. We watched transfixed as a movement first ignited in Tunisia spread from one part of Egypt to another, and then from country to country across the region. Before it was over, four presidents-for-life had been toppled and the region’s remaining dictators were unsettled.

In Barry Goldwater, the conscience of a conservative

This year, from the Supreme Court to the sports pages, discussions of racism have dominated the news. But let’s not kid ourselves and think this is all something new. When it comes to racial issues, the most unfairly maligned American of the last 50 years has been under fire for exactly that long.

'Central Park 5' settled, but the case of racial injustice remains open

New York City’s recently announced $40 million settlement with the five exonerated defendants in the infamous Central Park Five jogger-rape case appears to close the chapter on a painful historical episode.

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