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Opinion

Editorial Cartoons of the Week


Vets deserve proper info from DOD to avoid GI Bill debt

These debts are owed by veterans who transferred their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to a dependent, usually a spouse or child, and agreed to stay in the armed forces for four additional years. Yet DOD allowed them to separate before completing their four years without warning them of the financial consequences.

In 18 interviews, Trump only looks out for Trump

Hearing the president breezily insist that he’s done “a very good job” despite a national death toll that will soon pass 200,000 is like a punch in the stomach.

On my Calif. ranch, fire threat went from ‘if’ to ‘when’

Californians live with the knowledge that every year will bring more fire, that we will be forced to continue to breathe the ashes of our homes — and that nothing will change until we get leadership willing to put their communities ahead of their careers.


Take time today to tell your story

Some tell of being in the Twin Towers, or the Pentagon, 19 years ago. Others tell of loved ones who died. Some took part in rescues and cleanup. Many, who were deployed to foreign lands to fight terrorists, were injured or killed. But most of us were not on the scene. Instead, we watched from afar. Regardless, it is important for us to recollect what we thought and felt.


OPINION

Still seeking a president who will ‘Bring Us Together’

All Americans who are capable of telling the truth to their bathroom mirrors know Trump can never pose as America’s unifier or caring healer — and pull it off. His synapses cannot work that way. And he wouldn’t want them to.


OPINION

US should ignore, not sanction, the international court

Beyond its illegitimacy, the ICC also fosters a dangerous illusion. Justice for wicked leaders and war criminals cannot be adjudicated in a courtroom. War and revolution are how tyrants face justice in the real world.

OPINION

Fallen soldier controversy felt deeper by Trump base

Both the right and the left care about harm and fairness, even if they do not understand them the same way. But the right cares far more about loyalty, authority and sanctity.


OPINION

My daughter blames herself when 1st grade crashes

I can’t help worrying: Will she internalize the combination of frustration, boredom and parental anxiety as a story about herself?


OPINION

GOP attempts to limit vote-by-mail put vets at risk

These are heroes who went to war to protect our constitutional rights, including our right to vote. Yet by refusing to expand vote-by-mail access, Trump is forcing them to wager their lives to participate in the very democracy they already risked everything to defend.

OPINION

Russia using media to wage war in Belarus. Sound familiar?

If you believe the message from the Kremlin, Russia currently has no plans to send police or military forces into neighboring Belarus. But it has sent in some reinforcements — to the news media, as part of a strategy that should stand as a warning to democracies around the world.


OPINION

Rest of Asia will miss Abe more than Japan will

This was a prime minister who, for better or worse, seemed to see himself first of all as a convener of and evangelizer to the democracies of a “free and open” Indo-Pacific.


Military folks not immune to Mondays

“Oh for criminy’s sake!” I spat when I realized the commissary was closed. After decades of military life, you’d think I’d remember that on Mondays, commissaries traditionally close for restocking. But there I was, once again, in the empty parking lot, my grocery list in hand.


OPINION

Cancel culture affects, but won’t control, US society

Fortunately, while “cancel culture” and political correctness have become stronger and more influential over the past few years, these movements have built-in limitations.

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  • OPINION

    Blame game won’t work in this Calif. fire season

    Many scientists and public officials also cite global warming, including Gov. Gavin Newsom. They may be right. But lightning was around long before we started burning fossil fuel.


  • OPINION

    MacArthur seeded Japan’s post-WWII flourishing

    More than any other Allied commander, MacArthur understood that the Pacific War was a contest of ideas as well as arms. Simply winning was not enough; Japan’s imperialist ideology had to be discredited and replaced with something better.


  • OPINION

    Trump harmed my prosecution of Bergdahl

    Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, like every American, deserved to have his actions judged, not on the campaign trail, not on cable news, but in a court of law.


  • OPINION

    Rust Belt’s pandemic resilience could help Trump win

    Midwestern states are relatively less exposed to the industries that have gotten hurt the worst.


  • OPINION

    Masks are good. Let’s be more specific about them.

    Unlike most other measures, masks don’t cost much and don’t interrupt our usual activities: They are among the cheapest, simplest and most effective ways to fight the virus and get the economy running again.


  • OPINION

    Watch the key ’16 numbers as you watch the ’20 polls

    As you watch the presidential contest and hear about the latest poll, keep in mind what happened in 2016 — how groups turned out and how they voted. Is President Donald Trump doing better or worse than he did four years ago?


  • OPINION

    Trump botched his speech and no one will care

    Trump is behind in the polls, and this was an opportunity to reach out beyond his strongest supporters. But there was nothing new here; even had it been well-written and well-delivered and well-staged, it was just a laundry list — a very long laundry list — of his usual lines.


  • Sound Off: What military spouses say about COVID-19

    Recently, I decided to change my “lurker” status, and post something in a popular military spouse Facebook group to which I belong. In my first post to the group, I asked how military families had been affected by COVID-19 restrictions.


  • OPINION

    US must invest to close security gaps in Arctic

    Rather than getting pulled into a reactionary race, we can use this moment to act strategically, on our own terms. We must identify our security gaps in the Arctic and invest in the foundational capabilities that will enable us to close our deficiencies in Arctic communications, domain awareness, enabling infrastructure, and general presence.


  • OPINION

    Recent clashes show why US forces should exit Syria

    Syria’s systemic issues can’t be resolved by the U.S. military — nor should Washington make the grave error of thinking Syria’s fractious politics is a U.S. problem.


  • OPINION

    Putin wins any staring contest with Germany, Europe

    Thanks to her biography of growing up in a communist regime and hating it, Merkel values truth and freedom, and she understands that “the West” only lives as an idea, one that couldn’t survive the abolition of reality.


  • OPINION

    Amid COVID, connect with military families in need

    While the federal government is working to respond, some of the challenges our military and veteran families are facing require more than a budgetary fix. We require a cultural shift in which civilians better understand and support these families — support that, in turn, also buttresses our nation’s national security.


  • OPINION

    Biden’s speech played to his advantage

    It sure seems as if the convention and Biden’s speech did what they had to do for those who were looking for reasons to support him.


  • OPINION

    Football is part of the college education experience

    Sports teach leadership, real-time decision-making, psychology, intuition, discipline and talent identification, among other valuable skills. That those skills are embodied in a physically competitive setting makes them no less valuable.


  • OPINION

    China tips its hand by how it treats Hong Kong

    U.S. government leaders must reinforce current actions with a sustained strategy to limit and restrain China’s expansion. This should include naval and air maneuvers, closer Taiwan ties, reinforcing alliance with Japan, and noncommercial exchanges with Hong Kong,


  • OPINION

    Post-convention challenges Biden faces

    Debate preparation has to be Biden’s top personal campaign priority, given the massive television audiences and the potential for high-level impact.


  • OPINION

    Military reasons to celebrate the Israel-UAE deal

    Above all, the deal is worrisome to Iran, because it reflects the Arab world’s growing recognition of Persian Iran’s long-term threat: its growing population and its persistent campaign to consolidate influence in Syria, parts of Iraq and other the Shiite Arab states.


  • OPINION

    The effort expended to win WWII then reshaped America

    The war had tremendous impacts on our country on many levels.


  • OPINION

    Why Putin is backing Belarus’ ungrateful despot

    Putin’s desire to see the uprising in Belarus fail is more important than sticking it to a former client who has sought independence. If Russians see their neighbors defying a dictator, it could give them ideas about defying their own.


  • OPINION

    What artificial intelligence is telling us about US-China relations

    Recent developments in China, including what comes out of its propaganda apparatus, suggest that at least one side is not ruling out a hot war. And that should concern everyone — more than any diplomatic tensions or saber-rattling on the surface.


  • OPINION

    Military readiness’ future is personalized, high-tech

    Any individual injury is a cause for concern. When tallied across the entire armed forces, chronic noncombat injuries create incredible challenges to long-term readiness.


  • OPINION

    Virtual learning can be crafted to better serve vets

    If you are confronting the challenge of converting to a virtual model, here is a framework that worked for us.


  • OPINION

    Cancer studies in military pilots lacking

    Our armed forces take risks and make sacrifices every day. They shouldn’t have the added concern that their jobs will give them cancer.


  • OPINION

    Where’s Madison Avenue’s COVID campaign?

    The one thing we’ve known how to do since the arrival of TV in American living rooms in the 1950s is use it to affect behavior. Why didn’t we do it this time?


  • COLUMN

    College sports embraced reckless greed; with the coronavirus crisis, the bill has come due

    The pandemic and its accompanying contraction is a painful and uncertain experience all across the country. But one good thing has come of it: It has tilted some leverage to athletes, on whom so many overpaid livings depend.


  • OPINION

    Coronavirus moralizing just adds to the recklessness

    The temptation to moralize is one of the strongest human propensities. When we feel it, however, we should recognize that it stems from the same kind of reckless impatience that worsened our response to COVID-19 in the first place.


  • OPINION

    NRA still has 1st Amendment rights

    By seeking to dissolve the NRA, the New York attorney general is knowingly creating a narrative that is potentially costly to the rule of law, that may create terrible precedents for other states and that potentially implicates the First Amendment.


  • OPINION

    Virtual college classrooms can stifle free speech, too

    Can online learning reduce the problem of self-censorship? All of a sudden, with the coronavirus changing how students engage with one another and their professors, that’s a pertinent question.


  • OPINION

    Hezbollah will not escape blame for Beirut blasts

    Most Lebanese will assume the ammonium nitrate belonged to the militia, for use in Syria and against Israel.


  • OPINION

    Long lines to vote are deadly in a pandemic

    The kinds of interventions used to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in stores are unlikely to be helpful at polling places if people still have to wait hours to vote.


  • OPINION

    Virtual work upends the office power dynamic

    In the physical world, work at a company or university exists in a hierarchical structure; in a virtual world, that work can get done in a more decentralized, democratic manner. Those who lacked influence suddenly can acquire much greater visibility and prominence, all without the approval of traditional gatekeepers. This potential for expanded participation from previously excluded voices is an underappreciated disruption that could change the way society operates.


  • OPINION

    Biden should give Maduro reason to worry

    One of the defining features of the Trump years has been the collapse of bipartisan consensus on foreign policy. There is at least one notable exception, however: support for a democratic transition in Venezuela.


  • OPINION

    Sports leagues are trying to salvage a year, but they should be trying to save a future

    Sports are back not because they know it's safe, not because they know it's right, not because they are evangelical about the value of their entertainment. They are just doing what they know: play, make money, repeat, never quit.


  • Appreciating the art of baloney

    Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, people have sought information to quell fear. Over the past five months, the advice given by “experts” has fluctuated wildly, despite having been given with seemingly well-informed confidence. By now, I think we realize that it’s all baloney, bunk, BS.


  • OPINION

    Seek a vaccine, but not at the expense of fighting the coronavirus now

    Vaccine development can’t come in a vacuum. It needs to be combined with addressing the social and political factors that exacerbate disease and limit the access of many Americans to basic medical care.


  • OPINION

    Dems just don’t understand Iran’s regime

    The Democratic Party’s draft platform for the 2020 election cycle sees the world as I did when I was a Model United Nations delegate: a place where foreign policy is a vessel for pious intentions, and informed by the common good.


  • OPINION

    Ocasio-Cortez calmly cut down a GOP ‘talking point’

    Her speech will mobilize and energize women, in particular, for whom Rep. Yoho’s language represents not a random mistake but the interior monologue of a political party that is led by a man who sounds just like Yoho.


  • OPINION

    Black military families’ sense of belonging

    To cultivate minority military families’ sense of belonging and safety in their communities — and thereby support mission readiness — the military will eventually need to go beyond symbolic changes. For now, the least we can do as a military community is to continue to affirm that African American military families belong.


  • OPINION

    The 15 signs of authoritarianism? We’ve seen them

    You probably are asking yourself, about now, “What are 15 signs my country is sliding into authoritarianism?”


  • OPINION

    Why ‘White’ should be capitalized, too

    One way of remaking race is through spelling — using or not using capital letters. A more potent way, of course, is through behavior.


  • UK response to COVID-19 has been world-class

    When the discussion turns to which countries have responded best to COVID-19 — and if nothing else, the pandemic frees up a lot of time for this debate — those most often mentioned are Taiwan, New Zealand and Vietnam. I would like to make a more surprising nomination: the U.K. COVID-19 is a potential scourge to billions around the globe, so the pertinent question is which country has done the most to stop it.


  • OPINION

    A changing Sudan doesn’t belong on US terror list

    To imagine that keeping Sudan on the terrorism-sponsors list will ward off counter-revolutionary forces is to greatly exaggerate American leverage — and to underestimate the protest movement that brought down Omar al-Bashir.


  • OPINION

    Help more vets, others save for medical expenses

    While my struggles aren’t over, my ability to use an ABLE account to pay for health services has changed my life in a powerful way.


  • The impossible task of parenting young adults

    I used to have a good grasp on parenting. From the time our three children were infants, through toddlerhood, the primary school years and even the dreaded teenage years, I used a fairly successful combination of expert-recommended techniques, mother’s intuition and common sense to raise our children. But now that they are adults, I am dumbfounded.


  • OPINION

    Fund efforts to combat COVID-19-driven suicide, overdose

    Politicians continue to present a false choice between two health pandemics unleashed by COVID-19, arguing that we must either fight the virus or stem the mental health fallout triggered by record unemployment and strict lockdowns.


  • A small moment when patriotism came easy

    I don’t recall exactly what I was doing that morning 37 years ago — probably at home wrangling my big hair with a curling iron and applying frosted purple eye shadow — but I remember ending up on the courthouse steps at noon, dressed in a red robe. I was in the second row of my high school’s choir, waiting for our cue to sing “America the Beautiful.” Thousands of onlookers waved flags and welcome home banners, honoring the man who prompted all this hubbub. Jimmy Stewart, Hollywood actor and hometown hero, had returned to quaint Indiana, Pa., to celebrate his 75th birthday.


  • The public has little faith in a return to school

    President Donald Trump recently began demanding that schools open in the fall. It’s a successor to his demand in the spring that the economy reopen full throttle, and it looks like it will be similarly ignored.


  • Regional cuisine: Best of times, wurst of times

    Living overseas during two military tours of duty in Europe provided our family with unique opportunities to learn about various cultures firsthand. We didn’t have to imagine what it would be like to be European, we simply lived it. Although some Americans shy away from sampling local foods, regional cuisine was an integral part of our overseas adventure.


  • Not a loner after all -- just a military spouse

    Prior to writing this column, I had never taken a test like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which has been used for decades in the military and other organizations to assess personality. I had always assumed I was an introvert, because over the course of 23 years as a Navy spouse, I spent so much time by myself. I mistakenly thought my loner personality was the reason why it was difficult to make friends every time we PCSed. Turns out, I was wrong.


  • OPINION

    Taliban not equipped to fix Afghanistan

    So far, the Taliban haven’t made a case for any economic or political plans, except to state their goal of reestablishing an Islamic emirate.


  • OPINION

    There should be more Hispanics in the senior ranks

    The issues concerning prejudice, discrimination, diversity and inclusion will probably not go away in my lifetime. However, the issue concerning the extremely low number of Hispanic Americans in the senior ranks is the result of a total lack of leadership awareness within our armed forces.


  • OPINION

    The reassuring context of Korea tensions

    South Korea’s remarkable domestic accomplishments have unfolded while the country becomes increasingly influential in global arenas.


  • OPINION

    Nuclear micro reactors: A powerful military tool

    So many of the advanced technologies that will be critical to fighting and winning future wars are extremely energy-intensive; that means winning the wars of the future will require concentrated sources of always-on, assured energy.

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