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  • Ask Miss America contestants about Syria

    The Miss America pageant’s defenders argue it 'empowers' women rather than demeans them. It’s time we put that claim to the test by asking them to speak their minds on controversial issues like Syria, especially as some contestants parlay their pageant experience into politics.

  • Early African-American workers in DC were more than silent witnesses

    To understand America’s past-to-present we would do well to recognize and know more about those African-Americans edited out of the nation’s narratives – from my great-grandfather E.A. Savoy to Eugene Allen, the White House butler fictionalized in the film 'Lee Daniels' The Butler.'

  • 7 reasons to be optimistic about Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

    Experts are understandably skeptical about success for the renewed peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. But key conditions and circumstances are different than in the past. Here are seven reasons to be optimistic about the latest round of Mideast peace talks.

  • How to secure Syria's chemical weapons

    President Obama is willing to push for a deal in which the international community would verifiably secure Syria's chemical weapons. That course will be difficult to pursue. But it is doable. Here's what's required.

  • 3 takeaways from Obama's speech on Syria

    President Obama addressed the nation last night in a speech on Syria. He made an impassioned case for targeted strikes against Syria but also heralded the potential of recent diplomatic developments. Here are three key takeaways from his address.

  • Why Obama's old bag of tricks won't persuade Congress, Americans on Syria

    No political spin can negate the political risk associated with supporting intervention in Syria. As Obama makes his case for military strikes to Congress and the American people, he should offer straight talk on why he thinks his policy is in the long-term interest of the country.

  • Dear Readers: Welcome to 'Common Ground' and other changes in Monitor Commentary

    The Monitor's Commentary section introduces a new feature, called 'Common Ground, Common Good,' that seeks to soften polarizing debates over issues that sharply divide people. We are also reviving the popular forum, 'One Minute Debate: 3 Views,' that offers a 'third' alternative.

  • Americans must mobilize for moderation

    When I concluded that political polarization in Congress would not diminish in the short term, I decided not to seek a fourth term in the US Senate. I am taking my fight for bipartisanship outside the institution. Congress responds to pressure from citizens. We must act.

  • 8 ways you can help define a political center

    Former Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine suggests that citizens engage with established groups that are already working for political common ground. Here are eight that she recommends. 

  • Do Americans love their dogs too much?

    Americans spend $61 billion on their pets each year. It would take $20 billion to end homelessness. If dogs are as smart as we think they are, they'd go without a jewel-studded collar or cable subscription to DOGTV if it meant giving humans a place to sleep at night.

  • 7 big myths about marijuana

    The Justice Department recently announced it would not enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in Washington and Colorado. This is regrettable. Legalizing marijuana endangers public health and safety. But that's not what these seven popular myths maintain.

  • US must wait for UN chemical weapons report before acting on Syria

    President Obama and Congress should wait for the UN secretary general’s chemical weapons report before using force in Syria. No nation will be bound by the report, but it can confer legitimacy on strikes against Bashar al-Assad and weaken the legitimacy of those shielding him.

  • Pro-life groups don't really protect the unborn

    Pro-life groups funnel tremendous resources into a legal war against abortion in the US without providing adequate practical support for women to maintain pregnancies. Yet not being able to afford a child is one of the main reasons women have abortions.

  • Global Viewpoint G20 should break UN deadlock, demand removal of chemical weapons in Syria

    The G20 nations can bypass deadlock in the UN Security Council over Syria by appealing to the General Assembly to call for and oversee the removal of all chemical weapons from Syria. Unlike military strikes by the US, this would pave the way for a ceasefire and peace settlement.

  • Seven tips for making your first year of college a success

    The first semester of college is just one new thing after another. It’s challenging, exciting, and sometimes a little scary. As a professor who’s taught hundreds of firstyear students, I'd like to offer seven tips to get your first year of college off to a good start.

  • America – and Obama – must be ready to act alone in strike against Assad, Syria

    President Obama's decision to seek congressional approval and global support for a strike against Syria is laudable. But the US – and Mr. Obama – might have to go it alone. Chemical weapons are in a terrible class by themselves. The world must maintain its taboo against them.

  • Back to School Night? Let's talk about your child's wedding

    At Back to School Night, I'm going to ask parents to use a different lens to view their children's education. Instead of looking ahead to college or a job, I'll ask them to look back from their child's wedding. What qualities should their children express then? How do we shape those now?

  • Seven reasons US intervention in Syria is a bad idea

    Following Bashar al-Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria, pro-interventionists say America has a moral obligation to get involved. While understandable, this view is wrong for seven key reasons, both moral and pragmatic.

  • US must take substantial military action in Syria now

    The United States has a moral and legal obligation to protect Syrian civilians from the murderous Assad regime and help end Syria's bloody civil war. Military action is supported by international law, historical precedent, and humanitarian mandates.

  • Global Viewpoint Bo Xilai trial was a satire, but still helped to further rule of law in China

    In an interview, He Weifang, one of China’s most pre-eminent advocates of the rule of law and judicial independence, says the trial of former politburo member Bo Xilai was a satire – but it still helped to advance rule of law in China.

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