Commentary Upfront Blog

  • Why walls rise -- and must fall

    Some walls are necessary, but before building any wall it is important to understand what is being walled in and what is being walled out.

  • The calm trust that pays dividends

    We can hover and worry about the economy or our finances, about the weather or our tomatoes. We can also just do our due diligence and then trust what takes place.

  • What it means to restore, and repair

    The 21st century may be the moment humans leave the 'use it up and throw it away' mentality behind.

  • Countering a digital jihad

    Conflicts in the Middle East are drawing in young recruits from Europe and elsewhere. Needed now: An effort to channel that fervor in more constructive directions.

  • The power of patience

    Kids constantly test parents -- and often just to get a reaction. Whatever that reaction is, experts say, parental patience is essential.

  • Saving the humans

    The late 20th-century shift away from whale hunting to whale saving didn't just help those endangered creatures. It was an historic human leap in the direction of environmentalism.

  • The 'country cousin' in us all

    From music to comedy, literature to reality TV, country culture has long amused, fascinated , and even educated Americans.

  • How the past can power the future

    Hydrocarbons play a crucial role in today's economy. They are also crucial in fueling the transition away from hydrocarbons.

  • Practical planet care

    You don’t have to believe in the detrimental effects of human industry on the environment to be green today. Reducing dependence -- on big government, big utilities, and big energy -- appeals to rugged individualists as much as to tree-huggers.

  • Scottish vote: preserving the essence of enlightenment

    The Age of Empire is over. But the Age of Enlightenment -- born in England -- remains a work in progress in a world still struggling with intolerance, superstition, fear, and aggression

  • A talent for taming a primal force

    The war on forest fire is just over a century old. It has had heroes, tragedies, and shifting strategies about when and how to send young men and women into harm's way.

October 30, 2014

Photos of the day 10/30

Hindu devotees pray while standing in the Arabian Sea as they worship the Sun god Surya during the Hindu religious festival 'Chatt Puja' in Mumbai, India. Hindu women fast for the whole day for the betterment of their family and the society during the festival.

More Upfront Blog
  • Countering a digital jihad

    Conflicts in the Middle East are drawing in young recruits from Europe and elsewhere. Needed now: An effort to channel that fervor in more constructive directions.

  • John Hughes has been editor, publisher, diplomat -- but at heart he's a reporter

    Despite seismic shifts in the world of journalism in recent years, the intrepid curiosity of a reporter remains unchanged.

  • Building for a better world

    Hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers were 'makers' long before the term was coined. What's new today is the combination of networking, open-source knowledge transfer, crowdfunding, and relatively cheap machines such as 3-D printers.

  • Progress pauses, but never stops

    Whether you consider progress real or wishful thinking depends on how you measure it, not just short term versus long term but ideas versus appearances.

  • Learning compassion from combat

    Wars end. Nations move on. But for those who fought, the memories of combat -- of pain, loss, and desperate choices -- don't easily fade, which is why compassionate, effective ways of coping with war's aftermath are so important.

  • Rethinking the old '9 to 5'

    Sometimes by choice, sometimes involuntarily, the US labor force is shifting from a one-size-fits-all work week to more flexible arrangements. Not everybody can swing it, but those who can often discover that there's more to life than labor.

  • Is college worth what it costs?

    Deciding on a college, getting into it, and paying for it is a huge decision for most high school graduates and their families. Is all of the drama, sacrifice, and debt worth it?

  • Keeping new empires at bay

    One hundred years ago, the age of empire came crashing down. Seventy-five years ago, the age of ideology sparked the cataclysm of World War II. Today's world has its challenges, but the balance still tips in favor of freedom.

  • Good government: the happiness factor

    Over the centuries governments have been feared, revered, and made the butt of jokes. The best governments do one thing right: they add to the balance of human happiness.

  • Europe's brush with its past

    However the crisis in Ukraine plays out, it has had a profound affect on the thinking of European leaders. Overnight, a continent that seemed to be on a holiday from history has had to grapple with the question of what it stands for.

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