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 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.

  • Oil, gas, and the Saudi factor

    Saudi Arabia's oil wealth gives it enormous influence in the world. Decisions made in Riyadh are felt from Moscow to North Dakota, Venezuela to Iran. 

  • Caring for our food at its source

    The pleasures of dinner can be quickly spoiled when you consider where it came from. But that consideration is behind the ethical food movement.

  • Mining character for clues

    We study people's pasts – especially the pasts of people who rise to prominence – hoping to understand how they will act in the future. But humans can always surprise us.

More Upfront Blog
  • 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.

  • The complex world of simplification

    Like most issues, the immigration issue in America looks simple. It's worth looking more closely.

  • In modern education, metrics 'r' us

    Measuring achievement is the hallmark of the current approach to education. But is passing tests the only point of learning?

  • 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.

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