WASHINGTON - Former secretary of state, national security adviser and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger is, by all measures, a foreign policy heavyweight. At a recent black-tie dinner, he stood - stoop-shouldered and peering imperiously over his signature thick, black-frame glasses - and remarked: "Unilateral withdrawal is not victory."
WASHINGTON - There's nothing quite so helpful as a fatwa and threats of a Christian boycott to create buzz in advance of new movie.
In case you hadn't heard, young people these days - aka "the millennials" - are the most cynical and distrusting generation ever recorded. Only 19 percent think most people can be trusted.
It's on! Ostensible allies for the last couple years, Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., have commenced the battle for the unofficial title of conservative front-runner.
SAN DIEGO - Mexicans have a graphic saying that should serve as a warning to today's parents, not only south of the border but also in the United States. It loosely translates as: "If you raise crows, they'll scratch out your eyes."
WASHINGTON - I must need to smoke pot.
SAN DIEGO - You have to be careful with flags. They're not just harmless pieces of cloth meant to inspire patriotism and national pride. Those seemingly innocent sheets of fabric can lead to all sorts of trouble.
WASHINGTON - Vladimir Putin is a lucky man. And he's got three more years of luck to come.
WASHINGTON - When the going gets tough, well, why not just make the going easier?
Things are moving far too fast in Kiev, Moscow and Crimea to write about events there. But the past isn't going anywhere. Though you wouldn't know that from the way the Obama administration talks about it.
WASHINGTON - In matters cultural, California has always been America's petri dish. Whatever happened in California usually infiltrated the rest of the country.
SAN DIEGO - Selma. Mexico City. Johannesburg. Tiananmen. Tehran. Kiev. Caracas.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's new outreach initiative to help at-risk boys of color - "My Brother's Keeper" - is cause for cheer.
WASHINGTON - Henry Kissinger once pointed out that since Peter the Great, Russia had been expanding at the rate of one Belgium per year. All undone, of course, by the collapse of the Soviet Union, which Russian President Vladimir Putin called "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the (20th) century."
Down with stakeholders.
WASHINGTON -- Late, hesitant and reluctant as he is, President Barack Obama has begun effecting a workable strategy against the Islamic State.
Last Friday, the White House announced its "It's On Us" initiative aimed at combating sexual assaults on college campuses. I'm all in favor of combating sexual assault, but the first priority in combating a problem is understanding it.
WASHINGTON - Without prior knowledge or intent, I recently was inducted into a club I had no interest in joining, especially in light of the $200 initiation fee.
Everyone has an idea of what the role of parent means.
WASHINGTON - What was the Islamic State thinking? We know it is sophisticated in its use of modern media. But what was the logic of propagating to the world videos of its beheadings of two Americans (and subsequently a Briton) - sure to inflame public opinion?
By all means, let's destroy Islamic State, but let's talk about it first.
WASHINGTON - As a South Carolinian, it befalls me to examine the peculiarities afflicting our former governor and now-congressman Mark Sanford, who, contrary to decorum and taste, continues to demand attention.
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