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Taiwan can mediate

The tensions in Asia are bound to undergo changes ("An American 'wall of missiles' to deter China" Web, April 25), but there is a mediator available to ease these in the South China Sea. Instead of positioning the arsenal platforms to counter China, Washington should take a close look at Taiwan's role within the region and determine how Taiwan can unravel the dangerous escalation in U.S.-China relations.

Supporters of House Bill 2 gather at the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, April 11, 2016, during a rally in support of a law that blocks rules allowing transgender people to use the bathroom aligned with their gender identity. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Blues in the toilet

''Growing up" once meant learning to use your head, appreciating the common sense that seeing is believing. Now a boy can stand in front of a mirror and see a girl, and vice versa. But when the mind refuses to accept what the eyes see, the path ahead leads to self-delusion, which has become the national sport.

President Barack Obama with Cuban President Raul Castro prepare to shake hands at their joint news conference at the Palace of the Revolution, Monday, March 21, in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Popping the Cuban balloon

There's an old Russian proverb that if you spit in the face of a weakling he will give thanks for the rain. This should be a Cuban proverb, to describe Barack Obama's not such an excellent adventure to Havana. Raul Castro, the Cuban president, did everything short of expectoration to make the American president grovel for the regime's affections.

This image provided by the Library of Congress shows Harriet Tubman, between 1860 and 1875. A Treasury official said Wednesday, April 20, 2016, that Secretary Jacob Lew has decided to put Tubman on the $20 bill, making her the first woman on U.S. paper currency in 100 years. (H.B. Lindsley/Library of Congress via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

No whitewash for Harriet Tubman

Sometimes the government does the right thing for the wrong reasons. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's decision to put Harriet Tubman's face on the nation's currency was the right thing to do, even if it was done as a way to demote Andrew Jackson, the nation's seventh president, to the back of the bill.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Thursday, April 21, 2016, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Another 'teaching moment' missed

Donald Trump's most important contribution to the presidential campaign is his brisk and bold challenge to the political correctness that is strangling the body politic, and he made the full-throated challenge when no other politician, Democrat or Republican, dared do it. A vibrant democracy depends on every citizen's respect for the right of everyone to express an opinion, particularly if the opinion is unpopular.

In this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo, part of the hull of the capsized USS Oklahoma is seen at right as the battleship USS West Virginia, center, begins to sink after suffering heavy damage, while the USS Maryland, left, is still afloat in Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. A sailor killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor is being buried with full military honors nearly 75 years after the bombing. Machinist's Mate 1st Class Vernon Luke of Green Bay, Wisconsin is being buried at a veterans cemetery in Honolulu on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. (U.S. Navy via AP, File)

The more things change ...

The French, as usual, have a word for it, and sometimes more than one word: "The more things change, the more they are the same." After the cataclysmic destruction of World War II the optimists thought the patterns of political life were changed forever. Nothing of the old could remain.

Warming up to the Earth

There's more than one way to answer the call of nature, and it isn't necessary to await the arrival of Earth Day to demonstrate a reverence for the blue-hued orb we call home.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at Stephen Decatur High School, Wednesday, April 20, 2016 in Berlin, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Waking up to reality

The Republican establishment woke up Wednesday morning to the reality it has dreaded, that the party might soon have to practice thinking positive thoughts about Donald Trump. The losers on Tuesday could start by cooling the doomsday rhetoric, understanding that they might have to eat some of the harsh words they have been saying about him.

Supporters of fair immigration reform gather in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, April 18, 2016. The Supreme Court is taking up an important dispute over immigration that could affect millions of people who are living in the country illegally. The Obama administration is asking the justices in arguments today to allow it to put in place two programs that could shield roughly 4 million people from deportation and make them eligible to work in the United States. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

When immigration law is 'upside down'

Americans can disagree over whether President Obama has fulfilled his promise of fundamental "hope and change," but it's the showdown over immigration policy that may determine whether he leaves as his legacy a fundamentally transformed America.

A demonstrator protests the Federal Reserve's failure to bail out Puerto Rico outside International House, Thursday, April 7, 2016, in New York. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen appeared with former Federal Reserve chairs Ben Bernanke, Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan, who appeared via video conference, in a panel designed to address millennial and illuminate how the Chairs' philosophies and personal beliefs impact decision-making with international implications. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Saving Puerto Rico

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a small island, population 3.5 million, but it's counting on Washington thinking that the commonwealth, like Wall Street banks and Detroit automobile manufacturers, is too big to fail. Decades of out-of-control management has pushed it to the brink of financial collapse.

President-elect Barack Obama, left, stands with Secretary of State-designate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., right, at a news conference in Chicago, Dec. 1, 2008. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

What is Obama waiting for?

At 54 and soon to be unemployed (though with a nice pension and a feast of travel perks), Barack Obama may well believe that there's still something in the political world ahead for him. Congress has nothing for an ex-president -- been there and done that. But there are options.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a Women for Hillary event in New York, Monday, April 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Hillary's gender wage-gap fallacy

Most men love women. Every man owes his life to the woman who gave him birth, and many men have sisters with whom they shared their toys and DNA, and finally a wife with whom he shares his life. That's why men are rankled by the message Hillary Clinton harps on, that men have a bias against women in the workplace. Men get a bigger paycheck, and size matters.

President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, to talk about the breakthrough in the Iranian nuclear talks.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

No more the supplicant

The United States was only yesterday a supplicant at the oil bazaar, counting on the Saudis to be merciful by keeping OPEC a reasonable merchant, but that was then, and the United States is an oil exporter now. No more supplicant. America might even make a credible argument for membership in OPEC.

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