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Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parilla addresses the media during a news conference in Vienna, Austria, Monday, June 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Greater expectations for Cuba

There's more to life than pursuit of the dollar. It's not a message necessarily expected from a billionaire president, but in reversing his predecessor's Cuba policies, President Trump reminded the world that prosperity grows in the sunshine of freedom, and dwindles in the darkness where democracy dies.

Sen. Chris Murphy, Connecticut Democrat, speaks Sept. 4, 2013, with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Calm now, more hysteria later

Keeping calm to carry on is not always regarded as a virtue in Washington, where there's always a television camera nearby or a reporter with a pad and a pencil at the ready. Making partisan noise is the name of the game with an infinite number of players. Never let a crisis go to waste, and all that.

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2012, file photo, a Sacramento police officer makes a traffic stop in Sacramento, Calif. State lawmakers are considering a proposal that would outlaw suspending a driver's license as a penalty for not paying traffic fines. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

Some of our cruisers are missing

No good deed goes unpunished, as the folk saying goes, and the Los Angeles Police Department has solved the mystery of what happened to three of their police cruisers. Three teenage cadets, 15, 16 and 17 years old, saw an opportunity for a joy ride, and took it.

Members of the Weapons Operations Division Salute Battery fire howitzers during a Change of Command ceremony at YPG, 25 miles north of Yuma, Ariz., Thursday, June 15, 2017. Matthews replaces outgoing YTC commander Lt. Col. James DeBoer. Yuma Proving Ground is a U.S. Army facility and one of the largest military installations in the world. (Randy Hoeft/The Yuma Sun via AP)

Ensuring military readiness

The first and only mission of an army is to defend the nation. The uncertainty that accompanies the warrior to battle will not be relieved by supplying additional distractions. That's why Secretary of Defense James Mattis must resist the voices urging him to endorse a policy to enable the "transgendered" to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces. "The fog of war," as von Clausewitz called it, will only thicken if the ranks are filled with men and women trying to deal with confusion over whether they're male or female.

Farewell to the valedictorians

It's commencement time at high schools across the fruited plain, and either the kids in Rutherford County, Tenn., are extraordinarily smart or their teachers have given up. The county's highly ranked Central Magnet School has 48 valedictorians -- a fourth of the class.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 14, 2017, about the shooting in Alexandria, Va. where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La., and others, where shot during a Congressional baseball practice. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A shooting war on Republicans

The only person responsible for shooting up a congressional baseball practice Wednesday in Alexandria, wounding a Republican congressman and several aides, is James Thomas Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill. He died of a gunshot wound, but it was brought on by the rage in Democratic ranks of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

In this May 21, 2017, file photo provided by The Public Theater, Tina Benko, left, portrays Melania Trump in the role of Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, and Gregg Henry, center left, portrays President Donald Trump in the role of Julius Caesar during a dress rehearsal of The Public Theater's Free Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar in New York. Teagle F. Bougere, center right, plays as Casca, and Elizabeth Marvel, right, as Marc Anthony. Delta Air Lines is pulling its sponsorship of New York's Public Theater for portraying Julius Caesar as the Donald Trump look-alike in a business suit who gets knifed to death on stage, according to its statement Sunday, June 11, 2017. (Joan Marcus/The Public Theater via AP)

The high price of free speech

The First Amendment is the most precious of all the rights enumerated in the Constitution, and it's a pity that Americans actually know so little about it. The First Amendment guarantees the right of Americans to say whatever they please, even the ugly and the irresponsible, but it does not guarantee there won't be a price to pay for saying certain things.

Tom Kalasho, founder and CEO of the National Organization of Iraqi Christians, gets emotional during a protest Monday, June 12, 2017 in Sterling Heights, Mich.  The arrests of dozens of Iraqi Christians in southeastern Michigan by U.S. immigration officials appear to be among the first roundups of people from Iraq who have long faced deportation, underscoring rising concerns in other immigrant communities.  (Todd McInturf/Detroit News via AP)  /Detroit News via AP)

Immigration policy by body count

Certain black-robed sentinels of the law have taken up the task of defending the nation from its enemies, declared and otherwise. This is a responsibility previously left to the president of the United States. If a wooden gavel is all that stands in the way of evildoers, Americans should be afraid, very afraid.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is sworn-in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, prior to testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about his role in the firing of James Comey, his Russian contacts during the campaign and his decision to recuse from an investigation into possible ties between Moscow and associates of President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Life in the dead end

The Democrats are addicted to cotton candy, and there's no scarcity of cotton candy on the Washington midway. But once someone bites into a cloud of cotton candy, the cloud dissolves in a flash, leaving only a splash of goo.

Ice Cube attends a ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, June 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

An angry cloud of snowflakes

Into each life a little rain must fall, as ancient wisdom teaches, and sometimes, when the season is right, the rain turns to snow. Many of these precious snowflakes fall on campus, but not all, and sometimes the snowflakes (mostly fragile millennials who imagine themselves, like snowflakes, unique) fall on unlikely places. Southern California is the last place to expect a heavy snowfall, but it happens. We can blame President Trump, apparently not global warming.

FILE - In this Friday, June 9, 2017 file photo, Iranians attend the funeral of victims of an Islamic State militant attack, in Tehran, Iran. Its strongholds in Iraq and Syria slipping from its grasp, the Islamic State group threatened to make this years Ramadan a bloody one at home and abroad. With attacks in Egypt, Britain and Iran among others and a land-grab in the Philippines, the group is trying to divert attention from its losses and win over supporters around the world in the twisted competition for jihadi recruits. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

Terror turnaround in Tehran

Terrorism is a scourge born in an evil place in the heart, extinguishing hope and breeding cynicism like little else. Now that the Islamic Republic of Iran has felt the lash of wholesale murder, perhaps the hard-hearted mullahs will reconsider their "holy" war against the world. Pigs, not necessarily the favorite animals of the followers of Muhammad, will sooner fly.

FILE- In this Friday, May 26 2017 file photo, a man stands next to flowers for the victims of Monday's bombing at St Ann's Square in central Manchester, England, Friday, May 26 2017. British police say everyone arrested over the Manchester concert bombing has been released without charge, but detectives are still not sure whether the attacker had accomplices. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)

The Tory disaster in Britain

Theresa May is hanging on as the prime minister in Great Britain, but her grip is slipping and the Tories are trying to get a blood transfusion from a tiny fourth (or maybe fifth) party from Northern Ireland, just to survive.

Former FBI Director James Comey recounts a series of conversations with President Donald Trump as he testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 8, 2017. Comey alleges Trump repeatedly pressed him for his "loyalty" and directly pushed him to "lift the cloud" of investigation by declaring publicly the president was not the target of the probe into his campaign's Russia ties. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Winners, losers and factoids

Sorting out the winners and losers in the James Comey soap opera is almost as much fun, for media groupies, as the hearing itself. Whether the sacked FBI director repaired his reputation, or Donald Trump was severely damaged by having mean things said about him, depends, as always, on partisan point of view.

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