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In this Sept. 30, 2016 photo, teacher Regina Yang leads a bilingual Korean-English language immersion classes at Porter Ranch Community School in Los Angeles. As the rest of America debates stringent limits on immigration, California voters are considering going the other direction: They will decide whether to repeal a nearly two-decade-old prohibition that bars schools from teaching English learners in any language other than English. Proposition 58 has drawn virtually no attention, unlike the division sowed in 1998 when the original initiative went before voters. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

A growing shortage of cultural glue

It's natural to feel out of place in a strange land. But Americans can sometimes feel that way in their own land. The comfortable bonds of a common culture are weakening as the pace of migration quickens, and with rapidly shifting social currents goes the fundamental means of communicating in a shared language. A common language is the glue that holds a culture together. The familiar sound of English is fading in some quarters even as it spreads across the planet.

FILE - In this June 26, 2017, file photo, protesters take part in a rally to oppose a new Texas "sanctuary cities" bill that aligns with the president's tougher stance on illegal immigration, in San Antonio, Texas, outside of the Federal Courthouse. With a rapid succession of policy changes and sharp rise in arrests, the Trump administration has created a surge of demand among immigrants in need of legal help, and hundreds of lawyers have started taking on immigration cases. But the systems for finding and reporting fraud and misconduct remain byzantine and allow bad lawyers to sometimes rack up dozens of complaints before being stopped. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

A fair chance for prospective immigrants

"You can't win if you don't play" is the slogan pitched to prospective buyers of lottery tickets, some of whom are put off by the observation of certain mathematicians that your chances of winning the lottery are about the same whether you buy a ticket or not. Prospective immigrants waiting to get into the United States deserve something better than a lottery ticket.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., flanked by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., left, and Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, talks about advancing the GOP agenda for tax reform, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The tipping point of tax reform

As the Republicans take their mark in the tax overhaul race, the obstacle is not the clock but the mischief of the naysayers who are eager to tie the reformers' shoelaces together. That would stop the race if not the clock. With the nation's prosperity on the line, everything is at stake for both special interests and ordinary Americans.

Kate Steinle was fatally shot on July 1, 2015, allegedly by illegal immigrant Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez. The U.S. House on Thursday passed Kate's Law, a federal provision aimed at penalizing illegal immigrants who return to the United States after being deported. (Associated Press)

Justice on trial

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, who was arrested two years ago for killing 32-year-old Kate Steinle, out on an evening stroll with her father on the San Francisco waterfront, finally went on trial for murder last week. Mr. Zarate, a career criminal, is something of an illegal-immigration artist. He had been deported five times.

U.S. Army Pfc. Amy Alexanders dresses in her Marne Standard battle gear before taking part in a physical demands study, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, in Ft. Stewart, Ga. The Army is conducting a study that will determine how all soldiers, including women, for the first time, will be deemed fit to join its fighting units from infantry platoons to tank crews. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Conscripting women for war

Women have voluntarily served in the military ranks of the United States, serving with men through all the nation's wars, and with great distinction. The question now before the makers of defense policy is whether women should be required to sign up for the draft and risk the rigors of the battlefield whether they want to or not.

FILE - In this Oct. 31, 2015 file photo, Minnesota fans celebrate Halloween during the first half of an NCAA college football game between Minnesota and Michigan in Minneapolis. Administrators at some universities across the country are increasingly concerned in 2017 that certain costumes are becoming flash points in the campus debate over race and culture. While not outright prohibiting any costume, administrators are using letters, campus forums and advertising campaigns to encourage students to pick outfits that dont offend their classmates of color. (AP Photo/Paul Battaglia, File)

The politically correct goblin

Tonight's the night of ghosts, goblins and angry witches, and the wise man and sagacious woman knows to avoid a ghost or a wicked witch. But in most precincts that's still a misdemeanor. Running afoul of the politically correct dress code, particularly on campus, is a felony.

Former President Barack Obama. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

The train wreck, coming 'round the bend

Anyone insured under Obamacare should be careful not to stand among or near sharp objects this week when he looks at the annual round of Obamacare enrollment. He'll faint at the sight of what Obamacare will cost over the next year. The average exchange prices for the more popular Obamacare plans will rise 34 percent.

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore won the Republican nomination in a run off race against Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama. (Associated Press photographs)

'Insurrection' in Alabama

Some of the Republicans who didn't get the memo are forming their familiar circular firing squad again, this time to assist the Democrats in taking down Roy Moore, the Republican candidate in the Dec. 12 special election in Alabama to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Senate.

In this image provided by the U.S. Army, a carry team of soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), carry the transfer case during a casualty return for Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, of Lyons, Ga., at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Oct. 5, 2017. U.S. and Niger forces were leaving a meeting with tribal leaders when they were ambushed on Oct. 4 and Wright and three other soldiers were killed. There were about a dozen U.S. troops and a company of Niger forces, for a total of about 40 service members in the joint mission. (Pfc. Lane Hiser/U.S. Army via AP)

The borderless war

Thanks to a cowboy hat and a sharp tongue, a moment of fame has stretched into two moments for a Florida congresswoman. The uproar over who said what to whom when President Trump called the widow of an American soldier killed in the defense of his country becomes travesty through the dark arts of politics.

Immigrant rights supporters join hands as they demonstrate in favor of Congress passing a 'Clean Dream Act' that will prevent the deportation of young immigrants known as Dreamers working and studying in the U.S., Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, in Miami. President Trump announced plans to end a program protecting them. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Rocking the demographic

The liberal case for surging immigration as the essential element of healthy population growth needs a fresh coat of whitewash. As immigration reform advocates attempt to blaze a pathway to legal status for millions of illegals to follow, their formula is showing signs of wear. Immigrant hands, legal or illegal, are needed to turn the crank on the great American economic machine, and immigrant women are no longer having babies in the numbers they once did.

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie speaks at a campaign rally at the Washington County Fairgrounds, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Abingdon, Va. (Andre Teague/The Bristol Herald-Courier via AP) ** FILE **

Stumble in the stretch

Whether for horses or political candidates, nothing evaporates quite like a double-digit lead when the favorite loses the momentum in the homestretch. Only three weeks ago Ralph Northam held a 13-point polling lead in the race for governor in Virginia, and the latest polls now show Mr. Northam in a dead heat with the Republican candidate, Ed Gillespie.

People gather in front of the Palau Generalitat in Barcelona, Spain awaiting for Catalan President Carles Puigdemont's speech Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. Spain announced an unprecedented plan Saturday to sack Catalonia's separatist leaders, install its own people in their place and call a new local election, using previously untapped constitutional powers to take control of the prosperous region that is threatening to secede. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)

Honoring homage to Catalonia

Words matter, and sometimes language matters most of all, as the crisis in Spain eloquently demonstrates. The crisis is the result of a long, bitter history of the Catalan people who now seem determined to break away, establish their own nation, and enthrone their own language.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is reported to have his first indictment from a federal grand jury in Washington, and the target could be taken into custody as soon as Monday. (Associated Press/File)

Collusion confusion

A good dog comes home clenching a bone in his teeth. A bad dog drags home a bloody remnant of skeleton. Bad dogs are on the loose around Washington and they're beginning to dig a little too deep into the Russian collusion scandal, so called. Sensitive noses in polite places are beginning to detect a stink worse than something from the swamp, and it's not coming from the Trump White House.

In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks at a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. Khamenei on Wednesday urged Europe to do more to back the 2015 nuclear deal after President Donald Trump refused to re-certify the pact and European companies have rushed into the Iranian markets since the landmark accord. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

The audacity of mendacity

Barack Obama might call it the audacity of hope. Others more skeptical might call it "the mendacity of hope." Two years ago when Barack Obama struck his nuclear deal with the mullahs in Iran he set out to achieve something more lasting than merely limiting Iran's ability to wage nuclear war.

Commonly referred to as the Peace Cross, this is a picture of the historic Bladensburg, Maryland, World War I Veterans Memorial. (Photo/Liberty Institute website)

Size matters, to these judges

The campaign to erase the nation's history continues, outrage following outrage, the goofy replacing the merely ridiculous. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which sits in Richmond, in its wisdom has ruled that a 40-foot Peace Cross erected 92 years ago to honor the military dead of World War I is "unconstitutional."

Handcuffs used on men arrested for prostitution solicitation sit on a table at a hotel in Minot, N.D., on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015 in this file photo. (AP Photo/Martha Irvine) **FILE**

The myth of the happy hooker

The state has tried to eliminate, regulate and exploit the oldest profession for centuries, and no one has come up with a lasting formula. But now the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has cleared the way for "prostitution activists" to proceed with a lawsuit in a lower court to overturn the California law banning the trade, and the suit may have constitutional consequences.

Participants in the annual Trick or Treat Main Street go from business to business for candy and other items during the evening Halloween celebration, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, in Pittston, Pa. (Dave Scherbenco/The Citizens' Voice via AP)

Ghosts on the run

Having given the back of the hand to Christopher Columbus, the snowflakes have gone to work on another suspect holiday, this one the preserve of ghosts and goblins. Just when everyone thought it was safe to be dead, pious ire of the politically correct is turned toward the Eve of All Hallows.

FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2017 file photo Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam pauses during an interview in Richmond, Va. Northam said he favors stricter controls on gun ownership. He's backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's group as well as by former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was grievously wounded in a 2011 shooting. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A costly Democratic error

The public-opinion polls in the Virginia gubernatorial race are tightening. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the Democrat who had opened a comfortable lead over Ed Gillespie, the Republican, over the summer, has only a tiny lead in most polls now, and a new Monmouth survey puts Mr. Gillespie up by a point.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., left, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., walk to a news conference on the Republican tax and budget proposals, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

'Divided we fall'

"United we stand, divided we fall" was a warning of the consequences of political fissures in the age of Lincoln, and it's no less on point now. The United States is splitting in two along political lines, and the ominous trend could spell disaster one day soon enough. Unless Americans can set aside their differences and make common cause about something, the nation could fall into the widening gulf. America is the exceptional nation, but not a nation immune to all risks.

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