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We can’t let the culture scolds win

The belief that “cultural appropriation” is offensive or even evil is hardly new; when members of one culture adopt elements of another, discomfort is a fairly common response. Yet the scolds seem to be gaining momentum. Many college campuses, including my own (where the issue is sombreros), have been the scene of “appropriation” controversies.

John M. Crisp: It’s still OK to read a book

I harbor a fond nostalgia for the technologies of my youth. I keep six or seven old typewriters in my office, long after I typed the last word on any of them. In one closet I store an old-fashioned slide projector. And a turntable that will play 78s. A box camera that shoots film. A View-Master.

Doyle McManus: Why the rebel candidates are on the rise

It wasn’t difficult for pundits to spin instant explanations for why “outsider” candidates such as Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders have been surging in recent polls. Opinion surveys have long shown that American voters are unhappy about the state of the nation, frustrated with politics as usual and skeptical that conventional politicians can fix the problem. Lately, however, voters seem to have reached the “I can’t take it anymore” stage.

What does it mean to be poor in America?

According to the Census Bureau’s new annual poverty report, 46.7 million Americans lived in poverty in 2014. This finding is surprising since government spent more than $1 trillion in 2014 on cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted social services for poor and low income Americans. (That figure does not include Social Security or Medicare.)

Jim Walsh — The secret to growth on the Harbor

The City of Aberdeen has begun changing the lanes on several major streets in its downtown area. This process has caused some controversy. The streets are being repainted so that they have fewer lanes for moving cars and more room for parking and riding bikes. Some local merchants like the changes because they believe they’ll make stopping and shopping easier. Other citizens argue that the changes will make traffic congestion worse.

Rekha Basu — What Trump’s success says about us

Last month, after Donald Trump had called undocumented immigrants drug smugglers and rapists, tweeted that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush likes “Mexican illegals because of his wife,” who was born in Mexico, declared Arizona Sen. John McCain was no war hero because he was captured, and said former Texas Gov. Rick Perry wore glasses to appear smart, Trump addressed an overflow crowd in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He derided rivals Perry and Lindsey Graham — “the senator from South Carolina, who South Carolina doesn’t even like” — for criticizing him. And, the New York businessman noted gleefully, after criticizing him, both slid in the polls.

Jim Walsh — Democrats’ stance on early primary was less than democratic

During the recent Grays Harbor County Fair, the local GOP ran a presidential straw poll. In a bit of a surprise, Dr. Ben Carson won. He was followed — in order of support — by Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Scott Walker. Interest was very strong; the number of votes cast was far larger than for similar polls in years past. There were even a few write-in votes for Bernie Sanders.

How dry, how long?

California in the Great Drought is a living diorama of how the future is going to look across much of the United States as climate change sets in. Like hippies and “dude,” wine bars and hot tubs, mega-churches and gay rights, what gets big in California goes national soon enough. Now, the large dark bruise spreading across the state on the U.S. Drought Monitor map is a preview of a bone-dry world to come.