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John M. Crisp: Brother, can you spare a dime?

My neighborhood is natural habitat for beggars and panhandlers. The freeway is only a few blocks away, and its overpasses often harbor bedraggled men with cardboard signs asking for a handout. Garbage cans and recycling bins are regularly gleaned for aluminum and other valuables before the city picks them up.

The climate president?

In his first term, President Obama put his political muscle behind passing health-care reform and financial regulations instead of a global warming bill, missing the best opportunity ever to establish a comprehensive national climate program. Then he hardly mentioned global warming.

Doyle McManus — Old echoes in America’s new Middle East policy

Here’s the nightmare scenario that kept Obama administration officials awake at night this summer as they watched the black-masked guerrillas of Islamic State sweep across Iraq: First, the insurgents could invade Baghdad, toppling Iraq’s government and forcing a Saigon-style evacuation of the U.S. Embassy. Then they could move into Jordan, a close U.S. ally that has maintained a peaceful border with Israel for a generation. From there, they could even threaten Saudi Arabia, the linchpin of the world’s oil markets.

Jay Ambrose — Amendment threatens free speech

By recently voicing full-hearted approval of a bill eviscerating the First Amendment guarantee of free speech, Senate Democrats showed themselves to be among the most extreme, irresponsible, self-serving and historically ignorant establishment politicians of this era. If they should actually get their way — and they conceivably could short of voter outrage — we could someday see a once strapping American spirit hopelessly hobbled when imperiousness comes its way.

Christine Flowers — Ray Rice episode being irresponsibly simplified by ratings-hungry media

I’ve never been a victim of domestic violence, but I’ve loved people who have been. I say “people” because some of the victims have been men, despite the general “Burning Bed” stereotype of the muscled brute beating the living daylights out of the 100-pound female. Violence is violence, victims are victims and abusers are abusers regardless of gender, color, religion, and affluence. This is an equal opportunity horror.

Rekha Basu — U.S. grants Guatemalan woman sanctuary … from abusive husband

Five years ago, a federal immigration judge refused to grant political asylum to a Guatemalan woman who had fled to America after years of severe battery by her husband. The judge didn’t doubt her story, but said she couldn’t claim membership in a particular social group that had a well-founded fear of persecution in her homeland, as asylum claims require. The judge deemed the ongoing abuse of Aminta Cifuentes to be arbitrary criminal acts by her husband.

Christine Flowers — Journalists’ deaths serve reminder of freedoms enjoyed back home

Often, when I write something that is in the vaguest of terms controversial (as in, we shouldn’t change the names of our local train stations) I’ll get at least a few emails telling me to consider another “career.” There is the presumption that I’m a journalist, and not a very good one at that. One recent reader took umbrage at a column I wrote on immigration and sent me a not-so-veiled threat. Others have used every four letter word in their rich vocabularies to tell me how much I’m appreciated.