In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

The high cost of cutting back

The need to save money has always been the main justification used by the Pentagon to sell Congress on the politically unpopular task of closing military bases no longer needed by the military.

But the latest round of closings is doing anything but cutting costs. The estimate for the price tag for closing or realigning more than 200 bases and installations was pegged at $21 billion when Congress approved the plan in 2005.

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Are attitudes shifting on Iraq?

Even some critics of President Bush’s Iraq war policies are conceding there is evidence of recent improvements from a military standpoint. But Bush supporters and critics alike agree that these have not been matched by any noticeable progress on the political front.

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Zen and the art of exercise

Each of us has his (or her) own way of combating the national obesity crisis. Some people eat a lot in the hope that they will lose weight when they finally explode. Some go on diets, because it makes them feel miserable, which they equate with being virtuous.

Given these choices, we should all be exercising instead. I recommend rolling up the newspaper and performing calisthenics with it. While it may not do much for your biceps, pectorals, deltoids or even your asteroids, it could have a very healthy effect on newspaper circulation if it catches on.

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Facing the risk

In a remote corner of southern Europe the United States and Albania recently scored a quiet but important victory in the battle against the spread of weapons of mass destruction. This success points the way toward helping resolve some of the greatest threats the world faces from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

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Will China shoot itself in the foot?

The Web site’s headline was certainly arresting: “China threatens to trigger U.S. dollar crash.”

And so was the first paragraph of the story in Britain’s Daily Telegraph: “The Chinese government has begun a concerted campaign of economic threats against the United States, hinting that it may liquidate its vast holding of U.S. Treasury bonds if Washington imposes trade sanctions to force a yuan revaluation.”

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A web of stereotypes

Yet another cultural pillar as supposedly take-it-to-the-bank reliable as the freedoms guaranteed us in the U.S. Constitution has come to a crashing, disappointing tumble. The blogosphere is not wide-ranging, open to all manner of opinions and diverse in its viewpoints. In fact, according to some media reports, it is singularly white, male, somewhat sexist and possibly even racist. What, say you? How did this happen?

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Mass idiocy…

The Interstate I-35W bridge has collapsed in Minneapolis, and something else ought to collapse with it: the incessant, in-your-face, wholly indefensible ballyhoo that mass transit is America’s transportation salvation and therefore deserving of great, huge gobs of whatever public funding is available.

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The Iraq-Vietnam parallels

Some columnists, commentators and politicians, especially on the right, have been reluctant to acknowledge parallels between the Vietnam War and our current war in Iraq.

Nevertheless, the two have a lot in common: Undeclared by Congress, both wars emerged from murky motives, both were fought against a cultural backdrop that we didn’t fully understand but insisted on interpreting in terms of our own values, and both had uncertain goals and slippery definitions of victory. Why are we surprised that Iraq has turned into a Vietnamlike quagmire?

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Baseball’s shame

My three sons very seldom agree on anything. In fact a get-together often resembles gorillas squabbling over who is the real Alpha Male with each using his own athletic prowess as proof and then asking their sister to referee.

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