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The Nogales, Sonora, side of the fence at the border.

Mexico is no longer the most common country of origin for immigrants, yet the idea of expanding the fence along the Mexican border remains a key talking point in the current Republican primary campaign. Read more»

Trump at a July 16 rally in New Hampshire.

Heroic or pathetic: Which is Donald Trump to you? If the former, you need no encouragement to applaud his flamboyant proclamations, even when they cast aspersions on no less a national icon than John McCain. But if you’re one to dismiss Trump’s oratory as merely the ravings of an egotist with too much money on his hands, think again. Read more»

Looking up at the statue of Blind Justice on front of the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse in Alexandria, Va., a 1994 work by American sculptor Raymond Kaskey.

Judges are reassuring figures. Their dispassionate approach, caution and knowledge of the law bolster our confidence in America’s cherished system of justice. Except when they point out why much of that confidence is misplaced. Or advise us that, as Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski puts it, “Although we pretend otherwise, much of what we do in the law is guesswork.” Read more»

Be afraid. Be very afraid. And get armed. This message is being heeded by more and more Americans. It’s noteworthy for its own sake, but also because it mixes old beliefs with new ones – all as questionable as they are influential. Violent crime rates across the nation sank by more than half in the 1990s, according to official figures, and remain near 20-year lows. For most citizens, the U.S. hasn’t been this safe since the 1960s. Read more»

Chances are if someone asked you where you’d place yourself on the socio-economic ladder, you’d say “middle class.” And why not? Being middle class is almost synonymous with being American. But today, the chances are increasing that you may no longer make the middle class cut. Read more»

The linked issues of immigration and America’s growing Hispanic population have generated what has become a permanent public argument. Everybody in the country, it seems – especially in Arizona -- has an opinion, and often a fierce one. So it might be worth hearing what the issue looks like from outside the U.S., especially from a viewpoint that prides itself on a rational, balanced approach to even the hottest of topics. Read more»

“It’s the most perfect feeling in the world to know you’ve hit a guy just right, that you’ve maximized the physical pain he can feel . . . . You feel the life just go out of him.” No, these aren’t the words of a hit man or a serial killer. This celebration of savagery was offered by former NFL star Michael Strahan, now a TV commentator known for his smiling, affable ways. Read more» 1

Americans were shocked when they saw NFL star Ray Rice punch out his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City elevator and drag her out, unconscious. And they were mystified when the victim not only subsequently married Rice but also stepped forward to defend him. Why? These are everyday events. Read more»

These are far from fat times for the economy, in Arizona or most of the country. But there's one potent economic weapon we can still rely on: our entrepreneurial spirit. We innovate, we invent, we risk it all to create new ventures. Or, we did. Lately, it seems, not so much. Read more»

The recent Arizona Republic story was all too familiar: “Mesa police said they believe a 25-year-old man was the gunman in an apparent murder-suicide that also left his girlfriend dead Sunday morning in a school parking lot.” Read more»

SB 1062 raises some serious questions about such weighty issues as discrimination, civil rights, freedom of religion, and the proper relationship between church and state. But regardless of one’s view of the measure’s merits, the dispute also raises another set of questions, including: Is this how public policy is supposed to be made? Read more»

Arizonans who still take pride in our state for leading the national charge against undocumented immigration might want to take a quick glance over their shoulders. Where'd our followers go? Read more»

At the national level, the country seems to have averted an economic cataclysm – for now. Politicians and pundits are busy dissecting the course of the drama that cost the U.S. economy an estimated $24 billion, and only ended with the Republican Party's acceptance of a deal with President Obama. But to truly understand the Republican Party's last-minute conversion to, um, moderation, one need only look to Arizona. Read more»

We see them, though we pretend not to. They number in the thousands, but pace the streets and linger in city parks in ones and twos. Homelessness is a major problem in Arizona, both from a moral standpoint and from a strictly practical calculus of the costs it generates in public dollars. But though it includes some of our most needy and troubled residents, it seldom finds a prominent place on our official agendas and public conversations. Read more»

This is not a question larded with ethnic prejudice but a widely debated medical mystery. A recent study confirmed it: American Latinos tend to have health outcomes that in many cases are equal or better than those of non-Hispanic Whites – including lower death rates, fewer mental disorders, and higher survival rates from heart disease and other medical conditions. Read more»

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