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George Will

Syndicated Columnist

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Will: Kansan calculates Senate control

By George Will September 28, 2014 6 a.m.

Tacked to the wall of Greg Orman's campaign office is a print of a John Steuart Curry painting, "Tragic Prelude," that hangs in the capitol in Topeka. It depicts John Brown of Osawatomie, 39 miles south of here, as what he was, a deranged product of "bleeding Kansas," the Civil War's overture. Today, Orman, who is as calm as Brown was crazed, is emblematic of fascinating Kansas.

Will: Californians may cash in at voting booth

By George Will September 21, 2014 6 a.m.

The pursuit of perfection is usually foredoomed, but the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, which has a latitudinarian understanding of ethical behavior, has a perfectly awful idea. It is urging the City Council to consider ways of paying — starchier ethicists might call it bribing — people to vote.

Will: Democratic senators try to muzzle speech

By George Will September 14, 2014 6 a.m.

Since Barry Goldwater, accepting the Republicans' 1964 presidential nomination, said "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," Democrats have been decrying Republican "extremism." Actually, although there is abundant foolishness and unseemliness in American politics, real extremism — measures or movements that menace the Constitution's architecture of ordered liberty — is rare. Last week, however, extremism stained the Senate.

Will: Putin poses Hitlerian threat to West

By George Will September 7, 2014 6 a.m.

The Islamic State is a nasty problem that can be remedied if its neighbors, assisted by the United States, decide to do so. Vladimir Putin's fascist revival is a crisis that tests the West's capacity to decide.

Will: China may help shape future of U.S. Navy

By George Will August 31, 2014 6 a.m.

Russia's ongoing dismemberment of Ukraine and the Islamic State's erasing of Middle Eastern borders have distracted attention from the harassment of U.S. Navy aircraft by Chinese fighter jets over the South China Sea. Beijing calls this sea, and the Yellow and East China seas, the "near seas," meaning China's seas. The episodes involving aircraft are relevant to one of Adm. Jonathan Greenert's multiplying preoccupations — CUES, meaning Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea.

Will: Government control is out of control

By George Will August 24, 2014 6 a.m.

In physics, a unified field theory is an attempt to explain with a single hypothesis the behavior of several fields. Its political corollary is the Cupcake Postulate, which explains everything, from Missouri to Iraq, concerning Americans' comprehensive withdrawal of confidence from government at all levels and all areas of activity.

Will: What's worth fighting for?

By George Will August 17, 2014 6 a.m.

This far into the human story, only the historically uninstructed are startled by what they think are new permutations of evil. So, when Russia sliced Crimea off Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry was nonplussed: "You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext." If, however, Vladimir Putin is out of step with the march of progress, where exactly on history's inevitably ascending path (as progressives like Kerry evidently think) does Kerry, our innocent abroad, locate the Islamic State?

Will: Nixon's long shadow, 40 years after his resignation

By George Will August 10, 2014 6 a.m.

At about 5:15 p.m. on June 17, 1971, in the Oval Office, the president ordered a crime: "I want it implemented on a thievery basis. Goddamn it, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it."

Will: Aim for conservative view

By George Will August 3, 2014 6 a.m.

With metronomic regularity, there is a choreographed minuet of carnage. Israel is attacked. It defends itself. Affirmations of Israel's right of self-defense are followed by accusations that Israel's military measures are disproportionate. Then come demands for a cease-fire, and the attackers replenish arsenals.

Will: Kashkari is California's Goldwater 2.0

By George Will July 27, 2014 6 a.m.

Fifty Julys ago, up the road near San Francisco, in the unfortunately named Cow Palace, the Republican National Convention gave its presidential nomination to Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, who knew he would lose: Americans were not going to have a third president in 14 months. His agenda, however, was to change his party's national brand.

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