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(Image courtesy of thestar.com).

‘Let there be light’

Religious faith and science have long struggled, often against each other, in the search for knowledge. Man has hungered for explanations since he emerged from the cave, and perhaps before, and the study of nature and nature’s wonders have put science in the forefront of the search for knowledge.

The importance of being yourself

Just who you are can be a mystery. A California lesbian couple is running for both queen and king of the high-school senior prom. Most people are satisfied with being themselves, and jealously guard their ID. It’s difficult to stand apart from the blur in a nation of 320 million, and the explosion of identity theft renders the question, “Who am I?” as more than simply rhetorical.

President Barack Obama speaks to media during a briefing on the response and recovery plans of the ongoing water crisis by the unified command group at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in Flint, Mich., Wednesday, May 4, 2016. (Daniel Mears/Detroit News via AP, Pool)

Coveting the Gipper’s legacy

President Obama continues on the scout for a legacy. He’s defending his economic record, which isn’t much of a legacy, by jabbing at the ghost of Ronald Reagan and the bright economic record he left. Mr. Obama insists that the Gipper’s tax cuts and boom times is a myth. That’s not the way everybody else remembers it.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton laughs during a campaign stop in Charleston, W.V., Tuesday, May 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The ‘friend’ of West Virginia

The loose lips that sink ships, as in a memorable World War II cautionary slogan, can sink a careless candidate, too. West Virginia was a reliable blue state in 1999 when Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore were preparing for what would become an epic battle for the White House. West Virginia looked safe for the Democratic nominee; the state had not voted for a Republican in 36 years.

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This image provided by the Library of Congress shows Harriet Tubman, between 1860 and 1875. A Treasury official said Wednesday, April 20, 2016, that Secretary Jacob Lew has decided to put Tubman on the $20 bill, making her the first woman on U.S. paper currency in 100 years. (H.B. Lindsley/Library of Congress via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

No whitewash for Harriet Tubman

Sometimes the government does the right thing for the wrong reasons. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's decision to put Harriet Tubman's face on the nation's currency was the right thing to do, even if it was done as a way to demote Andrew Jackson, the nation's seventh president, to the back of the bill.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Thursday, April 21, 2016, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Another 'teaching moment' missed

Donald Trump's most important contribution to the presidential campaign is his brisk and bold challenge to the political correctness that is strangling the body politic, and he made the full-throated challenge when no other politician, Democrat or Republican, dared do it. A vibrant democracy depends on every citizen's respect for the right of everyone to express an opinion, particularly if the opinion is unpopular.

In this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo, part of the hull of the capsized USS Oklahoma is seen at right as the battleship USS West Virginia, center, begins to sink after suffering heavy damage, while the USS Maryland, left, is still afloat in Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. A sailor killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor is being buried with full military honors nearly 75 years after the bombing. Machinist's Mate 1st Class Vernon Luke of Green Bay, Wisconsin is being buried at a veterans cemetery in Honolulu on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. (U.S. Navy via AP, File)

The more things change ...

The French, as usual, have a word for it, and sometimes more than one word: "The more things change, the more they are the same." After the cataclysmic destruction of World War II the optimists thought the patterns of political life were changed forever. Nothing of the old could remain.

Warming up to the Earth

There's more than one way to answer the call of nature, and it isn't necessary to await the arrival of Earth Day to demonstrate a reverence for the blue-hued orb we call home.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at Stephen Decatur High School, Wednesday, April 20, 2016 in Berlin, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Waking up to reality

The Republican establishment woke up Wednesday morning to the reality it has dreaded, that the party might soon have to practice thinking positive thoughts about Donald Trump. The losers on Tuesday could start by cooling the doomsday rhetoric, understanding that they might have to eat some of the harsh words they have been saying about him.

Supporters of fair immigration reform gather in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, April 18, 2016. The Supreme Court is taking up an important dispute over immigration that could affect millions of people who are living in the country illegally. The Obama administration is asking the justices in arguments today to allow it to put in place two programs that could shield roughly 4 million people from deportation and make them eligible to work in the United States. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

When immigration law is 'upside down'

Americans can disagree over whether President Obama has fulfilled his promise of fundamental "hope and change," but it's the showdown over immigration policy that may determine whether he leaves as his legacy a fundamentally transformed America.

A demonstrator protests the Federal Reserve's failure to bail out Puerto Rico outside International House, Thursday, April 7, 2016, in New York. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen appeared with former Federal Reserve chairs Ben Bernanke, Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan, who appeared via video conference, in a panel designed to address millennial and illuminate how the Chairs' philosophies and personal beliefs impact decision-making with international implications. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Saving Puerto Rico

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a small island, population 3.5 million, but it's counting on Washington thinking that the commonwealth, like Wall Street banks and Detroit automobile manufacturers, is too big to fail. Decades of out-of-control management has pushed it to the brink of financial collapse.

President-elect Barack Obama, left, stands with Secretary of State-designate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., right, at a news conference in Chicago, Dec. 1, 2008. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

What is Obama waiting for?

At 54 and soon to be unemployed (though with a nice pension and a feast of travel perks), Barack Obama may well believe that there's still something in the political world ahead for him. Congress has nothing for an ex-president -- been there and done that. But there are options.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a Women for Hillary event in New York, Monday, April 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Hillary's gender wage-gap fallacy

Most men love women. Every man owes his life to the woman who gave him birth, and many men have sisters with whom they shared their toys and DNA, and finally a wife with whom he shares his life. That's why men are rankled by the message Hillary Clinton harps on, that men have a bias against women in the workplace. Men get a bigger paycheck, and size matters.

President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, to talk about the breakthrough in the Iranian nuclear talks.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

No more the supplicant

The United States was only yesterday a supplicant at the oil bazaar, counting on the Saudis to be merciful by keeping OPEC a reasonable merchant, but that was then, and the United States is an oil exporter now. No more supplicant. America might even make a credible argument for membership in OPEC.

On the heels of his disappointing finish in Colorado, Donald Trump last week said the Republican National Committee "should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this kind of crap to happen." (Associated Press)

The whines heard 'round the world

This is the year of the whiner. The Republican establishment whines that if only the folks in the grass roots would listen to the wise men the party could get on with choosing a serious candidate, like Jeb Bush, or John Kasich, or Paul Ryan, or, swallowing hard, even Ted Cruz. Donald Trump whines that the elites aren't playing fair and the delegate selection is rigged.

No emancipation this year

Tax Day arrives a little late this year, giving Americans a three-day reprieve from the annual pain of sending the U.S. Treasury an arm and a leg, without gift-wrapping. The day of dread is April 18, owing to the District of Columbia's Emancipation Day, falling on April 16, a Saturday, entitling D.C.'s federal workers to take a three-day weekend. A short extension from the usual April 15 deadline hardly soothes the pain.

Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s choice to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, arrives for a meeting with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 14, 2016.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The lame duck quacks

An election year is not the most promising time to expect congressional action on major legislation, regardless of which party is in charge. That especially applies this year. Senators and representatives up for re-election are always reluctant to take tough positions on important issues that could anger constituents, even in off-years, and reluctance becomes fear in presidential election years when a retiring president pushes hard for legacy-making initiatives.

President Barack Obama speaks during the 2016 White House Science Fair, Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Choking the federal varmints

Everyone in politics dreams of shutting up opponents, but the wise and reasonable understand that in a free society it's not nice to do that. The First Amendment guarantees free speech to everybody.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. pauses during a news conference following a closed-door meeting of House Republicans, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 13, 2016.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Paul Ryan's almost 'Sherman'

Paul Ryan is getting the message. His statement to a press gaggle on the Hill on Tuesday -- "I do not want nor will I accept the nomination [from] our party" -- is only a millimeter short of the authentic Sherman that Gen. William Tecumseh, famous for playing with matches on his march from Atlanta to the sea in 1865, gave to those who wanted him to run for president two decades later.

Hillary Clinton and Mayor Bill de Blasio have come under fire over their comedy skit at the show that some people feel was racially insensitive. Many in the room where it happened, which was filled with New York politicians, power brokers and reporters, laughed at the joke. But it soon made its way around social media and drew some scornful media coverage. (David Handschuh/The Inner Circle Via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

Hillary as comedienne

One of the positives of Donald Trump's presidential campaign has been the large dent the Donald has made in the movement to render everything politically correct. A large dent but, alas, not a fatal dent. Many people clearly have not got the memo.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch told the Senate Judiciary Committee that her department has discussed pursuing civil charges against the "climate denial scheme," as Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat, put it. (Associated Press)

Intimidation through investigation

Everyone loves a winner, especially the winner himself. Reaching the top of the heap is a full-time job and once there, the successful feel entitled to stay there. That's why political inquisitions are in full bloom across Barack Obama's Washington.

Vice and virtue, served a la carte

Hot dogs, beer and football go together like peanuts and Crackerjacks at the baseball game, an all-American combination at stadiums on Saturday and Sunday afternoons in autumn. But dope on the gridiron? Say it ain't so, Joe.

The Flint Water Plant tower is seen in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, FILE)

Drinking poison water

In the present political climate liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, don't often agree on much, but they can agree that one of the government's first obligations is keep the drinking water safe. That's why it's nothing short of shocking that one of the richest and most sophisticated states not only failed to do that, but was aware that irresponsible cost-cutting was the source of the failure.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Ryan's 'Sherman'

House Speaker Paul Ryan is attractive, smart and ambitious, which is why Republicans believe him when he says he does not want to be drafted for the presidential nomination in Cleveland. His emphatic disavowal is just short of "a Sherman," William Tecumseh Sherman's famous spike in presidential speculation in 1884: "If nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve."