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FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2017, file photo, Rohingya Muslims, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, wade past a waterlogged path leading to the Jamtoli refugee camp in Ukhiya, Bangladesh. Myanmar on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, sharply rejected an attempt by the International Criminal Court to consider the country's culpability for activities that caused about 700,000 minority Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh for safety. The office of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, the country's leader, said in a statement posted online that the court in the Netherlands has no jurisdiction over Myanmar because it is not a member state. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad, File)

It’s genocide, Stupid

Only a year ago the military junta began a sustained assault on the people of Myanmar’s Rohingya district. Over a period of three months, the generals engaged in a campaign of rape, murder and fire, slaying in cold blood thousands of innocents, and burning more than 300 villages, determined to drive out the Muslims who had lived there for centuries.

A structure and vehicles burn in the wake of the Oak Fire Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, near Grass Valley, Calif. (Elias Funez/The Union via AP)

An environment to die for

Gold doesn’t tarnish, but the Golden State lies blackened. It happens almost every year, but California’s current bout of fast-burning wildfires, following last year’s conflagrations, leads inevitably to a sobering thought: If communities built amid the picturesque West Coast wildlands can’t be protected from rampaging flames when spring flowers and grasses turn tinder-dry in summer, maybe they shouldn’t have been built there in the first place.

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FILE  - This Wednesday, April 26, 2017 file photo shows a Google icon on a mobile phone, in Philadelphia. European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager is planning a statement on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 amid reports that her office will slap a record $5 billion fine on Google for abuse of its dominant position in the Android mobile phone operating systems. The decision was widely expected this week and financial media, including Bloomberg and the Financial Times, said the amount would total 4.3 billion euros. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Clouds over Silicon Valley

A consequence of the technology boom is an improvement in the capability of fighting the nation's inevitable wars. When man takes a leap forward in what he is able to accomplish with his brain, the military finds a way to exploit it on the battlefield. Sad, but that's the unhappy way the world works.

FILE - In this April 28, 2016, file photo, visitors gather at a display booth for Google at the 2016 Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) in Beijing. Google is reportedly working on a mobile version of its search engine that will comply with strict censorship controls in China. The Intercept reported that the work has been ongoing since the spring of 2017 and was accelerated in December following a meeting between Google CEO Sundar Pichai and a top government official. It cited internal Google documents and unnamed people familiar with the plans. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

Google retracts some big talk

As corporate mission statements go, Google's is simple enough: "Don't be evil." This isn't asking much from its employees. It's vague and meaningless, as most corporate mission statements are. It's a mantra only suitable until the going gets tough. Who applauds evil, anyway?

Immigration is the winning issue

Elections have consequences is a maxim that's as true as ever, but it's a maxim that has lost some of its punch in a "can-you-top-this?" culture. The punditry insists, as always, that every election is the most important one of everybody's lifetime. It's hyperbole, of course, but it's also true that the 2018 midterms are very, very important. "It's the economy, stupid," is giving way to a maxim waiting for someone to coin: Immigration determines what kind of nation we'll be, and most Americans like the nation we already have.

In this Nov. 12, 2015, file photo, a man walks past a building on the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Trade wars, and trade wars

America's high-tech colossi dominate the globe. Silicon Valley, loosely defined in a mixture of metaphors, is the ultimate Big Rock Candy Mountain. Amazon, Uber, Apple, Microsoft, Lyft, Intel, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Ebay, Twitter, Lyft, were all made in America. Europe's high-tech companies, by contrast, are puny. Only Spotify, a Swedish music-streaming app, makes much of splash globally.

People walk outside the Nevada Supreme Court in Carson City on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 before oral arguments on a death penalty case. The justices are considering whether to allow the state to move forward with its first execution of a death row inmate in 12 years. (AP Photo/By Scott Sonner)

The executioner's complaint

Capital punishment continues to be a hot-button issue nearly everywhere. Several public-opinion polls indicate that state-sanctioned killing is not as popular in America as it once was. Two decades ago polls showed that 80 percent of Americans approved of taking a life for a life, though some approved reluctantly. Now approval is down to a considerably smaller majority. There's a spirited movement of conservatives to abolish the death penalty altogether.

In this July 20 photo, a sign in Spanish that reads "Attention government, AEE. Montones wants light. Six months without light," hangs from a pole in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico. A scattering of hardware stores, barbershops and corner stores across the island are embracing solar energy, trying to wean themselves off a state-owned power company that remains heavily dependent on petroleum. (AP Photo/ Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo)

Bracing for more of the worst

Puerto Rico is braced for Alberto, Beryl, Chris and Debby and other named storms, which will be churning out of the Atlantic any day now. The hurricane season is bearing down on us, and bracing is probably all the island can count on. The local government's record of hurricane relief does not inspire confidence.

In this June 12, 2018, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un adjusts his glasses after signing documents with U.S. President Donald Trump at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Redemption through repatriation

Soldiers who give their "last full measure of devotion," as Abraham Lincoln described death on the battlefield, deserve the highest honor a nation can bestow. The fundamental honor is a dignified burial. That right and honor has been long denied to thousands of men who fell in Korea. North Korea can heal the open wound on the American conscience by finally returning the remains of its long-lost sons.

FILE - In this July 11, 2018 file photo, students and community activists march at Northeastern University in Boston demanding the school cancel a multimillion-dollar research contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Northeastern was hired by ICE to research U.S. technology exports. Several colleges with ties to ICE are being pressured to split with the agency amid uproar over the separation of migrant families along the nation's border. (AP Photo/Sarah Betancourt, File)

Fanatics unbound

Eliminating law enforcement on the nation's southern border is a cherished goal of a noisy segment of undetermined size among Democrats. Cooler Democratic heads think it's party suicide, and it wouldn't help the nation, either. But cool heads in the party are scarce. Playing the "I'm crazier than thou" game is more fun.

FILE  - This Wednesday, April 26, 2017 file photo shows a Google icon on a mobile phone, in Philadelphia. European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager is planning a statement on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 amid reports that her office will slap a record $5 billion fine on Google for abuse of its dominant position in the Android mobile phone operating systems. The decision was widely expected this week and financial media, including Bloomberg and the Financial Times, said the amount would total 4.3 billion euros. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Europe's war on American success

America's high-tech colossi dominate the globe: Amazon, Uber, Apple, Microsoft, Lyft, Intel, Facebook, Google, Instagram, eBay, Twitter, Lyft and others were all made in America. Europe's tech companies, by contrast, are puny. Only Spotify, a Swedish music-streaming app, has made much of splash globally.

As envisioned by President Trump, some 32 miles of new wall will be built in the Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley sector at a price of $784 million, or $24.5 million per mile. (Associated Press/File)

A simple solution

Mitt Romney coined the term "self-deportation" in 2012 to describe his plan for stemming the flood of illegal immigrants pouring over the border. If illegals couldn't get jobs here because they have no documentation, they would decide to go home.

President Donald Trump departs after signing an Executive Order that establishes a National Council for the American Worker during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, July 19, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The slow dance to peace

Ours is not an age for reflection, patience and slow-dancing. Our age demands instant gratification. Sooner than that, if possible. Thus the slow-dancing in the latest exchange since the famous Singapore handshake, originating in a hand-carried letter to Pyongyang. The response came back in another hand-carried letter, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continuing as postman.