Commentary Upfront Blog

  • Darkness and light on the net

    In the cyberworld, knowledge itself is power and is countered by knowledge. Technology is the accessory. In the case of hacking elections, the internet provides a vast and dark new space for countries to carry out the age-old design of tampering with rivals.

  • Embracing what’s next

    'Security' is a big word. Often, we think about it just in terms of physical safety, secure from crime or war. But there’s more.

  • Why we must be global

    Knowing about what is going on in Japan or Mexico makes us better global citizens, but it can show us the universality of the human spirit. It can offer potent evidence that “the family of man” is not a shallow aphorism but something much deeper and more resonant for human progress. 

  • On the train, a moment of grace

    Between two people who in all likelihood had wildly different views of what is good for America, there was a moment of grace and humility. 

  • Sacrificing self in service to the world

    Nadia Murad’s story is one of sacrifice in its purest and most powerful form – an immolation of self for the good of others. In telling her story, she is not only saving the Yazidis she loves, but also a world that must hear what she says and be broken of any sense of indolence about evil. 

  • Giving action to empathy

    The gravitation of trends in communication, culture, and transportation – all drawing us closer together – is irreversible. This calls for heaping bushels of empathy. 

  • A crazy way to help save a planet

    Not every idea will work. Most won’t change the world all by themselves. But all point to a mental diligence that refuses to sit still and accept the problems of the present as unsolvable.

  • Small-town America’s most precious resource

    For generations, much of America’s opportunity was in its boundless rural landscapes – its rich soil and coal seams. But as that shifts, a new commodity is coming forward as even more valuable to the future of small towns from Storm Lake, Iowa, to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: new thinking.

  • True charity

    Faith traditions have recognized that charity is more than simply the act of giving. It involves a deeper realization of the connections that bind us all. In giving, we receive. In loving without expectation of return, we learn what love is. 

  • Another revolution in Lexington

    You might see something like this in any middle school across the US or beyond. Yet hidden in its seemingly unoffensive positivism is something altogether more radical.

  • The Russia that Russians see

    A Monitor reporter and editor's recent first visits to Russia were nothing less than a revelation. The Russia of so many Western imaginings simply isn’t there. 

  • Tradition, courage, respect – and one more

    There’s a lot of hand-wringing over US public education at the moment. So why was I thinking it might be fun to be back in high school?

  • #HumanityStrong

    The story of Refugio is remarkable for the sense of community it shows amid the most trying times. But the truth is that community is always there.


Photos of the Week Photos of the week 12/11

USS Nimitz Logistics Spc. 3rd Class Michael Zegarra swings his wife Caterina into the air as they embrace on the pier at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, Wash., on Dec. 10. The USS Nimitz returned from a six-month deployment.

More Upfront Blog
  • Space math

    For the scientists of the Cassini mission, math has unrelentingly transformed Saturn from a curious jewel in the night sky into something we have vicariously touched and tasted.

  • Refusing to honor fear

    The knowledge of Kim Jong-un’s ultimate impotence is an important armament of a different sort. It helps weaponize how we think about evil worldwide.

  • Lessons from ‘the enemy’

    When so much information is being flung at us daily, fitting the world into easily canned preconceptions may seem to be the only way to cope – to make sense of it all. But then you read Michael Holtz’s cover story on China’s dramatic plans for a new national park system, and the need for something more becomes apparent.

  • Being brave about the new world

    I struggle to see how posting a video of the latest Gylfi Sigurðsson goal to my Twitter feed, complete with emojis and hashtags, will significantly enrich the world at large. This is why I am terrified of my children. 

  • Ethos of rugged independence in Appalachia spurs neighbors to turn to neighbors

    Local residents in Gatlinburg, Tenn. have been buoyed by the legions of volunteers who have descended on the place with their good intentions and growling circular saws.

  • Staving off starvation

    We sent in three staff writers and a staff photographer to find out what lessons have been learned from past droughts and famines. Aid groups and others are taking steps that are saving individual lives and, in some cases, entire villages.

  • The question that truly matters

    The real question is, Who is thinking about this in new ways? Who is trying new approaches? Who is not being bound by limitations about what is possible?

  • Getting your hands around science

    A new weekly science page seeks to sweep away the line between science and the average reader.

  • America’s special sauce

    What if you could collect all the best of every country, shake it up, and see what comes out? That, essentially, is the idea of America. 

  • Delivering our very best

    Consider this a mailbag of some of the other questions we’ve been hearing, questions you might be asking as well, about the Monitor’s newest publication.