What’s the matter with Europe?

If you had to identify a place and time where the humanitarian dream — the vision of a society offering decent lives to all its members — came closest to realization, that place and time would surely be Western Europe in the six decades after World War II. It was one of history’s miracles: a continent ravaged by dictatorship, genocide and war transformed itself into a model of democracy and broadly shared prosperity.

Trump’s trade wars would avenge only mythical casualties

WASHINGTON — America’s government declares “war” promiscuously — on poverty, on drugs, on cancer, etc. — except when actually going to war, which the nation has done often since it last declared war (on June 5, 1942, on Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary). But the incipient war du jour is being postponed. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the Trump administration is “putting the trade war on hold.” The one with China, that is. Others can continue.

Stop making arrests for pot use

Under New York state law, possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana in a public place is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by 3 months in jail. Public opinion in New York, though, is increasingly leaning toward legalizing possession, as well as the sale of marijuana for recreational use.