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A special day

Recently I was privileged to get to go along with my little niece as she picked out the supplies she will take with her to the first grade. I, some might recall reading here, have a bit of thing for office and school supplies so this was a real treat for me. Or at least I thought it would be a treat.

Could Scotland really break away from Britain?

WASHINGTON — We’re now a month away from a vote to determine whether Great Britain will have to continue on as not-quite-as-great Britain. On Sept. 18, Scots will head to the polls for a long-awaited independence referendum, and while the “no” camp — those opposing secession — continue leading in the polls, it’s still too close for comfort as far as London’s concerned.

Doodled out

Google’s founders famously started their search engine company with the slogan “Don’t be evil,” and in the intervening years they’ve involved themselves with countless humanitarian and socially fluffy causes to pretend they don’t milk $60 billion each year from us. And the public face of that motto has become the Goole Doodle, in which the company uses its minimal homepage to champion some cause or celebrate an anniversary by transmogrifying its logo in some cutesy way.

War does nothing for your investment portfolio

One concern for investors is how markets keep powering higher despite all of the geopolitical turmoil: The grinding Syrian civil war that has spilled into Iraq, the clash between Israel and Gaza, the Crimea annexation and now the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine.

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Listen to East Europeans on Russia sanctions

The leaders of Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic feel Western sanctions against Russia have gone a little too far. These people know the Soviet system better than anybody in the world outside Russia itself, and they recognize that sanctions are not going to work.