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Illustration on accurately identifying Islamist terror by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Freedom, security — and the truth

With blizzards, deflated footballs and green-lipsticked YouTube personalities dominating recent news, it was easy to miss two hugely important truth-telling moments. If only they had received the same coverage as air pressure in NFL regulation footballs.

A New York City snowplow, loaded with salt, sits parked in midtown Manhattan as light snow falls, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Northeast residents are girding for a heavy snowstorm that could bury communities from northern New Jersey to southern Maine in up to 2 feet of snow. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Another snow job

Today, politicians and their ideological fellow travelers in the media use the normal cycles of the seasons to promote “climate change.”

Illustration on the failed policy of enemy combatant internment by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The al-Marri enigma

Ali Saleh al-Marri is a convicted conspirator who entered the United States before Sept. 11, 2001, in order to create a dreaded sleeper cell here that might someday launch an attack on Americans similar to what we witnessed earlier this month in Paris. When the feds woke from their slumber on Sept. 11, they wisely began to search immigration records for persons who came here with no discernible purpose from places known to spawn terrorist groups and who had overstayed their visas. Al-Marri was one such person.

Illustration on heroism replaced by narcissism by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Heroes in the age of the selfie

Heroes, real ones, are getting harder to find. One of the few remaining annual surprises in the typical State of the Union address is the president’s introduction of his “mystery guest.” President Reagan introduced the first one in 1982, celebrating one Leonard Skutnik for an extraordinary act of courage.

Conservatism has blossomed into the major intellectual and political force of our time. (Rod Lamkey Jr/ The Washington Times)

Conservatism is now everywhere

There is a problem with the Internet. Its commentary is too often dominated by pinheads. H.L. Mencken used to complain that only idiots write letters to the editor. That might have been true of his day — the 1920s and 1930s — but in our time writers of letters to the editor of newspapers and even of websites are occasionally quite well-informed and even lucid. But others, I am afraid, are indeed pinheads, sitting in their underwear back home, foaming at the mouth, believing that the whole world is profoundly interested in their every word, until the authorities arrive at their homes to take them away.

Illustration on threatened government meddling in the private sector world of sports by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Jumping offsides on ‘Deflategate’

Super Bowl XLIX (49) will be played this Sunday. Sadly, the anticipated matchup between the AFC champion New England Patriots and NFC champion Seattle Seahawks has already had the wind knocked out of its sails — or, in this case, the air out of its footballs.

The Democratic assault on free speech

- The Washington Times

Everybody’s for free speech — until somebody says something he doesn’t like. But the genius of the First Amendment is that it is so direct and plain that even a lawyer or a judge can understand it.

Illustration on the Obama administrations role in Iranian nuclear ambitions by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Iran’s price for Obama’s coveted legacy

The importance of any political event is best measured against its opponents’ reactions. By that yardstick, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s agreement to speak about the dangers of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons before a joint session of Congress is already enormously significant.

Illustration on American's diminished economic freedom by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Regaining lost economic freedom

If you were to rank all the countries of the world based on their level of economic freedom, you’d think the United States would be a shoo-in for first place, right? Surely we would be at least somewhere in the top five.

Illustration on the fall of Yemen by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Yemen’s collapse demonstrates Obama’s foreign policy failures

Last Tuesday night, President Obama assured the American people that their nation is secure because of his leadership. His “steady, persistent resolve,” Mr. Obama proclaimed in his State of the Union speech, has resulted in a “safer, more prosperous world.”

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The unbearable heaviness of being Russian

What Viennese wits used to say about the dying Austro-Hungarian Empire also applies to the corruption-stoked, smoke-and-mirrors world of Vladimir Putin's Russia: "The situation is hopeless but not serious." By the time you reach Page 131 of Peter Pomerantsev's brilliant collection of sketches from the life in 21st century Russia you may find yourself echoing the lament of one of its more sympathetic characters ("Grigory," an unusually bright, relatively cultivated member of the new class of Russian entrepreneur-tycoons): "There must be some way of working out how to make Russia work. Must be!"

Cherry-picking temperature data?

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) now states that 2014 was the hottest year on record. They proclaimed this back on January 16. NOAA actually lists three sets of global temperature data, one based on a network of surface thermometers and two based on satellite readings. The two satellite data sets show 2014 as being third and sixth. Moreover, the thermometers ranked 2014 only 0.04 degrees Celsius ahead of the previous hottest year on record, which is (barely) within their nominal margin of measurement error of 0.05 degrees Celsius.

Illustration on the importance of Azerbaijan as a U.S. ally by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Why Azerbaijan is important to America and the free world

Last year marked the 23rd anniversary of Azerbaijan's independence from the Soviet Union. Why is that important to America? It's in a part of the world that is in a chaotic state. Azerbaijan, after a mere 23 years of independence, stands out as a friend to America and a stabilizing force in the region. Russia and Iran border Azerbaijan, and the policies of those countries make it even more important that the United States and the rest of the free world have a stalwart friend in the region. There are many other reasons why we should value our relationship with Azerbaijan.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

The baggage of Benghazi

Politics is a rough game. There's no rule that says you can't rough the passer or avoid making hits to the head. There's not even a rule that says it's unfair to take a dispassionate look at the record of a candidate who offers himself — or herself — for president of the United States. This includes a thorough baggage search.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is traveling the country now as an evangelist for expansion, urging other governors to follow his lead. (AP Photo/James Nord)

John Kasich’s medicine show

Gov. John Kasich of Ohio was one of several Republican governors who agreed in 2013 to accept a grant of federal money under Obamacare to expand his state's Medicaid services. The temporary grant of $2.6 billion, accepted over protests from his legislature, expires this year and Mr. Kasich now wants the legislature to approve taking more Obamacare subsidies to continue to pay for the expansion.

Call ‘BDS’ groups what they are

The Israel-delegitimization efforts by groups such as the boycott-oriented BDS organization represent not only anti-Israel but anti-Semitic actions ("Using boycotts to delegitimize Israel," Web, Jan. 22). Evidently these same groups hope to soften up Israel and turn world opinion against that democratic nation, allowing Iran with its nuclear and long-range missile program to dispose of Israel and its six million Jews.

Illustration on President Obama's fantasy State of the Union address by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

When politics defies reality

In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama was very upbeat and inspiring, particularly if a listener had no prior knowledge of his many speeches that were quite similar but bore no fruit. It almost appeared that he was living in an alternate universe that bore no resemblance to present day America and the current global stage.

 All children, regardless of the zip code they were born in, should have access to the opportunities afforded by a great education. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Parental choice means better learning outcomes

Jordan is 10 years old and lives in Arizona. He has cerebral palsy. Even after years of expensive fights with the local school system, Jordan's parents weren't able to meet all of his unique needs within the public schools.

A herd of musk ox graze in an area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, known as Area 1002, in this undated file photo. (AP Photo/Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, File)

Playing oil field politics

Americans are back in the automobile showrooms looking for big cars and SUVs, grooving on size, bells and whistles again. The falling price of gasoline has enabled customers to buy what they want, and what they want is often the Belchfire 8 they can afford to drive again (and trying with difficulty to maneuver through narrow streets in the older cities). The falling gasoline prices have put hundreds of dollars in the pockets of Americans, and that's all to the good.

When lies lead to murder

This riveting book is a compelling read not only for correcting a much-mythologized era, but also for reminding us of the harsh and often crass realities that influence all our presidents when they get blindsided by the unintended consequences of their acts.