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LAST LINE OF DEFENSE: Afghan National Army forces are not ready to rebuff an expected Taliban offensive, on its own, once all American troops leave after 2016, according to reports from U.S. Green Berets. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Afghanistan’s Taliban IS a terrorist organization

Congressional overseers should demand, in hearings or otherwise, for the White House and State Department to fully explain why the group isn’t on the State Department terror list.

Illustration on the childhood risks in contact sports by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Weighing the childhood risks of contact sports

The incidence and severity of brain injury is one of the hottest topics in sports media today, and it is creating a storm of near-panic in youth sports — especially football. We worry that the public’s misunderstanding of the available medical research is the gravest threat facing organized contact sport at the youth and high school levels.

Dire predictions about Citizens United prove false

Five years ago last week, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the landmark Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, that “the worth of speech ‘does not depend upon the identity of its source, whether corporation, association, union, or individual.’” The government, the court affirmed, cannot censor or ban the political speech of individuals simply because they organize themselves as a corporation or labor union.

M1903 SPRINGFIELD - formally the United States Rifle, Caliber .30-06, Model 1903, is an American clip-loaded, 5-round magazine fed, bolt-action service rifle used primarily during the first half of the 20th century. It was officially adopted as a United States military bolt-action rifle on June 19, 1903, and saw service in World War I. It was officially replaced as the standard infantry rifle by the faster-firing semi-automatic 8 round M1 Garand starting in 1937. However, the M1903 Springfield remained in service as a standard issue infantry rifle during World War II, since the U.S. entered the war without sufficient M1 rifles to arm all troops. It also remained in service as a sniper rifle during World War II, the Korean War, and even in the early stages of the Vietnam War. It remains popular as a civilian firearm, historical collector's piece, and as a military drill rifle.

World War II’s only execution for desertion

Seventy years ago tomorrow, Private Eddie Slovik (1920-1945) became the first and only soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion, a military offense that has recently surfaced in the news about Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

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.

Eric Rose, 6, from Ellwood Christian Academy, in Selma, participates in a National School Choice Week rally at the Alabama State Capitol, Wednesday Jan. 28, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. Parents and students rallied on the lawn of the Alabama Capitol Wednesday, urging state politicians to provide more publicly funded education options.(AP Photo/Hal Yeager)

Busting myths about school choice

The implementation of school choice is sure to become much more popular as the myths surrounding race, religion, and student outcomes are continually disproven.

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.

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In this photo taken with a slow shutter speed, the Lombardi Trophy sits behind two helmets before a joint coaches news conference for NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Unprecedented security: Even Super Bowl officials took 'active shooter preparedness' training

- The Washington Times

Unprecedented security measures for the Super Bowl have earned much attention from the press this week, augmented by plenty of outreach from the Department of Homeland Security about strategic safety measures that will be in place in Phoenix on Sunday. They are prepared. So are the organizers. The federal agency says itd National Protection and Programs Directorate "conducted an active shooter preparedness workshop, training 150 participants, including members of the Super Bowl Planning Committee."

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Hillary tapes

War is a terrible thing, as everyone who has ever been in one can testify, but war can tempt a president, and sometimes merely someone with the itch to be a president, as a way to burnish a warrior credential.

Impose SOTU rules now

Two recent op-eds about the president's State of the Union speech ("The president's fictional record," Web, Jan. 26 and "When politics defies reality," Web, Jan. 27) highlight the need for a revised State of the Union format. Structure needs to be imposed on these speeches before they descend further into balloon releases.

The South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Two bites out of the economy

Taxes take a bite out of the economy, but regulations take a bigger one. Congress has surrendered much of its lawmaking authority to the president and a growing swarm of unelected bureaucrats, and regulations are growing faster than ever. The Obama administration thinks this is the way to run an economy. It's actually the way to cripple it.

When a lawbreaker is a lovable rogue

Its title is long and the central character's name, Ajatashatru Oghash Rathod, is both long and tongue-twisting. Never fear. This book is actually short — a novella rather than a novel, though lots of white space between lines and chapters expand it to an ergonomically appealing size. It's also an appealing read.

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.

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.

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!"