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FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2014 file photo, a poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater in Atlanta. Suspicions that North Korea was behind a destructive hacking attack against Sony pictures and a threat against movie theaters will intensify calls for a tougher US Steps to cuts its access to hard currency and declare it once more as a state sponsor of terrorism.   (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

Hollywood cowers at this laff riot

- The Washington Times

Movies may not be better than ever, as a Hollywood marketing slogan in yesteryear boasted they were, but the critics take movies seriously in North Korea. The chief movie critic in Pyongyang can kill a movie with a single review. He might even kill anybody who goes to see it.

Illustration on steps needed to protect U.S. intellectual property by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Lessons from the Sony hack attack

The hacking attack of Sony Corp. and the compromising of its intellectual property should send a wake-up call to American business. If Sony can be hacked, so too can our companies that make defense technologies. This attack reveals that the very innovations that give us our competitive edge in the world, both commercially and strategically, are gravely at risk.

Illustration on continued access to Juvenile criminal records by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Allowing access to juveniles’ records hurts their chances of going straight

By incapacitating violent and dangerous offenders, incarceration can promote public safety. But a point of diminishing returns is reached as prisons sweep in more and more nonviolent, low-risk offenders. These circumstances are even more alarming when you look at the juvenile justice system and consider that 95 percent of youths in this system have committed nonviolent offenses, including some that weren’t even a crime when many of us were kids.

Illustration on Obama's normalization policy towards Cuba by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Obama adds Cuba to his list of sellouts

President Obama continues to embrace low-tier, go-it-alone executive actions to pad the last two years of his mistake-filled, empty-agenda presidency in a hopeless hunt for a legacy. His arrogant decision this week to re-establish diplomatic relations with communist Cuba is the latest example of a president desperately searching for something do without having to deal with Congress.

A Rolling Stone article alleged a gang rape occurred at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia. The magazine has since issued an apology for the article, saying the reporter's trust in her source was misplaced. (Associated Press)

Bogus stories abound in our pathetic press

Will Rogers, the late American humorist and cornpone philosopher, once said, “All I know is what I read in the papers.” That statement earned him a place in “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.” Were he alive today, it would most likely be inviting widespread derision. Today’s newspapers abound with bogus stories.

Illustration on Congress' continuing resolution provisions eroding Constitutional liberties by Alexandr Hunter/The Washington Times

President and Congress are heedless to the limits of their power

When the government is waving at us with its right hand, so to speak, it is the government’s left hand that we should be watching. Just as a magician draws your attention to what he wants you to see so you will not observe how his trick is performed, last week presented a textbook example of public disputes masking hidden deceptions. Here is what happened.

Illustration on the need to identify Islamic terrorism for what it is by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Suicide by political correctness

- The Washington Times

During its coverage of this week’s Islamic terrorist attack in Sydney, Australia, CNN ran a telling banner: “Motivation of suspect unknown.” Motivation unknown? Really?

The Ghost of Flight 93 Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Thwarting U.S. defenses will lead only to more American victims

The attack on a cafe in Sydney, Australia, by a self-described Islamic cleric with a long police record, left two hostages dead, along with the cleric. That incident, which was televised worldwide, was quickly eclipsed by the massacre of 145 people at an army-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan. How is the West responding to these and other atrocities? More important, how is the Muslim world responding?

This is a copy of the cover of the CIA torture report released by Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein D-Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. U.S. Senate investigators delivered a damning indictment of CIA interrogations Tuesday, accusing the spy agency of inflicting suffering on prisoners beyond its legal limits and peddling unsubstantiated stories that the harsh questioning saved American lives.  (AP Photo)

The truth about the CIA, torture, and congressional ingratitude

The truth – that enhanced interrogations saved lives, frightened other terrorists to not act, uncovered plots, and showed any al Qaeda wannabees that joining in would have serious personal consequences – is completely missing from the Senate Democrats’ report.

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BOOK REVIEW: 'Selected Letters of Norman Mailer'

Last year, J. Michael Lennon, Norman Mailer's authorized biographer, brought out nearly 1,000 pages packed with everything thought or said by or about Mailer, his life, his friends and enemies, his work that seemed to obviate the need for any further biographical data. But a year has passed, and Mr. Lennon (also Mailer's official archivist) is back with a volume, nearly as thick and heavy, of Mailer's correspondence.

Greenpeace has legacy of destruction

Greenpeace's desecration of the World Heritage-designated Nazca Lines in Peru is just the latest appalling offense the ultraradical organization has committed ("Greenpeace's Nazca lines stunt prompts Peru to seek criminal charges," Web, Dec. 11). Greenpeace activists have attempted to storm oil platforms, have destroyed crops and trespassed at nuclear power facilities. While these activists may think they're getting their message out, all they're really doing is disrupting life for the public and now risking doing grave damage to what the United Nations has determined is "a masterpiece of human creative genius."

Ben Carson and Armstrong Williams plus a security detail during their eight-day journey to Israel (Photo from Armstrong Williams Productions)

Ben Carson, midway through a trip to Israel - sees the realities of the Holy Land

- The Washington Times

Ben Carson is midway through a significant trip to Israel to see the Holy Land for himself - including the spiritual, political and security-minded factors that are realities for the nation. His journey includes a visit to Nazareth, Galilee and Bethlehem - along with tours of the Gaza strip, terrorist tunnels, a military base and Hadassah Medical Center

Protect Yellowstone buffalo from hunting season

We've been given no other choice but to seek Endangered Species Act protection for the Yellowstone buffalo ("Many ideas floated over Yellowstone park bison," Web, Dec. 14). This important action has been taken by the Buffalo Field Campaign and Western Watersheds Project.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 12, 2104, as the Senate considers a spending bill. The House has passed an additional stopgap spending to make certain the government doesn't shut down at midnight Saturday when current funding authority runs out. The move would give the Senate additional time to process a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill.  (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Ready, fire, aim

Ted Cruz is a brave conservative who, unlike some of his fellows, does not quail at the sound of the guns. He sets an example others could emulate. His tenacity, both at the grass roots where he has many friends and in Washington where he seems to have few, gives the conservative coalition a much-needed shot of testosterone in its flabby arm. His stand-up attitude is particularly valuable as Democrats try to figure out who they are and who they want to be in the wake of the thumping they took in November.

Illustration on the need for enhanced interrogation for national security by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

America needs its rough men

In spring 2009, I was invited to debate "torture" with Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show." He gave me an opportunity to make a case with which he vehemently disagreed. He didn't spout prepackaged sound bites — he presented thoughtful counterarguments. Not many television talk show hosts are willing — or able — to do that.

FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2014 file photo, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, after Senate Democrats voted on leadership positions for the 114th Congress.  Two years after first being elected to the Senate, Warren had a notable sophomore year, winning a leadership role and making her first official overseas trip, even as her party lost control of the Senate. From left are, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Warren, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

The Democratic divide

The liberal news media have been gleefully reporting the GOP's political quarrels for many years. That exaggerated storyline all but vanished last week, though, in the aftermath of the Democrats' humiliating defeats in the midterm elections.

"Bumpering" Hillary 2016 Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Pining for Elizabeth Warren

Barack Obama is so yesterday. The elitists who supported him as the great "progressive" hope are abandoning him in droves as his popularity plummets. The Washington Post describes him as having the "worst" year of anyone in Washington, and as Republicans prepare to take over the Senate, he looks more and more like a lame duck incapable of delivering much more of anything to his base.

A giant Christmas tree and a light show decorate the Grand Place in Brussels, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2014. The Christmas tree is a gift of Riga, capital city of Latvia and European cultural capital 2014. This exceptional Christmas tree measures 22 meters (72 feet), one of the highest to have adorned the Grand Place, and is one of the many attractions the Brussels' Christmas market has to offer. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Searching for Christmas in the Old World

Someone stole Christmas in Europe, and it wasn't the Grinch. There's something missing, and it isn't just the snow. Shops dependent on tourists are praying, so to speak, that the unseasonably warm weather will give way in time for a white Christmas, but the Continent's secular obsessions have put a chill on the premier Christian holy day. The Christmas spirit in much of the old country is only what you drink.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Insurrections of the mind: 100 years of politics and culture in America'

This collection, intended to be in celebration of the New Republic's centenary, will be looked at more as a requiem. This month, the magazine's editor, Franklin Foer, and its long-standing and widely respected literary editor, Leon Wieseltier, left the magazine after a difference in vision with the owner, 30-year-old Chris Hughes. The magazine is moving back to New York City — its home for the first decades of its existence — and will be transformed, in the words of Mr. Hughes, into a "digital media company." Mr. Hughes purchased the company only two years ago but seems to have tired of its place in American letters.