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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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Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the new Democratic governor, no fan of the civility-in-government movement, calls Mr. Black's measure "counterproductive and mean-spirited" and had threatened to veto it if the legislation passed. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Breaking the law is no solution

No one would reward a shoplifter just because he manages to get out of the store with stolen merchandise, but every Democrat in the Virginia state Senate — and one Republican — voted last week to reward those who broke into the country illegally and get a valuable public benefit.

Greek Cypriots should return to negotiations

Contrary to the Hellenic Institute's Nick Larigakis' latest round of histrionics ("Turkey's Cyprus incursion nothing new," Letters, Jan. 21), the appearance of a civilian seismic exploration vessel offshore is a modest assertion of the inherent rights of Turkish Cypriots and a peaceful response to the Greek Cypriot side's disruptive, unilateral actions.

Two years after Obamacare opened for business, Mr. Obama's health care scheme isn't exactly solving the problem every American must deal with. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Doubling down on disaster

President Obama is for choice and competition in the health-insurance market, as befits a champion of the free market, except when he isn't. "My guiding principle is, and always has been," he said in 2009 when he was trying to sell Obamacare, "that consumers do better when there is choice and competition. That's how the market works. In Alabama, almost 90 percent of the market is controlled by just one company. And without competition, the price of insurance goes up and quality goes down."

Illustration on school choice by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The steady progress of school choice

Sunday marked the start of National School Choice Week, an annual celebration of education reforms that give parents the power to pick the schools, public or private, that are best for their children.

Image from the Public Religion Research Institute

53 percent of Americans say God rewards 'athletes of faith' with good health, success on the field

- The Washington Times

Sunday is often associated with both church and devoted football watching. Now there's an intersection of the two: 53 percent of Americans and 56 percent of sports fans say "that God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success on the playing field." So says a new survey of public sentiment about sports and religion conducted by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute and the Religion News Service.

"Intelligent' computer keyboard can identify users by the pattern of their key taps. (American Chemical Society)

True cybersecurity: 'Intelligent' computer keyboard identifies users by pattern of their key taps

- The Washington Times

Protective computer passwords have some competition. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a novel intelligent computer keyboard that not only cleans itself - but can identify users by the pattern and style of their fingertips and keystrokes. The "human-machine interfacing" device, reported in the American Chemical Society's academic journal "Nano," could provide a foolproof way to prevent unauthorized users from gaining direct access to computers.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie attends a gathering to announce that Seton Hall University and the parent company of Hackensack University Medical Center are planning to build a private medical school, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Nutley, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Chris Christie on 'last-ditch effort' to regain his mystique, says New Jersey analyst

- The Washington Times

He was once intensely popular, and his signature style wooed the media and voters both in and out of his home state. Those who watch him closely think New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is about to lose his mojo. "It's been fascinating to see the Christie strategy unfold over the past two years. It's been a bit like watching a ping pong match," says one New Jersey pollster

Underfunding of Charter Schools in D.C. Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The war on school choice in Milwaukee

Milwaukee public schools are doing their best to block the expansion of school choice in the city--and the kids are the ones suffering.

President Barack Obama eats shave ice with daughter Malia at Island Snow, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, in Kailua, in Hawaii during the Obama family vacation. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Obama lives in ignorance of Islamic threat

- The Washington Times

President Obama has a happy and untroubled life on Fantasy Island, where he lives in splendid isolation from the world where the rest of us live. He is never troubled by terrorists, whether Islamic, Jewish or Episcopalian. All rough places have been made plain, manna falls right on time every morning, the water is pure, clear and cold, and golf courses where everybody breaks par stretch to a happy oblivion. The ants never get into his pants.

President Obama gives his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Three cheers for gridlock

Gridlock became a dirty word in Washington after the Republicans regained the majority in the House of Representatives and stood in the path of the invader from Fantasy Island, shouting "Stop!" The president wanted a rubber stamp, and the Democrats agreed, demanding of the Republicans, "Why can't you be like us?"

Obama no threat to terrorists

Aside from the occasional lone-wolf attack here at home, I am not convinced that a coordinated terrorist assault is imminent inside the United States. While terror cells are no doubt inside our country, why activate them now and provoke a nation with a president who is weak and sympathetic to their cause? By skipping out on the recent Paris rally, President Obama has sent our enemies the message that should they unleash mayhem throughout Europe the response from the United States will be as anemic as it has been elsewhere.

Chloe Kim competes during the women's snowboarding superpipe final at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, Colo.  (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

Snow jobs in the mountains

Once upon a time the inquisitive and the young, the reckless and the incurably naive wore their convictions on the rear bumpers of their Volkswagen Beetles: "Question authority." Time marches on. Now those purveyors of rebellion have become the authority, and they want no further questions. "Shut up," they advise.

Illustration on success and college degrees by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Scott Walker’s real-life diploma

Without a college degree you can go on to create a computer empire like Dell, Microsoft and Apple, build an airline company like Jet Blue, found an organic food company like Whole Foods, or just become a run-of-the-mill tech nerd and create WordPress, DropBox, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Spotify, Threadless or Pinterest. But some say you can't be president of the United States.

Diseased and indebted

President Obama's State of the Union this week was an entirely appropriate speech for a country on the brink of collapse ("The state of the president," Comment & Analysis, Jan. 21). It was once again a diversion for short-term political gain.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry delivers a farewell speech to a joint session of the Texas Legislature, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Rick Perry to speak at CPAC in February - emphasizing 'ideas and opportunity'

- The Washington Times

CPAC will welcome former Texas Gov. Rick Perry in their speakers lineup at the annual gathering of conservatives in February, The Washington Times has learned. "If 2014 taught us anything, it's that Americans are looking for a positive vision for this country, and 2016 will be no different. Republicans have the chance to be the party of ideas and opportunity," says Mr. Perry.

Skilled computer hackers love Cyber Monday, and sneaky business spikes on this day. (Denver Post via Associated Press)

Getting serious about cybersecurity

The Sony attack, courtesy of North Korean-sponsored cyberterrorists, was one of the biggest media stories to end 2014. Salacious information pulled from private emails was leaked to the press, who dutifully reported the embarrassing details of individuals' private correspondence, not to mention various trade secrets, business plans and valuable intellectual property.

How animal rights activists doomed ‘Free Willy’

The film "Free Willy" captured the imagination of viewers in 1993 with a story detailing a young boy's desire to free a killer whale named "Willy" from captivity in an amusement park. At the end of the film, Willy swims off to freedom. But the inspirational film bears little resemblance to reality, according to Mark Simmons, author of "Killing Keiko: The True Story of Free Willy's Return to the Wild."