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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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Illustration on Obama's continued burdening of the American economic middle class by Linas Garsys/The Washington times

Obama's problem with income inequality

While liberals increasingly bemoan "income inequality," they assign President Obama no responsibility for it. Mr. Obama fully embraced his exoneration in his State of the Union address, showcasing the issue as though he had never been president — despite having been in office six years, being America's most liberal president, having greatly expanded his presidential powers, and unsparingly expended the nation's resources attempting to accomplish his agenda. Exploring the connection between Mr. Obama and income inequality reveals a good deal, and even more about the liberals who are not exploring it.

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.

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.

An anonymous art installation showing a broken pencil is displayed on the pavement near the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Terror attacks by French Islamic extremists should force the country to look inward at its "ethnic apartheid," the prime minister said Tuesday as four men faced preliminary charges on suspicion of links to one of the gunmen. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Say no to walking on eggshells

People of the civilized world must say no to walking on eggshells around radical Islam and beyond.

Many communities across America have government-owned golf courses that compete against privately owned courses. The government courses are usually inferior to private courses, and are costly to maintain besides.  (AP Photo/Kalamazoo Gazette-MLive Media Group, Mark Bugnaski) ALL LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; LOCAL TELEVISION INTERNET OUT

Nothing beats the private economy

In his book, "Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity," John Stossel of Fox News bet his readers a thousand dollars that they couldn't name one thing the government does better than the private sector. Eight years later he hasn't had to pay anyone a dime. The government just doesn't have the motivation, or the spur of competition, to perform services as well as private business.

If you peered into your neighbor's bedroom with a high-tech device, you'd be prosecuted or sued.  MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES

Who will keep our freedoms safe?

While the Western world was watching and grieving over the slaughter in Paris last week, and my colleagues in the media were fomenting a meaningless debate about whether President Obama should have gone to Paris to participate in a televised parade, the feds took advantage of that diversion to reveal even more incursions into our liberties than we had known about.

Illustration on the impact of anti-Semitism on France by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

‘First they came for the Jews’

A widely distributed political cartoon by Ranan Lurie, published after the massacre of four Jews in a kosher supermarket in Paris, depicts a tiny shrub above ground and just below the surface, supporting the plant, is a web of thick twisted roots spread in the design of the swastika.

Illustration on the rate of black babies being aborted in America by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Aborting black America

"Black lives matter" has become the slogan of anti-police protests across the nation, but the target of the protests is so misplaced that the motives of the so-called civil rights leaders behind the movement must be questioned. Do they really care about black lives? Or are they cynically exploiting isolated incidents, such as the death of Michael Brown, to inflame the black population and advance their own political interests?

Rep. Curt Clawson, R-Fla., does a sound check as he prepares to give the Tea Party response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, at the National Press Club in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Tea party leader suggests emerging unity between establishment GOP and the grassroots

- The Washington Times

There's emerging unity between tea party and establishment Republicans says Taylor Budowich, executive director of the Tea Party Express. The national political action committee organized an official grassroots response to the State of the Union address by Rep. Curt Clawson, a Florida Republican who won his office in a special election by 40 percentage points last year, with much bedrock conservative support. Mr. Budowich finds evidence of this unity in the response itself.

Revisiting Ronald Reagan’s political development

Tom Reed was trained as an engineer and has an engineer's orderly mind. Where politics is concerned, it led him to concentrate on organization. In turn, this led to an important role in Ronald Reagan's first electoral victory, the governorship of California in 1966.

A large component of the Obama administration's climate-change agenda is to restrict carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. Washington regulators set a goal of reducing CO2 emissions 30 percent by 2030, which would mostly target abundant and affordable coal-fired generation. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

Global climate policy after Lima

In his State of the Union address, President Obama again confirmed that "saving the climate" remains one of his top priorities. Yet the recently concluded confab in Lima, Peru, didn't really conclude anything — certainly no binding protocol to limit emissions of carbon dioxide — but "kicked the can down the road" to the next international gabfest in Paris, scheduled for December.

'Islamophobic' loaded, inaccurate term

The term "Islamophobia" may be the most misused term in the contemporary lexicon. Standard dictionary definition of the word "phobic" is an exaggerated or an irrational fear of something. Given the horrific savagery that has been so prominently in evidence throughout the world over the past 20 years in the name of Islam, it is not possible for any thoughtful human being to have an "exaggerated" or an "irrational" fear of Islam.

Move on out, Terry McAuliffe

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe brings his form of leftist tripe to Virginia ("Gun control advocates, opponents square off in Richmond," Web, Jan. 19). The commonwealth's residents know history, particularly Mr. McAuliffe's.

Ms. Lynch is a tough prosecutor, more lawyer and prosecutor than politician, and thus very different from the man she is to replace. (Associated Press)

Questions for Loretta Lynch

Loretta Lynch, the president's nominee to replace Eric Holder as the U.S. attorney general, faces question-and-answer time next week, and this will be the first opportunity for the new Republican majority to demonstrate that there's a new and more just world on Capitol Hill. She will not necessarily face a hostile panel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, nor should she. She is a known quantity as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, first appointed by President Clinton and reappointed by President Obama.

Joni Ernst at Work in Washington Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Joni Ernst, political myth-buster

- The Washington Times

Some years ago, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in responding to personal attacks on him as an "Uncle Tom" or worse observed that to the left, being black had less to do with skin color, genes and ancestry than with one's political ideology. That is certainly true for today's "progressive" Democrats who believe that they not only have a right to the support of every minority and female voter ever born, but that the apostasy of any who reject them makes them worthy of derision and attack as somehow inauthentic.