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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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The New Hampshire Rebellion - a nonpartisan grassroots group -  wants politicians to know their state is 'not for sale." (Image from New Hampshire Rebellion)

Cold fury: 'New Hampshire Rebellion' walks 250 frozen miles to protest big money in politics

- The Washington Times

The New Hampshire Rebellion, a nonpartisan grass-roots group that has declared that the Granite State is "no longer for sale" to presidential candidates, has made good on its promise to walk over 250 miles from the four corners of the state, to eventually converge on the State House in Concord for a big rally by Wednesday. Despite freezing temperatures and challenging weather, the intrepid group is receiving a warm welcome, apparently.

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2015 file photo, gas prices were under two dollars a gallon are seen at a service station in Leonia, N.J. A 50-percent plunge in the price of crude oil, and cheaper gas at the pump, raise critical questions about whether the Keystone XL oil pipeline is still needed or even makes financial sense. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Just say no to a gas tax hike

Echoing Nancy Pelosi in calling for a gas tax increase is not the way to brand the new GOP Congress.

GOP accused of omitting Univision from 2016 debates to 'avoid uncomfortable immigration questions'

- The Washington Times

It only took a few hours for the squabbles to break out following the Republican National Committee's announcement revealing the time, place and network for the Party's nine official Republican presidential debates. Critics complained that such networks as Univision and MSNBC had been frozen out of the line-up, which is a lot skinnier than it was in 2012, when 20 debates crowded the schedule.

FILE - In this July 1, 2013, file photo,  smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal burning power plant in in Colstrip, Mont. State officials planned a public meeting Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, in Colstrip on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal to cut greenhouse emissions. The town is home to one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the West,  a 2,100-megawatt facility that churns out more greenhouse gases than any other source in Montana. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

The energy deniers

Our "Energy Deniers" pander to the environmental fringe and dream of endless tax revenues that we will all pay for.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Associated Press)

Why Hillary Clinton won't run for president

Hillary can't win, and that's why she won't run. She may not know that yet herself, but a lot of Democrats want her because she's all they've got. The Republicans are counting on her to run because they think she's the candidate they can beat in what looks from here like it could be a Republican year.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington in this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, file photo. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Is the FCC unlawful?

Last year saw the publication of Philip Hamburger's new book, "Is Administrative Law Unlawful?" In his magisterial work, Mr. Hamburger claims — backed up by extensive research into English and American constitutional history — that most of the regulatory actions of our federal administrative agencies are unlawful.

Men walk by a sign in Chattanooga, Tenn., promoting it as Gig City. The city's municipal fiber optic network provides Internet speeds at more than 50 times the national average. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

The wrong way to a good idea

President Obama has set out to do for the Internet what he did for the nation's health care system. He's determined to destroy the Internet, which has changed the way the world works, as we know it.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (Associated Press) **FILE**

Putting spice in marriage

The language of the New Age, like a lot of things in Li'l Abner's hometown of Dogpatch, can be "amusin' but confusin'." The word "sex" has been displaced by "gender," though no one ever called Marilyn Monroe a "genderpot," and no woman we know thinks a silky black night gown will make her feel "gendery." Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia thinks he can ride to the rescue of all by making the language of marriage more confusing, if not amusing.

The challenge raised by the Paris slaughter

Out of the myriad of horrified responses to the monstrous terrorist carnage in Paris, very few have pointed the way forward for the world. But that surely is the supreme need of the hour. The core issue at stake for the world is simple: How do 7 billion people on a tiny blue ball of a planet live with their differences when the deepest of those differences are religious and ideological? And when diversity can be found not only between but within single societies? In short, how do we respect diversity, and still promote liberty and maintain harmony?

Illustration on dealing with sexual assaults in the military by Donna Grethen/Tribune Content Agency

Exploiting sexual assault in the military

The new Senate will have many national security and defense issues to deal with in 2015, but indulging Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's relentless campaign to alter the military justice system should not be one of them.

Three Not-so-wise Apes Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Lip service to the First Amendment

Rising from the ugly portals of dictatorship and control is the irrevocable value of open expression. Free speech, indeed the ability to make decisions for yourself, is a gift bequeathed to citizens residing with Western traditions. At times speech is hateful and tasteless — unappetizing features of freedom. But this is a price willingly paid to assure free exchange.

In this Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 file photo, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gestures while speaking during a media conference prior to a meeting of the North Atlantic Council at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Leaving combat operations in Afghanistan behind, NATO is shifting its focus to Europe in 2015 and the creation of its new ultra-rapid reaction force, designed as a deterrent to Russia.  (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

NATO'S new capabilities

It's time for other NATO members to start kicking in more to help pay for their own defense.

Missouri Department of Agriculture should handle deer farms

As recently reported in The Washington Times, new legislative bills moving farmed deer under the oversight of the Department of Agriculture will be heard again this session following the controversy of last session's debates in Jefferson City, Mo. ("Missouri bill to switch oversight of deer farms returns," Web, Jan. 6). The bill is still needed because the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), which oversees deer farms, is pushing regulations that are designed to put the farms out of business.

'Satellite solidarity' with sorely lacking

White House press secretary Josh Earnest has done his best to deal with the decision by someone in the White House that President Obama not go to Paris. Mr. Earnest has pointed out the president's unwavering support for France and the French people. Obama called French President Francois Hollande on the day of the Charlie Hebdo attacks to express his outrage. He offered all U.S. assistance in dealing with the situation. He even dropped by the French embassy to sign the condolence book.

The Embassy of FInland in the nation's capital has won a coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification for it site design and practices. The embassy interior is shown here.  (Embassy of FInland)

A first: The green-minded Embassy of Finland wins a coveted LEED platinum certification

- The Washington Times

On-site composting, high efficiency water faucets, low energy consumption, bikes for staffers and no plastic cups on the premises - these are just a few measures one green-minded embassy has taken. And to much acclaim. The Embassy of Finland in the nation's capital has been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification - and the first embassy in the U.S. to win the ultimate designation. There's history. In previous years, the striking and beautifully designed diplomatic site has won a "green," then a "gold" designation. Such efforts can only enhance the nation's image on these shores and elsewhere.