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Illustration on the state of American liberty by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

CPAC, freedom and saving the country

Attendees of last week’s Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), the nation’s largest conference for conservatives, heard a few tried and true conservative messages from potential presidential candidates and activists alike — calls for lower taxes, more freedom for business, a strong national defense, the importance of killing the enemy and the need for a serious foreign policy.

Illustration on continuing political and existential threats to Israel by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Much ado about the wrong Israeli controversy

The brouhaha over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 speech to Congress is diverting attention from more important U.S.-Israel controversies that will escalate soon after this comparatively minor contretemps fizzles out.

Illustration on patent protection by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Patent ‘reform’ is killing the right to invent

With the best intentions, and naively going along with the corporate world’s hugely financed publicity machine, Congress is about to stomp on America’s most creative citizens, its inventors.

Illustration on the progressive tax structure by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Do the rich pay their fair share?

Suppose there were a banquet for 100 people and at the end of the night it was time to split the bill of $50 per person. If that bill were paid for the way we pay our income taxes, here is how it would work. Those in the top half of income would pay roughly $97 each and those in the bottom half of the income would pay an average of $3 each. Almost 40 people would pay nothing. And the single richest person in the room would cough up $1,750.

Illustration on the non-efficacy of "evidence-based" review of government programs by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Obama’s bogus cure for boondoggles

In the 1930s, peasants who were starving due to the Soviet regime’s brutal farm collectivization policy lamented, “If only Stalin knew.” Nowadays, American social scientists look at floundering federal programs and lament: “If only Congress knew.” The solution, they say, is the “evidence-based” reform movement, which will magically beget a new era of good governance.

The Folly of Food Labels Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Package police on the prowl

Britain and Australia both have images of Queen Elizabeth on their money, use the metric system, and add the letter “u” to words like “color.” Soon they could have another thing in common: Neither will have branding on their cigarette packages.

Illustration on Obama's veto of the Keystone pipeline by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Killing Keystone

In the days leading up to President Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL pipeline, 14 oil tanker railroad cars derailed in West Virginia and exploded in a fiery environmental disaster.

Illustration on safety improvements to oil rail transport by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Tanking up on safety

Railroads share the public’s deep concern for the safe movement of crude oil by rail and, as recent incidents have shown us, freight railroads and others who share responsibility for the shipment of oil must continue to make improvements to ensure public confidence.

Peace in the Middle East Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Like-to-like ethnic migration in the Middle East

Population shifts resulting from Syria’s four-year-long civil war have profoundly changed Syria and its three Arabic-speaking neighbors: Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan. (Turkey and Israel have changed too, but less so.) Ironically, amid tragedy and horror, as populations adapt to the brutal imperatives of modern nationalism, all four countries are becoming a bit more stable. That’s because the fighting has pushed peoples to move from ethnic minority status to ethnic majority status, encouraging like to live with like.

Oscar’s gem from across the ocean

Hollywood can’t help itself. The glitteries inevitably use the Academy Awards to push their personal politics, sometimes cheap and occasionally not, rewarding razzle-dazzle over real life. This year the two most important Oscars, for best picture and best director, went to “Birdman,” about razzle-dazzle, and not “Boyhood,” about real life.

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Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

The FCC's coming Internet regulations

On Feb. 26, led by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, the three agency's three Democrats will vote to subject the nation's Internet service providers to the same so-called "Title II" public utility regulatory scheme devised to regulate monopolies like last century's Ma Bell.

How conservatives trump the pity party

William Voegeli's "The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion" is required reading for all political animals.

Illustration on the preservation of presidential homes by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

A window into a president’s soul

Having held Thomas Jefferson's seat in the House of Delegates, living for two years in a converted shed on Mount Alto-Brown's Mountain overlooking Monticello, marrying my wife, Susan, nearby at James Monroe's Ash Lawn, and now living on land that was once a part of George Washington's Mount Vernon plantation, I have seen how historic properties can be subdivided and developed, thereby altering the experience and sense of a personal understanding of important history.

Affordable care that isn’t affordable

If there were a contest for the biggest lie in Washington over the past 30 years, it would be hard to compete with President Obama's boast that he would put 30 million more Americans on Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies, and this would reduce the budget deficit. That's got to be right up there with President Clinton declaring, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

Terror Stress Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Fear of ISIS attacks the heart

Fear of the Islamic State is even worse than ISIS itself. Terror breeds worry — a cruel beheading and a heroic pilot who is burned alive in a scene of public torture creates a tidal wave of public stress; many millions are horrified and worry they could be next. Video images amplify this worry, and stress hormones soar. When we are anxious we don't sleep well, which extends the cycle of worry into the following day.

Killing industry with junk science

Back in 1995 I wrote a thesis titled "The CFC Ban: Is it Warranted?" refuting the notion that "global warming" was caused by man-made pollution. The global warming theory was based on the belief that chlorinated fluorocarbons (CFCs) would rise up into the atmosphere and reduce the level of ozone in the ozone layer, causing holes in the ozone. Well, I wasn't the only one who debunked that theory, because CFCs are three to four times heavier than air and may never make it to the ozone layer. You no longer hear scientists mention these theories.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber kisses his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, after he is sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term as governor in Salem, Ore. Kitzhaber announced his resignation Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, amid allegations Hayes used her relationship with him to enrich herself.  (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

More rain in Oregon

Times have been tough for Democratic governors. Republicans in November ousted Democrats in Maryland and Massachusetts, both blue-state strongholds, and now another Democratic governor, this one in Oregon, where the election results can't get a deeper shade of blue, is out. The influence-peddling scandal that took him down further threatens his fiancee and the reputation of a major donor whose billions are beloved by Democrats.

King Salman gestures of Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Saudi Press Agency, File)

Shaming Saudi Arabia

The example set by the early Americans who met in Philadelphia to write a Constitution for free men continues to be a beacon to "the huddled masses yearning to breathe free," in the words of the poet Emma Lazarus. We, the most fortunate of men and women, sometimes forget the debt everyone owes to the men who understood that all men are equal in the eyes of the Creator, and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by their governments. The yearning for freedom to speak their minds, write what they want and circulate their opinions, burns in the hearts of men and women everywhere.

To avoid the economic, social, environmental and human health catastrophes that would follow fossil fuel elimination, we would need affordable, reliable options on a large enough scale to replace them. Existing "renewable" technologies cannot possibly do that. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

Hydrocarbon Appreciation Day

Fossil fuel antagonists have devised numerous schemes, campaigns and justifications to curb or eliminate hydrocarbon energy. Their latest gambit is Global Divestment Day, Feb. 13-14, dedicated to pressuring institutions to eliminate fossil fuel companies from their investment portfolios.

Upcoming fashion is unisex - with androgynous colors and progressive designs, says the industry color adviser. (Image from Pantone)

Unisex returns: 'Androgynous' colors, progressive design dominate upcoming fashion

- The Washington Times

It's not 50 shades of gray quite yet. Just in time for New York Fashion Week comes this news from Pantone - the industry organization which sets professional color standards for all design industries: "The fall 2015 palette is rooted in multi-faceted, androgynous colors that can be worn to portray effortless sophistication across men's and women's fashion; it is the first time we are seeing a truly unisex color palette," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Finally transparent — on terror strategy

I just read President Obama's request for the use of military force ("Obama's military force proposal 'utterly stupid,' says Orrin Hatch," Web, Feb. 11). After creating chaos in Iraq and Libya, Mr. Obama now wants to micromanage the war on the Islamic State. Notably he removes the threat of a sustained ground effort by American forces. Such valuable information normally is sought by enemy spies. Mr. Obama gives it to the world.