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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.

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.

Conservatism has blossomed into the major intellectual and political force of our time. (Rod Lamkey Jr/ The Washington Times)

Conservatism is now everywhere

There is a problem with the Internet. Its commentary is too often dominated by pinheads. H.L. Mencken used to complain that only idiots write letters to the editor. That might have been true of his day — the 1920s and 1930s — but in our time writers of letters to the editor of newspapers and even of websites are occasionally quite well-informed and even lucid. But others, I am afraid, are indeed pinheads, sitting in their underwear back home, foaming at the mouth, believing that the whole world is profoundly interested in their every word, until the authorities arrive at their homes to take them away.

Illustration on threatened government meddling in the private sector world of sports by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Jumping offsides on ‘Deflategate’

Super Bowl XLIX (49) will be played this Sunday. Sadly, the anticipated matchup between the AFC champion New England Patriots and NFC champion Seattle Seahawks has already had the wind knocked out of its sails — or, in this case, the air out of its footballs.

The Democratic assault on free speech

- The Washington Times

Everybody’s for free speech — until somebody says something he doesn’t like. But the genius of the First Amendment is that it is so direct and plain that even a lawyer or a judge can understand it.

Illustration on the Obama administrations role in Iranian nuclear ambitions by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Iran’s price for Obama’s coveted legacy

The importance of any political event is best measured against its opponents’ reactions. By that yardstick, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s agreement to speak about the dangers of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons before a joint session of Congress is already enormously significant.

Illustration on American's diminished economic freedom by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Regaining lost economic freedom

If you were to rank all the countries of the world based on their level of economic freedom, you’d think the United States would be a shoo-in for first place, right? Surely we would be at least somewhere in the top five.

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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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

'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.

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.

President Barack Obama speaks at Pellissippi State Community College, Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, in Knoxville, Tenn., about new initiatives to help more Americans go to college and get the skills they need to succeed. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama's bogus community college giveaway

President Obama can't resist the temptation to gin up new entitlements that chase votes but make problems worse—free tuition at community colleges would be no exception.

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.

General William Donovan works in the OSS headquarters offices during World War II. (OSS Society)

Saved from the wrecking ball? New plans emerge for OSS HQ, historic home to the nation's top spies

- The Washington Times

Three cheers, and perhaps a 21-gun salute for a rare cultural victory in the age of hasty conclusions and insta-buildings. The General Services Administration is now mulling over practical ways to preserve one of the most unique clutch of buildings in the nation's capital, all previously faced with a most undignified tear down. The august former headquarters of the Office of Strategic Services - that's the precursor of the CIA - were at risk of facing the bulldozer, potentially to fall in favor of new office space for the Department of State, which stands close by, as does the Lincoln Memorial, Kennedy Center and multiple historic sites.

The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) transits the Gulf of Aden. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Abe McNatt/Released)

Keeping the Navy matchless

Sometimes it is hard to believe how quickly time flies by. That statement is even truer in the life of modern weapons systems. As I stood in the heat of the day on July 4, 1991, little did I know that 24 years later I would so vividly recall the words, "Man the ship," as they rang out over the announcing system to bring USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) to life.

Illustration on French "free speech" by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

What freedom of speech?

The photos of 40 of the world's government leaders marching arm-in-arm along a Paris boulevard on Sunday with the president of the United States not among them was a provocative image that has fomented much debate. The march was, of course, in direct response to the murderous attacks on workers at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by a pair of brothers named Kouachi, and on shoppers at a Paris kosher supermarket by one of the brothers' comrades.