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Protesters chant as they rally outside Gracie Mansion in New York City on Dec. 15.

Murders like New York’s are not the fault of City Hall

- The Washington Times

Last week’s police shootings in New York City have rather predictably set off an epidemic of finger-pointing. In the 1990s, when Timothy McVey blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, President Clinton hinted not very subtly that the real fault lay with the “militia” movement. Later, politicians and some pundits blamed Sarah Palin, of all people, for the shooting of Rep. Gaby Giffords of Arizona, and when an emotionally disturbed Adam Lanza killed his mother, stole her guns and wreaked havoc in Newtown, Connecticut, two years ago, a chorus of finger-pointers blamed not Lanza, but the National Rifle Association and the manufacturer of the guns he used.

Illustration on the deterioration of arts and culture in American society by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Transformation and crisis at The New Republic

The crisis at The New Republic that led to the resignation of its editor, literary editor and numerous staff members is symptomatic of a broader cultural decline also manifest on the pages of The New York Times and other mainstream publications. Newspapers and magazines have been going out of business or are making desperate efforts to be more “readable” and “lively,” that is to say, more entertaining and better integrated into popular culture.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Complete Little Nemo’

Winsor McCay is widely regarded as one of America’s greatest cartoonists. His early 20th century comic strips (“Little Sammy Sneeze,” “Dream of the Rarebit Fiend”) and animated shorts (“Gertie the Dinosaur,” “The Sinking of the Lusitania”) are still among the most groundbreaking examples of both genres.

John Newton          Detail from a portrait by John Russell

The amazing grace of Christmas morn

- The Washington Times

In the clutter of Christmas morn, the Christ born in a manger 2,000 years ago lives, liberating the hearts of sinners and transforming the lives of the wicked. The redeeming power of the Christmas message is nowhere more vividly illustrated than in the incredible life of an English slaver named John Newton.

Illustration on the value of the Christmas story by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

There is everything to gain and nothing to lose in embracing the Christmas story

Suppose what some call the “Christmas story” is true — all of it, from the angels, to the shepherds, to the virgin birth, to God taking on human flesh. By this, I don’t mean to suggest it is true only for those who believe it to be true, but what if it is objectively true, no matter what the deniers say? What difference would it make? Should it make any difference?

Illustration on the order of the universe and the existence of a Creator by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Making sense of the Christmas mystery

The Christmas story of God, Creator of the universe, putting on a fleshly baby outfit and coming down to earth to be born in a dirty stable disguised as an infant, then eventually giving his life to save humanity, doesn’t make any sense to unbelievers. This frankly boggling account sometimes doesn’t even make sense to devoted Christians who pray, attend church and search the Bible to discover how and why God does what He does.

Power Plant Getting Taxed More by the EPA Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Obama’s green economic policies hit blacks hardest

The sad truth is President Obama’s agenda includes policies that preferentially harm blacks. In particular, Mr. Obama’s climate change policy, in effect, serves as a 21st-century version of Jim Crow laws owing to its economic impact on black households.

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Buttons are laid out at the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee booth at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held at the Gaylord Hotel, National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 7, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

The $10.5 million Draft Ben Carson PAC opens a N.H. office — it's 'just the beginning'

- The Washington Times

The same group that has already rounded up 23,000 volunteers for Ben Carson and raised $10.5 million for his potential White House campaign are upping their ante. The National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, an independent political action committee formed to draft the retired neurosurgeon and author has opened a 1,700-square-foot "Draft Ben Carson for President Victory Center" in Manchester, New Hampshire.

A flag the flew over one of the ships during the Pearl Harbor attack is displayed on the dock during the Pearl Harbor memorial ceremony Sunday, Dec. 7, at the USS Edson in Bangor Township, Mich. (AP Photo/The Bay City Times, Yfat Yossifor) LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT

ED FEULNER: Remembering true American heroes

Mention Hawaii to most people, and they think of sand and surf. But this sun-drenched vacation mecca is also home to one of the most infamous events in history: the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor.

Rift Between We and They illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The unfairness of Obamacare

Next year, when the employer mandate of Obamacare is activated, millions of Americans will be screaming in pain as their health insurance premiums skyrocket or as they lose their health insurance altogether. It will be just one more piece of the rapidly crumbling health care system that was forced upon the unsuspecting American people through political manipulation and deception.

Illustration on Congress' attacks on the CIA over EITs by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Feinstein's tortured report

The "torture" report released Tuesday by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein's Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is the latest attempt to prove that the George W. Bush administration's "enhanced interrogation techniques" used on a small number of terrorist prisoners amounted to torture and that the CIA lied to congress about them. It is a political condemnation of CIA conduct meant to erect another barrier to effective interrogation of terrorists, and it is wrong in its statement of the law.

Brave dogs in war

War dogs are more than dogs. They are testimony to what dogs are and can be.

The Death of Jobs Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Beware of rosy job numbers

Don't be fooled by the everything's-coming-up-roses coverage that the national news media gave the Obama administration's job numbers last week.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, as she leaves the Senate chamber after releasing a report on the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques at secret overseas facilities after the 9/11 terror attacks. Feinstein  branded the findings a "stain on the nation's history." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

EDITORIAL: The politics of torture

The Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday released the results of the long anticipated investigation into the CIA's detentions and interrogation techniques in the prosecution of the "war" on Islamic terrorism, and there's something in it for nearly everyone.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ferguson destroyed itself

I am not sure about the rest of America, but I have had enough of Ferguson, Missouri. You can blame the recent riots across our country and the continued sensationalism of the Ferguson riot on the news media, be it TV, print or Internet, along with the Rev. Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan and their ilk. Rev. Sharpton and Mr. Farrakhan should be arrested and charged for inciting this riot; they, along with Attorney Gen. Eric Holder and a racially divisive president, continue to incite violence. We have laws on the books, but our 'community organizer' turned his head until the rioting was over, then convened a summit at the White House to discuss how it could have taken place.

The ‘renaissance admiral’ takes command

A 1976 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Adm. James Stavridis served for 35 years on active duty in the Navy, commanding destroyers and a carrier strike groups in combat, and for seven years as a four-star admiral, the last four years of which (2009 to 20013) were spent as the first Naval officer chosen as Supreme Allied Commander for Global Operations at NATO.

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin says Republicans need to show up in minority neighborhoods and ask what has voting for Democrats gotten them? It's a good question..  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Rep. Paul Ryan's hope for a Congress that works

Like two predatory animals circling each other, Republicans and Democrats are trying to sort out the meaning of last month's election and plan strategies for the remaining days of the current Congress and the new one in which Republicans will hold majorities in both houses.

2014 Pro-life Mid-Term Ballots Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Pro-life wave washes over midterms

Democratic candidates trotted out the cliched "war on women" theme in the midterms. Advocates of abortion-on-demand worked to convince voters they had women's interests at heart. It hasn't worked in the past and, in 2014, it really didn't work.

Illustration on the coming presidential race by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The race for the 2016 presidency

- The Washington Times

Republican and Democratic presidential wannabes are beginning to focus on 2016, evaluating their chances and building on the contacts and chits they've accumulated over the last few years. Some have been at it for some time, some are still thinking about running. While many candidates are being discussed or having their supporters see about getting them discussed, this long list will shorten in the months ahead.

Illustration on political economic corruption in Ukraine by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Is it ‘game over’ for Ukraine?

Ukraine will likely go bankrupt within the next few months. This past Friday, it was reported that the country has less than $10 billion in foreign-currency reserves. My sources (who have been spot on the Russian/Ukrainian situation over the last couple of years) tell me the situation is actually worse than the official reports in that Ukraine is now losing foreign reserves at a rate of $3 billion a month and that rate is accelerating. Even worse, some of the reserves may be "illiquid" — which likely means they have already been spent or even stolen.