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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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 (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Flunking Econ 101

Julia lives. Everybody is trying to forget Julia, President Obama's campaign cartoon figure from his 2012 re-election campaign. "The Life of Julia" touted the advantages of cradle-to-grave federal munificence, from universal pre-kindergarten classes for toddlers to Obamacare for everybody. "Julia" might have been called a celebration of womb-to-tomb munificence, except that a shower of contraceptives and abortions under Obamacare would mean that prospective descendants of Julia would never make it out of the womb.

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.

Marine Le Pen      Associated Press photograph

The worm in Charlie’s apple

An atrocity is a terrible way to increase a magazine's circulation, but that's how Charlie Hebdo got its current run of 3 million copies or more, up from 65,000. Satire, once regarded on Broadway as "what closed on Saturday night," now sells, and this week in Paris it might sell out.

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.

Securing the border first is a sound idea: This fence marks the U.S.-Mexico border at El Calaboz, Texas. (Associated press)

Stopping jihad in America

The terrorist attacks on France are a reminder that the broken U.S. immigration system isn't just about saving American jobs, but keeping out terrorists who are itching to make similar attacks in America. In the wake of the Paris attacks that killed 17 men and women last week, security officials have warned that the United States is a target for mayhem, too. President Obama's relentless determination to open the nation's borders to just about everyone makes it considerably easier for the Islamic jihadis to prepare a strike. We shouldn't need a violent episode here to remind everyone that a nation that won't control its border is no nation at all.

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.

Has U.S. forgotten God?

As we will soon begin to view political campaigns for next year's national election, it might be valuable to consult our history. It was James Madison, "father of the Constitution," who invoked the following: "We have staked the whole future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves, according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Dangers of 'free' college

Once the feds pay the bill for publicly funded community colleges, they will determine which education plans constitute meaningful contributions to society ("Obama proposes publicly funded community colleges for all," Web, Jan. 9). We will then have a situation similar to the rationing of health care we are seeing under Obamacare.

Illustration on deploying U. S. Aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean Sea by Alexander Hunter/The Washington times

A better way to patrol the Middle East

With all the core elements of Iran's nuclear weapons program now guaranteed and secured by the one-sided concessions made by the United States and agreed to by the other P5 plus 1 negotiators in the 2013 interim agreement, Iran is on track to achieve a deliverable nuclear weapons capability.

The wanting last of Bellow

For any writer, having his oeuvre collected in volumes by Library of America is in itself an accolade, a sign of his place in the literature of his nation. Saul Bellow (1915-2005) was not short on acknowledgments of his stature as a writer, winning just about every literary prize going, including the Nobel in 1976.

Liberals Missing from Talk Radio Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The silence of the lefties

This column over the years has been interested in liberalism in a special way, as a coroner is interested in a corpse in a special way. Specifically, I have been interested in the pathologies that laid the patient low. What precisely has been the cause of death?

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.

Rube Goldberg, M.D.

A folk song inspired by Philip Klein's latest book might be called "Shall We Overturn?" Just imagine a Bizarro Pete Seeger croaking out, "Shall we overtuuurn? Shall we overtuuuurn? Shall we overturn Obamacare some day?"

From Salman Rushdie to Charlie Hebdo

Let's get a few things straight: The slaughter of eight satirical journalists in Paris last week was not a tragedy. It was an atrocity. While you may have been shocked by the attack on Charlie Hebdo, anyone who was surprised has not been paying close attention to the events unfolding over recent decades.