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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.

Illustration on the fall of Yemen by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Yemen’s collapse demonstrates Obama’s foreign policy failures

Last Tuesday night, President Obama assured the American people that their nation is secure because of his leadership. His “steady, persistent resolve,” Mr. Obama proclaimed in his State of the Union speech, has resulted in a “safer, more prosperous world.”

Illustration on corrupt reprisals from the IRS by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Payback from the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service’s woes did not begin or end with Lois Lerner and the agency’s targeting of political opponents with punitive action. Earlier this month we became painfully aware (again) that political games and punishing the taxpayer appear to be the burgeoning raison d’etre of the tax-collecting agency.

Illustration on the illusory nature of the economic recovery for the middle class by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Obama’s illusory economic recovery

The big news from this week’s State of the Union address is that the economic “crisis is over.” Apparently, we’ve been rescued from a second Great Depression and everything this president has done to fix the economy has worked. All that was missing from Mr. Obama’s celebration was the old “Icky Shuffle” end zone dance.

A woman waves a Greek flag during a speech by the leader of Syriza left-wing party Alexis Tsipras outside Athens University Headquarters, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. A triumphant Alexis Tsipras told Greeks that his radical left Syriza party's win in Sunday's early general election meant an end to austerity and humiliation and that the country's regular and often fraught debt inspections were a thing of the past. "Today the Greek people have made history. Hope has made history," Tsipras said in his victory speech at a conference hall in central Athens. (AP Photo/Fotis Plegas G.)

Now Greeks should dump the Euro

Since 2008, the Greek economy has shrunk by 25 percent, and the stock market is down more than 80 percent.

Illustration on school choice by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The steady progress of school choice

Sunday marked the start of National School Choice Week, an annual celebration of education reforms that give parents the power to pick the schools, public or private, that are best for their children.

Obama, General of the Free Army Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Obama’s Free Stuff Army

Fresh from offering “free” health care, “free” phones and “free” food to the masses, he’s upped the bribery to “free” community college tuition and “free” child care. It’s not that the Clintons oppose any of these; they just need to affect moderation in case Hillary runs for president and has to knock back boilermakers again with the good old boys in Pennsylvania taverns.

Illustration on success and college degrees by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Scott Walker’s real-life diploma

Without a college degree you can go on to create a computer empire like Dell, Microsoft and Apple, build an airline company like Jet Blue, found an organic food company like Whole Foods, or just become a run-of-the-mill tech nerd and create WordPress, DropBox, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Spotify, Threadless or Pinterest. But some say you can’t be president of the United States.

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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.

Illustration on France's response to Islamic terrorism by M. Ryder/Tribune Content Agency

Is Paris burning?

The late Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times, Paul Conrad, frequently used religious symbols to illustrate his point of view. Conrad drew the ire of some readers whenever he used the Star of David or a cross in his drawings. Letters to the editor denounced him, but to my knowledge no one showed up at the newspaper to kill him.

George Washington in the Cayman Islands Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The great global lie

Cayman is prosperous, in part, because of a great global lie, which causes many big rich nations to pursue bad economic policies. The global lie is that the developed countries have too little government, rather than too much.

A call to arms, with humor

Mark Steyn's appeal has spread quickly in these early-21st century years. A big hit particularly in the English-speaking world, the author-analyst-humorist is best known in the United States as a frequent substitute on "The Rush Limbaugh Show," America's most popular radio talk show.

Terrorists or strict adherents?

In "France weighs the tragic cost of appeasement" (Web, Jan. 8) Claude Salhani writes that the gunmen in last week's murderous Paris attacks "are as far removed from Islam as can possibly be." Mr. Salhani is simply and utterly incorrect.

(AP Photo/Laramie Daily Boomerang, Jeremy Martin)

Portly pastors: Study finds over a third of America's clergy are obese due to stress, long hours

- The Washington Times

Potluck dinners and donuts at the Sunday coffee hour are not to blame. Over a third of America's ministers and clergy are now considered obese because of demanding hours, lower pay and dwindling self care says a new study from Baylor University released Monday. Researchers based their conclusions on the responses of 539 clergy members from multiple denominations and religious traditions - to discover the complex challenges for those with a calling.

Charlie Hebdo killers hijacked Islam

Last Wednesday's attack at the Paris headquarters of magazine Charlie Hebdo was a cowardly, heinous act which does not have any basis in Islam. As a Muslim woman I find myself repeating over and over that Islam is a religion of peace and terrorists have hijacked my faith.

Thousands of people wave national flags and hold placards that read "I am Charlie" at the Place de la Nation in Paris Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. More than 40 world leaders, their arms linked, marched through Paris Sunday to rally for unity and freedom of expression and to honor 17 victims of three days of terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

An ‘ambassadonor’ shows Obama’s solidarity with France

In yet another example of disrespect to our allies, neither President Obama nor any member of his administration attended Sunday's unity march in Paris. Instead, representing the United States was Obama campaign bundler, Jane Hartley, the newly appointed U. S. ambassador to France.

The latest cover of Charlie Hebdo.

Doomed to remember more dates in infamy

A headline in London exclaims that what happened in Paris "has galvanized France." Well, that's good, so far as it goes. Galvanized can be a good thing only if the galvanizee stays galvanized. The record is not encouraging.

illustration on the international Islamo-terroist threat by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Freedom hangs in the balance

Give me liberty or give me death. The pen is mightier than the sword. These are fantastic statements that people and politicians love to make while giving speeches. These words are now dripping with the real blood of innocent cartoonists and jihadi terrorists. Twelve satirists from the French magazine Charlie Hebdo are dead for refusing to bow before the tyranny of fear perpetuated by radical Islamists from across the globe. Summary judgment was carried out by local zealots, the Kouachi brothers, who themselves are now dead at the hands of French police.

Associated Press Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Obama's snub of Paris

If Barack Obama has demonstrated one talent in his six years at the White House it's a unique "gift" for shutting his ears to the music of America. The man who says the Muslim call to evening prayer is the sweetest sound in his ears is deaf to the sounds that warm the hearts and stir the souls of the rest of us.

Saying no to terror as the new normal

- The Washington Times

As the world continues to reel from the horror of Islamist terrorism in France, one common refrain from commentators and “experts” is that this is now the new normal, that we must be prepared to deal with so-called lone-wolf terrorism for decades.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska, view from Dead Dog Hill. Credit: National Park Service

Paying for the national parks

America's national parks are national treasures, unique in their natural beauty, geological features and recreational opportunities. The parks rescued millions of acres from waste and often thoughtless abuse. Since President Ulysses Grant set aside a federal preservation in 1872, the national park system has evolved to become the envy of other nations.

AP editorializing, not reporting

In "Mayor eulogizes officer as cops outside turn backs" (Web, Jan. 4) The Associated Press shows us how not to report a story. In the very first paragraph, the story refers to the officers who turned their backs on the mayor as "repeating a stinging display of scorn for the mayor." Paragraph two starts off with "[t]he show of disrespect" and adds later that "[t]he gesture among officers added to tensions between the mayor and rank-and-file police even though he sought to quiet them."

Illegals in U.S. enrich Mexico

I hope no one is surprised that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto so graciously offered to doctor the paperwork for millions of Mexican illegals to have the legal standing to enter the United States — without the approval of the U.S. government ("Mexican president offers Obama help with amnesty documents," Web, Jan. 6).

Gasoline Capitol Dome Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Washington’s gas tax guzzlers

Suddenly everyone in Washington wants a gas tax hike — apparently so that consumers don't save too much money at the pump. As prices keep falling, the politicians and the moochers in Washington want a piece of the action.

Illustration on the dangers of proposed net neutrality action by the government by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Blunting a radical agenda at the FCC

When bureaucrats in the government think Congress isn't doing enough to push along an agenda, federal agencies still have the responsibility to regulate fairly and judiciously. But that's sometimes no fun. On President Obama's watch, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, for two examples, continue to merrily scoot around Congress to impose their own agendas.