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Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has dominated the political scene for more than a dozen years, campaigned on behalf of his former party, the Islamist-rooted Peace and Development Party (AKP), appealing to voters to elect at least 300 parliamentarians to help push through a constitution that would expand his powers as an executive. But Sunday's stunning results make that a distant prospect. (Associated Press)

An implosion in Syria

The Obama administration’s determination to stay clear of the civil war in Syria, understandable but dangerous, is a tale of red lines drawn and then ignored as if they had never been drawn. President Obama’s brave talk followed by nothing much threatens to lead to an implosion of the region.

The American flag (AP Photo)

Honoring a symbol of sacrifice

There’s no better day to wave the American flag than on the nation’s birthday. But as the United States turns 239, the usual flotsam blowing in the wind urge fellow malcontents to burn it instead. Rather than honor the blood, sweat and tears of forebears, metaphorical if not actual, who set out to build “a more perfect union” in the wilderness, the flotsam trash the past and repudiate their debt to history.

Despite clear signs of skepticism from the Obama administration, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has come together with remarkable swiftness. (Associated Press)

The Chinese puzzle

There’s wide agreement that China is America’s No. 1 foreign concern. But there’s never been such a difference of opinion among China hands about what’s happening in China, and what if anything the United States could and should do about it.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, disputing energy industry estimates, argues that average Americans ultimately will see lower electric bills as a result of regulations under President Obama's climate change agenda. (Associated Press)

Common sense v. the EPA

Maybe common sense isn’t quite graveyard dead after all. Following a week in which it altered the clear legislative meaning of Obamacare and redefined marriage to suit the whims of the 3.8 percent, further damaging the Constitution twice, the Supreme Court showed on Monday that maybe it understands there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

 Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Katherine Archuleta testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington in June. FILE (Associated Press)

Compromised cybersecurity

We can add cybersecurity to the list of things Washington can’t seem to handle. Given the enormous dimensions of recent data breaches suffered by keepers of federal employee records, it’s apparent that the government’s barriers to hackers are about as airtight as a screen door would be on a submarine. Americans working for the government shouldn’t have to worry that their personal information is scrutinized by their counterparts in Beijing. Trust is a two-way street, and a government that compromises the privacy of its own hardly deserves trust.

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Illustration on connections between Rolling Stone's reporter and the Departmwent of Education in the UVA "rape" case by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The Education Department's Rolling Stone reckoning

When one journalist (Chuck Ross of The Daily Caller) made a Freedom of Information Act request of the U.S. Department of Education about possible involvement of federal officials in the now-discredited Rolling Stone story, "A Rape on Campus," the department sent him a box with a CD in it.

In this April 28, 2015, file photo, demonstrators stand in front of a rainbow flag of the Supreme Court in Washington, as the court was set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land. Gay and lesbian couples could face legal chaos if the Supreme Court rules against same-sex marriage in the next few weeks. Same-sex weddings could come to a halt in many states, depending on a confusing mix of lower-court decisions and the sometimes-contradictory views of state and local officials. Among the 36 states in which same-sex couples can now marry are 20 in which federal judges invoked the Constitution to strike down marriage bans. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

The coup d'etat by the Supreme Court

Five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are clearly afflicted with the royalty disease. They imagine themselves to be the rightful heirs of Louis XIV of France, who famously declared himself to be the state — "l'etat c'est moi" — with no questions asked. The justices, like the king, think they can do anything they want.

President Barack Obama pauses while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Washington, about the Supreme Court upholding the subsidies for customers in states that do not operate their own exchanges under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Peace, wouldn't it be wonderful?

We've got peace institutes, peace initiatives and even professors of peace. But the real thing remains elusive. We were told that would change with the election of "the peace president." A man of black and white parents, with one from the third world, would vanquish racial enmity, jealousy and envy. Such a man of vast intellect, steeped in enlightened liberalism, would end the wars imposed on a helpless world by American imperialism.

Chief Justice John Roberts speaks at the University of Nebraska Lincoln in Lincoln, Neb., in this Sept. 19, 2016, file photo. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

'Call this law SCOTUS-care'

Obamacare lives, through the manipulation of the law and abuse of the language by Chief Justice John G. Roberts. A sloppily written health care law is rescued by a sloppily reasoned opinion, with Mr. Roberts, author of the opinion, suggesting that the law ordinarily couldn't survive judicial examination, but enabling 6.4 million Americans to continue to get subsidies prohibited by the act seems nevertheless a nice thing for the court to do.

Other factors determine violence

Karl Rove presented a popular, contra-factual, deceptive statement when saying, "the only way to guarantee that we will dramatically reduce acts of violence involving guns is to basically remove guns from society," thereby implying repeal of the Second Amendment was required. However, a study completed a few years ago and published in the Harvard Journal of Law an Public Policy found that within the United States and across European countries, violent criminality and suicide were unrelated and often inversely related to gun ownership.

Phillippee Couillard
By Asclepias (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Is there an example in Canada?

Immigration continues to be the nation's most persistent headache. Everyone acknowledges it as Headache No. 1, but nobody has either the solution or even an effective headache powder. The masses keep crowding the border, and the politicians punt.

State workers take down a Confederate national flag on the grounds of the state Capitol, Wednesday, June 24, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley ordered Confederate flags taken down from a monument at the state Capitol. (AP Photo/Martin Swant)

America in the time of fever

The mob is loose. The debate about race that naive and sometimes well-meaning people say the nation needed has descended into an evitable burst of midsummer madness. The Confederate battle flag that is said to have driven a nut case to commit wholesale murder has become merely the backdrop of national lunacy. The millions quail at the sight of the Stars and Bars, a bit of cloth for all that. You would think Marse Robert at Appomattox surrendered too soon.

FILE - In this April 11, 2015, file photo, US President Barack Obama, right, smiles as he looks over towards Cuban President Raul Castro, left, during their meeting at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama. On Decmeber 17, 2014, Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro stunned the world by announcing an end to their nations’ half-century of official hostility. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Saving the dictators

The Obama administration has been holding high-level talks with the Venezuelan dictatorship, this time in Haiti of all places, and that makes prudent men and women nervous. Washington's moral compass -- or whatever they're using for one at the White House -- has been spinning as if out of control, and pointing in odd directions.

FILE - In this May 26, 2015 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. speaks in Elizabethtown Ky.  President Barack Obama's trade agenda appears to be back on track after an extraordinary bipartisan rescue operation mounted in the week since it was derailed in the House by rebellious Democrats backed by organized labor. "We are committed to ensuring both ... get votes in the House and Senate and are sent to the president for signature," House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a joint statement issued Wednesday in an attempt to reassure pro-trade Democrats whose votes will be needed.  (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

When enough is enough

When the legislation granting "fast track" authority to the president to negotiate a trans-Pacific trade agreement moved toward an initial Senate vote earlier this year, we warily urged Republicans to suck it up and vote for it. No president can negotiate a broad trade agreement without such authority. Anyone who thinks such agreements, properly negotiated and correctly written, aren't to the benefit of the United States understands neither economics nor history.

President Obama will welcome Xi Jinping in September for the first official state visit by the Chinese president. The White House says the administration considers China to be an "important participant" in nuclear negotiations with Iran. (Associated Press)

Taming the hungry dragon

Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sat down Monday with their Chinese counterparts at an annual meeting, as prescribed in an agreement made in 2009, to talk about bilateral co-operation in their relations. They meet this year amid growing differences. The transformation of the Chinese regime is a new worrying element in that relationship.

People raise their hands as a show of unity as thousands of marchers meet in the middle of Charleston's main bridge after nine black church parishioners were gunned down during a Bible study, Sunday, June 21, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

The Christian example of Charleston

The Civil War, the War Between the States, the War of Northern Aggression, the Late Unpleasantness -- call it what you will depending on your preference -- began in Charleston Harbor with an attack on Fort Sumter, and ended four years later with a northern victory that preserved the Union and freed the slaves.

A California high school teacher believes the works of William Shakespeare should no longer be a Common Core requirement, because "one white man's view of life" somehow diminishes other cultural perspectives. (Wikipedia)

Who needs Shakespeare?

If there's one man in the history of words and books and speech who needs no defense against the slings and arrows of the envious, it's William Shakespeare, the country lad who grew up to make English the most important language in the world, and to spin tales in it that would instruct, entertain and inspire the millions four centuries after his death.

FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2010 file photo, Victor Hernandez stocks apples in the produce section at Whole Foods, in Coral Gables, Fla. Whole Foods on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 plans to start rolling out a system that ranks fruits and vegetables as "good," ''better" or "best" based on the supplier's farming practices. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

Eating well, safely

Who's hiding what, and in whose pantry? American farmers and food processors usually take a lot of pride in what they grow and package, and where they grow and package it -- whether jams and jellies from Oregon, prime beef from Texas and Colorado, tacos from New Mexico, fish from New England, peanut butter "proudly made in Arkansas," and fruits and nuts from California's San Joaquin Valley. It's often right on the label.