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Abusing the language

Intolerance is nothing to sneeze at. Neither is a sneeze. Kendra Turner, 17, a student at Dyer County High School in Newbern, Tenn., found that out the hard way when she was sent off to the principal's office. She had said "bless you" when a fellow student sneezed in class.

Stephen Colbert arrives at HBO's Post Emmy Awards reception on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Twits in pursuit of Twitter

To rescue the nation from "political misinformation" and "hate speech," the U.S. government is spending nearly a million dollars to look into how animated cat images spread across the Internet do harm. At best, it's a waste of time. At worst, it's a tool to suppress free speech.

In this Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, photo, a McDonald's Big Mac sandwich is photographed at a McDonald's restaurant in Robinson Township, Pa. McDonald's saw a key sales figure drop in the U.S. again in February 2014, as the world's biggest hamburger chain struggles to beat back competition and adapt to changing eating habits. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Democrats' unhappy meal

Burger King's retreat to the Great White North reveals the consequences of setting the tax rate too high. The iconic Florida-based fast-food chain intends to merge with Tim Horton's, the equally iconic coffee-and-doughnuts chain in Canada. The resulting burger and doughnuts conglomerate would be based in Ontario, where taxes are reasonable.

** FILE ** Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen testifies under subpoena before the House Oversight Committee as lawmakers continue their probe of whether tea party groups were improperly targeted for increased scrutiny by the IRS, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 23, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

EDITORIAL: The tax man's ethics

Sometimes real news becomes parody. Over at the Internal Revenue Service, where nobody seems to be in charge, one of the managers of the ethics office faces disbarment for unethical conduct.

George Orwell

Sweeping away consumer choice

Politics can be a grimy business. Beginning Monday, the grit and grime on the Continent will rise to new levels as the latest European Union rules take effect and all ships, cargo planes and trains will be subject to unprecedented scrutiny.

Leonardo DiCaprio hugs Secretary of State John Kerry after Kerry introduced him at the second day of the State Department's 'Our Ocean' conference at the State Department in Washington, Tuesday, June 17, 2014.  President Barack Obama is looking to create the largest marine preserve in the world by protecting a massive stretch of the Pacific Ocean from drilling, fishing and other actions that could threaten wildlife, the White House said. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Climate change cools off

Al Gore goofed. Instead of talking up "climate extremes," he should have spoken about the dangers of an increasingly mild climate. Washington is likely to wrap up the month (and the summer) with the mercury having topped 90 degrees only once or twice.