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An exterior view of the Sony Pictures Plaza building is seen in Culver City, Calif., Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving the satirical film, "The Interview," about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader. He pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The ill wind through Hollywood

Terrorists can only defeat America if Americans let themselves be terrorized. With an otherwise meaningless movie in play — wit and humor at the level of “The Three Stooges” — the terrorists have won. Well, Hollywood was built on hyperbole like that. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that America was not a combatant in this war, though it took collateral damage.

The Cato Institute finds that inexpensive smartphones, like the Firefox handset that sells for $35, along with satellite technology, offer the tools to map out and stake their claim.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Property rights for all

The key to economic growth isn’t culture, access to the just exploitation of natural resources or even religion. Property rights trump all. The recognition and respect for property rights, and the expansion of property rights to the poor and unprivileged, is crucial to improving the living standard in developing countries.

Michelle Kosilek, sits in Bristol County Superior Court, in New Bedford, Mass. A federal appeals court on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, overturned a 2012 ruling ordering Massachusetts prison officials to provide taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery for the inmate born as Robert Kosilek, who had been convicted of murdering his wife in 1990. (AP)

No free sex changes

In a rare triumph this week for judicial restraint, a federal appeals court in Boston overturned a lower-court ruling, telling the state of Massachusetts that it doesn’t have to pay for reassigning a prisoner’s sex — or “gender,” as the excessively delicate insist. (Nobody ever called Marilyn Monroe a genderpot.)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo sentences New York to further economic stagnation

New York just gave Vladimir Putin and the Middle Eastern energy sheikhs an early Christmas present. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, after considerable dithering, finally did what everyone assumed he would. He banned fracking and gave up the bounty lying beneath his state. He sides with the radical environmentalists of the Democratic Party against the interests of his 19 million constituents, wasting an opportunity to fire up the rusty economic engine of high-tax, slow-growth New York. So much for the Empire State’s boastful claim that “New York is open for business.”

Protesters outside of Cafe Versailles on Calle Ocho in Miami,  decry the exchange of convicted Cuban spies, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014,  for USAID subcontractor Alan Gross, who has been held by the Cuban government. (AP Photo/El Nuevo Herald, Roberto Koltun)  MAGS OUT

Making nice with the Castro brothers betrays their victims

Sen. Marco Rubio calls President Obama’s remarkable gift to the Castro brothers, and agreement to “normalize” American relations with Cuba, the work of a “willfully ignorant” man. We hope so. Ignorance can be corrected. Perhaps, to put the most generous face on it, this deal originated in the bowels of White House incompetence that is the mark of this administration. But Mr. Obama may not be ignorant at all, willful or otherwise, but proceeding skillfully to radicalize America’s place in the world to fit the wishes and dreams of the determined and radical left from which the president sprang.

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Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler answers a question during a debate of Colorado Republican gubernatorial hopefuls hosted by 9NEWS, in Denver, Thursday April 24, 2014. The GOP primary is in June. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

EDITORIAL: No voter fraud? Don't tell Connecticut

As frequent beneficiaries of bogus balloting, Democrats rarely acknowledge that voter fraud is real. Anyone who wants to guard against Election Day shenanigans is painted as a conspiracy nut, because voter fraud "doesn't exist." But it does, and one prominent Democrat has proved it.

George Will (Associated Press) **FILE**

EDITORIAL: The academic mob silences free speech, again

Scripps College, an all-female school in Claremont, Calif., founded on the principle that "the paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently," last week revoked an invitation to conservative newspaper columnist George Will to speak to students because its administrators were offended by his rigorous math.

** FILE ** This mouse was produced from stem cells coaxed from skin tissue of adult mice and then reprogrammed. Two teams of Chinese scientists have made a major advance in the development of a new kind of stem cell that doesn't involve destroying embryos. (AP Photo/Nature, Dr. Qi Zhou)

EDITORIAL: Good news for rats and federal bureaucrats

Well-meaning Americans who want greater federal involvement in their lives are sure the government will do what's best to protect the public. It's about trust. But a decision by the Federal Labor Relations Authority illustrates how the first mission of the government is to protect the government.

** FILE ** In this March 31, 2011, file photo House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, Caliornia Republican, right, accompanied by the committee's ranking Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings, Maryland Democrat, presides over the committee's hearing on the Freedom of Information Act on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

EDITORIAL: The high cost of freedom of information

When Sandy Berger, the national security adviser to Bill Clinton, realized the National Archives had documents that he didn't want the public to see, he stuffed them down his pants and walked out of the building. Today's bureaucrats don't need to go to such extremes.

Mao Zedong

EDITORIAL: The benefits of inequality

Income inequality between the world's rich and poor has grown to levels not seen since the 1820s, says the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The Paris-based association of 34 of the wealthiest nations produced a report that's stoking the fire in the bellies of liberals who decry the state of affairs and demand renewed attempts to redistribute the wealth.

Bellevue Hospital nurse Belkys Fortune, left, and Teressa Celia, Associate Director of Infection Prevention and Control, pose in protective suits in an isolation room, in the Emergency Room of the hospital, during a demonstration of procedures for possible Ebola patients, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. The U.S. government plans to begin taking the temperatures of travelers from West Africa arriving at five U.S. airports, including the New York area's JFK International and Newark Liberty International, as part of a stepped-up response to the Ebola epidemic. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

EDITORIAL: Close the borders to Ebola

The Obama administration is certain that the president and all his men know more about everything than just about anyone else. They see no point in listening to anyone outside the comfortable confines of the White House bunker.

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, called the court's decision not to take on any gay marriage cases"tragic" and vowed to take action. (associated press)

EDITORIAL: The gay-marriage conundrum

A man who imagined himself quite the wit once posed a riddle to Abraham Lincoln: "If you count a dog's tail as a leg, how many legs does a dog have?" Just four, the president replied. "You can call a tail a leg, but it's not a leg."

This Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 photo shows a sign on northbound Interstate 19, near Amado, Ariz., in the southern part of the state, that tells drivers they are kilometers away from their destination. Although other highways around the country have some metric signs, I-19 is the only continuous highway that is entirely in the metric system. The signs were installed nearly 40 years ago as part of pilot program that aimed to introduce the use of the metric system in the United States. (AP Photo/Astrid Galvan)

EDITORIAL: End of the road for the metric system

The metric system lives no longer on American highways. The Arizona Department of Transportation is preparing to take down the signs on Interstate 19 that tell a motorist that it's 64 kilometers to Tucson. This is the end of the road for Jimmy Carter's idea to measure everything by the metric system in America, like it or not.

President Barack Obama speaks at the League of Conservation Voters Capitol Dinner at the Ronald Reagan Building on Wednesday, June 25, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

EDITORIAL: The league of crony voters

The League of Conservation Voters is going all in with $25 million on the table in a desperate gamble to keep the Senate in Democratic hands. "This is five times more than what we spent in 2010," Daniel Weiss, a senior vice president of the league, tells a C-SPAN interviewer.