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Smokey the Bear Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Adapting to wildfires

While Gov. Jerry Brown blames the horrific death toll from California’s late-season wildfires, he and the state’s lawmakers have done little to discourage people from building homes in high-risk wildfire zones known as the wildland-urban interface (WUI). By shifting the cost of wildfire prevention and protection to general taxpayers, they send the wrong signals about risk to WUI homeowners.

Illustration on a Nebraska school's banning of candy canes by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Nebraska without Christmas

The Christmas season is upon us and once again, the headlines in the mainstream news are replete with stories of secular intolerance of Christ’s mass. Leading this year’s Festivus parade is Jennifer Sinclair, the principal of Nebraska’s Manchester Elementary School who sent out a memo earlier this week to her faculty, staff, students and parents telling them that Santa Claus, Christmas trees, reindeer, the colors green and red, and even candy canes were considered offensive and would, therefore, be prohibited at her school.

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Illustration on investment in the Indo-Pacific region by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

'Win-win or winner take all?'

Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the Indo-Pacific this week casts a spotlight on a region increasingly vital to global security and prosperity. State-based and private investors are investing vast amounts to build infrastructure and advance economic growth. For the emerging economies of the Indo-Pacific to realize their full potential, they must avoid economic traps.

Illustration on Trump's impending legal challenges by M. Ryder/Tribune Content Agency

Donald Trump's never-ending turmoil

Things haven't been going well for President Trump since last week's midterm elections, when the Democrats won majority control of the House.

Some D.C. area restaurants are planning decadent Thanksgiving dinners with prix fixe menus and pickup options. (Associated Press/File)

Exotic and bountiful Thanksgiving feasts

Every evening, looking dapper in dark suit and tie, Ashok Bajaj visits each of his 10 Washington restaurants to make sure kitchens are running smoothly and patrons are happy. He is not a cook, but an entrepreneur with a vision of what Washingtonians enjoy eating today and tomorrow as well.

'Everybody counts or nobody counts'

In Michael Connelly's crime thriller "The Late Show," he introduced us to a new character, Renee Ballard, an attractive, 30-ish dedicated and smart Los Angeles detective who was working the night shift.

In this Nov. 12, 2018, file photo, ballots are prepared to be tabulated for Maine's 2nd Congressional District's House election in Augusta. Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin and three voters sued Tuesday, Nov. 13, over Maine's new voting system, used for the first time in U.S. House and Senate elections. A lawyer for Poliquin's campaign asked the secretary of state to stop the tabulations to allow a judge to rule, but the secretary declined to stop the process. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Principles, honor and the coming banana republic

- The Washington Times

Can you say banana republic? Fact is, the systems are crumbling. The gate-guards of principle are way too few and far between, way too quiet to be effective. And what's going to result from all this Election Day upset, soon enough, is a major shift in how U.S. elections will be conducted.

Hillary Clinton illustration by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Is it reincarnation time again for Hillary?

A cat has nine lives. A woman sometimes has more than that. The feline of the species keeps coming up with surprises and you can see them most dramatically in politics. Hillary Clinton, for example, has been reincarnated more times than Shirley MacLaine, and she may be about to see whether the third time really does have the charm.

The dome of St. Peter's Basilica is partially engulfed in the fog behind statues of saints adorning the colonnade designed by 16th century Italian sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

The shame of the Catholic Church

One doesn't have to be Roman Catholic or even Christian to recognize the great good the Catholic Church has done. America would be worse off were it not its pro-life stance and numerous acts of charity.

Illustration on rules for civil discourse by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Maybe we could use a civic Hippocratic oath

Amob of protesters associated with the radical left-wing group Antifa swarmed the private residence of Fox News host Tucker Carlson on the night of Nov. 7. They yelled, "Tucker Carlson, we will fight! We know where you sleep at night!" The mob's apparent aim was to catch Mr. Carlson's family inside and so terrify them that he might temper his conservative views. Only Mr. Carlson's wife was home at the time. She locked herself in a pantry and called police.

President Donald Trump points to his ear and says "Did I hear the word bipartisan?" as he announces his support for H. R. 5682, the "First Step Act" as bipartisan legislation during a speech in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, which would reform America's prison system. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The silver lining of the midterms

Although Democrats gained ground everywhere but the Senate, President Trump won the midterm. While doubly counterintuitive — that opponents could advance and someone not on the ballot prevail — Democrats not only failed to knock Mr. Trump out in 2018, but set him up for 2020. Democrats won enough to make themselves relevant, but in doing so, also making a perfect contrast for the president.

Illustration on China's designs on the world by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The war with China

The United States has been at war with China since at least 1947-49, when Chiang Kai-shek, his extended family and the Chinese Nationalist regime were air and boatlifted from mainland China to Taiwan, this after Mao Zedong's Communist forces prevailed against Chiang's Nationalists. During the Korean War (1950-53), large scale military combat between U.S. and Chinese forces actually took place; however, since then the war has largely been an economic one, and the Chinese have beaten the United States badly.

Protecting American Energy Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Benefitting from a diverse energy sector

President Trump and the administration have long vowed to revive America as the world's leading energy producer. To fulfill this promise — as well as unofficial campaign promises — the administration announced in June that it planned to bail out coal and nuclear power plants at risk of being shuttered under the guise of national security, claiming saving these plants would bolster "grid resilience" and promote American "energy dominance."

When spying enemies became friends

A quiet but deadly game is constantly waged in Washington and environs between CIA and FBI officers and their Russian counterparts.

Bring Asia Bibi to America

Eight years ago this month, Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian, was prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to be hanged on the charge of blasphemy. She has spent the years since on death row. Now, Pakistan's Supreme Court has overturned her conviction on grounds of insufficient evidence. So this sad story turns out to have a happy ending, right? C'mon, you knew it wasn't going to be that simple.

Winston Churchill   Associated Press photo

From Churchill to Trump

I have been reading a most perspicacious book by my friend Andrew Roberts. It is just out, "Churchill: Walking With Destiny." It is terrific. In fact, I shall hazard the judgment that readers will not completely understand the greatest political leader of the 20th century (and one of the most endearing) without reading Andrew Roberts' Churchill.

Soldiering Onward for Climate Warming Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

'Onward, climate soldiers'

With the Democrats about to take control of the House along with the funding for crucial programs in health care, education, natural resources and science, hysteria over global warming is about to get hotter.

Illustration on Communist China's increased surveillance levels by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Turning China into an Orwellian state

Recently, The Economist published a short film titled "China: Facing Up to Hyper-Surveillance," detailing how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses facial recognition technology to advance state control through the abuse of power over its own citizens. The CCP suppresses those who criticize the party and those of different faiths, in the name of "decreasing [the] number of criminal offenses."

Illustration on undermining the vote by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Certifying winners and losers

In addition to the Great White Media, Hollywood, academe and the Washington bureaucracy, Democratic partisan advantage is ruthlessly pursued through election agencies in many of our states. Their mission: The well-organized theft of elections through corrupt, low-level officials backed by the aggressive use of "law-fare" — often cloaked in the mantra of "counting every note." Like termites surmised by the sudden glare of a home-inspector's flashlight, its representatives are currently under scrutiny (but still burrowing hard) in Broward Country and Palm Beach, Florida as well as Georgia and elsewhere.