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Cal Thomas

Stories by Cal

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The president’s take on race

Opinion Column

President Obama rarely misses an opportunity to insert himself into an issue. Last Friday, he appeared in the White House pressroom to comment on the George Zimmerman verdict. The president said he could have been Trayvon Martin. Not likely, given his private schooling and the way he was fast-tracked to success.

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Teenager has a brave heart

Opinion column

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — While American cable TV news engaged in saturation coverage of the closing arguments and verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial, the BBC and Sky News carried an inspiring speech by Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head last October by the Taliban for advocating the education of girls.

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One America: We’re not there yet

Opinion Column

We are so programmed by our history with race in America that reaction to the acquittal of George Zimmerman on charges of murdering Trayvon Martin depends largely upon one’s individual, even group experience.

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Islamists not ready for democracy

Opinion Column

The military coup that ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi marks another failure in U.S. foreign policy over several administrations, which have erroneously promoted the notion that American-style democracy in Islamic lands will produce a nation more like ours.

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Enemies of freedom can be subtle

Opinion column

Freedom is not the default position of humankind; otherwise more would be free. In much of the world, dictatorship, religious persecution and the suppression of women are the norm.

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Court recognizes times change

Opinion Column

The Supreme Court’s narrow 5-4 decision to strike down a central component of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, “freeing nine states, mostly in the South,” writes The New York Times, “to change their election laws without advance federal approval,” is a welcome recognition that times have changed and that especially Southern states must not forever bear a “mark of Cain” for past discrimination against racial minorities.

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Taliban peace talks just sinkholes

Opinion Column

After 12 years of fighting, the Taliban in Afghanistan have announced they are ready to talk peace with the United States. The Taliban opened a political office in Qatar. The talks will take place there, but without the Afghan government, which is refusing to take part in the “peace” talks.

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Once Syrian rebels are armed, then what?

Opinion column

Two recent newspaper editorials illustrate the double-mindedness some feel about President Obama's decision to provide small arms and ammunition to Syrian rebels.

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Broadcast nets: Ailes what’s good for you

Opinion Column

Among the winners at the Kennedy Center event in Washington, D.C., was Roger Ailes, chairman of Fox News, the bete noire to the broadcast networks and other media elites.

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Obama’s ‘trust’ uttered in Newspeak

Opinion Column

Without the slightest hint of irony, President Obama said last week, “If people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress, and don’t trust federal judges, to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.”

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U.S. is following failed British medical program

Opinion column

For years I have been writing about the failures of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) as a warning for what the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) will do to health care here in the U.S.

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We need more idols like Arvind Mahankali for Americans

Opinion column

The annual ritual known as the Scripps National Spelling Bee came and went last week with kids spelling words that, I suspect, many with graduate degrees couldn’t spell. The winner was Arvind Mahankali, a 13-year-old eighth-grader from Bayside Hills, N.Y. Mahankali is the first boy to win the title since 2008.

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Cameron vs. Churchill: Who was more credible?

Opinion Column

Following the hacking death of a British soldier by two alleged Islamic extremists, Prime Minister David Cameron said, “There is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act.” Winston Churchill thought otherwise, but he lived in a time before political correctness ran amok and drew on his personal experiences serving in the Sudan and in the Crimean War.

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Tyranny is no longer ‘lurking’ just around the corner

Given last week’s revelation that the IRS targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, it’s worth recalling President Obama’s Ohio State University commencement address. The president decried “voices” warning “that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner.” It’s no longer lurking. It’s here.

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Benghazi, IRS: Son of Watergate?

Opinion Column

In his defense of President Obama, Press Secretary Jay Carney is beginning to sound a lot like Ronald Zeigler, Richard Nixon’s spokesman. Carney only has to use the word “inoperative,” as Ziegler did when incriminating evidence surfaced that proved his previous statements untrue.

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Would things go better with Koch?

Opinion Column

‘Mainstream media” are alarmed by reports that billionaires Charles and David Koch are considering the purchase of Tribune Company’s eight daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times.

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Immigration bill is full of holes

Opinion Column

There’s the story of a woman with five kids who was asked if she had to do it all over again would she have five children? “Yes,” she said, “just not these five.”

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How much confidence do Americans have after Boston?

Opinion Column

The last time there was a terrorist attack on America, we got the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration. Each entity has spent billions to keep us safe, but neither could stop two brothers, Tamerlan, a permanent resident, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a newly minted U.S. citizen, who lived in America and, reportedly, became radicalized jihadists, from killing and maiming innocent people at the Boston Marathon last week.

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Margaret Thatcher inspired self-reliance

Opinion column

There is a story about Margaret Thatcher, which is probably apocryphal, but speaks volumes about the strength of Britain's first female prime minister, who died Monday at age 87.

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Could school choice be the answer?

Opinion Column

My first question after reading about seven teachers in an Atlanta public school accused of altering standardized test scores to make it appear students performed better than they actually did was: How could they!?

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Why do liberals fear success for others in their party?

Opinion Column

There are many successful liberals, so why do so many of them wish to subsidize failure for the poor, instead of showing them how to succeed?

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Public opinion shouldn’t trump principles

Opinion Column

History is full of warnings about what happens when people follow public opinion instead of standing by their principles. In its most extreme manifestation, public opinion might well become mob rule when vigilantes take the law into their own hands.

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Obamacare prompting doctors to opt for retirement

Opinion column

Last week, politicians who helped craft the Affordable Care Act (ACA) celebrated in self-congratulatory style the third anniversary of that monstrosity which will soon extinguish health care as we've known it.

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Confronting the truth of radical Islam in America

Opinion Column

President Obama should listen to former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the “founder” of shuttle diplomacy.

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Maryland law kicks out the death penalty

Opinion Column

The Maryland legislature recently voted to abolish capital punishment in the state, making Maryland the sixth state in the last six years to eliminate the death penalty.

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Detroit's slippery slope is everlasting

Opinion column

Since the Motown sound went silent — except on oldies stations — and General Motors and Chrysler (but not Ford) required life support from Washington, there has been little to recommend Detroit, Mich., to visitors, much less its residents.

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Who decides what’s fair in who we marry?

Opinion column

Given his track record on marital fidelity, former President Bill Clinton is not the person I would consult about “committed, loving relationships.” Clinton used those words in a Washington Post op-ed last week, urging the Supreme Court to overturn the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman, which he signed into law.

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Examining the downside of orthodoxy

Opinion Column

It’s a safe bet that most conservative Republicans would rush to support a political leader with the following record, especially in a traditionally Democratic state.

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Scott does a 180 on health care act

Opinion Column

Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) was one of those tea party stars whom voters believed had the courage of his convictions when he promised, as recently as last summer, to block The Affordable Care Act in his state. But last week, writes the Orlando Sentinel, “Scott made an abrupt about-face, embracing a three-year expansion of Medicaid coverage for about 1 million low-income Floridians that will be paid for by the health care law.”

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Ryan’s hope is to buy time in order to win war

Opinion column

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is looking beyond today and the beginning of the sequestration. In an interview I conducted with him on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Ryan told me he believes a majority of Americans will come to understand how bad the debt is after the rhetoric gives way to reality.

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Obama playing on people’s emotions

Opinion Column

At the end of 1995 and stretching into January 1996, the federal government “shut down” because of an impasse between President Bill Clinton and House Republicans led by then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

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Double threats just get in the way

Just as Lenin’s body remains on public display in Russia, because one never knows when he might be useful to rally the masses, so, too, does the ghost (but thankfully not the body) of the late Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) remain a useful symbol for Democrats in Washington.

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State of the Union speech recycled

Opinion column

President Obama’s approach to so-called “climate change” appears to include recycling old ideas.

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Carson was out of line at prayer breakfast

Our politics have become so polarized and corrupted that a president of the United States cannot even attend an event devoted to drawing people closer to God and bridge partisan and cultural divides without being lectured about his policies.

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Media has double standard on drone attacks against Americans

Opinion column

An unsigned and undated Justice Department white paper, obtained by NBC News, reports The New York Times, “... is the most detailed analysis yet to come into public view regarding the Obama legal team’s views about the lawfulness of killing, without a trial, an American citizen who executive branch officials decide is an operational leader of Al Qaeda or one of its allies.”

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Government shouldn’t define what constitutes a ‘church’

Under pressure from religious and conservative groups, the Obama administration has offered another compromise on the issue of birth control coverage within the Affordable Care Act.

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‘60 Minutes’ missed opportunity to ask hard questions

In the days of the late Mike Wallace, “60 Minutes” was known for hard-hitting, aggressive journalism that asked the questions viewers wanted answered and held the powerful accountable.

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GOP needs vision, optimism to rebound

Opinion Column

Some political commentators are dancing on what they believe to be the grave of the Republican Party, claiming that the only way the GOP can have a viable future is for them to behave like Democrats.

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New ‘big government’ era taking off

Bill Clinton isn’t often wrong when it comes to politics, but his assertion in his 1996 State of the Union Address that “the era of big government is over” was a bit premature. In light of President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address, the era of big government has just begun.

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Stan Musial truly was ‘The Man’

Baseball great Stan Musial died over the weekend. He was 92.

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Laws alone don’t protect

Opinion Column

If laws were enough to deter criminal behavior prisons would be empty.

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Senators should press Hagel for answers

Opinion column

Biography isn't policy. President Obama's choice for secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, former Nebraska Republican senator, has a resume most politicians can envy: a clean senatorial record, no ethical lapses and two purple hearts from a war many opposed and many more tried to avoid.

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Female vs. male senators

Opinion Column

As the son of a woman, the husband of a woman and the father of daughters and granddaughters, I celebrate the record number of females who are now United States senators. However, I do see some differences in the way these and other women are treated, depending on their party, policies and beliefs.

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U.S. tax rates fueling expatriation

With so many foreigners wanting to become U.S. citizens, it’s still a shock to know someone who has relinquished his citizenship. It is another reason for simplifying the U.S. tax code.

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U.S. soldiers did not die in vain in Vietnam

Opinion column

It has been 50 years since President John F. Kennedy ordered U.S. “advisers” to South Vietnam to help battle the communist North and 37 years since the end of that divisive war and the country’s unification under Communism. Today, Vietnam is fighting a war with itself.

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Christmas good time to give gifts that count

What if you could give a gift that mattered; one that literally kept on giving and improved the life of another person? Would you buy that gift? Two years ago I bought two gifts for people I have never met. One was a goat and the other a sewing class. Both went to people in countries who need just a little to enable them to take care of themselves and their families.

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What is the answer to unexpected evil?

Trying to explain an evil act like the one that killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., is on a par with explaining how the universe was formed.

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GOP looking at back-to-the-future shift

Opinion Column

Sitting in the room at the Jack Kemp Leadership Award dinner last week, listening to Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, and Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican and of late the GOP vice presidential candidate, I sensed more than a generational shift in party leadership.

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Egypt poised to accept extremism

The opening scene-setter for the 1996 film “Independence Day” might serve as a metaphor for what Egyptians could face if a draft constitution written by a panel dominated by Islamists and based on Sharia law wins approval in a referendum: “A loud rumble is heard. Suddenly, we are covered in darkness as the shadow engulfs us. Only the image of our Earth hangs in the air, until a huge silhouetted object suddenly blocks our view.”

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Spending other people's money is a taxing job

Congress returned to "work" this week (now there's a laugh) to complete its lame-duck session before taking another holiday. Spending other people's money is a taxing experience.