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Opinion

Help for Middle East Christians

American Christians have been slow to the point of near silence when it comes to speaking out about the atrocities committed against their fellow believers by the Islamic State in Iraq (ISIS). The Jewish people are much better models in solidarity when Jews are persecuted.

JENNIFER RUBIN: A bogus excuse for Obama

President Obama’s former adviser David Axelrod is quoted as explaining Obama’s chronic emergency-response failure thusly: “There’s no doubt that there’s a theatrical nature to the presidency that he resists. Sometimes he can be negligent in the symbolism.” I don’t buy it.

Sports leagues should rethink games in smoggy China

When the starter’s gun sounded for the 34th annual Beijing International Marathon last week, air pollution measured 20 times worse than what the World Health Organization considers safe to breathe. Anywhere else in the world, this would have been a scandal worthy of collective soul-searching. In Beijing, many of the roughly 26,000 runners donned anti-pollution face masks and gamely dashed through the hazy streets.

Unclog your sink, man

One of the greatest things about the Internet is how it makes the marketplace for information truly worldwide — almost like a “World Wide Web,” or something. A nice bit of writing can find its way to my little ol’ computer screen in Sherman, even if it was scribbled half-a-world away.

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Anticipating the fun

Man this week is going slow. I know that this article will hit the streets on Wednesday, which means the week is more than half over, but getting here has seemed slow to me — like pulling taffy slow.

The hidden tax you pay when you’re made to wait

Imagine that whenever you planned to do volunteer work, the government told you that you must also pay a small tax. Or suppose that whenever you gave money to charity, you were charged a levy. Or that every time you gave blood, you had to start by writing a check to the Internal Revenue Service.

FRANCIS BARRY: U.S. elections show fear of judges is on the rise

A fear has spread across the U.S. that has nothing to do with Ebola. White hazmats suits will be popular on Halloween, but on election day, many voters will be most frightened by the prospect of those in black robes who don’t share their political beliefs. To protect themselves from these gavel-wielding ghouls, states are increasingly trying to turn their constitutions into shields.

While fighting Islamic State, militias threaten Iraq’s stability

IRBIL, Iraq — The traffic on the road to Tuz Khurmato, a town about an hour south of Kirkuk, was light on a recent morning when we set out to meet senior officials from the Kurdish security forces, the peshmerga. Their fortified bases, lean-tos flying various Shiite militia flags and makeshift camps for displaced families dotted the side of the highway. Official Iraqi security forces were nowhere to be seen, even at checkpoints.

Lessons in cooking

One of the major tasks I’ve assigned myself since moving out on my own has been to learn how to cook for myself. Most people who know me well give me odd looks when I say this. Prior to joining the staff at the Herald Democrat, I worked in kitchens for over a decade.