Trudy Rubin: Tell truth about Islamic State threat

President Barack Obama gave vent recently to an uncharacteristic show of emotion over the barbaric beheading of American journalist James Foley by the militant jihadi group the Islamic State. He denounced the group as a “cancer” in the region and accused it of rampaging “across cities and villages, killing unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence” as it seized a third of Syria and Iraq.

Leonard Pitts: Americans need to learn about who we are

What next? That’s what should concern us now. When the nightly dance of angry protesters, opportunistic criminals, and inept police clashing over the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown finally ends, what steps should civic-minded people take to address the ongoing abuse of African Americans by the criminal injustice system? Not just in Ferguson, Missouri, but in America?

Linda Chavez: Holder fans flames of racial tension

Words matter — and never more so than when race is involved. For a while now, we have been repeatedly told that a white police officer shot and killed an “unarmed black teenager” on a street in Ferguson, Missouri. The words conjure the image of a kid gunned down because of the color of his skin by a trigger-happy white cop.

Mary Sanchez: Police forces nationwide need a reality check

One of the unsung blessings of Twitter is the way it continually reminds us that willful ignorance is alive and thriving in the American body politic.

Thomas Sowell: Race is wild card in unrest over Brown

Those of us who admit that we were not there, and do not know what happened when Michael Brown was shot by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, seem to be in the minority.

Doyle McManus: Obama tests bounds of lame-duckery

There are two words every president, including Barack Obama, hates to hear: “lame duck.” He’s in year six of his eight-year run. His biggest accomplishments are all in the past; his remaining proposals are stymied by Congress. His popularity is mired near 40 percent, and voters tell pollsters they see him as a leader “who can’t get things done.”

Jamie Wilson: DISD committed to success of students

When the school bell rings on Monday, our students will be attending one of the fastest-growing school districts in Texas.

Steve Chapman: Right wing plays race card to place blame

The shooting of Michael Brown and its turbulent aftermath have renewed an old question: Why does the black community raise a ruckus when a white person kills a black person, which is rare, but not when a black person kills a black person, which is far less rare?

Catherine Rampell: Scandals hiding in plain sight

The laboratories of democracy are blowing up. A rash of relatively convoluted, thoroughly unsexy political scandals involving governors is moving through the country. So many of them involve Republican presidential hopefuls that conspiracy theorists could argue they must be manufactured, or at least overhyped, by wily Democratic strategists. At least one Democratic governor has also been implicated, though.

Froma Harrop: Speed hiker misses point

The story of a young man’s speed-hiking the 2,663-mile Pacific Crest Trail has raised some environmentalist eyebrows, albeit only slightly. He was racing from California’s border with Mexico to Washington state’s with Canada.

Jonah Goldberg: The race to be wrong heats up in Ferguson

The events in Ferguson, Missouri, have launched a familiar spectacle: the race to be wrong first. Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American man, was shot by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson. The Washington Post had more on the story about what one witness called an “execution-style slaying”:

Susan Estrich: Terminal illness doesnot offer a fair fight

When the news rippled out recently that Robin Williams had committed suicide, even I thought — for a moment — “but he had everything.”

Thomas Sowell: Random thoughts come into the light

I don’t know why we are spending our hard-earned money paying taxes to support a criminal justice system, when issues of guilt and innocence are being determined on television — and even punishment is being meted out by CNN’s showing the home and address of the policeman accused in the Ferguson, Missouri shooting.

Clarence Page: Racial divide traps Obama

Some of President Barack Obama’s supporters sound notably disappointed by his third speech on the Ferguson, Missouri, crisis. Too timid, they say. Here are some representative tweets.

Walter E. Williams: Many U.S. colleges deviate from true mission

According to College Board, average tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year totaled $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for in-state residents at public colleges and $22,203 for out-of-state residents.

Leonard Pitts: Ferguson unrest born of longtime anger

A riot can be many things. It can be an act of communal madness, reflecting the emotional imbecility of those who believe the best way to express joy at their ball team’s win is to overturn a car.

Catherine Rampell: Leniency in grading fills needs

WASHINGTON — Grade deflation is dead. Long live grade inflation! Starting around the mid-20th century, a pandemic of meaninglessly high grades swept the nation. Steadily, the Gentleman’s C was replaced by the Gentleman’s B-pluses. Soon even B-pluses’ grew ungentlemanly, with more and more grades compressed into the narrow band spanning from A-minus to A-plus.

Froma Harrop: Attack on Tyson odd

When I first encountered Neil deGrasse Tyson, I thought, “What a nice man.” He was on the TV screens at New York’s Hayden Planetarium, where he’s director, urging us to behold the wonder of the heavens.

Steve Chapman: Hillary will not provide liberals what they want

Hillary Clinton has obvious attractions for liberals. She offers a solid chance of extending Democratic occupancy of the White House for four or eight years.

Mary Sanchez: We need data on police

Americans had spent days watching round-the-clock coverage of the escalating tensions in Ferguson, Missouri, when President Obama acknowledged that we are “deeply disturbed” by the situation. Indeed we are.

Jonah Goldberg: World War I demons still going strong

World War I started one century ago. Wait! Don’t stop reading.

Doyle McManus: Nixon still the exception

Most American presidents’ reputations improve after they leave office. In the warm light of history, once-derided chief executives seem to gain retroactive stature.

Catherine Rampell: Report all campus rape numbers

One in five? Yeah, right. Sounds way too high. That’s a common reaction to the oft-cited statistic about the share of women who experience an attempted or completed sexual assault during college. The number can’t possibly be right, the Doubting Thomases (or, less frequently, Doubting Thomasinas) argue. It’s based on a small sample of schools, after all, and must not be representative of the full melange of colleges out there.

Clarence Page: ‘War on whites?’ No way

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, claims that liberals are waging a “war on whites.” If so, Barack Obama must be at war with himself.

Thomas Sowell: Politicians target elite schools in New York

New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, like so many others who call themselves “progressive,” is gung-ho to solve social problems.

Susan Estrich: True evil lives at the core of terrorism

“I’m just saying, you know, if I were Osama Bin Laden — he’s a very smart guy, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about him — and I nearly got him once. I nearly got him. And I could have killed him, but I would have to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children, and then I would have been no better than him.”

Walter E. Williams: Weak border policy rests on shoulders of liberals

Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera accused Matt Drudge’s website of “the worst kind of jingoistic rhetoric ever” for carrying news stories about the dangers of illegal immigration.

Froma Harrop: Selling to ‘minimalists’ surprisingly easy

It matters not whether you are sizing up, sizing down or sizing sideways. Merchants have products to help you on your way to the life you think you want.

Steve Chapman: U.S. spy agencies continue to deceive

A diplomat was once defined as someone whose job is to lie for his country. That’s apparently what makes them different from intelligence officers, whose function is to lie to their country.

Leonard Pitts: Obama invokes fear to justify CIA actions

OK, in the first place: “tortured some folks?” Really? Was there not something annoyingly breezy in the president’s phrasing recently as he acknowledged the abuse of suspected terrorists in the wake of Sept. 11? Was there not something off-putting in the folksy familiarity of it?

Jonah Goldberg: Liberals in America come late to pot party

With the usual fanfare and self-regard we have come to expect from The New York Times editorial board, the prestigious paper has changed its mind about pot.

Clarence Page: Time to let freedom ring

After leaders from more than 40 African countries gathered for President Obama’s historic summit, we should not forget that free speech and a free press are economic development issues, too.

Linda Chavez: Migrants big part of medicare solution

Next week I’m scheduled for a cervical spinal fusion that costs upward of $100,000, but I won’t be paying for it.

Mary Sanchez: Dreams, lives on the line

Robert Sagastume is Honduran by birth, American by choice and legally stuck somewhere in between by politics. He is also the embodiment of the humanitarian problem at the heart of our border crisis.

Doyle McManus: Republicans in Housemust end civil war

The emergency immigration bill House Speaker John Boehner initially proposed recently was never going to become law — and he knew it. President Barack Obama had already promised a veto, so the bill was mostly a political message, designed to show that House Republicans could act decisively in a crisis.

Trudy Rubin: Students eye future of Iraqis

As the Gaza conflict drags on, Iraq has faded from the headlines, even though the country is falling to pieces. So it was intriguing to meet a terrific group of Iraqi college students at Temple University on a State Department exchange program that introduces them to religious pluralism in America.

Catherine Rampell: Fractured workplace a problem

WASHINGTON — Sometimes, under certain circumstances, McDonald’s Corp. might be held partly responsible for its franchisees’ bad behavior. Maybe. So announced the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel, a sort of independent prosecutor, recently.

Susan Estrich: Senseless violence rears head close to home

On Thursday night, July 24, Xinran Ji was walking home from his study group meeting, four blocks from USC, where he was a graduate student in engineering. According to police, four teenagers, three boys and a girl, beat 24-year-old Ji with a baseball bat and a wrench.

Thomas Sowell: Americans need to use their brains more

Some have said that we are living in a post-industrial era, while others have said that we are living in a post-racial era.

Leonard Pitts: ‘Poor door’ symbolizes a truth we all know

A few words about the “poor door.” Maybe you already know about this. Maybe you read on Slate, saw on Colbert or heard on NPR how a developer qualified for tax benefits under New York City’s Inclusionary Housing Program by agreeing to add to its new luxury building on the Upper West Side a set number of “affordable” apartments.

Walter E. Williams: Western anti-Israeli response disturbing

Navi Pillay, U.N. high commissioner for human rights, has accused both Israel and Hamas militants of committing war crimes in the Gaza conflict.

Froma Harrop: Unions divide Democrats

They are all Democrats, blue and blue. But like Republicans, they have opposing visions duking it out in the primaries.

Steve Chapman: Bad policies their own worst enemy

Newspaper editorials rarely make news — I’ve been writing them for a long time, and, believe me, I know — but one did the other day, when The New York Times came out for legalization of marijuana.

Clarence Page: Good neighbors needed

There’s a hidden side to today’s poverty debate that traditional politicians on the left and right too often overlook or undervalue: the decline in neighborliness. Perhaps the word strikes your ear as too quaint, simplistic or old-fashioned.

Linda Chavez: Hamas uses deaths as propaganda

The pictures are horrific: schoolroom walls covered in blood, parents running with injured children against a backdrop of bombed-out rubble, women with outstretched arms imploring heaven. But they do not tell the full story of what is happening in Gaza any more than the casualty or rocket tallies printed daily in The New York Times and elsewhere do.

Mary Sanchez: Campuses need push to confront sexual assault

If we want to do something about sexual assault on college campuses, first we have to deal with the excuse makers.

Jonah Goldberg: Democrats really like to talk about impeachment

“Sorry to email you late on a Friday, but I need your urgent support,” Nancy Pelosi wrote me. The House minority leader went on to explain that “for the first time in history, Congress voted to sue a sitting president.” And, “Today: the White House alerted us that they believe ‘Speaker Boehner ... has opened the door to impeachment.’

Leonard Pitts: Akin retracts apology

So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again. You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unlikely to get pregnant because her body “has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Doyle McManus: Ryan changes focus

Quick quiz: Which potential 2016 presidential candidate had this to say about federal anti-poverty programs recently?

Catherine Rampell: Paid sick leave must become law in America

NEW YORK — Something strange happened here recently: Lots of workers who’ve never done so before got the right to call in sick. And that’s a good thing.