Thomas Sowell: Random thoughts spring into mind

Who says President Obama doesn’t promote bipartisanship? His complicity in Iran’s moving toward nuclear bombs has alarmed some top Senate Democrats enough to get them to join Republicans in opposition to the Obama administration’s potentially suicidal foreign policy.

Clarence Page: Nigerian lives matter

Why should the world care about Nigeria more than its own president does? That sounds harsh, but it expresses a painful truth. Muslim terrorists killed 17 people in Paris earlier this month after storming the headquarters of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. At the same time Muslim terrorists who call themselves Boko Haram were killing an estimated 2,000 people in two Nigerian villages.

Walter E. Williams: Field still not level for combat personnel

A senior Defense Department official said the ban on women in combat should be lifted because the military’s goal is “to provide a level, gender-neutral playing field.”

Susan Estrich: Gray-haired chickens coming home to roost

Forty years after he was convicted for his involvement in two murders committed by Charles Manson, a California parole board has found that Bruce Davis is suitable for parole. His crimes, if it matters (and why should it?), didn’t involve the notorious murder of the pregnant Sharon Tate; he participated in the killing of a musician and a stuntman.

Linda Chavez: Left should join right on sanctions

In what was one of the most stunning rebukes of a sitting president by a member of his own party, Sen. Robert Menendez accused President Obama of taking his talking points on Iran “straight out of Tehran” after the president’s State of the Union address.

Mary Sanchez: Labor woes lurk under the Golden Arches

Is the McDonald’s Corp. responsible for how fry cooks and cashiers are treated in its thousands of restaurants across the country, or are those matters simply up to the discretion of the franchise owners who operate 90 percent of the company’s establishments?

Jonah Goldberg: Obama still reading from same oldtired script

It’s hard to believe that was only President Obama’s sixth State of the Union address. It feels like he’s given so many more.

Froma Harrop: Google Glass joins Failure Hall of Fame

Google Glass has entered the annals of spectacular product failures. Many bright ideas have foundered on the shoals of consumer rejection.

Trudy Rubin: Syrian kids targets for terrorist recruiting

Scott Parks: Let me say this about that

I spent a few hours last week with Pat Smith, a Denton native and retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force. He is a 1980 graduate of Denton High School.

Steve Chapman: Right wing eyes liberty versus order

Leonard Pitts: Pope wrong on limiting freedom of expression

A few words on the limits to freedom of expression:For what it’s worth, there are a few that are acceptable. You don’t threaten or incite violence. You don’t defame. You don’t produce child pornography....

Kathleen Parker: When the pope talks, people are all ears

Clarence Page: Free speech rights go wrong in France

For some Americans, France can seem like a trip back in time, not always in a good way.

Thomas Sowell: Time to scrutinize presidential prospects

With 2015 just getting under way, the buzz of political activity makes it seem almost as if we are already in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Froma Harrop: State license plates are not bumper stickers

A group called the Sons of Confederate Veterans has asked Texas to issue a license plate featuring the Confederate battle flag, which many consider an emblem of slavery. Texas said no, and the sons are suing because the state accepts other messages for specialty plates.

Walter E. Williams: Will West defend itself against the extremists?

Leftists and progressives believe that the U.S. should become more like Europe. They praise Europe’s massive welfare state, socialized medicine and stifling economic regulation and accept its unwillingness to defend itself against barbarism.

Susan Estrich: World of sickness can offer life lessons

I spent the last three months of 2014 in another country. Over the course of those months, I was hospitalized five times in two different hospitals. (Spoiler for my worried friends: I’m OK, well, on the mend and writing again.)

Jonah Goldberg: President plays word games with terrorism

Could this argument be any dumber? The Obama administration has forced America and much of the world into a debate no one wanted or needed. Namely, does Islamic terrorism have anything to do with Islam?

Mary Sanchez: GOP’s immigration ploy shows usual cynicism

That didn’t take long. Recently, House Republicans passed a spending bill laden with pointless amendments that would undo President Obama’s executive orders on immigration. The bill has little chance of passing the Senate in its current form and no chance of surviving a presidential veto. Such futility has been the distinguishing badge of the sitting House majority.

Linda Chavez: Parents should let children go exploring

When I started second grade at St. Mary’s Elementary School in Albuquerque, my parents decided it was time I learned how to walk to school.

Doyle McManus: Keystone XL pipeline could make a comeback

The U.S. Senate launched its first great debate of 2015 recently, on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would carry oil from the tar sands of Alberta to the refineries of Texas. Predictably, the rhetoric was apocalyptic.

Scott Parks: Let me say this about that

Before we launch into this column, let me reveal my conflict of interest. I am bullish on the Denton Record-Chronicle. I have earned a living as the newspaper’s managing editor since June. So, I’m not an impartial observer.

Steve Chapman: Americans worry too much about terrorism

Each of the attacks in Paris that killed 17 people recently was an atrocity, a threat to freedom and an act of terrorism. On those points, most people agree, and they’re right. Most people also fear this marks the beginning of a rash of extremist violence in the West. On that, they’re probably wrong.

Clarence Page: Sorry, I am not Charlie

Je ne suis pas Charlie. I am not Charlie, although they have my sympathies and support.

Jonah Goldberg: 2012 poll shows Romney’s problem

In 2007, when President Obama announced that he was running for president, he did it in Springfield, Ill., to highlight his supposed connection to Abraham Lincoln.

Kathleen Parker: Sometimes it’s wiser to play it safe

WASHINGTON — If we can be serious for a moment: The president made an error in judgment by not sending someone with a higher profile than our ambassador to join world leaders Sunday at a solidarity rally in Paris.

Leonard Pitts: Jeb picks expedience on gay marriage issue

Granted, it’s not entirely fair to use that lyric to describe Jeb Bush’s comments on same-sex marriage. After all, he is not known to have talked loudly. But he was definitely saying nothing.

Thomas Sowell: President uncertain in face of terrorism

President Barack Obama’s absence from the great gathering in Paris of national leaders from other countries, to show their solidarity with France in its opposition to Islamic terrorists, was another sign of the Obama administration’s continuing irresolution in the face of terror.

Jill Lawrence: Pleas for mercy smack of entitlement

The most touching moment of bipartisanship on the opening day of Congress came not on Capitol Hill but 100 miles away in Richmond, Virginia, at former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s sentencing hearing on his multiple-count public corruption conviction.

Walter E. Williams: Learning basics of economics worthwhile

“Whether one is a conservative or a radical, a protectionist or a free trader, a cosmopolitan or a nationalist, a churchman or a heathen, it is useful to know the causes and consequences of economic phenomena.”

Froma Harrop: Anti-vaccine quacks do disservice to children

California parents are refusing to vaccinate their kindergartners at twice the rate of seven years ago. So the Los Angeles Times reports. The result has been the return of measles and other serious diseases that can lead to paralysis, birth defects and death. The state is now suffering a whooping cough epidemic — it’s amazing to say — in the year 2015.

Other Voices

Steve Chapman: In battle of ideas, using reason thebest plan

Sigmund Freud said the founder of civilization was the first person who hurled an insult instead of a rock. He was almost right.

Clarence Page: Internet can be used to undermine freedom, too

When media guru Marshall McLuhan declared back in the 1960s that “Every innovation has within itself the seeds of its reversal,” I had no idea what he meant. But, like his other catchy quotables — “global village,” ‘‘cool media,” ‘‘the medium is the message” — it stayed with me.

Linda Chavez: Media must not give in to threats by terrorists

It is easy enough for those in the media to recite the words “nous sommes Charlie Hebdo” in solidarity with the victims of Wednesday’s terrorist attack on the editorial offices of a satirical magazine in Paris.

Mary Sanchez: French victims martyrs, but not saints

Both the unifying power of social media and their tendency to oversimplify were on full display as word spread of the horrendous murders in Paris at the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Michael Cavna: ‘Hold our pens high’

“I prefer to die standing up than live on my knees.” Those are the lasting words of Stephane Charbonnier, the editor of the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo, who on a brutal Wednesday morning in Paris did, in effect, die standing up.

Trudy Rubin: Stand up to protect free speech

Wednesday’s shocking terror attack on the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo should finally awaken Western publics to the threat posed by radical Islamists to free speech worldwide.

Leonard Pitts: For NYPD, no defense for the indefensible:

This should not even need saying, but obviously, it does. So, for the record: To oppose police brutality is not to oppose police.

Kathleen Parker: We should look at our own biases

WASHINGTON — Recent events from Ferguson, Missouri, to Staten Island, New York, might prompt an observer to infer that American cops are racist and that a bigoted white populace tolerates unnecessary lethal force against minorities.

Jonah Goldberg: Jeb Bush must be smiling

Jeb Bush is starting the new year with a smile. Former Arkansas governor and, until last weekend, Fox News host Mike Huckabee announced he would “explore” running for president.

Noel Candelaria / Guest Column

One of the most abused words in the political arena is “reform.” Self-styled education “reformers” will be at the state Capitol again this year, pitching vouchers, tax-credit scholarships and privatization schemes that would weaken public schools and help only a few students while lining the pockets of educational profiteers.

Other Voices

Thomas Sowell: Confused conception of equality harmful

Some time ago, burglars in England scrawled a derogatory message about rich people on the wall of a home they had looted.

Doyle McManus: America still struggling with the 1960s

The powerful film Selma is stirring audiences across the country with its compelling portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr. and the heroism of ordinary African-Americans as they demanded the right to vote a half-century ago.

Walter E. Williams: Liberals have two standards of behavior

Last week’s column focused on the ways liberals use blacks in pursuit of their leftist agenda, plus their demeaning attitudes toward black people.

Clarence Page: GOP rebukes Duke, but not his voters

Just when I thought David Duke had gone the way of the Betamax, buggy whips and record stores, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, Republican politician and jailbird has re-emerged to haunt the new Republican-controlled Congress.

Jonah Goldberg: Dear GOP: Show us, don’t tell

Hey, Jeb, Ted, Rand, Marco, Bobby, Chris and the dozen or more others I’m forgetting, here’s something to write on your bathroom mirror in 2015 and beyond: The “P’’ in POTUS stands for “President,” not “Pundit.”

Froma Harrop: Women directors should have shot at movies

Was Angelina Jolie unqualified to direct the big-budget World War II saga Unbroken? The movie tells the true story of Louis Zamperini, a champion runner and champion survivor — of his bomber’s crash, 47 days on an ocean raft and torture in a Japanese prison camp.