Leonard Pitts: Please know I’ve got your back, Ashley Judd

Dear Ashley Judd: I guess this is a fan letter, though it is not written in praise of your work in movies like Insurgent, Divergent or Tooth Fairy. Rather, it’s in response to the headlines you made recently when you called out Internet trolls who defamed you and threatened you with rape after you tweeted an opinion about an SEC basketball tournament.

Jonah Goldberg: Coffee, tea or frank discussion on race?

Starbucks is easy to make fun of on its best days, what with the pretentious names for everyday items, never mind the ridiculously high prices for those same everyday items. Even the cashiers have fancy monikers — “barista.”

Thomas Sowell: Lee Kuan Yew leaves legacy to Singapore

It is not often that the leader of a small city-state — in this case, Singapore — gets an international reputation.

Bebe McCasland/Guest Column

As communities throughout Texas and other states anticipate the boon from hydraulic fracturing, members of city councils and school boards, county commissioners and state legislators realize it will generate enormous sums for their budgets.

Walter E. Williams: Solutions to blacks' problems not political

March 7 was the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the first attempt by black protesters to march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery to demand voting rights.

Froma Harrop: Halfhearted pot reforms better than none

Give thanks for the little things, they say. A bill that would stop the feds from going after medical marijuana users in states that permit such activity is something for which we should give thanks. But it is little.

Steve Chapman: Change comes to Mormons

SALT LAKE CITY — Recently my wife and I attended the wedding of a valued friend and colleague, a seriously lapsed Mormon getting married outside the faith to her live-in boyfriend, with her devout Mormon family in attendance. Did I mention it was held at a brewery?

Mary Sanchez: Starbucks should catch break on race initiative

To Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz: Don’t let the haters ruin your caffeine buzz. Schultz and his company are taking all sorts of flak for Race Together, a company-sponsored initiative to initiate conversations about race relations ... including when customers drop in at Starbucks stores for coffee.

Trudy Rubin: Alarmism gains win in Israel

Israelis are attributing Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahus’ surprise election triumph to the fact that he ran a “gevalt” campaign.

Clarence Page: Race relations work in the long run

Whenever I see a poll that says race relations have gotten worse under President Barack Obama, I want to respond: Compared to what?

Myra Crownover: Measles much more than just a bad rash

Jimmy Kimmel recently attributed the Disneyworld measles outbreak to parents who are more scared of gluten than they are of small pox. The good news for Texans is that an estimated 97.5 percent of kindergartners receive their immunizations.

Linda Chavez: America abandoning our friends

The Obama administration seems to have taken the old adage about keeping friends close but enemies closer to new extremes, judging from the reaction to the Israeli elections.

Johan Goldberg: Cotton's letter to Iran inconvenient for Obama

It has been an Iranian tradition since 1979 to end Friday prayers with chants of “Death to America!”

Susan Estrich: We must help restore trust in government

Who trusts government? Almost no one, it turns out, according to the latest survey results released by the highly respected NORC, an independent research arm of the University of Chicago.

Kathleen Parker: Hillary can’t quit hating the media

WASHINGTON — Amid all the verbiage about Hillary Clinton’s email, one irrefutable fact emerges: Polls will drive us crazy before the Clintons do.

David Zoltner / Guest Column

Government transparency and the Texas Open Meetings Act are topics that rarely come up at cocktail parties or picnics. Likewise, discussion about open government seldom amounts to more than a printed bullet point or slogan during political campaigns. Yet, a strong case can be made that restricting what goes on behind closed doors at City Hall could have a positive impact on local life and the cost of city government.

Thomas Sowell: Liberals’ compassion ruinous to workers

It is fascinating to see brilliant people belatedly discover the obvious — and to see an even larger number of brilliant people never discover the obvious.

Clarence Page: Answer hate speech with education in U.S.

Frat boys caught on video singing a racist chant are shocking but not as surprising as we might think. New studies show young folks to be no less prejudiced than their elders. They just believe they are.

Walter E. Williams: Global warming a ruse by socialists

“But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact,” said President Barack Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address. Saying the debate is settled is nonsense, but the president is right about climate change.

Doyle McManus: Clinton’s email issue revives old negatives

It’s impossible to know whether Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of a private email account to conduct business as secretary of state is a serious scandal or merely a tempest in a teapot. Impossible, because Clinton and her aides have ducked the most important questions.

Jonah Goldberg: Emails knock Hillary out of her scripted comfort zone

In the wake of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s fairly disastrous press conference at the United Nations recently, there’s only one conclusion shared by all parties: This was not how it was supposed to go.

Mary Sanchez: New Ferguson shooting sets right wing shrieking

It didn’t take long for America to assert its lesser self after two police officers were shot in what officials quickly called an ambush in Ferguson, Missouri. Social media, so often a barometer of all that is wrong with the collective soul of America, erupted.

Steve Chapman: Stadiums throw U.S. taxpayers a loss

Since 1995, Los Angeles has been an anomaly: a huge city with lots of sports fans that has exactly as much professional football as Billings, Montana.

Froma Harrop: Battles playing out over local control

The people of Denton recently voted to ban fracking within the city limits. They were tired of the noise, lights and fumes caused by the 277 gas wells, some placed right next to housing developments.

Linda Chavez: Holder's legacy will be racial grievance

Another shooting has taken place in Ferguson, Missouri — and this time, two police officers were the victims. The violence should not come as a surprise, given the ugly tone set by the nation’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Eric Holder.

Kathleen Parker: Signers of letter to Iran behaving like children

WASHINGTON — With a few tweaks to Scripture, herewith today’s relevant verse: What therefore President Obama hath joined together, let Republicans put asunder.

Clarence Page: Democrats must woo working-class whites

While talking to black and white Republicans recently about the Grand Old Party’s outreach efforts to voters of color, I wondered: What are Democrats doing to reach working-class whites?

Thomas Sowell: 'Disparate impact' a racket in America

The U.S. Department of Justice issued two reports recently, both growing out of the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting of Michael Brown.

Leonard Pitts: Freedom’s defenders as resilient as injustice

First, they sang “God Will Take Care of You.” Then they walked out of Brown Chapel to a playground where they organized themselves into 24 groups of 25 each and set out marching.

Jonah Goldberg: Scandal over email won’t doom Hillary

Historically, the Clintons have proved to be politically indestructible. To paraphrase the movie Aliens, to truly destroy the Clinton Industrial Complex, you’d have to nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

Froma Harrop: Higher wages better than lower fares

The idea of helping low-income people by subsidizing their fares on public transportation sounds noble.

Susan Estrich: GOP can’t resist Hillary’s email trails

Campaign 2016 update: Hillary Clinton used personal email account.

Steve Chapman: Superbugs outstripping antibiotics

The old joke about making love to a gorilla is that you don’t stop when you’re tired; you stop when the gorilla is tired. In modern American agriculture, one of the gorillas is McDonald’s, the biggest restaurant chain on Earth. The other day it announced a change for its U.S. outlets that will force suppliers to adapt.

Walter E. Williams: Colleges continue to indoctrinate students

President Barack Obama wants Americans to dig deeper into our pockets to expand college education. Let’s update college indoctrination done in the name of education.

Doyle McManus: No clear alternative in Netanyahu’s speech

If Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu really didn’t want his recent speech to look political, he chose a strange place to deliver it: the U.S. House of Representatives, one of the most politicized places on Earth.

Linda Chavez: Right wing must find immigration solutions

Now that Republicans have walked back from the brink on funding for the Department of Homeland Security, it’s time to figure out whether there is any way forward on the immigration reform. I’ve spent the past few weeks talking — and listening — to conservatives on the issue, and I’ve actually become more hopeful, but I don’t expect it will be easy. Nor do I expect it will happen soon.

Mary Sanchez: Problem in Ferguson is its police — period

No wonder Ferguson blew up last summer. It was only a matter of time. The St. Louis suburb’s police force, inadequately trained, led by moral incompetents and largely ignorant of rudimentary constitutional concepts, was bound to touch off an explosion among the citizens it misrules.

Chris Watts: Local control essential on property tax policy

Last week, despite the winter weather, teams of local elected officials and business, civic and educational leaders from across Denton County converged on the state Capitol during Denton County Days to advocate for or against key legislative issues that impact our city and county.

Trudy Rubin: Female pilot's plight reflects Russian lies

This is a column about a beautiful Ukrainian helicopter pilot named Nadiya Savchenko, who was captured by pro-Russian rebels and illegally transported from her country to a prison in Moscow. She could die soon.

Steve Chapman: Netanyahu's address to Congress not realistic

Kathleen Parker: The GOP: A tragedy in 52 acts

WASHINGTON — I’m getting that deja vu feeling as House Republicans these past several days have failed to alter the public’s perception that they’re incapable of governing.

Clarence Page: O’Reilly gets a pass due to low expectations

The feisty investigative magazine with a left-progressive slant, Mother Jones, has been on the warpath lately in pursuit of Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. The charge: serial exaggerations and outright whoppers of a sort that brought punishment for NBC’s Brian Williams.

Jonah Goldberg: Ready or not, it’s prime time for Walker

Any chef will tell you that you need great ingredients to pull off a great meal. Less discussed but just as true: You need to cook the ingredients in the right order.

Leonard Pitts: ‘My Girl’ keeps on rolling

There are sounds it feels like you’ve known forever, sounds that have been in your ear so long, it’s hard to believe they were ever new. One of those sounds is this: James Jamerson thumps a heartbeat on the bass. Robert White’s guitar corkscrews out in reply. And the immortal David Ruffin sings, in a voice of sweetness shadowed by sorrow, “I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.”

Thomas Sowell: Random thoughts spring up on issues

When President Obama keeps talking about “violent extremists” in the abstract, you might wonder whether Presbyterians are running amok.

Froma Harrop: Open Internet survives

Net neutrality won the day in Washington, and that wasn’t supposed to happen. Republicans indignantly opposed regulating Internet service, currently dominated by a few cable giants. Texas Republican Ted Cruz called it “Obamacare for the Internet” (in his world, fightin’ words).

Walter E. Williams: Multicultural movement a cancer on U.S. society

President Barack Obama surprised many at the National Prayer Breakfast when he lectured us, “Lest we get on our high horse and think this [barbarity] is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

Mary Sanchez: Candidate’s suicide shows politics’ bad side

Sometimes the hateful words that slither out of people’s mouths are shocking. But what ought to keep us up at night is the silence that often follows — the way that listeners ignore, or fail to compose themselves to answer, the harmful things that others say.

Jonah Goldberg: Liberalism becoming exhausted

Canaries are not very formidable birds, but they have their uses. For instance, coal miners learned over a century ago that when canaries gag and drop dead at the bottom of the cage, it’s a sign that maybe there’s something wrong with the air in the mine.

Clarence Page: Giuliani sets off uproar

Was Rudy Giuliani playing a race card when he accused President Obama of not loving America? No way, the former New York mayor said later, but his litmus test sounded like he needs an eye test.