Linda Chavez: Figure way to make football a civil sport

I’m not much of a football fan, never have been, but I’ve lived most of my life in households where games dominated family schedules during football season.

Froma Harrop: Casinos not the answer

The video for the Bruce Springsteen song “Atlantic City” opens with a scene of the grand Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel imploding into a pile of dust. That was almost 40 years ago. The Traymore Hotel and other grand hotels were leveled in much the same spectacular fashion.

Trudy Rubin: ‘Newspeak’ alive, well in Moscow

In 1949, George Orwell published Nineteen Eighty-Four, his famous portrait of a totalitarian regime whose “Ministry of Truth” spews rank propaganda called “Newspeak” that turns historical facts on their head.

Mary Sanchez: Sleeper might upset Senate election calculus

Let’s go out on a limb and predict that a Republican majority will retake the Senate in November’s elections. After all, Nate Silver, the paragon of quantitative journalism, puts the party’s chances of doing so at 62.6 percent.

Leonard Pitts: Rice abuse video reveals nothing we didn’t know

Apologies for the blunt language, but can we please cut the crap?

Catherine Rampell: Only college graduates need apply

You’ve heard of grade inflation? Welcome to the world of degree inflation.

Jonah Goldberg: Time to uphold U.S. honor worldwide

“I should have anticipated the optics,” President Obama said by way of acknowledging that golfing right after making a statement about the beheading of James Foley looked bad. “Part of this job is also the theater of it,” he said. “It’s not something that always comes naturally to me. But it matters.”

Clarence Page: Politics tear us apart

Americans need to get out more. We’re not only divided into different political parties, polls show; we are becoming different Americas. That’s good for vigorous arguments, but it works against our ability to reach much agreement.

Thomas Sowell: Mob rule economics take root in America

While we talk about democracy and equal rights, we seem increasingly to let both private and government decisions be determined by mob rule. There is nothing democratic about mob rule. It means that some people’s votes are to be overruled by other people’s disruptions, harassments and threats.

Susan Estrich: Spread of Ebola now everyone’s problem

Ebola. As if beheadings were not terrifying enough, as if the spread of extremism and hatred were not unsettling enough, as if the kidnapping of young girls were not horrifying enough, the world now faces another crisis requiring that countries barely able to provide anything approaching minimal medical care in the best of times deal with a deadly epidemic for which there is no medicine, no cure and, in many places, no health care facilities, let alone isolation wards.

Steve Chapman: Live with reclining seats in airlines

Good morning. This is your captain. We’ll be cruising today at an altitude of 30,000 feet, and we expect to arrive at our destination on time.

Froma Harrop: ‘Spiral of silence’ alive on social media

With folks yapping all day on social media — Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and the rest — how can there be such a thing as a “spiral of silence” online?

Walter E. Williams: Big money best way to influence Congress

At a July fundraising event in Chicago, Mrs. Michelle Obama remarked, “So, yeah, there’s too much money in politics. There’s [sic] special interests that have too much influence.”

Leonard Pitts: Rights not contingent upon background check

You’ve probably never heard of Claudette Colvin. And yet, had history twisted in a slightly different direction, she might loom as large in American memory as Rosa Parks does now while Parks herself would be a little-remembered seamstress.

Jonah Goldberg: Military dogs must be brought back home

We’ve all heard the expression: “A man’s best friend is his equipment.” You haven’t? Well you must not work for the Pentagon. There, military dogs are considered mere “equipment” and as such can be left behind when the troops come home.

Mary Sanchez: No typical U.S. family

The typical American family. Does that phrase mean anything to you? Can you picture what it looks like?

Linda Chavez: Can Obama win fight against extremists?

President Obama, in the past, has demonstrated a way with written words, and he’s done so again, this time in a joint op-ed with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron for The Times of London published on the eve of the recent NATO meeting in Wales.

Doyle McManus: Respite from being on Internet beneficial

Last year I ruined my summer vacation — a two-week idyll at my wife’s family cabin on a lake in northern Ontario — by bringing along a modern convenience that was too convenient for my own good: the demon iPad.

Guest column: Society’s future depends on educating all children

It is no accident that our nation’s commitment to a public government was very quickly followed by a commitment to a public education, accessible to all.

Steve Chapman: Politicians’ ignorance fuels the calls for war

The New York Times ran an unfair headline the other day: “Arab Nations Strike in Libya, Surprising U.S.” It was unfair not because it was inaccurate but because the latter phrase suggested there was something noteworthy in our surprise. When it comes to events abroad, surprise is our natural state.

Jonah Goldberg: U.S. foreign policy not working

So much for non-ideological foreign policy. When Barack Obama ran for president he vowed to be non-ideological. He was a pragmatist and a problem-solver. It wasn’t just that George W. Bush’s ideology was awful, ideology itself was a kind of sinful stupidity.

Leonard Pitts: If GOP is right, why are red states so far behind?

Ihave a question for my Republican friends.

Catherine Rampell: Choose this fight before wedding

Betrothed women of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your husbands’ names. I’m getting married in a few days, and — as I’m told happens with most weddings — lots of exhausting fights over minuscule details have broken out along the long, treacherous road to the altar. But the biggest blow-ups, in my case, were over names.

Susan Estrich: Who can stop ISIS’rampage of murder?

The horrifying footage of the second beheading of an American journalist by ISIS, this time freelancer Steven Joel Sotloff, a 31-year-old from Florida who loved journalism, has again placed the president, and world leaders, in a terrible position. To be clear, the White House is studying the video. To be clear, no one is holding out much hope.

Thomas Sowell: U.S. must learn from election mistakes

The latest Gallup poll indicates that 14 percent of the people “moderately disapprove” of Barack Obama’s performance as president and 39 percent “strongly disapprove.”

Froma Harrop: Airlines put squeeze on

Americans are in the dumps about their future. What does that have to do with legroom in economy class? Everything.

Walter E. Williams: Everyday items can offer us a puzzle

There are things that really puzzle me. Some life insurance companies charge lower premiums if you haven’t made a life-shortening lifestyle choice. Being a nonsmoker is one of them.

Clarence Page: Sharpton fills passion gap

It’s not hard to figure out why the Rev. Al Sharpton, of all people, receives a strange new respect in President Obama’s White House. Every president needs a good “anger translator.”

Steve Chapman: Tradition should not limit gay marriage

In all the bad days that opponents of same-sex marriage have had lately, few compare with the one they had recently in a courtroom in Chicago. Lawyers defending the bans in Wisconsin and Indiana were buried in an avalanche of skepticism and incredulity.

Leonard Pitts: America also exceptional in stubborn stupidity

Sometimes you read a sentence and you think to yourself: only here, only us.

Linda Chavez: Time ripe for honest talk about race issues

After weeks of national angst generated when a white police officer shot an unarmed black man on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, perhaps it is time we have an honest discussion about race in America.

Mary Sanchez: Hill’s legacy endures

Anita Hill. Say the name and the response will be telling, depending on the age and political leanings of the listener.

Myra Crownover: Texas responsible for caring for the disabled

“Tom” is a full-grown 22-year-old man with the mind of a 3-year-old. Tom is severely autistic and has profound intellectual and developmental disabilities. Tom is large and physically stout. His physical strength and mental disability combine to make him a danger to himself and others.

Thomas Sowell: Choose facts not current social visions

The political left has been campaigning against the use of force since at least the 18th century. So it is not surprising that they are now arguing that heavily armed or aggressive police forces only inflame protesters and thus provoke violence.

Catherine Rampell: Tech firms reveal their poor record of diversity

Tech companies are finally spilling some of their most sought-after secrets. No, not related to their R&D. I’m referring instead to other tightly guarded information they once declared “trade secrets”: data about the number of women and minorities on their payrolls.

Froma Harrop: VA villain plain vanilla

The unofficial end of summer, Labor Day, may serve as a bookend to a scandal that exploded around the unofficial start, Memorial Day. We speak of the very long wait times to see primary care providers at veterans hospitals and, more seriously, the doctoring of records by some hospital administrators to hide that reality.

Jonah Goldberg: Word ‘evil’ does aptly describe Islamic State

I never liked it when George W. Bush used the term “evildoers” to describe al-Qaida and other terrorists. A lot of other people objected as well, but for different reasons.

Susan Estrich: Liberals should learn lesson from Gaza

There’s a painful lesson to be learned for liberals, especially liberal Jews, from the turmoil in Gaza.

Walter E. Williams: Blacks must see reality of life in U.S.

Though racial discrimination exists, it is nowhere near the barrier it once was. The relevant question is: How much of what we see today can be explained by racial discrimination?

Clarence Page: Press freedom comes under fire in Ferguson

Journalists in Ferguson, Missouri, don’t face as many risks as our colleagues in Syria, but that’s not much to brag about.

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.