- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 3, 2001

Intolerant green
"The authoritarian left is at it again: this time against John Stossel, a reporter who has the gall to report that our environment is far cleaner and healthier today than 30 years ago. For an ABC News show on phony environmentalism, Stossel interviewed some children to learn their views about the environment. Of course, they all reiterated the view dinned into them by most sources — that the earth is sicker than ever.
"Enviro-lefties subsequently got hold of the kids' parents, smeared Stossel, and persuaded the parents to yank permission. Sure, as Stossel acknowledges, the parents have every right to keep their kids from appearing on a TV show. But the context stinks. And we all know the Environmental Working Group's real agenda: to end any dissent on environmental matters, and stifle free speech by any means possible. The left did it to Dr. Laura [Schlessinger]. They will try to do it to anyone who dares take their often-silly ideas on. Kudos to ABC News for standing by Stossel. And kudos for Stossel for fighting back."
—Andrew Sullivan, writing on "Now Stossel Gets Muzzled," Thursday at www.andrewsullivan.com

Racial un-profiling
"The cops on the street have different names for it: de-policing, selective disengagement, tactical detachment. They even joke about it, calling themselves 'tourists in blue.'
"Whatever the term, rank-and-file officers in the Seattle Police Department say it is a spreading phenomenon in the city's black neighborhoods, and a logical reaction to chronic charges of police racism. …
"Many officers, wary of being labeled racists or racial profilers, say they hold back or bypass opportunities to make traffic stops or arrests of black suspects. …
"'It's real. It's happening,' said Eric Michl, a Seattle patrol officer for 17 years. 'Parking under a shady tree to work on a crossword puzzle is a great alternative to being labeled a racist and being dragged through an inquest, a review board, an FBI and U.S. Attorney's investigation and a lawsuit.' …
"Many officers see the racial-profiling dispute as a distraction to doing their jobs.
"'It's a ghost. It's a phantom,' said Ken Saucier, a veteran of 16 years in the department. He is black. …
"Saucier and other officers cite statistics that consistently show blacks commit a disproportionate number of crimes, especially violent crimes. Department of Justice studies show black males, who make up 6 percent of the population, commit 40 percent of the violent crimes. The vast majority of the victims are also black."
—Alex Tizon and Reid Forgrave, writing on "Wary of racism complaints, police look the other way in black neighborhoods," June 26 in the Seattle Times

Celluloid comics
"Michael Bay's 'Pearl Harbor' … uses computer animation seamlessly blended with live action to produce the same kind of heightened reality you find in a comic book. In theory, there should be nothing wrong with this. … But it unquestionably contributes to the sense of excess that seems to me inseparable from the experience of this picture. There is too much of everything (beginning with too much money), and the views of the actual attack on Pearl Harbor are too perfect — perfect as they can only be when drawn, as in a comic. …
"History has always been to the movies more or less a quarry out of which pretty stones, agreeable to our own taste and the fashions of our time, can be removed at will, but there used to be about this process … a sense of shame. Some effort was always made at least to pay lip-service to the otherness of the past. The comic book mentality does not bother — or, in the case of Baz Luhrmann's 'Moulin Rouge' or Brian Helgeland's 'A Knight's Tale,' it positively cultivates the illusion that the people of previous generations were just like us."
—James Bowman, writing on "Sneak Attack: Hollywood vs. History," in the July/August issue of the American Spectator

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