- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 1, 2003

Noble: Marine Maj. John M. Walsh, killed in the line of a duty he had been determined to serve.
A record of his determination still hangs in his high school gym the eight-minute, 12-second mark that he and three teammates set for the two-mile relay in 1984. He was a resolute runner, regardless of whether he was sprinting half-miles, pushing through the three-mile courses of high school cross country competitions, or doggedly doing the 70-80 miles of training that made him an All-State athlete at suburban Detroit's Southfield Christian High School. "He wouldn't give up," school teammate John Dace remembered. "He was relentless."
Maj. Walsh was even more determined to serve his country in the skies. Jim Wood, his running coach and junior high social studies teacher, remembered that the first thing the major flew was his space-heater. The boy who grew up to pilot Cobra helicopters would sit in his cramped instructor's office at the end of the day, his body rocking back-and-forth atop the heater, hands grasping an imaginary joystick, eyes locked on the skies. Above all, he would be a pilot even the Bible verse chosen for him referred to eagle's wings.
Not that he had an easy take-off. He wasn't accepted the first time he tried to make it into the Air Force Academy. Nor the second. In fact, he never received the appointment he so craved. So, he found another way to fly. After he graduated from Central Michigan University, he joined the Marine Corps. Finally, he earned his wings.
He couldn't have been happier. Friends he visited with remember him wearing his flight jacket, and his Tom Cruise looks lit up by a devil-may-care grin. That smile lasted until the night, a little more than a week ago, when the helicopter he was flying collided with another while on an anti-drug mission over the U.S.-Mexico border . Maj. Walsh was one of four Marines who lost their lives that night. Thirty-six-year-old Maj. Steven G. Palombo, 34-year-old Capt. David C. Cross and 47-year-old Lt. Col Robert J. Theilmann were the others.
Maj. Wash was 36 when he was laid to rest this week. With the storm clouds over Iraq about to burst, it's comforting to remember that there are thousands of soldiers out there like Maj. Walsh eager to serve, determined to fly.
Knaves: Helen Thomas, poster grandmother for the liberal elite, for saying the worst about one of our best.
Mr. Bush is a worse president than inept, philandering and corrupt Warren G. Harding? He's worse than Millard Fillmore, who signed the Fugitive Slave Act and presided over the destruction of his party? He's even worse than James Buchanan, who dithered while the South was seceding?
That's the word not to mention the world according to long-sitting White House correspondent Ms. Thomas. At a recent gathering of the Society of Professional Journalists, Ms. Thomas claimed, "[Mr. Bush] is the worst president ever. He's the worst president in American history."
The idea is astonishing on its face, even for a person who has covered every president since John F. Kennedy. Admittedly, Ms. Thomas wasn't presiding over the White House Press Corps during the depressing days of Herbert Hoover, but surely she had her fill of Richard Nixon's lies while Watergate was leaking and Jimmy Carter's dithering during the hostage crisis. Surely, she had seen enough presidents crack under heated circumstances to see the gleam of presidential mettle.
Sadly, that's not the case. Instead, the Dean of the Washington Press Corps stooped to a elementary-school attack without even a sophomoric justification behind it. Not that Ms. Thomas appears to care about objectivity anymore. Last June, she told a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "I am a liberal. I wouldn't be anything else. Why should I be?"
For one of the best demonstrations of some of the worst bias in the business, we can only say, "Thank you, Ms. Thomas."

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