- The Washington Times - Monday, April 17, 2006

Green snobs

“[E]nvironmentalism is, at root, an upper-class phenomenon, no different from the anti-industrial-progress attitude that has characterized aristocracies the world over. …

“It would be hard to find a better representation of this problem than the current issue of Vanity Fair. On the cover of this special ‘Green Issue’ are Al Gore, [Robert] F. Kennedy Jr., George Clooney, and Julia Roberts. …

“Nuclear power should be an environmentalist’s dream. …

“So why don’t Al Gore and his cohorts support nuclear power? Because they live in a circumscribed world where people can afford to think that recycling garbage, letting sunshine heat the living room and driving a Toyota Prius will be enough to reverse an unprecedented global crisis.”

— William Tucker, writing on “Green is Beautiful, Beautiful is Green,” April 17 in the American Enterprise Online

Fleeing corruption

“John Gibson asked me the other day on Fox TV why hordes of Mexicans flee their homeland and enter the U.S. illegally. My answer: the cancer of corruption that afflicts every level of Mexican society and restricts even the smallest forms of economic opportunity for the poorest Mexicans.

“I said that Mexico has everything to make it a prosperous First World country. They have minerals, they have agriculture, oil, tourism — everything they need to rank high among First World countries. All that stands in their way is corruption.

“Mexico is a corrupt nation with a corrupt government from top to bottom, and until the U.S. and President Bush stand up and point a finger — as my dad did at the evil empire — and say you have to eliminate corruption if you want to keep your people home, the corruption will continue and so will the flow of illegal aliens fleeing it.

“They need to be told that the reason people are fleeing their country is the corruption that saps the very lifeblood of the Mexican economy, making it impossible for the poor to find jobs at wages that allow them to support their families or pay the ever-present mordida — ‘the bite,’ as they call bribes. Like the refugees who fled from behind the Iron Curtain to find freedom, they flee Mexico to find a living wage and escape the bondage of official bribery that condemns them to poverty.”

— Michael Reagan, writing on “The Real Culture of Corruption,” April 17 in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

Lazy days

“The sins I see in the everyday life of the typical college student are not great ones. … Enabled by institutions, students repeatedly take the path of least resistance, imagining they are making creative compromises with duty that express their unique talents.

“So they choose self-indulgence instead of self-denial, and self-esteem instead of self-questioning. … Students often postpone required readings and assigned preparations, making it hard for them to understand their classes the next day.

“Gradually, lectures and discussions that were once interesting start to seem boring and irrelevant, and the temptation to skip classes becomes greater and greater, especially when the classes are in the morning. … Slothful students regard themselves as full of potential, and so they make a bargain: ‘I will be lazy now, but I will work hard later.’ Like St. Augustine, students say to themselves, ‘Let me be chaste, but not yet.’”

— Thomas H. Benton in “The 7 Deadly Sins of Students” April 14 in the Chronicle of Higher Education

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