- The Washington Times - Friday, December 22, 2006

Now that Time Magazine has declared “You” its Person of the Year, it’s time for the Editorial Board to hold the annual Noble and Knave of the Year Contest. Getting right to the point, it won’t be “You” — not unless you’re one of the nominees listed below. Unlike Time, however, the Editorial Board will give you, dear readers, the chance to determine who deserves our highest and lowest acclaim. To vote, send an e-mail to nobleknave@gmail.com with “Nobles Contest” in the subject line or send a fax to 202-715-0037. Entries must be received by Jan. 1. When voting, please remember that only this year’s nominees are eligible and that votes sent en masse with the intention of unfairly weighting the nominees will not be considered.

For Noble of the year, select three:

• The West Virginia coal miners, the 12 who tragically perished and the one who miraculously survived.

• BB&T; Corp., for enacting a policy of not loaning money to private developers who have acquired land by way of eminent domain.

• Dr. Ward Casscells, now Col. Casscells, who, at 53, put aside a highly successful medicine career to join the Army Reserves.

• Peter Benchley, the writer who gave us “Jaws” — and an inordinate fear of sharks — died in February.

• Maryland state Sen. John Giannetti, who saved his primary challenger, Senator-elect Jim Rosapepe, from choking during a chance encounter at an Annapolis restaurant.

• Dana Reeve, who devoted her life to taking care of her late husband, actor Christopher Reeve, and who tragically died in March.

• Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Sayre, for saving a hostage’s life at a gas station with one incredible shot.

• David Dingman-Grover, the 11-year-old brain cancer survivor whose mano-a-mano battle with his tumor, which he had named Frank, became a symbol of courage.

• U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, who, upon sentencing terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui to life in prison, told him flatly, “you will die with a whimper.”

• Bill Cosby, who continues to challenge the country with his message of tough love, self-reliance and personal responsibility.

• Robert Rector, the Heritage Foundation fellow whose research helped expose the Senate’s disastrous immigration “reform” bill.

• Staff Sgt. Michael Caldwell, who, while lying wounded on a hospital bed in Baghdad, took the oath of re-enlistment.

• Oakland A’s pitcher Barry Zito’s “Strikeout for Troops” campaign, which donated $500 for every strikeout thrown during the 2006 All-Star game to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

• Laurie-Ann Fuca, for choosing to follow her son into the Army by enlisting herself at 41.

• Rep. Bobby Jindal, who helped his wife deliver their son when they couldn’t get to the hospital fast enough.

• The Boy Scouts of America Omaha Scout Troop, for saving an 18-month-old girl from drowning.

• Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin, whose daring exploits with the wildest and most deadly of animals came to end with his death in September.

• Oriana Fallaci, the Italian writer whose unwavering and unapologetic defense of Western Civilization in the face of Islamist barbarism earned her a place as one of freedom’s heroines. She died in September at 77.

• Park County, Colo., Sheriff Fred Wegener, for making the tough call to end a tragic school-shooting incident which took the life of a 16-year-old girl.

• Drs. Andrew Fire and Craig Mello, whose research into how to “silence” specific genes earned them the Nobel Prize this year.

• The Alaskan villagers, for refusing Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez’s offer of cheap oil.

• Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, the Navy SEAL who in September threw himself on a grenade in Iraq to save his fellow SEALs.

• The Minnesota National Guard, whose members had the perfect rejoinder to Sen. John Kerry’s “joke” that only the uneducated get “stuck” in Iraq: “Halp us Jon Carry — We r stuck hear n Irak.”

• San Francisco’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC), whose members saw the school board eliminate their beloved program.

• The off-duty Secret Service agent who was shot while trying to break up a fight at an Annapolis mall.

• Stevie Long, the 4-year-old “superhero” who managed to save his family by scaring off a burglar by dressing up as a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger.

• Ambassador John Bolton, who leaves the United Nations better than he found it, but not as good as he could have made it — if given the chance.

For Knave of the year, select three:

• Vermont Judge Edward Cashman, for sentencing a confessed child rapist to just 60 days in prison.

• James Frey, for peddling a fictionalized autobiography, “A Million Little Pieces,” and making millions off it.

• New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, for saying that Hurricane Katrina was an act of God in response to the United States being “in Iraq under false pretenses.”

• Los Angeles Times columnist Joel Stein, who in a January column compared U.S. soldiers to corrupt politicians.

• The Colombian drug traffickers, for using puppies’ stomachs to smuggle heroin into the United States.

• The Spotsylvania County, Va., Sheriff’s office, whose officers were enjoying the, er, services of the Moon Spa while ostensibly investigating it for prostitution.

• U.S. figure skater Johnny Weir, who chose an Olympic setting to proudly wear a “CCCP” red sweatjacket.

• Yale University, for admitting a former member of the Taliban, but not the U.S. military.

• A Republican-controlled Senate, which drafted a budget blueprint that added $11 billion to federal spending, all the while claiming to be the party of fiscal responsibility.

• NBC’s “Dateline,” whose producers crafted an unethical scheme to ensnare NASCAR fans in a story on Arab-Muslim bigotry.

• Sen. Harry Reid, whose opinion on unilateralism versus multilateralism depends on which way the political winds are blowing.

• The Los Angeles Times and Paramount Pictures, whose idea of promoting “Mission: Impossible 3” was to have a series of wires and a ticking sound emanate from L.A. Times newsstands.

• The Cambridge, Mass., City Council, which in May declared Cambridge a “sanctuary” for the nation’s 12 million-plus illegals.

• Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado professor who was found to be not only an anti-American extremist but also an academic poseur.

• The American Civil Liberties Union, which attempted to prohibit its own members from criticizing the free-speech organization.

• Helen Thomas, the so-called “Dean of the White House Press Corps” who didn’t know the difference between contemptuous and contemptible.

• The Dixie Chicks, whose lead singer Natalie Maines told the London Telegraph in June that she “didn’t understand the necessity of patriotism.”

• Susan Roberts, a Davidson political science professor who in May wrote that the Supreme Court had the power to strike down constitutional amendments.

• Rep. John Murtha, for trying to backtrack from comments he made in June that the U.S. presence in Iraq was more dangerous to world peace than a nuclear North Korea.

• “Peace Mom” Cindy Sheehan, whose “Troops Home Fast” fast ended pretty, er, fast.

• The scoundrels who mugged a disabled Iraq war veteran outside a restaurant in Bethesda in August.

• The Stars, Stripes and Skates fund-raising organization, for writing a children’s book which tried to make September 11 a “happy” event for kids.

• France, for having to be dragged kicking and screaming to provide troops for an international peacekeeping force in Lebanon that was its idea in the first place.

• The CBS producers of “Survivor,” who had the idea of organizing contestants into racial groups for its upcoming season.

• Jimmy Carter, for this, that and about everything else he’s done, written or said recently.

• John Edwards, whose crusade against Wal-Mart apparently doesn’t keep him from shopping there.

• Senator-elect Jim Webb, for ditching veterans at a post-election event in Virginia Beach.

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