Continued from page 1

Rather, this new form of “bribery” pertains to the incredible power of the spoken word, and how it can effectively sway public opinion.

The very first example cited is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who spouted of the war in Iraq: “I believe myself that … this war is lost, and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday.”

“We call it an honest difference of opinion between fellow Americans,” explains Mr. D’Anconia. “After all, if [Mr. Reid] were a traitor, wouldn’t we have found suitcases of money, and bank accounts with checks from Arab sources? …

“What you need to know is that it really is very easy to secretly bribe public officials, and all this hoopla about effective campaign-finance reform is just nonsensical window dressing.”

Maine problem

“When it comes to family fun, it must be Maine.” Such is the slogan of the Maine Office of Tourism.

But don’t tell that to Mike Hein, administrator of the Christian Civic League of Maine, who this week is complaining that thousands of taxpayer dollars have been directed to a “perverse” film festival in his state.

The 10th annual Maine International Film Festival kicked off last weekend, with shows running through July 22. Among them: “The Ten,” which “uses the famous set of stone-carved commandments for purposes Moses never imagined … [and includes] sex with a ventriloquist’s dummy”; “Four Minutes,” which “concerns two women” and their shared love; and “Murmur of Youth,” involving a “daring lesbian romance.”

Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad, Mr. Hein says, except that Maine’s festival, hosted by the city of Waterville, also courts children for “Fireflies” films that are screened at the same location “as the sexually explicit adult films.”

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes .com.