- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 20, 2001

'Radical cell'
"The White House made a down payment on President Bush's promise that due-process protections would be extended even to the most fanatic current enemies of U.S. policy. No, we don't mean the Justice Department's December 11 indictment of [terrorism suspect] Zacarias Moussaoui. We have in mind, instead, a move announced the day before: the administration's decision to forgo a military tribunal in favor of regular federal district court proceedings against Mary Frances Berry.
"Ms. Berry has lately holed herself up at headquarters of the radical cell she leads, otherwise known as the 'U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.' From there she has vowed to resist the authority of American law by any means necessary. We'd say the Bush administration has responded to her provocations with altogether remarkable restraint.
"Congress chartered the Civil Rights Commission in 1957 as an executive branch 'clearinghouse' on American race relations. Under its authorizing statute, the commission was to deliver a report on that subject by the end of 1959, and two months later it would 'cease to exist.' The report was completed on schedule. But the 'cease to exist' part was delayed for well, several decades, actually. During which time the agency did a slow dissolve from irrelevance to incompetence to outright embarrassment its 'research' increasingly indistinguishable from interest-group agitprop."
David Tell, writing on "Berry Bad Behavior," in the Dec. 24 issue of the Weekly Standard

'Satirical' hate
"Even as the debate raged over whether the onset of Ramadan should bring a temporary cessation of the war in Afghanistan, no such truce was contemplated by Arab regimes in their campaign to delegitimize Israel. They have gone right on equating Zionism with apartheid and Nazism and insulting the holy books of Judaism. Not a beat was lost in promoting the big lies of blood libel, alleged Jewish plots to control the world and Holocaust denial.
"Witness the new series airing on the state-run satellite television network of the Arab gulf state Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi TV has decided to seek its market share by launching 'Plots of Terror.' Aired each night of Ramadan this family-oriented 'satirical comedy' stars a well-known Kuwaiti comedian as Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon. iewers are introduced to an Israeli leader depicted as a vampire who craves the blood of Arab children and markets 'Dracu-cola.' The 'prime minister' is shown personally leading the massacre of helpless prisoners and, in the most horrific scene of all, is shown overseeing the tossing of Arab babies into a bonfire."
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, writing on "Hate Hits the Mainstream," Sunday in the Los Angeles Times

True epic
"The most heartbreaking thing about faithful moviegoing is that awe, beauty and excitement, three of the things we go to the movies for, are the very things we're cheated of the most. The great wonder of 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring' is that it bathes us in all three, to the point where we remember why we go to the movies in the first place. It would be an insult to say the picture merely lives up to its hype; it crashes the meaning of hype, exposing it as the graven image it is.
"The first 10 minutes of 'The Fellowship of the Ring' renders all hype inconsequential. In adapting the story of hobbit Frodo Baggins and his mission to guard and ultimately destroy a ring that has the power to bring cursed evil upon the world, director Peter Jackson has given us an epic in the true sense, with none of the pretentious fakery that the word 'epic' has come to imply.
"'The Fellowship of the Ring' throws down a daunting challenge to filmmakers everywhere. Audiences deserve the greatest you have in you."
Stephanie Zacharek, writing on "The Movie of the Year," Tuesday in Salon at www.salon.com

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