- The Washington Times - Friday, November 9, 2001

Hollywood healing
"After postponing them twice, changing the venue declaring the overhead airspace a 'no-fly' zone, barricading the streets, peppering nearby roofs with sharpshooters, deploying choppers, toning down the dress code, searching limos, passing guests through metal detectors and kicking off the show with not one but two rounds of disclaimers full of more unnecessary rationalizations than Calista Flockhart after a celery binge the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences finally aired the Emmys [Sunday].
"After two months of benefit shows and tributes, we've become quite comfortable with seeing celebrities gather in front of cameras to express our feelings. It's fine. It's just that the justifications seem to call more attention to the attention than anything else.
"Luckily, reminding us that entertainment can help us heal tonight was host Ellen DeGeneres, who eased some of the discomfort right away by welcoming 'security guards, Secret Service personnel and all the wonderful TV stars we love so much who are watching from home' to 'the 53rd, 54th and 55th Emmy Awards.' Ellen managed to make even industry in-jokes seem inclusive, patriotic and universal, as in, 'I think it's important for us to be here, because they can't take away our striving for excellence, our creativity, our joy only network executives can do that.'"
Carina Chocano, writing on "Hugh Hefner, the Emmys and the breathless '24,'" Wednesday in Salon at www.salon.com

Evolving racism
"For [Charles] Darwin the 'moral faculties of man' were not original and inherent, but evolved from 'social qualities' acquired 'through natural selection, aided by inherited habit.'
"From the beginning, then, Darwin rejected the Christian natural law argument, according to which human beings are moral by nature.
"Yet Darwin balked at embracing the relativism he created, and insisted on ranking evolved moral traits. The unhappy result, however, was his espousal of views we would today call racist.
"Darwin cheerfully asserted that the 'western nations of Europe immeasurably surpass their former progenitors and stand at the summit of civilization.'
"Darwin believed that the evolution of morality would require the extermination of 'less fit' races and individuals."
Benjamin Wiker, writing on "Darwin and the Descent of Morality," in the November issue of First Things

Lee's example
"An Indian writer recently noted that any massacre by Muslims in India comparable to the Twin Towers attack would likely have resulted in a fearsome slaughter of Muslims throughout India.
"We do things differently here in America. We rain death on the guilty. But the innocent may walk among us in peace.
"We owe our magnanimity, in large measure, to the example of our forefathers. One of these was General Robert E. Lee.
"Lee has taken a beating in recent years. Because he fought for the Confederacy, his image is being removed from public places all over the South as a symbol of 'hate' and 'racism.'
"Yet, a remarkable book called 'Robert E. Lee on Leadership' by H.W. Crocker III has convinced me that 'Marse Robert' would have been the first to protect innocent Muslims on the streets of New York.
"The book gives life and flesh to Lee's greatness. It explains why Winston Churchill viewed Lee as 'one of the noblest Americans who ever lived' and why Theodore Roosevelt honored him as, 'the very greatest of all the great captains that the English-speaking peoples have brought forth.'"
Richard Poe, writing on "The Lessons of Robert E. Lee," yesterday in Front Page at www. frontpagemag.com


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