- The Washington Times - Monday, December 23, 2002

Impotent ammunition
"[G]uerrilla documentarian Michael Moore has struck it big again with his latest film, 'Bowling for Columbine.' The documentary, which garnered high praise and strong ticket sales in limited release last fall, claims to be a meditation on American gun violence. But it functions as a summation of lefty gripes about life in these United States. It is also a good summation of the progressive left's intellectual impotence.
"One of the points Moore tries to make is that our media want to scare us to death. He suggests the resulting unease makes us want to stockpile guns. Strange, then, that Moore himself indulges in misleading fearmongering. Firearm homicides in America fell from 1991 to 1999 by nearly 40 percent, but somehow Moore left that fact on the cutting-room floor.
"Instead, Moore clubs his audience with the news that the world is sad. Young men are driven to mass killing by high school status games.
"But except for one scene in which Our Hero himself apparently pressures Kmart into promising to phase out ammunition sales Moore offers no suggestion for how to make America a less depressing place."
Brian Doherty, writing on "Tears of a Clown," in the Jan. 3 issue of Reason

Guilty secret
"The recent serialization of 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' by the Arab Voice of Paterson [N.J.] is a major affront to the Jewish community, and a disgraceful act of bigotry on the part of Walid Rabah, the paper's editor. As most people know, the Protocols are a series of documents composed in 19th-century Czarist Russia, outlining a supposed Jewish plot to take over the world. They are an absurd and self-contradictory forgery, intended to malign Jews, and to incite hatred for them.
"I find myself dumbfounded by the fact that so few of the self-appointed leaders of the Arab and Muslim communities of New Jersey seem willing to denounce what has happened. What we hear instead is the deafening silence of leaders who have perfected the arts of whining and special pleading, but have talents for little else, much less for a principled stand against bigotry.
"As someone born in an observant Muslim household I think I know the major reason for the silence.
"The sad fact is that anti-Semitism is the Arab/Muslim community's guilty secret, one that it can't afford to face, but can't manage to control."
Irfan Khawaja in "The Protocols of Paterson," in the Nov. 25 Herald News of West Paterson, N.J.

Yo, Rocky again
"The news that Sylvester Stallone will soon be making 'Rocky VI' has been greeted with the usual catcalls and epithets from the lords of hipness. Will Bob Hope be his opponent in this outing? one smart-aleck wonders. Leslie Nielsen?
"Is the aging Mr. Stallone oblivious to the ridicule he will attract if he climbs into the ring one more time? Is he unaware that the torch has been passed to a new generation, that Rocky's time has come and gone? Is it possible that Mr. Stallone just doesn't get it?
"Of course it is. From the moment he made 'Rocky' in 1976, Mr. Stallone has exhibited an almost Bill Clinton-like ability to shut out information from the real world. Proceeding from the ridiculous assumption that a short, white, dimwit, mobbed-up thug off the streets of South Philadelphia could give a Muhammad Ali stand-in a run for his money ('Rocky'), and then actually beat him ('Rocky II'), the 'Rocky' series has always been rooted in a fanciful view of the world.
"It is indeed this fairytale quality that insulates the films from charges of racism; if you're going to make a movie about the last guy on earth you'd expect to become heavyweight champion of the world, you can't go wrong with a short white stiff from South Philly. That Mr. Stallone is now too old to play a champ means little to an actor who was always too white to play a champ."
Joe Queenan, writing on "Rocky Ages," Thursday in the Wall Street Journal

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