- The Washington Times - Monday, February 4, 2002

Taliban paradox
"Ever since he first washed up from that basement in Mazar-e-Sharif last December, Taliban John Walker has been the object of seemingly endless speculation.
"There is a paradox at the heart of John Walker's story. No one disputes that Walker was raised in a permissive environment. In Walker's case, however, permissiveness seems to have bred something like a taste for tyranny.
"The decisive moment in Walker's journey at least according to his father, Frank Lindh came when Walker first read Malcolm X's autobiography. The same year, Walker followed Malcolm's example and converted to Islam.
"But something else was happening when Walker was 17. For even as Walker was reading Malcolm X, his father separated from his mother herself a recent convert to Buddhism and moved in with another man to pursue a homosexual relationship.
"In Afghanistan homosexuals were routinely punished by death. When Frank Lindh deserted his family in 1997, not only did Walker reject his father's name he immediately latched onto the strongest expression of male authority he could find. In short, Walker found a new father."
David Orland, writing on "The Paradox of Taliban John," Thursday in Boundless at www.boundless.org

Rising star?
"Keep your eye on Stephen L. Carter. He may be the fastest-rising conservative communicator in America. And he's black.
"Carter is sharply critical of racial quotas and the liberal demonization of religious faith in the public square. But Carter now has a rocket strapped to his back. Knopf Publishing has bought the rights to publish Carter's first novel, 'The Emperor of Ocean Park,' for $4 million. The New York times described the novel due out in May as 'the story of an African-American law professor who finds himself investigating the death of his father, a conservative judge, and retracing his father's life.'
"Could this be Clarence Thomas meets Tom Clancy? If Carter becomes the John Grisham of race and religion capable of writing best-selling thrillers using black characters wrestling with distinctly conservative moral and spiritual themes he could find himself in the political crosshairs of the entire liberal civil-rights establishment.
"Can Carter's novel (and movie) do what his other works haven't done break out? If he lands on 'Oprah,' look out."
Joel C. Rosenberg in "Political Buzz from Washington" in the Jan. 12 issue of World

'High-water mark'
"The breathtaking reach of Great Society rhetoric is today largely forgotten. In 1965 [Lyndon Baines Johnson] addressed Congress:
"'I want to be the president who helped to feed the hungry. I want to be the president who helped the poor to find their own way and who protected the right of every citizen to vote in every election. I want to be the president who helped to end hatred among his fellow men and who promoted love among the people of all races, all regions, and all parties. I want to be the president who helped to end war among the brothers of this earth.'"
"That was the high-water mark of big government liberalism. Then everything began to unravel, with liberals doing the unraveling."
Richard John Neuhaus, writing on "Explaining the Strange Death of American Liberalism," in the February issue of First Things


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