- The Washington Times - Monday, January 14, 2002

Harry and Frodo
"In 'Harry Potter,' power is gained through occultism as an end in itself. Even the malicious Draco Malfoy and other questionable characters are educated in wizardry at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They might someday use it for good, or they might not.
"In 'Lord of the Rings,' good and evil are more clearly defined, and the main point is that power itself corrupts, especially the kind that men seek over others. For example, Harry freely uses power to avenge himself against his rivals. By contrast, Frodo is pure enough to resist the temptation to use the ring of power for anything but his mission, which is to destroy the ring, not co-opt its powers. On the few occasions when he is forced to put on the ring to survive an onslaught, he pays a terrible price.
"Although he was a Christian, 'Lord of the Rings' author J.R.R. Tolkien denied deliberately injecting Christian elements into his trilogy. Nonetheless he admitted in an interview that Gandalf was 'an angel.' Angels are messengers from God, not from the occultic world. Dumbledore, who is described as, among other things, Chief Warlock, overlooks Harry's disobeying of the rules at Hogwarts, and benignly presides over the transformation of children into witches and wizards, something no angel would do."
Robert H. Knight, writing on "Lord of the Rings vs. Harry," in the Jan. 10 issue of the Culture and Family Report

Soviet ghetto
"In the period from 1940 to 1970, the percentage of middle-class jobs held by African Americans multiplied by nearly five times. Since 1970, the year affirmative action was first put into effect, the percentage of these jobs [held by blacks] has failed to even double.
"This is the desired effect of the Marxist agenda. Instill the people with fear, hook them on socialism, and confiscate political power for presiding over their lives. However, the overwhelming historical evidence shows that it never works. If one has any lingering doubts about the scourge of socialism, they can be laid to rest by a statistical review of the granddaddy of ghettos, the Soviet Union.
"After its collapse in 1990, it was revealed that after 70 years of socialism, 40 percent of its general population, and 79 percent of its elderly, lived in poverty. According to their own economists, the per-capita income level in Russia was about one-seventh of that in the United States."
Roger Sause, from his new book, "Left for Dead"

Hyphenated heroes?
"The heady days of unalloyed patriotism that followed September 11, in which Americans lost their hyphens and became heroes instead of victims, are over.
"Firefighters Dan McWilliams, Billy Eisengrein, and George Johnson were captured in a now-famous photo, raising a flag, Iwo Jima-style, over the ground-zero wreckage. Copies of the photo have spread throughout the world; the Record, the New Jersey paper that holds the copyright, is not enforcing it. So it would have seemed reasonable for the statue commemorating the moment, a model of which was unveiled on Dec. 21, to have replicated the photo exactly.
"Not so. At the request of the New York Fire Department, the sculptors who worked on the statue replaced McWilliams, Eisengrein, and Johnson all white with firefighters of three different races, because people of all races contributed to the rescue effort. While that is certainly true, the fact remains that it was those three firefighters who hoisted the flag."
Beth Henary, writing on "Identity Politics at Ground Zero," Thursday in the Weekly Standard Online at www.weeklystandard.com

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