- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Britney's bomb
"Is Britney Spears's restaurant going bust? Depends on whom you talk to. Brad Gates, the eatery's second chef since it opened three months ago, told us he was leaving after just one month on the job. 'There's no one coming into the restaurant now,' Gates said. 'It's been hard to buy food because they're not giving me any money.'
"Furthermore, Nyla's original manager, Bobby Ochs, is breaking his silence since resigning in early September. Ochs claims that the place was already $350,000 over budget on opening day and says he was told that on a recent night, Nyla did only $1,900 in business. Spears's rep says there is no truth to what Ochs says and insists that Nyla is doing 'great.'"
Marc S. Malkin, writing on "Nyla: Hungry for Customers?" in the Oct. 14 issue of New York"FranklinGothicBT-RomanCondensed">

Uber allies?
"German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's campaign declaration of his country's 'existential' independence from the international community surprised many Americans. America, after all, liberated Germany not once, but twice, from murderous, totalitarian regimes. America helped to rebuild the decimated country following World War II and defeated the Soviet Empire that had separated East Germany from West.
"But what should surprise us even more is the number of Americans who don't know these facts. Hard as it is to imagine, according to one recent study, one in five high school seniors believes Germany was our ally in World War II. Another recent survey found that more than one third of seniors graduating from America's top 50 universities as listed by U.S. News & World Report could not correctly name the major Axis nations.
"[I]t is dangerous and divisive for American citizens to be ignorant of our own history and role in the world, particularly as we fight a difficult and complicated war on terrorism. How is one to make sense of the debate over what to do about the 'axis of evil' if one believes Hitler was our friend?"
Leslie Lenkowsky, writing on "Teaching America," Friday in National Review Online at www.national review.com

Deadly excuses
"What spurred this past decade's confounding spate of schoolroom carnage? Constrained answers like 'Those two boys in Littleton were just messed up' seem unable to sate the national craving for the kind of deeper, more probing explanation that Michael Moore's sprawling new documentary, 'Bowling for Columbine,' purports to feed.
"Exploring why Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 15 (including themselves) and wounded 23 at Columbine High School in 1999, Mr. Moore the left-wing provocateur best known for his loaded arguments against the auto industry takes on not only Kmart (which sold the bullets) and the National Rifle Association (which held a rally in nearby Denver soon after), but Lockheed Martin, American support of Chile's Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Bill Clinton's bombing of a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory, the 'CIA training' of Osama bin Laden, the bombing of Kosovo, slavery, the Los Angeles riots, air pollution, the television show 'Cops,' welfare-to-work programs and a slightly addled Charlton Heston.
"[A]s painful as it may be for victims' families to live with stark, unmitigated loss, to take from these deadly teenage temper tantrums any grandiose 'lessons' is to elevate small, mean fits of spite to a mythic status they do not deserve. Worse, by seizing on school shootings as totems of all that is wrong with America, we offer the role of cultural icon to any disaffected 15-year-old who swipes the keys to his grandfather's gun cabinet.
"Blaming a killing on the killer, period, may seem unsatisfyingly obvious. But by reprieving the culprits, we only ask for more tragedy: Shoot up your algebra class, and we won't fault you personally, just weak gun control or Marilyn Manson."
Lionel Shriver, writing on "Columbine Cant," Saturday in Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com


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