- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 8, 2003

A strategy against Democrats

In Thursday’s Commentary column “‘Living wage’ kills jobs,” Thomas Sowell wrote that conservatives never “come up with such seductive phrases as the left mass-produces.” He gave the example that conservatives discuss “judicial restraint,” while liberals cry for “social justice.”

It is time for Republican conservatives to use the Democrats’ own weapons to shoot back, assuming there are Republican conservatives (the real kind, not the neo-jerk kind). Yes, it is time for the Republicans to cry for “judicial justice.” It is the only fair thing to do; otherwise, you are a supporter of judicial injustice.

It would make sense for the Republicans to help one of the new right-leaning humorists get a platform to skewer the arrogant statements being made by the Democrats, including the NAACP and its chairman, Julian Bond. The humorist might say something like, “Please, Mr. Bond, judicial selection should be based on the principle of supporting the Constitution, not on being a member of the NAACP,” or something similar with wit that also hits home.

After skewering the NAACP, the humorist could then take on the remaining Democrats. The Democrats have killed satire by seriously adopting the ridiculous as their platform, with each candidate trying to top the others. If anyone should try to satirize them, the public will just think the satirist is another candidate. Right-leaning humor poking fun directly at specific liberal weaknesses will work wonders. Serious discussion is still needed, but getting the issues on the table first probably can be done only with innovative and repeatable humor.

A holier-than-thou phrase war waged by conservatives against liberals will not work by getting the conservative phrases accepted; instead, it will force liberals to show how shallow phrases are, undercutting all that liberals have been hiding behind. This, together with innovative humor pointing out all the liberal idiocies, will get more attention and serious consideration of the issues by the so-called voting center than anything else that can be done. Of course, you have to get it into a forum the “center” watches. Good luck, but it is time to fight back or throw in the towel. The world is watching.



The forest logging debate

Thanks for printing Mac Gillespie’s letter regarding the management of our national forests (“Protecting our forests,” Letters, Monday). He doesn’t want to “let panic get the best of us,” and this seems like a reasonable approach. However, no one from the “green community” has “panicked” about the millions of acres of forest that have burned for the past five years. Nor have green organizations decried the total devastation of habitat for endangered species brought about by a lack of forest-management polices from the previous administration.

Though I’m not in favor of using public money to build roads in national forests, the billions of dollars spent on fighting the fires could be put to better public use.

The suits and complaints against logging programs in national forests have contributed to the extent of damage caused by the forest fires. An argument can be made that the organizations that have sued to stop logging (and the associated lack of roads the logging companies would have built) have contributed greatly to the devastation wrought by many of these fires. Millions of acres of private “managed timber” suffered little from the fires of the past five years. (Companies have roads in their forests.)

Mr. Gillespie’s issue is with the proposed 45-day window to bring a suit against a logging project. There should be a reciprocal clause permitting suits against the organizations that have prevented logging (road building) in locations that are now devastated. Your articles help inject some common sense into this emotional but at times irrational national forest logging debate.


Fort Belvoir

The NYT and the Pulitzer

Paul Greenberg rightly condemns the New York Times and the Pulitzer Prize Board for the infamous award of 1932’s Pulitzer Prize to the wholly discredited Walter Duranty (“Pulitzer with an asterisk,” Commentary, Wednesday). Mr. Greenberg, a Pulitzer Prize-winner himself, apparently would agree that the 1932 award should be revoked and that Mr. Duranty’s name should appear only parenthetically, along with an explanation that the Pulitzer Board wrongly awarded the honor, but then rectified its mistake upon full examination of the facts. Arguably, such an explanation also should acknowledge Mr. Duranty’s shameful suppression of facts surrounding the forced starvation of millions of innocent Ukrainians.

However, I would not hold my breath. Though Mr. Duranty’s work already has been discredited thoroughly, in a brief response to the latest round of criticism on this subject, New York TimesPublisherArthur Sulzberger Jr. recently indicated that the editorial staff of his paper does not want to “airbrush purged figures out of official records and histories” or establish “a precedent for revisiting its judgments over many decades.”

Incredibly, Mr. Sulzberger further claims that the paper cannot rightly return Mr. Duranty’s prize because it does not hold it. Translation: The New York Times is comfortable with the status quo and an appalling indifference to the millions of lost souls who fell at the hand of Josef Stalin’s murderous Bolshevik regime.

Moreover, as Mr. Greenberg points out, the Pulitzer Board itself has thus far refused to take any action. Evidently, the Pulitzer Board is unconcerned with its rapidly eroding credibility. Its philosophy of journalistic integrity has been exposed as vague and unprincipled.

In light of the Pulitzer Prize’s diminishing esteem, perhaps Mr. Greenberg and other deserving Pulitzer Prize-winners like him should be returning their awards. Their names then could appear parenthetically along with an explanation that each award was surrendered in protest of the Pulitzer Board’s apathy toward Mr. Duranty’s propagandizing and the Pulitzer Prize’s growing irrelevance.



Freeing those in need

The CARE Act, which is the legislative version of the President’s Faith-Based Initiative, is indeed being held hostage by senators with partisan gripes (“Holding the wrong hostage,” Op-Ed, Thursday).

However, the situation is even worse than that. The House version of the CARE Act (Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment Act of 2003) sticks to helping faith-based entities promote social service programs. The Senate version, in contrast, is catering to environmental groups, some of which have become giant corporations by feeding on the taxpayer, by including a controversial tax provision for them that will cost taxpayers nearly $500 million.

Here it is: The Senate CARE Act proposes that sellers of property will receive a capital-gains tax cut of 25 percent — only if they sell their property to a land trust. This means that giant multinational land trusts such as the Nature Conservancy Inc. (assets: $3.2 billion, annual budget: $740 million) will be able to underbid all other potential buyers of property because the seller will receive a substantial tax break only if he sells to a land trust.

Incredibly,thisplaces churches, private schools, orphanages and faith-affiliated social service agencies at a comparative disadvantage compared to selected environmental groups — in legislation designed to help faith-based organizations. Private-sector buyers also are put at the back of the line when competing with these land-gobbling giants, which claim to protect the environment but frequently resell property to government agencies, or even for development at a substantial profit.

A broad coalition of organizations, including the American Land Rights Association, the Association of Christian Schools International, the American Conservative Union and conservative leaders including Paul Weyrich and Grover Norquist, supports the House bill and opposes Senate-sponsored tax favoritism for selectedenvironmental groups. More than 20 House members have signed a letter to this effect also.

Hopefully the Senate will listen and release the hostage.



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