- The Washington Times - Monday, October 6, 2003

Missing Brother

As part of Toronto’s now famous Second City comedy troupe, from which Bill Murray and John Belushi also graduated, [Dan Aykroyd] was scouted by the ‘National Lampoon Radio Hour,’ who had sent Belushi back to Canada in search of raw talent. It was Aykroyd’s appointment with destiny. …

“Two years after filming ‘The Blues Brothers,’ [Belushi] died in a room in the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, having injected a ‘speedball’ of cocaine and heroin. Aykroyd had lost not just a Blues Brother, but a soul brother. …

“Even now, 21 years on, there is an air of sadness and regret in Aykroyd’s voice when he speaks of Belushi. …

“When was the last time he saw him? ‘He was getting into a limo with a bunch of strangers. They were feeding his habit. It was one of those moments when I was going somewhere, I couldn’t stop. I had my own life to handle. It was,’ he says, shaking his head, ‘one of those situations.’”

Sean O’Hagan, writing on “I’m still haunted by Belushi,” Sept. 28 in the Guardian

Homeless lie

“New York City has finally won the right to evict violent and disruptive vagrants from its ‘homeless’ shelters. In so doing, it has definitively exposed the advocates’ big lie: that they want the homeless off the streets.

“State law has long given the city the power to temporarily ban unruly individuals from shelters if they repeatedly violate behavioral rules. The advocates, however, successfully sued to prevent the city from employing that power.

“For 20 years, the homeless industry has been dedicated to keeping deranged addicts, alcoholics and criminals on the streets and out of treatment. …

“The advocates’ favorite justification for keeping vagrants in view was that the ‘shelters were dangerous.’ But in a perfect Catch-22, the reason the shelters were (or appeared) dangerous was that the advocates wouldn’t let the city keep them safe by suspending the troublemakers. …

“Keeping the ‘homeless’ on the streets is essential to fund raising. But it also serves an ideological need … railing against a heartless capitalist society even as you prevent that society from exercising its compassion.”

Heather Mac Donald, writing on “A victory over ‘homeless’ hooey,” Thursday in the New York Post

Kodak moment

“I sincerely doubt that Laura Bush, all those many years ago when she and George W. plighted their troths, ever imagined that one day, as she arrived in Paris as first lady of the United States of America … the very large, very tall president of the Republic of France would bow to her and lift her hand to his lips in the classic European manner and that the moment would provide a photograph so charming. …

“Mrs. Bush traveled to Paris to represent our nation’s return to membership in UNESCO, the United Nations organization, and Jacques Chirac was there to welcome her Gallicly. Their photo together is replete with subtleties. In the picture … Mrs. Bush looks out toward the camera with a surprised little smile — as Mr. Chirac grasps her fingers and brushes them with a kiss of impeccable delicacy — her eyes full of amusement, as if she is thinking: ‘Oh, dear.’

“Mr. Chirac is also smiling. … He looks as though he may have just murmured something, sotto voce, such as: ‘Vous etes la plus belle First Lady dans tout le monde.‘ And she is perhaps thinking: ‘Jacques. Please.’”

Ned Crabb, writing on “Oh, Jacques!” Friday in the Wall Street Journal

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