- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Apples and SUVs

“Once again, the networks were atwitter with accounts of barrel-rolling SUVs — but the reportage of the government’s latest crash test data may have set a new low for uninformed journalism.

“Almost all the news accounts and commentary began with something along the lines of what appeared in the Aug. 10 edition of The Washington Post: ‘The ground-hugging Mazda RX-8 sports car ranked best …’ and then went on to luridly paint the SUV as tipsier than Boris Yeltsin with two quarts of Stoli sloshing around in his gut.

“But what’s the point of comparing such dissimilar vehicles — a purpose-built high-performance sports coupe and a truck-based utility vehicle?

“It’s the equivalent of criticizing an orange because it doesn’t taste like an apple.

“Yes, it’s true — if you are dumb enough to drive an SUV as if it were a sports car … it will indeed be more apt to turn turtle than something like an RX-8.”

Eric Peters, writing on “SUV Rollovers,” Aug. 11 in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Killer hero

“California’s Peace and Freedom Party has just nominated a convicted, imprisoned felon as its candidate for President of the United States of America: Leonard Peltier. Peltier … was convicted of shooting two FBI agents … in 1975. Peltier, 59, has been in prison for nearly 30 years. …

“This crackpot extremist party’s nomination of a convicted Indian murderer for president is an outrageous denigration of Indian people. … They call the nomination of a convicted murderer ‘peace’? …

“Peltier was part of the hired violence brought in to South Dakota in the ‘70’s, when inner-tribal conflict was at its worst. The American Indian Movement (AIM) asked Peltier to defend AIM members against … tribal leaders who wanted AIM terrorists removed from the reservation. AIM was newly created by the same communists who created the Black Panthers, the Symbionese Liberation Front, the Weathermen, etc. …

“Peltier … has won a great following of far-leftists and outright communists, who all advocate the idea that Peltier is one of the greatest victims of racism and injustice in modern American history. …

“What voters should ponder … is what it says about the Left that the biggest heroes in their pantheon are convicted murderers.

David Yeagley, writing on “A Leftist Murderer for President?” Aug. 11 in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

Free to be fat

“‘We’re just too darn fat, ladies and gentleman, and we’re going to do something about it,’ proclaimed … Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson last spring while announcing a new government ad campaign designed to help citizens shape up. …

“‘We’ve got so many people who are fat,’ declared the slender Michigan governor — and former beauty queen — Jennifer Granholm at the National Governors Association meeting in March. …

“If history is any guide, it’s safe to assume that a hot topic of political discussion will quickly transform into a hot topic of legislation, ranging from Twinkie taxes to mandatory high school exit exams administered by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. … Can the federal Leave No Chubby Child Behind Act be far away? …

“A skinnier America may well be a healthier America. It will certainly be a more attractive America. But if it comes into existence through politics … it will diminish the land of the free and the home of the brave in ways that no bathroom scale could ever fully measure.”

Nick Gillespie, writing on “American Slender,” in the August/September issue of Reason

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