- The Washington Times - Friday, June 4, 2004

Nobles: Eighth-grader Akshay Buddiga, for his bee-utiful determination.

Appearances can be D-E-C-E-I-V-I-N-G. One would not think that the wan, bespectacled 13-year-old Akshay had much steel or spring in him. But Akshay showed plenty of both at this week’s National Spelling Bee. After surviving five high-pressure rounds, Akshay was given the word “alopecoid.” He sighed, he paused, he thought and as time was running down … he fainted.

Then he rolled over, got up, stepped up to the microphone and blurted out the correct spelling. Then he stayed in the competition for six more rounds, spelling, among others, “lyophilize,” “effleurage” and “tralatitious.” Akshay finally fell out of the competition on the word “schwarmerei,” but it was good for runner-up.

In addition to the pressure from the competition and the television cameras, Akshay also faced something more familial — his older brother, Pratyush, won the contest two years ago.

For G-U-T-S and G-R-I-T, Akshay Buddiga is the Noble of the week.

Knaves: George Soros, for an egregious equivalence.

While addressing an army of angry liberals at the Take Back America conference sponsored by Campaign for America’s Future on Thursday, Mr. Soros let it rip. The billionaire Bush-basher said, “The war on terror, as conducted by this administration, has claimed more innocent victims than the original attack itself.” In speaking of Abu Ghraib a few moments later, he added, “With the terror attacks, we were the victims. In the pictures, we were the perpetrators, the others were the victims.”

The moral equivalence he expressed is ghastly. Lest anyone forget — and apparently many of those at the conference did — most of the people put into the Iraq prison were killers.

The comparison by Mr. Soros is calumnious. But it is not surprising. After earning his billions on currency speculation — including $1 billion from breaking the Bank of England by winning a bet that the British pound was overvalued — Mr. Soros has moved on to promoting liberal causes. He backed the campaign to decriminalize drugs and spent $18 million on campaign-finance reform.

The currency pirate and drug promoter is now using the full power of his purse in trying to purchase the presidency for John Kerry. He has passed out millions to anti-Bush groups, including $10 million to America Coming Together, $3 million to the Center for American Progress and $2.5 million to MoveOn.org.

For perpetuating a monstrous moral equivalency from his billionaire’s bully pulpit, Mr. Soros is the knave of the week.

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