- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Iron Lady

“This month is the 25th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s becoming Britain’s first female prime minister. …

“When America elects its first female president, I have no doubt she will be in the Thatcher mold. For Thatcher’s greatest appeal combined her toughness, her belief in conservative ideals, and her understanding of the good sense of ordinary people. She always remained herself, professionally and personally — the shrewd, resolute greengrocer’s daughter from Lincolnshire who could rustle up bacon-and-egg suppers for her Cabinet between late-night confabs and believed absolutely that people want to keep control of their own pocketbooks and their own destinies.

“While she was prime minister she only showed her emotions in public once — not during the Falkland War, but when her hapless son Mark managed to get himself lost in the Sahara Desert for a day and a half during an auto race. When she teared up, every mother understood. …

“Truly, an Iron Lady.”

Myrna Blyth, writing on “Iron Lady,” Thursday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

‘No such equality’

“While Abu Ghraib has now become another way in which terrorists can legitimize killing innocent people, liberal and anti-American voices from this end of the world re-perpetrate this horrid logic … declaring that the ‘reactions will be violent and bloody.’ In other words, they morally legitimized these bloody acts by seeing them as mere responses, not actions that are in line with a culture of death and hatred. So when the slaughter of [American civilian Nicholas] Berg took place and was posted online, these same voices rushed to establish a moral equality between Abu Ghraib and the savage beheading of an innocent young man. But no such equality exists. …

“[T]he beheading of Nick Berg cannot be understood as something that America caused. Abu Musab al Zarqawi ordered the kidnappings of Americans and others months ago. …

“Berg’s ordeal was not a direct result of Abu Ghraib. Al-Qaeda does not care when prisoners are mistreated. For them, the big picture is to weaken and humiliate the U.S.”

Walid Phares, writing on “The Beheading of an Innocent,” May 12 in FrontPageMagazine at www.frontpagemag.com

Goodbye, grown-ups

“I haven’t watched ‘Frasier’ regularly in years, but the passage into history of the effete Seattle psychiatrist puts another nail in the coffin of a disappearing television staple: situation comedies about adults.

“Growing up, I watched my parents watch Mary Tyler Moore and Bob Newhart’s eponymous situation comedies: Here were childless professionals in their 30s and 40s who moved in a world that seemed mysteriously complicated and grown-up. …

“‘Frasier’ was a throwback to that time; more mature than its jejune (but still funny) progenitor, ‘Cheers,’ it posited a world where a divorced, stocky, balding man in his 40s, who collected African erotic art and noodled on a grand piano in his stark modernist apartment, could be a plausible romantic lead for 11 straight seasons. In the post-Seinfeldian TV landscape of perpetual adolescence, where attractive young slackers were hooking up and trading apartments as casually as if New York City were their personal college dorm, ‘Frasier’ sided with the grown-ups and won the respect of its audience by treating them as such.”

Dana Stevens, writing on “Where Have All the Grown-Ups Gone?” May 12 in Slate at www.slate.com

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