- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 9, 2004

Professional pain

“Michael Moore’s forthcoming film ‘Fahrenheit 911’ … will not be distributed by financier Miramax. The studio’s corporate masters at Disney … have refused to allow Miramax to distribute it. Moore himself is calling this move a ‘profound censorship obstacle.’ …

“Suspiciously, this ‘news’ breaks a week before the film’s Cannes debut. But it isn’t really news. … Disney told Miramax a year ago it would not allow the subsidiary to distribute Moore’s film in America. The movie will, Moore promises, blow the lid off long-standing and allegedly little-known connections between President Bush and the Bin Laden family. Undoubtedly Moore hopes its release in America this summer will help hobble Bush’s second run for the White House. And of course, Miramax or no, it will be released. Moore’s last documentary, ‘Bowling For Columbine,’ was the highest-grossing documentary of all time. …

“Michael Moore is annoying and something of a hypocrite and he doesn’t get his facts straight. But his flourishing as a professional pain … to the president of the United States, and his continued and continual thriving despite supposed ‘censorship’ threats from purportedly all-powerful corporations, make him a glorious symbol of the still-living freedoms in … this Great Land of Ours.”

Brian Doherty, writing on “Thank You, Sir, May I Have Another?” Thursday in Reason Online at www.reason.com

Jacobin spirit

“Americans used to admire self-restraint, modesty, humility, and good manners. They were acutely aware of original sin. … Human beings could not be trusted with unlimited power. …

“The Framers assumed that, for the Constitution to work, its institutions had to be manned by individuals who embodied its spirit. … The primary reason why today the U.S. Constitution is a mere shadow of its former self is that it cannot be sustained without the constitutional personality. …

“The ideas of the French Jacobins provided a sweeping justification for exercising unlimited power. As followers of Rousseau, the Jacobins were not content with reforming historically evolved ways of life. ‘Freedom, equality and brotherhood’ required the radical remaking of society. …

“Although the classical and Christian view of human nature has eroded, big government still has a bad name in America. … Americans attracted to the Jacobin spirit have therefore sought instead to redefine American principles so as to make them more serviceable to the will to power.”

Claes Ryn, Catholic University professor, in a May 2 speech at the annual meeting of the Philadelphia Society

Back in vogue

“As many as half a million pro-abortion fanatics marched on Washington on April 25 … screaming about their right to kill the not-yet-born. In the crowd were ‘tarts’ for choice, gays for choice, and anarchists for choice. They marched alongside representatives of more mainstream advocates of abortion: feminists, the National Education Association, Democratic politicians.

“The monumental question in the next election is whether America wants to be governed by these people. …

“The left is enjoying … a resurgence of those nostalgic days in the 1960s and 1970s of self-righteousness and revolution. The Vietnam War days are back in vogue, and protest marches, teach-ins, and ‘direct-action’ tactics have become cool again with our cultural elite. The veterans and leaders of the old anti-war movement have come out of hiding, and we are on the verge of electing one of them to the presidency.”

Gene Edward Veith, writing on “Right and wrong,” in the May 15 issue of World

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