- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Cowardly crowds

“There was a marked sameness to the protest marches in New York City last week. … The protesters shuffled down the street like spoiled children, chanting their potty-mouthed slogans, hoisting their profanity-filled signs, their leaders snarling and yapping at the cops along the way. … And the cops … stood by impassively, aloof, like patient parents. …

“I was walking back to my apartment on West 34th Street. Walking several yards ahead of me was a young man wearing a ‘Wage Peace!’ T-shirt. The convention had just adjourned at Madison Square Garden, and conventioneers were streaming in our direction. As they passed by, the young man began to berate them. ‘You should be ashamed of yourself! … Dick Cheney is a liar! … How do you sleep at night?’

“He continued to scream right up until he encountered a larger cluster of convention goers, which included three burly sailors in full Navy dress. At the sight of the servicemen, the young man suddenly clammed up. He walked in silence for perhaps 15 steps until he crossed paths with an elderly couple — at which point he began to yell again.

“Rage — cowardice — and more rage. That will be the lasting impression I take with me of the protests of 2004.”

Mark Goldblatt, writing on “Cowards End,” Tuesday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Engineered problem

“China has announced a ‘Care for Girls’ program with financial incentives for those who produce daughters.

“According to China’s official news agency, 119 boys are now born for every 100 girls. … By 2020, it is estimated that China may contain 30 [million] to 40 million restless bachelors. Unfortunately, the proposed ‘cure’ merely continues the process that helped create the crisis: namely, social engineering. …

“The sex imbalance is what the social theorist Friedrich von Hayek called an ‘unintended consequence.’ …

“In terms of China, Hayek would argue that a centralized bureaucracy could not successfully design the choices or determine the outcomes for hundreds of millions of people with whom it has not even consulted. … All the bureaucracy can do is to attempt to control people by limiting their options. And, the longer it imposes social control, the more unintended consequences stack up.”

Wendy McElroy, writing on “China’s Missing Women,” Aug. 31 at www.foxnews.com

Learning the lesson

“The world began to change on September 1, 2004, the day the Russia-held-captive ordeal began in a little school in a little southern town called Beslan. When it ended on September 4 after an agonizing three-day orgy of Islamofascist torture and slaughter, it changed Russia, much as September 11, 2001, changed America, and in the end, that will change the world.

“The Beslan victims … were the chosen victims of the global Islamic terror network, and all Russia watched in horror, day after day. …

“[M]illions of Russians have learned the same hard lessons most of us learned on September 11: That we are at war with a vicious global enemy, an Islamist enemy that hates Christians, Hindus, and progressive Muslims as much as it hates Jews, an enemy that cannot be appeased, bought off, or safely sicced on others; an enemy we must unite to cut down wherever it rears its ugly head, or have our own heads and those of our children cut off by it.”

Barbara Lerner, writing on “Beslan Changed Russia,” Tuesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

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