- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Red, blue and green

“Throughout the last election cycle, liberals built up radio conglomerate Clear Channel into a Frankenstein-esque monster, created out of dead, soulless radio stations and brought to life with the twin goals of destroying all good music and serving right-wing interests.

“But now that Clear Channel’s profit motive is helping bolster the ratings of the Air America radio network, those who worked so hard to create this dark mythology are furiously attempting to deconstruct it. …

“When a Clear Channel station in Portland, Ore., picked up Air America, for example, Al Franken’s show went from a dismal 26th place to third. Now approximately one-third of Air America’s affiliates are Clear Channel stations. …

“Clear Channel’s head honchos in the Mays family are big Republican donors and their stations are home to hosts such as Bill O’Reilly and Michael Savage. But as Reason’s Jesse Walker pointed out when this partnering between Clear Channel and Air America began to surface, ‘Even in blue America, money is green.’”

Shawn Macomber, writing on “Retiring the Boogeyman,” Friday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

American anime

“Pixar Animation Studios’ feature, ‘The Incredibles,’ returned me to the Saturday mornings of childhood when I sat enraptured in front of a TV set, careening on fast-paced cartoons and the glucose high from a breakfast of Chocolate Frosted Sugar-Bomb cereal. In short, the recently released DVD from Disney breaks down the barriers of adulthood. …

“The adults are asking whether Brad Bird, director and scriptwriter, is an Objectivist. Is the movie’s aggressive defense of excellence derived from Ayn Rand and her novels? What message about society does ‘The Incredibles’ send? …

“Why has an animated cartoon caused vigorous political debate?

“With ‘The Incredibles,’ American animators have established their own voice within the cutting-edge world of adult animation. For years, Japanese anime has dominated with its state-of-the-art visuals, punchy political themes, unforgettable characters, and brute originality. ‘The Incredibles’ is American anime that holds its own with the best without blending in. The movie retains traits that are stereotypical: optimism, a happy ending, radical individualism, family values. American anime has arrived.”

— Wendy McElroy, writing on “The Incredibles,” Saturday at www.lewrockwell.com

Criterion of dignity

“During his tenure as pope, John Paul [II] … repeatedly turned his attention to contemporary confusion and insincerity, particularly regarding human rights, not in totalitarian regimes, but in the advanced, western, liberal democracies. He detects a ‘surprising contradiction’ concerning rights. … Instead of curbing oppression, these new formulations introduce the possibility of new and more sinister forms of tyranny.

“In ‘The Gospel of Life,’ he wrote:

“‘The criterion of personal dignity — which demands respect, generosity and service — is replaced by the criterion of efficiency, functionality and usefulness: others are considered not for what they “are,” but for what they “have, do and produce.” This is the supremacy of the strong over the weak.’ …

“John Paul presented to youth an attractive possibility, that maturity need not mean boredom, that fidelity and responsibility might be wedded to adventure and risk, and that heroic suffering need not quench joy or hope.”

Thomas Hibbs, writing on “He Lived the Splendor of Truth,” Saturday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

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