Sunday, December 25, 2005

It’s the last week of the year. That means it’s time for the annual Nobles and Knaves contest, where you, the readers, decide who deserves the Editorial Board’s highest and lowest acclaim. To vote, send an e-mail to with “Nobles Contest” in the subject line or send a fax to 202-715-0037. Entries must be received by Dec. 31. When voting, please remember that only this year’s Nobles and Knaves of the week are eligible and that votes sent en masse with the intention of unfairly weighting nominees will be not be considered.

For Noble of the year, select three:

The American people, for their generous donations to the victims of the Southeast Asian tsunami (and, we’ll add, for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and her somewhat less slutty sister, Rita).

Trevon Jenifer, the Huntington High School wrestler who faces his opponents on the mat with one major disadvantage: He has no legs.

William and Janet Norwood, who lost a son in Iraq, and Safia Taleb al Suhail, who lost her father to Saddam Hussein’s assassins 11 years ago. President Bush recognized them in his 2005 State of the Union Address.

Firen Gassman, the Herndon High School wrestler who doesn’t let the boys push her around.

Hans A. Bethe, the late Nobel laureate for physics and winner of the Presidential Medal of Merit who headed the theoretical physics division of the Manhattan Project.

George Kennan, the late U.S. diplomat who in 1946 outlined how the United States must confront Communist expansion.

Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, whom President Bush posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of 100 soldiers before being killed in action. He was the first soldier in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

The Washington Wizards, for their first playoff berth since 1997, when they were called the Bullets.

The Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents, for hunting down the serial arsonist who terrorized the D.C. area.

The Marine Corps, which cleared a corporal accused of murdering a terrorist in Fallujah of any wrongdoing.

The D.C. Air National Guard’s 121st Fighter Squadron, which responded to the panic of May 11 — when the Capitol, White House and surrounding federal buildings were evacuated — with the same professionalism it exhibited on September 11.

Ike Boutwell, who honored his flight students who died in Vietnam by refusing to show Jane Fonda’s latest movie “Monster-in-Law” at his theater. Below a sign that read “No Jane Fonda movie in this theater,” Mr. Boutwell posted the infamous 1972 photograph of Miss Fonda sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun.

Three Ethiopian lions, for rescuing a 12-year-old girl from her kidnappers — and for being kind enough not to eat her.

The voters in Discovery Channel’s “Greatest American” competition, for their wise choice of Ronald Reagan and rescue of a poorly conceived contest.

Vice Adm. James Stockdale, the late Vietnam war hero, Ross Perot’s 1992 presidential running mate, a POW in Vietnam and recipient of the Medal of Honor.

Aage Bjerre, the Danish pizzeria owner who was jailed in 2003 for his refusal to serve German and French tourists — which was his way of protesting the French and German governments’ opposition to the U.S.-led effort to liberate Iraq.

James “Scotty” Doohan, the late D-Day veteran who delighted millions of Trekkies with his lifelong portrayal as the USS Enterprise’s chief engineer.

Kate Ziegler, the 17-year-old Arlington swimmer who amazed the swimming world by breaking decades-old records.

Steven Vincent, the late war correspondent whose reports from Iraq stand as some of the finest of the war.

The first-responders, for their selfless sense of duty in the immediate, chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The D.C. Armory, for providing hundreds of Katrina refugees shelter and sustenance.

U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Preska, for throwing out a bogus case brought against power producers by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer because of their contribution to “global warming.”

Simon Wiesenthal, the late Holocaust survivor who dedicated his life to tracking down former Nazis and bringing them to justice.

Gen. Richard B. Myers, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who retired this year after 40 years of service.

The city of San Antonio, whose military recruiters ranked first in the nation among all battalions.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, one of the Cold War’s finest soldiers, who turned 80 this year.

The D.C. Council, for softening the city’s ludicrous and unfair drunk-driving laws.

The Iraqi people, who through their own courage and conviction have joined the other democratic peoples of the world.

Peter F. Drucker, the late icon of managerial philosophy who spent a lifetime improving American businesses.

For Knave of the year, select three:

Prince Harry, whose idea of a funny costume is to dress up as a Nazi officer.

The student protesters at Seattle Central Community College, who heckled a pair of Army recruiters during their anti-war walk out.

Student rioters from the University of Maryland’s College Park campus, who celebrated a Terrapin victory by lighting fires in the streets.

Mark McGwire, for his cowardly congressional testimony on steroid use in baseball.

Students across America’s campuses, for exercising their First Amendment rights by throwing food at speakers with whom they disagree.

New York University law student Eric Berndt, whose crude and insulting question for Justice Antonin Scalia during a speaking event revealed the level of discourse on college campuses.

Anna Ayala, who tried to swindle cash from Wendy’s with a false claim of finding a finger tip in her bowl of chili.

Sen. Ken Salazar, who called a Christian advocacy group the “anti-Christ of the world,” after the group criticized his support of judicial filibusters.

Discovery Channel, which held a particularly silly “Greatest American” contest in June.

The U.S. media, for hyping news detrimental to the American war effort, while downplaying or ignoring any good news.

Newspaper Guild President Linda Foley, for reviving the myth that the U.S. military intentionally targets journalists.

Anette Pharis, who hired a stripper for her son’s 16th birthday party.

Rep. Charles Rangel, who compared the Iraq war to the Holocaust.

The Democratic leadership, who spent most of 2005 making false claims, encouraging defeatism and displaying a disturbing sense of moral relativism.

British MP George Galloway, who spent a year defending dictatorial regimes and terrorists around the world.

The San Bernardino City Unified School District, which incorporated Ebonics — black slang — into its curriculum in the fall.

Pop singer Ricky Martin, who unwittingly donned a headscarf with the words “Jerusalem is ours” while visiting Palestinians.

Rafael Palmeiro, who was caught lying to a congressional committee about his steroid use.

Harry Belafonte, who compared the presence of prominent blacks in the Bush administration to Hitler’s purported promotion of Jews in his regime.

The U.N. Development Program, whose funds to the Palestinian Authority went to the production of anti-Israel propaganda.

Gwendolyn Hemphill and James Baxter III, who were convicted in August for stealing millions from the Washington Teachers Union.

Democratic staffers Katie Barge and Lauren Weiner, for illegally obtaining a copy of Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele’s credit report.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee, which added to its shoddy record of Peace Prize recipients by honoring International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei.

Al Gore, whose pontificating throughout 2005 was as dishonest as it was laughable.

Kamau Kambon, the former visiting professor at North Carolina State University who called for the extermination of white people during a discussion at Howard University.

Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, who characterized the situation in the Middle East prior to the coming of the Bush administration as “fifty years of peace.”

Rep. William Delahunt, who negotiated with Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez to provide Massachusetts residents with cheaper heating oil.

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who described Vice President Cheney as a war criminal to a BBC audience.

New Orleans community leader Leah Hodges, who compared the treatment of blacks in New Orleans after Katrina to the treatment of the 6 million who died in the Holocaust.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide