- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 8, 2005

‘Pressure valve’

“This is an open memo to those on the right who’ve spent the past week chastising their counterparts on the left for calling Mark Felt, aka ‘Deep Throat,’ a hero. It’s true that the recently outed Watergate supersource might have acted for his own interests, and that real heroes pay the price for their heroism instead of hiding in the shadows of a parking garage. It is therefore difficult to laud his personal character or portray him as someone young people should emulate. …

“At the time of Watergate, the nation had just suffered through the moral upheaval of the 1960s: antiwar activism, the hippy rebellion, political assassinations. …

“In this period of bullets, beads and rule bending, corruption in government had become rampant. …

“Mr. Felt effectively became the pressure valve we needed to let corrupt air out of the government. … The subsequent loss of the war in Vietnam and the political and economic disarray of the 1970s were not his fault. They were the price the nation paid for the moral turpitude of the political class.”

—Brendan Miniter, writing on “‘Throat’ the Bums Out,” Tuesday in Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com

Words of wisdom

“Most schools have yet to reach the bottom, but the slide is steeply sloped for rapid descent. …

“Confucius said: ‘To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.’

“The wisdom in this advice is awesome. All change must begin at the level of individuals and families. … Mandates from D.C. will do nothing to repair persons and families, and without that base, government directives will have the same outcome as spitting in the wind. …

“Parents must assume responsibility for the educations of their children, even when that means the best decision is to temporarily reduce their standard of living so one parent can be available to homeschool. … After that has been accomplished the culture can turn its attention to the nation.”

—Linda Schrock Taylor, writing on “The Attitude Toward Parents,” Monday at www.lewrockwell.com

The price of fear

“Michael Crichton’s technopolitical thriller ‘State of Fear’ … turns on a controversial notion: that all the talk we’ve been hearing about global warming — polar ice caps melting, weather systems sent into calamitous confusion, beach weather lingering into January — might be at best misguided, at worst dead wrong. It’s ‘The Da Vinci Code’ with real facts, violent storms, and a different kind of faith altogether. …

“‘State of Fear’ is, in a sense, the novelization of a speech Crichton delivered in September 2003 at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club. He argued there that environmentalism is essentially a religion, a belief system based on faith, not fact. To make this point, the novel weaves real scientific data and all-too-real political machinations into the twists and turns of its story. …

“Crichton gets the scaremongers exactly right throughout ‘State of Fear.’ … The actual amount [of funds raised] for just the 12 largest environmental lobby groups in the U.S. in 2002 was almost $2 billion. That buys a lot of influence in Washington.”

—Ronald Bailey, writing on “The Global Warming Code,” in the May issue of Reason


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