- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Star blogs

“For the people who write them, blogs are a means of self-expression first and foremost, but they also reinforce an individual’s sense of being part of a community. …

“Celebrities are different from you and me, and their blogs are different, too, if only because they open additional windows onto people we already assume we know. You may not have wanted to know that [Melanie] Griffith writes letters to her inner self. (I wonder if she uses the good stationery?) But of all the things Griffith might choose to reveal about herself — from plastic-surgery denials to affirmations about the strength of her marriage to Antonio Banderas — what kind of [courage] does it take to post something as ridiculous and as embarrassingly intimate as a form letter to one’s psyche? …

“In an era when celebrities already carry so much currency, and get so much ink and so many TV pixels, why should they want to bother to communicate with us directly?”

Stephanie Zacharek, writing on “Attack of the celebrity blogs,” Saturday in Salon at www.salon.com

“Brilliant and brave’

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a fellow Tennessean, but a man whom I never had the privilege of meeting. Samuel Francis was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and a leading voice of traditional conservatism. He passed away several days ago. …

“No two people, not even husbands and wives or best friends, agree on everything; and I did not always agree with Sam Francis. But I admired his courage. He was politically incorrect on almost everything, which made him right on most things, but also very controversial. He was a leading critic of neo-conservatives, Big Government conservatives who really are not very conservative at all. …

“Sam Francis did not believe in world government and multiculturalism. He was a patriotic American who put his own country first and was a brilliant and brave writer.”

Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr., Tennessee Republican, in a March 9 speech to the House of Representatives

PC price tag

“For the sake of an absurd feminist experiment, the Bush military is willing to sap its strength, expose women to torture and death and mar the lives of children and families. The price tag of this experiment is on the body bags carrying mothers, wives, and daughters who have died in Iraq, and on the growing list of orphans produced by the war. Read the casualty reports: Lori Ann Piestewa, 23, mother of two preschoolers; Melissa J. Hobart, 22, mother of a 3-year-old; Jessica L. Cawvey, 21, single mother of a 6-year-old; Sgt. Pamela Osbourne, 38, mother of three children, ages 9-19, Katrina L. Bell-Johnson, 32, mother of a 1-year-old. …

“”You’re not generally told as a female that you will be in that type of situation where you are in harm’s way directly,’ National Guard Sgt. Brenda Monroe said to the Sacramento Bee. “I never dreamed that I would wake up every night and have to run to a bunker and take cover because we were being attacked or under direct fire.’

“The feminist dream that began under Clinton is producing a nightmare under Bush. How many women and mothers will have to die before a Bush military that should know better stops it?”

George Neumayr, writing on “Collocating Coffins,” March 18 in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

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