- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Beltway blues

“Americans’ love affair with the car may be headed for divorce court, according to a new survey done by the Pew Research Center. It found that the number of people who still enjoy going for a drive has dropped from eight out of 10 back in 1990 to just under seven out of 10 today. Inescapable traffic and the rudeness and/or general incompetence of their fellow motorists were cited as causative factors. …

“Driving, after all, is as much about freedom of movement as it is about freedom of expression — and if you can’t move, there’s not much freedom. What good is a 500 horsepower sports car like the 185-mph Corvette Z06 when it’s impossible to drive it faster than 60-something mph, except every once in a while? …

“The D.C. Beltway, for example, slows to a crippled crawl for several hours every day. Ditto the I-95/395 corridor that runs from Richmond to Alexandria, Virginia. Similar stories — and worse — can be told by the unlucky denizens of Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York and Boston.”

—Eric Peters, writing on “Boxed-In Beauties,” Thursday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

9/11 ‘truth’

“The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were orchestrated by the U.S. government, according to a book to be released later this month by Westminster John Knox Press — a division of the denominational publisher for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). ‘Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action’ is the third book on the subject by David Ray Griffin, a professor emeritus of theology at Claremont School of Theology who is also a well-published and prominent process theologian….

“Griffin argues the Bush administration planned the events of September 11 so they could provide justification for going to war with Afghanistan and Iraq. He writes that although Christianity began as a specifically anti-empire gospel, the church has been silent about an imperialistic America — which he compares to the Roman Empire. ‘I became more convinced that if the truth about 9/11 was going to be exposed, the churches were probably going to have to be involved,’ Griffin [said].”

—Jason Bailey, writing on “Official Presbyterian Publisher Issues 9/11 Conspiracy Book,” July 31 at www.christianitytoday.com

Warriors and wimps

“Everywhere in the media we see portrayed the aggressive female and the sensitive male — Xena the Warrior Princess and Alan Alda or Warren Beatty (sometimes together). Both roles are difficult to play, but somehow the latter is more so. Women may have trouble in playing the aggressor, they may not be consistent, they may not be as pleasing to men in the new format; but despite the difficulties they can manage. Women … are able to do what men do while still maintaining an identity for themselves specifically as women.

“Yet men reject and resist the expectation that they should abandon their manliness. They do not so much mind sharing their traditional opportunities with whoever can exploit them, and they have shown newfound respect for women who can. But they draw the line at doing what women have left behind.”

—Harvey Mansfield, from his book “Manliness”

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