- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 9, 2006

Full disclosure

“Before proceeding with this week’s column, please be advised of the following: I have not received any money from Jack Abramoff, and I am giving it back. Further, to the best of my knowledge, and based upon an intensive and thorough self-investigation, I have not received any money from Jack Abramoff’s clients, and I am returning that, too.

“Further, lest there be any doubt regarding my moral scruples, let me make clear that Jack Abramoff is a scoundrel who deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, if not beyond, and whose name should be reviled by future generations until the end of time, if not thereafter.

“Let the record show that I am the first journalist to make this type of disclaimer. No other journalist has yet demonstrated my level of moral scruple in this matter. Let the record also show that my condemnation of Jack Abramoff is second to none, and that no one in the journalistic community believes more firmly than I that Jack Abramoff is a scoundrel whose actions are dismaying and deplorable. You can quote me on that.”

Jonathan Rauch, writing on “Abramoff and Me: The True Truth,” in the Feb. 4 issue of National Journal

Safe and fast

“Does the act of driving faster than a number posted on a sign necessarily mean you are driving dangerously?

“The self-styled (and self-appointed) safety lobby has for decades asserted that ‘speed’ always and necessarily ‘kills.’ …

“Lawful highway speeds in many states today are 10-15 mph higher than they were during the 20-year regime of the 55 mph ‘double nickel’ speed limit. Yet highway accident and fatality rates have gone down, not up. …

“In fact, our roads are safer today than they have ever been … even though we’re driving much faster than we used to. …

“The systematic fleecing of motorists has … opened a rift between otherwise law-abiding Americans and the police — who have become enforcers of a corrupted set of laws whose main purpose is clearly the generation of large sums of ‘revenue’ for state and local governments, not the enforcement of highway safety.”

Eric Peters, writing on “Does Speed Really Kill?” in the February issue of the American Spectator

Validating critics

“Uproars over criticism of radical Islam almost always follow the same ironic trajectory. First, someone makes an observation about the violent character of Mohammed or Islam. Then what follows? Violent protests and rioting, which serve to illustrate and confirm vividly the criticism that occasioned them.

“Only radical Muslims would consider rioting a rational rebuttal to descriptions of Islam as violent. What other religious group riots or issues death threats after it is criticized? It is precisely because Christianity is so tame that Western liberals often feel safe to lampoon its history as violent. They wouldn’t dare level similarly harsh criticism of Islam.

“One of the unstated reasons for hesitating before calling radical Islam violent — the reason the fog of political correctness thickens around it — is that it does contain elements of violence. Western society falls silent lest its criticism of Islam result in an explosion of anger validating the criticism.”

George Neumayr, writing on “Religion of Peace’ or Riots,” Monday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

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