- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Star treatment

“Maybe it’s too easy to take shots at the celebrities who, almost daily, are guilty of saying and doing stupid things. But in this case, the sin is so grave that a response is necessary.

“I speak of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s latest project, a movie based on the memoir ‘A Mighty Heart’ by Marianne Pearl, the widow of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

“Angelina is going to play Marianne, while Brad is making insulting proclamations about how important the film is going to be. To wit, last week Pitt characterized the goal of the film thusly: ‘We hope the film can increase understanding between people of all faiths and portray the story and the people involved as honestly as possible without anger or judgment.’

“Just to clarify: Daniel Pearl was a young investigative journalist … who in 2002 was lured to an interview, kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists, bound, beaten, terrorized and finally beheaded — all with cameras rolling. …

“Nevertheless, along comes the great do-gooder-duo known as Brangelina to really give us an education. We are now supposed to spend $10 at the local Cineplex so we can see through filtered lens how to ‘understand’ the killers.”

—Abby Wisse Schachter, writing on “No Pitt Pearl of Wisdom,” Tuesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Left history

“At the outset of Iran’s proxy war to obliterate the state of Israel, the editors of the Nation — the oldest and most influential magazine of the American Left — published a lead feature condemning Israel as a terrorist state and blaming the war itself on Israel’s ‘oppressive occupation’ of Arab lands. …

“The Nation’s current apologetics for the terrorist bloc continue a nearly 100-year tradition of its editors’ support for the totalitarian enemies of America and the West. For nearly 100 years, the editors of the Nation explained and justified every Communist tyrant from Stalin to Castro; when terrorists slaughtered the innocent on 9/11, the Nation’s editors decried American jingoism and America’s ‘empire’; they opposed the overthrow of Saddam Hussein; and they continue to attack the liberation of Iraq as an imperialist ‘occupation’ and democratic America as a ‘terrorist state.’”

—David Horowitz, writing on “Fellow Travelers,” Tuesday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

Wheel of misfortune

“For many Native American tribes, the success of their gambling operations ends a run of misfortune and dispossession that dates back to when white men first dubbed them Indians. Since full-scale reservation gaming was sanctioned by Congress in 1989, its annual take has grown to some $20 billion. …

“The Pechangas … whose reservation is a patch of largely useless scrub-and-rock desert southeast of Los Angeles, rake in well over $200 million a year. … The cut for each Pechanga adult; $290,000.

“But if being an Indian has taken on an imprimatur of wealth, high stakes have also led tribes to deal some of their people out. Bands from California to Connecticut have expelled thousands of long-standing members, often on flimsy grounds of inadequate Indian ancestry. By thinning their numbers, casino-operating tribes have figured out how to split the pot fewer ways.”

—Vince Beiser, writing on “A Paper Trail of Tears,” in the August issue of Harper’s

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