- The Washington Times - Monday, July 3, 2006

Ms. Boss

“‘The Devil Wears Prada’ manages to present one of the most nuanced lady bosses ever to grace the silver screen. … Hollywood has finally come a short way, baby. It has figured out, in an era of Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart and Meg Whitman, how to show us a woman boss who is not a phantasmagorical figure but someone most of us have met, some have worked for, and many are on their way to becoming.

“The dehumanizing female boss didn’t grace movie screens much in film’s early years, as the vastly male professional universe didn’t offer many models. There were some slightly terrifying careerists, most of them played by Katharine Hepburn … or Bette Davis. … As the women’s movement took off in the ‘70s, we began to see plucky gals who risked their tails for righteous causes, like Sally Field’s ‘Norma Rae’ and [Meryl] Streep’s Karen Silkwood. But women bosses? They remained a rare breed.”

— Rebecca Traister, writing on “Sympathy for the she-devil,” Friday in Salon at www.salon.com

Day of grandeur

“The signing of [the Declaration of Independence] by the 56 delegates was one of the truly heroic acts of history. Their declaration was an act of treason against one of the most powerful and unforgiving nations of the world. …

“Recent generations of Americans have not been introduced to the drama and the courage and the wisdom and the heroic sacrifices made by the men and women who breathed life into the American Republic. There is a grandeur in this history, which is cause for patriotic pride and thanksgiving on Independence Day.”

— Dr. John A. Howard, writing on “The deeper meaning of Independence Day” for the Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society

Patriot games

“Natalie Maines, lead singer of the Dixie Chicks … created a firestorm a couple of years ago by telling a British audience she was ashamed that President Bush is from her native Texas. …

“Most recently, Maines made this statement: ‘The entire country may disagree with me, but I don’t understand the necessity for patriotism. Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country, I don’t see why people care about patriotism.’ …

“Like every gasbag with a soapbox before her, from Jane Fonda to Barbra Streisand, Natalie Maines has no clue what it took in blood, sweat and sacrifice to obtain the freedom she now so blithely takes for granted. Unfortunately for us, her celebrity gives her a mass forum with which to waste our time, and her fame lends an air of credibility to her obtuseness.

“It has become standard operating procedure for celebrity elitists to bash the president and America’s involvement in Iraq. But it is Natalie Maines’ latest comment that should most concern us because it reflects an attitude of indifference toward American sovereignty. Does she imagine that the prosperity that has enabled her to make millions just happened by accident? Does she fail to see that for over two centuries, patriots have sacrificed their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor in order to ensure that she can live in freedom?”

— Doug Patton writing on “Celebrities Display Indifference Toward American Sovereignty,” June 26 at GOPUSA.com

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