- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Left-wing ‘tool’

“Cindy Sheehan is a useful idiot, a rattle-headed tool of everyone from Not In Our Name, who even as the Twin Towers were still smoldering worried more about retaliation against the poor Taliban than about women oppressed by the Taliban; to pro-Palestinian terrorist apologists; to your friendly neighborhood Stalinists at various branches of International ANSWER, whose objectives range from freeing Mumia to putting a bright and happy spin on daily life in North Korea.

“And yet the most idiotic statement in Sheehan’s new book, ‘Dear President Bush,’ comes not from Sheehan herself but from Howard Zinn, who writes in the introduction: “A box-cutter can bring down a tower. A poem can build up a movement. A pamphlet can spark a revolution.”

“‘A box-cutter can bring down a tower.’ By now, I suppose, we should be used to the hard left’s extending underdog status to the worst of mass murderers; still, the sheer gall of beginning a series of David-and-Goliath metaphors with that one is breathtaking.”

— Catherine Seipp, writing on “Dear Useful Idiot,” Friday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Positively biased

“Should California students learn that homosexual Californians have no flaws? A bill that just passed the state Senate could make that happen. Textbooks would have to treat lesbians and gay men with the same kid gloves the law now requires for members of other minorities. Equality demands many things, but not this. …

“Knowing California’s central role in the history of gay equality is one thing. But that’s quite different from saying that students who learn the parts played by key figures like Harry Hay and Morris Kight should be prohibited from also knowing that those men could be a couple of very prissy queens. Should textbooks rely for their information about Hay and Kight or Harvey Milk solely from the gay community’s hymnal?

“Certainly, textbook authors should not go out of their way to find flaws. But neither should they have to avoid the obvious ones for the sake of not reflecting adversely upon someone’s group. Even positive prejudice is still prejudice.”

— David Link, writing on “We’re Here, We’re Queer, And We’re Perfect,” Friday in Reason Online at www.reason.com

Miss mystery

“Debra Lefave, a 24-year-old middle-school teacher who looks like a Miss America contestant, is currently serving three years under house arrest for having sex repeatedly with one of her 14-year-old male students. …

“Even if we take as a given that it’s always wrong for a grown woman to have sex with her teenage students, or her son’s friend, or whatever other 15-year-old she gets her hands on, a question remains: Why would she want to?

“Teenage boys are not, as a rule, the world’s most expert lovers. They are not known for their emotional sophistication or sensitivity. And they do not excel at the tests of masculine status women are supposed to be fixated upon. ‘If Debra had had an affair with a man who was richer than me, or more successful, that I could have understood,’ as Debra Lafave’s estranged husband, Owen, put it. ‘But this was a boy. What could he offer her that I couldn’t?’”

— Ariel Levy, writing on “Dirty Old Women,” in the May 29 issue of New York

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