- The Washington Times - Monday, November 6, 2006

‘Messianic ideas’

“[Timothy] Leary’s pitches for psychedelics oversold their benefits just as the media’s scare stories oversold their dangers. His ad campaign helped fuel the panic and, in less obvious ways, was fueled by the panic itself. Both Leary and his enemies had a stake in the idea that the boomers were becoming the Acid Generation. As the press grew increasingly obsessed with LSD, Leary was willing to ride that wave as he offered a rival narrative of his own. …

“You can only ride a wave so far, and eventually Leary plunged into the surf. Busted on minor marijuana charges, he soon found himself facing 20 years in prison. There’s no doubt that it was his message, not his rather petty violations of the law, that earned him his stiff sentence. … When Leary attempted an appeal, a DA argued … that imprisoning him would prevent him from spreading his ‘messianic ideas about psychedelic drugs to young people.’ ”

— Jesse Walker, writing on “The Acid Guru’s Long, Strange Trip,” in the Nov. 6 issue of the American Conservative

Killer heroes

“In a keynote speech last month to the American Task Force on Palestine, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sounded very unlike President Bush on the Middle East, lavishing praise on Palestinians and implicitly attacking Israel.

“While the words she chose have invited criticism, much more concerning is that the top U.S. diplomat has the same fundamental misunderstanding of the Middle East that most do, namely that Palestinians are ready to coexist peacefully next to a Jewish state. This conventional diplomatic wisdom, however, ignores the history of the region since the Oslo accords in 1993: The once largely secular Palestinian society has become increasingly Islamic — and deeply radicalized. …

“Poll after poll indicates that a majority of Palestinians support suicide bombings. Even the term used for bombers, ‘shahids,’ is one of glorification, the equivalent of calling someone a saint. And whereas children across the world have posters in their room of sports stars or famous artists, Palestinian youths decorate their living space with posters celebrating ‘shahids.’ ”

— Joel Mowbray, writing on “Rice’s Dangerous Delusions,” Thursday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

As stupid does

“Throughout the 2004 presidential race, Bush’s stupidity was one of the principal themes of the Kerry campaign. … Indeed, liberal mental superiority has been the overarching conceit of liberalism; conservatives are troglodytes, glowering out from their dark caves at a world they only dimly understand, while liberals are just one or two mental leaps short of transcending this mortal coil and ascending into one of those glittering, non-corporeal energy beings that are sometimes featured in science fiction productions heavy on pedantry and short on space babes and explosions. …

“How often have Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi or Bill Clinton sought to advance their party by declaring Bush dumb? How many pundits have shortened their workday by disparaging Bush instead of examining his policies? …

“The invocations of stupidity are actually appeals to stupidity. Can’t think for yourself? Uninformed? Do you lack facts to support your opinions? Do you think the Masons or Big Oil or the aliens who snatched Elvis are running the world? Well, don’t bother to stir your brain to assemble your argument or stitch together your grand conspiracy — just call Bush stupid.”

— Edward Morrow, writing on “Hey, Stupid,” Thursday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

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