- The Washington Times - Monday, April 2, 2007

Historic irony

“In a visit to a college class in 2004, Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy was impressed by the students’ knowledge of our Constitution. They said they had been studying the Constitution since seventh grade and asked insightful questions about constitutional history. Afterward he told his wife that he would have been impressed by the interest and understanding if they were third-year law students. The only problem? The class he was talking to was in Warsaw, Poland. …

“Unfortunately, just like the refrain in the old Sam Cooke song, our youngsters, even those who attend our best colleges and universities, ‘Don’t know much about history,’ especially the history of their own country.”

— Myrna Blyth and Chriss Winston, from their new book, “How to Raise an American”

Under fire

“Marine Gen. Peter Pace — decorated war hero and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — continues to find himself fending off a vicious and unfamiliar rapid-fire assault from his extreme left flank. …

“During a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, Pace violated one of the cardinal rules of political correctness by noting that, ‘homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral.’ While defending the military’s ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy … Pace compared homosexual acts to other acts of sexual immorality such as adultery, and explained that under the current policy — which Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994 — acceptance of open homosexual behavior in the military would amount to government sanctioning of immorality.

“Not surprisingly, many of those non-judgmental, freedom-loving moral-relativists on the left are up in arms, demanding that Pace apologize and offer a full retraction or be fired. …

“Those lobbing the bombs comprise that motley crew of usual suspects including today’s Stepford-wife hippy burnouts in the mainstream media and their like-minded ‘progressive’ politicos in government.”

— Matt Barber, writing on “Pro-‘gay’ bullies pick up the pace,” Wednesday in WorldNetDaily.com

Rise to fame

“[I]n 1931, during the 51-one-year-old scientist’s second visit to America … [Albert] Einstein, at his own request, met Charlie Chaplin, who, as they arrived at the premiere of [the film] ‘City Lights,’ said, of the applauding public, ‘They cheer me because they all understand me, and they cheer you because no one understands you.’

“In 1905, Einstein, a 26-year-old patent clerk in Bern, Switzerland, had produced in rapid succession five scientific papers that (a) proposed that light came not just in waves but in indivisible, discrete packets of energy or particles called, after Max Planck’s discovery, quanta; (b) calculated how many water molecules existed in 22.4 liters …; (c) explained Brownian motion as the jostling of motes of matter by invisible molecules; (d) expounded the special theory of relativity, holding that all measurable motion is relative to some other object and that no universal coordinates, and no hypothetical ubiquitous ether, exist; and (e) asserted that mass and energy were different manifestations of the same thing and that their relation could be tidily expressed in the equation E=mc squared, where c is the speed of light, a constant. Only a few friends and theoretical physicists took notice.”

— John Updike, writing on “The Valiant Swabian,” in the April 2 issue of the New Yorker

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