- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Smoke-free films

“On [March 12], a coalition of clean-lung groups confidently announced that the next day Hollywood would agree to get tougher on smoking in movies, notably by slapping an R rating on any film that showed anyone using tobacco in any form. …

“Is smoking the most dangerous activity on display at the manyplex? In the past few months, major studio movies about teens and young adults have demonstrated such pastimes as racing sports cars down a winding mountain road by “drifting” with tires perpendicular to the direction of the car (‘The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift’, 5); holding up convenience stores at gunpoint (‘Freedom Writers’): and being locked upside down in glass tanks full of water (‘The Prestige’). None of these films was rated R.

“Other recent PG-13 films have shown us children drinking wine (‘A Good Year’, 5); sleeping in the bathroom of a mass-transit station (‘The Pursuit of Happyness’, 5); and marrying into a strange family of doomed Frenchmen (‘Marie Antoinette’). Shouldn’t teens be fenced off from the temptations posed by these horrors, too?”

— Kyle Smith, writing on “Huffing and Puffing,” Friday in the Wall Street Journal

Airport ‘humiliation’

“Recently, as I stood on the inevitable winding line at Kennedy Airport, shoes in hand, forced to yield up my bottle of water to airport security, I could not help but think: ‘Humiliation at the checkpoints indeed.’

“Courtesy of jihadi terror, civilians at just about every airport in just about every country are forced to wait on long lines and submit both their bags and their bodies to physical and X-ray examinations. Of course, most of us understand that such surveillance ensures our survival.

“While countless propagandists have demonized Israel for the ‘humiliation’ of Palestinians (including would-be bombers, who are also forced to wait at checkpoints), I have never once heard any Western liberal academic or activist blame al Qaeda or Richard Reid (the ‘shoe bomber’) for our considerable collective discomfort.”

— Phyllis Chesler, writing on “Two Days Among Heroes,” March 14 in the Jewish Press

Founding fiction

“As America remembers her 400th birthday at Jamestown in 1607, two competing histories and two rival visions of our nation have emerged. The winner will define the way the boys and girls look at themselves, their future and their nation.

“The first Jamestown is a fiction. It is a pretend story that American schoolchildren are being spoon-fed by revisionist historians and special interest groups as part of the highly politicized events surrounding the quadricentennial. …

“Students can … log on to the official Colonial Williamsburg site for articles that insist that Pocahontas was ‘forcibly converted’ to Christ and that the Jamestown settlers were predisposed toward cannibalism. …

“The message of the Jamestown revisionists is clear: Christian settlers were vicious savages, genocidal murderers and environmental terrorists. In contrast, native pagans were noble, civilized and peace-loving. …

“But there is another Jamestown … the same Jamestown that has been honored and remembered … [for] the last 200 years.

“It is the real Jamestown — the story of imperfect but remarkable men who were instruments of a sovereign Creator to establish a nation of law and liberty under God.”

— Doug Phillips, writing on “Who will win the war on America’s history?” Friday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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