- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cutting off noses

“Following last week’s inane passage of California’s Proposition 8, which amends the state constitution to ban gay weddings (including George Takei’s!), opponents are calling for a boycott of Utah tourism to punish the Mormon Church for its support of the initiative.

“Obviously we understand why they’re upset, because we are too. But now, caught in the crossfire, for some crazy reason, is the upcoming Sundance Film Festival: ‘It’s high time Sundance found a better state to party in than the seat of the Mormon Church,’ writes America Blog’s John Aravosis. ‘Sundance is THE gathering of liberal Hollywood. The last place it should be is in Utah. Robert Redford, are you out there?’

“Problem is, since next year’s fest opens on Jan. 15, it’s way too late for a change of venue. And, as Dave Poland points out, it’s not totally clear that any of Sundance’s participating hotels or businesses actually donated to the Prop. 8 campaign.”

- Lane Brown, writing on “Prop. 8 Protesters Target Sundance” on Nov. 11 at the New York magazine blog Vulture

GOP diversity

“Reagan managed to reach out to blue-collar whites. But there his reach stopped, leaving many people on our side, but barely knowing it.

“There are enough yarmulkes among the neocons to show that Jews are not immune to conservatism. Few practicing Catholics vote Democratic anymore except in Massachusetts, where they put something in the communion wafers. When it comes to a full-on, hemp-wearing, kelp-eating, mandala-tatted, fool-coifed liberal with socks in sandals, I have never met a Muslim like that or a Chinese and very few Hispanics. No U.S. immigrants from the Indian subcontinent fill that bill (the odd charlatan yogi excepted), nor do immigrants from Africa, Eastern Europe, or East Asia. And Japanese tourists may go so far as socks in sandals, but their liberal nonsense stops at the ankles.

“We have all of this going for us, worldwide. And yet we chose to deliver our sermons only to the faithful or the already converted. Of course the trailer park Protestants yell ‘Amen.’ If you were handling rattlesnakes and keeping dinosaurs for pets, would you vote for the party that gets money from PETA?”

-P.J. O’Rourke, writing on “We Blew It” in the Nov. 17 issue of the Weekly Standard

Crichton theme

“[Michael] Crichton’s books have sold more than 150 million copies worldwide. His reputation rests chiefly on a prolific stream of techno-thriller novels exploiting the well-worn formula pioneered by Mary Shelley in Frankenstein: Scientific hubris leads to disaster. For example, in ‘The Andromeda Strain’ (1969), Army scientists in search of biological-warfare agents endanger humanity by bringing back a space virus that infects a town. In ‘The Terminal Man’ (1972), the epileptic protagonist goes on a murderous rampage under the influence of computerized mind control. …

“In recent years, Crichton turned his attention more explicitly toward public policy. In particular, he became highly skeptical of archly ideological environmentalism. His 2005 book ‘State of Fear’ was actually the novelization of a speech he delivered at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club in 2003, arguing that environmentalism is essentially a religion, a belief system based on faith, not fact. ‘State of Fear’ not only became a bestseller, but propelled its author into public-policy circles. Crichton was invited to make speeches around the country on science policy; in 2005 he even testified in front of a Senate committee about the politicization of climate-change science.”

-Ronald Bailey, writing on “Michael Crichton, RIP,” on Nov. 6 at Reason online

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