Anyone home? Not in the national capital area, not to mention the world-wide web, where everyone has taken a long, long weekend to forget about all those important things we find so hard to remember. But there were other demonstrations of independence as well. During prime-time on July 4, the Public Broadcasting System and the Peter Jennings ABC network came on with shows that imposed their weak-kneed versions of patriotism. Since those versions had no room for Charlie Daniels and Toby Keith, they were promptly boycotted by all deeply patriotic Enemy Watchers. It’s sort of like the Wimbledon tennis tournament. It’s televised, but does anyone still watch? Freedom is another word for keeping the TV turned off. Thanks PBS and Pete for helping it ring.
On the other hand, when we leave such fops to their own devices there’s immediate spillover. Our veteran Pentagon watcher kept his eagle eye on the Washington Mall last night. What he saw did not pass inspection, as yet another once secure area has fallen under the spell of outside agitators: Here’s the intelligence report that our man earned his stripes:
“Stop the presses. Being sober, and of relatively sound mind, I consider myself a reliable observer of events. Tonight’s Washington, DC fireworks show contained something I had never seen before, and don’t care to see again, at least until our war on terror is over.
“Among the hundreds of starshells fired over the national mall, there were at least two dozen that formed the 1960s peace sign in the sky. Yup, the circle with the bird’s foot in it was the theme of the night. No flags, just — literally– flying smiley faces and peace signs. Who the hell designed this show?”
See — give peace a chance and all hell breaks out. National Review wants us to militarize Space. All in due course. But how about we militarize the space over Washington first? Strategic and cosmic defenses are fine, but not if they can’t knock birds’ feet from the sky. Next year we’ll make sure no one mistakes the peace symbol for anything other than a B-52.
The PBS-Jennings syndrome affected many a worthy this holiday week. Judge Jed Rakoff came out of nowhere to declare the death penalty unconstitutional, all because the Constitution says it is constitutional. Then there’s something from him about DNA evidence that has kept the innocent from being fried supposedly confirming that many a death-row innocent has also been executed. Rakoff, like the New York Times editorial page or blindered liberal Mary McGrory who seconded his ruling, named not one name of anyone executed whom DNA would have exonerated. Since we’re in the business of naming names, we’re suspicious of anyone who’s too chicken to name them. Just a bad habit we’ve gotten into.
Al Gore is starting to rub good people the wrong way, not to mention disturbing people who are not so good. So all in all, Al is doing all right, perfectly positioned to be the William Jennings Bryan of the information age, always running and getting nowhere. But notice how no one is pressuring Joe Lieberman to honor his promise not to run for the presidency if that’s what Gore wants to do — which Al wants to very much. What else can he do? Reinvent the Internet? Joe, meanwhile, can pose as a sterling defender of national security. As one of our agents reports, “Lieberman’s the reason the FBI and CIA are going to stay discombobulated until at least next year. He’s put off tackling that issue until after the Homeland Security Department is created.”
It took a Princeton professor to declare Christianity harmful to animals. The exact nature of Peter Singer’s latest complaint wasn’t clear, but it had something to do with the notion that Christians supposedly claim animals have no souls, which sure would be a surprise to the entire Franciscan order, or to someone like Jonathan Yardley, who last week told his Washington Post readers that his two dachshunds are named Sophie and Igor. Presumably, those are their baptismal names. Perhaps Singer was confusing Christianity with Hinduism, which reveres at least one type of animal as godlike. Or maybe he’s new to the Old Testament, and assumes all the animal sacrifices it describes were the result of Tom DeLay’s policies. Anyway, it goes without saying that animals wouldn’t eat other animals if humans didn’t eat animals too.
We hope Prof. Singer will next direct his bioethical concerns to a rare species of human named Tom Cruise, who is said to bring the animal out in women and other forms of human life. After starring in who knows how many movies in which the character he plays is an expert in violence and debauchery, Cruise has decided that the United States is too violent and debauched a place in which his kids should be raised. So he’s decided they’ll be reared in Australia, homeland of their mother, to whom Cruise is no longer married, because he found someone else to marry in the meantime. So he’s emerged as an ideal absentee father — he’s found the perfect way not only to keep his kids and their mother out of his hair, but to earn points from blame-American-first Hollywood in the process. What a guy. What an EOW. You figure out the rest.