The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, October 14, 2002  

More Jottings From The Reading Room

William Safire today raises the specter of Islamist terrorism in the Washington-area shootings. Safire hedges, of course, that being a talent he perfected during the Clinton administration; “rarely mentioned,” he says, is the possibility that “the sniper may be a terrorist affiliated with Al Qaeda or otherwise inspired by Osama bin Laden. Odds are against such a conspiracy. . . . But the venue chosen by the most recent shooter is the capital of the U.S., a primary target of worldwide terrorism. Police have speculated that the sniper might well have an accomplice, perhaps a driver or supplier, which suggests a terrorist cell.” [Emphasis added.]

That there may be two people involved in the Washington snipings “suggests a terrorist cell”? Maybe we had better reopen the “Hillside Strangler” cases. After all, Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi worked in tandem.


Yet another one of those breathless “How does he/she do it all?” articles that neglects to mention the subject’s coterie of assistants and the massive amount of free time that becomes available upon hiring household help, this one about Katie Couric, in the Buffalo News.


Two good articles in the Forward this week. The first questions the wisdom of creating democracies in the Middle East: “Arab diplomats are saying that such officious attempts may evoke greater resentment of the United States and other Western nations. Israeli experts warn that hasty democratization may strengthen militant Islamic forces, increasing instability in the region.” Talk about your no-win situations.

The second article discusses the apparent, but denied, rift between Commentary and First Things over the Catholic-Jewish inter-faith dialogue and sundry matters dealing with Pope Pius XII and anti-Semitism.


Clay Bennett’s cartoon in today’s Christian Science Monitor.


Dave Barry takes on teenagers and their aversion to newspapers with the assistance of Debbie Title of Crestview Middle School.

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