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Tony and Tacky
July 22, 2005

Good taste or bad is revealed in everything we are, do, have. Emily Post

Willy Wonka Knock It Off
Imitation may flatter the original's creator, but it bores the rest of us. Where are the creative juices of Hollywood, says Stephen Moore. "If you look at the movies that are coming out right now this summer: STAR WARS, BEWITCHED, CHARLIE and the CHOCOLATE FACTORY, BATMAN. They are remaking KING KONG, STARSKY & HUTCH. SPIDERMAN III is what they think is going to revive the industry next year." While the American economy is booming, he says, one sector isn't -- Hollywood. And little wonder. "I have this terrible nightmare that they are going to have Leonardo DiCaprio playing Vito Corleone in THE GODFATHER. Two thumbs down for Hollywood for not coming up with new ideas."

New World, New Rules Mamoun Darkazanli
Mamoun Darkazanli, a suspected terrorist with ties to al Qaeda, walked out of a German jail this week where he'd been in custody pending extradition to Spain. A German court ruled he could not be extradited because he is a German citizen. "This man was considered possibly the principle financier for al Qaeda in Europe," says Bret Stephens. "We just had the 7/7 bombings in London for which a group calling itself al Qaeda in Europe took responsibility, yet in the last month alone Germany has released, not only this man, but two other suspects implicated in the September 11th bombings. For the last couple of years we've been having a debate about how we should deal with terrorism. We have been saying, 'This is a new kind of threat. We can't deal with it as a law enforcement problem.' In Europe, they have been saying 'No, we've been dealing with this from the '70s, the best way to go about it is as a law enforcement problem.' Well, we've just seen what happens when you adopt that approach and you pretend that these folks are like any other criminal suspects. It doesn't work and I'm afraid that Europe might pay heavy consequences for adopting what I think is a very naive approach."

Check for $20 million No Assault Weapons? No Deal
Gun conventioneers like to spend gobs of cash when they gather to talk shop, which leaves Columbus, Ohio, out of luck and out $20 million dollars, says the National Rifle Association. The NRA announced it was canceling plans to hold its 2007 convention in Columbus because city officials have banned assault weapons. "A tony to the NRA for putting its money where its mouth is," says Kim Strassel. "The NRA has worked for years to try to get rid of what the anti-gun people call the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. They finally managed to do that last year, only to turn around and discover that Columbus had adopted a similar ban The NRA conference was expected to bring in 60,000 people and earn anywhere up to $20 million dollars for local business. That money is all going to go to another city now, probably one that is less trigger-happy when it comes to creating new laws."