Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom

I had to see the first movie before I took the plunge, plunked down my bills, and bought the first book in the Harry Potter series. I’d listened to the people around me go on and on about the differences between the book and the movie. I became intrigued by the depth of one discussion because it took place between teenagers.

I was amazed they didn’t stop at comparison of the book versus the movie’s heavy reliance on computer graphic (cgi). They talked about the story; characters, the journey, and moral themes.

Soon I found myself buying the whole series of Potter books, even pre-ordering the last one. I also confess to standing in line on opening night when the next movie came out. I found I wasn’t the only one in my age group standing there without children in tow.

Is the series great AHT, as some would pronounce it? No. Is J.K. Rowling a good writer – yes. Absolutely. A majority of people agree, if sales figures around the world are any yardstick. It’s hugely popular, entertaining, fun.

So why would anyone in George W. Bush’s White House object to awarding her a Presidential Medal of Freedom, as previous White Houses had done with writers like John Steinbeck, Natan Sharansky, William Safire, B.B. King and even former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Apparently, there were “narrow-minded” people in the White House who also denied the Presidential Medal to Senator Edward Kennedy, because they deemed him too liberal. Duh!

Who says?

Matt Latimer, former speech writer for President George W Bush, said that some members of his administration believed her books promoted sorcery.
As a result, she was never presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The claims appear in Latimer’s new book called Speechless: Tales of a White House Survivor.

I can’t believe Dubya et al were given the keys to nuclear weapons. (whew)

p.s.: for a truly entertaining romp on this (and a lot more), go to Jonathan Turley’s absolutely fascinating blog.