Nobles and Knaves, the Contest

Article excerpt


It's the last week of the year. That means it's time for the annual Nobles and Knaves contest, where you, the readers, decide who deserves the Editorial Board's highest and lowest acclaim. To vote, send an e-mail to with "Nobles Contest" in the subject line or send a fax to 202-715-0037. Entries must be received by Dec. 31. When voting, please remember that only this year's Nobles and Knaves of the week are eligible and that votes sent en masse with the intention of unfairly weighting nominees will be not be considered.

For Noble of the year, select three:

The American people, for their generous donations to the victims of the Southeast Asian tsunami (and, we'll add, for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and her somewhat less slutty sister, Rita).

Trevon Jenifer, the Huntington High School wrestler who faces his opponents on the mat with one major disadvantage: He has no legs.

William and Janet Norwood, who lost a son in Iraq, and Safia Taleb al Suhail, who lost her father to Saddam Hussein's assassins 11 years ago. President Bush recognized them in his 2005 State of the Union Address.

Firen Gassman, the Herndon High School wrestler who doesn't let the boys push her around.

Hans A. Bethe, the late Nobel laureate for physics and winner of the Presidential Medal of Merit who headed the theoretical physics division of the Manhattan Project.

George Kennan, the late U.S. diplomat who in 1946 outlined how the United States must confront Communist expansion.

Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, whom President Bush posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of 100 soldiers before being killed in action. He was the first soldier in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

The Washington Wizards, for their first playoff berth since 1997, when they were called the Bullets.

The Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents, for hunting down the serial arsonist who terrorized the D.C. area.

The Marine Corps, which cleared a corporal accused of murdering a terrorist in Fallujah of any wrongdoing.

The D.C. Air National Guard's 121st Fighter Squadron, which responded to the panic of May 11 - when the Capitol, White House and surrounding federal buildings were evacuated - with the same professionalism it exhibited on September 11.

Ike Boutwell, who honored his flight students who died in Vietnam by refusing to show Jane Fonda's latest movie "Monster-in-Law" at his theater. Below a sign that read "No Jane Fonda movie in this theater," Mr. Boutwell posted the infamous 1972 photograph of Miss Fonda sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun.

Three Ethiopian lions, for rescuing a 12-year-old girl from her kidnappers - and for being kind enough not to eat her.

The voters in Discovery Channel's "Greatest American" competition, for their wise choice of Ronald Reagan and rescue of a poorly conceived contest.

Vice Adm. James Stockdale, the late Vietnam war hero, Ross Perot's 1992 presidential running mate, a POW in Vietnam and recipient of the Medal of Honor.

Aage Bjerre, the Danish pizzeria owner who was jailed in 2003 for his refusal to serve German and French tourists - which was his way of protesting the French and German governments' opposition to the U.S.-led effort to liberate Iraq.

James "Scotty" Doohan, the late D-Day veteran who delighted millions of Trekkies with his lifelong portrayal as the USS Enterprise's chief engineer.

Kate Ziegler, the 17-year-old Arlington swimmer who amazed the swimming world by breaking decades-old records.

Steven Vincent, the late war correspondent whose reports from Iraq stand as some of the finest of the war.

The first-responders, for their selfless sense of duty in the immediate, chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. …