- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Crimson memories

"I was a cheerleader at the University of Alabama in the 1970s and my memories are so rich from this chapter of my life.

"I can still smell the freshly cut grass of the practice field, which we shared with the Million Dollar Band and feel the adrenaline rush that shot through my body as the band played and we practiced the double stunts that we were known for.

"And with coach Paul 'Bear' Bryant at the helm, you felt as if you were participating in something larger than life… .

"I am often asked how a southern gal from Mississippi ended up an actress in Hollywood. The truth is that it is a direct result of having been a cheerleader for Alabama.

"Because our games were so often on national television, cheerleaders actually got fan mail… . Through a series of connect-the-dots, I landed a TV commercial and went off into the land of entertainment. But I'll never forget where a lot of it came from those green football fields all over the South and the grand enthusiastic crowds on magical Saturday afternoons with the Crimson Tide."

Sela Ward, writing in Winston Groom's new book, "The Crimson Tide"

Natural inequality

"The left-wing animus against sociobiology becomes understandable once we look at its major defect in a political light.

"Sociobiology 'explains' … whatever exists. But as Marx said, the left wants to change the world, not explain it. The world that exists, filled as it is with injustice, must be replaced by something better; a world without inequality, for example.

"Existing qualities of human nature the dissimilar attitudes of men and women toward sexual intercourse, for example can be explained by the usual, unvarying, and unfalsifiable formula. The trait arose by accident, then was selected for.

"But the raison d'etre of the left is to champion states, conditions, and attitudes that do not exist gender egalitarianism, say… . So the whole field of sociobiology suffers from a bias against the potential and in favor of the actual, and in that sense it's true that it does have a 'conservative' bias… .

"The critics of sociobiology were using arguments that threatened to undermine the whole of Darwinian evolution, since the physical, the mental, and the behavioral are (in the materialist's world) parts of one material whole.

"Phillip E. Johnston … thinks that the critics may have 'burned down the Darwinian house in order to roast the sociobiological pig.' They were certainly playing with fire. The same critical scrutiny 'might have far-reaching consequences if it were ever applied to the generally accepted Darwinian theory that complex adaptive organs came into existence through the accumulation of micro-mutations by natural selection,' Johnston writes."

Tom Bethell, writing on "Against Sociobiology," in the January issue of First Things

'A Southerner first'

"I'm sympathetic to the states' rights people only in a pragmatic way. To have the same speed limit in Vermont that you have in New Mexico is ridiculous.

"I'm a yellow-dog Democrat, a true believer in everything that the Democratic Party stands for… . I'm inclined to think the government can solve all problems; I have found out that that's a long way from true… .

"I have found out over the last 50 years that the government can create as many problems as it solves, but I'm still a good, solid Democrat… .

"I watch the news every night. I watch talk shows like Chris Matthews, whom I despise. I love watching him because he's so awful… .

"I think Clinton has made a hell of a president. He's also a hell of a fool, but that goes with it… .

"I'm a Southerner first. There's no need denying that; I simply am."

Civil War historian Shelby Foote, interviewed by Bill Kauffman in the January/February issue of the American Enterprise

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