- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 17, 2000

Vanishing teens

"Of all the great postwar inventions television, rock 'n' roll, the Internet the greatest and most influential is, perhaps, the American teen-ager. Think about it. While the country has always had adolescents (human beings between the ages of 12 and 18, that is), it was only in the past 50 or 60 years that it had tens of millions of semi-grownups living in a developmental buffer zone somewhere between childish innocence and adult experience… .
"Spawned by a mix of prosperity and politics, teen-agers are a modern luxury good. The question for the new century is, How much longer will teen-agers exist, at least in the form that James Dean made famous? Twenty years, tops, is my guess. Teen-agers, as classically defined, are already dying out, or at least changing into something different. The buffer zone they once inhabited is being squeezed out of existence for two reasons: Children are growing up faster than before, and adults are growing up more slowly."
Walter Kirn, writing on "Will Teen-Agers Disappear?" in the Feb. 21 issue of Time

Controlling 'choice'

"The fracas over population numbers was first marked by the 1798 publication of the 'Essay on the Principle of Population,' in which Thomas Malthus assumed that natural resources couldn't keep up with exponential increases in population. His theory turned out to be wrong, but a new brand of Malthusian doom and gloom was forged in the early 1970s with Paul Ehrlich's false alarm, 'The Population Bomb.' …
"But despite dispelling evidence, the overpopulation myth has quietly infected our culture… .
"What's shocking about the [population control] movement, though, is their willingness to compromise reproductive 'choice' … especially among 'less-than-desirable' populations… . [According to] Michael Sullivan DeFine, a law student at the University of Maine, '… In the early 1970s, an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 low-income individuals were annually subjected to sterilization under federally funded programs.' …
"[Vice President Al] Gore is extremely frustrated that family planning dollars can't fund abortion, and just last month, President Clinton proposed a $35 million spending increase on international family planning… .
"How ironic that it's the pro-choice overpopulation crowd who seek to control women's reproduction. Abortion isn't a reproductive choice, it's a reproductive limit. Unfortunately, by embracing 'rights' like abortion, the world's population has often forfeited the very reproductive freedom they sought to protect."
Stephanie Herman, writing on "Who's Really Controlling Women?" Feb. 7 in the on-line journal American Partisan (www.americanpartisan.com).

Effective message

"The air war against Yugoslavia has been declared a victory. Kosovo is being run by the United Nations, NATO and other Forces for Good… .
"Indeed, Kosovo has been the war that the war haters love to love. Bianca Jagger, Susan Sontag, Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, House Democratic Whip David Bonior, Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone and all sorts of lefty peaceniks have been drinking at the VFW Hall and getting semper fi tattooed on their behinds. 'I harbor no second thoughts of the morality of our course,' Wellstone has said. 'My only regret has been that our action has been less effective than I would have hoped.'
"That, of course, depends upon what effect was being hoped for. If we hoped to teach the world a lesson in Kosovo, we were very effective: Whenever there's injustice, oppression and suffering, America will show up six months late and bomb the country next to where it's happening."
P.J. O'Rourke, writing on "Give Hate a Chance," in the March 2 issue of Rolling Stone

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