- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 25, 2000

'Nice bigots'

"I was glad to see that, in his recent ESPN interview, Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker proudly refused to spurn the epithet 'redneck.' …

"Rocker, in his contrite interview, encapsulated for me a problem I have long had with people best described as 'nice bigots.' Rocker seems like a congenial, good old boy in the making, but one with a propensity to say really stupid things. He's a bigot, but in all likelihood not an inherently bad person.

"I don't think Rocker harbors any conscious, premeditated hatred of blacks or, as he nicely put it, 'queers with AIDS.' He's just an insular character mouthing off about people he doesn't know much about and feels slightly threatened by. There's a distinction, I think, between that kind of mouthing off and real malevolence.

"Part of the problem with our culture right now is our inability to admit the difference. We have to make Rocker evil, or mentally ill, or a symbol of some broader social problem, when he is simply a dumb redneck jock set up by Sports Illustrated."

Andrew Sullivan, writing on "Personal Quote," in the Jan. 31 issue of the New Republic

Common and incurable

"After more than two decades of safe-sex education, [sexually transmitted diseases] have reached epidemic proportions… . Today, there are over 25 STDs, generating more than 12 million new cases annually. Half are incurable.

"Also hidden from the public limelight is the fact that condoms do not protect against one of the most common and incurable STDs Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)… .

"Why the lack of HPV public-awareness campaigns? 'Nobody's addressing it because ultimately for groups like the Centers for Disease Control and Planned Parenthood to come out and say that condoms do not prevent the spread of HPV would really be an admission that they have been operating for years under failed public-health policy,' said [abstinence educator Peter] Brandt.

"But there is light gleaming in the dark tunnel of political correctness, and it's coming from … the doctors and nurses treating HPV victims.

"Dr. Crawford Allison, a family practitioner in [Texas] … still remembers the day he told a 19-year-old mother she could never have another child. During the woman's first pregnancy, Dr. Allison discovered she had cervical cancer caused by an HPV infection contracted at age 14. A hysterectomy followed… .

"Similar cases served as a 'wake-up call for me,' says Dr. Allison, admitting that he accepted 'safe-sex' theories at the start of his 20-year career. 'At the time we didn't have the information we have today about STDs. It was unknown then,' he says. 'Before, I would see an abnormal pap smear maybe once a month. Now it's once, twice, three times a week mostly from HPV.' "

Candi Cushman, writing on "Freedom from Fear," in the Jan. 22 issue of World

Militant brew

"Communism's seductive appeal, [author Francois] Furet argues, came in considerable part from coupling the inherently incompatible ideas of human volition and the science of history.

"The Russian Bolsheviks showed the true capacity of man's revolutionary will, which … promised the achievement of human liberation first announced by the French Revolution. To this 'cult of volition,' Furet explains, 'Lenin would add the certainties of science, drawn from Marx's "Capital." ' History has a predetermined outcome, and thanks to Marxist 'science,' we know exactly what it is, the revolutionaries claimed… .

"Will and science: 'By combining these two supremely modern elixirs with their contempt for logic,' Furet stringently notes, 'the revolutionaries of 1917 had finally concocted a brew sufficiently potent to inebriate militants for generations to come.' "

Brian C. Anderson, writing on "Capitalism and the Suicide of Culture," in the February issue of First Things

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