- The Washington Times - Monday, July 10, 2000

American epic

"If you haven't seen 'The Patriot,' clear your schedule, find the time, and run, don't walk, to a theater where it's playing. If one popular artifact could undo the 30 years damage the hate-America left has inflicted on the country, this stupendous, gut-churning, heart-wrenching, inspiring epic can. After the shredding our nation-forming memory has suffered at the hands of its nihilistic detractors, 'The Patriot' restores all the elements of our national legend the heritage that rouses the better angels of our nature to a state of invigorating wholeness. Here, told anew, is the saga of American independence achieved by ragtag rebel militias of ordinary citizens, driven by dreams of equality and self-determination, and made possible by the terrible sacrifice of lives and blood.

"The British hate the film and one British-educated American, Jonathan Foreman, has absurdly attacked it … as 'fascist' for among other things making family one of its central metaphors… . This is not a documentary history; it is an artistic epic.

"Left-wing reviewers inwardly despising its patriotic themes have taken to faulting its alleged historical 'inaccuracies' as a way of dismissing its significance."

David Horowitz, writing on " 'The Patriot Restores Our National Legend," July 4 in Salon at www.salon.com

Cats vs. dogs

"I want to pick a fight over cats and dogs… . I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but the 'love' of dogs means nothing. Zero. Dogs are the slavering sycophants, the slobbering indiscriminate flatterers, the bootlickers, the pathetic transparent brown-nosers of the domestic animal kingdom… . Dogs will slaver over anyone who gives them food and security. Dogs will suck up to serial killers, dogs will make goo-goo eyes at child molesters, dogs will fawn and whimper over mass murderers …

"Don't tell me I'm speaking as someone who doesn't know dogs. I grew up with dogs, loved dogs, but never was deluded enough to think that my dogs loved me because of my great personality… . This is the key difference between dogs and cats. A dog, as someone said, always acts like he's afraid he's going to lose his job. A cat acts like the employer you're the ranch hand and you're always in danger of losing your job."

Ron Rosenbaum in his new book, "The Secret Parts of Fortune"

Castro's about-face

"Incredibly, prostitution seems to have disappeared from Cuba.

" 'A pair of high heels, a luxurious little shoe, a seductive perfume, a new dress cannot be the price of honor and the sustenance of a nation,' [Cuban dictator Fidel] Castro, sounding like a hurt father, proclaimed at the Karl Marx Theater in January 1999, stepping up his war against Cuban women who accept gifts or money from foreign men… . 'It hurts too much that a country that has done so much to dignify women, that a foreigner can come to trick her, fill her with vices … to corrupt her,' he said… .

"Yet Castro's campaign against prostitution is not mainly about higher moral standards; it is mainly about state control… .

"There was a time, not long ago, when the Cuban government felt differently about the young women it now proscribes. Strapped for hard currency after the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba opened up to capitalism a little and used its women as bait. The ministry of tourism embarked on a global marketing campaign… . It invited Playboy to photograph an issue on location and distributed posters of beaches with white sand and topless [Cuban women] to travel agencies worldwide… .

"The campaign was wildly successful. In 1990, 300,000 tourists visited Cuba; last year, more than 1.7 million did… . Cuba became one of the most popular stops on the sex-vacation circuit, right up there with Thailand."

Silvana Paternostro, writing on "Sexual Revolution," in the July 10 issue of the New Republic

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