- The Washington Times - Monday, July 16, 2001

Great kids
"The brothers who make up Hanson, the platinum-selling rock group, are great kids. And I mean kids: Zac is 15, Taylor is 18, and Isaac, the old man of the group, is 20. …
"'It's a strange oxymoron,' says Taylor, revealing the effects of home schooling. 'People will call us corny because having a sense of yourself and being respectful are uncool.'
"'Yeah,' adds Isaac, shaking his head, 'piercing yourself and having sex with everything and doing tons of drugs is actually more acceptable than being smart and respecting yourself.' …
"'There is so much available today that things can become mediocre,' continues Taylor. 'That's one of the things about our society's affluence. People are aware of the world, but they're not aware of themselves. There is a lot of cynicism in our culture. Criticism without action.'"
Jonathan Penner, writing on "Oh Brothers," in the July/August issue of Modern Maturity

Communist lies
"Communist systems were meant to re-engineer the basic nature of mankind, a project grounded so deep in unreality that it encouraged, and often required, dishonesty at almost every level. Recall such old Soviet jokes as, 'We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.' Remember the wise arguments of George Orwell, that repression feeds on the corruption of meaning, that in the land of Big Brother, 'freedom is slavery' and 'ignorance is strength.'
"Nor does such stuff fade easily. When a society's basic institutions have been bent for generations, or built crooked, it can take many years to develop straight and sturdy ones if that happens at all. In August 1991, when Boris Yeltsin climbed atop a tank to defend Russia's reforms, it was an ennobling moment, marking a deep change in course. But 10 years later, for all the foreign blueprints and billions of dollars meant to help, Russia's government still has very far to go in the way of providing basic rule of law, or anything we might reasonably call a just society or secure democracy."
Claudia Rosett, writing on "Big Red Lies," Thursday in Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com

Loco parentis
"Two years after graduating from Williams College in 1997, [Wendy] Shalit published 'A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue,' a report on sex and today's college student. She addresses especially the pressure on young women who want to remain chaste and recommends strategies for living by more traditional sexual standards in the Brave New World of college life. …
"The students in my ethics course generally agree that Shalit's descriptions of dormitory life and contemporary dating practices are accurate. … I attended college in the late '60s when institutions of higher learning summarily surrendered the responsibilities of in loco parentis and opened the floodgates to the so-called sexual revolution, inviting much of what goes on today in college dormitories and beds. So I am not altogether surprised by what my students tell me or what Shalit reports. …
"I know that young people are getting hurt, some permanently scarred for life, and I hold colleges … morally accountable, if not complicit in this harm. The colleges know what is going on and they keep their mouths shut. …
"o small number of students remark that there is an unsettling similarity between college dormitory life and 'Brave New World,' where promiscuity is a virtue, virginity is as unspeakable a word as motherhood, and monogamous fidelity is a sin against society."
Loyola College professor Vigen Guroian, writing on "The Virgin and the Ivy," July 9 in Breakpoint at www.breakpoint.org

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