- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 13, 2003

'Selfless' dictator
"On the red carpet at the Jan. 18 premiere of his Fidel Castro documentary 'Comandante,' Oliver Stone struts before the entertainment TV cameras at the Sundance Film Festival …
"TV reporters … lob Stone softball questions about what will no doubt prove to be a controversial film, seemingly unbeknownst to most of them.
"What did you think of Fidel? he's asked.
"'I thought he was warm and bright,' Stone says. 'He's a very driven man, a very moral man. He's very concerned about his country. He's selfless in that way.' …
"Stone goes on; his movie will allow viewers to 'see behind the mirror, behind the curtain. You see the man with the beard and the cigar, and he's not quite what you think he is.' The film 'doesn't make judgments,' he allows, and Castro is 'obviously on his best behavior. But he lets you see.'
"For Stone, the chasm between Castro's best behavior and his worst doesn't seem that wide. … 'Comandante' is interesting in its unique behind-the-scenes footage of one of the world's most ruthless dictators. And if you didn't know anything about Castro, you might enjoy the heroic portrait Stone paints of the revolutionary leader, and the familiar banter between them."
Jake Tapper, writing on "Amigos," Saturday in Salon at www.salon.com
Abortion dolls?
"A line of dolls was introduced into toy stores last year, called the 'Ghetto Kids.' The seamy underside of the Cabbage Patch Kids, they wore clothes with holes and each came with a small garbage can and sticker reading: 'Ghetto Kids live on the street. Provide them with the home they need.' Their attached bios included: 'Hi. I'm New York Sammy. My father was a drug dealer peddling Ecstasy to kids,' and 'I'm East L.A. Lupe. My mommy abandoned me after daddy died in a gang shooting.' There was also Confederate Tammy, homeless after being sold by her mother, who had become pregnant after a fling with a truck driver. And San Juan Carmen, abandoned in a crack house by her heroin-addicted prostitute mother.
"Toy executives said it's a good idea because it gets kids thinking about issues of substance abuse, homelessness and single parenthood. Well, I thought, if these dolls made it to market, shouldn't they be selling an Abortion doll, too? Talk about child abuse! That would be a kid with issues, no? … Where is that doll? Did it not make it to market because it only had potential for dollhood?
"As a former fetus and recovering near abortion, I believe that we are worth the trouble of rehabilitating into humanity."
Julia Gorin, in "30 years of Roe vs Wade: A Near Abortion Speaks Out," posted Jan. 22 on www.jewishworldreview.com
His calling
"It seemed, at first, to be an unlikely friendship. He was a contemporary Christian musician. The man standing in line waiting for his autograph was an astronaut. The musician was Steve Green. The astronaut was Rick Husband. But after that chance encounter, the pair became close friends and spiritual confidants.
"Husband was commander of the Space Shuttle Columbia. He and six other astronauts were killed Feb. 1 when their ship disintegrated upon re-entering the Earth's atmosphere after a 16-day mission …
"'Rick recognized his calling absolutely to be an astronaut,' Mr. Green said during a telephone interview from his home in Franklin, Tenn. 'Rick was a shining example of someone who understood his calling. He had been gifted and called into an arena of service as an astronaut. He did it with everything inside of him. He was the best he could possibly be and he did it to the glory of God.'"
Todd Starnes, writing on "Steve Green: astronaut Rick Husband was 'someone who understood his calling,'" Tuesday in Baptist Press News at www.bpnews.net

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