- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 24, 2007

Unappeased

“By 1938, Germany under Adolf Hitler had for some years been rearming in defiance of its obligations under the Versailles treaty. … Yet even though Hitler in ‘Mein Kampf’ had explicitly spelled out the goals he was now preparing to pursue, scarcely anyone took him seriously.

“To the imminent victims of the war he was soon to start, Hitler’s book and his inflammatory speeches were nothing more than braggadocio or … the kind of red meat any politician might throw to his constituents at home. Hitler might sound at times like a madman, but in reality he was a shrewd operator with whom one could — in the notorious term coined by the London Times — ‘do business.’ The business that was done under this assumption was the Munich Agreement of 1938, which the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declared had brought ‘peace in our time.’

“It was thanks to Munich that ‘appeasement’ became one of the dirtiest words in the whole of our political vocabulary. … If Hitler had been what his eventual victims imagined he was — that is, a conventional statesman pursuing limited aims and using the threat of war only as a way of strengthening his bargaining position — it would indeed have been possible to appease him and thereby to head off the outbreak of another war.

“But Hitler was not a conventional statesman and, although for tactical reasons he would sometimes pretend otherwise, he did not have limited aims.”

— Norman Podhoretz, writing on “The Case for Bombing Iran,” in the June issue of Commentary

Tying the not

“So why are we going through all this trouble anyway? According to [Massachusetts] state statistics, gays and lesbians just don’t want to get married. While there was a rush of marriage licenses in the seven months of 2004 that they were being issued to same-sex couples — 6,121 in all — the numbers have dropped precipitously since then. In 2005, only 2,060 received licenses; in 2006, just 1,427. …

“But the reality is that there was a small minority of homosexuals — themselves a tiny minority of the population—who even wanted to marry. Ask any observer of the homosexual scene, and they’ll tell you that monogamy is the exception, not the rule, which is why everyone always makes a big deal about the very few gay couples who’ve been together for 10 and 20 years.

“Also interesting to note that 64 percent of the same-sex marriages were lesbians. I guess some stereotypes remain true. It’s a fact that the man-woman marriage is a civilizing influence on society because it’s the woman’s impulse to marry and settle down that keeps us from being free-wheeling barbarians.”

— Domenico Bettinelli, writing on “Gays Don’t Want Marriage After All,” at Bettnet.com

Sparks flying

“ ’American Idol,’ after all, is a singing competition. … And as Paula [Abdul] pointed out, Jordin Sparks was in ‘great, great vocal voice.’ Actually, I didn’t think Jordin was that hot: She shrieked a bit in her rendition of Christina Aguilera’s ‘Fighter’ and sounded wobbly and flat at times. … But she did well on that Martina McBride song (a savvy choice — hello, country music fans) and hit the big, showy glory notes that send the judges into raptures.

“By the end of the night, it seemed clear that Jordin had won. Randy called the contest for her outright. … Simon did leave the door open a crack, saying that Blake had delivered the night’s best performance. But Jordin, he hastened to add, had ‘wiped the floor with Blake’ vocally. And, lest we forget, this is a singing competition.”

— Jody Rosen, writing on “It’s Not Really a Singing Competition,” Wednesday at Slate.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide