- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 26, 2010

Freedom’s burden

“I want to highlight something Mark Steyn pointed out in his own commentary on [Geert] Wilders’ arrest and trial: ‘Speaking as a bona fide far-right nutcase, I rather resent the label’s export to Holland: Pim Fortuyn wasn’t ‘right-wing,’ he was a gay hedonist; Theo van Gogh was an anti-monarchist coke-snorting nihilist; Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a secular liberal feminist; Geert Wilders says he’s opposed to Islam because of its hostility to gay equality, whereas the usual rap against us far-right extremists is that we want the godless sodomites to roast in hell. …

“It demonstrates the contradiction at the heart of libertarianism; in order to preserve certain liberties, you must begin to take a hard line against those who would uproot and destroy them. Yet another Dutchman, Oscar van den Boogaard, a ‘Dutch gay humanist,’ is now famously quoted as having said, reflecting upon the Islamification of his society: ‘I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it.’ Fortuyn and van Gogh, like most Dutch libertines I imagine, would have rather enjoyed their liberties in peace instead of dying in their defense.”

- Joe Hargrave, writing on “Islamification & The libertarians: The Dutch Quandary,” on Aug. 24 at his blog Non Nobis

Litmus test

“How remarkable that the thesis of a book that helped launch the conservative movement [William F. Buckley’s ‘God and Man at Yale’] could, less than half a century later, be completely repudiated by people who claim to be the author’s intellectual heirs. But that is not quite true. It would be more accurate to say that they repudiated only part of it. They’ve foolishly discarded Buckley’s emphasis on Christianity but retained, as they should, his love of free enterprise.

“For instance, everyone in the conservative movement knows that you can be an atheist who actively works to undermine traditional Judeo-Christian morality and conservative social issues and still receive a book deal with a conservative publisher, a fellowship at a conservative think-tank, or a place on the masthead of a major conservative publication. What you cannot do - without being stripped of the label ‘conservative’ - is question free market orthodoxy. You can be squishy on the issue of cutting a child out of the womb, but waver on the prudence of cutting the capital gains tax and you’ll be treated as a traitor.”

- Joe Carter, writing on “God and Man in the Conservative Movement,” on Aug. 25 at the First Things blog On the Square

Where are fans?

“Since 1989, the Center for Feminist Research at the University of Southern California (USC) has published a study of ‘Gender in Televised Sports’ every five years. The latest report has just been released and … Diana Nyad … describes the neglect of women’s sports as ‘unfathomable and unacceptable.’

“But the heavy focus of news and highlights shows on men’s sports is not only fathomable but obvious - that is where the fans are. … Men’s professional sports are a fascination (obsession is more like it) to many millions of men, because they offer extreme competition, performance, and heroics. Women’s professional sports, however skilled and admirable, cannot compare in Promethean drama.

“Even women prefer watching male teams. Few women follow the sports pages and ESPN, but many enjoy attending live games - featuring male athletes. According to Sports Business Daily, 31 percent of the NFL’s ‘avid fans’ are women. Nyad and the USC study authors demand that television cover women’s sports ‘fairly and equitably,’ but the study never once mentions the word ‘attendance.’ Shouldn’t fan interest in the games drive the media stories?”

- Christina Hoff Summers, writing on “Take Back the Sports Page?” on Aug. 12 at the American journal