- The Washington Times - Friday, December 24, 1999

Hate journalism
"A 13-year-old named Jesse Dirkhising was killed on Sept. 26 in Rogers, Ark. Why didn't you know that? …
"Jesse was killed a few days before the first anniversary of Matthew Shepard's brutal murder. The contrast in the coverage of the two cases is overpowering… . The [Shepard] story was front-page news around the country, and was followed for weeks by every television network and news magazine in America.
"The death of Jesse Dirkhising, on the other hand, received almost no notice in the national press… .
" 'While Shepard's murderers were driven to kill by hate, the boy's rape and death was a sex crime,' argued Jonathan Gregg. the senior editor at Time.com… .
"Could anything make clearer the perniciousness of treating some kinds of violence as 'hate crimes'? Here lies Matthew Shepard, beaten to death by a pair of savages. Here lies Jesse Dirkhising, tortured to death by a different pair of savages… .
"Each was the victim of a crime so vicious as to shock the conscience. But because Shepard's savages detested homosexuals, his death matters. Because Dirkhising's savages were driven by lust, his death is a nullity.
"Hate-crime laws are immoral and unjust, for they are premised on the notion that the lives and well-being of some people are worth more than the lives and well-being of others. Journalism that adopts the hate-crime premise is no less offensive."
Jeff Jacoby, writing on "Why this death didn't count," in the Dec. 10 Jewish World Review

Centralized power
"Something about the machinery and factories of the Industrial Age encouraged the belief that society's problems could be addressed more efficiently if political power were centralized… .
"Tyrannies called themselves People's Democratic Republics, and constitutions were artfully rewritten by dictators to retain the rhetoric of self-rule while jettisoning the substance… .
"Socialists were quick to plant the idea that socialism was nothing but science applied to society, and few saw that this would legitimize tyranny. Lenin rode this wave of Scientific Socialism, defining communism as 'Soviet power plus the electrification of the entire country.'
"Combining detailed Five Year Plans and government force, he and his comrades tried to direct their peoples in dramatically new directions."
Tom Bethell, writing on "Government in the Machine Age," in the January/February issue of American Enterprise

In the name of equality
"The most damaging legacy of the waning 20th century is likely to be the disintegration of the family.
"Bearing the burden of their own parents' divorces, young adults are marrying later than ever, if at all. Single parenthood has dropped generations of young women into poverty… . And worse is to come: When single parents grow old, who will be there to care for them?
"In a new book, 'The Sex Change Society,' English commentator Melanie Phillips argues that her own sex is largely to blame for the collapse in moral values that has undermined the family and victimized women and their children.
"She concludes that the change in women's sexual attitudes and behavior since the 1960s has backfired, reducing sexual freedom to bondage.
"Traditionally, women controlled sexual relationships… . But with sex and marriage detached from each other, women increasingly reduced relationships to sexual gratification in the name of equality… .
"It is women's misconception of sexual equality, Phillips concludes, that has made them unwitting victims, driving men away."
David Yount, writing on "Destructive gender roles," a Dec. 3 posting at www.nandotimes.com

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