- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 16, 2000

Stark choice

"President Reagan successfully nominated candidates to the federal bench who shared a belief that the Constitution should be interpreted as it was written and the Framers intended, and that laws should be interpreted as written by our elected legislators and not as judicially rewritten by judges to place their own political views in the Constitution.
"In contrast, judicial restraint is openly and harshly criticized by the Clinton administration. Indeed, on issues likely to come before the [Supreme] Court, the differences between the two parties' presidential candidates could not be more stark… .
"Ultimately, the future of the United States of America will be decided by one thing alone: which political party cares enough to get out to vote on Nov. 7."
Barbara Olson, writing on "Will the Supreme Court Remain Supreme?" in the Winter issue of Rising Tide

Armed and gay?

"After 21-year-old Matthew Shepard was beaten, tied to a fence post and left to die in 1998, hate-crimes laws emerged as straight America's favorite gay-rights measure… .
"I won't quibble over the pros and cons of hate-crimes laws. In a way, I don't need to, because the numbers speak for themselves: the laws are at best insufficient, at worst ineffective… . Gay bashing is a kind of low-level terrorism designed to signal that, whatever the law may say, [homosexuals] are pathetic and grotesque. Beyond a certain point, therefore, law can't be the answer.
"So it is remarkable that the gay movement in America has never seriously considered a strategy that ought to be glaringly obvious. Thirty-one states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them… . And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible… .
"If it became widely known that homosexuals carry guns and know how to use them, not many bullets would need to be fired. In fact, not all that many gay people would need to carry guns, as long as gay-bashers couldn't tell which ones did. Suddenly, what is now an almost risk-free sport for testosterone-drenched teen-agers would become a great deal less attractive."
Jonathan Rauch, writing on "Pink Pistols," a Monday posting in the on-line magazine Salon at www.salon.com

Sound-bite evolution

"When two scientists proposed in a recent book that rape was best viewed as a sexual act with its roots in evolution, it set off a squall of protests from feminists and social scientists, won the researchers appearances on programs like 'Dateline NBC,' and became the talk of the cocktail party circuit.
"But the case put forward by Randy Thornhill and Craig Palmer in 'A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion' … was not, as some assumed, a fringe theory developed by a pair of renegade researchers.
"Rather, the arguments … fit into a larger theoretical framework, the work of a group of scientists who have ushered Darwin into new and provocative areas, including sexual attraction between men and women, parenting, jealousy and violence… .
"The general notion that much of what humans do today evolved in the Pleistocene has seeped into popular culture, and some findings have achieved the status of sound bites: 'Men are polygamous, women monogamous,' for example, or 'Women rank wealth and status higher in selecting a mate; men put a higher priority on reproductive potential.' Michael Douglas may have had such precepts in mind when he was asked in a recent interview about his engagement to an actress much younger than him, 'It's something that has existed as long as time,' he replied. 'As long as history, there have been older men with younger women.' "
Erica Goode, writing on "Human Nature: Born or Made?" in Tuesday's New York Times

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