- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 22, 2001

Joining Castro
"Two weeks ago, the New York Times estimated that from 40,000 to 50,000 Americans visited Cuba last year in defiance of U.S. travel and currency restrictions. The infatuation of some of our countrymen with Castro's Cuba added about $2 billion last year to the island's economy.
"The rationalizations that U.S. travelers are somehow helping ordinary Cubans lead a better life seems to me rather thin. Tips and gratuities do help individuals cope with the dire poverty that forty years of communism has imposed on the land, but the tourist industry is essentially a prop for totalitarianism.
"Expatriate touristas preening themselves on their hipness and cultural sophistication exemplify the moral shallowness of the soft Left. Vaguely anti-anti-Communist, these 'citizens of the world' are informed. They know that Castro imprisons and sometimes kills dissenters, homosexuals, and potential opponents, and that Cubans lack even basic human freedoms. But they join Castro in blaming Cuba's poverty on the U.S. embargo, and it all seems, well, you know, equivalent."
Peter Wood, writing on "Happy Birthday, Fidel," Monday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Faithless film
"In his most recent film, 'The Story of Us,' [director Rob] Reiner plays the best friend of a television writer (portrayed by Bruce Willis), whose 15-year marriage slowly unravels. Insert marriage counseling, tasteful decorations and an exclusive summer camp, and the viewer has the basic ingredients of a Reiner film.
"At no point does religion, or the careful ministrations from a priest or rabbi, assume a significant role. Why? Because secular liberalism rejects religion, treating it as nothing more than superstition.
"In reality, Reiner simply directs what he knows: a world — actually, the protective surroundings of Brentwood or Beverly Hills where the artificial is real. This is a world where people divorce regularly or habitually private education is a birthright; religion is dead; and yes, men cry. This is the world of secular liberalism.
"Reiner's depiction of American masculinity is weak and unfortunate. His worldview excludes men of silence and substance. His is a world of mid-life crises and prescription drugs. This world is Hollywood's version of reality without religion."
Lewis A. Fein, writing on "Meatheaded Mike," Friday in Jewish World Review at www.jewishworldreview.com

Say 'cheese'
"'Watch People Going in and out of Baby Butcher Shops in Your City or Town,' an anti-abortion rights Web site urges. With a click of the mouse, users can view pictures and video of people entering or leaving abortion clinics including patients who undergo abortions and doctors who perform them.
"Abortion rights activists say it's an invasion of privacy that encourages violence against those captured on camera.
"But the creator of Abortioncams.com — Neal Horsley, who founded The Christian Gallery News Service, an anti-abortion rights group based in Carrollton, Ga. — says he is only exercising his constitutional rights as a 'journalist.'
"'If they make it illegal for me to report the abortion story then the idea of a free press will have been completely overturned by judicial tyranny,' he insists. 'All I'm doing is reporting the news.'
"Horsley has enlisted anti-abortion rights demonstrators, including his 20-year-old daughter Kathy, to serve as Christian Gallery 'reporters' and shoot anyone walking in or out of abortion clinics with still or video cameras.
"'What they're doing is evil — These people are ripping babies limb from limb,' he says. 'Anybody who goes within 5 miles of an abortion clinic has to understand that they're entering into a story of momentous social concern.'"
Carter M. Yang, in "Shooting Gallery? Opponents Say Abortion Clinic Webcams Invade Privacy, Incite Violence," posted Thursday on www.ABCnews.com


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