- The Washington Times - Monday, August 6, 2001

'Genocide as Metaphor'
"The Holocaust has ceased to be seen as history. It has been turned into a morality tale for our time. The events that led to the slaughter of six million Jews, and so many others, have been abstracted from their historical context and from their causes in the power politics of the 20th century.
"Ours is a post-traditional society that finds it hard to be sure exactly where the line lies between good and evil In these peculiar circumstances, the Holocaust serves as a kind of shorthand version of a moral code.
"In the absence of agreed values and standards, remembering the Holocaust has become an artificial means of making a statement about what contemporary society stands for. Talking about the Holocaust has become a safe exercise in self-flattery for American and British society.
"The apparent aim is to turn our horror at the Holocaust into a kind of national emotional cement. The implicit message is that, while we might not be too sure of who we are anymore, we can at least agree that we are not Nazis. In an age when victims are the new heroes, we are witnessing the unseemly spectacle of groups and governments arguing over who has the right to be included on the roll of honour of Holocaust victims."
Mick Hume, writing on "Book Reviews — On the Moral High Ground," in the July 9 issue of the New Statesman

A horrific proposal
"In 1729, when the Irish were crushed by poverty, thanks to the brutal economic policies of their English overlords, Jonathan Swift — the conservative Irish clergyman who became the world's greatest satirist — wrote up 'A Modest Proposal.' In deadpan prose and in a kindly benevolent style, he suggested that Irish babies be sold for food. That way, he argued, there would be both more food to go around and fewer mouths to feed. Besides, baby skin would make a really soft leather, making possible a new industry that would create jobs and boost the Irish economy.
"Swift, the Christian pastor, was lampooning the moral utilitarianism of the Enlightenment, which taught that anything could be morally justified if it were 'useful,' giving the greatest tangible benefit to the greatest number. Swift showed where this kind of thinking, if pursued logically, would lead. Indeed, his 'A Modest Proposal' did wake up the conscience of a good number of his readers, who realized that no noble social end could possibly justify the consumption of babies, and no moral philosophy that could justify such a thing could possibly be valid.
"Now we are facing a similar modest proposal, but it is dead serious. Since the original cells of a fetus can develop into all the organs of a human body, why not use these so-called 'stem cells' to regenerate damaged tissue in adults? Doctors could grind up all that fetal tissue from abortions and unwanted test-tube embryos at fertility clinics into a really good medicine. [M]uch of the American public thinks this is a swell idea."
Gene Edward Veith in "A new modest proposal" in the July 28 issue of World

Republican Rush
"Rush Limbaugh is the most important and effective Republican leader today and also the most interesting. Far and away. No competition. A much more important positive force than Bush or Cheney or any elected official. He has done far more to help conservatives win arguments and elections than any other person or institution in the country. And he has done it in a way that completely contradicts the image elite liberals try to pin on him and conservative radio generally.
"He is a genuine intellectual in the best sense of the word. He is principled and he cares about ideas. And he is an optimist. He believes in the ultimate triumph of good. And he cares about his audience. His is actually an incredibly generous vocation.
"He believes he can change the country, change people's minds, just by talking to them, very patiently, every day. I love the way he treats sincere liberal callers. What he really wants to do is persuade them, regardless of whether doing so makes 'good radio' in conventional lowest common denominator media terms. That's very generous. But I think that generosity is also the key to his success. He's the most generous talk show host I know of, in the sense of being the most focused on the good of his audience."
George Gilder, in an interview published in the June issue of the American Spectator

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