- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Liberating women
"All of the west's flabby intellectual elites have had problems with September 11, but it's the professional feminists who are really feeling the squeeze
"When the Afghan sisters began emerging from their hoods and it looked as if American bombing had liberated more women than every women's studies department put together, the feminists nimbly discovered a whole new set of grievances. Of all the various factions negotiating a broad-based government, only the original patriarch the old king has plans to include any broads. Washington, said Gloria Steinem, was colluding in 'gender apartheid.'
"Well, yes, it's regrettable that there appear to be no Pashtun Janet Renos on the horizon in Kabul, and that the Jalalabad Playhouse has yet to book 'The Vagina Monologues.' But on the other hand, Afghan females will now be able to go to school, get jobs, receive proper medical treatment, walk unaccompanied in public, show their faces and dress as they wish."
Mark Steyn, writing on "Feminists Reaching for a Clue," Sunday in the Chicago Sun-Times

Disney's dream
"At the base of the flagpole that marks the beginning of Disneyland's Main Street in Anaheim, California, rests an unobtrusive plaque. It reads: 'Disneyland is youth land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals and the dreams and the hard facts that have created America with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. July 17, 1955.'
"These are the words with which Walt Disney opened his remarkable experiment in entertainment almost half a century ago.
"Disneyland became such a part of American culture because it celebrated the notion of the American Dream. It wasn't as much an amusement park as a morality tale. Remarkably, when it opened there were no thrill rides at all
"Instead there were attractions in each of which the visitor experienced the story through narrative, architecture, music, and technology. The stories always taught something. And good always triumphed.
"The morality tale extended to American history. The past was something Americans could be proud of and the future was bound to be even better."
Michael Linton, writing on "The Decline and Fall of Disneyland," in the Dec. 10 issue of the Weekly Standard

Bias? What bias?
"The fact is everybody knows that Dan Rather is an egomaniacal liberal. Everybody knows that the major news networks lean to the left. Everybody knows that mainstream journalists would argue that Dan Rather reading a press release from the Children's Defense Fund is simply hard-hitting, fact-based journalism in the tradition of Edward R. Murrow.
"When the government is your biggest source of copy, you're going to inflate the importance of that source. You're also going to assume that whenever the government does 'something' (what liberals do) it equals progress, and that whenever it undoes something (what conservatives and libertarians do) it's a giant step backward. ('The new Republican majority in Congress took a big step today on its legislative agenda to demolish or damage government aid programs, many of them designed to help children and the poor,' declared the unbiased Dan Rather during the Gingrich years.)
"Dan Rather insists that he's not a liberal. He swears media bias is 'one of the great political myths.' He told the L.A. Times in 1992, 'I walk out every day trying to have a big "I" for independence stamped right in the middle of my forehead. I try to play no favorites, pull no punches.'
"Now, I don't know if he's sincere or if he's a liar or if that 'I' stands for idiot; all three are possible."
Jonah Goldberg, writing on "Goldberg Variations," Monday in National Review Online at www.national review.com

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