- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 3, 2001

Revolutionary Reagan

"Former President Ronald Reagan will be gently reminded on this coming Feb. 6 that it is his 90th birthday. Affectionate greetings will pour in from all over the world, and many historians will note that his policies in the 1980s not only curbed a raging inflation, but also helped bring about the end of the Cold War.
"And yet that appreciation for his skill as 'the Great Communicator' will be tempered by the impression held by many that the amiable Reagan was essentially an actor, a skilled performer who relied on lines written by his aides. But thanks to the recent discovery of a trove of 670 of his radio speeches, written in the late 1970s as the former California governor prepared to run for president, we can see the development of an unconventional political thinker and controversialist.
"He wrote the conservative essays himself, in ink on yellow pads, often while on airplanes… . In the Reagan Revolution that was a-borning, these handwritten documents prove … that the original revolutionary was Ronald Reagan."
William Safire, writing on "Reagan Writes," in Sunday's New York Times Magazine

Mixed messages

"[G]ay organizations, all of whom stand dead set against any conflation of homosexuality and pedophilia, are nonetheless sending mixed messages about what is and is not off-limits to the underage.
"Most of them, for instance, now have 'youth sections' on their Web sites for and about legal minors. The justification for this heightened attention to the young is to ameliorate the angst of gay teen-agers. At the risk of stating the obvious, though, it is hard to see how this purpose is served by encouraging boys to act and think sexually at ever-younger ages, which is an all but unavoidable side effect of the type of 'outreach' these sites engage in.
"Consider, for example, the Web site of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), one of the most respected gay rights organizations in the country. It is just a click of the mouse from PFLAG's 'useful links' to a site where one can read the 'coming-out' stories of children aged 10, 11, and 12.
"Similarly, the 'youth' section of GLAAD's (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) publication list simply assumes that minors are sexually autonomous and active. One piece … notes approvingly that most children now 'realize' their orientation at age 12. Another piece, 'Lesbian and Gay Youth Find Safe Place in Cyberspace,' counsels: 'Don't believe much of the hype about how cyberspace is populated with pedophiles.' "
Mary Eberstadt, writing on "Pedophilia Chic Reconsidered," in the Jan. 1 issue of the Weekly Standard

Fab Four forever

"Forget about love: When it comes to the Beatles, all you need is product.
"Although the Fab Four's new hits album '1' boasts exactly zero minutes of new material, it has become a surprise blockbuster. Following its mid-November launch, it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and has moved a reported 12 million copies worldwide and 3.3 million in the U.S. in its first five weeks… .
" 'Everyone's buying it,' says Steve Watson, senior buyer for L.A.'s Sunset Boulevard Virgin Megastore, who notes that at his store '1' is 'blowing away' the latest discs from 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys… .
"The album's biggest asset … might have been some savvy timing. '1' hit stores at a moment of renewed Fab Four fervor with a Nov. 17 ABC special … the heavily hyped 'Beatles Anthology' firmly on the best-seller lists despite its $60 price tag … a fresh print of 1964's 'A Hard Day's Night' in theaters, and the Nov. 13 kickoff of the Beatles' first-ever official Web site ( www.beatles.com )."
Rob Brunner, writing on "Love Me Deux," in the Jan. 5 issue of Entertainment Weekly


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