- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 3, 2001

Role models?
"Actor Robert Downey Jr. has been arrested for drug use again… .
"Drugs havent kept Downey from showing up for work, from cooperating with his fellow workers, or from acting well enough to win numerous awards. And [Darryl] Strawberry managed to hit home runs even while plagued with drug problems… .
"Were told we must make examples of people like Downey and Strawberry because theyre 'role models… .
"Anyone concerned about role models ought to take a closer look at the people they hold up as heroes — and leave Robert Downey and [Darryl] Strawberry alone to work out their problems… .
"We dont make life easier for the children who get harassed by drug dealers at school, or who die in drive-by shootings when criminal gangs fight over drug territories.
"We dont provide better role models when we disgrace honest actors and ballplayers while honoring hypocritical politicians.
"And we dont turn addicts into better people by throwing them in prison.
"Or would George W. Bush and Bill Clinton be better people today if, for their 'youthful indiscretions, they had spent 10 years in prison?"
—Harry Browne, writing on "Drugs, Downey, Strawberry, junkies and hypocrites," Tuesday in World Net Daily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Americas lost women

"At the beginning of the century, young people were constrained to remain single by economic considerations and demographic circumstances. In contrast, many of todays singles … have the economic resources to marry, but they lack other essential elements that make for strong marriages… .
"Many of todays young people — during the period of life with the best odds of marriage and childbearing — are influenced by our materialistic culture to focus on career advancement and unencumbered lifestyle, thus ignoring their window of opportunity for establishing a family. Others, who desire marriage and children, are living in a culture that has been stripped of the social networks provided by extended family and community and left adrift and lonely, simply unable to find a suitable mate… .
"Are women doomed to a treadmill life of two jobs — career and homemaking — the 'second shift of drudgery that mimics the toll taken on pioneer women who grew old before their time? To the loneliness of demographic singleness and degradation of bar-hopping? To the betrayal of being usurped during middle age by a trophy wife? Women are living longer … but to what end? To spend many years in assisted living with occasional visits from family and younger friends?"
—Janice Shaw Crouse in the recent study, "Gaining Ground: A Profile of American Women in the Twentieth Century"

Burning budget

"President Bush could set a million dollars on fire in the White House parking lot, label the blazing bills 'education spending, and Sen. Paul Wellstone, Minnesota Democrat, would object because the pile was too small.
"The attitude of too many Democrats and Republicans in Congress was captured by Michael Lerner in the May/June 2001 issue of Tikkun: 'Government ought to be the vehicle through which we each manifest our caring for others.
"For these folks, government spending is a religious exercise. Spending your money demonstrates their goodness… .
"Senate Democrats are demanding a $250 billion increase in federal education spending… .
"Will spending ten times more money actually help children learn ten times more? No."
—Jim Boulet Jr., writing on "Funding Schools to Fail," Tuesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com


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