- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 9, 2001

Hef's empire
"Hugh Hefner launched an empire on the theme of sexual insecurity… . Hefner believed Americans were hypocritical about sex. He despised the strict Calvinism that had made his parents cold and undemonstrative. Hefner envisioned a mens magazine that would print 'high-class pictures of nude women next to good writing. In other words, he wanted to create 'respectable pornography… .
"Before the first issues publication, Marilyn Monroe leaked to the press that she had once posed nude for a calendar and that Hefner had bought the rights 1for $500. He printed 70,000 copies of the first issue, hoping it would sell at least 30,000 at 50 cents an issue. Bolstered by the Monroe image, it sold 53,000 copies… .
"Playboys success reflected changing attitudes in America about sex and sexuality. The Playboy philosophy advocated sex outside the bonds of marriage, rejecting traditional religious codes and the Victorian ethic."
—John W. Whitehead, from his new book, "Grasping for the Wind"

Shifting defense

"In a time when ideological polemics are generally muted, few issues arouse as much intensity as affirmative action — particularly when it comes to educational opportunities, long seen as the key to a better life. Yet, despite the passions, the debate remains hobbled by taboos. Even conservatives often soft-pedal their opposition to racial preferences for fear of being tarred as racist: Its telling that when the topic came up in one of the presidential debates, George W. Bush gave an evasive answer proclaiming his support for 'affirmative access… .
"Originally, affirmative action was explained as a temporary measure to help blacks overcome the obstacles posed by racial oppression and social disadvantage. But that justification has become hard to sustain 37 years after passage of the Civil Rights Act, when the beneficiaries of racial preferences in higher education are often children of middle-class professionals. So defenders of affirmative action have taken a new tack: Now, the argument is that diversity on campus enriches the experience of higher learning for everyone, and is so essential an educational benefit that it justifies racial classifications. "
—Cathy Young, writing on "Secrets and Lies," Thursday in Salon at www.salon.com

Disloyal votes?

"The idea that voting Republican is disloyal for a black person seems especially paradoxical in light of the Bush administrations galaxy of black officials, headed by Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Rod Paige. Equally important too are the lower-level hires. OK, John Ashcroft may not give much appearance of feeling blacks pain — but his deputy attorney general is the black Larry Thompson and his assistant attorney gen1 in charge of the antitrust division is the black Charles A. James. Federal Communications Commission head Michael Powell is also African-American.
"Many black observers,of course, believe that the very participation of these people in a Republican administration strips them of their 'proper black credentials; they are 'carrying the white mans water, as it is often said. But this judgment only makes sense if 'blackness means seeing oneself as an eternal victim. And these people emphatically do not… .
"Perhaps black people who see their mission as making white America feel guilty have a certain theatrical glamour, but in the end, not one civil rights leader of this stripe has spearheaded any legislation that has made a significant difference in African-Americans fate. Lets go back to what black uplift meant in the days when Adam Clayton Powell rammed desegregation legislation through Congress … when Martin Luther King awakened the hearts of Americans to racisms evils and helped make the 1964 Civil Rights Act a reality. There is nothing that Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters or John Conyers have accomplished for black Americans that remotely compares."
—John McWhorter in "Why blacks should give Bush a chance" in the spring issue of City Journal

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