- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 16, 2001

No commitment
"The Census reports a 72 percent increase in the number of cohabiting couples since 1990. Unfortunately, research shows that cohabitation is correlated with greater likelihood of unhappiness, and domestic violence in the relationship.
"No one can simulate self-giving. Half a commitment is no commitment. Cohabiting couples are likely to have one foot out the door, throughout the relationship. The members of a cohabiting couple practice holding back on one another. They rehearse not trusting. The social scientists that gather the data do not have an easy way to measure this kind of dynamic inside the relationship.
"In my view, this accounts for the disappointing results of cohabitation.
"The sexual revolution promised a humane and realistic approach to human sexuality. Ironically, the uncommitted-sex mentality has proven to underestimate both the value and the power of sexual activity. Lifelong, committed marriages are difficult, no doubt about it. But self-giving loving relationships still have the best chance of making us happy."
Jennifer Roback Morse, writing on "Why Not Take Her for a Test Drive?" Oct. 11 in Boundless at www.boundless.org

No good answer
"By now, the MTV debate, like MTV itself, is old hat. [T]he vulgarity of modern-day music is mainstream and probably here to stay. But what does it mean? And should the offenders be stopped?
"These questions, of course, have been tackled frequently before, but nobody has been able to come up with a good answer. The famous Washington wives Tipper Gore and Susan Baker got together in the 1980s to pressure the music industry into voluntarily including warning labels to parents on their artists' products, letting us know which works are the most openly vulgar and diseased.
"Of course, the average music product of today is much more loutish than it was even in the 1980s, and coarseness has penetrated more deeply into the cultural mainstream than ever. Somehow, Mrs. Gore who danced with members of the Grateful Dead at the Democratic Convention last summer appears to have become convinced that the tiny warning labels on the throwaway plastic sheaths outside CD cases are enough to shield America's children from the poisons of today's popular music.
"Other opponents of public obscenity are not so convinced. Authors such as the late Allan Bloom and 'virtues czar' William J. Bennett have continually bemoaned the state of rock music and rap, and hip-hop, and any other genre with which they are not hip enough to be conversant.
Kathryn Jean Lopez, writing on "Don't Want My MTV," in the Fall issue of American Outlook

Churchill's clarity
"There have been, in the days since Sept. 11, lots of comparisons with Pearl Harbor and numerous reminiscences of Winston Churchill's wartime leadership and speeches.
"Moments such as the present help remind us of some of the permanent features of political life and statesmanship, which otherwise tend to be obscured by all the sophisticated intellectualisms of our time.
"All great statesmen have a central idea or insight. Churchill's central idea or insight was that the distinction between liberty and tyranny, between civilization and barbarism, is real and substantial.
"This may seem simple or even simple-minded, yet it is worth recalling that when Churchill referred to Hitler in the 1930s as 'that bad man,' sophisticated people in Britain criticized him for making what we today would call a 'value judgment.' The reaction against Churchill's moral clarity about Hitler in the 1930s tracks closely with what self-loathing Americans on the Left are saying today about Sept. 11: that it is somehow our fault, that we just need to 'understand' the anger of Islamic fanatics, and, I suppose, resolve the problems with a 12-step program or some other therapeutic process."
Steven Hayward, author of "Churchill on Leadership," in a speech Oct. 2 to the Capitol Hill Club

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