- The Washington Times - Monday, December 2, 2002

Family affair
"What makes the gross-out talk in 'The Osbournes' bearable is its flip side: the family's very physical demonstrations of affection and peace. On the season premiere, it became clear again that Osbournes cherish long hugs. They kiss often. They dance. …
"The recent claims by [the Osbournes' teenage children] Kelly and Jack that some of the show has been scripted don't seem fatal; 'The Osbournes,' with its cartoon interludes and cutty style, is obviously a fiction of some kind. In fact, the show now seems like a series of graphic exchanges edited to lead inevitably to the macabre drama of Sharon's colon cancer. …
"The family will probably not shy away from candid discussions of the colon, the cancer and its treatments. And we'll soon see thanks to the grim stare of reality TV something of the Prince of Darkness' response to actual sickness. Maybe this will give some clue to who he really is; whether his old invocations … were just blather; and whether he feels some special access to death.
"For now, that access and the remains of the nihilist Ozzy of the Black Sabbath days is visible chiefly in the look he gives the camera when he poses: an utterly frozen expression, one that can look blank, self-satisfied, or murderous."
Virginia Heffernan, writing on "Osbourne Again," Wednesday in Slate at www.slate.com

Parents' choice
"We love children; we dote on them. Yet it seems to me that sometimes there is something unhealthy in the way we love them perfect, beautiful children, wanted children, chosen children, the ones who survived when their unwanted siblings went in the abortion clinic Dumpster. …
"As availability of abortion spreads, women could weed out the children they didn't want before birth. Soon, only wanted children would be born. …
"[A] simple yet seismic shift was contained in the very notion that children had to be 'wanted' before they earned the right to live. Parents' pleasure superceded their offsprings' right to breathe, and there was no reason to adjust priorities after a child's birth. In fact, numerous studies confirm that the most 'wanted' children are the most likely to be abused."
Frederica Mathewes-Green, writing on "The Oneida Experiment," in the November issue of Touchstone
'The great object'
"An Arizona newspaper has proposed an interesting way to curb illegal immigration during a time of war: the use of a citizen militia. Last month … Cochise County's Tombstone Tumbleweed published an editorial entitled 'Enough is Enough,' calling for armed, able-bodied citizens, operating on private property, to 'create a presence and a deterrent to illegal border crossers.'
"Predictably, the proposal was attacked by 'human-rights' activists as a manifestation of 'militant vigilantism.' According to Isabel Garcia of Tucson, 'to have the official newspaper of [Cochise County] call on people to take up arms is very dangerous, very frightening. Law enforcement and public officials should be concerned.' Imagine! Armed citizens, protecting their homes! Absolutely shocking!
"But really, if the federal government can't or won't do the job, why not rely on the posse comitatus and the militia? The Tumbleweed has the Constitution on its side. Indeed, the Founders framed the Second Amendment with such an armed citizenry in mind. …
"The Founders did not fear an armed citizenry. … 'The militia is our ultimate safety,' said Patrick Henry during the Virginia ratifying convention. 'We can have no security without it. The great object is that every man be armed.'"
Mackubin T. Owens, writing on "If the Government Won't Do It ," Nov. 25 in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com


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