- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 21, 2002

Good intentions

"Over a decade after the fall of Soviet Communism, it is apparent that numerous major Western public figures, opinion-makers, and intellectuals have preserved some of their core beliefs, if not in the defunct political systems themselves, at least in the supporting ideas; the collapse did not discredit these ideas in their eyes. …

"Daniel Singer's belief that 'the tragic abortive attempt [in the former Soviet Union] proves nothing about the impossibility … of building socialism' is quite typical. Cornel West gets around the problem simply by declaring that 'Marxist thought becomes even more relevant after the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe than it was before.' …

"Good intentions are what really matter. Defunct Communist states and movements survive in the minds of these individuals as tragic or misunderstood embodiments of good intentions."

Paul Hollander, writing on "Which god has failed," in the February issue of the New Criterion

Don't be coy

"When talking about deadly threats to the American people, clarity is a virtue.

"In his State of the Union speech, President Bush explained in plain terms the nature both of the threats we face and of the regimes that threaten us. …

"North Korea not only seeks weapons of mass destruction, but it is now the world's No. 1 merchant for ballistic missiles, open for business with anyone, no matter how destructive the buyer's intentions.

"Iran's direct support of regional and global terrorism and its aggressive efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction are a real and present threat. …

"Iraq continues to threaten its neighbors and its own people. …

"[A]ll of these regimes are repressive, all of them have at one time or another sponsored terrorism, and all of them are aggressively seeking weapons of mass destruction.

"There is no point in being coy about that. It is far better to expose problems than try to sweep them under the rug."

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, writing on "This is no time to be coy," Monday in USA Today

Dumbed down

"It's easy to see why today's collegians are contemporaneously more stupid and more liberal: buh-bye Shakespeare, hello … Drew Barrymore? … [C]ourses emphasizing facts, formulas, classics, and great writers … are banished to make room for dumbed-down ideological joke courses like 'The Life and Times of Drew Barrymore,' (Oberlin College), 'How to be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation,' (University of Michigan), 'Ebonics' (Wayne State University, Detroit), and 'Oprah' (an Illinois state university). …

"College mirrors reality. Popular with the college student demographic, pop culture's latest hero is Paul Goebel, last year's 'TV Land Ultimate TV Fan' and now star of Comedy Central's 'Beat the Geeks.' Nightly, he displays his well-paid talent: he's the 'TV Geek' who can identify the actresses who played 'Mrs. Kravitz' on 'Bewitched,' and the name of the first 'Cheers' spin-off. Our whacked-out marketplace now values his years of TV infatuation. …

"Likewise, when Drew Carey gave the commencement address at Cleveland State, he reminded graduates that he dropped out of Kent State after drinking, oversleeping and getting Ds and Fs. 'But look at me now. I'm a millionaire.'"

Debbie Schlussel, writing on "Professor 'Miami Vice'," Feb. 19 in Town Hall at www. townhall.com

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