- The Washington Times - Friday, February 22, 2002

The evil West
"Genocide, alas, is a common practice across the globe and across historical eras. But it has now come to haunt Western consciousness in an especially unsettling way, for the obvious reason that on European soil in the 20th century it was implemented with a systematic rigor and an ideological dedication that had not been seen before or elsewhere. …
"Over the past two decades, with evidently growing vehemence, the critique of Western civilization has become the great preoccupation of the humanities in American institutions of higher learning, especially in departments of literary studies. … It is Western civilization, we are repeatedly told, that has perpetrated the evils of colonialism on a global scale, and in the postcolonial era, it is Western capitalism that continues to exploit and to 'immiserate' the masses of the developing world.
"The legacy of enslavement and murder that is abundantly manifested in colonialism, it is sometimes claimed, was merely brought to its logical fulfillment in the concentration-camp universe created by the Nazis."
Robert Alter, writing on "Immodest Proposals," in the Feb. 11 issue of the New Republic

'Sorta ask, kinda tell'
"Stop the presses: she's a lesbian. But of course, this isn't the point. The question of Rosie O'Donnell's sexual orientation has not been open for quite some time, as any tabloid reader or vaguely conscious being could tell you.
"The point is that she seems no longer ashamed or afraid of it, and … she has finally summoned the personal courage of her political convictions. Good for her. But I must say I'm saddened that she had to wait for the end of her extremely successful talk-show to get to this point. Wouldn't her statement have had more clout if she had been able to take a real financial and career risk for the sake of her own personal integrity? That's the kind of statement that really impresses people.
"Then again, perhaps by establishing herself as someone in her own right before she came out, she will be able to change more minds and hearts. I certainly hope so. But I, for one, am relieved that the charade of 'sorta ask, kinda tell' has in this case finally been brought to a close. Having to choose between a career and personal honesty is an intolerable choice. … Welcome, Rosie, to the future."
Andrew Sullivan, writing on "Finally, Rosie," Wednesday at www.andrewsullivan.com

Lincoln's cause
"When he opposed the extension of slavery into Nebraska in his Oct. 16, 1854, speech in Peoria, Ill., Lincoln explained that the reason for his opposition was that 'We want [the new territories] for the homes of free white people. Slave states are the places for poor white people to move from. New free states are the places for poor people to go and better their condition.'
"Lincoln was echoing the official position of the Republican Party at the time, expressed by New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley (a prominent Republican) as: 'All the unoccupied territory shall be preserved for the benefit of the white Caucasian race a thing which cannot be except by the exclusion of slavery.'
"In the same speech, Lincoln gave a second reason for opposing the extension of … slavery: The Three-Fifths Clause of the Constitution, which allowed for every five slaves to be counted as three persons for purposes of determining congressional representation by state, artificially inflated the power of the Democratic Party. …
"The Republican Party platform of 1860 did not advocate disturbing Southern slavery, and Lincoln promised repeatedly in his First Inaugural Address that he had no intention of doing so."
Loyola University professor Thomas DiLorenzo, writing on "Let the ad hominem begin," Wednesday on World Net Daily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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