- The Washington Times - Monday, February 25, 2002

Candid truth
"Condom ads are nothing new for MTV, but on Valentine's Day the network ran one for free. Unlike the raunchy spots they often run, this one was draped in respectability, delivered by a high government official in a suit and tie: Secretary of State Colin Powell. …
"Asked by an Italian woman about the Catholic Church's opposition to condoms, Powell said, 'I not only support their use, I encourage their use.' Everyone who doesn't like it should get with the program, he said: 'It's important that the whole international community come together, speak candidly about it, forget about taboos, forget about conservative ideas with respect to what you shouldn't tell young people … protect yourself.'
"I guess we're all for being 'candid' and opposing 'taboos.' … But if he'd really been candid, Powell would've delivered a different message.
"He might've started by mentioning a well-publicized study from the federal government's National Institutes of Health, released last July. It found that, contrary to all the hype we've been hearing for years, there's only flimsy evidence that condoms prevent most sexually transmitted diseases diseases like chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, genital herpes and human papillomavirus."
Matt Kaufman, writing on "Sex in the Real World," Thursday in Boundless at www.boundless.org

American failure
"Just this month the Census Bureau reported that one in five Americans were either born in a foreign country or have a parent who was. And some of these immigrant families are soaring as never before: Urban school honor rolls swell with immigrant children; immigrant adults wield unprecedented power in universities, government, and business; immigrants own 40 percent of technology companies in Silicon Valley.
"That's the bright side of the story. The dark side is quite shocking: The longer immigrant children live in this country, the worse, on average, their health, their attitude, and their school performance. What's more, with each subsequent generation, immigrant children do worse and worse. On average, first-generation children function at significantly higher levels than do typical American-born children. But, by the third generation, that advantage is gone. … In other words, while once upon a time people came to the United States expecting to make better lives for their children, today the sad fact is that the more Americanized immigrant children become, the less successful they are."
Richard Weissbourd, writing on "The problem with becoming American," in the Feb. 25 issue of the New Republic

Type casting?
"[Baseball star] John Rocker has taken on his first acting role as a homicidal maniac.
"'The Greenskeeper's' Web site doesn't mention a release date or when the flick might make its way to the video stores.
"According to the site, the cast also includes Playboy model Christi Taylor. …
"Here's how it describes the plot, with Rocker … listed as the title character:
"'A 20-year-old assistant greenskeeper gathers friends for a birthday party at the country club after hours, the site says. A killer dressed as a golf course greenskeeper shows up to wreak havoc on the promiscuous teens. Having access to golf course tools, the greenskeeper both frightfully and creatively disposes of our partygoers. It's up to someone to not only figure out the identity of the killer, but to stop a country club massacre.'
"Rocker became nationally notorious after that infamous Sports Illustrated interview, in which he complained about minorities, gays and New York City."
From "Rocker Makes Movie Debut as Killer," Thursday in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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