- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 2, 2002

Laura and lipstick
"One of the first personal details most Americans learned about Laura Bush was that she wore Cover Girl makeup. Surely, with all that old Bush money, she could afford to buy up the entire contents of the Neiman Marcus cosmetics department. But in a show of solidarity with less fiscally robust voters, she proved that she knew a good deal, by golly, when she saw one.
"But not everyone is as secure as Mrs. Bush. 'Most celebrities don't like to see cheap makeup in a pro's kit,' admits New York makeup artist Gucci Westman. 'People think the more money they spend, the more beautiful they'll be.' Indeed, before a recent public appearance, one famously high-maintenance actress balked at the sight of the classic pink-and-green tube of mascara in her makeup artist's hand. 'She asked if I had a more expensive mascara, so I used Shu Uemura,' says the pro, who requested anonymity. 'But I still think Great Lash is the best.'
"While it's true that a high price tag may reflect rare and costly ingredients, a low price tag doesn't imply the product was made by convicts with materials found in a Dumpster. While the First Lady will pay dearly for a camera-ready haircut and a hand-beaded inaugural gown, she still knows how to balance the budget."
Christine Shea in "Dollars and Sense" in the June issue of Allure

Oriental IPOs
"If you've seen enough IPOs vanish into thin air before the enterprise generates a dinner, here's something a bit more, well, concrete. China announced plans to offer investors a stake in the Three Gorges hydroelectric dam, its largest infrastructure project since the Great Wall. The long-delayed 600-foot-tall dam is meant to harness the power of the Yangtze River. Though environmentalists say the dam will ruin a delicate ecosystem and dissidents note that an estimated 1 million people will be displaced, China's administrators are forging ahead.
"The only problem: The cost has ballooned to $22 billion. So a $500 million IPO is set to be launched on the Shanghai exchange in 2003. Whatever its outcome, it shows just how much the Communist mandarins who run China have come to embrace Western-style capitalism. Let a thousand initial public offerings bloom."
Aravind Adiga in "Great Seep Forward" in the May issue of Money magazine

Multicultural Waterloo
"[Assassinated Dutch politician Pym] Fortuyn was not the first contemporary European politician to draw attention to the immigration question, but he was the first to frame it explicitly as a matter of the bankruptcy of multiculturalism which, he contended, was meeting its Waterloo in the crime-ridden Islamic ghettos of Dutch cities.
"It's apt that this problem emerged so pointedly in the Netherlands where liberalism has penetrated most deeply. It's an egalitarian social democracy, sexually emancipated, thoroughly irreligious, and largely devoid of national consciousness.
"The plunging birthrate of native-born Europeans, and thus their need to import foreign workers (mostly Muslims), raises some doubt as to whether democratic Europe can survive in its present form. Fortuyn understood this, and wanted to save the Netherlands but what exactly did he want to save it for? An open homosexual, Fortuyn championed Holland's anything-goes society as a morally desirable end. He did not grasp that the licentious individualism he praised was seriously weakening the bonds of the society he wanted to preserve."
Rod Dreher, writing on "On Tiptoe Through the Tulips," in the July 15 issue of National Review

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