- The Washington Times - Friday, June 21, 2002

Stale brew
"Every democratic capitalist economy includes a large public sector the bounds of which far exceed the narrow police and military functions of the 'night watchman state' of laissez-faire theory. Everywhere, government functions include education, health care, social insurance for the old, the disabled and the indigent, and more.
"This has occasionally led leftists to boast, and rightists to lament, that 'we are all socialists now.' But the opposite is nearer the truth.
"Socialists used to believe that state ownership or planning would prove more efficient than private competition, making socialism not only more just but also more productive than capitalism. That turned out to be a pipe dream. Thus, it is within the context of predominantly capitalist economies that democratic societies will continue to debate about and experiment with relatively minor variations in taxes and social services. The parties of the mainstream Left may pour the cream that lightens the coffee of capitalism, but they are not offering any other beverage. And they have long ago ceased to dream of an elixir that would transport us to an earthly paradise."
Joshua Muravchik, from his new book, "Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism"

Befriending Eddie Haskell
"The Palestinian Solidarity March had almost all the elements of a classic modern American political demonstration. On April 20, in Washington, D.C., a constituency previously not heard from (or not listened to) turned out in impressive numbers. They had a grievance. The only thing missing was an intelligible demand.
"The marchers wanted the people of the United States to do what? Abandon one of our few allies and take up the cause of Arab regimes that hate us? And when an Arab regime, such as Saudi Arabia's, does profess friendship, it is the Eddie Haskell to our Wally Cleaver.
"We are in the postmodern era of American political demonstrations. The Palestinian Solidarity March was marching around with little hope of achieving an objective assuming there was one. Seeking a clear political response has been replaced by consulting a Magic 8-ball of activist demands: 'Reply Hazy, Demonstrate Again Later.'
"The New Black Panthers carried pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Their picket signs were professionally printed: THE STATE OF ISRAEL HAS NO RIGHT TO EXIST, THE AMERICAN/ISRAELI WHITE MAN IS THE DEVIL, JIHAD. They hollered, 'Death to Israel,' 'Holy war, holy war, holy war,' and 'Kill every Zionist in Palestine.'"
P.J. O'Rourke, writing on "Postmodern Protest in the Age of the Neo-Demo," in the July/August issue of the Atlantic Monthly magazine

Guilty parents
"I've been on the radio for more than 25 years, and I hear from a real cross-section of humanity. I have a pretty good sense of how America's pulse is beating. And what's clear to me is that there's a broad absence of a good value system. Young people shack up with each other and use abortion as a form of birth control, and they don't think that is bad behavior.
"Most people can't even tell you the meaning of the word courtship anymore. In the place of romance, there's 'hooking up' having sex before you even know the person's middle name. This doesn't have anything to do with being in love.
"There are several culprits. Among the most guilty are parents. Too many either didn't get married or they married and divorced. In many homes, young people saw boyfriends and girlfriends constantly coming in and out of their parents' lives. When there's this kind of chaos, it shouldn't come as a surprise that young people are rudderless when it comes to knowing how to make a relationship and especially a marriage really work."
Radio personality Laura Schlessinger, in an interview with John Meroney in the July/August issue of the American Enterprise

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