- The Washington Times - Monday, August 4, 2003

Boomers and Bugs

“I got a real twinge when I heard that Volkswagen just produced its last VW Bug. Like a lot of baby boomers, my first car — at least the first I paid more than $10 for — was an original Beetle. The Bug was to baby boomers what the Ford Model T was to my father’s World War II generation. …

“I’m not talking about New Beetle, the version that Volkswagen came out with a few years ago. I mean the classic Bug, which hasn’t been sold in America since 1977 because it didn’t meet U.S. safety and emissions standards. … The model was phased out in most countries, but it lived on in Mexico, where about a half-million are still in use. The last classic Bug — No. 21,529,464 — was just produced at a VW plant in Puebla, Mexico. …

“My Bug was an early ‘60s model — 1962, I think or maybe a ‘61 — so it was more than a decade old when I bought it after graduating from college in 1973. …

“I finally sold my Bug in 1976 when I went off to graduate school in Minneapolis. … I got $50 for the Bug. I’ve been regretting that sale ever since.”

Thane Peterson, writing on “Farewell, Beloved Bug of My Heart,” Friday in Business Week Online at www.businessweek.com

Too little, too late

“The looming pandemonium concerning homosexual marriage cannot be blamed entirely on the homosexual lobby. …

“[T]his crisis never would have materialized had it not been for many heterosexual Christians, who simply did nothing when faced with society’s growing acceptance of perversity, sin and evil.

“For years … these folks shrugged off the homosexual agenda as incidental, or perhaps as a war too unpleasant to wage. Now, suddenly they are alarmed at where their hands-off attitude has led. After sleeping through the roaring radical homosexual revolution, they now demand a constitutional amendment to prevent ‘redefinition of marriage.’

“But they come to the fight too late with too little. …

“By not condemning unnatural sexual behavior as sinful, wrong and morally repugnant, we lose more than the moral high ground. We lose the fight. …

“This culture battle now necessarily boils down to mere utilitarian arguments: ‘Heterosexual homes are better for kids,’ or ‘It’s the way it’s always been.’ And so forth.

“Those arguments ultimately are losers. They require a court of opinion rather than absolute morality. And, as our Supreme Court indicated, public opinion doesn’t dictate outcome. After all, the rights of minorities must be protected.”

Mark Landsbaum, writing on “Christian Complacency Created Threat of ‘Gay Marriage,’” in the Wednesday issue of the Culture and Family Report

Two left thumbs

“The August issue of the Progressive is out, and, surprise, surprise: It features a TV star unloading on George W. Bush, craven Republicans and the evils of American capitalism in a way that makes Howard Dean seem downright restrained.

“‘I think a lot of working-class people don’t understand their money is being stolen. … [W]e’ve had a concerted policy of taking money away from the poor and giving it to the rich wholesale, and at the same time, we have the runaway corporations and the greed. I feel ordinary people really should be angry.’

“Martin Sheen? … Janeane Garofalo?

“Nope. It’s Roger Ebert, perhaps the best-known critic in the world, thanks to his durable weekly TV show and its thumbs-up, thumbs-down gimmick. …

“When it comes to American politics, you see, it’s the yobs vs. the smart guys. And if the smart guys smear or slander the yobs, well, so what? The yobs have it coming. Through his boorish, knee-jerk leftism, Ebert has become merely another Hollywood elitist thumbing his nose at America. Two thumbs down.”

Chris Reed, writing on “Roger Ebert: The Shrill Shill,” Friday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

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