- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 9, 2003

Sexual socialism
"Montgomery County, Md., is one of the most liberal places in the United States. Its taxes are among the highest. Its liberal Democratic political machine is state of the art. So it is the perfect chosen residence for a lesbian couple having their 15 minutes of fame.
"One of the women, Helen Rubin, 33, gave birth just after midnight on Jan. 1 in Fairfax, Va., to the first baby born in 2003 in the Washington metro area. Rubin had been artificially inseminated by 'a friend,' according to front-page articles in major dailies. The mother's partner, Joanna Bare, 35, could not legally adopt the baby girl in Virginia, so the couple moved to Bethesda, Md.
"Most socialist revolutionaries are also sexual revolutionaries, because the strength of families presents an obstacle to the growth of the state. Sexual relations outside marriage weaken the family, providing opportunity for social engineers and more government. As Montgomery County moves closer to outright socialism, it will be a magnet for those who reject the designs of nature and nature's God."
Robert Knight, writing on "Fatherless by design in Maryland," Tuesday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com
Coffee economics
"For much of the 20th century, coffee was America's drink. A 1939 survey found that 98 percent of the country's households drank coffee. After the Second World War, consumption rose steadily until the early '60s, when the average American was downing almost 50 gallons a year. Then coffee went cold. Younger consumers came to regard it, like Scotch, as a palliative for parents and squares. The arid blends peddled by Maxwell House and Folgers lost ground to Coke and Pepsi. Coffee consumption plummeted.
"Along came Starbucks. Starbucks proved that you could sell 'gourmet' coffee to the masses, and in the process turned itself into a seemingly recession-proof enterprise. A few weeks ago, the company announced that, despite the weak economy, its profits were up 19 percent for the year. The real measure of Starbucks' success, however, is that it has helped turn America into a nation of java junkies again. During the '90s, the number of coffee drinkers rose by almost 40 million. More than 7,000 new coffeehouses have opened since 1996."
James Surowiecki, writing on "The Tastemakers," in the Jan. 13 issue of the New Yorker
Musical murder
"It's not often that you get to see a splashy star-studded musical that barely raises an eyebrow over the crime of murder. In 'Chicago' Roxie Hart (Rene Zellweger), a Kewpie-doll '20s nobody with the powdery face of a cherubic dumpling, rejects her dullsville marriage and takes on a lover, only to discover that he's a lout; she reacts to the news by shooting him dead at point-blank range. Roxie is guilty as sin, but she's so cuddly that we like her a lot anyway. In Cook County jail, she meets her comrades on Murderess Row, an entire prison wing of angry ladies who did in the men who done them wrong. The women sing and shimmy with Fosse-esque ferocity as they explain why they deep-sixed their husbands and lovers.
"Set during the late bloom of the Jazz Age, 'Chicago,' in its caustic high-spirited way, presents us with a vision of women on the cusp of feminism who will do anything to break free of the conventionality imposed by men.
"'Chicago' was ahead of its time [as a Broadway musical] in the '70s, but its satirical vision of celebrity as the arbiter of all things no longer has a naughty novelty. The musical's true thrill is its roxy heart: all of these jailed women, like feminist alchemists, converting their desperation into pure, sexy, exuberant victory."
Owen Gleiberman, writing on "Roxie Music," in the Jan. 10 issue of Entertainment Weekly

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