- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 30, 2004

‘Privatized children’

“You’d think today’s socialists would be a little more cautious when it comes to preaching about the merits of centralized planning … given the way things have turned out over the past century. …

“The final tally, the grand total of those killed in the Marxist-Leninist war of class genocide against private property, individuality, profit and the market, is variously estimated at between 80 million and 110 million, with as many as 65 million in China, 25 million in the former Soviet Union, 1.7 million in Cambodia, and on and on. …

“One would suppose that the remaining true believers in the socialist camp might be a little shy or unsure in calling for yet another round of centralized planning and great leaps forward.

“Such, however, is not the case, as evidenced by the call for grandiose state intrusion in the most private of matters in the November-December 2004 issue of the Internationalist Socialist Review. The crisis described in America is that of an escalating ‘class attack’ by the bourgeoisie in which ‘more and more responsibility for children’s welfare has been placed on individual families.’

“In this God-awful ‘privatized nature of the family,’ female homemakers are said to be now raising the next generation of proletarian workers for nothing. …

“[T]he authors underline their point with a quote from Karl Marx, explaining that capitalism stays alive only through ‘privatized reproduction,’ i.e., privatized children. …

“In time, of course, those who refused the warm embrace of the state as a solution to all this were declared to be morally depraved, and killed, 100 million or so in all, give or take a few gulags or forced famines.”

Ralph R. Reiland, writing on “Pinkos Getting Nuttier,” Tuesday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Magical disbelief

“My mom and dad had died fairly recently, just a couple of years ago — it’s still traumatic for me — and I had all this stuff in my head. People who know about Penn & Teller know that I’m an atheist. Because of that, I find myself getting into these discussions at two o’clock in the morning in a diner, people asking the usual questions about atheists. … Then, at some point, they’ll ask, ‘How do you feel with the death of a loved one?’ … How does an atheist deal with really deep grief? …

“I get along so much better with fundamentalist Christians than I do with wishy-washy liberals, who want everyone to get along. I can walk up to a Christian and say, ‘I’m an atheist. I don’t believe this. State your point.’ They state their point. That’s what respect is.”

Penn Jillette, of the magic-comedy duo Penn & Teller, interviewed by Nick Gillespie, in the December issue of Reason

Smart movies

“We don’t make movies for kids. We make movies for adults, actually ourselves, and then just make sure there’s nothing in them that the little ones shouldn’t see. The local cineplex is littered with movies made by studios who want to second-guess what the audience wants. We find we get better results by making what we want, and then assuming that there are other people like us out there.

“If audiences in general are underestimated, kids really get the patronizing treatment. Two things are often forgotten about kids. One: They have no taste. They will watch just about anything. This is normal and healthy. Taste comes later. Two: They are not stupid. Kids are born intelligent, and there’s no good reason to make dumbed-down entertainment for them.”

Craig Good, layout artist with Pixar Studios (“Toy Story,” “The Incredibles”), interviewed Dec. 23 in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

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