- The Washington Times - Monday, September 20, 2004

Our kind of punk

“Of course, everyone knows about all the Democrat rockers. Bruce Springsteen even wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times. … All the hipsters have signed up to do fund-raising concerts for John Kerry because, uh, well, he is not George W. Bush. …

“On Thursday it was announced that guitarist Johnny Ramone, one of the great independent-minded rockers, died in his sleep after battling prostate cancer for the last five years. …

“While the Ramones were being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, Johnny took his opportunity at the microphone to make his allegiances known. ‘God bless President Bush,’ he said, ‘and God bless America.’ Bedecked in his trademark torn jeans and black leather motorcycle jacket, he understatedly thumbed his nose at the lockstep orthodoxy of the rock establishment. Now, that is punk rock.

“‘I said that to counter those other speeches at the other awards,’ Ramone told the Washington Times. ‘Republicans let this happen over and over, and there is never anyone to stick up for them. They spend too much time defending themselves.’”

Steve Beard, writing on “Johnny Was a Punk Rocker,” Friday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Official journalism’

“Recently I was talking to a student about newspapers. He was diligently reading the New York Times and wanted to know if I read it daily. I confessed that I did not. ‘Why?’ he wondered. ‘Well,’ I replied, ‘no page in the New York Times is not an editorial page.’

“G.K. Chesterton’s view of newspapers was pretty much mine. …

“‘The plain truth is that, from official journalism, we cannot get the plain truth,’ Chesterton wrote.”

James V. Schall, writing on “Miraculous Daily Planet,” in this month’s issue of Touchstone

Fascism today

“Iran is a unique theocracy crafted from Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s interpretation of the Koran.

“Islamic fundamentalism is not just a conservative form of Islam, the way we in the United States have conservative (and moderate and liberal) forms of Christianity. Islamic fundamentalism is fascistic, totalitarian and expansionist in its dedication to export its revolution to the entire Muslim world and eventually to destroy the Western world and in particular ‘the Great Satan’ — the United States.

“Islamic fascism is hostile to modernity, democracy and freedom and rights for women. Misogyny — hatred of women — is at its core, just as hatred of the Jews was at the core of Nazism. …

“The ideology of Islamic fundamentalism contends that women and men are very different beings. Women are said to be intellectually inferior and emotionally unstable, and consequently have to be excluded from decision-making positions in society. Women are said to be the embodiment of sexual temptation and sin. That is why their bodies and hair must be covered at all times in public so as not to distract or tempt men. Rules and punishments in society are based on controlling women, through segregation, restrictions on travel and, most importantly, forcing them to conform to the restrictive dress code. …

“After the [Iranian] revolution in 1979, the prison guards were known to rape women and girls before they executed them. They rationalized these atrocities with their fascist ideology: virgins go to heaven; if they raped them before they died, they would go to hell instead.”

Donna Hughes, professor of women’s studies at the University of Rhode Island, from a symposium in FrontPage magazine at www.frontpagemag.com

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