- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 6, 2005

Dogg gone

“It seems that the greatest artist of my generation, the venerable rapper Snoop Dogg, has crossed the law once again. An Emmy Award-winning makeup artist has sued Mr. Dogg, alleging that … Mr. Dogg and his posse raped her. …

“Ah, the joys of cultural diversity. … All must pay homage to Snoop Dogg, the modern-day Shakespeare.

“The black community is far more awake to the problems of rap music than the white community. … Al Sharpton commented on the vulgarity of rap in a speech during his entertaining presidential campaign; rap, he said, was ‘desecrating our culture — it is desecrating our race.’

“Gangsta rap has become mainstream. … According to SoundScan, a sales-tracking company, 70 percent of rap-music consumers are white kids from the suburbs. …

“We’ve been told time and time again that all cultures are equal and that all have something to contribute to American life. That is a lie. The gangsta culture has nothing of value to contribute. Nothing. To say that it is racist to ban gangsta culture from the pantheon of worthwhile cultures is, in itself, racist: It assumes that violence and degradation of women is central to the black experience in America. It isn’t. And it shouldn’t be for the rest of us, either.”

Benjamin Shapiro, writing on “Time to fight gangsta rap, fo’ shizzle,” Thursday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

What it’s about

“Was Abraham Lincoln gay? And does it matter? These questions have been the subject of heated debate in the past few weeks, thanks to a new posthumous book by the late sex researcher C.A. Tripp, ‘The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln.’ …

“The gay Lincoln theory has been floated among the academic left before, but the current debate brings it closer to the mainstream. …

“Is Lincoln’s sexuality relevant? If his sexual and romantic feelings were directed toward men in a culture where such love was taboo, it would surely affect our understanding of Lincoln the private man, including his depression and his strained marriage. Clearly that’s not what the debate, and the passion, is all about.

“[G]ay playwright and activist Larry Kramer … has been quoted as saying, ‘It’s a revolutionary book because the most important president in the history of the United States was gay. … Now maybe they’ll leave us alone, all those people in the party he founded.’

“Subordinating history to identity politics is never a good idea.”

Cathy Young, writing on “Co-opting Lincoln’s Sexuality,” Jan. 30 in the Boston Globe

‘Ethical egoism’

“Perhaps the most controversial aspect of [Ayn] Rand’s philosophy — her rejection of altruism and her embrace of ethical egoism — is also one of the most misunderstood. …

“For Rand, the Aristotelean recognition of properly understood human interests as rationally harmonious was the essential foundation for a free society. …

“In an era when libertarianism and Aristoteleanism were unfashionable enough separately, Rand had the audacity to defend their systematic fusion, and identified Enlightenment liberalism’s roots in the Thomistic recovery of Aristotle at a time when this connection was less widely recognized than it is today.”

Roderick T. Long, writing on “Ayn Rand’s Contribution to the Cause of Freedom,” Wednesday at www.lewrockwell.org


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