- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 27, 2005

‘Doing all right’

“Earlier this year Rod Stewart vowed his next album of standards would be his last. But as he was putting the finishing touches on ‘Thanks for the Memory … The Great American Songbook Volume IV,’ he decided to leave himself some wiggle room, saying, ‘I would hate not to be able to do another one.’

“Stewart’s three easygoing collections of songs written by the likes of the Gershwins, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hart, Hoagy Carmichael, and Frank Loesser have all gone multiplatinum. … ‘Volume III’ also won him a Grammy, after 14 hard-luck nominations. ‘I must admit my kids were more pleased than I was,’ he says. ‘I was under the impression I was doing all right without it.’”

— Jim Windolf, writing on “Do Ya Think I’m 60?” in the December issue of Vanity Fair

Repetitive choice

“[C]lose to half of the 1.3 million abortions performed in the United States each year are repeat abortions. … In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 18 percent of abortions were performed on women seeking at least their third pregnancy termination. In contrast, studies have show that rape and incest victims … account for about 1 percent of abortions. …

“Asked about repeat abortions, a spokesman for NARAL Pro-Choice America declined several requests for comment.

“[T]he reluctance of liberals and pro-choice advocates to shine a spotlight on the troubling repeat-abortion phenomenon has obscured a growing public health issue. … The sad fact is that … abortion is no longer mainly a tool women use to shape their own destinies, but rather a symptom of larger social problems that ought to be addressed by policy-makers.

“Realizing this may just mean accepting that there’s some credibility to conservative views on abortion.”

— Garance Franke-Ruta, writing on “Multiple Choice,” in the Dec. 5 issue of the New Republic

‘Opening shot’

“For whole sectors of the press, interpreting the recent events in France has been easy. It’s the 1960s all over again: the battle for civil rights; massive uprisings; racial discrimination; the disenfranchised poor protesting their lot.

“What are the solutions? Look for the ‘root causes.’ Practice tolerance, integration, government job programs, and affirmative action.

“Actually, what was most remarkable about the liberal newspapers’ response to the early rioting was their ability to ignore it. …

“The rioting that has been going on in France is not crime, it is not protest, it is not simply discontent. It’s the opening shot of a war between cultures. The French have turned their noses up at Israel and America for more than a decade, presuming their enlightened approach to international relations was keeping them out of trouble. Now they’re finding out what Islam’s ‘bloody borders’ are all about. …

“Far from being a recapitulation of American civil rights struggles, the events in France are a confrontation between a pre-modern culture and a post-modern welfare state.”

— William Tucker, writing on “Vive Le France?” Nov. 15 in the American Enterprise Online at www.taemag.org

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