- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tech future

“I have it on good authority from an elementary school principal that children are still taught how to do math without a calculator. But sometimes I wonder.

“Though we may still be teaching math, I recently heard on the radio that some school districts are discontinuing the teaching of cursive writing because there is ‘no demand’ for it in ‘the real world.’ … Will people need to take their laptops and their Blackberries everywhere, or be forced to print their thoughts (if they write at all)? …

“We have allowed ourselves to become dependent on technology to the extent that it has reduced our confidence and, indeed, our ability, to perform basic tasks without it. Just as the Welfare State has nefariously bred dependency and atrophied pride, self-reliance, and the work ethic in many, the marvels of modern technology are a lure to mental and physical sloth. …

“Americans play video golf, video football, video car-jacking, and even video solitaire. No wonder more Americans are obese than ever before. But it’s more than just our bodies that are getting flabby. Every so often we should all put down the calculator and turn off the computer and do things with pen and paper and with our minds, if only to prove to ourselves that we still can do the things that our primordial ancestors who lived prior to 1985 did every day.”

— Brandon Crocker, writing on “Techno-Civilization and Its Discontents,” June 20 in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

MSM secrets

“It sometimes seems to me that it would be easier to invite Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a bar mitzvah than to defend the press to fellow conservatives. …

“As a career journalist and lifelong Republican, I’ve often found myself caught between an elephant and a newspaper rack. How does one justify happily being a press-pass-carrying member of all that conservatives have come to detest?

“Recently, a reader gently explained my problem to me: I’m suffering from the Stockholm syndrome. …

“I have never remotely denied that newsrooms lean liberal. I personally don’t care how a reporter or editor votes, as long as their work is objective and fair. …

“Cynical liberals and irreverent conservatives adapt best in newsrooms. The smug liberals and pious conservatives generally don’t fare as well. Unifying factors among journalists usually include ‘South Park’ or similar non-PC humor.”

— Bridget Johnson, writing on “MSM Hostage,” June 20 in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Psycho killers

“[F]or perhaps the first time since Stalin achieved nuclear armaments in 1947, the United States is confronting the ultimate weapon in the hands of a psychopath. Will the North Koreans use their newfound status to drop a bomb on Seattle or San Francisco? I wouldn’t bet against it. They have nothing to lose. Most Americans could go their whole lives without giving North Korea a second thought, but North Koreans (in their press, at least) are obsessed with the United States and imagine themselves in a one-on-one battle of Armageddon.

“North Korea wants to take on America for the same reason that Mark David Chapman decided to kill John Lennon and Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy. They were nobodies who wanted to attack a somebody. Just engaging us hugely inflates their ego.”

— William Tucker, writing on “Lessons of the Nuclear Age,” June 20 in the American Enterprise Online at www.taemag.org

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