- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 14, 2006

Feminist menace

“No ideology in human history has been potentially so invasive of the private sphere of life as Feminism. Communists had little respect for privacy. Feminists have made it their main target.

“Like other radical movements, only more so, Feminism’s danger comes not so much from the assault on freedom (which traditional tyrannies also threaten) but specifically from the attack on private life, especially family life (which traditional dictatorships usually leave alone). …

“The Left’s brilliant move has been to clothe its attack on the family as a defense of ‘women and children.’ Marian Wright Edelman openly acknowledges she founded the Children’s Defense Fund to push a Leftist agenda: ‘I got the idea that children might be a very effective way to broaden the base for change.’ This climaxed in the Clinton Administration, in which radical policy innovations were invariably justified as ‘for the children.’ Using children to leverage an expansion of state power by eliminating family privacy is succinctly conveyed in Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s aphorism, ‘There is no such thing as other people’s children.’”

— Stephen Baskerville, “Why Sex is Better than Gender,” Thursday for the Free Congress Foundation at www.freecongress.org

Economy car

“So gas prices zoom up to, and sometimes past, $3.00 a gallon, and here I am driving a 1992 Cadillac Sedan de Ville. I do mostly short-leg poke-around suburban driving, and the car gets about 15 mpg. …

“The most expensive part of driving is buying the car, I reasoned when I bought the Caddie. Get a good car for a low price with fairly low mileage, and all other costs would be accommodated in that low initial outlay. …

“According to Automotive.com, a new Prius costs $21,725. …

“The Caddie … cost me $4,300 with 80,000 miles on it.”

— Lawrence Henry, writing on “The Real Cost of Driving,” Friday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Rabbi’s son

“[Harry] Houdini was a founding member of the Rabbis’ Sons Theatrical Benevolent Association — singers, composers, comedians, movie moguls, from rabbinical families going back many generations. …

“For some rabbis’ or cantors’ sons —the Gershwins, the Berlins, the Jolsons, the Zukors and Selznicks, the brothers Warner and Shubert — [being immigrants’ children in America] released an explosion of energy. Houdini came before most of them … and he exhibited the energy in a literal, physical form. He could do what magicians do: pluck coins from thin air and rabbits from hats, swallow packets of sewing needles and spin them out neatly threaded. At a clap of his hands elephants disappeared; he walked through brick walls. A magic trick is a magic trick; an escape is a success story. Houdini made the escape uniquely his own. …

“He was four when he came to America — his first escape. His father, a Reform rabbi, led a small new congregation in, of all places, Appleton, Wisconsin. …

“At eight, Houdini was peddling papers and shining shoes; at twelve, he hopped a freight car and lit out for Texas, hoping to send money home. He dropped his mother a postcard to let her know. For the rabbi’s son, not yet of bar-mitzvah age, this rite of passage was a private enterprise.”

— Bette Howland, writing on “The Escape Artist,” in the May issue of Commentary

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