- The Washington Times - Monday, January 8, 2007

Manly culture

“[A]s Dr. Meg Meeker writes in her recent book ‘Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters,’ pop culture isn’t exactly overflowing with messages encouraging men to be manly and to take pride in knowing they have something their families need. …

“In a culture of TV shows and movies in which a man with any sense of responsibility to his family is frequently portrayed as a doofus married to a perfect, albeit nagging wife … or a hero who can only be a hero to the world outside his family … [Sylvester Stallone’s] ‘Rocky’ movies present an all-around winner. He pushes himself and the ones he loves to be the best they can be.”

— Kathryn Jean Lopez, writing on “It Takes a Man,” Friday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Trust and diversity

“While in Sweden to receive a $50,000 academic prize as political science professor of the year, Harvard’s Robert D. Putnam, a former Carter administration official who made his reputation writing about the decline of social trust in America in his bestseller ‘Bowling Alone,’ confessed to Financial Times columnist John Lloyd that his latest research discovery — that ethnic diversity decreases trust and cooperation in communities — was so explosive that for the last half decade he hadn’t dared announce it. …

“Lloyd noted, ‘Professor Putnam found trust was lowest in Los Angeles, “the most diverse human habitation in human history.’ ” …

“[W]hat primarily drove down L.A.’s rating in Putnam’s 130-question survey were the high levels of distrust displayed by Hispanics. While no more than 12 percent of L.A.’s whites said they trusted other races ‘only a little or not at all,’ 37 percent of L.A.’s Latinos distrusted whites. And whites were the most reliable in Hispanic eyes. Forty percent of Latinos doubted Asians, 43 percent distrusted other Hispanics and 54 percent were anxious about blacks. …

“Because policy-makers almost certainly won’t do what it would take to alleviate the harms caused by diversity — indeed, they won’t even talk honestly about what would have to be done — it’s crazy to exacerbate the problem through more mass immigration.”

— Steve Sailer, writing on “Fragmented Future,” in the Jan. 15 issue of the American Conservative

The politics of fun

“Who’s funnier, on the whole, liberals or conservatives? …

“P.J. O’Rourke, the political satirist, neither hesitates nor hedges. ‘Conservatives generally tend to be funnier in their private lives … because of the hypocrisy factor. I am of course a big fan of hypocrisy because hypocrites at least know the difference between right and wrong — at any rate, know enough to lie about what they’re doing. Liberals are not nearly as hypocritical as conservatives because they don’t know the difference between right and wrong. But anyways the personal lives of conservatives tend to be funnier: They’ve always got the embarrassing gay daughter, and so on.’ ”

“In public policy, Mr. O’Rourke claims, ‘liberals are always much more hilarious. Liberals are always proposing perfectly insane ideas, laws that will make everybody happy, laws that will make everything right, make us live forever, and all be rich. Conservatives are never that stupid.’ ”

— Joseph Rago, writing on “Jokers to the Right,” Saturday in Opinion Journal at www.opinion journal.com

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