- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 25, 2007

Meow

“What could have been a good joke at the expense of p.c. Hollywood misfired badly first because that old chestnut of a schoolyard insult makes no sense whatever when applied to [former Sen. John] Edwards, whose only peccadillo is a dandy’s overinvolvement with his hair (see John Travolta’s romancing his hair on the way out to the disco in ‘Saturday Night Fever’). …

“[Ann] Coulter is a smart woman with formidable energy, and whether liberals like it or not, she is a high-profile feminist role model in her appetite for aggressive debate. But Coulter seems to be regressing rather than growing intellectually and sharpening her analytic skills. She evidently leaves no room in her life for study and reflection. I take books seriously … and thus hold against Coulter the part she has played in the debasement of that medium.

“Her books may rake in millions but won’t last because they are shoddily constructed. … ‘Godless,’ for example, which intriguingly postulates the quasi-religiosity of contemporary liberalism, should have stimulated wide discussion but was so thrown together and full of holes that it was easy to dismiss and went unread outside her core audience.”

— Camille Paglia, writing on “Hillary vs. Obama: It’s a drawl!” on March 14 at Salon

Kissing cousins

“A preference for marriage with cousins characterizes large sections of the Muslim world. … Muslim preference for cousin marriage (along with several associated social practices) helps explain why it has become difficult to reconcile Islamic social life with modernity, why Muslim immigrants in Europe have been slow to assimilate, and ultimately, why we are engaged in a war with Islamic terrorists.

“Cousin marriage … helps to create and organize a deep-lying bias in the Muslim world toward in-group solidarity — a social strategy that has the effect of walling off Muslim society from outside influences, heightening internal cohesion, and insuring cultural continuity. By no means do all Muslims marry their cousins. Yet, throughout much of the Muslim world, the cultural ideal and practice of cousin marriage helps to set and reinforce in-group solidarity as a leading social theme. …

“In short, when Muslims marry cousins … they generally do so with the idea of creating and cementing the solidarity of tightly bound in-groups.”

— Stanley Kurtz, writing on “Assimilation Studies,” Wednesday in National Review Online at www. nationalreview.com

Oprah’s ‘Secret’

“Have you heard about ‘The Secret’?

“It’s the No. 1 best-selling book in the world.

“It’s also a movie.

“And it is being promoted by Oprah Winfrey. …

“Her new ‘secret’ isn’t very new at all. In fact, it’s the oldest lie in the history of the world. It is that you and you alone are master of your own universe — a kind of ‘god,’ if you will. Whatever you want in life will be yours if only you visualize it and claim it earnestly in your heart.

“Oprah is peddling this lie to millions on her TV show.

“I was once ambivalent about Oprah Winfrey — not really quite sure to what to make of her. Today, I can honestly say that she is leading people into spiritual darkness.”

Joseph Farah, writing on “Oprah’s got a secret,” Wednesday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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