Friday, February 23, 2007


A teacher of an entry-level college English class at Palomar College assigns a book, The Vagina Monologues, that glorifies the rape of a 13-year-old girl by an adult woman. One would think that this fact, when publicized, would generate a swell of indignation—especially in conservative North San Diego County. Not so.

Rather, such response as there was focused largely on the bogus issue of academic freedom—as if academia weren’t, next to Hollywood, the most censorious institution in America, inundating students with politically correct dogma and marginalizing ideas that don’t conform to secular orthodoxy.

The duplicity of secular “freedom,” which vilifies all dissent as racist, sexist, religious, or homophobic, is among the topics discussed in Dinesh D’Souza’s new book, The Enemy at Home. (A prior work, Illiberal Education, focused exclusively on leftist hypocrisy on campus.) But the heart of D’Souza’s recent work involves the explosive effect of American decadence on Muslims abroad.

One of the first examples offered by the Hoover Institution scholar concerns the worldwide publication of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues, a play that is “routinely performed in more than twenty countries.” Some of the “vagina occurrences” from the book version of the play that D’Souza offers his readers include Glenn Close getting “2,500 people to stand up and chant the word ‘cunt,’” Roseanne performing “‘What Does Your Vagina Smell Like?’ in her underwear for two thousand people,” and “Alanis Morissette and Audra McDonald sing(ing) the cunt piece.”

D’Souza grants that a book like this may embarrass many Americans, but adds, “one can only imagine how it is received in traditional cultures where the public recitation of such themes and language is considered a grotesque violation of manners and morals.” The author also notes that Pakistan and Egypt are among the countries in which the book version of the play is now sold in translation.

With PR of this stripe, it’s easy to understand why bin Laden can plausibly label America “the worst civilization in the history of mankind” and pin the name of Satan, the great Tempter, on a country whose decadence is spreading to cultures that American leftists despise only slightly less than they despise the “Christian fascists” in their own country.

D’Souza provides numerous examples of the emphasis placed by Islamic radicals on American licentiousness—a theme consistently ignored by liberals who insist that Muslim rage must coincide with their own political and economic critiques of U.S. policy. D’Souza further argues that successful prosecution of the war against radical Islam requires an alliance between social conservatives in the United States and traditional Muslims throughout the world—an alliance that assures Muslims that Americans are also appalled at the profound decadence routinely displayed in their popular and elite culture.

Unfortunately, judging from the response to my prior column, there seem to be few Americans willing to risk criticism for the sake of decency—certainly not enough to stem the tide of depravity that promises to engulf this country, with or without the aid of foreign radicals.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Imagine a college English course in which a male instructor assigns a book that focuses crass attention on the male reproductive organ—names men have for it, how it might dress, what it would say if it could talk? Imagine that this shallow piece of faux-literature was filled with ridiculous paeans to the godlike quality of the penis. And imagine this vile work having a chapter that romanticizes the molestation of a thirteen-year-old-boy by an adult male.

Can you see college administrators saying, in response to complaints, that it trusts the judgment of its instructors? Can you envision adults taking all this in stride and even noting that such a text is sure to spur interesting discussions? Can you picture in your mind someone comparing this tasteless tripe to a literary classic?

One can hardly imagine such an insensitive, politically incorrect course ever seeing the light of day. And if it did, outrage, firings, and lawsuits would follow posthaste.

Now imagine English 100 at a community college. Imagine a short reading list that includes Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues and a lurid essay by bell hooks called Penis Passion. Imagine a monologue called “The Little Coochi Snorcher That Could,” that highlights a female’s fond recollection of being seduced at age thirteen by a “gorgeous twenty-four-year-old woman.”

Actually, one needn’t visualize such a course, since it was offered at Palomar College by an adjunct professor. Indeed, the course was thought sufficiently controversial to deserve a warning label—so it’s unlikely administrators were unaware of its content. Yet even after a public complaint, President Bob Deegan was satisfied to say, “There are no guidelines in course content because we trust professors to choose the right materials.”

To date, commentary on this incident has been decidedly ho-hum, and largely of the academic freedom variety. Any honest adult knows, however, that if the sex of the instructor, the offensive materials, and the complainant were reversed, there would be hell to pay. No one would be suggesting that academic freedom covers benign depictions of child molestation and gross, male-centered vulgarity. So why isn’t what’s sauce for the gander, sauce for the goose?

The truth is that higher education is on the cutting edge of societal decadence and that “academic freedom” is now an Orwellian concept used to sanction whatever immoral, intolerant, and conspiratorial lies are being proffered by tenured leftists. (Ward Churchill springs to mind.) Likewise, “diversity” is the term most employed to stifle dissent. Note the Arizona State University resident assistant who was put on probation after objecting to the school’s mandatory sensitivity training—a popular program that reeducates employees to the way white, heterosexual males and religious folk victimize every other grievance group in society.

Morality simply isn’t a component in the thought of elites who view The Vagina Monologues as feminist scripture. For them, politics trumps morality every time. That’s the sole reason this line was omitted from later editions of the play: “…if it was rape, it was a good rape.”

Friday, February 02, 2007

WANTED: ANOTHER REAGAN (Patriot Post 2/2/07)

Last month the Czech capital of Prague announced its decision to erect a monument to honor Ronald Reagan. And why not? Similar monuments to the man already exist in Budapest and Warsaw, and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. http://PatriotPost.US/services.asp

It is entirely proper that our nation's 40th President bememorialized in cities once shrouded by the Iron Curtain. According to one Czech paper, after his 1983 "Evil Empire" speech, "President Reagan was probably the most hated and ridiculed of all the Western leaders by the former communist regime. The communist media relentlessly condemned what they called 'Reagan's war-mongering' and the arms race." Then again, these were state-run media whose leading insights on America came courtesy of CNN.

Following Reagan's death in 2004, Czech Senator Jan Ruml, a pro-democracy dissident imprisoned under the communist regime, recalled the significance of the U.S. President's staunch support for himself and his compatriots."

In the 1980s we placed our hopes in Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher," said Ruml. "The fact that someone out there called communism by its proper name and actually did something to promote freedom and democracy helped us a great deal. Ronald Reagan was the man instrumental in bringing down communism and we should all remember him with great respect as the man thanks to whom weare enjoying our present freedom." This is high praise, indeed, coming as it does from a man with a first-person perspective oncommunist tyranny.

Announcing the overwhelming public desire to honor Reagan, Prague's 6th-District mayor, Tomas Chalupa, agreed. Reagan's central place in Czech history is assured, he said, as "the most important personality that enabled the fall of communism."

Born in Tampico, Illinois, to Jack and Nelle Reagan on 6 February 1911, the Gipper would have turned 96 this Tuesday. It's a fitting occasion, then, on which to ponder an important question: To what extent have we honored the conservative ideals of the Reagan Revolution?

When the Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan introduced conservative candidate Barry Goldwater at the 1964 Republican National Convention (and in so doing launched his own political career), he too understood the need to ask how freedom-loving Americans had honored their heritage:

"It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, 'We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind forself government.' This idea---that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power---is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves."

Today, Reagan's "A Time for Choosing" (http://Reagan2020.US/speeches/A_Time_for_Choosing.asp) is considered one of the defining statements of 20th-century conservatism, and the choice he outlined is no less vital in 2007.

In another seminal speech, "The New Republican Party," (http://Reagan2020.US/speeches/The_New_Republican_Party.asp on his birthday in 1977---two gubernatorial terms and one presidential bid later---Reagan had not altered his theme:

"When a conservative quotes [Thomas] Jefferson that government that is closest to the people is best, it is because he knows that Jefferson risked his life, his fortune and his sacred honor to make certain that what he and his fellow patriots learned from experience was not crushed by an ideology of empire... Conservatism is the antithesis of the kind of ideological fanaticism that has brought so much horror and destruction to the world. The common sense and common decency of ordinary men and women, working out their own lives in their own way---this is the heart of American conservatism today. Conservative wisdom and principles are derived from willingness to learn, not just from what is going on now,but from what has happened before."

As President, Ronald Reagan did not waver from the precepts of conservatism he'd laid out in those earlier years. He enacted Executive Order12612 (http://Reagan2020.US/federalism.asp) on federalism "to restore the division of governmental responsibilities between the national government and the States that was intended by the Framers of the Constitution and to ensure that the principles of federalism established by the Framers..."

"Constitutional authority for Federal action," the Order read, "is clear and certain only when authority for the action may be found in a specific provision of the Constitution, there is no provision in the Constitution prohibiting Federal action, and the action does not encroach upon authority reserved to the States." Freedom, Reagan understood, was dependent on the limitation and division of governing powers.

Later that same year, on 12 June 1987, despite the objections ofthe State Department and the National Security Council, President Reagan uttered these forceful and historic words before listeners at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin:

"General-Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open thisgate... Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

In this sense, our friends in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland honor this man for the same reasons that we in the United States honor him today: Ronald Reagan didn't simply stand for the dissolution of communism; he stood for the building up of a new edifice of individual liberty and limited government where that awful, all-powerful state once stood.

As the ostensible heirs of the Reagan Revolution, today'sRepublicans are committed to subsidizing prescription drugs, leaving no child behind, enlarging the federal footprint in the private sector and inventing government solutions to non-government problems. So we must ask the question once again: To what extent have they honored the Reagan Revolution? To what extent have they honored "the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers"?

Like Ronald Reagan's foes on both sides of the Berlin Wall, these Republican leaders seem all too willing, all too often, to expandthe state at the expense of liberty. With candidates aplenty andthe 2008 election just around the corner, let's hope and pray that a true conservative---a Reagan conservative---will soon emerge.