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Jewish World Review June 25, 2002 / 15 Tamuz, 5762

Tony Snow

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Musings | We live in an unstable world that constantly tests our assumptions about the human capacity for good and evil. We're not used to worrying about such oddities as armed scuba divers and American recruits to al Qaeda.

But these days, to quote William Butler Yeats, the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity. Fortunately, there's a simple way to put life on firm footing.

Don't give in on principles. Embrace them. Live them. Pass them on.

A haunting video making rounds shows an Arab television host encouraging a three-year-old to belch out hate-filled slurs against Jews. That's what we're fighting: cultures that poison their children, and send them off to die; a sociopathic ideology that equates homicide with holiness. Father's Day was earlier this month, a perfect time to make parents think about these things -- to attend to the nurture of children, and the importance of filling their hearts with a desire for goodness, justice and liberty.

The best defense against an odd and violent world is to teach our children well.

The Senate bailed out on the cloning issue. Two proposals were on the table. One would permit so-called therapeutic cloning -- creating an embryo in a petri dish, and harvesting cells for transplantation in human beings.

Sen. Orrin Hatch argues that the embryos aren't yet viable human beings, but are medically vital -- and thus, acceptable cellular sacrifices for medical science. Pro-lifers disagree, saying life is life, and that arguments used to justify therapeutic cloning also justify creating clones for the purpose of harvesting body parts.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle suggested a series of votes: First on the bill to ban all cloning; a second to ban all but the so-called therapeutic cloning. Pro-life Republicans saw the staging as a way of killing the cloning-ban, and letting senators pick the second bill, which they would then claim as an anti-cloning measure. A mess: Only pro-abortion and anti-abortion activists have fixed news on the matter.

The rest just want it to go away -- which is exactly what happened.

The American Broadcasting Company has made news again on the American patriotism front. Country music singer Toby Keith says the network rescinded an offer to kick off it's July 4th special and perform his hit song, "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)". He says Anchor Peter Jennings heard the song and wigged out, demanding its removal from the gala. That led to a furious public-relations campaign by ABC executives and mouthpieces. ABC spokeswoman Cathie Levine acknowledged that the network had spoken to Keith, but denied he had received any offers of any sort.

"There were a lot of factors in play," she told reporters. One such factor apparently was a line in the song: "You'll be sorry that you messed with the U-S- of -A, 'cause we'll put a boot in you're a--, that's the American way." Said Levine, "It's a song about anger. We want this show to be about strength and character, a celebration of America."

Yeah but... Sometimes, the only way to show character, is to demonstrate you're willing to fight for what's right.

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