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Jewish World Review July 2, 1999 /18 Tamuz, 5759

Walter Williams

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America's theater of the absurd --
LAST MONTH, a Michigan court ordered producers of the "Jenny Jones Show" to pay $25 million to the family of a homosexual who was murdered after he revealed his secret crush on a heterosexual man. Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell wants to add a new liability for cigarette manufacturers by suing them for fires caused by careless smoking. Several big- city mayors have brought suits against gun manufacturers to recoup some of the costs stemming from the murder and mayhem in their cities.

In the wake of the Littleton, Colo., massacre, the victims' parents are bringing suits against gun manufacturers, the school board and the parents of the murderers. Following this tragedy, our political dim-wits are calling for more gun-control laws, despite the fact that the Littleton murderers violated 19 gun laws already on the books. Does anyone think one or two more gun laws would have prevented the tragedy?

The unfolding national moral decline, unappreciated by most Americans, is our inheritance from the nation's leftists. The most obvious signs of it are: family breakdown, illegitimacy, incivility, rampant crime, and lack of integrity in private and public life. A recent example of the decline in integrity standards is the broad public support of a president who has been judged in a court of law as a perjurer, an adulterer and a miscreant.

A core element of the nation's moral decline is the attack on individual responsibilities and the establishment of a culture of victimhood. Leftists started this in the 1960s. Criminals weren't responsible for their crimes, society was. People who dropped out of school and refused to work weren't responsible for their plight. Society was responsible, and owed them welfare and food stamps. The so-called homeless -- really bums, men who lived on the streets -- were also victims and not responsible for their plight.

Our young people are increasingly becoming violent and decadent, and people are calling for parents to be held responsible for their children's actions. Parents should be held responsible, but we forget that for close to four decades there has been a systematic undermining of parental authority by courts and schools.

Spanking a child might have a social worker at your door to charge you with child abuse and possibly take custody of the child away from you. A teen- age girl must have signed parental permission slip to go on a school trip or have her ear lobes pierced. But for an abortion, in many jurisdictions, she needs neither parental permission nor is notification of her parents required. Schools issue condoms without regard to the wishes of the parent. High- school students are given sex counseling with neither parental knowledge nor permission. Traditional values taught in the home are attacked and often held up to ridicule by teachers. As former Secretary of Education William Bennett remarked, something is drastically wrong when a school would discipline young people singing a prayer in school and ignores young people tattooed with swastikas and openly praising Hitler.

Everyone from the president to congressional leaders have called for research and conferences to find out why many of today's youth are violent and decadent. One thing for sure is that they'll probably invite the very people whose half-baked ideas are largely responsible for the corruption of today's youth: members of the education establishment, psychologists and sociologists, and people in the entertainment industry.

Other than setting a good moral example, the best thing the president and Congress can do for the youth of America is to butt out.


06/25/99: Corruption of language
06/18/99: Asian excellence, American mediocrity
06/11/99: Reining in the EPA
06/07/99: Minimum wage, maximum folly
05/27/99: An armed citizenry and liberty
05/19/99: Blaming the past
05/14/99: General principles
05/06/99: Confronting unpleasantries
04/29/99: Permissiveness costs
04/23/99: South Africa: after apartheid
04/19/99: A time for truth
04/12/99: Population and poverty
03/31/99: Moral hazards
03/24/99: Right to be left alone?
03/17/99: Why Congress can't be trusted
03/10/99: Racial profiling
03/03/99: Equality before the law
02/24/99: Population control nonsense
02/17/99: Congressional contempt
02/11/99:Blooming fur tyrants
02/05/99:More money, better education?
01/27/99:Absurdity, brazenness and hypocrisy reigns
01/20/99:Economics 101
01/13/99:A wrongful celebration
01/06/99: Economics of predation
12/30/98: Things I wonder about
12/23/98: Unseen crime costs
12/21/98: How to become rich
12/09/98: Advancing national decadence
12/02/98: The Civil War wasn't about slavery
11/24/98:What's happened to us?
11/20/98:Tragedy in black neighborhoods
11/11/98:Family debasement
I11/04/98: Is it them or us?
10/28/98: Where are the poor?
10/21/98: The budget surplus hoax
10/15/98: Where union power lies
10/08/98: Race and sex in the military
9/29/98: Can Clinton run the economy?
9/25/98: Liberals and the constitution
9/17/98: Clinton and future presidents
9/11/98: Donate or sell organs
9/03/98: Common Sense vs. Experts
8/26/98: Mother Nature's unfairness
8/24/98: The pretense of superiority
8/13/98: Yours or mine?
8/05/98: I do my job well, so that means I can....
7/29/98: Education production

©1999, Creators Syndicate