Action should follow, together with anyrngun magazines. Make it an excuse for arnreal housecleaning! Virtually every religiousrnbookstore in North Americarnshould begin an immediate review of itsrnvolumes on the New World Order, Waco,rnand political matters generally. Andrnas for the Clinton Chronicles video . . . !rnNot that free thought will be imperiledrnby these proposals. Think what yournlike: just don’t say it, discuss it over thernphone, and by no means contribute tornthe culture of “hate radio.” Above all,rnkeep it off the computer networks, whichrnwill be carefully checked and purged, tornavert the flowering of unfettered discussionrnthat has been the bane of older media.rnWhy, taken together with attemptsrnto keep indecent or disturbing materialrnoff the hiternet, the whole anarchic individualistrnworld of electronic communicationrnmight be strangled at birth! If on-rnIv such “responsibility” had prevailedrnwhen the medium of print was new, howrnmanv dangerous and unsettling notionsrnmight have been prevented!rnMore than anvthing else, the “new civilit”rndemands a new and positive attituderntoward government, one freed fromrnthe psychotic hostility that has had suchrnparlous consequences in the past. Forrnexample, the present administration hasrnbeen much criticized, and there arcrnfrankh” some incidents which I personal-rnIv do not understand. Why, for example,rnis there so much evidence that VincentrnFoster was killed somewhere else and hisrnbody then dumped where it was eventuallyrnfound? Why does no half-informedrnperson believe that a crazed bank managerrnin Atlanta suddenly decided to givernthe Iraqis billions of dollars to build uprntheir arms program, without the slightestrnconnivance from a United States governmentrnagency? I do not know the answers,rnand a few weeks ago, I might havernbelieved that there were suspiciousrnangles to these stories. Now, I mustrnstruggle to believe that there is a goodrnexplanation, as it is my civic dutv in arnresponsible dcmoeracv neither to assessrnthe evidence nor to pursue the ideas to arnlogical conclusion.rnOver the last months, I have beenrnthinking back to a classic science fictionrnstor- written in 1953, more for the moodrnthan for an- specific analogv to currentrnevents. Jerome Bixby’s It’s a GOOD Lifernimagined a town cursed with a telepathicrnneighbor possessing supernatural powers.rnWhatever the provocation, eachrncharacter in the stor’ knows that he mustrnnever think an evil or unhappy thought,rnfor if the monstrous stranger knows thatrnyou are unhappy, his twisted benevolencernwill cause him to strike out instant-rnIv to end your misery. As a result, everyonernmust always maintain an apparentrncheerfulness, never letting the slightestrndiscontent cross his mind. The final passagernis memorable: “It did no good tornwonder about it. Nothing at all did anyrngood—except to live as they must live.rnMust always, always live, if Anthonyrnwould let them. These thoughts wererndangerous, she thought. . . . Next day itrnsnowed and killed off half the crops—rnbut it was a good day.” Thoughts shouldrnnot be dangerous; we should not bernafraid to express them as freely as possible;rnand we should not even have tornmake this ease in a democracy.rnCivility and responsibility used to bernsuch positive words. Now, I’m not sure.rnPostscript: Nothing in the above textrnshould in any way be construed to implyrnthat federally elected or appointed officialsrnshould be held accountable for actsrnof illegality or excessive force committedrnirr the course of their duties, or that suchrnactions should result in any form of investigation,rnprosecution, or impeachment.rnPhilip ]enkim heads the religious studiesrnprogram at Penn State University. He isrnthe author of Using Murder: The SocialrnConstruction of Serial Homicide.rnGiraffes, Jellybeans,rnand the USDArnby David T. WrightrnAll over official Washington, D.C.,rnthe big buzzword these days is “Diversity.”rnCultural Diversity is not onlyrnthe latest certified Wonderful Thing, itrnis Inevitable; and our arbiters of consciencernhave elevated it to the status of arnsacrament.rnAs a result, Washington office workersrnare constantly subjected to importantrnevents like American Indian HeritagernMonth, Hispanic Heritage Month, AsianrnPacific American Heritage Month, etc.,rnetc. Each has its posters, slogans, hallrndisplays, “festivals,” strange food in therncafeteria, and so on. We are bombardedrnwith blather about Gorgeous Mosaics,rnRainbow Societies, Toleration, Dignity,rnand, of course, that most sacred of allrnbuzzwords, Change. Corgeous Mosaicsrndo have their limits, though. Askingrnwhen we’ll see an Anglo-Saxon HeritagernMonth gets you nothing but a hard stare.rnDespite, or maybe because of, the Inevitabilityrnand manifest goodness of Diversity,rnthe Establishment tolerates norncriticism of it. The Department of Agriculturernrecently decreed that conformancernto “Equal Opportunity and CivilrnRights goals and objectives” is a criticalrnelement of every USDA bureaucrat’srnperformance. In plain English, thisrnmeans that you can get a permanentrnblack mark on your job performancernrecord just for criticizing the current policyrnof favoritism toward nonwhites, orrneven for telling an ethnic joke.rnThis was all well under way during thernBush administration, but things took arndecided turn for the worse when thernbarefoot boy from Hot Springs and hisrngrisly crew took over. Rumor has it thatrnwhen new Secretary of Agriculture MikernEspy, the former congressman from Mississippirnwho later got caught with hisrnhand in the cookie jar, first toured therndepartment’s Washington buildings, herncomplained of seeing “too many fat,rnmiddle-aged white guys.” True or not,rnthe nouveau regime wasted no time implementingrnan aggressive but undeclaredrnnew policy: no new Civil Service jobs orrnpromotions for able-bodied white males.rnWhite men whose promotions were notrnfinal saw them revoked and given tornmembers of accredited victim groups.rnThe ban does not extend to patronagernappointments, of course, so white CivilrnService employees must endure thernspectacle of overpaid middle-aged whiternguys lying through their teeth aboutrnwhite male job prospects and pontificatingrnabout the glories of Diversity andrnChange. Joining in this conspiracy arernupper-level Civil Service white guys,rnfrantically toadying in hopes that theirrnown high-paying jobs will not be wipedrnout as this administration ReinventsrnGovernment.rnIt was in this spirit that the departmentrnmounted the “USDA Work ForcernDiversity Conference: Managing WorkrnForce 2000, Challenges and Opportunities.”rnIt took up two full days at Washington,rnD.C.’s convention center, a greatrntomb of a building near the MartinrnAUGUST 1995/43rnrnrn