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Reason Writers Around Town: Nick Gillespie in The Wall Street Journal on The Phony Fears of The Coming Decade

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Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Nick Gillespie provides a roadmap to a decade filled with phoney fears and preposterous panics. A snippet:

What will be the great hysterical fears of the coming decade? By definition, such worries need to be simultaneously undocumentable and just plausible enough to convince politicians, celebrities, civic do-gooders, captains of industry and media types that our very society hangs in the balance.

For a classic example, think back to the 1980s, when Tipper Gore, the wife of then-Sen. Al Gore, helped form the Parents Music Resource Center and addressed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation regarding the pressing topic of sexual, violent and occult imagery in pop music. As Mrs. Gore wrote in her best-selling (and now hard-to-find) 1987 book "Raising PG Kids in an X-Rated Society," "By using satanic symbols on the concert stage, and album covers, such as those used by Ozzy Osbourne…certain heavy metal bands lure teenagers into what one expert has called 'the cult of the eighties.' Many kids experiment with the deadly satanic game, and get hooked."

It is probably only thanks to the intervention of the Gores that we managed as a country to wrestle free both of Beelzebub's and Ronnie James Dio's bony grasp. Which, it's worth adding, might have been preferable to that of Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geithner.

For six (count 'em) fears, read the whole thing here. And then make your own list in the comments section.