- The Washington Times - Monday, April 24, 2000

Lady in red

A federal agency starting next month will teach bureaucrats how to speak without words.

A memo obtained by Inside the Beltway to headquarters staff of the Environmental Protection Agency says participants will learn what powerful impact nonverbal messages kinesics (body language), objectics (clothes, color), haptics (touch) and oculesics (eye contact) have on daily interactions.

"In addition, they will also learn to use work-specific nonverbal messages in a non-threatening, fun way to project images of both credibility and likability to enhance their interpersonal communication," the memo states.

Agenda topics include the socio-psychological significance of nonverbal communication and the impact of these messages:

• Kinesics (body language).

• Proxemics (spatial relations).

• Haptics (touching behavior).

• Oculesics (eye contact styles).

• Vocalics (vocal cues).

• Chronemics (use of time-agendas, meeting time).

• Objectics (objects, clothes, color).

The EPA's Office of Civil Rights is sponsoring the May 25 training, provided in morning and afternoon sessions on a first-come, first-served basis.

Nonverbal skills have already been taught in the private sector, including here in Washington. Women members of the White House press corps swear that presidents, including the current commander in chief, call on them more during news conferences if they wear red dresses.

GOP bonfire

Republicans will hold their national convention in Philadelphia this summer, and a Democrat is their host.

In a letter to his Republican colleagues, Rep. Robert A. Brady, Pennsylvania Democrat whose district encompasses Philadelphia, is welcoming each to the City of Brotherly Love, where he says even Democrats will proclaim themselves "Republicans for a Week."

He adds: "We are having 'Republican for a Week' T shirts printed for our elected officials, Democratic Party and union leaders. You're also invited to our Friday August 4 bonfire, when we dispose of those shirts."

Also a poet

It's not surprising that Lyn Nofziger, political adviser to President Reagan among other hats he has worn, has published a new book. After all, the Washingtonian is author of a best-selling political memoir and five western novels.

What we didn't know is that he's a poet, too. For his new book, "Unbridled Joy," Mr. Nofziger presents his independent and irreverent views in the form of poetry 90 poems in all, with tempting titles like "The Dress" and "Hillary, Our Hillary" under the nom de plume of Joy Skilmer.

The author is kind to send Inside the Beltway one of his first autographed copies of Unbridled Joy, from which we have selected the closing passages of "Defining Moments in History," picking up after Caesar, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Sitting Bull, and Dwight D. Eisenhower:

Ronnie Reagan, full of fire,

Attacked the Soviet Empire.

Said, "Their evil's not for me."

Vowed to make the world free,

And helped the Communists expire.

Bill Clinton, finger waggin, said,

"I never took that girl to bed."

Then sought to build a legacy

Of greatness, but t'was not to be.

His legacy's the lie instead.

Hawaiian punch

Aiming to escape official Washington in the homestretch of the presidential election four years ago, this columnist sailed to one of the tiniest of the 6,500 islands of the Aland archipelago, midway between Sweden and Finland in the Baltic Sea.

Seeking solace from the likes of Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich (and respective mouthpieces Mike McCurry and Tony Blankley), we chose a three-acre speck of remoteness named Silverskar: population 1.

The lonely soul being Lasse Ronnberg, a 31-year-old fisherman who, upon our arrival, eagerly led the way to a dockside net house, where a chilled bottle of Koskenkorvan vodka completed the welcoming party.

There, surrounded by his nets, the fisherman, in broken English, couldn't wait to ask his opening question: "Do you know Tony Blankley?"

Of all the women in this world, Mr. Ronnberg said his sister was Mr. Blankley's governess in Washington. And, of course, he wanted to hear anything and everything about Tony and Newt.

This year, in preparation for Act 2 of Al Gore and George W. Bush, we chose a remote shore of Oahu. We spread a towel atop a secluded stretch of sand at pristine Waimea Bay, where even fewer surf and sun worshippers lie these days after an avalanche closed the coastline's one and only road. Anybody reaching this far drove across sand.

When out of the blue, just as our thoughts began drifting away from Capitol Hill, a shadow crossed our mind. Squinting into the sunlight, we expected to see a shapely Hawaiian hula dancer.

Instead, Federal Highway Administrator Kenneth Wykle and Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, Hawaii Democrat, explained they had come that far to see how the avalanche cleanup was progressing.

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