- The Washington Times - Friday, October 12, 2001

No biscuit, Part 2
A Pentagon source adds an addendum to yesterday's report that House lawmakers will try to cut off federal grants to those labor unions and groups who are sympathetic to anti-war efforts.
"The worst offender of all is the International Red Cross, based in Geneva," the source explains, stressing that the group has nothing to do with the American Red Cross.
"This group gets $100 million from the United States a year. Two weeks ago, they filed a legal statement stating principles of international law in this conflict. They tried to sneak in a portion which attempts to declare nuclear weapons illegal. The State Department caught them, and now they will have to revise the statement."
"This is one of half-dozen similar attempts attacking our weapons they've made in the last decade," the source continued. "This is a case of biting the hand that feeds them, of pushing the envelope. Instead of focusing on the legality of nuclear weapons, which were declared legal in an international court of justice in 1996, the International Red Cross should be focusing on the fact that there are some citizens out there who are being killed with machetes."

The mayor is ready
Things are shipshape up in Wilkes-Barre. Tom McGroarty, mayor of this northern Pennsylvania town, has stockpiled $500,000 worth of emergency mattresses, sleeping bags and water containers, all bought at a surplus store down in Harrisburg.
Cheap, too. The mattresses were $8 each, sleeping bags $4. It's all for a new fallout shelter to be located in the basement of City Hall once it gets cleaned out. "You have to be prepared," Mr. McGroarty said, and vows to give city residents a "sense of security."
But for whom is the new fallout shelter intended, officials wonder? "For whom?" asked council Chairman Jim McCarthy. "The executive branch? I guess when you sit down and realize it, it's like Washington, D.C. You have to ensure the continuity of the government."
"I'm not sure anyone would want to blow up Wilkes-Barre," observed Mr. McCarthy. "Except for a couple of councilmen who want to blow up City Hall."

Identity crisis
Forget the idea of a national identity card, some say. "Even in a time of turmoil, there are three words that no American should ever hear: 'Your papers, please,'" said Steve Dasbach, director of the Libertarian Party. "Our victory over terrorism will be cheapened if we make America less of a free country."
After the Sept. 11 attacks, some House and Senate lawmakers hinted they were amenable to a mandatory national ID card. A Pew Research Center poll recently found that 70 percent of Americans agreed with the idea.
The card would not battle terrorism, Mr. Dasbach argues, because terrorists would simply forge their own card using digital technology, or bribe "a public official" to get one. Of the 19 hijackers in the Sept. 11 attacks, all but two were in the country legally, he added.
"In the end, the only people who will be inconvenienced by such cards are law-abiding Americans," Mr. Dasbach said. "Terrorists will blithely circumvent the law, just as they do every other law."

Look American
Police stopping motorists on South Carolina highways may be asking for license, registration and green cards next year.
State Attorney General Charlie Condon is pushing legislation that would let state police enforce federal immigration laws.
"You've got our borders being overrun in this country," Mr. Condon said Monday. "I'm sure we're going to find out that the major problem in South Carolina will be those of Mexican origin.
"You go to a construction site or see a landscaping crew and none of them speak a word of English," he added yesterday.
His comments prompted a meeting of Hispanic groups Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.
"Anybody who doesn't look American, whatever that means, is going to be afraid of how these laws are going to be enforced, and how is law enforcement going to be trained to not violate my civil rights?" asked Wilfredo Leon, publisher of a Spanish-English newspaper, the Latino.
A person's origin, however, shouldn't chill law enforcement, Mr. Condon said.
"We got to where we are now because of all this political correctness going on," he said.

From Ralph's mouth
Once they were "Nader's Raiders." Things have gotten a little more, well, cosmic these days. Ralph Nader's newest grass-roots political organization is called "Democracy Rising," meant to unite "progressive" Americans, Mr. Nader said.
"We live in the time of the corporate juggernaut, where there is a dollar-bill sign on every door in Washington," the former presidential candidate and closet millionaire told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
"And if you don't have the money of a big corporation, you don't get in to see the politicians." And of the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Nader warned against the "anger of misguided patriotism . We know how to wage war; it's time to wage peace."

Questions, questions
Rep. Gary A. Condit is suddenly holding himself up as an expert on fair and open investigations, Roll Call reports.
"The embattled lawmaker, who refrained from delivering floor speeches as the Chandra Levy scandal heated up this summer, had plenty to say about the Intelligence authorization bill he's now calling on intelligence officials to fully cooperate in the probe into what went wrong last month," said Roll Call.
"It seems to me somewhat irresponsible for us not to want to have an assessment by an independent group of exactly what happened," Mr. Condit said in support of the commission's establishment. "I think we really need to know exactly. I do not think this House ought to be frightened, fearful of an independent evaluation of what occurred. We think it is good for the American people."
But Roll Call asks: "Does that also include letting intelligence officials conduct their own lie-detector tests?"

Go stand in the corner
Even the governor thinks it's strange. The Madison school board up in Wisconsin received 16,000 e-mails and 1,000 phone calls of protest after it barred the Pledge of Allegiance from the state's second-largest school system. "The Star-Spangled Banner" could be played, it determined, but minus "martial lyrics."
Board member Bill Keys said the group was simply trying to comply with a new state law and protect the rights of students who didn't feel compelled to recite their loyalty to "one nation, under God."
Gov. Scott McCallum has called the board "oddballs," and a Republican lawmaker proposed cutting state funding. Parents are outraged. Now the board is thinking twice: President Calvin Williams said they would reconsider.
Meanwhile, the district will participate in a nationwide event today as public and private schools simultaneously recite the Pledge.

All-points bulletin
White House aide Scott Sforza called Fox's "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh on Tuesday to ask if the law-enforcement program which has nabbed hundreds of suspects in its 15 years on the air would collaborate on a terrorism-themed special.
"He told me they were sitting around a table talking about how the American public is frustrated, angry and heartbroken, and want to do something, and 'America's Most Wanted' does something," Mr. Walsh told the New York Times. "He said he was quite certain Mr. Bush had seen the show, since both his parents were fans."
"The evidence is clear that the show catches criminals," said James Wilkensen, deputy White House communications director. "The show can be of help in the president's desire to bring the terrorists to justice." The broadcast is at 9 tonight on Fox affiliates.

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