- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 3, 2001

Leading his flock

As he prepares to lead the allied war against terrorism, President Bush is certainly in everybody's thoughts these days including 5-year-old children.

Kindergarten teacher Leslie O'Brien, a teacher at St. Mary's School in Alexandria, writes to say that she has been preparing students for a rare visit by Catholic Bishop Paul S. Loverde.

"I did this for two days, and on the third day, I asked who was coming to visit our school next week, and 26 voices loudly called out: 'The BUSHOP.'"


And on your left

Tourists have not been flocking to Washington in the wake of the last month's terrorist attacks, which is providing local residents a wonderful opportunity to rediscover their roots.

"I spent $18 on the tour-mobile originating at Union Station for a nice tour of the Washington-area landmarks this weekend, and I got more than I bargained for," reveals Holly Anderson of Maryland. "Our tour narrator promptly gave us the lowdown on how all the poor Washington residents have to pay taxes but have no representation. She went on for a good five minutes as we passed the U.S. Senate building."

Federal city that it is, the District of Columbia to the chagrin of some Democrats has no voting representation in Congress. President Clinton, prior to leaving office this year, tweaked his successor by installing license plates on the presidential limo bearing the slogan, "Taxation Without Representation."

President Bush promptly removed the tags, saying he was "surprised" Mr. Clinton would have done such a thing.


Here we come

"And when you see it up close, smell it, and realize the loss of life and the devastation, it is first incomprehensible, but it gives you even further resolve to try to do your best, your dead-level best to do the right things."

House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, Missouri Democrat, emerging from a meeting with President Bush yesterday after visiting the former site of the World Trade Center


Pack a picnic

Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton says there's an "increased need" for American families to head into the great outdoors as they recover from last month's terrorist attacks.

We're told Mrs. Norton will emphasize the need for Americans to find "relief, solace and inspiration" through recreation and visits to parklands when she gives a keynote address today to the National Recreation and Park Association.


ELF and ALF

Domestic terrorists who destroy property in the name of saving the environment are waging a very active campaign on American soil, says the National Center for Public Policy Research, a Capitol Hill and Chicago-based public-policy institute.

"Even after the devastating attacks in New York City and Washington, these groups are still promoting their terrorist agenda," says the center, drawing attention to the main Web page of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), where one may download "Setting Fires With Electrical Timers," instructions on making and planting effective firebombs.

The manual "If an Agent Knocks" also advises what to do "if a federal agent tries to question you, the scoop on agencies that gather political intelligence, how the feds infiltrate political organizations and much more."

"ELF and the Animal Liberation Front's (ALF) most recent suspected attack came on September 8, just three days before terrorists slammed planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon," the center observes.

"ELF's web site boasts over 30 acts of ecoterrorism directed at agencies of federal and state governments, universities, corporations and private individuals that they and ALF have committed since 1996."

• On May 21 of this year, 13 trucks and research offices were burned at the University of Washington and Jefferson Poplar Farms in Clatskanie, Ore.

• On Dec. 29, 2000, four new homes on New York's Long Island were burned, while ELF also takes credit for a Dec. 19 torching of a nearby condominium project.

• ELF took credit for a 1999 fire at Michigan State University that destroyed years of crop-nutrition research.

• ELF took credit for burning a lumber company office in Monmouth, Ore., a ski resort near Vail, Colo., which caused $12 million in damages, and homes in Colorado and Indiana.

"While ELF and ALF are small-time compared to the terrorists who struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon they appear to be intent on expanding their violence and putting American lives at risk," says Tom Randall, director of the center's John P. McGovern Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs.

Rep. George Nethercutt, Washington Republican, has reintroduced a bill to stiffen what are considered weak penalties for acts of domestic terrorism (the current maximum penalty is a $10,000 fine).

The Nethercutt bill carries a minimum five-year jail term and provides for the death penalty if life is lost as a result of such acts.

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