- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 19, 2003

She ain’t that bad

Martha Stewart’s indictment couldn’t have come at a better time for Washington-based damage-control guru and author Eric Dezenhall.

Mr. Dezenhall’s new novel, “Jackie Disaster,” about a “deliciously loathsome doyenne of good taste and domestic living” who finds herself embroiled in an ugly corporate scandal, was released by St. Martin’s Minotaur Books the same day as Mrs. Stewart’s recent indictment on charges relating to insider trading.

Because of his day job and literary subject, Mr. Dezenhall has become the pundit of choice to address Mrs. Stewart’s situation across the media spectrum.

“What’s scary is that some of the tactics Martha is really using to divert attention parallel stunts in the book,” he says. “Except for the murders, blackmail, arsons and narcotics-related frame-ups.”

Nobody bothers Colin

Yes, that was Jhoon Rhee, nationally known martial-arts master and spiritual philosopher, recently giving a martial-arts demonstration at Secretary of State Colin L. Powell’s “Open Forum” in the Dean Acheson Auditorium of the Harry S. Truman Building.

However, Master Rhee prefers olive branches over fighting, sharing with State Department staffers his philosophy of how mind joined with body can achieve spiritual contentment and happiness.

Pardonable conviction

Mrs. Clinton’s a postmodern wife

In responding to marital strife:

She’ll stand by her man

As long as she can,

‘Cause it’s better than “20 to Life.”

F.R. Duplantier

Keep with us

First-grade students in Shannon Scharf’s class at Arlington Traditional School penciled neatly printed letters to U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Alan Greenwood, an Arlington native who is deployed with Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“I hope you are safe and happy,” Kyle wrote. “I have strenth [sic] in you. American is proud of you. I am too. You should be proud of yourself. Also, I hope you are not hurt. You are a good man. Please stay safe.”

“Please bring peace to Iraq,” said Mansu. Zachary wrote: “You have made every girl and boy feel very safe inside. You have a very good heart.”

Jason said, “Thank you for saving our country,” and Tristan added, “You fight well to save the world.”

“I hope not a lot of people die in your group,” wrote Emma. While a concerned Joshua said, “I hope you are not dedd [sic] in the war.”

“Keep your strength and serve well. Wear cool clothes,” wrote Nina. “Keep with us.”

The Marine officer was no doubt touched, writing in a separate letter to Mrs. Scharf that for a short time he felt as if he were back home in Arlington.

“Please commend the children on their fine penmanship, coloring skills and patriotism!” Maj. Greenwood wrote.

And to the students, he said: “You all made me feel proud to be a Marine serving our great country.”

Oh, and so Joshua doesn’t worry anymore, he added: “I am safe and hope to return to Virginia soon.”

Presidential range

James Renwick Manship, who has kept busy impersonating George Washington at patriotic rallies around America, was delighted to read that the New Hampshire legislature has voted to rename a mountain after former President Ronald Reagan.

Mr. Manship, in fact, considers Mr. Reagan “the most important man in the world in the past century.”

Who’s better than the Gipper?

“The highest peak in the presidential range is ‘Mount Washington’ for President George Washington, the most important man in the world in the last millennium,” he says.

The entire world?

“Because he was the first military leader in over 2,000 years — since before Jesus Christ, since Cato and Cincinnatus in the Roman Republic — to peacefully give up military power and thereby gave birth to our American Republic, thus becoming the father of his country,” Mr. Manship explains.

“Reagan said in 1982, ‘The most sublime picture in American history is of George Washington on his knees’ in the snow at Valley Forge.”

During one patriotic pilgrimage in 2000, Mr. Manship climbed to the top of Mount Washington and discovered yet another presidential peak.

“While looking at the map I saw that the range already had a mountain named for ex-President Bill Clinton,” he says. “It is named Mount Deception.”

Texas croissants

“You went to Paris?” writes reader Dick Spencer of Staunton, Va., regarding last week’s absence of the Inside the Beltway columnist. “I hope it was in Texas — or you got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do!”

John McCaslin, a nationally syndicated columnist, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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