- The Washington Times - Friday, June 16, 2000

EPA thugs

High-level officials of the Environmental Protection Agency are at each others' throats while trying to clean up hazardous-waste sites.

Inside the Beltway has intercepted a strongly phrased memo sent by Stephen D. Luftig, EPA's director of the Office of Emergency and Remedial Response, to Robert J. Martin, EPA's Hazardous Waste and Superfund ombudsman, complaining about the "abusive, bullying tactics" displayed by the latter official's staff.

Among other purported incidents, Mr. Luftig says he is "shocked" to learn that earlier this month, on June 5, "your office read the 'Miranda rights' to an EPA employee at a public meeting at the Stauffer Chemical site in Tarpon Springs, Fla."

"I consider the Miranda rights incident to be part of a pattern of inappropriate behavior, reflecting abusive, bullying, thug-like tactics which have been used lately by your office, aimed at EPA employees as well as cooperative responsive parties at Superfund site public meetings," Mr. Luftig writes.

Miranda rights grant defendants and now apparently EPA employees, too the right not to say anything without a lawyer present.

Earning heritage

It's been seven years since Margaret, the Lady Thatcher, was appointed to succeed former U.S. Chief Justice Warren Burger as the 21st chancellor of the College of William and Mary.

This month will mark the end of her term, but before stepping down, Britain's first female prime minister recently visited the historic Williamsburg campus second-oldest in the nation one final time as chancellor to present her personal thoughts on education, family and heritage.

"There are really two things, I suppose, that shape your life in your early years one is your family, and the other is your education," Mrs. Thatcher told the college's associate vice president, William T. Walker Jr., during a question-and-answer session just published by W&M;, Society of the Alumni Magazine. "If you have both, you are extremely lucky. If you have one, you are still lucky."

Mrs. Thatcher believes education expands one's horizons in a way that a family life can't.

"By spending time on the learning, whether it be the learning in science or the learning in philosophy or the learning in literature, you come in contact with all that is best," she says.

"And, if you go away from here with a feeling that only the best is good enough, then you've really learned something, and you will be a better person in everything you do, not only just in the subject of your learning."

Although a scientist by training, Mrs. Thatcher says she enjoys reading literature and has always kept a little notebook of meaningful passages she comes across.

"One, whenever I think of education, I always recall is, 'That which thy fathers bequeathed thee, earn it anew if thy wouldst possess it.' It tells us that as we have benefited from previous generations, we have a duty to give to future generations."

On sale now

"While I wish my niece the best, I honestly would rather see her appearing before the United States Supreme Court than on the pages of Playboy."

Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, Texas Democrat, whose 32-year-old niece, former lawyer Rebecca Ramos, poses for the current issue of Playboy wearing only a pair of black stockings, beneath the headline "Nice Chalupas!"

Unwelcome immigrant

For the benefit of the many foreign tongues spoken in Queens, N.Y., www.FreeRepublic.com, a conservative news forum, has actually translated "Go Home, Hillary" in 67 languages, Bulgarian to Vietnamese and then some.

• Idz do rici, Hilari (eastern Slovakia)

• Ga hjem Hillary (Danish)

• Uli Walai Hillary (East Malaysia)

• Hillary, ikka ni kaero (Japanese)

• Exigis Domus Hillaria (Latin)

• Idz do domu Hillary (Polish)

• Va embora Hillary (Portuguese)

• Di Di Mau, Hillary (Vietnamese)

• . - …. - . . .-. … .-.-..-. .-.. .. -. - - -. (Morse code)

All yours, John

"While I would like to be of assistance to you in this matter, it is a long-standing tradition in the United States Senate that each senator be given the opportunity to serve his own constituents. Accordingly, I am referring your communication to Senator John Warner, in whose state you reside."

Letter from Sen. Phil Gramm, Texas Republican, to a Virginia man who claims he's being ambushed by foreign enemies, courts, a bank and Web hosting company, among other tyrannical outposts "resulting in our demise."

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