- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Letter of the day
"I almost didnt read your article. At first glance I thought it was written by John McCain. No offense, Im just more than a little miffed at Mr. McCain over the campaign finances bill."
- Charlie Sorgen, no address given


Future Lemieux

Dillon Reio is just 8, but the Bowie hockey player, instead of asking for George W. Bushs autograph, had enough confidence to send his own autographed photo to the president.
"My son realizes you are an avid baseball fan, but he wanted to give you a picture of himself playing hockey," the boys mother, Donna Miller, told Mr. Bush after she appeared on stage with him at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event this week.
Mrs. Miller handed the president a hockey trading card with her sons photo and his handwritten note, "To President Bush from Dillon." No last name, just Dillon. Surely the president knows who that is.
"Make sure he wears a helmet," the president advised Mrs. Miller after glancing at the trading card.


Paiges Monticello

Education Secretary Rod Paige is going home, to Monticello, Miss. (pop. 1,834), where this morning the junior high school will be renamed in honor of this nations first black secretary of education.
"Its unusual to name a school after a person still living. Ill have to live right the rest of my life," Mr. Paige quips in a telephone interview with Inside the Beltway.
Today, Monticello Junior High becomes Rod Paige Junior High School. And it so happens the school sits on the site of the Lawrence County Training School, a black segregated high school that Mr. Paige attended before going on to Jackson State University.
Mr. Paige will take a tour of his old school and address the students, after which the American Association of School Administrators which earlier this year honored the former Houston school administrator as National Superintendent of the Year will present a $10,000 scholarship in his name to John Bull, superintendent of the local Mississippi school district.
"I feel nervous about going home, a lot of apprehension," says Mr. Paige, 67. "I havent been back for many, many years. Im sure there will be people in the school that were there when I was that I wont recognize anymore."


Correctness gone mad

See-saws disappearing across America.
Labels warning that coffee is hot.
Good teachers, fed up, quit.
Bad teachers cant be fired.
These issues, not politics, matter to Philip King Howard.
Hes advised then-Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole on regulatory reform, has worked on overhauling civil service and other bureaucratic institutions with several governors, and helped then-Vice President Al Gore reinvent government.
Now, the Manhattan lawyer, former special adviser to the Securities and Exchange Commission for regulatory simplification, and best-selling author of "The Death of Common Sense: How Law is Suffocating America," is returning to Washington later this month to promote his new book, "The Lost Art of Drawing the Line: How Fairness Went Too Far" (Random House, $22.95).
He writes that politically correct reforms have become the enemy of freedom and common good. Today, he says, instead of making obvious decisions, principals, teachers, doctors and others who deal with the public go through the day looking over their shoulders. And for good reason, as we read on Page 59:
"A great thing about bringing lawsuits in modern America is that its so easy to threaten the adversarys entire livelihood. One stroke of a finger on the lawyers word processor, and damages go from $100,000 to $1,000,000. Three more keystrokes, and were suing for a billion dollars. This is fun."


Hearts and brains

She likens her new job as going from the "pros to college ball," the latter "having more heart."
Nancy Mitchell Pfotenhauer, whose past "professional" experience includes chief economist for President George Bushs Council on Competitiveness and executive vice president of Citizens for a Sound Economy, is the new president and chief executive officer of the Independent Womens Forum, or IWF, a group of ladies and a man or two listed on one Washington list as "in" this year, while the National Organization for Women was demoted to "out."
Thats not surprising, given that the IWF leans to the right. Take this months annual "Take Our Daughters to Work Day," which the IWF considers not so much a self-esteem builder as a school holiday to promote feminist myths. Fairness, whether in education or the workplace, is achievable other ways, says Mrs. Pfotenhauer.
"For years, IWF has been a beacon to women who believe that freedom, responsibility, honor and justice matter, and who dont believe that our gender requires us to check our brains at the door."

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