- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 13, 2001

Speaking English

Advocates of making English the official language of the United States are pleased to have some Democrats speaking their language.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) actually waged war against black Republican Joan Johnson (who unsuccessfully ran for Rep. Rick Lazio's seat in New York) because she didn't support official-English legislation.
"The English language is the common bond for all Americans," the DCCC wrote in a direct-mail to voters, who eventually elected Democrat Steve Israel over the Republican. "It is the one constant in our diverse society."
Is U.S. English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica surprised by the Democratic missive?
"We are impressed that the DCCC has broken ranks with the powerful Democratic National Committee," he tells us, "which has fought official-English legislation because it 'discriminates' against non-English speaking individuals living in the United States."

Sheriff Bubba

Sure enough, on the heels of former President Clinton's 11th-hour pardons comes word that the New York state prison population is at the lowest level in decades.

Fish and Lemmon

It's estimated that 18,000 employees of the Environmental Protection Agency checked their office voice mails yesterday to hear actor Jack Lemmon blast EPA's animal chemical-toxicity tests.
Mr. Lemmon, on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, put the squeeze on the EPA for killing millions of dogs, rabbits, birds, mice, fish, rats and turtles "to retest chemicals that we already know are dangerous."

Swarming over Heston

For the second time in a year, Villanova University is censoring the activities of its conservative students. Or so the latter bunch complains.
Students led by Chris Lilik, publisher of the Villanova Times student newspaper, are bringing Hollywood actor and National Rifle Association President Charlton Heston to the campus tomorrow, but that's not the only problem.
Invited to introduce Mr. Heston is Tom Adkins, publisher of the Common Conservative and a frequent contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
At a recent meeting, university officials "attempted to strong-arm Lilik into removing Adkins" from the program, this column is told by Lori Cutshall, editor of the Common Conservative.
In the latest issue of the Times, Mr. Adkins strongly defended the paper and its publisher after a student implied Mr. Lilik was racist because a recent Villanova Times edition had poor photo quality of black students.
"Liberal administrators do anything they can to put up roadblocks in the way of conservatives," says Wesley Wynne, program director of the Collegiate Network, an organization that helps fund conservative student publication around the country. "These shenanigans can never stand the light of day."

Dollar and sense

President Bush has named National Credit Union Administration board member Dennis Dollar the acting chairman of the NCUA panel, which makes sense considering Mr. Dollar is the lone Republican on the board.
Actually a former two-term member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, Mr. Dollar was elected in 1975 at the ripe young age of 22, becoming at that time the youngest legislator in the state's history.
The NCUA is the federal agency that charters, supervises, and insures the nation's federal credit unions. The agency also insures the majority of all credit union deposits in the country.

Banana republic

A banana is far more revealing than you might have thought. But you'd better have a knife to cut into it.
"On an early-morning flight yesterday, I was served breakfast, which included a banana among other items," Rick Fisher, of Monument, Colo., tells this column. "As is customary for airline caterers, the banana had the stem neatly cut, providing a nice, elegant look.
"And also as is customary, I could not open the banana with its stem cut, since there wasn't enough stem left to grasp and peel.
"I thought about this a moment and concluded that my dilemma must be the result of a governmental banana initiative: Creating a solution for which there was no problem (bananas work just fine with the stem left intact), employing labor that serves no discernible purpose (somebody had to cut these stems), requiring additional intervention to solve the newly created problem (I now needed to use a knife to open the banana), and leaving me with a result that was worse than the original circumstances (my banana got mushed a bit as I tried in vain to open it using the stem stub).
"Are you aware of a governmental initiative behind this? Shall I write my congressman?"

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