- The Washington Times - Monday, May 7, 2001

Liberal reason

There´s a far more personal reason why Sen. Paul Wellstone, Minnesota Democrat, borrowed from the book title of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, who penned "The Conscience of a Conservative."

Mr. Wellstone´s new book, to be published by Random House on May 22, is titled "The Conscience of a Liberal."

"The people I admire most are those who have the courage of their convictions," explains Mr. Wellstone. "When I attended Barry Goldwater´s funeral service, I think many Republicans were surprised. Only a few Democrats went. They enjoyed giving me a rough time — they even gave me Goldwater´s 'The Conscience of a Conservative´ to read on the plane.

"'Paul,´ they said, 'read this — we read this book at young ages, and it set us on the right path. We still have some hope for you.´ I explained that I had read the book at a young age — that´s why I´m a liberal."

E.T. phone W

Taking advantage of renewed interest in "Star Wars," the space-based missile-defense shield supported by President Bush, more than 20 military, government and scientific witnesses will come forward at the National Press Club Wednesday to establish the reality of UFOs and the presence of extraterrestrial life.

"The weight of this firsthand testimony, along with supporting government documentation and other evidence, will establish without a doubt the reality of these phenomena," says Steven M. Greer, director of the host Disclosure Project.

The nonprofit research organization is calling for open congressional hearings on UFOs, last held in 1968 by the House Science and Astronautics Committee — titled a "Symposium on Unidentified Flying Objects."

Apart from witness testimony, which includes retired officials from most branches of the military and the Federal Aviation Administration, former astronauts Edgar Mitchell and Gordon Cooper will appear via video, both claiming to have firsthand knowledge of UFOs.

Mr. Mitchell flew on Apollo 14 and was the sixth man to walk on the moon. In his testimony, he´ll claim extraterrestrial beings have not only landed on Earth, but the United States has recovered crashed alien craft and bodies.

So they´ve been here among us?

"Yes," says the former astronaut, "there have been E.T. visitations."

What a gas

Longtime followers of how this country´s environmental laws are created know the full story behind the punch line asked by Sen. John Chafee, the late Senate Environmental Committee chairman, while standing on dry "wetlands" owned by agriculturist and GOP colleague Sen. Lauch Faircloth: "Where´s the Water?"

Well, those fans are in for a treat.

Last week, the full committee held a hearing on the dangers of the beneficial, odorless, naturally occurring gas carbon dioxide (graduates of elementary school know it as the facilitator of photosynthesis, or plant food). CO2, so we are now warned, is dangerously heating the planet due to man´s contribution from oxidizing carbon-based energy (burning fossil fuels).

"Sage readers, aware that Earth produces 97 percent of the world´s CO2 — with human breath making up a good deal of the remainder — may now anticipate banning dihydrogen monoxide, responsible for flooding, corrosion, even drowning. Some call it H2O, or water," quips Christopher C. Horner, counsel to the Cooler Heads Coalition in Washington, who attended last week´s hearing.

The highlight, in Mr. Horner´s opinion?

"Senator Chafee´s son, **Sen.** Lincoln **Chafee, Rhode Island Republican**, a member in good standing of the committee, informed those in attendance that the very fact that people gas themselves in garages with poisonous carbon monoxide illustrates how serious the problem is," says Mr. Horner.

"When it became clear that the good senator was not in fact making a joke, esteemed MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) atmospheric scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen patiently agreed that this illustrates how serious the problem is — but due to levels of awareness, not CO2."

At which point, says an amused Mr. Horner, Sen. Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, chastised Mr. Lindzen for purportedly "belittling Mr. Chafee´s emission."

USS Chafee

Speaking of John Chafee, Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, Maine Republican, was on hand at this past weekend´s dedication ceremony for Bath Iron Works´ new land-level transfer facility, which marked the keel-laying for the USS John Chafee, an Aegis destroyer named for the late Rhode Island senator, who considered Maine his second home.

Mrs. Snowe had worked with then-Defense Secretary William S. Cohen to assure that the Chafee would be the first destroyer built at the new Maine facility.

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