- The Washington Times - Monday, September 17, 2001

Taking down the flag
"On a day of national mourning and prayer, a Boca Raton [Fla.] company had its managers confiscate some American flags from employees' cubicles, saying other workers might find them offensive," the Palm Beach Post reports.
NCCI Holding Inc., a company that compiles workers compensation insurance data, told its 850 Boca Raton employees that displays of nationalism had no place in the office," reporter Phil Galewitz writes.
Chief Executive Officer Bill Schrempf offered this explanation Friday in a memo to employees: "Divisive statements or actions, political or religious discussions and anything else that could be divisive or mean different things to different people are not appropriate in our work environment."
One employee was suspended and told to go home when she refused to remove a small flag from her desk.

Rumsfeld and Hatch
"So whom was Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld targeting when he went on a tirade Wednesday against those who leak classified information? Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah," Paul Bedard writes in the online version of U.S. News & World Report's "Washington Whispers" column (www.usnews.com).
"Senate, intelligence, and Pentagon sources say that Rumsfeld and other national security officials were outraged that the senator talked with reporters about intercepted secret information about the terror attacks into the Pentagon and World Trade Center. News reports show that Hatch discussed intercepts between associates of chief suspect Osama bin Laden about the attacks. The worry: leaks that will dry up sources of information about the bin Laden gang, which may retaliate if it can figure out who the source was.
"'Everybody knows that Senator Hatch is a very patriotic American,' says a Hatch aide, 'and he would never leak information that was classified.' He said Hatch had spoken over a 'non-secure' phone with a senior American intelligence official on Tuesday and asked what he could tell the media. 'He did this with their OK — that is what he thought,' the aide explained."

Time to choose
"The anti-globalization movement is, in part, a movement motivated by hatred of the global inequities between rich and poor. And it is, in part, a movement motivated by hatred of the United States. Now, after what has happened this week, it must choose," Peter Beinart writes in the New Republic.
"The anti-globalization movement is not unified in its disdain for America. It is divided by it. But if the movement tries to shut down America's capital [during World Bank meetings later this month] while that capital reels from foreign attack, it will be divided no longer: It will, in the eyes of the nation, have joined the terrorists in a united front," Mr. Beinart said.
"Since its inception, the American wing of the anti-globalization movement has hovered on the edge of this country's political system. Sometimes it has tried — as in Ralph Nader's campaign for president — to convince other Americans of the rightness, even of the fundamental Americanness, of its cause. Other times it has shown contempt — preferring to shock and insult mainstream America than to participate in democratic politics as loyal and responsible members of this national community.
"On Tuesday that ambiguity became impossible."

Against equality
Ward Connerly, founder and chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute and author of "Creating Equal: My Fight Against Race Preferences," says President Bush and the Republican Party have been retreating from the idea of equal rights.
"We learned recently that the Bush administration will defend a government contracting program that is an explicit system of preferences and quotas, based on race. I'm not the least surprised. Why? Because as governor of Texas and as a presidential candidate, George W. Bush avoided taking a position on affirmative action or 'triangulated' on the issue in ways that would make Bill Clinton green with envy," Mr. Connerly writes in the Oct. 1 issue of National Review.
"He was essentially silent about the Hopwood case, centering on the University of Texas. He took no position on Measure A in Houston, a ballot initiative patterned after California's Proposition 209 [banning preferences in public institutions]. As a presidential candidate, he ducked questions concerning 209: What, after all, did he think about it? In his final debate with Al Gore, he seemed to pray silently that the moderator would step in and call 'time' when a question about affirmative action was on the floor. He sought to please everyone and offend no one by expressing support for something named 'affirmative access.'
"While in the White House, Bush and my good friend John Ashcroft, the attorney general, have seamlessly embraced the issue of 'racial profiling' as if it were an epidemic threatening black America. Then we have the decision in support of continued discrimination in government contracting. When it comes to issues of race and preferences, Bush and a host of other Republican leaders have been drifting tragically leftward for about five years. Mesmerized by the quest for skin-color 'diversity,' and hoping to 'broaden the base' of the party, they have been moving away from the Republican rank-and-file in ways that are fundamentally transforming the party — the party that should carry the banner of Equality for All."

New face of politics
"All politics may be local, but this is personal," Gloria Borger writes in U.S. News & World Report.
"For years, we Americans enjoyed a carefree, self-indulgent disconnect from the rest of the world. For years, we happily pursued our private aims and private wealth. We were plenty rich and plenty strong. If we were inclined to involve ourselves in the world beyond our borders, fine. If not, so be it. Dealer's choice. Then we were attacked at home, suddenly unified by an external enemy — even a nameless, stateless one. Overnight, once untethered baby boomers, who envied the resolve and spirt of World War II's 'greatest generation,' were facing an unprecedented test of their own. As former Clinton adviser Bill Galston put it, Sept. 11, 2001, is the day the '90s truly ended.
"No more is politics just about the dipping Dow or some abstract argument over the dangers of touching the Social Security surplus. (How long ago does that seem?) Now it's damn the lockbox; the president is pledging to 'use all our resources to conquer this enemy.' There's no debate. Not in the midst of this new Manichaean epic, a 'monumental struggle of good versus evil,' as the president put it. 'But good will prevail.' On that we can all agree," the columnist said.
"This is not to say that politics will vaporize, of course. It won't. In fact, Americans will demand more from their politics, not less, because now it matters."

A united country
Seventy-one percent of Americans favor a military response to Tuesday's terrorist attacks even if there is a high likelihood of civilian casualties in strikes against terrorist camps and the countries that harbor them, according to a Newsweek poll.
Even if it is not clear who was behind Tuesday's carnage, 54 percent of those surveyed said the United States should go ahead and attack Osama bin Laden and other suspects.
Eighty-nine percent approved of President Bush's handling of the crisis, exceeding even President Franklin Roosevelt's approval rating after the attack on Pearl Harbor (84 percent), the magazine said.

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