- The Washington Times - Friday, August 9, 2002

Building mosques

Suffice it to say, it's not your father's America anymore.

As you go about your daily lives, the immigrant population in this country is growing 6.5 times faster than the native-born population.

"By historical standards, the number of immigrants living in the U.S. is unprecedented," reports the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) in Washington. "Even at the peak of the 'Great Wave' of immigration in the early 20th century, the number of immigrants living in the U.S. was about half what it is today."

And the faces are changing as well.

Next Wednesday, at the National Press Club, the CIS will release two papers studying not just the "rapid growth," but the characteristics of the Middle Eastern immigrant population. The majority of the Middle Easterners arriving are Muslim, the CIS has found, a subject of heightened interest, if not concern, in the aftermath of September 11.

And if you think the American landscape has suffered sufficient urban sprawl, think again: In the next 50 years, the U.S. Census Bureau projects, immigration will cause the population of the United States to swell from its present 270 million to more than 400 million.

Republican war?

Fully two-thirds or 68 percent of Americans would support President Bush if he orders an attack to overthrow Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

"That nearly seven out of 10 are supportive of a potential U.S. invasion of Iraq indicates the American people recognize that in order to rid the world of terrorism, drastic measures like this may need to be taken," says Chris Ingram, principal of Wilson Research Strategies, which has just completed a new survey.

"Next to Osama bin Laden, there probably isn't anyone the American people would more like to see removed than Saddam Hussein," he says.

At the same time, the WRS poll finds that politics is creeping into the question of military action against Iraq. Along party lines, 83 percent of Republicans support the commander in chief to a greater degree than their Democrat or independent counterparts, 61 percent and 63 percent, respectively.

Our kind of broker

This intriguing stock theory is said to have originated from the desk of John A. Millard of Shearman & Sterling in New York:

"If you had bought $1,000 worth of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.00.

"With Enron, you would have $16.50 of the original $1,000.

"With WorldCom, you would have less than $5.00 left.

"If you had bought $1,000 worth of Budweiser (the beer, not the stock) one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the 5-cent deposit, you would have $107.

"Based on the above, my current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle."

Jim's hobby

Most Americans know Jim Lehrer as moderator of the presidential debates. In fact, the executive editor and anchor of "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" on PBS was chosen to be the sole moderator for every debate in the 1996 and 2000 elections.

Mr. Lehrer also happens to be an accomplished author, sending Inside the Beltway his soon-to-be-released Random House novel, "No Certain Rest." And forget about presidents and debates, the book tells the story of a Union officer who was murdered on the Civil War battlefield at Antietam.

Not only does an archaeologist discover the truth of the officer's demise, but he also finds out that the wrong man is buried in the officer's grave in a small New England town.

Mr. Lehrer's dozen other novels include six about a fictional lieutenant governor of Oklahoma, two on the adventures of a few retired CIA agents, and one about a Trailways bus driver in the 1950s.

His viewers also might not be aware that Mr. Lehrer is also a playwright. His three plays are "Church Key Charlie Blue," "The Will and Bart Show" and "Chili Queen."

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