- The Washington Times - Monday, December 2, 2002

Nothing personal, Rush
The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has begun a probe after getting numerous complaints from Arab- and Muslim-Americans stating that unknown individuals have "spoofed" their e-mail accounts and are sending messages, many inappropriate or offensive, in their names.
Join the club.
"We are trying to gather information about this problem," Joseph Zogby, special counsel to the Justice Department's post-9/11 national origin discrimination unit, writes to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "If someone has spoofed your e-mail account, please send me your name and contact information; a detailed description of what happened, including when it started and how often it has happened; and copies of the spoofed messages, if you have them."
Certainly Attorney General John Ashcroft is aware that "spoofing" e-mail accounts knows no ethnic or religious boundaries. It occurs literally thousands of times every day, victimizing African-Americans and Caucasian-Americans, Protestant Americans and Jewish Americans. It happens to doctors and lawyers, bankers and newspapermen.
In fact, this columnist was "spoofed" again just last week. Anybody who received an e-mail bearing the name "jmccaslin" and the message, "Hi, let's be friends," rest assured it didn't come from yours truly. While I strive to be friends with everybody, I have never pursued relationships over the Internet.
I told the same thing to "rushlimbaugh" after an e-mail message bearing that name arrived in my mailbox last week, promising to increase the size of a certain body part of mine in the miraculous space of one week.

Washington withdrawals
All eyes are focused on Louisiana or is it Washington, D.C.? as the special Senate election pitting incumbent Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu against Republican challenger Suzanne Haik-Terrell draws closer.
A few days ago, Mrs. Landrieu issued a news release accusing her opponent of being a pawn of Washington by holding a news conference "with an 'inside the Beltway' special interest group to announce its 'endorsement.'
"I most certainly would not hold a news conference to let Louisiana voters know I have been approved by some Washington, D.C., special interest group," Mrs. Landrieu said. "I can certainly understand why this group would endorse my opponent, this group is looking for a rubber stamp to say 'yes' to their agenda."
Hmmm What's that old saying about people who live in glass houses?
It so happens that this Wednesday evening, at the Frederick Douglass House in Washington, Mrs. Landrieu is the honored guest and beneficiary of a fund-raiser being hosted by Washington-based Winning Margins PAC.
Established only nine months ago, the Democratic political action committee held seven fund-raisers and injected thousands of dollars into 12 highly competitive Senate races in last month's midterm elections.

Barr's back
Outspoken Republican Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia, the high-profile House manager during President Clinton's impeachment proceedings who lost this fall's GOP primary against fellow House member Rep. John Linder, will join the legal advisory board of the Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF).
A former U.S. attorney, whose appointment is effective when he leaves Congress in January, Mr. Barr had served as president of the foundation in the early 1990s before entering politics. Serving on the board will mean he will help guide and approve the legal work of the foundation.
The SLF was founded in 1976 and is considered one of the nation's leading constitutional public interest law firms and policy centers. It's won more than a dozen U.S. Supreme Court decisions on everything from unfair taxes to illegal affirmative action quotas.
Mr. Barr served as a plaintiff in the SLF's 1999 landmark Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality of the "Clinton Census 2000" plan to use statistical sampling rather than an actual head count. And the congressman is currently a plaintiff in the foundation's constitutional challenge to the controversial Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.
In other words, Congress hasn't heard the last of Mr. Barr, who vows to "continue to serve the long-term best interests of this nation."

Why be bored?
"Boredom should be declared as great a threat as any disease you can name," says Alan Caruba, whose Boring Institute is celebrating its 19th anniversary.
The 2003 World Almanac and Book of Facts cites July as "Anti-Boredom Month," encouraging people to overcome boredom as a trigger for a wide variety of self-destructive behavior.
The institute's latest news release is a spoof of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving parade, claiming that a careful study revealed it was "a ten-year-old videotape" a hoax perpetrated by New Yorkers on the rest of the nation.


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