- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Talk about hypocrisy
Wouldn't you know, the same Rep. Diane E. Watson, California Democrat, who tomorrow is turning to the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center Amphitheater to host a screening for a new civil rights television movie, is the same congresswoman who joined three other Democrats last week and voted "present" as a protest when the House voted 408-0 to honor Mr. Reagan on his 91st birthday.

Pass the salt
President Bush, an educated Texan if there ever was one, must have done a double take when reading a new Heritage Foundation Homeland Security Task Force study, "Defending the American Homeland," portions of which were reprinted in this space recently.
One horrifying scenario outlined by the task force, chaired by former State Department Counterterrorism Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III and former Attorney General Edwin Meese III, has a suicide bomber in Mexico pulling a vehicle into the Eagle Pass port of entry and detonating a 3-kiloton suitcase nuclear bomb.
"El Paso is devastated, even though the bomb is exploded on the other side of the border," the report suggests, while "prevailing winds from the southwest send the radiation up to San Antonio."
Reaction down in Texas to the scary scenario?
"What always gets me about you intelligent folks back East is how ignorant you are of the geography of the West," John Tissler, who lives in nearby New Mexico, writes to Inside the Beltway. "Eagle Pass is a border crossing all right, across from Piedras Negras, Mexico. It's about 350 miles southeast of El Paso as the crow flies. How the detonation of a nuclear device in Eagle Pass devastates El Paso is beyond the capacity of even nuclear weapon engineers in Los Alamos to understand."
And as for those sitting ducks "up" in San Antonio?
"Prevailing winds from the Southwest would blow the radiation to the Northeast," corrects Randy Yeaman of Abilene, Texas. "Amarillo, and maybe Lubbock, would be in peril. But you could sip your margarita on the San Antonio Riverwalk with no danger of radiation exposure (except possibly in the winter during a cold spell)."

Tired of buckets
Should Sen. John F. Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz, accept a personal invitation to travel during next week's Senate recess to Kaktovik, Alaska, population 260 the lone community located within the entire 20 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) they'd better pack plenty of toiletries.
The Massachusetts Democrat received a written invitation to visit from the Inupiat Eskimos, who "for thousands of years" have lived in the remote village called Kaktovik.
They are a people who, for the most part, have been overlooked by the world, not just in the past, but even now as congressional debate begins anew over oil drilling within the ANWR.
"Our homeland is by no means a wilderness area untouched by man," says the invitation, which expresses "deep concern" because Mr. Kerry and his wife have publicly voiced opposition to oil drilling in the refuge.
"We sincerely desire the presence of your wife, Mrs. Heinz, as she too recently expressed in a public advertisement that she is opposed to the responsible development of our homelands," writes Fenton Rexford and Eve Ahlers, president and chairman, respectively, of the Inupiat community.
And what kind of responsible development would the villagers like to see?
"For us, responsible development means the right to live healthy and productive lives," the letter states. "It means flush toilets and running water, two elements key to sanitary living conditions."
(If running water would be a treat for the Alaskan residents, imagine the smiling faces if Mrs. Heinz showed up with a crate or two of ketchup.)

Funeral for a friend
Funeral services for Richard Grenier, a columnist for The Washington Times, will be held Friday, March 1, at 9 a.m. at the Old Post Chapel at Fort Myer. Inurnment will follow at Arlington National Cemetery.
Former Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York Democrat, will deliver the eulogy. Mr. Moynihan and Mr. Grenier had been friends for 55 years.
His widow, Cynthia, tells us she's received an "enormous" number of letters, telephone calls and e-mails since the death of her husband, at the age of 68, two weeks ago.
"People are turning up from all over the place, and their affection and support is helping me a tremendous amount," says Mrs. Grenier.


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