- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2002

I promise not to be amused by the rib-tickling musings of Alan Dershowitz in 2002. He is a bad habit, a guilty pleasure who has the wonderful ability to maintain a straight face as he dispenses his one-liners. His comedic stuff was better before September 11, when we were a less serious people.
I also promise not to be entertained by the increasing number of ultrasensitive clowns in Montgomery County. They are not serious people, either, given their priorities.
They have removed the word "Indian" from the dictionary because it is a very offensive word to Richard Regan, the leading squawker with the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs.
Do not try to understand the semantic difference between the Poolesville High School Indians and the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs. You have to be incredibly enlightened to grasp the underlying complexities of it all.
In Montgomery County, they also feel the pain of those who object to smokers and Santa Claus. They would like to fine the former in their homes and ban the latter, if only to demonstrate the clarity of their fully evolved selves.
The issue of America's civil liberties became incredibly tricky following September 11. Lots of it apparently depends on where you are on the political spectrum.
It makes perfect sense to disarm a blue-haired woman packing a loaded nail file as she shuffles through a security checkpoint at the airport. Yet it is ethnically incorrect to profile a male who happens to look Middle Eastern and has a fuse sticking out of his shoe.
Welcome aboard, Richard Reid. Would you like a soda, a bag of peanuts and a match to light your shoe bomb?
Where is Waldo? Geraldo?
Happy New Year to both.
It became fashionable after September 11 to redefine the meaning of hero, which only underlined America's empty obsession with celebrities, athletes and the like. Most have two arms and two legs, just like you and I, and their day-to-day existence is about as intriguing as anyone else's.
I resolve to be understanding around the city's terminal case of concrete barriers. It beats being in the vicinity of the city's flying manhole covers.
I also resolve to be more careful while driving in the city. You never know when there is a sneaky camera trained on your vehicle. The camera takes a picture of your car and license plate, and the city's bureaucracy takes care of the rest. You owe $50 to make it all go away. Good news: No points are assessed against your driving record.
Here's to John Thoburn, the Shrubman who was jailed last year after his golf course was found in violation of Fairfax County's Green Thumb Police.
Here's to Ansche Hedgepeth, the 12-year-old girl who was placed in handcuffs by the Metro Snack Police last year after she was caught with a menacing french fry. It never was determined if the fry was packed with ketchup and salt.
I resolve to be brave around Doug Hill's reports of an impending one-flake blizzard. What can you do to prepare, anyway? As all the storm desks in the city inevitably note, the grocery stores are out of milk, bread and toilet paper; the hardware stores are out of shovels and salt. Stay off the roadways if you can. No one in these parts knows how to drive in the stuff.
I hope Alamo rental car drops the 4-foot python from its list of options this year. The last time one of Alamo's vehicles came with a 4-foot python, the driver, a woman, abandoned the car near Lorton after the unwanted passenger brushed up against her leg.
I also hope Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton stops rolling her eyes in the presence of President Bush this year. This is not too much to expect during these times.
I implore the Wizards not to permit actress Maia Campbell to sing the national anthem ever again. Her rendition before the game on New Year's Eve hurt the ears. I guess it went with the year a bad, bad year.
The new year promises to be better.

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