- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 11, 2002

German antique

Could that have been President Bush's controversial former secretary of labor nominee Linda Chavez and her husband, Chris Gersten, arguing Sunday afternoon with a Purcellville, Va., antique dealer peddling a Nazi flag?

Yes, says our eyewitness.

"The local merchant had the flag hung over the edge of the table to display it for sale this was a consignment item," says Ken Hottenstein. "After all of the yelling and threats by the Chavez's to get the [news]papers, call the police and people in high places involved, the merchant rolled the flag up just to get them to leave, which they did."

Mr. Gersten was reportedly so agitated at the display of the flag that he "picked up an item and threw it down on the display table. Mind you, he had not purchased that item," the witness says.

The couple, who live near Purcellville, in rural Northern Virginia, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

"I am a conservative and I can't stand it when people wish to censor and hide history," says Mr. Hottenstein. "Are we to take every thing that offends people and destroy it?"

Mrs. Chavez last year withdrew her nomination to head the Labor Department after reports surfaced that she'd hired an illegal immigrant in her home. She denied the charges, saying she was only helping a penniless Guatemalan refugee flee an abusive relationship.

She was later critical of the Bush administration for not being overly supportive during her failed confirmation process.


Drawing on war

Older readers may recall the name Arthur Szyk, one of this country's most influential World War II artists who, through his cartoons and caricatures, advocated the defeat of Nazi Germany and its allies while calling attention to the mass murder of European Jews.

In an age of few photographs and no 24-hour news channels, Mr. Szyk's illustrations filled the pages of the nation's leading newspapers and magazines, including Time, Collier's, Esquire, the New York Post and the Chicago Sun.

At the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington next Wednesday, June 19, a panel of experts will seek to determine what impact Mr. Szyk's editorial cartoons had on American public opinion in those days and what role they played in creating awareness of the persecution of Jews.

Suffice it to say that editorial cartoons, like pictures, speak a thousand words.


Happier days

Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani was on hand at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington last night to recognize broadcasters for their outstanding community service during a most difficult and trying year.

Earlier yesterday, Homeland Security czar Tom Ridge was keynote speaker for the annual day-long Service to America Summit at the Reagan building, sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters' Education Foundation and Bonneville International Corp.

"The nine months since the terrorist attacks have been a great time to be an American, in spite of the horror and the tragedy associated with the attacks," Mr. Ridge told the large crowd on hand. "We have learned so much about what this country and its people are all about."

And yes, that was Pat Morita, best known as Arnold in the popular TV series "Happy Days," helping to pass out the broadcast awards.


Porky pairs

Not since the 1991 dastardly duo of Hawaiian Democratic Sens. Daniel K. Inouye and Daniel Akaka have two senators from one state scored zero in the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste's Congressional Ratings.

The Hawaiians' 10-year reign comes to an end as Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and Byron L. Dorgan of North Dakota earn goose eggs in CAGW's 2001 congressional ratings.

"For the first session of the 107th Congress, the terrible twosome voted against eliminating the marriage penalty, creating a Social Security lockbox and eliminating sugar subsidies. The pair could not even stomach eliminating $2 million for Birmingham, Alabama's Vulcan Statue monument," observes the nonpartisan CAGW.

"In addition, the porky pair managed to give themselves a raise by voting against [Wisconsin Democratic] Sen. Russ Feingold's motion to eliminate the fiscal 2002 congressional cost-of-living adjustment."

According to the Tax Foundation, in fiscal 2000, for every dollar North Dakotans poured into the federal treasury, they received $1.86 back. Only New Mexicans received a better return. In contrast, Connecticut received 62 cents for every dollar paid in taxes.

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