- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 27, 2002

War and bureaucracy

"Last week, … the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service … marked the semi-anniversary of September 11 by issuing visas to two of the terrorists who'd died on that day. Since then … INS Commissioner James Ziglar has acted decisively by moving four INS officers 'sideways.' For example, Janis Sposato has been transferred to the post of 'assistant deputy executive associate commissioner for immigration services.' I'm not sure what post Ms. Sposato was transferred sideways from possibly that of associate executive deputy assistant commissioner. …

"Commissioner Ziglar needs to have a lot of vague, unwieldy titles at his disposal because he lacks the power to fire anyone. All he can do is move them sideways, and you can only do that if your bureaucracy has a fairly sizeable chunk of meaningless positions for the sideways types to be moved into. …

"To put it in a nutshell, no one looking at Washington right now could seriously argue that this is a government culture on a war footing. The newly federalized security scanners fall asleep on the job as often as the minimum-wage illegal-immigrant no-spikka-da-English felony-warrants-in-three-neighboring-states old-school security scanners."

Mark Steyn, writing on "Washington on a war footing?" Thursday in the National Post

After abortion

"Several studies show one in 10 women who get abortions are subsequently hospitalized for clinical depression or other psychological consequences related to abortion. … [N]umerous others suffer untreated through a string of broken relationships, alternating promiscuity or sexual frigidity, heavy drinking, drugs. …

"While abortion supporters say women's primary feeling after abortion is relief, follow-up studies show that regrets, guilt and other emotional consequences grow more severe years down the line. …

"This doesn't mean it's impossible to recover from abortion. … Healing, however, can't come without first facing the reality of what abortion is. And that's just what women are doing when they say 'I killed my baby.'

"It's no mystery why people don't want to face that: They can't believe they could be forgiven. Yet here's where Christianity comes in. … As [author David] Reardon has written … before the abortion, Christ condemns it and Satan makes excuses for it. After the abortion, Satan is the one condemning it while Christ forgives it."

Matt Kaufman, writing on "Aborted Women Speak Out," Thursday in Boundless at www.boundless.org

Serious trouble

"No matter how stupid, wrongheaded, or immoral some of our leaders and representatives have been over the years, if they can affect an appearance of troubled thoughtfulness when they address our problems, if they speak in a measured way, if they look around and nod with gravity, and if they use coy, calculated gestures biting a lower lip, say they will always be considered 'serious' people, and there's no telling how far they can go. …

"The problem for me … is that I don't know what to call the 'serious' people of today, because I don't think they are. When [Senate Majority Leader Tom] Daschle holds forth on our war effort, everyone thinks he's serious, he certainly thinks he's serious, but all I see behind those unblinking blue eyes is a man thinking, 'Boy, I sure would look good stepping off that big, green helicopter and saluting.'"

Larry Miller, writing on "But Seriously, Folks," Monday in the Weekly Standard Online at www.weeklystandard.com

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