- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Lords’ savior

It was 17 years ago that Attorney General Edwin Meese III released his “Meese Commission” report on pornography — a Bible-size warning on societal ills that was immediately attacked by liberals and civil libertarians alike what they saw as an infringement on the First Amendment.

But former child-porn star Traci Lords now has a different take on Mr. Meese’s report, according to the editors of National Review.

Miss Lords, in fact, recounts in her new memoir how a government-led raid ended her pornography “career” at age 18 and turned her life around.

“I have to thank Ed Meese for saving my life,” she says.

Wicked week

Hit by the “wicked” e-mail computer virus of recent days? Rest assured, when Congress reconvenes after its August recess, it plans to get even more serious in the fight against viruses and spam.

“Penalties for spamming have not, in fact, deterred spammers,” says Hanah Metchis, research analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Project on Technology and Innovation. “Twenty-nine states have passed antispam legislation … and yet, because these laws are not regularly enforced, the amount of spam is constantly growing.”

At least eight pieces of legislation — five more than during the entire previous session of Congress — have been introduced in the new 108th Congress to prevent unsolicited, pornographic or blatantly false advertising.

Penalties are even more severe for those spreading damaging viruses.

Striking the Wall

We’re told that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial — the most-visited memorial in the nation’s capital — will be evaluated over the next month to determine its overall state of security and to assess existing procedures in the event of a terrorist attack.

Last week, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund hired Virginia-based Vance International, a leading provider of executive and asset protection. Its clients include everything from law firms and financial institutions to domestic and foreign government agencies.

“The Vietnam Veterans Memorial has been identified by a U.S. government security analysis as an ‘Icon of Democracy’ whose symbolic nature is equal to the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument,” says the memorial’s Jan Scruggs.

He says other popular attractions in Washington, such as the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument, are receiving millions of dollars for extraordinary security measures.

Liberal boomerangs

Former federal Judge Robert H. Bork warns in his new book, “Coercing Virtue” (AEI, $25), that liberals are using international law to promote their agenda and create a “boomerang effect” in the United States.

And the approach is working, says Mr. Bork, as U.S. courts are increasingly citing the decisions of foreign courts in “interpreting” the Constitution.

The one-man watchdog of activist courts explains that by creating novel new international laws, a new liberal class aims to outflank American legislatures and courts by having liberal views adopted by foreign governments and organizations such as the United Nations, then imposed on the United States.

Thus, radical foreign decisions on social issues, values, religions and speech are used to influence court decisions here. Countries such as Zimbabwe, Mr. Bork says, which do not share the basic ideology and viewpoint of the United States on human rights, might make decisions that could then enter U.S. legal arguments.

Even Supreme Court justices, he says, have begun citing foreign decisions — and treaties not ratified by this country — to support their “interpretations” of the Constitution, including Justices John Paul Stevens and the late William J. Brennan Jr. on capital punishment, and Steven G. Breyer on gun control and stays of execution.

Watch your tails

“Three Blind Mice.” —Florida senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bob Graham’s name for Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, all headed to Iowa to speak on behalf of President Bush.

Excuse me

No more bubbly water for this columnist, given the speaking/presentation tips forwarded to us yesterday by Media Training Worldwide:

1. Don’t ever lean on the lectern.

2. Never start a speech by apologizing for some inadequacy.

3. Only use humor if it makes a point. If your humor doesn’t have a point to it, then you are just trying to be a comedian, and people will compare you to Jerry Seinfeld and other famous comedians and you won’t seem very funny in comparison.

4. There are no stupid questions. There are stupid answers. There are no tough questions. But there are really stupid answers.

5. Avoid carbonated drinks before speaking. They will make you belch.

John McCaslin, a nationally syndicated columnist, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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