- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Hillary’s host

The Washington Post wrote yesterday that the president of the American Booksellers Association fired off a letter that was highly critical of First Lady Laura Bush “for allegedly lending her clout to a retailer trying to steal market share” from independent bookstore owners, which the ABA represents.

What the Post forgot to mention was that the agitated letter-writer, ABA President Ann Christophersen, owns the feminist Chicago-area bookstore Women and Children First, where just 10 days ago — amid feminine chants of “Go, girl!” — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was the guest of honor and signed more than 1,000 copies of her new book.

X-raying haystacks

It reads like science fiction, but a computer scientist and former “Educator of the Decade” says he’s discovered the exact method for locating any concealed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq by analyzing visual satellite data through “spectrometry.”

Richard R. Sills says in a telephone interview from his New York City home that he was summoned to the Pentagon June 9 to give a two-hour presentation on his patented “Analog Processing System.”

“There were 10 people at the meeting” who were interested in the latest technology for uncovering hidden weapons in Iraq — bombs to biological-warfare agents, he said.

With the assistance of Sen. George Allen, Virginia Republican, Mr. Sills gave a similar briefing last November to Leslie J. Deutsch, chief engineer of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, but was later informed by letter that the lab already possessed “better techniques than mine.”

“If better, why are they not using them to identify where these weapons of mass destruction are?” Mr. Sills asks. He’ll pose that question at the National Press Club July 23 at 8:30 a.m., in a briefing titled, “Scandal Brewing Re: Weapons of Mass Destruction.”

Jayson again?

Demonstrations Saturday to protest President Bush’s foreign policy ahead of his visit to South Africa today “were a flop,” the Sunday Times of Johannesburg wrote beneath the headline, “Dismal Turnout for Anti-Bush Protests in South Africa — 9 placard-waving protestors.”

“Only nine placard-waving protesters picketed outside the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria,” the South African newspaper reported, “while double that number turned up for the demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg.”

Meanwhile, covering the same protests but counting a far different number of participants, the New York Times wrote that organizers “promised demonstrations against what they describe as America’s ‘imperial agenda,’ though a dry run on Saturday drew only a few hundred people.”

Old warrior(s)

Only one witness chair will be required in a Capitol Hill hearing room tomorrow, even though a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, a former secretary of defense, and the first-ever secretary of energy will be called to testify on homeland security.

The honorable James Schlesinger, you see, held all three posts while serving in three administrations.

Mr. Schlesinger’s continued service is requested by the Select Committee on Homeland Security rules subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Florida Republican.

Adam and Eve

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines marriage as “the institution whereby men and women” are joined together. And freshman Rep. Marilyn Musgrave aims to keep it that way.

“As you know, for over 200 years here in America — and centuries around the world — marriage has been the legal union between a man and a woman,” says the Colorado Republican, who has just introduced the Federal Marriage Amendment to protect and defend the legal status of marriage from “imminent destruction.”

The congresswoman notes that judges in Hawaii and Alaska rewrote the definition of marriage in recent years, only to have residents of both states pass amendments to their constitutions to protect the sacrament as a union between a man and a woman.

The married Mrs. Musgrave (to a man named Steven) is concerned that current and pending court cases will throw away all legal protections of marriage as a union of man and woman.

Court jesters

The conservative’s fervent desire

Is for Ginsburg and Stevens and Breyer,

O’Connor and Souter,

And Kennedy, too,

To announce that they plan to retire.

F.R. Duplantier

John McCaslin, a nationally syndicated columnist, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]

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