- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Silent minority
White House National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, in the opinion of Amiri Baraka, is a "skeeza."
A what?
"For those of you not in the know, a 'skeeza' is a derogatory street term used in reference to a woman and as offensive as calling her a prostitute," writes Baltimore Sun columnist Gregory Kane. "It's a noxious, bilious, disgustingly sexist term and one of the worst things you could call a woman."
Also known as LeRoi Jones and Imamu Amiri Baraka (or as Mr. Kane prefers, "New Jersey's lunatic laureate"), the black activist and poet pinned the derogatory label on Miss Rice during his recent address before an overwhelmingly black audience at Maryland's Coppin State College.
"It is something Rice certainly is not. Baraka knows she's not," writes Mr. Kane, who himself is black. "Those blacks who laughed, giggled, tittered and applauded when Baraka said it know she's not. But what was the reaction of these black folks when Baraka finished his invective masquerading as poetry that he called 'Somebody Blew Up America'?
"They gave him thunderous applause and a standing ovation," he says. "I guess Baraka can get away with it because he hates all the right people."
The college defends Mr. Baraka's paid speech. And why not, given the lack of an outcry.
Mr. Kane asks why liberal black leaders "who couldn't wait to get their faces in front of a camera after the Trent Lott gaffe" have remained quiet over the "skeeza" comment.
"We haven't heard word one from these leaders regarding Baraka and Rice."
Constitutional duty?
The Democratic National Committee is not overly concerned about Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle's untimely criticism of President Bush for leading the United States into war against Iraq.
In fact, just the opposite is true.
Reacting to the widespread criticism leveled against Mr. Daschle after his remarks, DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe has issued a memo saying that as "Democrats stand up to President Bush, we must stand up for Democrats."
"Democrats speak out on the war," it states. "As Democratic leaders led by Tom Daschle have fulfilled their constitutional duties by holding President Bush accountable for his actions, Republicans have responded with personal attacks that question the patriotism of Democrats."
The DNC stresses that regardless of what comes out of Republican mouths and, for that matter, Mr. Daschle's Democrats continue to stand behind America's troops.
Window of war
Despite America's preoccupation with the war in Iraq, Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope warns senior Sierra officials in a memo obtained by this column that elected federal and state officials, judges and corporations "will cynically use the distraction of the war as an excuse to step up efforts to reduce environmental protection."
"We must not let them profiteer environmentally during this war," says Mr. Pope.
Apart from that, he tells his leadership: "We will also participate in appropriate anti-war activities and statements that reflect the policy and tone of respectful dissent set by the board."
Think it's hot now?
"I guess the environmental and green groups will want to bring Saddam Hussein before the International Criminal Court for … doing 'possibly irreversible' environmental damage. From their perspective, that should be a much more serious crime than killing a few million subjects."
Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Christopher C. Horner, responding to a Washington Post story quoting environmental experts warning that the war in Iraq will cause "massive and possibly irreversible damage" to the Persian Gulf region and "significantly add to global warming."
Another siren
One group of war protestors in Washington isn't so concerned about saving lives after all.
Matt Braynard was traversing city streets Friday afternoon when he observed a group protesting in the middle of 14th and K streets NW, one of the busiest intersections in Washington.
"At the front of the group of cars that were obstructed was an ambulance with sirens on full volume," Mr. Braynard reveals. "Fortunately, a group of police on bikes that [outnumbered] protesters quickly emerged and pushed the protesters aside.
"So this is what the protestors have resorted to," he says, "blocking ambulances at city intersections."
Hippie cannonballs
A retired Marine colonel, who handled anti-war demonstrations in Washington during the Vietnam era, tells Inside the Beltway that one group of protesters decided against blocking traffic on the busy 14th Street Bridge after the military officer in charge told them that his orders were to keep the bridge open, and that if push came to shove he would not hesitate throwing each and every one of them over the side into the Potomac River.

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