- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Royal flush

We certainly opened the floodgates yesterday when observing that Al Gore hopped aboard a dry toilet.

Of the dozens contacting us, few were in favor of ushering in waterless urinals (seen as one answer to the international water crisis). Mr. Gore has joined a water-free technology board promoting dry toilets, from which resulting matter is collected and used as crop fertilizer.

“Your column brought back memories of my childhood in rural northwest Kansas,” writes Irvin Lamb of Berkeley, Calif. “In the early 1930s, we had very effective dry toilets. In fact, we enjoyed tipping them over every Halloween.”

Mike West of Crandall, Texas, recalls, “My grandparents and great-grandparents all had waterless toilets. I don’t know why Al Gore thinks having an indoor, waterless toilet is such a great idea. Here in Texas, we always had our outhouses outside.”

Loretta Werres of Ocean View, Del., asks, “I’ve got an idea to make that dry toilet less labor-intensive: Instead of having to empty the dry toilet every day, why don’t we just build a little house in the backyard where we can go and do our duty?”

Lastly, Andy Eckhardt says, “Tell Al Gore thanks, but I spent too many years trying to get off a farm with four rooms and a path to enjoy a waterless toilet.”

Treason’s cousin

Because news outlets like to remind President Bush how many American servicemen have died since he declared an “end” to major combat in Iraq, a new military and intelligence-themed Internet site spells out reasons for the current U.S. deployment.

“America is at war,” reminds IntelMemo.com. “We are at war against the network of international terrorists who committed the mass murders of September 11th. We are at war against the survivors of Saddam Hussein’s regime and against the remnants of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Americans have died and continue to die in this struggle.”

As for the other “war” declared by the Democratic leadership against President Bush, the site contains a quote from Sen. Zell Miller, Georgia Democrat, who has grown disenchanted with his party’s Bush-bashing: “If what has happened here is not treason, it is its first cousin.”

All but American

In introducing the Memorial to Noncitizen Patriots Act — honoring U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq who aren’t citizens of the United States — Congress recalls the words of George Washington: “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”

Joining fellow California Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham in introducing the act, Rep. Jane Harman says although the country might be divided over Iraq, it is united in its support for the U.S. military. Of those, she counts 36,177 noncitizen members of the U.S. military, 17 of whom have lost their lives in Iraq.

The act would authorize construction of a memorial at Arlington National Cemetery honoring the sacrifice of all foreign-born U.S. military members, from this and past wars, killed in the line of duty.

Humeur Americaine

Many Americans were enraged earlier this year by French opposition to U.S. efforts to oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime. Wartime sentiment led to a slew of anti-French gestures, with “Freedom Fries” being substituted on many patriotic menus.

With the war over, many say it’s time to let bygones be bygones. Some members of Congress have even formed a pro-French caucus to try to mend fences with our longtime allies.

But some Internet pranksters still hold a grudge. Try this:

• Go to the Google search engine at www.google.com.

• Type in the search terms “french military victories” (in that order, and watch your spelling).

• Select the “I’m feeling lucky” search option.

The results? “Did you mean French military defeats”? Google asks.

Tres drole, as they say in Paris.

Some women

One group of ladies feeling left out wants the National Organization for Women (NOW) to change its name to the National Organization for Some Women (NOSW).

“While NOW claims to speak for women, it received a black eye with mainstream women for its support of President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, despite NOW’s long-held view of women as victims,” says the Independent Women’s Forum, which currently is upset because NOW refuses to support three women President Bush nominated for the federal bench.

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


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