- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 10, 2005

‘Nutty professor’

Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado professor embroiled in controversy for comparing New York City’s September 11 victims to Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, also appears to support this country’s environmental and animal-rights “terrorists” in a Nazi-like way.

Or so we gather from “other ludicrous ‘Eichmann’ comparisons that we unearthed from the nutty professor Ward Churchill,” Mike Burita, communications director for the Washington-based Center for Consumer Freedom, tells Inside the Beltway.

Mr. Burita directs our attention to the foreword to “Terrorist or Freedom Fighters: Reflections on the Liberation of Animals,” by University of Texas at El Paso professor Steven Best, in which Mr. Churchill expands his Nazi comparison to modern medical researchers and meat companies.

“To assault the meatpacking industry,” Mr. Churchill says in the book, “is to mount a challenge to the mentality that allowed well over a million dehumanized humans to be systematically slaughtered by the SS Einsatzgruppen [mobile killing squads] in Eastern Europe during the early 1940s, and the Nazis’ simultaneous development of truly industrial killing techniques in places like Auschwitz, Sobibor and Treblinka.”

The center says Mr. Churchill goes on to defend “arson and violence” committed by FBI-certified domestic terror groups like the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), although it says the professor argues such groups haven’t gone far enough.

Rest of the story

Yesterday, the Gipper got his postage stamp. And there’s good reason why Rep. John Kline, Minnesota Republican, wishes to honor Ronald Reagan by placing his image on the $50 bill.

As a Marine Corps officer in his younger days, it was Mr. Kline who was assigned to tail the traveling president and carry the “nuclear football” — the briefcase containing launch codes for a nuclear attack.

In fact, Mr. Kline served as military aide to Presidents Carter and Reagan during his 25 years as a Marine, retiring at the rank of colonel (he was also a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, commanded all Marine aviation forces in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, and flew “Marine One,” the presidential helicopter).

“As the officer assigned to carry the nuclear football, I was able to observe President Reagan and the strong sense of leadership he commanded. He was guided by unwavering principles and a steadfast character,” the congressman says of his legislation to bump President Ulysses S. Grant’s mug in favor of Mr. Reagan.

First elected to the House in 2002, Mr. Kline understandably is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and assigned to subcommittees on personnel and on terrorism, unconventional threats and capabilities. He has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan twice, leading one expedition to the war-torn region last month.

No small change

One day after sending Congress his $2.57 trillion spending plan, President Bush told the Detroit Economic Club that it “is essential that those who spend the money in Washington adhere to this principle — a taxpayer dollar ought to be spent wisely or not spent at all.”

Whether Mr. Bush is spending wisely is open to debate, although Democrats this week are quick to cry that his 2006 budget proposal leaves out the cost of his Social Security partial-privatization “scheme,” as well as the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, currently running at about $5 billion per month (depending whose figures you look at).

A billion dollars, let alone a trillion dollars, is a number most Americans can’t fathom. So, with the help of the able-minded number crunchers at the Republican Study Committee, Inside the Beltway is pleased to provide these useful — and fun — examples of how much a billion dollars is worth these days.

Say you had a billion dollars to spend. You could buy a fleet of 24,423 Cadillac DeVille 4-door sedans, comfortably seating 146,538 persons. Or those in the market for a house could purchase 3,333 midsize homes in the costly suburbs of New York City.

If you went on a $1,000 shopping spree today, you’d have to shop every day for the next 2,740 years until you spent $1 billion.

Or say you had a great year at the office and earned $100,000. You’d have to bring in the same income for 10,000 years straight to earn a billion bucks. And whereas most people work 40 hours a week, to work a billion hours you’d have to toil continuously for 114,155 years.

Finally, for readers who are saving their hard-earned dough for a rainy day, if you put away $100 a week in savings it would take you 192,307 years to save $1 billion.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]


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