- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bush picks Florida

President Bush is putting his money on No. 3-seed Florida to beat No. 11 George Mason in the NCAA basketball national semifinals Saturday; but then again, his brother Jeb is governor of the state.

Jim Martin, president of the 60-Plus Association, informs Inside the Beltway that Mr. Bush told him “Florida will probably win.”

The president made the prediction after commenting on the Florida cap worn by Mr. Martin, who graduated from the university with a journalism degree in 1962 and received the William Randolph Hearst reporting award for creative writing.

Mr. Martin is rooting for Florida, even though his son attends George Mason.

He’ll never know

Inside the Beltway will greatly miss the many contributions from former newspaperman and Ronald Reagan political adviser Lyn Nofziger, who died this week at age 81.

Apart from politicking, Mr. Nofziger told us he found immense enjoyment penning and publishing poetry, which he accomplished under the nom de plume of Joy Skilmer.

Our favorite verse of hundreds, its subject matter still holding true today, is borrowed from Mr. Nofziger’s book, “Unbridled Joy”:

I wonder if we’ll ever see

A country that is Clinton-free,

A time when Hillary and Bill

Have left us and gone o’er the hill,

A time when they don’t think they’re meant,

Each one, to be our president,

To tell us all what’s best for us,

Defy us then to make a fuss,

To insist they’re meant to rule us,

Sure, as always, they can fool us,

A time when they at last have quit,

Their drinking from the public teat,

When Bill no longer wags his jaw,

Instead, goes home to Arkansas,

And Hillary no longer runs

But takes to baking hot cross buns.

Just got tougher

“I kinda like being on the same platform as Senator Burns because he makes me sound like Shakespeare.”

—President Bush, attending a fundraiser this week for Montana Republican Sen. Conrad Burns, who faces some tough competition for re-election.

Silly stuff

Some goofy laws have been passed in this country, some of which are still on the books today. We’ll get to one such example in a moment.

But among some of the more bizarre state and local laws, we’ll have you know that it was once illegal to insert pennies into your ear in Hawaii; husbands were forbidden from kissing their wives on Sunday in Hartford, Conn.; marrying the same man more than three times was against the law in Kentucky; it was unlawful to sit in an Indiana movie theater if you ate garlic in the previous four hours; under no circumstances could one make a face at a dog in Illinois; a woman in Maryland was not allowed to search through her husband’s pockets while he was sleeping; and once inside its state line, you had better not mispronounce Arkansas (actually, that still holds true today.)

Now, let’s say you’re out for an evening stroll with your wife and children in Ohio, when suddenly from behind a tree a thug appears and demands all of your valuables. What’s a husband and father to do?

By law, after you help the thief remove your wife’s diamond-stud earrings, you must retreat.

Yesterday, the Ohio legislature’s criminal justice committee was scheduled to begin consideration of the “Castle Doctrine,” sponsored by Republican Rep. Steven Buehrer. It would restore Ohioans’ right to self-defense by removing a “duty to retreat” in the face of criminal attack, while providing civil immunity to victims who’ve grown tired of backing down.

Among the doctrine’s backers is the National Rifle Association, which says it is “unreasonable that victims of crime should have to worry about being arrested or prosecuted if they use force to defend themselves or their family.”

Honey, he’s back

That’s nationally renowned pastry chef David Guas of DC Coast, Ceiba, and most recently Acadiana, touted for yet another appearance on NBC’s “Today” program. See him live and in color at about 9:45 this Friday morning.

This time Mr. Guas says he will be demonstrating recipes that feature honey — the average American consumes 1.31 pounds of honey per year, brought to our tables by 211,600 beekeepers in the United States — as an ingredient, including warm torrejas and Nicaraguan mombacho honey, crispy phyllo fig wraps and honey-nut crackle.

Crowned by his peers as the 2004 Washington Pastry Chef of the Year, his desserts have been featured in Chocolatier, Cottage Living and National Culinary Review, while Bon Appetit singled him out as one of eight Star Pastry Chefs in the country.

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

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