Monday, July 16, 2007

Hot head

Get a load of the somewhat threatening letter sent by the head of a national energy council to Marlo Lewis, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in response to an article the latter penned in the American Spectator about the various “global warming” bills introduced in Congress and their potential economic impact.

“Marlo, you are so full of crap,” writes Michael T. Eckhart, president of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE). “You have been proven wrong. The entire world has proven you wrong. You are the last guy on Earth to get it.

“Take this warning from me, Marlo. It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar. If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity. I will call you a liar and charlatan to the Harvard community of which you and I are members. I will call you out as a man who has been bought by Corporate America. Go ahead, guy. Take me on.”

Inside the Beltway reached Mr. Eckhart at his home yesterday, and he confirmed he did in fact write the letter.

Colony of Mexico

Is the United States of America being colonized all over again?

Don’t think such a scenario is far-fetched, says a congressman — albeit the “colonists” of today are owing allegiance to their home country while “exploiting the new land.”

“I asked … whether or not the United States of America is becoming a colony,” Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican, said in a recent speech, pointing a “valid” finger directly at the illegal aliens from Mexico.

“They pledge allegiance to another flag, many to the Mexican flag, not to the American flag. And that is the current problem with many illegals in this nation; they want to be colonists, not citizens,” Mr. Poe opined.

The congressman, a former Texas judge, said illegal aliens accept all the benefits from the United States, but “they refuse to learn the language, they refuse to assimilate, and most importantly, they refuse to be loyal to this nation.”

Lo and behold

Yes, that is $100,000 of your hard-earned federal taxpayer dollars destined for “signage and streetscape improvements for the Los Angeles fashion district.”

But let’s not single out California as the sole beneficiary of the “egregious pork” projects spilling out of the 2008 House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Act, as called to our attention by Citizens Against Government Waste.

Closer to home, there is the $250,000 lump sum earmarked for infrastructure renovations for “awnings” in the historic market of Roanoke.

Otherwise, hats off to Guam Democratic Delegate Madeleine Bordallo for actually inserting into the bill a $200,000 payment for sidewalks, street furniture and facade improvements all the way across the Pacific Ocean in the Guam town of Tamuning.

Owing a Frenchman

When writing late last week about Washington’s 2007 Bastille Day Races & Celebration, Inside the Beltway noted that restaurant sponsor Brasserie Les Halles’ menu for this month is drawn from the historical 1824 return to Washington (after a 39-year absence) of the French general le Marquis de Lafayette, who, lest we forget, played an essential role — both physically and financially — in the American Revolution.

“Thanks for mentioning Lafayette in your article,” writes Jonathan D. Rudman of Navarre, Fla. “While I was in the active duty Air Force, and stationed in Germany from 1999-2003, I took the family to Paris. Included in the stops to the Eiffel Tower, Arch de Triomphe, etc., was a trip to Picpus cemetery to visit the final resting place of the Marquis de Lafayette.

“Most Parisians we knew did not know about Lafayette or Picpus cemetery, and it is unfortunate that many Americans do not either,” he pointed out.

To refresh our memories, it was after the fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, that French aristocrats and politicos alike were sent to the guillotine — their headless bodies later buried together in a mass grave outside a previously peaceful Paris convent.

Among the decapitated, it so happens, were numerous relatives of Lafayette’s wife, who, wishing to be buried near the headless souls, actually purchased a plot at Picpus for herself and her husband, the famous general.

Today, the few tourists who visit “Conservator Cimetiere de Picpus” need only look for the American flag, which is displayed above Lafayette’s grave.

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washington

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