- The Washington Times - Friday, March 26, 2010

FROM THE UH-OH DESK

Duck-and-cover time?

In preparation for the rumored end-of-the world on Dec. 21, 2012, the California-based real estate concern Vivos is planning to build luxury underground emergency shelters - designed to withstand “natural disasters, a nuclear blast, chemical and biological weapons, or even widespread social anarchy,” says founder Robert Vicino, who has already built a blast shelter midway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Vivos has a 1,000-person waiting list, he notes, adding that “fractional ownership” arrangements are available for those fretting over ancient Mayan and Hopi predictions that things won’t look so great a few weeks after the next presidential election. The shelters are “the only non-government solution for citizens to survive virtually any apocalypse,” Mr. Vicino says.

“The government has vast underground shelters rumored to accommodate thousands of officials, and the elite. Vivos has priced and prepared their survival shelters for the average person to ride out potential catastrophic events, whether they are the proverbial end times, Armageddon, predicted 2012 threat scenarios, the Apophis asteroid that is due to make a very close call to the Earth in 2029 and again in 2036, or whatever nature or mankind can create,” Mr. Vicino adds.

NEWS FROM LAKE PALIN

Yes, Sarah Palin will have her own reality show on the TLC network in the future, filmed in her beloved Alaska by “Survivor” creator Mark Burnett. It’s a savvy political move by Mrs. Palin, says Republican strategist Ron Bonjean - who tells Inside the Beltway that the series could expand her potential electorate. Indeed, she is a media ace, canny businesswoman, gifted politician, best-selling author, Fox News analyst and “tea party” goddess. But Mrs. Palin remains a woman of the people, very much the mom, wife, daughter and sister, according to one eyewitness.

“I was invited by Governor Palin to attend her daughter Piper’s ninth birthday party at their Wasilla home that sits on the shore of Lake Lucille, with a gorgeous backdrop of magnificent, snow-capped mountains,” recalls LaDonna Hale Curzon, producer and host of “Sarah Palin Radio.”

“The whole family was there. Governor Palin, Todd,Track, Bristol and her son Tripp, Willow, Piper and baby Trigg. There was Governor Palin’s mother, Sally, and sisters Molly and Heather, plus a gaggle of lively nine-year old girls. They did a dance routine. There were doughnuts, cake and pizza, too,” Mrs. Curzon continues. “This clan is alive, well and happy. The governor will attend a rally in Washington with Fox News host Glenn Beck in August.”

She will also headline the Susan B. Anthony List’s “Celebration of Life Breakfast” on May 14.

Susan B. Anthony would be proud of Governor Palin’s consistent, passionate witness for women and the unborn, and especially her commitment to the families of children with special needs,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life group.

BACK-WAX REVISITED

The vigorous primary between Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and conservative rising star Marco Rubio will be showcased in a public debate on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace. The Republican rivals seek the U.S. Senate seat in the Sunshine State and are prepared to duke it out, though the spat of two weeks ago - when the two sparred over whether Mr. Rubio improperly charged the Florida Republican Party for a back-wax - will be a hard act to follow.

“Which Charlie Crist will show up and what positions will he change in order to win this Sunday?” asks Alex Burgos, Mr. Rubio’s spokesman, who wonders whether the governor will flip-flop on his previous support of President Obama’s “failed” $787 billion economic-stimulus plan.

“Charlie Crist is a slick politician and debater who will say and do anything to score a win. His biggest challenge this Sunday will be to reconcile his past positions with today’s desperate need to say whatever he thinks is necessary to get elected,” Mr. Burgos adds.

LIGHTEN UP

Many will dutifully flick off their lights at 8:30 p.m. Saturday to mark an energy-saving “Earth Hour” - including Capitol buildings in eight states, major hotels, Las Vegas casinos, 39 Broadway theaters and the top of Mount Rushmore.

Rather than plunge “into darkness and despair for Earth Hour,” the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is suggesting everyone celebrate “Human Achievement Hour.” Keep the lights on.

“Earth Hour’s creators suggest that human inventions and technology are a problem, but we see the ability to create and innovate as the ultimate resource,” says CEI policy analyst Michelle Minton. “Environmental challenges will not be solved by turning off our lights and symbolically hiding in the dark. If anything, we should be looking to technology and innovation to help solve environmental problems.”

JUST SO YOU KNOW

“NPR News is revising the terms we use to describe people and groups involved in the abortion debate. This updated policy is aimed at ensuring the words we speak and write are as clear, consistent and neutral as possible. On the air, we should use ‘abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)’ and ‘abortion rights opponent(s)’ or derivations thereof (for example: ‘advocates of abortion rights’). It is acceptable to use the phrase ‘anti-abortion,’ but do not use the term ‘pro-abortion rights.’ ”

“Do not use ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ in copy except when used in the name of a group. Of course, when the terms are used in an [audio clip] they should remain.”

- From an in-house memo to National Public Radio employees from Managing Editor David Sweeney.

POLL DU JOUR

• 75 percent say immigrants to the U.S. should adopt America’s culture, language and heritage.

• 70 percent of U.S. voters say American society is “generally fair and decent”; 19 percent say it is “unfair and discriminatory.”

• 41 percent say President Obama views society as fair and decent; 45 percent say the president thinks it is unfair and discriminatory.

• 55 percent of voters say “allies should do what the U.S. wants”; 11 percent say the U.S. should do as allies want.

• 39 percent say Mr. Obama thinks our allies should comply with the U.S.; 26 percent say he thinks the U.S. should do what our allies want.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted March 23 and 24.

Reassurances, ballyhoo and press releases to jharper@ washingtontimes.com.

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