John McCaslin

During the holiday season, children should slumber with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads. Instead, an animal-rights group's anti-fur campaign is giving them tormenting nightmares.

So charges the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, referring to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals activists, who are menacing children at performances of "The Nutcracker" in 20 U.S. cities - giving them handouts that read, "Your Mommy Kills Animals."

"The campaign is intended to terrorize young children whose mothers are wearing fur," the alliance says of the fliers, which show a color illustration of a woman stabbing a rabbit.

"The text implies that a child's mother who wears fur may kill the family pets. The sooner she stops wearing fur, the sooner the animals will be safe. Until then, keep your doggie or kitty friends away from mommy - she's an animal killer."

A spokesman at PETA headquarters in Norfolk didn't deny the charges when we called, providing the statement: "PETA activists ... are making guest appearances outside performances of 'The Nutcracker' across the country this holiday season with a cheeky message of compassion.

"As children arrive ... PETA will be there to greet any fur-clad moms and their children with their newest anti-fur leaflet ... 'Your Mommy Kills Animals.' Kids will see the bloody truth behind their moms' pretentious pelts. Accompanied by graphic photographs of skinned carcasses and animals [that] never get to swim or have fun. All they can do is cry - just so your greedy mom can have that fur coat to show off when she walks the streets."


An Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling upholding right-to-work laws is cause for celebration in some quarters of Washington.

The court rejected two separate attempts by union lawyers to deny Oklahoma citizens the right to choose whether to join or support financially a union, upholding Oklahoma's Right to Work Amendment passed by statewide referendum in September 2001.

The two-year legal battle was waged by attorneys for former Gov. Frank Keating alongside National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation lawyers from Washington against union lawyers "bent on reclaiming the privilege of compulsory unionism they enjoyed prior to that referendum," says Stefan Gleason, the NRWLDF's vice president.

"Today is a great day for Oklahoma. No longer will there be a dark cloud over the Right to Work Amendment that has already resulted in the creation of new jobs, an increase in wages, and more employee freedom, compared to states without such protections."


John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

Be the first to read John McCaslin's column. Sign up today and receive delivered each morning to your inbox.