Silent sector

John McCaslin
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Posted: Jul 01, 2004 12:00 AM

The silence of radical feminists surrounding the women of Iraq is deafening, or so charges the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, its mission to mold women into effective leaders.

The institute's Lisa De Pasquale says last week's transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi government marks a new day for Iraqi women, yet for months radical feminists have been silent on the plight of Iraqi women.

"Instead this hypocritical bunch chooses to condemn the war in Iraq and its subsequent liberation of women simply because the war is supported by conservatives," she says. "National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy calls the war in Iraq 'deceitful.' NOW also wrongly accuses President Bush of 'reversing women's rights here and abroad.'

"These radical feminists' stance on military action in Iraq and the global war on terrorism illustrate how they . . . have consistently fallen short on their purported mission to eliminate sexism and eliminate all oppression," she says.

UNDER GOD?

_Think your right to say "under God" in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is safe after the most recent Supreme Court ruling? Think again.

Rep. W. Todd Akin, R-Mo., says two facts remain clear: "First, another challenge will be attempted. Second, the court could well support the challenge and remove 'under God' from the pledge."

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist suggested as much when saying the nation's highest court recently erected "a novel prudential standing principle in order to avoid reaching the merits of the constitutional claim" that the phrase "under God" violates the Establishment Clause.

Warns Akin in a "Dear Colleague" letter: "By doing so, the majority evaded - for now - what remains obvious: that under a fair reading of the court's Establishment Clause precedents, 'under God' is unconstitutional."

The congressman cites the 1992 case of Lee v. Weisman, in which Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, struck down school-sponsored prayer during graduation ceremonies. He stated when public schools ask students to stand while others invoke God, they "psychologically coerce" religious practice.

JUNK PEDDLERS

Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, member of the Senate Commerce Committee, has introduced the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2004.

In short, the act's aim is to prevent consumers and businesses from receiving unwanted commercial advertisements by facsimile, while preserving a key communications tool for doing business.

"I have introduced the Junk Fax Prevention Act because we simply must do more to stop these unsolicited junk faxes, which have been illegal since 1991, while not impeding our nation's economic recovery," she says.

The Federal Communications Commission, which enforces the ban on unsolicited faxes, has long recognized an exception when the parties sending and receiving the fax have an established business relationship, Snowe notes.

Under a new FCC rule, which is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2005, the sender of a fax would have to acquire, in writing, the permission of the recipient to receive an "unsolicited" fax before the fax could be sent.

Now, if the senator could please do something about junk e-mails.

DUBYA IS HIP?

Aspiring New York fashion designer Elizabeth Cochran says it was President Bush's compassion for New York City in the wake of Sept. 11 that inspired her to switch political parties.

Now the former Democrat has launched a line of "presidential" clothing - conservative, yet "hip" unisex shirts, yoga pants and baby bibs - featuring a distinctive "I Love GWB" logo that imitates the classic "I Love NY" design.

We're told conservative commentators Ann Coulter and Shemane Nugent, and the president's parents, former President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush, have donned Miss Cochran's apparel.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"One feels legislators today try to spend it all before the money evaporates. They remind me of a young lad who was painting a wall furiously. When asked why, he responded that he wanted to finish before the paint gave out."

- Retired California State Sen. H.L. Richardson, whose classic 1978 book, "What Makes you Think we Read the Bills?" is now being reprinted.