"I don't mind so much that my fish didn't hold up for this year's record, but to lose to a pastry chef out of Washington, D.C. . . . was just too much for me to handle this morning. I'm not sure I'll be able to recover this year. By the way, he doesn't play golf, too, does he?"
The villagers are referred to by a leading scientist in Washington as the "first refugees of global warming."
Igor Krupnik, an anthropologist with the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, has conducted more than 30 years of field work in Arctic communities on the human and cultural aspects of climate change.
In the latest issue of Smithsonian magazine, he calls attention to "refugees" from the Alaskan village of Shismaref, until the mid-1970s encased and well-protected by 20 to 30 miles of land ice that in the height of winter now only reaches 6 to 7 miles.
"We tend to describe climate change in terms that are abstract - a one-degree rise in temperatures, an increase in greenhouse gasses - but when waves wash away a village, that's concrete and very emotional," Krupnik says.
TABARD, FOR TWO
What's the No. 1 hotel in Washington?
According to the "Guide to the Capital's Wild Side" contained in the latest issue of Men's Journal, "There's more than just power lunches inside the Beltway. Little known by most locals, the 40-room Tabard Inn in Dupont Circle is hands down the best hotel in D.C."
THIS JUST IN
The Paradigm Clock, set into motion by the Paradigm Research Group (PRG) to track the proximity to a formal announcement by the U.S. government confirming an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race, has been reset to 11:59:45 - 15 seconds to midnight.
Such an announcement is formally referred to as "disclosure" and supposedly would mark the end of a 59-year truth embargo imposed by federal authorities. Midnight on the Paradigm Clock is disclosure.
According to PRG Executive Director Stephen Bassett, "Due to extraordinary circumstances primarily pertaining but not limited to the United States, a window of opportunity has opened for a disclosure event to take place. This window should last through the November election and may remain open or possibly close depending upon the outcome of the election."
Bassett didn't mention what the "extraordinary circumstances" were; however, if you're as suspicious of your neighbor as this columnist, you might keep your distance until such time as Uncle Sam comes clean.
The previous setting for the Paradigm Clock was 11:58:45, on March 8, 2004.
"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican" - or so state T-shirts (white and "urban black" in all sizes), buttons and mousepads being peddled by the National Black Republican Association, headquartered along Pennsylvania Avenue.
Yet another House Republican critical of his own party leaders is Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona, upset that the House Republican leadership continues to encourage GOP members "to boast" about the new Medicare prescription-drug entitlement.
Because of the new entitlement, "30 million people are more dependent on the federal government than they were a year ago, and future generations will have to foot the bill," he says. "That is something that no party professing to believe in limited government should be proud of."
John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on Townhall.com and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .
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