Ross Mackenzie

Cleaning out more files...

How do the national Democrats continue to draw overwhelming support from African-Americans and Hispanics, given their adamant opposition to elevating first Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, and now Miguel Estrada to the D.C. Court of Appeals?

The Air Force Academy, under investigation for at least 54 reported cases of sexual assault or rape during the past decade, confronts massive public outrage. This may do to the Air Force what the Tailhook convention did to the Navy in the early '90s. Awful as it is, the issue raises (among others) two questions about what so easily can happen in coeducational environments consisting of late adolescents - as Eddie Murphy so memorably reminded us - in their "sexual prime." (1) Is there more such sexual activity at the service academies than at civilian schools? (2) Is there an issue at, e.g., the Air Force Academy because students at the service academies are held to higher standards of sexual behavior?

This just in: Viagra may be contributing to the AIDS epidemic. The Wall Street Journal notes that in San Francisco, where Viagra is common in "gay sex clubs," there were 43 new cases of syphilis and 14 new HIV infections "diagnosed in Viagra users" since last year. The city's director of sexually-transmitted disease prevention believes - in The Journal's words - that "men who take Viagra are especially at risk for sexually-transmitted disease because it allows them to have multiple erections with a minimal recovery period in between. That means that at sex clubs and in party settings, Viagra users can have several sex partners, increasing the possibility that disease will spread. Epidemiologists call this 'the multiplier effect.'"

A prudent President Bush has proposed $1.7 billion to promote hydrogen technology for automobiles. General Motors already has a hydrogen fuel-cell car, the Hy-wire, it hopes to offer for sale within seven years; BMW, Honda and Toyota also have prototypes. Federal money would aim efforts at the right target - a pollution-free car rendering the nation and much of the world energy-independent. Let's advance the technology and make hydrogen cars efficient and affordable, so when we run out of gas America can drive on water.

Talk about beating a dead horse: Two Philadelphia museums are battling over the disposition of the preserved head of Old Baldy - Union General George Meade's steed at Gettysburg. One museum lent Baldy to the other in the 1970s and wants him back. The other says it has had Baldy so long it considers him its own. As so often happens these days, the dispute has gone to litigation.

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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