Ross Mackenzie

Lately the news has told of Iran enriching uranium, of rallies agitating for illegal immigrants, and of the Moussaoui conviction followed by in-court airings of desperate telephone calls on 9/11. The left has gone bonkers convicting President Bush of - what? - in the wake of Scooter Libby's deposition. Oh, and will-she/won't-she cute Katie Couric - doyenne of the newsbunnies - has summoned the courage to switch from NBC to CBS.

But the news columns have contained other compelling items, presented here with comment direct or implied. Let's see. . .

A major survey has determined that parental notification laws actually work; they reduce abortions among the young. Texas is the biggest of the 35 states requiring minor girls to notify their parents or get their consent before obtaining an abortion. Researchers at City University of New York's Baruch College comparing the two years before the Texas law took effect and the three years thereafter found post-enactment abortion declines among every age group 15-18. Said the lead researcher: "The law has definite behavioral effects." No kidding.

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The U.S. and the European Union have suspended aid and initiatives that might benefit the terrorist Hamas regime in the Palestinian territories. Good. Hamas leaders blasted the aid suspensions as "blackmail." The Hamas regime having practically no resources of its own, this could prove one way to get its attention.

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Vladimir Putin is not only Russia's president, but a plagiarist. While a KGB operative, he evidently gained considerable proficiency at copying. Brookings Institution senior fellow Clifford Gaddy reports that large portions and many charts in Putin's mid-1990s dissertation on natural resources planning appeared 20 years earlier in a management text published by two University of Pittsburgh professors. For instance, of Putin's first 20 dissertation pages, 16 are taken verbatim from the Pittsburgh study. Says Gaddy: "It all boils down to plagiarism."

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And speaking of presidents, does President Bush care - as so many contend he does not? Ask Mike McNaughton. An Army National Guard sergeant, he stepped on a landmine while serving in Afghanistan - losing his leg. President Bush met him during a hospital visit and promised that when Sgt. McNaughton could run a mile they would run one together; Bush called every month to inquire about his progress. Two years ago Bush and Sgt. McNaughton made the run in Washington. The picture has been widely circulated on the Internet.

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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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