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Tying Up Loose Ends
July 20, 2001

By popular demand, we're offering a new feature: sequels to the pieces that appear in this space. We don't forget stories once they're shelved in the archive, and our mailbox suggests that you don't either, so in the interest of keeping current, here's the latest.

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Only the Good Die Young

Remember La Verkin, the Utah town that declared its independence from the U.N. on July 4th? Apparently State Attorney General Mark Shurtleff thinks blue helmets are too fetching to toss. In a Washington Times piece ironically titled, "Attorney General Tells County Its Anti-U.N. Law Violates American Freedoms," the AG is quoted as telling a town meeting, "Throughout this document you are violating the First Amendment, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and possibly the Fifth Amendment" by restricting commerce with pro-U.N. businesses. No mention of how U.N. encroachment might trespass on the town's constitutional rights. At present, the LaVerkin city council is redrafting the resolution, while two other Utah towns, unbowed by the AG's disapproval are considering similar measures.

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One Win, One Waiting

Since the column on stem cell research in which we quoted Trent Lott as saying, "there is some great potential here" for experimenting with "cells before they become embryos," the Senate Minority Leader has had a change of heart. "I believe that there are some very positive things that can be done without going into the area of farming or harvesting embryonic stem cells. I have a problem with that," he told a reporter at this week's media availability. "So I just want to get clear. Are you against embryonic stem cell research?" the reporter repeated. "Yes, I am," Lott replied. Score one for the good guys.

For the President's part, he says, "I'm going to take my time because I want to hear all sides." Let's hope his listening tour includes the silent screams of unborn millions who will die if he decides against life.

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NAFTA Keeps on Trucking

President Bush remains determined to open American highways to uninspected Mexican trucks carting NAFTA cargo. Last month, by a vote of 285-143, the House resoundingly rejected his plan. White House Press Secretary Ari Fleisher suggested that the nays had ulterior motives, "The House action had nothing to do with safety. It had to do with banning trucks because they happen to be operated by our friends to the south." Not so. The dissenting members recognized something the White House refuses to admit: that 235 American inspectors spread over 27 checkpoints can't possibly inspect the 4.5 million trucks that currently cross each year -- much less deal with the 7 million expected to truck north once the restrictions are lifted. At present, of the 1% that are inspected, 36% are sidelined - a less than stellar safety record - but the Transportation Secretary isn't paying attention. This week, he took the Administration's case to the Hill where he told the Senate Commerce Committee that "President Bush's senior advisors would recommend that he veto any bill containing provisions that foreclose the possibility of meeting our NAFTA obligations." What about first fulfilling the obligation to protect our own citizens' safety?

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If the Left Likes It…

The Democrat response to Bush trial balloon to grant amnesty to 3 million (make that 9 million) Mexican illegals should be sufficient to send all the President's men back to the drawing board. After winning 65% of the Hispanic vote in the last election, the Dems no doubt like the idea of letting the GOP import resources for their rivals. "We're urging today that the president proceed, but not only limit it to Mexican immigrants but broaden it to other countries as well," Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle gushed. "Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, Hondurans, Haitians, and other immigrants….Not just because it's the right thing to do, but because it's the smart thing to do." Smart for whom, Mr. Majority Leader?

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