Gil DiNello, a member of the Michigan Senate, is a longtime member of the National Rifle Association and has consistently opposed all efforts to regulate firearms. So why did he introduce legislation that would ban high-powered water guns? Says DiNello, "Real guns are intended to kill. This is intended as a toy."
In an effort to attract tourists, North Korea is offering a honeymoon travel package, including visits to a maternity hospital and an irrigation dam. And who says there's no room for romance in the communist world?
Donald Wildmon's American Family Association is upset with Cape Giradeau County, Missouri, prosecutor Morley Swingle. An officer of the local AFA chapter tried to get Swingle to bring charges against video stores renting adult tapes. But, reports Adult Video News, Swingle chose first to find out what community standards were. He polled 237 people who had just served as jurors. When over 70 percent said that Americans should be free to watch whatever they want in their own homes and that stores should be free to provide the material, Swingle declined to prosecute any of the stores. Rather than thanking him for saving the county the $25,000 it would cost to try a case it probably couldn't win, the AFA criticized Swingle for spending $137.46 on the poll.
In Southern California, a battle between environmentalists and animal-rights activists has turned ugly. The state has begun trapping and killing foxes in the Ballona Wetlands. This has met with the approval of local environmental groups, who claim that the swiftly reproducing foxes, which were accidentally introduced into the area by man, are decimating endangered species of birds and generally wreaking havoc on the ecosystem. Animal-rights activists object to the killings—of foxes, that is. They've been leaving death threats on the answering machines of local environmentalists who support the program.
Like most federal agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency maintains a fleet of cars for official use. And like most agencies, the EPA is partial to luxury cars—Lincoln Town Cars and Crown Victorias, in particular. In fact, the EPA fleet averages only 6.3 miles per gallon, less than 25 percent of federal fuel-efficiency standards.
Texas Republicans countered Bill Clinton's August bus tour through their state by hiring an Elvis impersonator to trail him. The faux King set up rival rallies where he sang and served bologna sandwiches. The Republicans did this to show that Clinton had no right to claim the mantle of Elvis. They have a point. Elvis served in the Army, kept his wife at home, and while he, too, may have never inhaled, Elvis swallowed more than his share of pills.
Senate Chaplain Richard Halverson opened a Senate session earlier this year with this prayer: "Gracious Father, investigative reporting seems epidemic in an election year—its primary purpose to defame political candidates….Eternal God, help these self-appointed 'vacuum cleaner' journalists to discover how unproductive and divisive their efforts are." Apparently, the chaplain memorized the first rule of public speaking: Know your audience.
In a departure from its usual policy, the Justice Department has decided not to seize the car or home of Leslie Cayer Ohta under federal forfeiture laws, even though her son was allegedly dealing drugs out of them. Ohta, an assistant U.S. attorney, heads up the department's seizure operations in Connecticut.
Charles and Glenda Bishop of Cedartown, Georgia, haven't been so lucky. Despite a court order to do so, Polk County Sheriff Jack Kirkpatrick refuses to return $44,000 he seized from the couple in a failed drug investigation.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Brickbats".