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web posted February 11, 2002

Conservative commentator plans to ignite airwaves with provocative repartee on new Boston radio show

Beginning today, "the man on the street" will have a new opportunity to be heard by many, when The Chuck Morse Show airs for the first time on WROL 950 AM.

Scheduled to broadcast live, Monday through Friday, from 7 PM to 8 PM, the show debuts on February 11. Station owner Alex Canavan believes "Chuck is a good fit not only for our station, but for the city of Boston." A self-described genuine, god-fearing, Jewish right-wing conservative, Morse hopes to bring the issues of the day into full view, unclouded by the "tyranny of political correctness."

While the format will be traditional talk radio, with lines open for live callers, guests will also appear frequently. Already on the roster are former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and former Attorney General Edwin Meese, although local individuals, celebrated and unknown, will be welcomed. All the gubernatorial candidates, including the obscure ones, will be invited to the microphones to spar with Morse and company. His once-a-week co-host will be Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfield, who will fire up discussions on topics relating to education in America.

A graduate of the school of hard knocks, Morse considers himself a self-educated thinker, able to provide a forum for creative thought and opinions. Having worked as a cab driver, waiter and loading dock laborer, Morse has a deep respect for the voice of the street. Morse attracts an intelligent and thoughtful audience of informed people hungering for the truth. WROL 950 AM is a Salem Communications affiliate known for its religious programming. Morse, while discussing religious issues, will also tackle controversial issues and invite newsmakers and intellectuals on the airwaves.

A one-time host in the mid-90s on WMFO, the Tufts University radio station, Morse has also been heard more recently on the American Freedom Network (syndicated out of Colorado). He has authored two books, both compilations of his political columns, Why I'm a Right-Wing Extremist and Thunder out of Boston, with a third to come out in May, titled The Difference Between Us and Them. His columns appear online on conservative web sites such as www.worldnetdaily.com, www.frontpagemagazine.com and www.enterstageright.com. For more information on his writings and ideas, go to www.chuckmorse.com.

Morse lives in Brookline, MA with his wife, a Boston attorney, and their three-year-old daughter. He plays blues guitar.

Bush, Blair nominated for Peace Prize

President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have been nominated for the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for fighting terrorism and securing world peace, a Norwegian lawmaker announced February 4.

Harald Tom Nesvik, a member of parliament from the right-wing Party of Progress, said he has nominated the two leaders who have been at the forefront of the war in Afghanistan.

"The background for my nomination is their decisive action against terrorism, something I believe in the future will be the greatest threat to peace," Nesvik said. "Unfortunately, sometimes ... you have to use force to secure peace."

Nesvik has nomination rights as a member of a national legislature.

The Oslo-based awards committee accepts nominations postmarked by Feb. 1, so proposals continue to arrive and a final number is not expected until late in the month.

Last year, 136 individuals and groups were nominated. The $943,000 prize was shared by the United Nations and its secretary-general, Kofi Annan.

The committee keeps the names of nominees secret for 50 years. However, those making nominations often reveal their choice.

The Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States and the aftermath were expected to influence this year's nominations, because those events were too late to be considered in last year's award.

Other Sept. 11-related nominations mentioned, but not confirmed, include former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Guy Tozzoli, an engineer who helped design the World Trade Center.

The Nobel Prize winners are named in mid-October and the awards are always presented on Dec. 10, the day their founder, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, died in 1896. The peace prize is awarded in Oslo, and the others in Stockholm, Sweden.

Judge rules with Rights Panel Chair Berry

In a legal blow to the Bush administration, a federal judge ruled February 4 that the president's appointee has no place on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler said that under current statutes, commissioner Victoria Wilson is entitled to a full six years on the commission despite the fact that she was appointed to fill out a term that expired Nov. 29.

The decision leaves Peter Kirsanow, appointed by President Bush to take Wilson's place, out in the cold.

"The text of the 1994 statute is clear," said Kessler, a Clinton appointee. "Commissioners will serve out six-year terms" regardless of whether they are fulfilling the rest of a predecessor's term, as in Wilson's case.

She said the 1994 amendment made no mention of mid-term appointments, or the use of staggered terms, therefore, Congress purposefully excluded mention of them to allow six-year terms to apply to everyone regardless of the nature of their appointment.

The Department of Justice, which filed a suit against Wilson to challenge her legitimacy on the panel, said immediately that it will file an appeal.

"We respectfully disagree with the Court's ruling," said DOJ Director of Public Affairs Barbara Comstock. "The court's interpretation of the Civil Rights Commission's statute has the potential to allow political gamesmanship to occur on what should be a bipartisan, independent commission. We are confident of our legal position and plan to immediately seek an appeal to the Unites States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit."

Panel Chairwoman Mary Frances Berry said the ruling was a vindication of the commission's independence.

"No White House can tell the commission what to do," she said. "What I'm most pleased about is the court upheld the independence of the commission. It's what we've been fighting for in this case."

Former President Clinton appointed Wilson in January 2000 to fill the vacancy of Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., who died in 1998 in the middle of his term. After Bush appointed Kirsanow in November 2001, when Higginbotham's term would have ended, Wilson refused to leave her seat saying that her six-year term began when she took the position in January 2000.

Wilson, with the backing of chairwoman Berry, based her case on the commission's organizing statutes. In 1983, Congress included language prescribing mid-term vacancies in an overhaul of the commission to make it a more independent body. In 1994, they overhauled the 40-year-old body again, and omitted the language for mid-term vacancies.

The government maintained that the language for mid-term vacancies was implied in the 1994 overhaul and the Bush administration was merely abiding by the law by filling the vacancy left by the expiration of Wilson's term.

Wilson, and now Judge Kessler, said that the language is not there and therefore the law is clear that all appointees are given the same six-year assignment.

Berry, a 20-year veteran of the commission who enjoys the strength and influence of a Democratic majority on the panel, said the Justice Department lawsuit was an infringement of the commission's independence.

The two outspoken and outnumbered Republicans on the panel said the entire matter was orchestrated by Berry to maintain control over the panel, which has a $9 million annual budget but no enforcement powers. They said she has used the commission to forward a Democratic agenda for the last 10 years.

The commission investigated voting irregularities in the 2000 presidential election in Florida and issued a report in the fall of 2001 saying minority rights had been violated. The commission plans to question Florida Gov. and Bush brother Jeb Bush this year.

The commission has subpoenaed several members of the Bush administration, including Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez, Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, Interior Secretary Gale Norton, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, to attend this Friday's meeting on environmental justice.

All of the secretaries are sending subordinates to the meeting. Kirsanow's attorney Rob Kelner said Kirsanow would attend commission meetings until the appeal is decided.

Armey opposes AmeriCorps expansion

U.S. President George Bush's plan to expand the AmeriCorps program might hit some roadblocks on Capitol Hill, House Majority Leader Dick Armey said February 5.

"The idea that government can teach charity to America rings very hollow with me," the Texas Republican told reporters.

"I do not understand why anybody would embrace AmeriCorps. I consider just the structural framework of AmeriCorps as obnoxious."

Bush said he is asking for a boost in AmeriCorps funding as part of a national strategy to bolster public service in ways that enhance homeland security and not necessarily to promote volunteerism by voucher.

"I think the country needs to provide opportunities for people to serve, expanding AmeriCorps, expanding Senior Corps -- it's a good way for Americans to fight evil," Bush said during a tour of the Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Medical Center.

"And there's all kinds of opportunities: Senior Corps is one opportunity, AmeriCorps is one, church, synagogue or mosque programs are another." In his State of the Union address last week, the president proposed spending millions of dollars to expand the number of AmeriCorps volunteers from 50,000 to 75,000.

The program, geared to young adults, pays a stipend in return for involvement in programs such as Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

AmeriCorps is to fit into a larger service organization called USA Freedom Corps, which also would include a Senior Corps and a Citizen Corps to move volunteers into areas of service that enhance security through work with police, fire, emergency rescue and other agencies.

The budget also would boost funding for the Peace Corps and dispatch a majority of the new volunteers to Islamic nations.

"When the Democrats got a Democratic president, [AmeriCorps] was one of the first things they rammed through Congress," Armey said. "It was not a good idea then and it's not a good idea now."

"My own view is that America is a nation of great charity," he said. "We give best when we give what's in our own hearts. We give least well when we give at the direction and supervision of the government."

The president said he did not believe Armey's opposition would prove decisive.

"I think Congress understands that we need to provide opportunities for teachers to teach in the inner city schools and seniors to provide homeland defense volunteer activities," Bush said.

"The key thing, the key point I was making in my speech is that many in the country are asking how they can help, how they can help fight terror," the president said.

"And one way to do so is through acts of kindness and compassion and decency. And the good news is, a lot of Americans are responding."

A senior administration official said the White House "respects" Armey's views, but it would work with moderate Republicans and Democrats to secure funding for AmeriCorps.

"This is not the first time we've disagreed with Dick Armey," the official said. "It won't be the last."

America too patriotic, says Norman Mailer

Influential American writer Norman Mailer has criticized the ``patriotic fever'' gripping the United States following the Sept. 11 attacks.

``What happened on Sept. 11 was horrific, but this patriotic fever can go too far,'' Britain's Daily Telegraph quoted Mailer, 79, as saying February 6.

``America has an almost obscene infatuation with itself. Has there ever been a big powerful country that is as patriotic as America?'' Mailer asked in an interview.

``You'd really think we were some poor little republic, and that if one person lost his religion for one hour, the whole thing would crumble. America is the real religion in this country.''

Mailer, renowned for his macho image and stabbing the second of his six wives 40 years ago, said America's right wing had benefited from the attacks on Sept. 11.

``The right wing benefited so much from Sept. 11 that, if I were still a conspiratorialist, I would believe they'd done it,'' he said.

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