And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest footnotes to the story of America at war against terrorism.
The state of Oregon, where the city of Portland and several other communities are refusing to let their police help the Justice Department to interview foreign men, may have a terrorism problem. That according to the state's junior senator, Republican Gordon Smith, who says the information he received is classified, but "I have reason to believe that there are some finding aid and comfort here in the state of Oregon who have been a party to terrorist activities that found ultimate expression in New York City." A spokesman for Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber said he had he knew nothing of what Smith was talking about.
A new study of crime in New York City credits the aggressive work of the New York Police Department much more than other factors for the sharp decline in the city's crime rate. The study, done by Rutgers University Professor George Kelling for the Manhattan Institute, found that the tough enforcement of laws against minor crimes – the so-called "broken-windows" policing – was "significantly and consistently linked to declines in violent crime" preventing an estimated 60,000 such crimes between 1989 and 1998. The study found that neither the economy nor a decline in the use of crack cocaine were important factors in the crime drop.
And speaking of law enforcement, National Guardsmen patrolling the Austin, Texas, airport have reported seeing a security screener dozing on the job, another stealing money from an elderly passenger. These were among a dozen alleged infractions this fall by employees of Argenbright Security, which handles security at airports coast-to-coast. The company says it's hired new employees at Austin and is happy with their work.