And now the most intriguing two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Saddam's Next Move?
Exiled Iraqi military generals now returning to Iraq warn that Saddam Hussein (search) from inside the country is plotting to regain control of Iraq and has changed his Baath Party's (search) name to "Auda," meaning "return." Maj. Gen. Tawfiq al Yassiri, who helped lead a rebellion against Saddam in 1991, tells Reuters that Saddam has "prepared for every eventuality, including the total collapse of his regime. He does not leave anything to chance." Yassiri says that while most leaders of the old Iraqi regime are gone, a new generation of Saddam loyalists is ready to fill their posts, adding that the old Iraqi dictator has "ample means of communication," though he did not specify what they might be.
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a federal agency in charge of promoting child welfare, is paying for a study on the sexual habits and fantasies of old men. The institute is providing more than $137,000 for the study to "determine how and why sexual function declines" with aging men so physicians can differentiate between natural dysfunction and, say, disease. Meanwhile, The Washington Times says a House subcommittee has sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human services wondering "how this provocative data about aging men's sexual fantasies and activities will benefit hapless children afflicted with pediatric diseases." But a spokesman for the institute emphasizes that "Child Health" is only half of the institute's name, noting the rest of it, "Human Development," deals with "the entire lifespan."
The Connecticut liberal arts college Wesleyan University has become the first school in the nation where students can be assigned a roommate without regard to their sex. But this is not a co-ed hall, mind you, it's what they're calling a "gender-blind" hall. The reason for that, one student told The Hartford Courant, is that "'coed' implies one of two genders and a lot of people don't identify with either." Meanwhile, a spokesman for the conservative Culture and Family Institute is calling the new housing "politically correct anarchy" that will lead to more "gender confusion" and "will be all the rage on campuses."
A Figure of Speech
Remember the story about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (search) two weeks ago in which about a dozen faculty and about 50 students at the University of Georgia Law School protested Thomas as their commencement speaker because he was "unworthy" of the honor? Thomas has given the speech, and afterward he received a standing ovation from the 230 students in attendance. The Atlanta Journal Constitution says a handful of students holding red signs were protesting outside, but they were from the University of Michigan.