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Volume 72, Issue 124, Friday, April 6, 2007


Staff Editorial


                        Robyn Morrow             Chris Elliott                        
                                               John Arterbury       Caitlin Cuppernull

Report card eyes Legislature, Russians

Sen. Dan Patrick: D

State Sen. Dan Patrick marked a unique event with an equally unique distinction on Thursday -- he boycotted the first Muslim prayer delivered in the Texas Legislature, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Patrick was not present because he didn't want to "endorse" the prayer, but mere presence does not equal approval. 

Although Patrick -- a radio talk show host from Houston -- later praised the Legislature for its tolerance, his boycott sends mixed messages. 

Tolerance is better demonstrated through action than words alone, and Patrick's actions are not a shining example.

Bush's meeting: C

When Ronald Reagan laid a wreath at a German cemetery in 1985 containing the graves of Nazi SS veterans, it was an accident that haunted his administration. 

President Bush's visit with Russian Gen. Vladimir Shamanov in March may not prove so detrimental, but represents an equally embarrassing misstep. 

Shamanov, according to international watchdog group Human Rights Watch, oversaw the pillage of the Chechen village Alkhan-Yurt in 1999. 

Under Shamanov's auspices, homes in the village were systematically looted and torched, and many residents were shot. 

Seventeen civilians died, including a 100-year-old woman.

Bush may have had no clue about Shamanov's past, but the incident underscores a need for increased background investigations -- something every president could use from time to time. 


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