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Jewish World Review June 13, 2002 / 3 Tamuz, 5762

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Musings | The United States has won a World Cup Soccer Match for the first time in a dozen years.

This isn't huge news in the U.S. Most of us look upon soccer as a good jog spoiled -- a game in which men race back and forth across a couple acres of land, kicking a ball hither and yon -- and maybe, once or twice in a couple of hours, actually scoring a goal.

Soccer has never caught on here for two reasons: It is boring, and our men stink at it.

Unlike the American women, who are the world's best, our men have finished dead last in the past two world championships. But that folks is history. This week, all the world is atwitter.

We upset the mighty Portugese by a score of 3-to-2. If we beat the South Koreans next week -- and they've just got their first World Cup win ever -- we'll make the final 16. I'm rooting for total victory. Why? Because nothing would do more to tick off the planet's snooty, futbol-worshipping America-haters.

President Bush outlined plans to create a new cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security. It will gobble up personnel, policies and responsibilities of more than 100 government agencies -- and a new single agency will do four things: keep our borders safe, respond to emergencies, treat the victims of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons and gather information about terrorism and act on it.

The White House calls this the most ambitious reorganization in 60 years. That's good news -- and bad news.

In theory, the Bush administration will unify critical obligations under one departmental umbrella -- and the government will perform the chores more swiftly, cheaply and effectively than ever.

In practice government reorganizations often fall apart because federal workers, accustomed to lifetime employment and lavish legal protections, don't want to surrender their security -- even for the cause of national security.

Still, let's hope the president prevails. Success in this case is infinitely better than the alternative.

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