Wednesday, June 29

Safety Ratings

There's been an average of 160,000 troops in combat theater during the last 22 months, -- a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000.

The rate in Washington, DC is 80.6 per 100,000. That means that you are 25% more likely to be shot and killed in our nation's capitol, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, than you are in Iraq.

Conclusion: We should immediately pull out of Washington.

There They Go Again

We've come to expect strong, forceful rhetoric from the President concerning the war. Since his first warning that the war would be a long one in October, 2001 he has spoken candidly and frankly about the kind of war we face and he has told us specifically how we can help. So what interests me is the Democratic response to the President's speech last night.

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)says, "The president's frequent references to the terrorist attacks of September 11 show the weakness of his arguments. He is willing to exploit the sacred ground of 9/11, knowing that there is no connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq."

Nancy Pelosi seems to think that Bin Laden is the only terrorist with designs against America and the only terrorist involved in attacks on America. That makes it conveniently easy to overlook equal danger from not only Iraq but the Sudan, Iran, Egypt, Arabia and other viper nests. But let's look at the history.

Attacks by the Muslim terrorist community on Americans and the American military began in 1979:
Iran Embassy Hostages, 1979;
Beirut, Lebanon Embassy 1983;
Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983;
Lockerbie, Scotland Pan-Am flight to New York 1988;
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Kh! obar Towers Military complex 1996;
Nairobi, Kenya US Embassy 1998;
Dares Salaam, Tanzania US Embassy 1998;
Pentagon 2001.

(During the period from 1981 to 2001 there were 7,581 terrorist attacks worldwide).

The plans for war with Iraq were in place BEFORE George W. Bush was elected President. Bill Clinton began planning war with Iraq in 1998.IN EARLY 1998, the Clinton administration, following this same logic, prepared for war against Iraq. On February 17, President Clinton spoke on the steps of the Pentagon to explain to the American people why war was necessary. The speech is worth excerpting at length, because it was then and remains today the fundamental case for the invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein from power.

President Clinton declared that the great threat confronting the United States and its allies was a lethal and 'unholy axis' of international terrorists and outlaw states. 'They will be all the more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them.'"

Sabah Khodada was a captain in the Iraqi army from 1982 to 1992. He worked at what he describes as a highly secret terrorist training camp at Salman Pak, an area south of Baghdad. In an interview conducted in October, 2001 (one month after 9/11) he was asked, "After your service in the army, you worked for a secret part of the Iraqi government?" His reply: "Some of it is not very secretive. But there's another part, which has a lot to do with international terrorism and this kind of operation -- this is very secretive."

Interviewer:"What kind of training went on, and who was being trained?
"Training is majorly on terrorism. They would be trained on assassinations, kidnapping, hijacking of airplanes, hijacking of buses, public buses, hijacking of trains and all other kinds of operations related to terrorism."

AND, according to Iraq's own admissions, there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before we invaded.

Here is what was known by 1998 based on Iraq's own admissions:

* That in the years immediately prior to the first Gulf War, Iraq produced at least 3.9 tons of VX, a deadly nerve gas, and acquired 805 tons of precursor ingredients for the production of more VX.

* That Iraq had produced or imported some 4,000 tons of ingredients to produce other types of poison gas.

* That Iraq had produced 8,500 liters of anthrax.

* That Iraq had produced 500 bombs fitted with parachutes for the purpose of delivering poison gas or germ payloads.

* That Iraq had produced 550 artillery shells filled with mustard gas.

* That Iraq had produced or imported 107,500 casings for chemical weapons.

* That Iraq had produced at least 157 aerial bombs filled with germ agents.

* That Iraq had produced 25 missile warheads containing germ agents (anthrax, aflatoxin, and botulinum).

Again, this list of weapons of mass destruction is not what the Iraqi government was suspected of producing. (That would be a longer list, including an Iraqi nuclear program that the German intelligence service had concluded in 2001 might produce a bomb within three years.) It was what the Iraqis admitted producing. And it is this list of weapons--not any CIA analysis under either the Clinton or Bush administrations--that has been at the heart of the Iraq crisis.

Contrary to Pelosi's obvious belief in Bin Laden as the only threat to America, the danger is far broader and much more widespread. Our war is not a war against Bin Laden, but a war against ALL of those who would attack us and our way of life. President Bush began his defense (and the best defense, as any football fan knows, is a good offense) in Afghanistan and continued it in Iraq.

In another criticism of the President's speech last night, Democrats complained that the President did not offer more specifics about how to achieve success in Iraq. HEL--LO! We are fighting a war here, folks. We don't tell the enemy what we plan to do. During WWII there was a saying, "Loose lips sink ships." Announcing a pull out from Iraq before the insurgents quit fighting would be a primo example of "loose lips."

Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., said it's because of the lessons of the Sept. 11 attacks that he opposes Bush's approach to keeping the troops in Iraq without any timetable for withdrawal. "The U.S. military presence in Iraq has become a powerful recruiting tool for terrorists, and Iraq is now the premier training ground and networking venue for the next generation of jihadists," Feingold said.

Mr. Feingold is either lying or he doesn't know what our troops are doing in Iraq. Our soldiers have become construction workers and community builders, not only building the roads, bridges, homes, shops and businesses but the total infrastructure needed for a free society. Read the military blogs and listen to what our troops say when they come home. We are doing FAR more than fighting in Iraq. As a young West Pointer said yesterday, "We are builders, not destroyers."

As for our presence being a recruiting tool -- it is their hatred of the "infidel" (us) that is the recruiting tool. Our presence in Iraq just keeps them fighting over there instead of here.

If President Bush had done all the things the Democrats wanted: Not referred to 9/11 at all, alerted the terrorists to how we plan to continue that fight and promised to bring the troops home in six months Pelosi, Feingold and their ilk would be howling criticisms about not being realistic about 9/11, about endangering our troops and about not getting out fast enough. You just can't please some people at all. So why listen to them in the first place?

And by the way, all we heard from the Democrats was carping. No suggestions for alternatives, no plans. Just carping.

Tuesday, June 28

What Goes Around. . .

Everyone must be aware by now of the Supreme Court's decision last week to expand the concept of eminent domain to include giving privately owned land to companies if the government can generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefit from the company than from the private owner. That ruling is so destructive of basic property rights in America that it's hard to believe the Supreme Court isn't going to say "just foolin'" and move on.

But "what goes around comes around," they say, and so it has for Justice Souter, who voted in favor of the judgement. Freestar Media, LLC has applied to the city of Weare, New Hampshire for permission to build a hotel on the site of Justice Souter's home. And it gets better. . .

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements faxed a request to Chip Meany, the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire, seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.

Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Clements claims that the site is particularly appropriate for the hotel because it has been the home of someone "largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans."

Clements needs the votes of three city councilmen to begin construction of his hotel.

Here's to Mr. Clements -- best wishes for the success of his Lost Liberty Hotel.

Why failing to teach history is bad for democracy

by John Fund

A few years ago, the National Constitution Center surveyed teenagers and found that while only about four in 10 could name the three branches of the federal government fully six in 10 could name all Three Stooges.
Everyone agrees we aren't teaching history well, but the direction of reform is controversial. Philadelphia's public schools have just announced they will mandate that all students take an African-American history course in order to graduate from high school. The theory is that the city's 185,000 public school students, two-thirds of whom are black, will finally become aware of their culture and gain self-esteem. Those who are not black will gain an appreciation of black history that is inadequately covered in current general social studies courses.

John Perzel is the GOP speaker of the Pennsylvania House and represents a largely white Philadelphia district. He isn't so sure this is the right approach. "I would like to see [students] master basic reading, writing and arithmetic," he wrote to city officials last week. "Once we have them down pat, I don't care what they teach. . . . They should understand basic American history before we go into African-American history."

Other critics note that schools already put on programs every February for Black History Month, something not done for other ethnic groups. They fear a separate course will diminish student understanding of the overall American experience. Back in the 1960s, novelist James Baldwin testified before Congress that the triumphs and tribulations of black history should be woven into all history courses, rather than segregated. Diane Ravitch, a leading education reformer, agrees that African-American history should be studied but hopes it will be "based on the best scholarship, not ideology or politics."

Dream on. What's more likely to happen is that the creation of a specific African-American history course will fuel demands from other groups, such as Hispanics or gays, for similar history mandates.

What will slip further down a memory hole will be the major reason why it is important for students to study our history: America is an exceptional country in that we were born out of a shared set of ideas--human liberty and opportunity, accompanied by a common set of values. It is often said that while being a Frenchman or German is bound up in ethnicity and ties to the soil, it is possible to become an American by adopting this nation's creed and beliefs.

We are risking something very basic by failing to communicate the basic ideals of America and instead, as historian David McCullough told me, "raising a generation of students who are historically illiterate." But many of those students will eventually become curious, and without a solid grounding in the past, they could easily fall prey to revisionist history, whether it be of the Confederate or Oliver Stone variety.

Yale professor David Gelernter says that "ignorance of history is destroying our judgment." He points to Sen. Dick Durbin's ignorant comment comparing the actions of U.S. personnel at Guantanamo Bay to those of Nazis and Soviets. His remarks went largely unremarked upon by fellow senators until talk radio made them an issue.

Future leaders may make even more horrific missteps: a 2003 survey of seniors at the top 55 liberal arts colleges found that over half thought Germany, Italy or Japan had been a U.S. ally in World War II. The concern about historical amnesia crosses the political spectrum. Bill Moyers, the liberal PBS pundit, has said "we Americans seem to know everything about the last 24 hours but very little of the last 60 centuries or the last 60 years."

When Ronald Reagan delivered his 1989 farewell address to the nation, he noted there was "a great tradition of warnings in presidential farewells," and he would make no exception. He told his audience that the "one that's been on my mind for some time" was that the country was failing to adequately teach our children the American story and what it represents in the history of the world. "We've got to teach history based not on what's in fashion, but what's important," he said. "If we forget what we did, we won't know who we are. I am warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit."
As well-meaning as Philadelphia's attempt to raise the self-esteem of black students may be, we should take time this coming Fourth of July to realize that our failure to teach America's story demands far more strenuous solutions.

Monday, June 27

We Won't Give Up on Iraq

As support for Iraqi freedom wanes in the USA, the Iraqi people claim more and more progress in their danger-frought attempts to gain political power and wrest the country from oppression. Here's some of what our mainstream media aren't telling us:

1. June 14: Iraq's Shiite-led government received a vote of confidence from the Iraqi National Assembly. "The 37-member government led by Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari was overwhelmingly approved by a show of hands from the 275-member parliament."

2. June 22: Iraq restores diplomatic relations with four neighboring countries-- Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait -- for the first time in a decade."Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari announced that Egypt would be the first Arab country to upgrade its diplomatic representation by appointing an ambassador."

3.June 21:"The president of the Iraqi constitutional committee Mr. Humam Hamudi announced that the constitutional committee has completed 80% of the Iraqi constitution and is determined to complete its mission before August 15th. He added that the committee meets daily to take advantage of the wide Arab Sunni participation. Jawad Alamleki (a Sunni member of the committee) said that constitution will emerge with strong Iraqi personality and there are no serious disagreements in dissertation over its contents."

4.June 21: Something I wish would happen in the US: Iraqis catch Constitutional Fever. "Public conferences and sessions in Baghdad and other provinces seem to be endless nowadays; municipalities, NGOs and forums are all very excited about Iraq's top topic which is writing the Iraqi constitution and they obviously don't want to miss the chance to take part in the historic event.
Such activities play a good role in educating the population and activating the concept of public involvement in the state's decisive steps through organizing sending the people's suggestions and thoughts to the authorities and making sure they're being considered."

5.June 27:
"In a statement, Sheikh Abu Manar Al Alami, president of the Council for Islamic Call and Guidance for the Salafi trend, called the Arab fighters to refrain from the martyr attacks. He confirmed the nullity of the religious opinions of Jihad in Iraq, which have been launched by some Salafi clergymen in Saudi Arabia. He strongly rejected accusing the Salafi trend of being extremist and adopting terrorism."

6. June 27:Steps are being taken to restore citizenship to Iraqis who were deprived of their nationality nationality under Saddam’s regime according to the "Bad Reputation 666 Act of 1980."

7. June 27: Even the European Union is getting into the act. The European Union mission for training Iraqi magistrates and senior law enforcement officials is set to begin on 1 July. The proposal was approved by the 25 EU members states in February, but the office of foreign policy chief Javier Solana has confirmed they have now received an official request from Baghdad. The request was made during a visit by three leading EU officials, including Solana, to Iraq last week."

8. June 20: Hussein left Iraq with a mind-boggling debt of $125 billion. So Iraq is negotiating debt reduction or forgiveness with a variety of entities. Canada signed the latest agreement and agreed to write off 80%, or US$470 million, of Iraqi debt. Slovakia will also forgive Iraq its debt amounting to 35.2 million koruna ($10.8 million).

9. June 10: The Iraqi stock market signs on more than 50 stock markets around the world and will join The International Federation of Stock Exchanges. "Taha Ahmed Abdul Salam, executive manager of the stock market, who participated in the conference, heading a delegation of the stock market, said that various participating international stock exchanges have expressed their desire to sign mutual agreements to develop the mutual work with the Iraqi stock market, which reinforces the chances of the latter to gain the necessary expertise in the electronic exchange and the modern methods of banking deposit."

10. June 12: And last in this list (but there's lots more), culture has returned to Iraq. It's not quite like attending a concert at the Kennedy Center but the symphony is back. "Iraqis packed the red upholstered seats in the darkened hall of the National Theater in central Baghdad on Friday night, while men with machine guns stood in the aisles. Two snipers perched outside on a second-floor balcony. Guards frisked concertgoers as they entered.

But as they listened with serene faces to the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra playing the first sweet strains of Beethoven's 'Egmont' Overture, Opus 84, it seemed they had, even if only for an evening, defied the chaos and killing that has rearranged so many lives here."

So, in spite of the naysayers, freedom is dawning in Iraq. As always, the price of a free society is sacrifice and pain and blood but the new day will bring safety and liberty for us all.

In a press conference just weeks after the attack on New York City -- October 20, 2001 -- President Bush said, "I think the American people now fully understand that we are in an important struggle, a struggle that will take time." We must not give up until the job is done.

Friday, June 24

Hoo Ah, General Patton!

I wouldn't use the same language, but here's what's in my heart: Click on YOU GO, GENERAL. If that link doesn't work, copy and paste the following URL into your browser: click on "A Message From The Ghost of General Patton."

That says it all as far as I'm concerned. I just wish the Old Guy was here to say it himslf. Thank God (and that's a prayer, not an oath) we have men today who are just as tough and just as realistic. God Bless Them All and God Bless America.

Wednesday, June 22

You Rock, Rep. Hostettler

This past Monday I just happened to be tuned in to C-Span when utter chaos broke loose on the floor of the US House of Representatives. Now, the US House is typically so dull that the casual observer tends to despair for the fate of the country. How can anything truly significant happen with most of the Representatives elsewhere, one wonders, while s/he yearns for the lively, noisy Parliament TV of Great Britain.

On Monday, however, the lazy leviathan suddenly sprang to life.
John Hostettler (R-IN) stood to take to task the Democrats for adding an amendment to trying to the $409 billion defense spending bill accusing Christians of "coercive and abusive" proselytizing at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

In a rare display of cognizance, emotion and temper, Rep. Hostettler accused Democrats of waging a "long war on Christianity." (He has obviously been reading Democratic blogs! And paying attention to the darlings of the Democrats, the ACLU.)"Like a moth to a flame, Democrats can't help themselves when it comes to denigrating and demonizing Christians," he said. That statement is perhaps the truest spoken on the floor of the House in the past 50 years.

Suddenly the entire House leapt from their lethargy. Rep. David Obey (D-WI)demanded Hostettler's remarks be stuck from the record, calling it "coercive and abusive." (What happened to freedom of speech? The very amendment that Hostettler was objecting to had stronger language against Christianity, striking out against "abusive religious proselytizing" and accusing people at the Academy of forcing Christianity on innocent victims.)Since the Academy has not experienced a recent surge in Christian converts, it would seem that Obey's amendment was more out of line than Hostettler's accusations.

Certainly no one, hearing John Dean's rant against the Republicans and sneeringly calling them a "white, Christian party" and no one reading the Democratic blogs with their foul language slurs of "fundamentalist Christians," and no one who followed the actions of the ACLU and its ilk could or would object to Hostettler's characterization of the Democratic party.

The outcome of it all -- and even Sen. Barney Franks spoke out against Hostettler's remarks!-- was the Obey's amendment was defeated and Hostettler asked to have his remarks struck from the record.

Kudos to Rep. Hostettler for calling the spade what it truly is. Thanks for, in doing so, demonstrating that Republicans recognize the truth of the situation that not only exists but is becoming more and more abusive and oppressive. The very fact that he was pressured to remove his remarks from the record (and they were not personal remarks directed at Obey, but true and honest perceptions aimed at the Democratic Party) shows just how far the Democrats have gone to destroy the rights of Republicans and Christians.

Monday, June 20

Democrats: J'accuse

"I'll take the high road and you take the low road, and I'll be in Scotland before ye." Old Scottish Tune

As an American Voter, I have one wish.

I wish politicians and pundits would commit themselves to telling the truth; take the High Road, if you will. That one thing would make all the difference in quality of life in America. Everyone would gain. As it is, the Democrats, especially, seem to prefer the Low Road. Lies and misinformation. They loudly accuse the Republicans of lying, but a look at the facts turns the spotlight back to the Democrats.

Let's look at the economy, for example.

The official Democratic line on President Bush's fiscal policies is that they're a disaster. They claim that "Bush plans devastating cuts to America's top priorities, from homeland security to health care to education to benefits for veterans and much more. Despite these cuts, this budget is a fiscal disaster, with Bush's trademark irresponsibility pushing America deeper into the red with another record deficit." The quote is from the Democratic Party website.

But look at the truth:

"Federal tax revenues surged in the first eight months of this fiscal year by $187 billion, writes Stephen Moore in "This represents a 15.4% rise in federal tax receipts over 2004. Individual and corporate income tax receipts have exploded like a cap let off a geyser, up 30% in the two years since the tax cut. Once again, tax rate cuts have created a virtuous chain reaction of higher economic growth, more jobs, higher corporate profits, and finally more tax receipts.

"This Laffer Curve effect has also created a revenue windfall for states and cities. As the economic expansion has plowed forward, and in some regions of the country accelerated, state tax receipts have climbed 7.5% this year already. Perhaps the most remarkable story from around the nation comes from the perpetually indebted New York City, which suddenly finds itself more than $3 billion in surplus thanks to an unexpected gush in revenues. Many of President Bush's critics foolishly predicted that states and localities would be victims of the Bush tax cut gamble."

The Laffer Curve is an economic theory that Democrats disparage despite proven results. Reaganomics, it turns out, was based on the theory. When President Reagan lowered the tax rate in the highest income tax brackets from 70% to 20%, the result was an economic burst that almost doubled federal tax receipts: from $517 billion to $1,032 billion.

The idea is that lowering the tax rate on production, work, investment and risk-taking will spur more of these activities and leads to more tax revenue collections for the government.

All is not sweetness and light, however. Congress is on a spending spree -- federal expenditures are up $110 billion, or 7.2%, so far this year. However, it's now projected that the budget deficit will be at least $60 billion lower than last year.

States and cities, led by California, which a few years ago were awash in debt themselves, will enjoy net surpluses of at least $50 billion. Total government borrowing will come in at below 2.5% of national output -- hardly a crisis level of debt.

Opponents of the tax cut maintained that interest rates would soar, but today long-term rates are lower than ever.

All of this is public information, folks -- at the US Department of Labor . Everyone has access to it. So why do the Democrats continue to lie about the condition of the economy? Because they know most people won't do the research to find out the truth and they don't care to be honest and tell the truth.

And the truth gets even better: In the private-sector, we now have an investment boom. Lower capital gains and dividends taxes capitalized into higher stock values, which is partly why the Dow is up 24% since May 2003 while the Nasdaq has risen 39%.

Dan Clifton of the American Shareholder Association, Moore writes, estimates that this rise in stock values has translated into roughly $3 trillion in added wealth holdings of American households. The severe slump in business capital spending in 2001 and 2002 has now taken a U-turn, with spending on capital purchases up 22% since 2003. Because higher wages and new job creation depend on business capital investment, the so-called 'Bush tax cut for the rich' has enormously benefited middle-income workers.

Honest people in an honest Democratic Party would simply admit the truth and find another issue -- preferably a valid issue not being addressed -- to work on. I just don't understand why they have to take the Low Road.

Sunday, June 19

Hawkins: Way To Gitmo

I wonder if one of the reasons Conservatives are doing so well politically (other than the fact that they espouse traditional American values like faith, patriotism, tradition, morality, honor, duty, honesty and all that politically incorrect, dull, unintellectual stuff) is that Conservatives can write funny, intelligent articles without cursing. Here's one published today by Dustin Hawkins, a graduate student at one of the Florida universities, that ranks right up there with the best, IMHO:

You know things aren't going well for the Democrats when their main fighting issue is what the room temperature is at Guantanamo Bay’s Motel 6. Among the brilliant ideas of the "We Support the Troops" party is to close down the island-resort prison center affectionately referred to as Gitmo. The people most upset about the "torture" are mainly a bunch of leftwing, bed-wetting socialists who have never supported the war in any form or at any stage, but who we are now supposed to take as objective, credible persons.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-Idiot) breathlessly announced the extent of the torture found at Gitmo, which included 1) a room that was too cold, causing a detainee to shake; 2) a room that was too hot, causing a detainee to sweat; and 3) a room that was filled with loud rap music. Anyone learning of this information would undoubtedly, according to Durbin, compare this to the slaughter of several million non-terrorist Jews in Hitler's death camps, around three million persons murdered in Stalin's gulags, and a few million more massacred by Pol Pot's rampage in Cambodia.

Not only is such a comparison stupid but also it is irresponsible. If it is true that such situations create terrorists, as Durbin suggests, then it probably doesn’t help to exaggerate a point beyond believability. Al-Jazeera was originally going to use a headline that read "Infidels torture prisoner with bad music and Florida-like weather," but now they can use more entertaining headlines like "U.S. Senator likens torture of Muslims to Holocaust, millions of Muslims likely incinerated by giant oven." Hey, Durbin, thanks! You make us proud.

But the idea that liberals have of normal Arabs sitting around just waiting for that breaking point as to where they decide to check into a terrorist training camp and blow themselves to pieces because they are super-angry is rather absurd. Normal Arabs don't do that; the crazy ones do. And the crazy ones are already terrorists.
But that is beside the point. Americans are bad. Bad, bad, bad! Among the other things we do to American-hating terrorists and 9/11 co-conspirators is: feed them seven-course, culturally-aware meals, allow them to pray six thousand times a day, and give them prayer beads and prayer oil. (As opposed to mass starvation, denial of religious services, or random removal of bodies from heads.)

Inasmuch as hundreds of thousands of people risk their lives just to sneak into our country, which they sometimes call the Great Satan, it is rather obvious that our atrocities aren't quite atrocious enough. If we are going to be accused of doing really, really mean things to ruthless savages we might as well do them already. No offense, but putting on puppet shows and playing Christina Aguilera CDs (our other documented forms of "mistreatment") sounds less like the activities of hardened torture facility and more like those of Neverland Ranch.

My personal choice would be the Saddam Treatment, a unique brand of torture developed and tested by the former dictator himself, which would be equally suitable (and oh, how ironic!) for testing on his Gitmo-detained former subordinates. If Arafat was the Father of Modern Terrorism then Saddam is the Father of Modern Torture. In his pre-dictator days, Saddam worked at perfecting torture techniques. Such innovative torture ideas included eye-gouging, the drilling of holes in a person's hands and pouring acid on the open wounds, raping women with broken glass bottles, tying victims up and slowly lowering them into pools of acid, cutting off ears and tongues, ripping out finger and toenails, and among many other things, giving heavy electric shocks to the body and genitals. But hey, at least he didn't make them watch re-runs of the Golden Girls.

I'm sure that Congress will continue to argue for closing down the prison for absurd reasons, most likely with a brave bipartisan effort including liberal Republican Arlen Specter and liberal drunk Ted Kennedy. But if we must close Gitmo down, can we at least send the prisoners to Abu Ghraib?

Friday, June 17

Democrats Who Backed Going To War in Iraq

After two days of trying to get me to download a virus (you get me once, shame on you -- twice, shame on me. It's not going to happen again, fellas and gals), some of my Lib friends are now blitzing me with Emails about how President Bush lied and got us into war. Nevermind the terrorists hit us first; nevermind that every Democrat on the planet was as fooled as the Republicans by the intelligence about WMDs (which turned out to be there after all). So I'm going to treat you to a list of things prominent Democrats said before we went to war in Iraq:

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." -- From a letter signed by Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Milulski, Tom Daschle, & John Kerry among others on October 9, 1998

"This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer- range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." -- From a December 6, 2001 letter signed by Bob Graham, Joe Lieberman, Harold Ford, & Tom Lantos among others

"Whereas Iraq has consistently breached its cease-fire agreement between Iraq and the United States, entered into on March 3, 1991, by failing to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction program, and refusing to permit monitoring and verification by United Nations inspections; Whereas Iraq has developed weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological capabilities, and has made positive progress toward developing nuclear weapons capabilities" -- From a joint resolution submitted by Tom Harkin and Arlen Specter on July 18, 2002

"Saddam's goal ... is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed." -- Madeline Albright, 1998

"(Saddam) will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983" -- National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, Feb 18, 1998

"Iraq made commitments after the Gulf War to completely dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, and unfortunately, Iraq has not lived up to its agreement." -- Barbara Boxer, November 8, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capability. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons, but has not yet achieved nuclear capability." -- Robert Byrd, October 2002

"There's no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat... Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He's had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001... He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn't have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we." -- Wesley Clark on September 26, 2002

"What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad's regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs." -- Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002

"The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow." -- Bill Clinton in 1998

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security." -- Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

"I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons...I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out." -- Clinton's Secretary of Defense William Cohen in April of 2003

"Iraq is not the only nation in the world to possess weapons of mass destruction, but it is the only nation with a leader who has used them against his own people." -- Tom Daschle in 1998

"Saddam Hussein's regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies, including our vital ally, Israel. For more than two decades, Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal." -- John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002

"The debate over Iraq is not about politics. It is about national security. It should be clear that our national security requires Congress to send a clear message to Iraq and the world: America is united in its determination to eliminate forever the threat of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction." -- John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002

"I share the administration's goals in dealing with Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction." -- Dick Gephardt in September of 2002

"Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." -- Al Gore, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction." -- Bob Graham, December 2002

"Saddam Hussein is not the only deranged dictator who is willing to deprive his people in order to acquire weapons of mass destruction." -- Jim Jeffords, October 8, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." -- Ted Kennedy, September 27, 2002

"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed." -- Ted Kennedy, Sept 27, 2002

"I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force - if necessary - to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." -- John F. Kerry, Oct 2002

"The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last 4 years we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons. He has had a free hand for 4 years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons of mass destruction and the issue of proliferation." -- John Kerry, October 9, 2002

"(W)e need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. We all know the litany of his offenses. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. ...And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War." -- John Kerry, Jan 23, 2003

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandates of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." -- Carl Levin, Sept 19, 2002

"Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States." -- Joe Lieberman, August, 2002

"Over the years, Iraq has worked to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. During 1991 - 1994, despite Iraq's denials, U.N. inspectors discovered and dismantled a large network of nuclear facilities that Iraq was using to develop nuclear weapons. Various reports indicate that Iraq is still actively pursuing nuclear weapons capability. There is no reason to think otherwise. Beyond nuclear weapons, Iraq has actively pursued biological and chemical weapons.U.N. inspectors have said that Iraq's claims about biological weapons is neither credible nor verifiable. In 1986, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iran, and later, against its own Kurdish population. While weapons inspections have been successful in the past, there have been no inspections since the end of 1998. There can be no doubt that Iraq has continued to pursue its goal of obtaining weapons of mass destruction." -- Patty Murray, October 9, 2002

"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." -- Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998

"Even today, Iraq is not nearly disarmed. Based on highly credible intelligence, UNSCOM [the U.N. weapons inspectors] suspects that Iraq still has biological agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, and clostridium perfringens in sufficient quantity to fill several dozen bombs and ballistic missile warheads, as well as the means to continue manufacturing these deadly agents. Iraq probably retains several tons of the highly toxic VX substance, as well as sarin nerve gas and mustard gas. This agent is stored in artillery shells, bombs, and ballistic missile warheads. And Iraq retains significant dual-use industrial infrastructure that can be used to rapidly reconstitute large-scale chemical weapons production." -- Ex-Un Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter in 1998

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. And that may happen sooner if he can obtain access to enriched uranium from foreign sources -- something that is not that difficult in the current world. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction." -- John Rockefeller, Oct 10, 2002

"Saddam’s existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a very real threat to America, now. Saddam has used chemical weapons before, both against Iraq’s enemies and against his own people. He is working to develop delivery systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the Middle East." -- John Rockefeller, Oct 10, 2002

"Whether one agrees or disagrees with the Administration’s policy towards Iraq, I don’t think there can be any question about Saddam’s conduct. He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do. He lies and cheats; he snubs the mandate and authority of international weapons inspectors; and he games the system to keep buying time against enforcement of the just and legitimate demands of the United Nations, the Security Council, the United States and our allies. Those are simply the facts." -- Henry Waxman, Oct 10, 2002

Democrats don't seem to be able to take responsibility for their own words and behavior. That's clear evidence that they are not responsible enough to run the country.

The UN Needs A Bolt(on) of Lightning

Ion Pacepa is a Romanian and an unusual character. He spent 20 years as a Communist spy chief, trying to convert the UN into an "international socialist republic." The Communist Bloc, he says, threw immense amounts of energy and resources into that effort. He claims that the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence believes "all employees from Eastern Bloc nations were involved in espionage. The task of this espionage army was not to steal secrets but to use the U.N. to convert the historical Arab and Islamic hatred of the Jews into a new hatred for Israel's main supporter, the United States." It would seem that they did the job well.

"During the years I was Nicolae Ceausescu's national-security adviser," he says, "I learned that petty tyrants cannot be handled with kid gloves. You need an iron fist."


After decades, even generations, of supporting petty little oppressive dictators all over the world, the US seems to have realized at last that appeasement doesn't work; that allowing evil men with evil purposes to have their way with their countries does not make friends for the USA. We seem to realize at last that we are not alone in this world; that the world won't be free unless we aggressively act to make it so and that we won't be free unless we stand up to aggressors and murderers. At least our leadership seems to understand that at last. I'm not so sure the American people are smart enough to look beyond their immediate wants and needs enough to create a future. Especially when it's as painful as the war against terrorism.

But I digress.

The UN is a mess. We've poured more money, lives and support into that organization since its inception and it is a joke. The funniest thing of all about the situation, though, is that the very people who want to keep the US in the UN are the ones who are bound and determined to kill it. They're the ones who refuse to support John Bolton as the US ambassador to the UN.

John Bolton is just what we need in the UN now.

John Bolton was the instrument that successfully repealed U.N. Resolution 3379 of 1975. That's the resolution that called Zionism "a form of racism and racial discrimination."

Shortly after it was passed the Communists unleashed a vicious disinformation campaign portraying the U.S. as a rapacious Zionist country run by a greedy "Council of the Elders of Zion" (aka the U.S. Congress) plotting to transform the rest of the world into a Jewish fiefdom. It lasted 16 years -- until John Bolton.
In 1991, Bolton called the hand of the Communists and he was so forceful, so armed with proof and documentation, and so insistent that he forced the UN to repeal the resolution by a margin of 111 to 25.

Papeca writes,
Ten years after Communism collapsed, an operation identical to the one the Communists had plotted in 1975 made its appearance at the United Nations. On August 31, 2001, a U.N. World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance opened in Durban, South Africa, to approve ostensibly pre-formulated Arab League declarations asserting that Zionism was a brutal form of racism, and that the United States was its main supporter.
The September 11 terrorist attacks came eight days after the United States had withdrawn its delegation from Durban, stating that this U.N. conference would 'stand self-condemned for yielding to extremists.'

It is significant that today’s horrific terrorism has reenergized the Soviet bloc’s former agitators around the world. Antonio Negri, a professor at the University of Padua who considered the brains of the Italian Red Brigades (a terrorist group financed by the Communists) and who served time in jail for his involvement in kidnapping Prime Minister Aldo Moro, is just one example. Negri coauthored a virulently anti-American book entitled Empire, in which he justifies Islamist terrorism as being a spearhead of 'postmodern revolution' against American globalization, the new “empire” he claims is breaking up nation states and creating huge unemployment. The New York Times called this modern-day Communist Manifesto 'the hot, smart book of the moment.'

This is a familiar theme. For 27 years of my other life I was involved in creating various Antonio Negris throughout Western Europe and using them to spread the seductive theory of economic determinism that still defines the mindset of Europe’s Left. I helped write the lyrics to the siren song according to which America, symbolizing the world’s rich, is to blame for all the evils of the world. I was steeped in its rhetoric. To me today, these Cold War agitators revived by Kofi Annan's UN are even more disturbing than the terrorists’ Kalashnikovs now aimed at us.

Nowadays it is considered bad manners to point a finger at Communist sources of anti-Americanism, but the truth is that the Soviet bloc’s old U.N. bag of dirty tricks continues to bear fruit. In 2003, the U.N. expelled the U.S. from the Commission on Human Rights by the overwhelming vote of 33 to 3. By that time the United Nations General Assembly had already passed 408 resolutions condemning Israel, the only U.N. member prohibited from holding a seat on the Security Council. The cumulative number of votes cast against Israel since 1967? 55,642.

Now Annan wants to 'reform' this U.N. with help from the same Communists who deformed it. On December 2, 2004, for example, he vigorously endorsed the 101 proposals of the 'High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.' One of the main members of this blue-ribbon panel is an old friend of mine, Yevgeny Primakov, a former Soviet intelligence adviser to Saddam Hussein. This is the same Primakov who rose to head Russia’s espionage service for a time, and to sing opera ditties with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright while secretly running the infamous Aldrich Ames spy case behind her back. Another prominent member is Qian Qichen, a former Red China spy who worked under diplomatic cover abroad, belonged to the Central Committee of the Communist party when it ordered the bloody Tiananmen Square repression in 1989, rose to the Politburo afterward, and later became vice-chairman of China's State Council. And then there is Amre Moussa, the secretary general of the Arab League (and a former KGB puppet), who misses the balance of power provided by the Soviet Union and is still unable to condemn — to say nothing about prevent — terrorism.

This panel recommended that the U.N. be transformed into a Communist-style welfare organization geared to eradicate the world’s poverty and its main diseases. For that, the panel concluded that the U.N.’s bureaucracy should be significantly increased, and the treasuries of its member countries additionally raided. In 1946 the U.N. budget was $21.5 million. This year it is approaching $10 billion. If Annan has his way, it will grow to over $30 billion next year, as the blue-ribbon commission wants the U.N. members to “donate” an additional $10 billion annually to fight AIDS and 0.7 percent of their GNP to reduce the debt of poor countries.

The U.N. Charter, signed in 1945, states that the purposes of the organization is to "'maintain international peace,' encourage 'respect for human rights,' and promote 'freedom for all.' Sixty years later the world looks quite different, but, according to Freedom House, some 2.4 billion people "are denied most basic political rights and civil liberties."

Nazism, the Holocaust, and Communism were not defeated by international organizations or by blue-ribbon commissions. They were defeated by the military actions of the United States, which is now working on crushing the evil of terrorism. The U.S., not the U.N., initiated freedom's current domino effect in the Middle East, a movement that now is even reaching into Ukraine, Georgia, and other former Soviet republics, while the U.N. is busy encouraging the growing anti-American barrage.

The U.S. is the only force on earth that has the moral authority, the experience, and the capability to reform the U.N. It is high time for Washington to take the initiative again, as it did when World War II ended.

President Bush has said that he's interested in seeing reform in the UN. John Bolton is the man with the clear vision and the toughness to get the job done. Put Bolton in there and you might actually save the UN; give the job to a weaker, less effective man and the UN will be a thing of the past before we know it.

Tuesday, June 14

Kerry, the Constitution and Impeaching the President

According to the Constitution of the United States, Amendment 14, Section 3, John Kerry has no right to serve in Congress, not to mention run for President of the United States.

The Constitution says: "Section 3.

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability."

In 1971, while American troops fought in Viet Nam, John Kerry went to Paris and, by his own admission, said he had talked to "both delegations" and went on to explain that he meant both Communist delegations. He returned from Paris to endorse the Viet Cong's "peace plan" as if the pronouncements of Communist leaders deserved to be taken at face value. The Viet Cong's foreign minister, Madame Binh, had told him, he said, that 'if the United States were to set a date for withdrawal, the prisoners of war would be returned.' The fact that she said so, he suggested, proved that President Nixon was lying: 'I think this negates very clearly the argument of the president that we have to maintain a presence in Vietnam, to use as a negotiating block for the return of those prisoners. The setting of a date will accomplish that.'"

He did not go to Paris as a representative of the US Government, charged with working out a peace plan. He went to Paris as a war protestor intent on undermining the US government. That is treason.

And now this man, this underhanded, sneaking, lying traitor has the effrontery to lead an effort to impeach President Bush. He says Bush wanted Hussein out. So did he (Kerry) and everyone else!

Now we know Hussein actually did have WMDs, as we see now from reports of weapons showing up in Syria, etc. and roadside bombs reconstructed from double-chambered chemical weapons systems. So the Democrats now have to back-pedal, saying that US troops let the weapons get away. (Which is an admission that they existed.)

You'll never get a Democrat to admit he was wrong. That takes character. And honesty.

Reasons for impeachment are: Bribery, treason, “high crimes and misdemeanors." Abuse of power and serious misconduct in office fit this category. The big argument seems to be that the President lied when he led us to war in Iraq. That argument shouldn't go very far since all of the world's intelligence sources claimed Hussein had WMDs, the French and Russians had provided them, and 71 members of Congress voted for the war.

All of these voted to invade Iraq: YEAs ---77
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Bennett (R-UT)
Biden (D-DE)
Bond (R-MO)
Breaux (D-LA)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Campbell (R-CO)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carnahan (D-MO)
Carper (D-DE)
Cleland (D-GA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
Daschle (D-SD)
DeWine (R-OH)
Dodd (D-CT)
Domenici (R-NM)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Edwards (D-NC)Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Fitzgerald (R-IL)
Frist (R-TN)
Gramm (R-TX)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Helms (R-NC)
Hollings (D-SC)
Hutchinson (R-AR)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kerry (D-MA)Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Miller (D-GA)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Nickles (R-OK)
Reid (D-NV)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Santorum (R-PA)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-NH)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thompson (R-TN)
Thurmond (R-SC)
Torricelli (D-NJ)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)
And not a single one voted that way because the President told him/her to but because of the reports they saw from intelligence agencies.

One act that is definitely not grounds for impeachment is partisan discord.
And that's what we have here. Kerry and his Krew, who believed the original intelligence on WMDs and who said for years that Hussein must be removed, now are trying to obfuscate all that, AND Kerry's treason, and turn their disgrace onto President Bush.

Friday, June 10

Natalee Holloway and The West Wing

Glad to learn this morning that the FBI is finally getting around to talking to Natalee Holloway's classmates! I hope they're including all of the chaperones, as well. There definitely is legal culpability there -- among them all, but especially among the chaperones.

The story I heard was that shortly before she disappeared, Natalee Holloway was in a bathroom near the hotel bar and she was sick. Her friends were tending to her. Then, the next thing reported is that she was seen leaving the bar with three young men -- a Dutch student and two Arubans. After that, no Natalee. In spite of the fact that the three young men say they returned her to the hotel, no security camera recorded her return.

Cut away now to a West Wing episode (which is where I gained my entire knowledge of the drug culture).
The President's daughter, Zoe, goes to a party on graduation night with her French boyfriend. He slips a drug called "ecstasy" into her drink. Feeling dizzy and sick, she excuses herself, goes to the bathroom and disappears. Her secret service agent is found shot between the eyes in the back alley.

Sounds a bit like what might have happened to Natalee.

At this point, with the little bit of information reported, we have enough to begin asking questions. If her friends knew Natalee was not feeling well, why did they not call a chaperone? For that matter, what were 18-year-olds doing in a bar WITHOUT chaperones nearby? If there were adults keeping an eye on the kids, why did an adult not take over the care of a sick Natalee while she was in the bathroom?

Back to Natalee's friends, though. Let's assume that the adults with the party were totally irresponsible and partying somewhere else, leaving the group of children (and just because you can vote at age 18 doesn't mean you're mature enough either to vote or to look after yourself) to entertain themselves in the bar. Why did her friends let her leave with three strangers, especially men? Why did no one report that to chaperones immediately? (Or did someone tell an adult who did not respond and now there's a coverup of some kind?)

If her condition was obvious enough to her friends that they initially tried to help her, why didn't they follow through? If these children were not warned of the danger of going alone with strangers -- which any 4-year-old should know -- what were they doing in a place that is known for drug trafficking and the slave trade? Were they not taught the dangers of drugs and alcohol?

For that matter, what were teachers thinking of, taking a class trip to a place like Aruba? Why weren't they in Washington DC or at the UN in NYC or at some other equally educational place. It's a SCHOOL trip, people. You know, education? Or is that too much to ask of modern educators, who have little education themselves?

So Natalee, drugged and sick, goes off, alone, with these three young men. They are the last to see her alive. They say they took her back to the hotel and point an accusing finger at two hotel workers.

What's their relationship with those two hotel workers? How did they even know about them? Why pick those two? One has an alibi -- and he should be the one most suspect between the two. Why? Because the guilty person is the one most likely to have set up an alibi to protect himself.

The blame here, obviously, lies with the chaperones. They probably will, and definitely should be held legally responsible for Natalee's disappearance. But some of the blame lies with her friends, as well. Friends don't let friends go away with strangers.

What probably happened was that Natalee was so sick that the three boys simply abandoned her. Or she died of a drug overdose and they threw her into a bay, thinking that if they tried to take her to a hospital or for help somewhere, they would be blamed.

We can only pray that Natalee's story will turn out as happily as Zoe's on The West Wing. But realistically, we doubt it. We just hope those chaperones and those students are held legally responsible.

Thursday, June 9

Open Letter to Rush Limbaugh

Dear Mr. Limbaugh;

Today was the first time I've ever heard your radio show and I am shocked -- shocked, I say --and disappointed in you. In your answer to the FairTax question it was painfully obvious that you did not know what you were talking about. How often is that true? How are you different from CBS, Newsweek or the NY Times?

Here it is in a nutshell: The FairTax proposal is the only one extant that was developed by top-notch American economists (Harvard, MIT, Rice, Stanford and more) over a decade of study, taking into consideration not only the national economy but the will of the American taxpayer. It is NOT a Value Added tax or a flat tax. It is the only proposal that repeals the current income tax, social security tax, employment taxes and corporate taxes, among others and yet funds the government at present levels.

By removing Federal taxes it lowers retail prices by the 20% to 30% manufacturers and retailers now add to prices of goods to pay their taxes.

The FairTax gives every American 100% of his or her pay- or pension check. Each American with a social security card receives a monthly stipend to assure that s/he does not pay tax on necessities up to the poverty level; thus the poor pay no tax and the wealthy pay their share. (The wealthy buy more expensive things than the rest of us.)

The FairTax is on new goods and services only and the price of those goods and services stays approximately the same because of the removal of the aforementioned embedded taxes. It is not assessed on charitable gifts or contributions. There are no exemptions or so-called "incentives" in the FairTax, or it would not be fair!

The FairTax is a progressive tax that expands the tax base and fertilizes the economy. Because we pay only when we buy, the wealthy pay more (since they tend to buy couture dresses instead of Target specials, limousines and Jaguars instead of Toyotas and Hondas, two or three mansions instead of a small house in the suburbs, etc.) and since people who can afford it prefer quality to economy and half the fun of having money is showing off, it's highly unlikely that they will change. Heck, if they wanted to save money, they could by buying second hand now!

The FairTax brings the $350 BILLION the IRS says it loses to tax evaders annually (that's $2,000 extra each of us pays to make up for the slackers) into the economy, along with the 6 TRILLION dollar criminal, drug and porn dealer underground economies. Illegal immigrants and 40 million foreign tourists annually will pay into the tax base. The FairTax makes the USA the only country in the world that does not tax productivity -- opening us up to foreign investment as well as bringing home those outsourced jobs.

The biggest argument against the FairTax is that people believe Congress will never support and it would take too long to repeal the 16th Amendment. Congress will act if their constituents demand it of them -- remember the suffragettes? (Well, we're too young, but we've heard of them.) Congress also passed prohibition, then repealed it.

As for the 16th, it doesn't need to be repealed until after the FairTax is passed. It speaks only to the apportionment of taxes; once the income tax and the tax code are gone, the 16th will be easy. Remember when Congress decided to lower the voting age to 18? (We ARE old enough to remember that one!) They got that ratified in 8 months. It CAN be done and you, too, can decide how to spend, save or invest ALL of your income.

Call me if you'd like to talk about it (after next Tuesday, the 15th -- I'm busy till then).

Sunnye Tiedemann
(Mrs. Herbert Allen Tiedemann, Sr.)

Our Greatest Challenge

I wasn't much of a fan of Michael Crichton's until his STATE OF FEAR came out. I had to acknowledge that he was a very effective writer (technically) and had an immense talent; it was his subject matter that didn't appeal to me. And every responsible critic knows that you have to give an author his subject. That's why I never reviewed one of his books.

But with STATE OF FEAR, he won me over. He has obviously done his research and has read extensively not just what he wants to hear, but both sides of environmental subjects. He is aware of the duplicity of the Environmental Protection Agency (and its equally artificial and damaging cohort, the US Department of Energy) and he has the stature to stand up and expose them for what they are.

Remarks to the Commonwealth Club
by Michael Crichton
May 2005

I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.

We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we’re told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.

As an example of this challenge, I want to talk today about environmentalism. And in order not to be misunderstood, I want it perfectly clear that I believe it is incumbent on us to conduct our lives in a way that takes into account all the consequences of our actions, including the consequences to other people, and the consequences to the environment. I believe it is important to act in ways that are sympathetic to the environment, and I believe this will always be a need, carrying into the future. I believe the world has genuine problems and I believe it can and should be improved. But I also think that deciding what constitutes responsible action is immensely difficult, and the consequences of our actions are often difficult to know in advance. I think our past record of environmental action is discouraging, to put it mildly, because even our best intended efforts often go awry. But I think we do not recognize our past failures, and face them squarely. And I think I know why.

I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can’t be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people – the best people, the most enlightened people – do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.

Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century re-mapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday – these are deeply held mythic structures. They are profoundly conservative beliefs. They may even be hard-wired in the brain, for all I know. I certainly don’t want to talk anybody out of them, as I don’t want to talk anybody out of a belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God who rose from the dead. But the reason I don’t want to talk anybody out of these beliefs is that I know that I can’t talk anybody out of them. These are not facts that can be argued. These are issues of faith.

And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism. Increasingly it seems facts aren’t necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It’s about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them.

Am I exaggerating to make a point? I am afraid not. Because we know a lot more about the world than we did forty or fifty years ago. And what we know now is not so supportive of certain core environmental myths, yet the myths do not die. Let’s examine some of those beliefs.

There is no Eden. There never was. What was that Eden of the wonderful mythic past? Is it the time when infant mortality was 80 percent, when four children in five died of disease before the age of five? When one woman in six died in childbirth? When the average lifespan was 40, as it was in America a century ago. When plagues swept across the planet, killing millions in a stroke. Was it when millions starved to death? Is that when it was Eden?

And what about indigenous peoples, living in a state of harmony with the Eden-like environment? Well, they never did. On this continent, the newly arrived people who crossed the land bridge almost immediately set about wiping out hundreds of species of large animals, and they did this several thousand years before the white man showed up, to accelerate the process. And what was the condition of life? Loving, peaceful, harmonious? Hardly: the early peoples of the New World lived in a state of constant warfare. Generations of hatred, tribal hatreds, constant battles. The warlike tribes of this continent are famous: the Comanche, Sioux, Apache, Mohawk, Aztecs, Toltec, Incas. Some of them practiced infanticide, and human sacrifice. And those tribes that were not fiercely warlike were exterminated, or learned to build their villages high in the cliffs to attain some measure of safety.

How about the human condition in the rest of the world? The Maori of New Zealand committed massacres regularly. The Dyaks of Borneo were headhunters. The Polynesians, living in an environment as close to paradise as one can imagine, fought constantly, and created a society so hideously restrictive that you could lose your life if you stepped in the footprint of a chief. It was the Polynesians who gave us the very concept of taboo, as well as the word itself. The noble savage is a fantasy, and it was never true. That anyone still believes it, 200 years after Rousseau, shows the tenacity of religious myths, their ability to hang on in the face of centuries of factual contradiction.

There was even an academic movement, during the latter 20th century, that claimed that cannibalism was a white man’s invention to demonize the indigenous peoples. (Only academics could fight such a battle.) It was some thirty years before professors finally agreed that yes, cannibalism does indeed occur among human beings. Meanwhile, all during this time New Guinea highlanders in the 20th century continued to eat the brains of their enemies until they were finally made to understand that they risked kuru, a fatal neurological disease, when they did so.

More recently still the gentle Tasaday of the Philippines turned out to be a publicity stunt, a nonexistent tribe. And African pygmies have one of the highest murder rates on the planet.

In short, the romantic view of the natural world as a blissful Eden is only held by people who have no actual experience of nature. People who live in nature are not romantic about it at all. They may hold spiritual beliefs about the world around them, they may have a sense of the unity of nature or the aliveness of all things, but they still kill the animals and uproot the plants in order to eat, to live. If they don’t, they will die.

And if you, even now, put yourself in nature even for a matter of days, you will quickly be disabused of all your romantic fantasies. Take a trek through the jungles of Borneo, and in short order you will have festering sores on your skin, you’ll have bugs all over your body, biting in your hair, crawling up your nose and into your ears, you’ll have infections and sickness and if you’re not with somebody who knows what they’re doing, you’ll quickly starve to death. But chances are that even in the jungles of Borneo you won’t experience nature so directly, because you will have covered your entire body with DEET and you will be doing everything you can to keep those bugs off you.

The truth is, almost nobody wants to experience real nature. What people want is to spend a week or two in a cabin in the woods, with screens on the windows. They want a simplified life for a while, without all their stuff. Or a nice river rafting trip for a few days, with somebody else doing the cooking. Nobody wants to go back to nature in any real way, and nobody does. It’s all talk – and as the years go on, and the world population grows increasingly urban, it’s uninformed talk. Farmers know what they’re talking about. City people don’t. It’s all fantasy.

One way to measure the prevalence of fantasy is to note the number of people who die because they haven’t the least knowledge of how nature really is. They stand beside wild animals, like buffalo, for a picture and get trampled to death; they climb a mountain in dicey weather without proper gear, and freeze to death. They drown in the surf on holiday because they can’t conceive the real power of what we blithely call “the force of nature.” They have seen the ocean. But they haven’t been in it.

The television generation expects nature to act the way they want it to be. They think all life experiences can be Tivo-ed. The notion that the natural world obeys its own rules and doesn’t give a damn about your expectations comes as a massive shock. Well-to-do, educated people in an urban environment experience the ability to fashion their daily lives as they wish. They buy clothes that suit their taste, and decorate their apartments as they wish. Within limits, they can contrive a daily urban world that pleases them.

But the natural world is not so malleable. On the contrary, it will demand that you adapt to it – and if you don’t, you die. It is a harsh, powerful, and unforgiving world, that most urban westerners have never experienced.

Many years ago I was trekking in the Karakorum mountains of northern Pakistan, when my group came to a river that we had to cross. It was a glacial river, freezing cold, and it was running very fast, but it wasn’t deep – maybe three feet at most. My guide set out ropes for people to hold as they crossed the river, and everybody proceeded, one at a time, with extreme care. I asked the guide what was the big deal about crossing a three-foot river. He said, well, supposing you fell and suffered a compound fracture. We were now four days trek from the last big town, where there was a radio. Even if the guide went back double time to get help, it’d still be at least three days before he could return with a helicopter. If a helicopter were available at all. And in three days, I’d probably be dead from my injuries. So that was why everybody was crossing carefully. Because out in nature a little slip could be deadly.

But let’s return to religion. If Eden is a fantasy that never existed, and mankind wasn’t ever noble and kind and loving, if we didn’t fall from grace, then what about the rest of the religious tenets? What about salvation, sustainability, and judgment day? What about the coming environmental doom from fossil fuels and global warming, if we all don’t get down on our knees and conserve every day?

Well, it’s interesting. You may have noticed that something has been left off the doomsday list, lately. Although the preachers of environmentalism have been yelling about population for fifty years, over the last decade world population seems to be taking an unexpected turn. Fertility rates are falling almost everywhere. As a result, over the course of my lifetime the thoughtful predictions for total world population have gone from a high of 20 billion, to 15 billion, to 11 billion (which was the UN estimate around 1990) to now 9 billion, and soon, perhaps less. There are some who think that world population will peak in 2050 and then start to decline. There are some who predict we will have fewer people in 2100 than we do today. Is this a reason to rejoice, to say halleluiah? Certainly not. Without a pause, we now hear about the coming crisis of world economy from a shrinking population. We hear about the impending crisis of an aging population. Nobody anywhere will say that the core fears expressed for most of my life have turned out not to be true. As we have moved into the future, these doomsday visions vanished, like a mirage in the desert. They were never there – though they still appear, in the future. As mirages do.

Okay, so, the preachers made a mistake. They got one prediction wrong; they’re human. So what. Unfortunately, it’s not just one prediction. It’s a whole slew of them. We are running out of oil. We are running out of all natural resources. Paul Ehrlich: 60 million Americans will die of starvation in the 1980s. Forty thousand species become extinct every year. Half of all species on the planet will be extinct by 2000. And on and on and on.

With so many past failures, you might think that environmental predictions would become more cautious. But not if it’s a religion. Remember, the nut on the sidewalk carrying the placard that predicts the end of the world doesn’t quit when the world doesn’t end on the day he expects. He just changes his placard, sets a new doomsday date, and goes back to walking the streets. One of the defining features of religion is that your beliefs are not troubled by facts, because they have nothing to do with facts.

So I can tell you some facts. I know you haven’t read any of what I am about to tell you in the newspaper, because newspapers literally don’t report them. I can tell you that DDT is not a carcinogen and did not cause birds to die and should never have been banned. I can tell you that the people who banned it knew that it wasn’t carcinogenic and banned it anyway. I can tell you that the DDT ban has caused the deaths of tens of millions of poor people, mostly children, whose deaths are directly attributable to a callous, technologically advanced western society that promoted the new cause of environmentalism by pushing a fantasy about a pesticide, and thus irrevocably harmed the third world. Banning DDT is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the twentieth century history of America. We knew better, and we did it anyway, and we let people around the world die, and we didn’t give a damn.

I can tell you that second hand smoke is not a health hazard to anyone and never was, and the EPA has always known it. I can tell you that the evidence for global warming is far weaker than its proponents would ever admit. I can tell you the percentage the US land area that is taken by urbanization, including cities and roads, is 5 percent. I can tell you that the Sahara desert is shrinking, and the total ice of Antarctica is increasing. I can tell you that a blue-ribbon panel in Science magazine concluded that there is no known technology that will enable us to halt the rise of carbon dioxide in the 21st century. Not wind, not solar, not even nuclear. The panel concluded a totally new technology – like nuclear fusion – was necessary. Otherwise, nothing could be done, and in the meantime all efforts would be a waste of time. They said that when the UN IPCC reports stated alternative technologies existed that could control greenhouse gases, the UN was wrong.

I can, with a lot of time, give you the factual basis for these views, and I can cite the appropriate journal articles not in whacko magazines, but in the most prestigious science journals, such as Science and Nature. But such references probably won’t impact more than a handful of you, because the beliefs of a religion are not dependant on facts, but rather are matters of faith. Unshakeable belief.

Most of us have had some experience interacting with religious fundamentalists, and we understand that one of the problems with fundamentalists is that they have no perspective on themselves. They never recognize that their way of thinking is just one of many other possible ways of thinking, which may be equally useful or good. On the contrary, they believe their way is the right way, everyone else is wrong; they are in the business of salvation, and they want to help you to see things the right way. They want to help you be saved. They are totally rigid and totally uninterested in opposing points of view. In our modern complex world, fundamentalism is dangerous because of its rigidity and its imperviousness to other ideas.

I want to argue that it is now time for us to make a major shift in our thinking about the environment, similar to the shift that occurred around the first Earth Day in 1970, when this awareness was first heightened. But this time around, we need to get environmentalism out of the sphere of religion. We need to stop the mythic fantasies, and we need to stop the doomsday predictions. We need to start doing hard science instead.

There are two reasons why I think we all need to get rid of the religion of environmentalism.

First, we need an environmental movement, and such a movement is not very effective if it is conducted as a religion. We know from history that religions tend to kill people, and environmentalism has already killed somewhere between 10-30 million people since the 1970s. It’s not a good record. Environmentalism needs to be absolutely based in objective and verifiable science, it needs to be rational, and it needs to be flexible. And it needs to be apolitical. To mix environmental concerns with the frantic fantasies that people have about one political party or another is to miss the cold truth – that there is very little difference between the parties, except a difference in pandering rhetoric. The effort to promote effective legislation for the environment is not helped by thinking that the Democrats will save us and the Republicans won’t. Political history is more complicated than that. Never forget which president started the EPA: Richard Nixon. And never forget which president sold federal oil leases, allowing oil drilling in Santa Barbara: Lyndon Johnson. So get politics out of your thinking about the environment.

The second reason to abandon environmental religion is more pressing. Religions think they know it all, but the unhappy truth of the environment is that we are dealing with incredibly complex, evolving systems, and we usually are not certain how best to proceed. Those who are certain are demonstrating their personality type, or their belief system, not the state of their knowledge. Our record in the past, for example managing national parks, is humiliating. Our fifty-year effort at forest-fire suppression is a well-intentioned disaster from which our forests will never recover. We need to be humble, deeply humble, in the face of what we are trying to accomplish. We need to be trying various methods of accomplishing things. We need to be open-minded about assessing results of our efforts, and we need to be flexible about balancing needs. Religions are good at none of these things.

How will we manage to get environmentalism out of the clutches of religion, and back to a scientific discipline? There’s a simple answer: we must institute far more stringent requirements for what constitutes knowledge in the environmental realm. I am thoroughly sick of politicized so-called facts that simply aren’t true. It isn’t that these “facts” are exaggerations of an underlying truth. Nor is it that certain organizations are spinning their case to present it in the strongest way. Not at all – what more and more groups are doing is putting out is lies, pure and simple. Falsehoods that they know to be false.

This trend began with the DDT campaign, and it persists to this day. At this moment, the EPA is hopelessly politicized. In the wake of Carol Browner, it is probably better to shut it down and start over. What we need is a new organization much closer to the FDA. We need an organization that will be ruthless about acquiring verifiable results, that will fund identical research projects to more than one group, and that will make everybody in this field get honest fast.

Because in the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don’t know any better. That’s not a good future for the human race. That’s our past. So it’s time to abandon the religion of environmentalism, and return to the science of environmentalism, and base our public policy decisions firmly on that.

Tuesday, June 7

Kerry's Academic Record Worse that President Bush's

What whaddaya know. Kerry released his academic records.

And it turns out the "intellectual" who was supposed to have done so much better than President Bush in college -- did worse.

Seems his highest grade in four years at Yale was an 89 he got his senior year."I always told my dad that D stood for distinction," Kerry said in a written response to reporters' questions.

His cumulative grade average was 76 at graduation.

So President Bush's academic record was better than Kerry's. Not a lot, but still better. No wonder Kerry refused to release the information before the election. He got a lot of steam out of making fun of the President's so-called poor academic record.

To any reasonable person the President comes out 'way ahead on this one. He wasn't proud of his grades but he was honest about them and took the jibes about his being dumb with quiet grace. John Kerry didn't even have the guts to release his, and tried his best to look smarter and better academically and intellectually. What a lie. What a liar.

Saturday, June 4

WMDs Again

By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer
Thu Jun 2,11:03 PM EDT US

UNITED NATIONS - U.N. satellite imagery experts have determined that material that could be used to make biological or chemical weapons and banned long-range missiles has been removed from 109 sites in Iraq, U.N. weapons inspectors said in a report obtained Thursday.

U.N. inspectors have been blocked from returning to Iraq since the U.S.-led war in 2003 so they have been using satellite photos to see what happened to the sites that were subject to U.N. monitoring because their equipment had both civilian and military uses.

In the report to the U.N. Security Council, acting chief weapons inspector Demetrius Perricos said he's reached no conclusions about who removed the items or where they went. He said it could have been moved elsewhere in Iraq, sold as scrap, melted down or purchased.

[Try Syria for one. Have we forgotten about the reports of massive truck shipments going into Syria from Iraq during the war?]

He said the missing material can be used for legitimate purposes. "However, they can also be utilized for prohibited purposes if in a good state of repair."

He said imagery analysts have identified 109 sites that have been emptied of equipment to varying degrees, up from 90 reported in March.

[They, the UN, have been surveying this all along unknown to the U.S.?]

The report also provided much more detail about the percentage of items no longer at the places where U.N. inspectors monitored them.

From the imagery analysis, Perricos said analysts at the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission which he heads have concluded that biological sites were less damaged than chemical and missile sites.

The commission, known as UNMOVIC, previously reported the discovery of some equipment and material from the sites in scrapyards in Jordan and the Dutch port of Rotterdam.

Perricos said analysts found, for example, that 53 of the 98 vessels that could be used for a wide range of chemical reactions had disappeared. "Due to its characteristics, this equipment can be used for the production of both commercial chemicals and chemical warfare agents," he said.

The report said 3,380 valves, 107 pumps, and more than 7.8 miles of pipes were known to have been located at the 39 chemical sites.

A third of the chemical items removed came from the Qaa Qaa industrial complex south of Baghdad which the report said "was among the sites possessing the highest number of dual-use production equipment," whose fate is now unknown." Significant quantities of missing material were also located at the Fallujah II and Fallujah III facilities north of the city, which was besieged last year.

Before the first Gulf War in 1991, those facilities played a major part in the production of precursors for Iraq's chemical warfare program.

The percentages of missing biological equipment from 12 sites were much smaller — no higher than 10 percent.

The report said 37 of 405 fermenters ranging in size from 2 gallons to 1,250 gallons had been removed. Those could be used to produce pharmaceuticals and vaccines as well as biological warfare agents such as anthrax.

The largest percentages of missing items were at the 58 missile facilities, which include some of the key production sites for both solid and liquid propellant missiles, the report said.

For example, 289 of the 340 pieces of equipment to produce missiles — about 85 percent — had been removed, it said.

At the Kadhimiyah and Al Samoud factory sites in suburban Baghdad, where the report said airframes and engines for liquid propellant missiles were manufactured and final assembly was carried out, "all equipment and missile components have been removed."

UNMOVIC is the outgrowth of a U.N. inspections process created after the 1991 Gulf War in which invading Iraqi forces were ousted from Kuwait. Its staff are considered the only multinational weapons experts specifically trained in biological weapons and missile disarmament. The report noted that the commissioners who advise UNMOVIC again raised questions about its future. Iraq has called for its Security Council
mandate to be terminated because UNMOVIC is funded from past Iraqi oil sales and it wants to be treated like other countries, but the council has not taken up the issue.
France's U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere said Thursday the commission's expertise "should not be lost for the international community."

Friday, June 3


A Democrat sure never would!!
I got this great e-mail tonight and oh, yeah. I'd give a lot to see this happen.

My Fellow Americans: As you all know, the defeat of Iraq regime has been completed. Since congress does not want to spend any more money on this war, our mission in Iraq is complete.

This morning I gave the order for a complete removal of all American forces from Iraq. This action will be complete within 30 days. It is now to begin the reckoning.

Before me, I have two lists. One list contains the names of countries which have stood by our side during the Iraq conflict. This list is short. The United Kingdom, Spain, Bulgaria, Australia, and Poland are some of the countries listed there.

The other list contains everyone not on the first list. Most of the world's nations are on that list. My press secretary will be distributing copies of both lists later this evening.

Let me start by saying that effective immediately, foreign aid to those nations on List 2 ceases immediately and indefinitely. The money saved during the first year alone will pretty much pay for the costs of the Iraqi war.

The American people are no longer going to pour money into third world Hell-holes and watch those government leaders grow fat on corruption.

Need help with a famine? Wrestling with an epidemic? Call France.

In the future, together with Congress, I will work to redirect this money toward solving the vexing social problems we still have at home. On that note, a word to terrorist organizations. Screw with us and we will hunt you down and eliminate you and all your friends from the face of the earth.

Thirsting for a gutsy country to terrorize? Try France, or maybe China.
I am ordering the immediate severing of diplomatic relations with France, Germany, and Russia. Thanks for all your help, comrades. We are retiring from NATO as well. Bon chance, mes amis.

I have instructed the Mayor of New York City to begin towing the many UN diplomatic vehicles located in Manhattan with more than two unpaid parking tickets to sites where those vehicles will be stripped, shredded and crushed. I don't care about whatever treaty pertains to this. You creeps have tens of thousands of unpaid tickets. Pay those tickets tomorrow or watch your precious Benzes, Beamers and limos be turned over to some of the finest chop shops in the world. I love New York.

A special note to our neighbors. Canada is on List 2. Since we are likely to be seeing a lot more of each other, you folks might want to try not pissing us off for a change.

Mexico is also on List 2. President Fox and his entire corrupt government really need an attitude adjustment. I will have a couple extra tank and infantry divisions sitting around. Guess where I am going to put em? Yep, border security. So start doing something with your oil.

Oh, by the way, the United State s is abrogating the NAFTA
treaty -- starting now.

We are tired of the one-way highway. Immediately, we'll be drilling for oil in Alaska - which will take care of this country's oil needs for decades to come. If you're an environmentalist who opposes this decision, I refer you to List 2 above: pick a country and move there. They care.

It is time for America to focus on its own welfare and its own citizens. Some will accuse us of isolationism. I answer them by saying, "darn tootin."

Nearly a century of trying to help folks live a decent life around the world has only earned us the undying enmity of just about everyone on the planet. It is time to eliminate hunger in America. It is time to eliminate homelessness in America. It is time to eliminate World Cup Soccer from America. To the nations on List 1, a final thought. Thanks guys. We owe you and we won't forget.

To the nations on List 2, a final thought: You might want to learn to speak Arabic.
God bless America. Thank you and good night.
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.

I have a few more suggestions, but this would be a great start.