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Thursday, February 28, 2008

2008 Democratic National Convention Agenda

> 2008 Democratic National Convention Agenda
> 7:00 pm Opening flag burning
> 7:15 pm Pledge of Allegiance to the U.N.
> 7:20 pm Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
> 7:25 pm Nonreligious prayer and worship with Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton
> 7:45 pm Ceremonial tree hugging
> 7:55 pm Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
> 8:00 pm How I Invented the Internet - Al Gore
> 8:15 pm Gay Wedding - Barney Frank presiding
> 8:35 pm Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
> 8:40 pm Our Troops are War Criminals - John Kerry
> 9.00 pm Memorial service for Saddam and his sons - Cindy Sheehan and Susan Sarandon
> 10:00 pm "Answering Machine Etiquette" - Alec Baldwin
> 11:00 pm Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
> 11:05 pm Collection for the Osama Bin Laden kidney transplant fund - Barbra Streisand
> 11:15 pm Free the Freedom Fighters from Guantanamo Bay - Sean Penn
> 11:30 pm Oval Office Affairs - William Jefferson Clinton
> 11:45 pm Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
> 11:50 pm How George Bush Brought Down the World Trade Towers - Howard Dean
> 12:15 am "Truth in Broadcasting Award" - Presented to Dan Rather by Michael Moore
> 12:25 am Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
> 12:30 am Satellite address by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
> 12:45 am Nomination of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Nancy Pelosi
> 1:00 am Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
> 1:05 am Coronation of Hillary Rodham Clinton
> 1:30 am Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
> 1:35 am Bill Clinton asks Ted to drive Hillary home

Wednesday, February 27, 2008



"Good evening.

I just want to talk to you from the heart for a few minutes tonight, and share with you where I think we are.

I think it is very stark. I don't think it is yet desperate, but it is very stark. And if I had a title for tonight's talk, it would be 'Sleepwalking Into a Nightmare', 'cause that's what I think we're doing.

I gave a speech at the American Enterprise Institute recently, at which I gave an alternative history of the last six years, because the more I thought about how much we're failing, the more I concluded you couldn't just nitpick individual places and talk about individual changes because it didn't capture the scale of the disaster.

And I had been particularly impressed by a new book that came out called 'Troublesome Young Men', which is a study of the younger Conservatives who opposed appeasement in the 1930s and who took on Chamberlain. It's a very revealing book and a very powerful book because we tend to look backwards and we tend to overstate Churchill's role in that period.

And we tend to understate what a serious and conscientious and thoughtful effort appeasement was and that it was the direct and deliberate policy of very powerful and very willful people. We tend to think of it as a psychological weakness as though Chamberlain was somehow craven. He wasn't craven. Chamberlain had a very clear vision of the World, and he was very ruthless domestically.

And they believed so deeply in avoiding war with Germany that as late as the spring of 1940, when they are six months or seven months into the war, they are dropping leaflets instead of bombs on the Ruhr, and they are urging the British news media not to publish anti-German stories because they don't want to offend the German people. And you read this book, and it makes you want to weep because, interestingly, the younger Tories who were most opposed to appeasement were the combat veterans of World War I, who had lost all of their friends in the war but who understood that the failure of appeasement would result in a worse war and that the longer you lied about reality, the greater the disaster.

And they were severely punished and isolated by Chamberlain and the Conservative machine, and as I read that, I realized that that's really where we are today. Our current problem is tragic. You have an administration whose policy is inadequate being opposed by a political Left whose policy is worse, and you have nobody prepared to talk about the policy we need. Because we are told, 'if you are for a strong America , you should back the Bush policy even if it's inadequate', and so you end up making an argument in favor of something that can't work. So your choice is to defend something which isn't working, or to oppose it by being for an even weaker policy.

And this is a catastrophe for this country, and a catastrophe for freedom around the world. Because we have refused to be honest about the scale of the problem.

Let me work backwards. I'm going to get to Iran , since that's the topic, but I'm going to get to it eventually.

Let me work back from Pakistan . The dictatorship in Pakistan has never had control over Wiziristan. Not for a single day. So we've now spent six years since 9/11 with a sanctuary for Al-Qaida, and a sanctuary for the Taliban, and every time we pick up people in Great Britain who are terrorists, they were trained in Pakistan .

And our answer is to praise Musharraf, because at least he's not as bad as the others. But the truth is Musharraf has not gotten control of terrorism in Pakistan . Musharraf doesn't have full control over his own government. The odds are even money we're going to drift into a disastrous dictatorship at some point in Pakistan . And while we worry about the Iranians acquiring a nuclear weapon, the Pakistanis already have 'em. So why would you feel secure in a world where you could presently have an Islamist dictatorship in Pakistan with a hundred-plus nuclear weapons? What's our grand strategy for that?

Then you look at Afghanistan . Here's a country that's small, poor, isolated, and in six years we have not been able to build roads, create economic opportunity, wean people off of growing drugs. A third of the Afghani GDP is from drugs. We haven't been able to end the sanctuary for the Taliban in Pakistan . And I know of no case historically where you defeat a guerrilla movement if it has a sanctuary. So the people who rely on the West are out bribed by the criminals, outgunned by the criminals, and faced with a militant force across the border which practiced earlier defeating the Soviet empire and which has a time horizon of three or four generations. NATO has a time horizon of each quarter or at best a year, facing an opponent whose time horizon is literally three or four generations. It's a total mismatch.

Then you come to the direct threat to the United States , which is Al-Qaida. About which, by the way, we just published polls. One of the sites I commend to you is Last Wednesday we posted six national surveys, $428,000 worth of data. We gave it away. I found myself in the unique position of calling Howard Dean to tell him I was giving him $400,000 worth of polling. We have given it away to Democrats and Republicans alike. It is fundamentally different from the
national news media. When asked the question, "Do we have an obligation to defend the United States and her allies?" the answer is 85 percent yes. When asked a further question "Should we defeat our enemies?" - it's very strong language - the answer is 75 percent yes.

So the complaint about Iraq is a performance complaint, not a values complaint.

When asked whether or not Al-Qaida is a threat, 89 percent of the country says yes. And they think you have to defeat it, you can't negotiate with it.

So now let's look at Al-Qaida and the rise of Islamist terrorism. And let's be honest: What's the primary source of money for Al-Qaida? It's you, re-circulated through Saudi Arabia . Because we have no national energy strategy, when clearly, if you really cared about liberating the United States from the Middle East, and if you really cared about the survival of Israel, one of your highest goals would be to move to a hydrogen economy, and to eliminate petroleum as a primary source of energy.

Now that's what a serious national strategy would look like, but that would require an actual change.

So then you look at Saudi Arabia . The fact that we tolerate a country saying no Christian and no Jew can go to Mecca, and we start with the presumption that that's true, while they attack Israel for being a religious state, is a sign of our timidity, our confusion, our cowardice, --- that is stunning!

It's not complicated. We invited Saudi Arabia to come to Annapolis to talk about rights for Palestinians when nobody said, "Let's talk about rights for Christians and Jews in Saudi Arabia . Let's talk about rights for women in Saudi Arabia ."

So we accept this totally one-sided definition of the world, in which our enemies can cheerfully lie on television every day, and we don't even have the nerve to insist on the truth. We pretend their lies are reasonable. This is a very fundamental problem. And if you look at who some of the largest owners of some of our largest banks are today, they're Saudis.

You keep pumping billions of dollars a year into countries like Venezuela , Iran and Saudi Arabia , and Russia , and you are presently going to have created people who oppose you, who have lots of money. And they're then going to come back to your own country and finance, for example, Arab study institutes whose only requirement is that they never tell the truth. So you have all sorts of Ph.D.'s who now show up quite cheerfully prepared to say whatever it is that makes their founders happy - in the name, of course, of academic freedom. In this context, why wouldn't Columbia host a genocidal madman? It's just part of political correctness. I mean, Ahmadinejad may say terrible things; he may lock up students, he may kill journalists, he may say, "We should wipe out Israel ," he may say, "We should defeat the United States ," but after all, what has he done that's inappropriate? What has he done that wouldn't be repeated at a Hollywood cocktail party or a nice gathering in Europe ?

And nobody says, 'this is totally, utterly, absolutely unacceptable'.

Why is it that the number-one threat in intelligence movies is always the CIA? I happened the other night to be watching an old movie, 'To Live and Die in L.A. ', which is about counterfeiting. But the movie starts with a Secret Service agent who is defending Ronald Reagan in 1985, and the person he is defending Ronald Reagan from is a suicide bomber who is actually, overtly, a Muslim fanatic. Now, six years after 9/11, you could not get that same scene made in Hollywood today.

Just look at the movies. Why is it that the bad person has to be either a right-wing crazed billionaire, or the CIA as a government agency? Go look at the 'Bourne Ultimatum'. Or a movie like the one that George Clooney made, which was an absolute lie, in which it was implied that if you were a reformist Arab prince, the CIA would kill you. It's a total lie. We actually have SEALS protecting people all over the world. We actually risk American lives protecting reformers all over the world, and yet Hollywood can't bring itself to tell the truth because (a) it's ideologically opposed to the American government and the American military; and (b), because it's terrified that if it said something really, openly, honestly truthful about Muslim terrorists, they might show up in Hollywood, and somebody might be killed as the Dutch producer was killed. They're cowards.

And so we're living a life of cowardice, and in that life of cowardice we're sleepwalking into a nightmare.

And then you come to Iran . There's a terrific book. Mark Bowden is a remarkable writer who wrote 'Black Hawk Down', has enormous personal courage. He's a Philadelphia newspaper writer, actually got the money out of the Philadelphia newspaper to go to Somalia to interview the Somalian side of 'Black Hawk Down'. It's a remarkable achievement. Tells a great story about getting to Somalia , paying lots of cash, having the local warlord protect him, and after about two weeks the warlord came to him and said, "You know, we've decided that we're very uncomfortable with you being here, and you should leave."

And so he goes to the hotel, where he is the only hard-currency guest, and says, "I've got to check out two weeks early because the warlord has told me that he no longer will protect me." And the hotel owner, who wants to keep his only hard-currency guest, says, "Well, why are you listening to him? He's not the government. There is no government." And Bowden says, "Well, what will I do?" And he says, "You hire a bigger warlord with more guns," which he did. But then he could only stay one week because he ran out of money.

But this is a guy with real courage. I mean, imagine trying to go out and be a journalist in that kind of world, OK? So Bowden came back and wrote, 'Guest of the Ayatollah', which is about the Iranian hostage action of 1979, which he entitled, 'The First Shots in Iran 's War Against America .' So in the Bowden world view, the current Iranian dictatorship has been at war with the United States since 1979. Violated international law. Every conceivable tenet of international law was violated when they seized the American Embassy and they seized the diplomats. Killed Americans in Lebanon in the early '80s. Killed Americans at Khobar Towers in '95 and had the Clinton administration deliberately avoid revealing the information, as Louis Freeh, the Director of the FBI, has said publicly, because they didn't want to have to confront the Iranian complicity.

And so you have an Iranian regime which is cited annually as the leading supporter of state terrorism in the world. Every year the State Department says that, "It's an extraordinary act of lucidity on the part of an institution which seeks to avoid it as often as possible."

And you have Gen. Petraeus come to the U.S. Congress and say publicly in an open session, "The Iranians are waging a proxy war against Americans in Iraq ."

I was so deeply offended by this, it's hard for me to express it without sounding irrational. I'm an Army Brat. My dad served 27
years in the infantry. The idea that an American general would come to the American Congress, testify in public that our young men and women are being killed by Iran , and we have done nothing, I find absolutely abhorrent.

So I'm preparing to come and talk today. I got up this morning, and a friend had sent me yesterday's Jerusalem Post editorial, which if you haven't read, I recommend to you. It has, for example, the following quote: "On Monday, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, 'The problem of the content of the document setting out joint principles for peace-making post-Annapolis has not been resolved. One of the more pressing problems is the Zionist regime's insistence on being recognized as a Jewish state. We will not agree to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. There is no country in the world where religious and national identities are intertwined.'

What truly bothers me is the shallowness and the sophistry of the Western governments, starting with our own. When a person says to you, "I don't recognize that you exist," you don't start a negotiation. The person says, "I literally do not recognize" and then lies to you. I mean the first thing you say to this guy is "Terrific. Let's go visit Mecca . Since clearly there's no other state except Israel that is based on religion, the fact that I happen to be Christian won't bother anybody." And then he'll say, "Well, that's different."

We actually tolerate this. We have created our own nightmare, because we refuse to tell the truth. We refuse to tell the truth to our politicians. Our State Department refuses to tell the truth to the country. If the President of the United States, and again, we're now so bitterly partisan, we're so committed to red-vs.-blue hostility, that George W. Bush doesn't have the capacity to give an address from the Oval Office that has any meaning for half the country. And the anti-war Left is so strong in the Democratic primary that I think it's almost impossible for any Democratic presidential candidate to tell the truth about the situation.

And so the Republicans are isolated and trying to defend incompetence. The Democrats are isolated and trying to find a way to say, "I'm really for strength as long as I can have peace, but I'd really like to have peace, except I don't want to recognize these people who aren't very peaceful."

I just want to share with you, as a grandfather, as a citizen, as an historian, as somebody who was once speaker of the House, this is a serious national crisis. This is actually 1935 or 1936, and it's getting worse every year.

None of our enemies are confused. Our enemies don't get up each morning and go, "Oh, gosh, I think I'll have an existential crisis of identity in which I will try to think through whether or not we can be friends while you're killing me." No; our enemies get up every morning and say, "We hate the West. We hate freedom. We will kill them all"

They would not allow a meeting with women in the room. I was once interviewed by a BBC reporter, a nice young lady who was only about as anti-American as she had to be to keep her job. Since it was a live interview, I turned to her halfway through the interview and I said, "Do you like your job?" And it was summertime, and she's wearing a short-sleeve dress. And she said, "Well, yes." She was confused because I had just reversed roles. I said, "Well, then you should hope we win." She said, "What do you mean?" And I said, "Well, if the enemy wins, you won't be allowed to be on television."

I don't know how to explain it any simpler than that. Now, what do we need?

We need first of all to recognize this is a real war. Our enemies are peaceful when they're weak, are ruthless when they're strong, demand mercy when they're losing, show no mercy when they're winning. They understand exactly what this is, and anybody who reads Sun Tzu will understand exactly what we're living through. This is a total war. One side is going to win. One side is going to lose. You'll be able to tell who won and who lost by who's still standing. Most of Islam is not in this war, but most of Islam isn't going to stop this war. They're just going to sit to one side and tell you how sorry they are that this is happening.

We had better design grand strategies that are radically bigger and radically tougher and radically more honest than anything currently going on, and that includes winning the argument in Europe , and it includes winning the argument in the rest of the world.

And it includes being very clear, and I'll just give you one simple example because we're now muscle-bound by our own inability to talk honestly. Iran produces 60 percent of its own gasoline. It produces lots of crude oil but only has one refinery. It imports 40 percent of its gasoline. The entire 60 percent is produced at one huge refinery.

In 1981, Ronald Reagan decided to break the Soviet empire. He was asked: 'what's your vision of the Cold War?' He said, 'Four words: we win; they lose.' He was clearly seen by The New York Times as an out-of-touch, reactionary, right-wing cowboy from California who had no idea what was going on in the world. And eleven years later the Soviet Union disappeared, but obviously that had nothing to do with Reagan because that would have meant he was right. So it's just a random accident the Soviet Union disappeared.

Part of the war we waged on the Soviet Union involved their natural gas supply because we wanted to cut off their hard currency. The Soviets were desperate to get better equipment for their pipeline. We managed to sell them, through third parties, some very, very sophisticated American pipeline equipment, which they were absolutely thrilled to buy, and thought they had pulled off a huge coup. Now, we weren't playing fair. We did not tell them that the equipment was designed to fail; to blow
itself up. It was in the software that ran the equipment, and they never detected it. One day in 1982, there was an explosion in Siberia so large that the initial reflection on the satellites looked like it was a tactical nuclear weapon. One part of the White House was genuinely worried, and the other part of the White House had to calm them down. They said, "No, no, that's just our own equipment blowing up."

In the 28 years since the Iranians declared war on us, in the six years since 9/11, in the months since Gen. Petraeus publicly said they are killing young Americans, we have not been able to figure out how to take down a single refinery. Covertly, quietly, without overt war. And we have not been able to figure out how to use the most powerful Navy in the world to simply stop the tankers and say, "Look, you want to kill young Americans, you're going to walk to the battlefield. You're not going to ride in the car, because you're not going to have any gasoline."

We don't have to be stupid. The choice is not cowardice or total war. Reagan unlocked Poland without firing a shot, via an alliance with the Pope, with the labor unions, and with the British. We have every possibility, if we're prepared to be honest, to shape the world. It'll be a very big project. It's going to require an effort much closer to the effort we put into World War II than it is to anything we've tried recently. It will require great effort, real intensity and real determination. We're either going to do it now, while we're still extraordinarily powerful, or we're going to do it later under much more desperate circumstances after we've lost several cities.

We had better take this seriously, because we are not very many mistakes away from a second Holocaust. Three nuclear weapons is a second Holocaust. Our enemies would like to get those weapons as soon as they can, and they promise to use them as soon as they can.

I suggest we defeat our enemies, and create a different situation long before they have that power.

Thank you."
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

In election 2008, don't forget Angry White Man

In election 2008, don't forget Angry White Man

Gary Hubbell February 9, 2008

There is a great amount of interest in this year's presidential elections, as everybody seems to recognize that our next president has to be a lot better than George Bush. The Democrats are riding high with two groundbreaking candidates -- a woman and an African-American -- while the conservative Republicans are in a quandary about their party's nod to a quasi-liberal maverick, John McCain.

Each candidate is carefully pandering to a smorgasbord of special-interest groups, ranging from gay, lesbian and transgender people to children of illegal immigrants to working mothers to evangelical Christians.

There is one group no one has recognized, and it is the group that will decide the election: the Angry White Man. The Angry White Man comes from all economic backgrounds, from dirt-poor to filthy rich. He represents all geographic areas in America, from urban sophisticate to rural redneck, deep South to mountain West, left Coast to Eastern Seaboard.

His common traits are that he isn't looking for anything from anyone -- just the promise to be able to make his own way on a level playing field. In many cases, he is an independent businessman and employs several people. He pays more than his share of taxes and works hard.

The victimhood syndrome buzzwords -- "disenfranchised," "marginalized" and "voiceless" -- don't resonate with him. "Press 'one' for English" is a curse-word to him. He's used to picking up the tab, whether it's the company Christmas party, three sets of braces, three college educations or a beautiful wedding.

He believes the Constitution is to be interpreted literally, not as a "living document" open to the whims and vagaries of a panel of judges who have never worked an honest day in their lives.

The Angry White Man owns firearms, and he's willing to pick up a gun to defend his home and his country. He is willing to lay down his life to defend the freedom and safety of others, and the thought of killing someone who needs killing really doesn't bother him.

The Angry White Man is not a metrosexual, a homosexual or a victim. Nobody like him drowned in Hurricane Katrina -- he got his people together and got the hell out, then went back in to rescue those too helpless and stupid to help themselves, often as a police officer, a National Guard soldier or a volunteer firefighter.

His last name and religion don't matter. His background might be Italian, English, Polish, German, Slavic, Irish, or Russian, and he might have Cherokee, Mexican, or Puerto Rican mixed in, but he considers himself a white American.

He's a man's man, the kind of guy who likes to play poker, watch football, hunt white-tailed deer, call turkeys, play golf, spend a few bucks at a strip club once in a blue moon, change his own oil and build things. He coaches baseball, soccer and football teams and doesn't ask for a penny. He's the kind of guy who can put an addition on his house with a couple of friends, drill an oil well, weld a new bumper for his truck, design a factory and publish books. He can fill a train with 100,000 tons of coal and get it to the power plant on time so that you keep the lights on and never know what it took to flip that light switch.

Women either love him or hate him, but they know he's a man, not a dishrag. If they're looking for someone to walk all over, they've got the wrong guy. He stands up straight, opens doors for women and says "Yes, sir" and "No, ma'am."

He might be a Republican and he might be a Democrat; he might be a Libertarian or a Green. He knows that his wife is more emotional than rational, and he guides the family in a rational manner.

He's not a racist, but he is annoyed and disappointed when people of certain backgrounds exhibit behavior that typifies the worst stereotypes of their race. He's willing to give everybody a fair chance if they work hard, play by the rules and learn English.

Most important, the Angry White Man is pissed off. When his job site becomes flooded with illegal workers who don't pay taxes and his wages drop like a stone, he gets righteously angry. When his job gets shipped overseas, and he has to speak to some incomprehensible idiot in India for tech support, he simmers. When Al Sharpton comes on TV, leading some rally for reparations for slavery or some such nonsense, he bites his tongue and he remembers. When a child gets charged with carrying a concealed weapon for mistakenly bringing a penknife to school, he takes note of who the local idiots are in education and law enforcement.

He also votes, and the Angry White Man loathes Hillary Clinton. Her voice reminds him of a shovel scraping a rock. He recoils at the mere sight of her on television. Her very image disgusts him, and he cannot fathom why anyone would want her as their leader. It's not that she is a woman. It's that she is who she is. It's the liberal victim groups she panders to, the "poor me" attitude that she represents, her inability to give a straight answer to an honest question, his tax dollars that she wants to give to people who refuse to do anything for themselves.

There are many millions of Angry White Men. Four million Angry White Men are members of the National Rifle Association, and all of them will vote against Hillary Clinton, just as the great majority of them voted for George Bush.

He hopes that she will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, and he will make sure that she gets beaten like a drum.

Gary Hubbell is a regular columnist with the Aspen Times Weekly.

Bush resignation speech

The following "speech" was written recently by an ordinary Maineiac [a resident of the People's Republic of Maine]. While satirical in nature, all satire must have a basis in fact to be effective. This is an excellent piece by a person who does not write for a living.

The speech George W. Bush SHOULD give:

Normally, I start these things out by saying "My Fellow Americans." Not doing it this time. If the polls are any indication, I don't know who more than half of you are anymore. I do know something terrible has happened, and that you're really not fellow Americans any longer.

I'll cut right to the chase here: I quit. Now before anyone gets all in a lather about me quitting to avoid impeachment, or to avoid prosecution or something, let me assure you: There's been no breaking of laws or impeachable offenses in this office.

The reason I'm quitting is simple. I'm fed up with you people. I'm fed up because you have no understanding of what's really going on in the world. Or of what's going on in this once-great nation of ours. And the majority of you are too lazy to do your homework and figure it out.

Let's start local. You've been sold a bill of goods by politicians and the news media. Polls show that the majority of you think the economy is in the tank. And that's despite record numbers of homeowners, including record numbers of MINORITY homeowners. And while we're mentioning minorities, I'll point out that minority business ownership is at an all-time high. Our unemployment rate is as low as it ever was during the Clinton administration. I've mentioned all those things before, but it doesn't seem to have sunk in.

Despite the shock to our economy of 9/11, the stock market has rebounded to record levels and more Americans than ever are participating in these markets. Meanwhile, all you can do is whine about gas prices, and most of you are too stupid to realize that gas prices are high because there's increased demand in other parts of the world, and because a small handful of noisy idiots are more worried about polar bears and beachfront property than your economic security.

We face real threats in the world. Don't give me this "blood for oil" thing. If I were trading blood for oil I would've already seized Iraq's oil fields and let the rest of the country go . And don't give me this 'Bush Lied; People Died' either. If I were the liar you morons take me for, I could've easily had chemical weapons planted in Iraq so they could be 'discovered.' Instead, I owned up to the fact that the intelligence was faulty.

Let me remind you that the rest of the world thought Saddam had the goods, same as me. Let me also remind you that regime change in Iraq was official US policy before I came into office. Some guy named 'Clinton' established that policy. Bet you didn't know that, did you?

You idiots need to understand that we face a unique enemy. Back during the cold war, there were two major competing political and economic models squaring off. We won that war, but we did so because fundamentally, the Communists wanted to survive, just as we do. We were simply able to out spend and out-tech them.

That's not the case this time. The soldiers of our new enemy don't care if they survive. In fact, they want to die. That'd be fine, as long as they weren't also committed to taking as many of you with them as they can. But they are. They want to kill you, and they are all over the globe.

You should be grateful that they haven't gotten any more of us here in the United States since September 11. But you're not. That's because you've got no idea how hard a small number of intelligence, military, law enforcement, and homeland security people have worked to make sure of that. When this whole mess started, I warned you that this would be a long and difficult fight. I'm disappointed how many of you people think a long and difficult fight amounts to a single season of 'Survivor.'

Instead, you've grown impatient. You're incapable of seeing things through the long lens of history, the way our enemies do. You think that wars should last a few months, a few years, tops.

Making matters worse, you actively support those who help the enemy. Every time you buy the New York Times, every time you send a donation to a cut-and-run Democrat's political campaign, well, you might just as well FedEx a grenade launcher to a Jihadist. It amounts to the same thing.

In this day and age, it's easy enough to find the truth. It's all over the Internet. It just isn't on the pages of the New York Times or on NBC News. But even if it were, I doubt you'd be any smarter. Most of you would rather watch American Idol.

I could say more about your expectations that government will always be there to bail you out, even if you're too stupid to leave a city that's below sea level and has a hurricane approaching.

I could say more about your insane belief that government, not your own wallet, is where the money comes from. But I've come to the conclusion that were I to do so, it would sail right over your heads.

So I quit. I'm going back to Crawford. I've got an energy-efficient house down there (Al Gore could only dream) and the capability to be fully self-sufficient. No one ever heard of Crawford before I got elected, and as soon as I'm done here pretty much no one will ever hear of it again. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to die of old age before the last pillars of America fall.

Oh, and by the way, Cheney's quitting too. That means Pelosi is your new President. You asked for it. Watch what she does carefully, because I still have a glimmer of hope that there are just enough of you remaining who are smart enough to turn this thing around in 2008.

So that's it. God bless what's left of America. Some of you know what I mean.

The Sderot Calculus

The Sderot Calculus
By Bret Stephens,

The Israeli town of Sderot lies less than a mile from the Gaza Strip. Since the beginning of the intifada seven years ago, it has borne the brunt of some 2,500 Kassam rockets fired from Gaza by Palestinian terrorists. Only about a dozen of these Kassams have proved lethal, though earlier this month brothers Osher and Rami Twito were seriously injured by one as they walked down a Sderot street on a Saturday evening. Eight-year-old Osher lost a leg.

It is no stretch to say that life in Sderot has become unendurable. Palestinians and their chorus of supporters — including the 118 countries of the so-called Non-Aligned Movement, much of Europe, and the panoply of international aid organizations from the World Bank to the United Nations — typically reply that life in the Gaza Strip is also unendurable, and that Palestinian casualties greatly exceed Israeli ones. But this argument is fatuous: Conditions in Gaza, in so far as they are shaped by Israel, are a function of conditions in Sderot. No Palestinian Kassams (or other forms of terrorism), no Israeli “siege.”

The more vexing question, both morally and strategically, is what Israel ought to do about Gaza. The standard answer is that Israel’s response to the Kassams ought to be “proportionate.” What does that mean? Does the “proportion” apply to the intention of those firing the Kassams — to wit, indiscriminate terror against civilian populations? In that case, a “proportionate” Israeli response would involve, perhaps, firing 2,500 artillery shells at random against civilian targets in Gaza. Or should proportion apply to the effects of the Kassams — an exquisitely calibrated, eye-for-eye operation involving the killing of a dozen Palestinians and the deliberate maiming or traumatizing of several hundred more?

Surely this isn’t what advocates of proportion have in mind. What they really mean is that Israel ought to respond with moderation. But the criteria for moderation are subjective. Should Israel pick off Hamas leaders who are ordering the rocket attacks? The European Parliament last week passed a resolution denouncing the practice of targeted assassinations. Should Israel adopt purely economic measures to punish Hamas for the Kassams? The same resolution denounced what it called Israel’s “collective punishment” of Palestinians. Should Israel seek to dismantle the Kassams through limited military incursions? This, too, has the unpardonable effect of resulting in too many Palestinian casualties, which are said to be “disproportionate” to the number of Israelis injured by the Kassams.

By these lights, Israel’s presumptive right to self-defense has no practical application as far as Gaza is concerned. Instead, Israel is counseled to allow goods to flow freely into the Strip, and to negotiate a cease-fire with Hamas.

But here another set of considerations intrudes. Hamas was elected democratically and by overwhelming margins in Gaza. It has never once honored a cease-fire with Israel. Following Israel’s withdrawal of its soldiers and settlements from the Strip in 2005 there was a six-fold increase in the number of Kassam strikes on Israel.

Hamas has also made no effort to rewrite its 1988 charter, which calls for Israel’s destruction. The charter is explicitly anti-Semitic: “The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!” (Article Seven) “In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from raising the banner of Jihad.” (Article 15) And so on.

It would seem perverse for Israeli taxpayers, including residents of Sderot, to feed the mouth that bites them. It would seem equally perverse for Israel merely to bide its time for an especially unlucky day — a Kassam hitting a busload of schoolchildren, for instance — before striking hard at Gaza. But unless Israel is willing to accept the military, political and diplomatic burdens of occupying all or parts of Gaza indefinitely, the effects of a major military incursion could be relatively short-lived. Israel suffered many more casualties before it withdrew from the Strip than it has since.

Perhaps the answer is to wait for a technological fix and, in the meantime, hope for the best. Israel is at work on a missile-defense program called “Iron Dome” that may be effective against Kassams, though the system won’t be in place for at least two years. It could also purchase land-based models of the Phalanx Close-In Weapons System, used by the U.S. to defend the Green Zone in Baghdad.

But technology addresses neither the Islamic fanaticism that animates Hamas nor the moral torpor of Western policy makers and commentators who, on balance, find more to blame in Israel’s behavior than in Hamas’s. Nor, too, would an Iron Dome or the Phalanx absolve the Israeli government from the necessity of punishing those who seek its destruction. Prudence is an important consideration of statesmanship, but self-respect is vital. And no self-respecting nation can allow the situation in Sderot to continue much longer, a point it is in every civilized country’s interest to understand.

On March 9, 1916, Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa attacked the border town of Columbus, N.M., killing 18 Americans. President Woodrow Wilson ordered Gen. John J. Pershing and 10,000 soldiers into Mexico for nearly a year to hunt Villa down, in what was explicitly called a “punitive expedition.” Pershing never found Villa, making the effort something of a failure. Then again, Villa’s raid would be the last significant foreign attack on continental U.S. soil for 85 years, six months and two days.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hooray for A Michigan State Professor!

Hooray for A Michigan State Professor!

The story begins at Michigan State University
with a mechanical engineering professor named
Indrek Wichman.

Wichman sent an e-mail to the Muslim Student's Association.
The e-mail was in response to the students' protest
of the Danish cartoons that portrayed
the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist.

The group had complained the cartoons were
"hate speech."

Enter Professor Wichman.
In his e-mail, he said the following:
Dear Moslem Association,
As a professor of Mechanical Engineering here at MSU
I intend to protest your protest.
I am offended not by cartoons,
but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians,
cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders,
murders of Catholic priests
(the latest in Turkey ),
burnings of Christian churches,
the continued persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt ,
the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims,
the rapes of Scandinavian girls and women
(called "whores" in your culture),
the murder of film directors in Holland ,
and the rioting and looting in Paris France ..

This is what offends me,
a soft-spoken person and academic,
and many, many of my colleagues.
I counsel you dissatisfied, aggressive, brutal,
and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems
to be very aware of this as you proceed
with your infantile "protests."

If you do not like the values of the West
- see the 1st Amendment -
you are free to leave.

I hope for God's sake
that most of you choose that option
Please return to your ancestral homelands
and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans.
I. S. Wichman
Professor of Mechanical Engineering

As you can imagine,
the Muslim group at the university didn't like this too well.
They're demanding that Wichman be reprimanded
and the university impose mandatory diversity training for faculty
and mandate a seminar on hate and discrimination for all freshmen.

Now the local chapter of CAIR has jumped into the fray.
CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations,
apparently doesn't believe that the good professor
had the right to express his opinion.

For its part,
the university is standing its ground
in support of Professor Wichman,
saying the e-mail was private,
and they don't intend to publicly condemn his remarks.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pat Condell: Sharia Fiasco

The Archbishop of Canterbury says the adoption of certain aspects of Sharia law in the UK "seems unavoidable".