Saturday, August 27, 2005

Sunspot Baby

...sure had a real good time

Years ago when I used to install satellite dish systems we had a standard line for our customers who complained about poor picture quality: Sunspots baby.

Actually what we would say was: "We are in most active stage of the 11 year sunspot cycle. These things can cause all kinds of problems for global communications..." Of course we were always in the most active phase of the eleven year cycle. You only hoped that you didn't accidently use that line on the same guy 5 or 6 years later.

While it was true that sunspots, or more acurately the extrodinary solar activity that accompanied sunspots did cause commuications glitches on Earth, we field techs had no clue when a sunspot cycle began or ended. It satisfied our customers and for all we knew we were right.

So when I read this piece in the British newspaper The Guardian called Climate change sceptics bet $10,000 on cooler world I just had to laugh. Funny thing too, I have always been on the side of those who say (and it seems rather obvious) that the Sun is the prime factor in climate change.

Now a pair of Russian solar physicists Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev are putting their money where their mouths are. They have 10 large that says as the sun enters a less active phase over the next few decades we will see a drop in global temperatures.

Amen to that. Nothing would make me happier to add this Dr. Annan (a Brit) to the heap of failed doomsayers like Paul Erlich, Peter Singer and Charles Reich who all believe in one way or another we are destroying the planet and ourselves with our technology and economic progress.

Even if the planet is warming I happen to think Bjorn Lomborg is right in saying there's not much we can do about it. We should not waste our financial resources, destroy our economies (while giving China and India a pass) and derail our technical progress for feel good nonsense that ultimately will not stop rising temperatures.

Listen, I got to go now and turn up the air conditioner... (tugging on collar) Is it getting hot in here?


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

REVIEW: CSI Crime Scene Investigation

I know I am late to the party on this one, but the show CSI (the original) is worthy of analysis on several levels. I must admit never seeing this show when it was atop the ratings chart in prime time. I catch it now in reruns on Spike TV during the dinner hour - which can be rather gruesome when consuming red meat if you know what I mean.

First, much of show is preposterous and implausable. For instance: 10 minute DNA tests spitting out the laserjet printer and then instantly analyized for a positive match is just plain silly. Putting the ridiculous aside the strength of the show is the characters and not necessarily the processes.

What is absolutely refreshing about this show is that unlike Perry Mason or Quincy, or any number of crime shows the CSI team does not always win. A fair number of their cases never make it to trial because the "evidence" is too thin or the aggrieved was actually a victim of an accident. In their frustration these well acted characters often display the endearing traits of the flawed beings that they are.

Gil Grissom, the boss, the heart of the team and the show, may well be the most flawed of them all. He is a man who has lost himself in his work. He has no life outside the job. This fact is often part of the story line, yet we never really know what personal tragedy drove him to abandon human relations for the microscope. He is a dedicated public servant and demands professionalism from his staff, but occasionally has emotional stumbles himself. He prefers the night shift as a way to avoid the office politics required for managers who work 9 to 5. Excellently acted by William Peterson, Grissom seems like a real person. I especially like his interaction with the often irritating lab technicians.

Kathryn, a lead CSI, is perhaps one of the sexiest characters on TV. She is fully aware that every man she comes across "wants some of that", and since she is entirely comfortable with her sexuality on all levels she never seems bothered by it. She is the humanity to Grissom's clinician, an hence her flaws are manifested in misguided empathy that sometimes has jeopordized her cases. Her personal life is dominated by a bitter divorce that left her with a daughter she has since dedicated her life to. "The Job" and the child dominate her life to the point where her own needs are met by engaging in a series of romances that lead to theraputic sex and not much more. On the job she is blunt and even a little callous, which is what makes her very real.

Warrick, the blue eyed black man, is the street smart member of the team. He is tireless and follows a hunch with singular determination. He seems to be Grissom's favorite and the closest thing to a confidant the boss has. He also has a past. He is known to have a bit of a gambling problem and - he works in Las Vegas! He is hard on himself and everyone on the team, but he doesn't preach or play the victim. He is sometimes moody and sullen which makes him as real as anyone you might work with.

Sarah Sidle is the polar opposite of Kathryn in her acceptence of her sexuality and the real and perceived grievences that all men have perpetrated on womanhood. She is actually quite annoying at times, both to the viewer and to her co-workers. She is, however a first rate CSI and a capable scientist. She was attracted to the position in the Las Vegas crime lab by her attraction to a daddy figure - namely Grissom. This is a story line that smoldered over a long time. Grissom seemed genuinely shocked him when he finally realized it. Ultimately he rejected her out of a sense propriety, and of course, Sarah Sidle is a human being not a microscope.

Nick Stokes is so determined to be the best CSI he possibly can be that he stumbles over himself and everyone else. He is certainly the most reprimanded member of the team, but he also has the most real passion and ambition of them all. Unstung by cynisim Nick has true empathy for the victims and wants more than anything else for justice to be served. He is like many real people you know: loyal, hard working and headstrong. It's hard not to like him.

Finally, I think the best thing this show does is to keep agenda politics out of it. Unlike the other crime show empire, Law and Order there is no subtle jabs at the President or mouth breathing conservative ape men. Even when the story line steers them into controversial waters they delicately tread where others get preachy. In one episode they explored Grissom's Catholic roots and although he did not bow before the altar he also did not fiegn rightousness or tout the superiority of "science" over faith. He said to the priest that he atually did believe in God - it was man's religions he had a problem with. I can't really argue with that.


PS - CSI: Miami SUCKS precisely because the characters are completely unreal!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Conservatism's Malaise: At Least we're not Democrats

Andrew Sumereau over on the fine op/ed site American Thinker posted what I think is a dead-on piece about the state of conservatism in America. At a time when conservaties should be riding high, vanquishing liberal dogma and saving the world for personal liberty and economic freedom we find ourselves all bummed out.

Even now, with a loud and strong media voice by way of talk radio, the Internet and FOX News Channel, we find ourselves playing defense once more. Face it, Congress lead by Republicans is a joke. The President has had so many misfires early in second term that we have lost any hope of a true conservative revolution to put the icing on the cake that Ronald Reagan baked back in the 80's.

Bush can save himself by being bold as he was in his first term (but he must articulate his views far better and answer directly the left's meaningless bombs). He also needs to get serious about the southern border... Congress, well, there may be no hope for these unserious people regardless of what party they serve.

Read Mr. Sumereau's article - he spells it all out. But please, we can't give up hope and let it all fall back into the hands of the socialists.


Friday, August 12, 2005

The Case For Empire

If Not US, Then Who?

of the hand wringing concerning the Bush administration's stated goal of a free and democratic Iraq has been wrapped in a vile distaste for American global dominion. It is as if George W. Bush under the spell of the dreaded neo-cons suddenly realized America's economic and military might could be used to dominate the world. I'm here to tell you it can be safely reported that America's dominance in economic, military and cultural affairs, for good or bad, precedes President Bush by decades.

Throughout the short history of western civilization empires have come and gone. Each left a legacy of good and bad. The bad is always easy to see - war and genocide to name just two, but the good effects of empire are in many ways more profound and more important.

The Romans, and the Greeks before them, left us with the basic underpinnings of modern government, civic and public service and even the foundations of democracy. The expansive British Empire gave the world parliamentary procedure, the rule of law and public order. What will the American Empire leave the world? The short list would include democracy, individual liberty and prosperity. The evidence is readily apparent for those who are willing to see it.

Since the end of WWII and the ascendancy of the U.S. as a global power, America has fostered economic and individual freedom wherever it has been. Can anyone say that Germany, Japan, France, Italy, South Korea and a dozen other nations that have been defeated by or liberated by the U.S. now live under our thumb? The truth is that all of these nations control their own fate and currently enjoy some form of democracy and economic freedom that puts them in the company of the richest nations on earth. I ask: is this such a terrible legacy? We should be proud of this legacy. The sacrifice has been great and we sincerely honor those who have put their lives on the line.

The cynical and the righteous, both opponents of America, can point to the reality of American mistakes and hypocrisy in an attempt to negate anything positive this nation has ever done. They can point to the economic hit men sent out to the third world to wheel and deal the local dictator until he is either indebted to us or in our back pocket, yet ignore the hit man's contemporaries from Europe, Asia or Russia as if they do not exist. Indeed, many of the world's most severe problems can be tracked back to European colonialism and yet it is America who is targeted for the hatred.

The current threat to our civilization is as great as any that came before it. The terrorists don't just want the U.S. out of the Arab world they want to destroy our western economies and end our way of life - to be replaced with theirs. Is our way of life worth preserving let alone fighting and dying for? This is not such a silly question considering what is going on in the world today. The "peace at any cost" crowd are like ostriches with their head in the sand. There can be no peace until both sides are willing to lay down their arms. It is silly to think the terrorists will respond in kind if we just disarm ourselves. The terrorists must be defeated just as the Nazis and the Soviet Communists were.

If and when the extremists in the Muslim world embrace peace and prosperity through the filter of democracy the American Empire can be proud of what we have left the world.


Saturday, August 06, 2005

America Shrugged

Who is John Galt?

This was the enduring question that Dagny Taggert had to answer in the epic masterpiece by Ayn Rand called "Atlas Shrugged". For those of you who have not yet read this remarkable book I won't delve into the details other than to borrow the main premise for a literary exercise (experiment) I have been comptemplating.

When Atlas shrugged the productive world came tumbling down and with it prosperity and well being of an entire nation. Simply put, the industrialists and enterpenuers, the movers and the shakers who built, developed and put a nation to work suddenly quit. This left the "looters" and "do gooders" to manage an economy and a nation without the vision and energy of the best and the brightest.

What if America Shrugged? What if America withdrew from the world stage? What if we became another Switzerland? What would happen to the order of things? And who would stand against the tide of evil regimes?

America Shrugged - Part 1

Washington Post Jan 30th 2013

(AP) dateline Washington DC

President Smith in his first national news conference has announced that the United States will begin a phased withdrawl of all American troops from bases around the world. The pullout from Europe began under President George W. Bush will be accelerated to be completed by the end of 2014. The status of NATO is unclear in light of this change in policy. The President said he would address the European-American alliance in the near future. The reaction from European officials has been muted, however, local politicians fear economic collapse with the sudden closing of American military bases.

American troops in South Korea will be reduced and then eliminated by the end of 2015. In Iraq only specialists and logistical military staff will remain indefinately, combat troops will return to American soil beginning immediately. The same will be true in Afghanistan.

The infamous military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba will be closed immediately. This is sure to cause cheers from civil libertarians around the world who have used the Cuban base as a symbol of American hypocrisy.

Elsewhere, American troops and military support personel will return to American shores from around the globe with many being redeployed along the southern border...


New York Times Op/Ed Feb1 2013
(excerpt from Editor in Chief Thomas L. Freidman's Friday column)

... as an advocate for American leadership in the quest for global harmony and cooperation I applaud Mr.Smith's bold move to remove the impediment to sustainable understanding in the form of American troops dotting the global landscape. However, one can't just pull the plug without certain desirable qualities going down the drain with the waste water. Mr. Smith, by demonstrating the willingness to be bold, is telling the world it's time to cover your own back. There's no telling if the fat and comfortable nations of the West are willing to do it, or if the poor and weak nations can - even if they want to. It's a risky move, but I must lean 51% to 50% in favor...


New York Times Feb 15th 2013

dateline New York

America's UN Ambassador JC Watts announced today that the United States will relinquish its permanent spot on the UN Security Council. This move, he said, should put an end to the criticism the US has faced over the years as a road block to world peace by wielding its veto power over European peace initiatives. Speculation that the vacated seat will be given to India has caused Pakistan and Iran to recall their respective ambassadors...


Wall Street Journal Saturday Mar 2 2013

dateline Washington DC

Admistration officials announced this morning that the United States government will discontinue entering into any new contracts and loan arrangements within the World Bank infrastructure. All current contracts will be honored in full, but future dealings will be backed by private banks and financial institutions. Financial markets are expected to react negatively when trading resumes Monday. Reaction from Europe and Asia has been harsh, citing American responsibilty to poorer nations that rely on the World Bank will not end.

Also announced today was the unexpected withdrawl of the US from the contrversial IMF (International Monetary Fund). The IMF is the international organization entrusted with overseeing the global financial system by monitoring foreign exchange rates and balance of payments. The US will abide by decisions made by the IMF but will cease to have any direct involvement with IMF policy making...


New York Times Op/Ed Mar5 2013
(excerpt from Senoir Economist Emeritis Prof. Paul Krugman's Tuesday guest column)

... the end of America's imperialist monetary policies will undoubtably send the global economy into the stratosphere. Without American right-wing conservatives meddling in the good works of the World Bank- demanding loans be repaid - and roiling the waters encircling the IMF the social democracies of Europe can move forward with fair and equitable loan forgiveness for less fortunate nations. The Smith administration may not have a clue that a policy designed to head off the stinging criticism of American economic hegemony might actually bring about good things for the global economy...


Los Angeles Times April 1 2013

dateline Washington DC

President Smith wasted no time signing his first major policy initiative into law after the House and Senate conference commitee sent the "America First National Energy Stategic Initiative" to his office in the wee hours of the morning. President Smith declared this the first step into true energy independence for America.

Part of the controversial policy dictates that all oil, coal or natural gas pulled from the ground from American soil or American territorial waters be sold domestically first. Unsold inventory may be sold internationally. This along with historic agreements with Canada to tap massive oil reserves in Alberta and to jointly build a trans-Canadian pipeline to the US is being touted as a economic and strategic boon for both nations. This new pipeline will also succeed in connecting the Alaskan oil fields directly to the continental US. In addition, seven new state of the art refineries will be greenlighted without the usual environmental impact studies that have been known to take years. Critics see environmental and economic disaster looming for both nations. The controversial law is phased in over 10 years to avoid major shocks in current global energy markets. OPEC has threatened reprisals which has only bolstered President Smith's argument for weening America's dependance on Middle Eastern oil supplies.

In contrast the President and Congress are being praised for their forward looking commitment to research and development into alternative energy sources. Calling it the "Energy Manhattan Project" President Smith is charging American scientists with a monumental task of developing the model for America's energy base for the second half of the 21st century...


Miami Herald May 10 2013

dateline Cape Canaveral, Florida

NASA director Ellen Ochoa announced today that NASA will cease all operations at the International Space Station. Since the grounding of the shuttle fleet in 2005 and subsequent failures of new launch vehicles the ISS has been largely manned by Russian and European astronauts using American equipment and supplies.

"NASA will no longer be a partner in the ISS," said Ochoa at Thursday's press conference. "Our budgets are tight and we feel we can better utilize our resources for our unmanned space exploration programs. " European and Russian critics predict the demise of the ISS without US support and call on President Smith to reverse the decision. There was no comment from the White House Thursday...

New York Times Op/Ed May 17 2013
(excerpt from Lifestyle Editor Maureen Dowd's Friday column)

...If Ellen Ochoa were not a woman I would suspect NASA's announcement that it was abandoning the International Space Station another example of the typical male trait (although I suspect the testosterone laden Smith administration was actually behind the policy shift) of abandoning a faithful partner when times get hard. In this macho nation we have seen the poor and a the weak suffer when the "boys" fall on hard times. Sure the ISS is just a multi-billion dollar toy for scientists and adventurers but it may as well be a metaphore for the way American men runaway from their responsibilities at the slightest notion that the carefree fun has gone out of the relationship...


Boston Globe June 2 2013

dateline Washington DC

Administration officials, who have been hinting that foreign aid payments would be coming to an end have made it official this morning. Fulfilling one of his most popular pledges during last fall's 'America First' campaign President Smith signed an executive order designed to phase out foreign aid payments to all reciepient nations by 2019.

Nations hardest hit will be in the Middle East. Israel, Egypt and the fledgling nation Palestine, all receiving billions in aid will lose the most. Critics on the left and the right are predicting a boomerang effect causing increased strife in poorer nations and more illegal immigration here. The President reiterated again at the post signing Q&A that it is unconscionable that a nation trillions of dollars in debt should be giving its money away abroad when the right thing to do is take care of America first.

Israel strongly condemned the action by the US President. Prime Minister Sabin warned the the fragile peace in the region would be shattered...


Minneapolis StarTribune Editorial June 5 2013
(excerpt from the unsigned editorial)

...on one hand it's about time and on the other it's foolish beyond words. Take Israel, this rich and powerful nation has repeatedly held down a people and now a nation with billions in American taxpayer money. It's about time the US stopped feeding the Israeli war machine. However, can anyone expect a fragile new born nation to stand on its own without the support of others? How is Palestine supposed to stabilize and begin to prosper without American aid? Not even the United States was without benefactors at its inception...


Stay Tuned for Part 2 of America Shrugged - The Aftermath

Friday, August 05, 2005

America Shrugged - The Aftermath

"Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
'Til it's gone"
Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell

In the years that followed the great upheaval that accompanied President Smith's America First policies we learn just exactly what a stabilizing force a globally active United States of America was to the world...


New York Times Nov 4 2016

dateline Taipei

In the predawn hours of November 3rd just hours after polls closed on the American presidential election the Peoples Republic of China launched an invasion of Taiwan. In a show of overwhelming force all military bases on the small island nation were destroyed simultaneously. The major airports were seized next where intense battles raged for hours. Thousands of deaths are suspected, but news out of Taipei at this hour is spotty.

A freshly reelected President Smith strongly condemned the action taken by the PRC. Stinging from the criticism that his policy shift away from unconditional defense of Taiwan is directly responsible for the aggressive Chinese action the President defended himself vociferously. "The over riding position of this nation was a 'One China' policy which stood in direct conflict with an American military promise to defend Taiwan. It was contradictory policy and stood to drag America into a war that is essentially an internal Chinese affair. Yes, I would have preferred that a peaceful unification could have been achieved but this is not an American fight."

With that being said the Pentagon has put all American forces in Hawaii and Alaska on high alert...


Wall Street Journal Nov 8 2016

dateline New York

Battered about by the Chinese invasion of Taiwan and the continuing chaos in the energy markets the global economy stands at the threshold of depression. Only China and India are still experiencing growing economies. The United States is hovering around 0% growth for a second consecutive quarter.

Disruptions in the oil producing infrastructure by terrorists in Saudi Arabia and Iraq have sent the energy markets into turmoil. An aggressive Chinese navy patrolling the Persian Gulf has also slowed oil shipments from the region.

The energy markets in disarray is only half of the gloomy economic story. Wildly fluctuating currency values and increased trade tension between the United States and Europe has also caused stock markets around the world into panic selling. With China artificially holding down the value of its currency it continues to undercut American an European efforts at trade reconciliation. The communist government admits that Chinese goods are selling so well that the volume makes up for any currency price differentiation...


New Yorker Magazine Nov 30 2016
(excerpt from an interview with retired economist and professor Paul Krugman)

NYM: Mr. Krugman you have been quoted as saying the Smith administrationion will inadvertently spark a global economic boon with it's declining role in the UN, the World Bank and the IMF. It doesn't look that way now, wouldn't you say?

Krugman: I didn't say that - exactly - I said it COULD send the global economy sky rocketing. I still believe it will. The turmoil in the oil markets and the tension over the Chinese taking of Taiwan has caused a speedbump. Look, this is a global correction we are going through. For the last half of the 20th century we had one nation dictating the global economy with it's wealth and military power. It's going to take a while for the vacuum to be filled with a sensible and fair economic model. I think our friends in the European Union have frankly lead the world in creating an economic model for a more sustainable and equitable society.

NYM: But Professor Krugman Europe's economy is in deep recession. Both France and Germany have had double digit unemployment rates for nearly two decades. Poverty, as well as violent crime is rising, frankly Europe is not looking that good to me.

Krugman: Well, it depends on how and what you're measuring. The unemployment thing is a canard, for heavens sake - generous unemployment benefits are built into the model...


Washington Post Jan 30 2017

dateline Bogota

Leftist insurgents have launched massive attacks on the beleaguered Columbian government. For the second consecutive day Bogota has been under heavy motar fire. Small arms fire can be heard all over the city. After having essentially taken Medellin last month the anti government insurgency called FARC has been emboldened. Flush with Chinese made weapons and Chinese supplied munitions the insurgency has terrorized the country side and is now pushing into the major cities. The Columbian military has been faltering since the United States military ceased joint operations two years ago...


Chicago Sun-Times Dec 2 2017

International Aid Slow to Arrive
dateline Ankara

European officials fear that the death toll from last weeks earthquake in the urban heart of Turkey could exceed 100,000. The magnitude 7.9 earthquake had an epicenter just 15 miles from the capital city of Ankara. The city is in ruins and the government is in shambles.

What is left of the government is complaining that international help has been slow to arrive. Considering that Turkey was finally made a member of the EU just a few years ago they have expected more help from Germany, France and England. Humanitarian aid is arriving from the United States from private relief organizations. The overwhelming issue is infrastructure repairs and security.

Kurdish rebels from the south with help of Iraqi Kurds have taken the opportunity to launch attacks on government installations. Without the buffer of the American military which moved out 2 years ago the south has been a growing caldron of discontent. With no leadership out of Ankara, government troops have been pulling back and conceding territory to the rebels. The UN has been reluctant to commit troops calling this an internal Turkish affair...


New York Times Op/Ed Dec 25 2017
(excerpt from Editor in Chief Emeritus Thomas L. Freidman's Sunday column)

... the Kurdish situation in Turkey has international implications reaching all the way to Washington. It is not a secret that the Kurdish insurgency following in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake is being backed by Iran. It is also no secret that Iran wants to resurrect the Ottoman Empire where Ankara is the crown jewel. With nothing between them and Ankara but a shaky Iraqi government there will be no stopping them. The Europeans in their usual fashion are tied up in internal bickering about what to do about defending the newest member of the EU club.

So, where are the American forces? Well, they are guarding high schools in upstate New York. Staked out around the municipal water supply in Peoria Illinois. Partrolling the desert in Arizona for undocumented workers as they make their way to the vineyards in California. Is this the best use of our highly trained professional army? Do we have any loyalty or responsibility to the Turks who were, after all, our allies during the Cold War? I am not second guessing Mr. Smith's draw down of the US military presence abroad but one has to ask - America First, at what cost...

==================================== Nov 20 2018


After years of bloody battles the Kingdom of Saud is officially dead. The 60 year old Osama bin Laden has returned triumphantly to the nation of his birth in a scene eerily reminiscent of Ayatollah Khomeini's return to Teheran in 1979. In another victory for the Great Caliphate another secular country has fallen to fundimentalist Islamic militants. With the Iraq government in a shambles, the recent overthrow of the governments in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the nearly non existent Turkish government it is just a matter of time before the entire region is under the control religious Islamic rule.

It is unclear what this means to oil production in the former kingdom...


National Post (Canada) Mar 4 2018

Candians uncomfortable with American Troop Presence
dateline Calgary

The RCMP have reported that eco-terrorists have once again halted construction of the controversial Trans-Canadian Pipeline. In a midnight raid they damaged or destroyed the heavy equipment used to clear the path the pipeline is taking through the British Columbian wilderness.

American military personel stationed in the area were caught by surprise by the sheer brazeness and firepower the militant environmentalists employed. Colonel Jamison of the 5th Airborne Division believes the terrorists are receiving aid and comfort from the locals...


Houston Chronicle Oct 12 2018

dateline Panama City

In a provative move the Chinese have denied the US military passage through the Panama Canal. Troops and equipment carriers bound for the Canadian northwest were stopped by Chinese warships before entering the canal. President Smith has waged a formal protest with the Beijing government. The PRC are claiming they are only fulfilling the wishes of their host country. Panama has demanded that the canal be off limits to military ships. "The Panama Canal is to be a conduit for commerce between the east and the west, not a military asset" said Panamanian President Kim Yang...


Wall Street Journal Op/Ed Feb 1 2020
(excerpt from the unsigned editorial)

... with the global economy in the second year of profound depression it's hard to find a ray of sunshine, but we have. Wal Mart has announced it's 100th consecutive quarter of positive growth. Bouyed by the cozy relationship they have built with the only nation on Earth that still has a growing economy Wal Mart is moving all corporate operations to China. The executive offices will remain in Arkansas and New York but with massive cutbacks in both states.

We need to ask ourselves how these two entities continue to defy the economic earthquake that has brought the rest of the civilized world to its knees. The oil shocks have hit every sector of every economy - yet China and Wal Mart roll on...


New York Times Dec 31 2020

Israel retaliates by destroying Mecca; total war feared

"The world has now entered into an era where the use of nuclear weapons is a battle strategy and not, as in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a final solution."
President John Smith

Tel Aviv lies in ruins with a immediate death toll of a million or more, radiation fallout will kill thousands more. Iran is suspected as the perpetrator. In immediate retailiation the holy shrine of Mecca has been vaporized by a ten megaton nuclear bomb dropped by an Israeli warplane...


And so concludes this exersize in hysterical speculation. But, what would happen to the world if America ceased to be a player on the international stage? America First may sound like a winning strategy for a wiley politician who taps into the frustration everyone has with the position history has placed us in.

I do not think any of these stories are particularly far fetched... Do you?

America Shrugged - an adaptation of an Ayn Rand theme
by Craig Willms

Monday, August 01, 2005

Bush's War [UPDATE]

On July 21st the Saint Paul Pioneer Press ran a letter I'd written about the Iraq war, defending it as a crucial battlefront in the War On Terror. On Sunday July 31st they ran a letter in response. To my surprize it appeared to be something of an endorsement of my words... Or so it seemed.

I'll let you be the judge if this writer is a 'grab 'em by the nose and kick 'em in the ass' kinda guy or simply a master sarcastic. (The text of the letter he is responding to will follow)


We Are The Targets

I agree with letter writer Craig Willms that we should all wise up and realize we are at war and are the targets of jihadists. Have you noticed the lack of any positive action taken on our part in rounding up and bringing to justice these jihadists? Not even any hand slapping. We should be issuing national ID cards and deporting anyone not legally here. Anyone caught plotting anything bad shouth be dealt with very harshly.

None of this refurbishing at taxpayer expense and turned loose to wage war on us again, as is being done at Gitmo. Do you think American captives are given Bibles and good food before being beheaded by jihadists? Think again, brother.

We need some George Pattons and MacArthurs (and maybe a few George Wallaces).

If you aren't old enough to remember George Wallace, read some American history.

Art Usher
Grasston MN


Bush's War

Nothing is bigger than defeating the global jihad

Dear Editor,

I sincerely hope this newspaper intends to print some fact filled letters to balance what you printed on July 10th. ("Mission (not) Accomplished")

There was no rush to war in Iraq. The current conflict was twelve years in the making. Saddam Hussein had violatednumerous UN resolutions and bilked average Iraqis out of billions with the "oil for food" scandal. Saddam Hussein was a terror sponsor and an aggressor who was patiently waiting out the sanctions imposed on him by a toothless institution (the United Nations).

Lest we forget that it was President Bill Clinton who signed the resolution that made it the policy of the United States to work for regime change in Iraq. Saddam also sheltered known terrorists, sponsored Palestinian suicide bombers. Simply put, he was a terrorist.

One letter writer chided President Bush for imploring Americans not to "balk at doing big things". I can think of nothing bigger than defeating the global jihad that has as its goal the total destruction of Western Civilization.

Sincerely, Craig Willms