Calling A Spade A Spade...Or A Fascist A Fascist

I find it telling that only now is President Bush calling the militant Wahabbist Islamic fundamentalists what they are: Fascists. In fact, we here at Weekend Pundit have been calling them Islamofascist Pinheads since shortly after this blog began back in June 2002.

Who knew that we were ahead of the curve?

Energy/Environmental Madness

This post will be a two-fer.

First, a full page ad has been running in the statewide newspaper over the past few days. It brings up a simple point:

Much of America's oil and natural gas lies offshore, miles from our coasts. But outdated federal laws prevent exploration and production in many areas, even though advanced technologies allow us to develop these energy sources safely.

While it's true that this message comes from the American Petroleum Institute, their message is valid, at least when it comes to discussing the issue. Banning exploration of the continental shelf seems ludicrous in light of ever increasing oil prices.

While many of the less open minded environmentalists will fight tooth and nail to keep the oil industry from drilling off shore, what these same folks don't realize is that our laws won't prevent oil companies and exploration firms from foreign nations from doing just that. On more than one occasion the topic of Chinese gas and oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere along the US coast has come up. It seems stupid to me to prevent our own industries from exploring while being unable to prevent others from doing the same thing, but without the environmental or safety oversight under which the U.S. Petroleum industry works.

Second, like many of you out there I caught part of ABC's 20/20 last night. And, like many of you, I was outraged at the last segment of the show. The show gave a countdown of the many ways the world could end. The one considered to be the most dangerous was not the supervolcano or gamma ray burst or asteroid strike. Rather, it was human-caused global warming.

While I could rant and rave about the junk science that is being taken as gospel, I think that I'll leave it up to Jim Lundgren at the Volokh Conspiracy as he did a much better job blasting the segment and its premise.

Among the claims that were repeated multiple times (by Al Gore and others) were that there was no scientific debate over whether the cause of global warming was humans. Not only did ABC liken those scientists who did not accept this orthodoxy to Holocaust deniers and to scientists who claimed that cigarettes were not associated with cancer, but ABC actually showed witness after witness for tobacco companies claiming that tobacco did not cause cancer, as if it were not enough merely to mention the analogy in passing. (Query whether that airtime could have been devoted to at least one reputable expert who disagreed with ABC's smugly certain experts?)

ABC showed experts claiming that the reason that scientific dissenters were unwilling to accept the orthodox opinion is that they were being paid by major polluters to take those positions.

ABC trotted out various group studies about the impending environmental disaster, as if ABC was unaware of just how inaccurate group environmental predictions had been in the 1970s and 1980s.

Lundgren also links to a piece in the Boston Globe titled “MIT's Inconvenient Scientist” that tells us about Richard Linzen, a professor of meteorology at MIT.

Here's the kind of information the "scientific consensus" types don't want you to read. MIT's Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology Richard Lindzen recently complained about the "shrill alarmism" of Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth." Lindzen acknowledges that global warming is real, and he acknowledges that increased carbon emissions might be causing the warming--but they also might not.

"We do not understand the natural internal variability of climate change" is one of Lindzen's many heresies, along with such zingers as "the Arctic was as warm or warmer in 1940," "the evidence so far suggests that the Greenland ice sheet is actually growing on average," and "Alpine glaciers have been retreating since the early 19th century, and were advancing for several centuries before that. Since about 1970, many of the glaciers have stopped retreating and some are now advancing again. And, frankly, we don't know why." . . .

He's smart. He's an effective debater. No wonder the Steve Schneiders and Al Gores of the world don't want you to hear from him. It's easier to call someone a shill and accuse him of corruption than to debate him on the merits. . . .

Like Linzen, I am not saying that global warming isn't happening. Like Linzen, I also believe that the the finger has been pointed prematurely at homo sapiens as the sole cause. There are a number of other factors that can be driving climate change, including such things as the Sun and natural climatic cycles. To claim otherwise is madness, ignoring factors that we may have no control over. If climate change cannot be averted because it is part of a natural cycle, then pouring resources into programs and projects that will have no effect is a waste of time and money. Instead, those resources should go towards adapting to the upcoming changes and mitigating the effects of those changes where possible.

The problem is that we just don't know enough yet. Going off half cocked will solve nothing and may, in the end, make things worse.

But don't tell Al Gore that.


MoveOn.org Trying To Topple Republican Incumbents. Film At 11.

MoveOn.org is at it again, this time in New Hampshire.

This less-than-effective organization is airing ads aimed at incumbent Congressman Charlie Bass (R-NH). Assuming that they're as effective as any of their other ad campaigns, Charlie Bass is safe. (If I recall correctly, the only add campaign they've ever had that was successful was against Joe Lieberman, a fellow Democrat. But even that's coming back to haunt them.)


Multiculturalism And Tolerance For Intolerant Ideas Must Die

Two separate posts on two different blogs provide ammunition for the idea that multiculturalism and tolerance of intolerable should die a much deserved and overdue death.

First, GraniteGrok tells us of an incident that shows that many the Mexican immigrants, legal and illegal, have no intention of assimilating into American society. Instead, the plan to tear sections of the western US away and return it to it's rightful owners. Of course those 'rightful owners' have no more claim on the territory than their ancestors.

Second, Wizbang reminds us that twenty years ago Ray Honeyford, a headmaster at a British school, warned everybody in Britain that the UK's multicultural policies were suicidal, particularly in regards to Muslim immigrants. He was castigated for his views, fired from his job, and had to have police protection for months. But history has proven he was right.

When will we wake up to the fact that multiculturalism is a false goal, one that only works to divide us? When will the idea of tolerance for other's beliefs be modified to allow for intolerance of beliefs that are hateful and, dare I say, even murderous? This touchy-feelie BS has got to stop because if it doesn't, Western civilization will die, only to be replaced by a totalitarian civilization that is totally intolerant of any ideas that do not fit in with radical teachings and that will set human rights back a thousand years.


Why The Left Hates The Electoral College

How many times over the years during the presidential election cycle have we heard someone make the suggestion to abolish the electoral college? Far too many, by my count.

On more than one occasion after hearing that suggestion I've questioned the person making the suggestion about their reasoning behind it. I've also asked them if they understood why the Founding Fathers saw fit to include it. Of all the people I've asked, not one had a solid understanding of the 'why' of the electoral college. Of all the people I've asked, all of them used some variation of the “only the popular vote should count” argument.

It makes me question the quality of the education we've been providing all these years, because too many people have forgotten their civics lessons. The electoral college is something I've written about before.

It all comes down to power, or those trying to wrest power from the non-urban states and concentrate it in more urbanized states. Former Delaware governor Pete DuPont says it's something we should guard against.

First, the direct election of presidents would lead to geographically narrower campaigns, for election efforts would be largely urban. In 2000 Al Gore won 677 counties and George Bush 2,434, but Mr. Gore received more total votes. Circumvent the Electoral College and move to a direct national vote, and those 677 largely urban counties would become the focus of presidential campaigns.

Rural states like Maine, with its 740,000 votes in 2004, wouldn't matter much compared with New York's 7.4 million or California's 12.4 million votes. Rural states' issues wouldn't matter much either; big-city populations and urban issues would become the focus of presidential campaigns. America would be holding urban elections, and that would change the character of campaigns and presidents.

Second, in any direct national election there would be significant election-fraud concerns. In the 2000 Bush-Gore race, Mr. Gore's 540,000-vote margin amounted to 3.1 votes in each of the country's 175,000 precincts. "Finding" three votes per precinct in urban areas is not a difficult thing, or as former presidential scholar and Kennedy advisor Theodore White testified before the Congress in 1970, "There is an almost unprecedented chaos that comes in the system where the change of one or two votes per precinct can switch the national election of the United States."

Third, direct election would lead to a multicandidate, multiparty system instead of the two-party system we have. Many candidates would run on narrow issues: anti-immigration, pro-gun, environment, national security, antiwar, socialist or labor candidates, for they would have a microphone for their issues. Then there would be political power seekers--Al Sharpton or Michael Moore--and Hollywood pols like Barbra Streisand or Warren Beatty. Even Paris Hilton could advance her career through a presidential campaign.

Finally, direct election would also lead to weaker presidents. There are no run-offs in the Interstate Compact--that would require either a constitutional amendment or the agreement of all 50 states and the District of Columbia--so the highest percentage winner, no matter how small (perhaps 25% or 30% in a six- or eight-candidate field) would become president. Such a winner would not have an Electoral College majority and therefore not be seen as a legitimate president.

But that's what many in the Left want. If most of the country's non-urban voters can be disfranchised, most of them being rather conservative, then the so-called progressive voters in the urban areas will run the show. Since they seem to have problems winning presidential elections according to the Constitution, they're making a move to ignore it, or at least declare it moot.

It means that very few outside of New York, California, Washington, and other states with large urban populations would ever see presidential candidates because the candidates would know that campaigning outside those urban compacts would be a waste of time. The votes of those of us in rural states will mean very little.

How many times have we heard people say that “America is a democracy.” The problem is that they are wrong. Again they've forgotten their civics lessons. The U.S. is a federal republic, a representative democracy. If it were a true democracy we wouldn't have a Congress because every eligible voter would be voting on every issue normally handled by the Congress. But with a nation with almost 300 million citizens such a democracy is unworkable.

It is also a truism that a 'pure democracy' is merely mob rule by a different name. A true tyranny of the majority would exist and those with a minority opinion would be in serious danger of losing everything to the majority, including their lives. There would be no rule of law. All one needs to do is look at the French Revolution to see how a pure democracy works. That period in French history wasn't called The Terror for nothing.

Any move to do away with the electoral college must be stopped if we wish to maintain the unique nature of our country.


Thoughts On A Sunday

It's a rainy Sunday here in the Lakes Region. Not that I'm complaining. Somehow it seems fitting, particularly for BeezleBub.

You see, this is the last Sunday of his summer vacation. As of 7:10AM on Wednesday morning he reports back to school to start 7th Grade.

At least this year he's not feeling quite as anxious as he did last year. This year he's not “the new kid.”

I expect he'll do just fine this year.


Cost cutting continues at the Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Manse, with Deb looking over every expenditure with a critical eye. One thing that makes it more tolerable is that we aren't the only ones having to do this. At least in our case we're doing it as a pre-emptive strike in an effort to keep our finances in order and to reduce whatever debt we have. Sometimes it's too easy to get deep into debt without realizing it. That damn plastic is very tempting. That's why we pay cash....or at least if we do use plastic it's a debit card.


Speaking of cost cutting, we've avoided the temptation to let the boat yard pull the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout out of the water in October, do all the pre-storage maintenance, and store it for us.

When BeezleBub and I can do all of that for less than a tenth of the cost it makes no sense to pay someone else to do a less effective job of it. Besides, I'm a firm believer that any boat owner should know their boat from stem to stern, including the electrical system and all things mechanical. It makes it much easier to effect repairs or, at least, to diagnose problems when help is far away. The only way we can do that is if we do most of the work maintaining The Boat. The only time it will make its way to a repair shop is if we don't have the tools or the know-how to do it ourselves.

On the other hand, I'm just too cheap...uh... too frugal a Yankee to pay someone else to do something I can do just as well.


I started reading the so-called “Nantucket trilogy” by S.M.Stirling after Deb bought me the books from Amazon. She'd read the review by Jay Solo, asked me if I was interested in reading them, and a few days later all three books showed up in the mail.

I have to say that it's even better than I thought.


John Stossel looks at a particular sexual harassment suit and points out that in this case, it's ludicrous. Some folks just want to take the fun out of work just because they can.


It seems that the MSM is working its hardest to turn the on-again/off-again Tropical Storm/Hurricane Ernesto into the second coming of Hurricane Katrina. On ABC's World News Tonight, weekend anchor Dan Harris was one of those trying to stir up a sense of impending doom. A local New Hampshire meteorologist says otherwise, saying Ernesto will likely be a strong Category 1 storm by the time it makes landfall in Florida.

Which is the truth? Frankly, I'm more likely to trust the meteorologist.


Even as the hysteria over global climate change builds, at least one media outlet has taken a step back and looked at the debate with a critical eye. An article in the Laconia Citizen asks if there is too much advocacy mixed in with the science.

If I had to guess, I'd have to say yes.


A discussion with a fellow Lakes Region resident and boater brought up the subject of boating on Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam. We've both noticed that the total number boaters on the lakes seem to be down from last year, but the incidents of really dumb actions by clueless boaters is up. I've never seen as many people doing incredibly stupid things out on the lake as I have this year.

It's scary.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where it's still raining, school starts soon, and where the number of summer boaters will be falling off after Labor Day.

Consumer Spending Falls

As oil prices rose and home sales started to fall off, it was only a matter of time before John & Jane Q. Consumer started rolling back some of their discretionary spending. That time has now arrived.

Home sales are down 4.3%, with prices stabilizing or falling. Inventory is creeping up and the average time a home is on the market is increasing. One of the forces behind the falling home sales is the higher mortgage rates that have become the norm over the past few months.

Oil prices have driven the cost of gasoline up, as well as the cost of home heating fuels – oil, kerosene, and propane. The high oil prices have increased the cost of electricity, adding yet another burden on businesses and consumers. The money to pay for the higher energy costs has to come from somewhere, and that usually means that consumers will tighten their belts and close their wallets, focusing their spending on the essentials and cutting back on the so-called luxuries.

Even here at the WP Manse we've been cutting back, reducing our spending where practical, looking closer at our expenditures, reducing our debt as much as possible, and making plans for the upcoming heating season.

One thing that we did this summer was install a wood stove insert in the living room's fireplace, to be used to help heat the manse. With the cost of propane being well above $2.35/gallon at this point, seeing how much we used last winter, and an abundant supply of firewood handy, it was a no-brainer to go this route. I have no doubt that others will be doing the same. Frankly, I have better things on which to spend our hard earned money, like food.

In general, growth in consumer spending will be lower in the second half of the year compared to the first half, which in turn will slow the growth of the economy. Will this lead to a recession? At the moment, nobody knows.


Cut-And-Run Voices Getting Louder

More and more often I am hearing discouraging messages from the MSM and, more frequently, the average citizen when it comes to the war in Iraq. It appears that the “cut and run” crowd are gaining more of a voice. Frankly, it's the same damn thing we did in Vietnam and because of it we have the blood of millions of innocents on our hands. Of course, the cut-and-run crowd conveniently forget that part of our history. They also want us to repeat it, to bring about a possible religious war and the death of millions...again.

And somehow they'll find a way to blame it all on the US...again.

They will conveniently overlook the fact that if we had stayed the wider war probably wouldn't have happened. They will also ignore the fact that actions have consequences, even when those actions are to abandon nascent democracy to the non-tender mercies of Islamofascist pinheads and the governments that give them tacit support. They will also overlook the fact that the Islamofascist pinheads are the ones who started this war.

They want to make the same mistakes that were made before World War II, the mistakes that led Neville Chamberlain to proclaim “Peace in our time” just before the Nazi war machine made its move into Poland and plunged the world into a widespread war.

But then, the cut-and-run crowd have always been afraid of taking on difficult, lengthy tasks, even if those tasks mean their very survival.

Arnold Kling has mentioned this, pointing out that the cut-and-run folks tend to be the so-called elites. Arnold believes the elite have lost touch with the public. The American public is sick and tired of being ignored by the elite. In general, the American public knows better how to fight this protracted war against terrorism. The same is true of the public in the UK and Israel.

Regarding the "mutiny" of the British airplane passengers, no doubt the elites are thinking, "Oh, what awful behavior on the part of passengers. They are ruining our effort to reassure Muslims that they face no discrimination."

Meanwhile, the people are thinking, "Look, the fact that you subject all passengers to the same humiliating searching and restrictions says that you have no idea who is dangerous and who is not. If you are that incompetent, then don't expect us to trust you when you tell us that a plane is safe."

That has been the problem all along. We keep being told that profiling is bad, discriminatory. But if terrorists bent upon hijacking or blowing up a plane fit a certain profile, then it is in our best interests to use that profile to single them out. The Israelis have it down to a science, looking for certain signs among passengers that signals that they have more than getting from one airport to another on their minds. If most of those suspect passengers happen to be of a certain ethnic group, then it would be prudent to focus on that group. But the elite keep telling us that we shouldn't do that. Of course they don't offer a solution that works as well other than “treat everybody as a suspect.” Th eproblem with that is that it's very time consuming and, in the end, isn't nearly as good as profiling.

The public also knows that when it comes to the war against the Islamofascists, it's all or nothing. Only going halfway means that we'll have to fight them again in the future, but with higher casualties. It also means that we may have to fight them here on our soil rather than on theirs. That's never a good thing. If the Islamofascist pinheads want to die for Allah, I prefer to see them die in the Middle East rather than here.


"No Cut" Policy Is Left Coast Lunacy

Anyone of you folks out there that have read this blog for any length of time know, I am one of those people that look upon Political Correctness and any of the associated foolishness that goes along with it - like efforts to build self-esteem in children by cheapening their achievements by making them meaningless - with derision and scorn.

I had hoped that none of that Left Coast crap, particularly the self-esteem building, would infect the populace here in New Hampshire. Unfortunately that hope was in vain.

As Doug at GraniteGrok informs us, a member of the local school board wants to institute a “no cut” policy for all varsity sports in our school system. What problem does the school board member think that this policy will solve?

The more I thought about this, the more pissed off I became. All through the weekend I pondered the import of this development, worried that our society may be doomed.

For some reason the focus of education has become building self-esteem rather than teaching children. For the life of me I cannot figure out why self-esteem has become so important. From my experience, self-esteem is vastly overrated. There are plenty of people out there with low self-esteem that are well educated and, in some cases, quite successful. There are also a lot of people out there with great self-esteem but are total layabouts, jerks, or worse, politicians. To give you an idea of how self-esteem has little to do with a child's success, there are plenty of inmates on death row that have it in spades. So in and of itself, self-esteem means very little.

Our misguided school board member somehow thinks that it would benefit everybody if our school system implemented the aforementioned “no-cut” policy in sports. What has been overlooked is that it will have a deleterious effect on those athletes who can actually play the game. And with some sports having a limit on the number of players on a team, the no-cut policy would be unworkable unless the school wants to be banned from playing within their conference.

What would motivate such a move by this board member? Perhaps it is as Doug says.

One of the classic characteristics of liberalism is the inability to make decisions and the avoidance of conflict at all costs. What exactly are we teaching our children about life when we engage in this sort of nonsense?

If there is no competition, there are no winners and losers, or so the reasoning goes. But it's false reasoning. With no competition, everybody loses. Everybody's achievements are cheapened because the bar has been set so low that it is impossible to 'fail'. And if it is impossible to fail, then there's no reason to work for one's success. A person may have great self-esteem under such a system, but they won't be able to do squat.

Picture yourself in the seat of an airliner. You have the choice of a pilot with loads of self-esteem or one that really knows what he or she is doing even if they have little self-esteem. Which one do you want to fly the plane you're on?


Thoughts On A Sunday

The rains arrived overnight, drenching the ground with much needed moisture.

As wet as the spring and beginning of the summer had been, August has been quite dry. Even the big lake is down almost 8 inches from the 'full' level. Some of that might be the lack of rainfall. Some can be attributed to the flow through the Lakeport Dam still being elevated.

Of course, with the rains today we didn't venture out on to the lake. But I have a feeling we'll be out there during the rest if the week.


John Stossel takes aim at government stupidity and how it spends our money.

I can honestly say I was not surprised by anything he found.


I doubt that the Lebanon-Israel cease fire will last very long. It is a repeat of the mistake made during the Gulf War in 1991. Everybody knew it was a bad idea and that we'd have to go back and finish the job later.

This latest conflict between Israel and Hezbollah is no different. The only difference is that many more people will die and Israel will not hold back like they did this time. It will be total war and Hezbollah, the de facto Lebanese government, will not survive it.

Peace may come to the Middle East, but it will be the same kind of peace as that seen at the end or World War II.


In reference to World War II, WP Dad – aka Mudge – related a story about a fellow he knew that grew up in Nazi Germany and experienced the strategic bombing of German cities, which left nothing but rubble. When he had the opportunity to ask an American general why the Allies bombed the civilian areas, the general responded “Because we don't want the German people to forget for a hundred years what we'll do if you piss us off.”

This is a message both we and the Israelis should be sending to the Islamofascist pinheads.


An editorial in today's New Hampshire Sunday News warns us about politically correct speech and how PC standards are applied only to moderate and conservative public figures.

I have been working on a post about PC and its derivative movements and hope to have it tomorrow.


On more than one occasion I have read letters to the editor of various publications or listened to people spouting off about 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, and a whole host of other related issues. Most of the comments read or overheard have been heavily negative, repeating conspiracy theories that are so out in left field or 'facts' that have since been debunked that they make me cringe to hear them.

There have been number of things that I've noticed about many of the folks writing or saying these things: They're all reading from the same script.

What one writes or says is damn near identical to what someone else writes or says. They quote the same sources and phrase their objections the same way. It's like a broken record. It is also reminiscent of Joseph Goebbels theory of the Big Lie – say it loud enough and often enough and eventually the people will come to believe it. It is this latest version of the Big Lie of which many have come under the influence.

The rhetoric has gotten to the point that I now truly believe that many of these folks are incapable of thinking for themselves. They are letting others do the thinking for them and they mouth 'opinions' given to them by others. When it comes to a debate about the issues they bring up, they can do nothing but mouth the same platitudes over and over again as if that should be enough to 'win' the debate. But they never actually answer the points brought up by their opponents. It's sad, really.


It appears that one of my favorite programs, Everwood, may be resurrected.

With the combination of the WB and UPN into the new CW network, the combined networks had to shed itself of some of their programs. Two networks' worth of programming won't fit into one schedule. Unfortunately Everwood was one of the casualties.

Everwood will reappear on ABC Family starting in September. Whether it will be reruns of its four seasons or new episodes is unknown, but there were a lot of viewers out there pushing hard for it to be picked up by another network. Maybe their efforts have come to fruition. It would certainly make be happy.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the rains have tapered off, the “summah people” are still making asses of themselves, and where I have to go back to work tomorrow.


A Judge With An Agenda

I am beginning to wonder about some of our judiciary. I truly am.

After the decision by Judge Anna Diggs Taylor to cripple a proven and effective means of identifying, tracking, and apprehending terrorists of all stripes – the Terrorist Surveillance Program – I began to wonder if she has any idea what is at stake in this war, for war is exactly what it is that we are fighting. Worse, I wonder if she really cares. It appears that she has her own agenda and stopping the Islamofascist Pinheads from killing Americans isn't part of it. Her action, if it carries through and isn't overturned by the US Supreme Court, seriously damages the war powers granted by the Constitution.

The 44-page decision, which concludes by issuing a permanent injunction against the [NSA's] wiretapping program, will doubtless occasion much rejoicing among the "imperial Presidency" crowd. That may have been part of her point, as, early in the decision, Judge Taylor refers with apparent derision to "the war on terror of this Administration."

The only war she apparently sees is the war against the Bush Administration and not against Al Qaeda and their ilk. She doesn't seem to realize that if Al Qaeda had its way, she wouldn't be a judge, a lawyer, or anything else that their twisted Islamic death cult decides shouldn't be done by women. In fact, she'd probably be dead by their hands. But that doesn't bother her in the least. She doesn't see the wiretapping being done by the NSA as an intelligence operation with military implications.

We can at least be grateful that President Taylor's judgment won't be the last on the matter. The Justice Department immediately announced it will appeal and the injunction has been stayed for the moment. But her decision is all the more noteworthy for coming on the heels of the surveillance-driven roll up of the terrorist plot in Britain to blow up U.S.-bound airliners. In this environment, monitoring the communications of our enemies is neither a luxury nor some sinister plot to chill domestic dissent. It is a matter of life and death.

So let's set aside the judge's Star Chamber rhetoric and try to examine her argument, such as it is. Take the Fourth Amendment first. The "unreasonable search and seizure" and warrant requirements of that amendment have their roots in the 18th-century abuses of the British crown. Those abuses involved the search and arrest of the King's political opponents under general and often secret warrants.

Judge Taylor sees an analogy here, but she manages to forget or overlook that no one is being denied his liberty and no evidence is being brought in criminal proceedings based on what the NSA might learn through listening to al Qaeda communications. The wiretapping program is an intelligence operation, not a law-enforcement proceeding. Congress was duly informed, and not a single specific domestic abuse of such a wiretap has yet been even alleged, much less found.

It appears that Judge Taylor is no student of history. If she were, she'd know what measures were taken during World War II that limited many civil rights, particularly the rights of Japanese-Americans and large numbers of Nazi sympathizers in the US. The FBI vigorously prosecuted spies and traitors with the help of local authorities and military assets. We were fighting a war against intractable enemies and intelligence was one way we defeated them.

But Judge Taylor seems to think that this war, one against an enemy just as intractable as the Nazis, Italian Fascists, and the Japanese Empire, is nothing more than a ploy to use our enemies as a bugaboo to steal away our rights. Whether she realizes it or not, she has aided our enemies in achieving their goals. We must remember that their aim is to destroy us, to kill us, because we represent everything they are against. You don't defeat such an enemy by tying the hands of the very people you need to fight them. That is suicide. To reiterate what I wrote yesterday, the Constitution is not a suicide pact, despite what Judge Taylor may believe. The wiretapping program of the NSA is not an issue of civil rights being violated, but one of foreign intelligence being gathered to defeat our enemies.


NSA's Surveillance Under TSP Declared Unconstitutional

A federal judge has ruled that the wiretap and tracking program that has been part and parcel of the Terrorist Surveillance Program is unconstitutional. What makes this decision interesting is that the judge who ruled on the case has a history of ignoring the law.

The Justice Department is appealing the decision and the NSA will continue the surveillance during the appeals process.

It figures that this judge would try to destroy the one program that has proven successful in derailing terrorist organizations from pulling of attacks here in the US. One thing that I've always been told and do understand is that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. Such actions have been taken before during times of war and the American people have understood and endorsed them. Apparently this judge has forgotten her history.


Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

I mentioned the start of the political silly season in yesterday's post and already we're seeing signs of its approach.


Deb was on her way home she came across the work of the sign fairies. They had done their work between the time she went to work and the time she left work. Where once there had been nothing but grass near an Interstate underpass was now a forest of campaign signs, all bearing the same name and message about re-electing a congressional incumbent.

Do the campaign offices really believe that he or she with the most signs wins? To look at the display Deb saw today, they must think so.


Thoughts On A Sunday

I didn't think it would be this difficult, but it has been.

It's only been a few days since we lost Beebs, the youngest of the two felines making their home with us. Every so often I think I catch sight of him out of the corner of my eye. But when I look, he's not there.

Our other feline family member, Bagheera, has been wandering around looking for him. He knows something is wrong, but not what. He's also been rather 'clingy', not leaving our sides when we're home. That's unusual behavior for him.

Twice I've pulled out two dishes to feed “the boys” only to realize that we're presently a one-cat family. At night, before going to bed, I've checked at the back door to see if he wants to come in, then catch myself, knowing he will never be there again.

Damn, but it's hard.


It was a rough day on Lake Winnipesaukee yesterday. The breezy conditions made for some rough water and the addition of wake-driven chop made it even worse. A small number of people trying to enjoy their time out on the lake were tossed out of their boats, including one woman who ended up with a broken arm.

It was not a nice day to be out on the lake. Unfortunately today was not much different from yesterday, so we did not venture out on to the lake today, either.

Of course, the weather will be far more amenable to boating once we get back to work on Monday.

It figures.


The housing market has certainly cooled off in most of New Hampshire, with sales down 10% on average from last year. There are still a few hot areas in the state where housing demand and prices are still up, but for the most part it's now a buyers market. This is also appears to be the trend throughout the nation.

I've been seeing more and more For Sale signs appended with “Price Reduced” appearing in the Lakes Region. Also, the length of time houses are on the market is reported to be considerably longer than a year ago. A few reports say that the average time on market has increased by only 5 days, from 134 to 139 days, but that seems a little off to me. I seem to recall that over the previous two or three years it wasn't uncommon that houses would go on the market on a Saturday, be under contract by Monday, and closed on a couple of weeks later. But then, it's only an impression and probably not typical.


Kathleen Parker opines about Joseph Lieberman's defeat by Ned Lamont and what it means for the Democratic Party.

Democrats aren't wrong when they say that the Lamont victory was a defining moment. It defined the Democratic Party as a vigorous, motivated, organized force that is ... completely out of touch with mainstream America.

No kidding.


The new TV season approaches, with many shows starting at the end of this month, with the remainder starting over September and October. However, the kind of shows I'm really looking forward to are the 'reality' shows. In this case, I'm talking about the upcoming ad blitz and talking head shows that will fill the airwaves during the political silly season leading up to the elections in November. I think that everyone will have to admit that they will provide a wealth of blog fodder until just after Election Day.

This will also be an opportunity to reactivate the Paugus Diner Poll©.


The question about whether Real ID will fly here in New Hampshire has yet to be answered. While the legislature killed a measure that would have made it illegal to implement Real ID, the fight isn't over. Both the governor and the Executive Council are against it, seeing it as a drive to some kind of national ID card, something that nobody really wants.

The federal Real ID Act got its beginning as a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission. Under the provisions of the act, all 50 states will have to verify birth certificates, Social Security numbers, passports and immigration status when people get driver's licenses. Licenses will have to be machine-readable and state databases with driver information and photographs would be shared with law enforcement in other states.

Critics have blasted Real ID, saying it is the first step toward a national ID card. Also, in this age of identity theft there is a fear personal information will be further compromised.


At the National Governor's Association meeting in Charleston, South Carolina last week, Real ID was a real hot topic of discussion — and disdain. Apparently the governors feel this is another unfunded mandate by the federal government.

Resistance to Real ID is broadly bipartisan and that should tell you something.


John Stossel again takes aim at personal injury lawyers and how, in the end, they make things less safe for us.

While their argument may be that they keep dangerous products off the market, they also make manufacturers shy away from bringing life-saving products to the market for fear of being sued by these bottom feeders. Stossel gives plenty of examples how such lawsuits have done us great harm.


I've really got to stop watching HGTV's I Want That! series. It gives me far too many ideas for making changes to our kitchen and bathrooms. That in itself isn't a bad thing. It's the paying-for-it part that's not so great.


We made a quick trip to one of the local farm stands to get some fresh corn for tonight's repast.

Fresh vegetables is one of the reasons I love summer as I do and why I like living here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Fresh produce is usually only a short trip down the road.

The local farm stand is usually open until the end of the third week in October, with the last produce on sale usually being the pumpkins. We bought last year's Halloween pumpkins there on the last day they were open for the year. We're likely to that again this year.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where sweet corn is now available, warm summer weather will return on Monday, and where I've got to go out and fire up the grill......


Coming Home

He was a clown in a way that only cats can be.

He was adventurous.

He was very affectionate, even to people he didn't know. Deb always called him a “ Love Bug.” And he was.

Every morning he'd come out of the far corner of our clothes closet, hop up onto our bed, climb up on top of the mound of blankets and pillows that usually covered Deb, and nuzzled her awake.

He had a tail that was stronger than anything I've ever seen on a cat. He'd thump it loudly along the hallway wall as he led us excitedly towards the kitchen, knowing he was likely to get something to eat, even if it was only a kitty treat.

Even when he had to lug around a cast on his right rear leg for over a month last winter, he didn't let it slow him down. If anything he became quite adept at shucking himself of it. He went through 4 casts, the last one lasting only two days before he escaped from it.

He had a way of brightening up a room with his presence, sometimes meowing once, loudly, as he entered as if to say “I'm HEEERRREEEE!” It was difficult to be in a bad mood when he was nearby or bunting his head up against you.

He loved to chew on cardboard boxes, leaving little scraps of it all over the floor. He particularly liked the boxes in our closet, which might be one of the reasons he slept in there.

He had a home, a food dish that was rarely empty, a safe place to sleep, and a family to love and care for him.

Last night, our furry Love Bug - our Beebs - died.

We had to rush him to an emergency veterinary hospital last night. We thought he had a blocked urethra, making it impossible for him to pee, a dangerous situation with life-threatening consequences. It turns out we were wrong.

Three x-rays and one blood test later we knew the horrible truth – he'd been hit by a car. The internal injuries were bad. Even with surgery, his chances of survival were almost zero. We did the only thing we could do. We let him go.

We had a chance to see him before the doctor injected him, got a chance to say goodbye to our Beebs. He was a little groggy, still feeling the effects of the sedative he'd been given earlier. We hugged him, kissed him, smoothed his fur, scratched his head and ran our hands along whiskers. He looked at us as if to say “It'll be alright. I'll be just fine.” Deb kissed him again and said “You're Maw loves you, Beebees. I love you.”

And then we left him, neither one of us able to stay as he drew his last breath.

We weren't sure what we were going to do with him afterward. The veterinary assistant said we didn't have to make up our minds right then. We could call in the morning with our decision.

We finished the paperwork and left. We still had one thing to do that night– tell our son that Beebs was gone.

During our drive back home we talked about what to say to him, and about how we already missed Beebs. We shed more than a few tears.

When we were a few miles from home Deb asked me what I was thinking because I had fallen silent. It took me a couple of tries to get the words out.

“I want Beebs to come home. I don't want him to be buried in some anonymous field. I want to bring him home, where he belongs.” And just like that, the decision was made. We'd bring his remains home.

Beebs is going to come home.

Beebs and his Maw.jpg


Death Of A Party?

The Connecticut primary is over and, unless you've been living in a cave or shut away in solitary confinement, you know that Joe Lieberman was defeated by Ned Lamont to be the Democrats nominee for the U.S. Senate. The Democrats voted out a long standing moderate Democrat in the Senate to replace him with an anti-war leftist “trust fund baby” who has no real message other than he's not a moderate like Joe Lieberman.

Many pundits on both sides have opined that this primary race is an indicator of the shift in the Democratic Party. Those with a leftist bent seem to think this means a revitalization of the party with an inevitable retaking of the White House. (I refuse to use the term liberal in this case because it has been twisted to mean something entirely different from its classical meaning. When I say liberal, I mean a classic liberal, not the extreme leftist/socialist version. Therefore leftist is the one I am using.) Those with a moderate or conservative point of view see it as the death knell for the party of Jefferson. I think the second viewpoint is more likely to be the true one.

One thing that leads me to this conclusion is the number of liberal, moderate, and conservative Democrats that have left or are planning to leave the party due to the outcome of this race. I polled a number of friends of mine in Connecticut – Democrats all - and with one exception, they all feel the Democratic Party has abandoned them or has been taken from them by fringe elements within the party. (Of course I take this with a grain of salt as most of those friends are moderate Democrats.)

Can this shift in the party be blamed upon Bush Derangement Syndrome, or has some other malady befallen this once great party?


Liberal McCarthyism

Lanny Davis, former special counsel to President Clinton, writes about how the leftists in the Democratic Party have become what Democrats are not supposed to be: bigoted, vitriolic, anti-semetic hatemongers.

My brief and unhappy experience with the hate and vitriol of bloggers on the liberal side of the aisle comes from the last several months I spent campaigning for a longtime friend, Joe Lieberman.

This kind of scary hatred, my dad used to tell me, comes only from the right wing--in his day from people such as the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy, with his tirades against "communists and their fellow travelers." The word "McCarthyism" became a red flag for liberals, signifying the far right's fascistic tactics of labeling anyone a "communist" or "socialist" who favored an active federal government to help the middle class and the poor, and to level the playing field.

I came to believe that we liberals couldn't possibly be so intolerant and hateful, because our ideology was famous for ACLU-type commitments to free speech, dissent and, especially, tolerance for those who differed with us. And in recent years--with the deadly combination of sanctimony and vitriol displayed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Michael Savage--I held on to the view that the left was inherently more tolerant and less hateful than the right.

Now, in the closing days of the Lieberman primary campaign, I have reluctantly concluded that I was wrong. The far right does not have a monopoly on bigotry and hatred and sanctimony.

Davis goes on to quote a number of comments left on Daily Kos and Huffington Post. As he says, "These are some of the nicer examples."

It looks like Bush Derangment Syndrome has mutated into something far worse, causing the leftists in the Democratic party to turn upon their own.


Democrat Shenanigans In Congress

John Fund writes in WSJ's OpinionJournal that Senator Harry Reid is going to make sure to maintain a “Do-Nothing Congress” in an attempt to bolster the Democrats chance of retaking the House and the Senate this November.

By blaming the Republicans for the failure of a number of key pieces of legislation, he hopes to be able to become the Senate Majority Leader. However, Fund believes (as do I) that it will backfire upon him, his counterpart in the House – Nancy Pelosi, and the Democratic Party in general.

[Reid] and all but four other Democrats blocked Senate passage of a legislative package that would have raised the minimum wage, cut the death tax and extended popular tax breaks. A majority of the Senate was on record in favor of all three elements of the legislation, but Mr. Reid pressured enough Democrats to block GOP leaders from getting the 60 votes they needed to proceed to a vote.

Mr. Reid isn't the only Democratic leader who has decided to "just say no" to reasonable compromises. Last week, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson made a stirring appeal for reform of entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. He noted that at current rates of growth the programs will be unsustainable and will hurt both the recipients and the overall economy. He pledged his approach would be bipartisan because "when there is a big problem that needs fixing, you should run toward it, rather than away from it."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi responded by trying to panic her colleagues into retreating. She sent an email accusing Mr. Paulson of promoting a scheme for "privatizing" Social Security. That led the Washington Post, no friend of conservatives, to describe Ms. Pelosi's message this way: "Forget bipartisanship, forget problem-solving." The Post added, "We hope other Democrats will be less cynical."

Even the Washington Post is disgusted with the machinations of Reid et al. When a staunch Democrat ally such as the Washington Post is chiding the Dems for such openly cynical actions that derail bills that a majority of Congress and their constituents want, you know they've lost touch with reality.

This is not how a party wins control of Congress.


Thoughts On A Sunday

Saturday was was “Clean The Boat” and “Clean and Rearrange the Office/Computer Room” day.

BeezleBub, Deb, and I rearranged the layout of the Official Weekend Pundit Home Office/Computer Room, making for a more efficient use of the space in the 10' X 10' room. We still have a little rewiring to accomplish to finish the work, but that will wait until next weekend after a visit to the local Radio Shack to pick up some parts.

BeezleBub and I also spent some time down at The Boat's Smith Cove slip, cleaning up inside the cockpit and stowing away the loose gear into the appropriate lockers in the cuddy cabin.

After dinner we planned to finish off the day with a trip on The Boat out to one of our favorite swimming spots. A nice dip after supper is a great way to wind down the day. However, tragedy prevented us from enjoying a swim.

Apparently a visitor swimming off of a cabin cruiser just off the town beach in Gilford drowned. The Marine Patrol had the area cordoned off as they searched for the hapless swimmer's body. Another swimmer apparently drowned earlier in the day on another part o fthe lake.

Not exactly a good way to end the day.


Neo-neocon's piece, titled Israel: Athens, Sparta or Masada, looks back at the peace movement in Israel that brought about the withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon in 2000 and how some of those who were the driving force behind that withdrawal now say that they were wrong.


Raven links to and comments on a Dennis Prager column about World Opinion and how it means absolutely nothing. It would be nice if the so-called “right-thinking” people realized this and stopped bothering the rest of us about what the world thinks, particularly of the US.


The WP Family had a late breakfast at the ever more famous Paugus Diner this morning. The usual suspects were in attendance (meaning summer folk) as well as a few of the regulars.

Unfortunately that was the best part of the day for Deb as she'd been fighting off a real anvil banger of a headache for the past few days. It finally took its toll on her and she was quite out of sorts the rest of the day.


BeezleBub and I headed out on to the lake late today with a couple of co-workers of mine. Between tubing, swimming, and eating at one of the lakeside restaurants, I think we more than made up for the aborted swimming trip yesterday.


John Stossel slams the trail lawyers, showing that their claims that they “help the little guy” is a smoke screen and that their actions more often than not hurt the little guy.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the summer folk are as numerous as ever, the weather has been perfect, and where Monday has returned all too soon.


Jihad - The Fad

Deb of Insomnomaniac has a lengthy post about how jihad is being looked upon as a fad by lecturer Jessica Stern at Harvard, but she begs to differ:

"Mass appeal" she says, but she fails to ask the why behind the obvious "why." She explains that kids turn to jihadism because it has "mass appeal," but if that's true, then why aren't teenagers on the fringe here deciding they want to blow themselves up rather than settle for putting blow up their noses?

Ms. Stern forgets the difference that makes ALL the difference: CULTURE

The culture in which jihad could become a "fad" as she so ludicrously describes it, is one in which parents derive a certain kind of ecstasy at the thought of their babies dying for God.

Our culture, by contrast, is one in which a parent (Andrea Yates) who brutally hunts down and murders all five of her own children (also for God) is deemed "insane" and locked up in a nut-house for life.

For those of you in remedial humanism 101, let's review:
There: Mommas who wish their babies to die for God = sane, rational, heroes or "martyrs"
Here: Mommas who wish their babies to die for God = crazy, insane, irrational, monsters

Radical Islam, or more accurately, Islamofascism, is a death cult. It glorifies death, raising it to something to be desired more than life. Like most death cults throughout history, it is self-destructive in the end. And, like most death cults, it is totalitarian in nature. Utopia can only be reached by “burning our way to Paradise”, wiping away the old 'corrupt' society to be replaced with the some twisted version of something that is supposed to be pure. But in the end, the new way is just as bad as the old way or, in most cases, far worse. The only ones reaping the benefits of the new “Utopian” ways are the leaders in the upper echelons. Everyone below that are merely bodies to be used as the leaders see fit.

Islamofascism is a death cult writ large, willing to wish death upon their children as if it were some kind of benefit. (Maybe in some ways, death is preferable to living under the thumb of some self-proclaimed Mahdi, but that's a subject for another post.)

But as Deb says, it is culture that is the biggest difference between the West and the Islamofascist cult. We revere life. They revere death.

As General George S. Patton once said, “No bastard ever won a war by dying for their country. You win a war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his.” Let's help grant these Islamofascists their fondest wish – let's let them die for their cause, just as long as we win the war.


Hezbollah's Twisted PR

So many others have posted about the ongoing conflict in Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah. While the so-called “Arab Street” seems divided, much of the media is playing up the more radical elements that support Hezbollah, acting as if Lebanon was the wronged party and by extension, Hezbollah.

But most of those shouting “Death to the Zionists!” and “Death to America!” are overlooking one important thing:

It was Hezbollah that started this war, dragging a peaceful and non-belligerent Lebanon into a war with its neighbor that neither side wanted.

Despite the climbing civilian toll, we must remind ourselves that while Israeli air strikes might have been the instrument of their deaths, it was Hezbollah that pulled the trigger, working to maximize Lebanese civilian deaths even if they had to kill them themselves.

But many in the Middle East do see it for what it is and decry the Arab media's lionization of Hezbollah as some kind of resistance movement. The American MSM is also complicit in this deceit. A WaPo article paints these Isamofascists as patient, confident loyalists proclaimng their inevitable victory, as if they've already won. If the Washington Post has anything to say about it, they will.

One must also realize that while Hezbollah was supplying infrastructure and services to the residents of southern Lebanon, it was not an altruistic move on their part. Instead, it was a callous manipulation of the Lebanese in areas under their control to provide cover for their military build up and preparation of weapons caches and rocket launching sites. When it came time to strike against Israel they didn't care that their facilities were located next to schools, hospitals, mosques, and apartment buildings. They didn't care if launching rockets from the roof of some of those same buildings would bring down an Israeli air strike, killing the non-combatants taking shelter there. They wanted the deaths, the mangled and burnt bodies. They would play their part in 'proving' the inhumanity of the Israelis. To a point, they have succeeded. But even those images stop working for them after a short time as those watching from the comfort of their homes become exhausted and eventually immune to the scenes of carnage.

"Where is the press? Where is the media to see this massacre? Count our dead. Count our body parts." The man complaining this week about the media's inadequate coverage of the Lebanon conflict was a village mayor, Hussein Jamaleddin, whose words and the loss of his son in an Israeli strike were quoted by Associated Press reporter Hussein Dakroub. Later that day, another AP reporter, Hamza Hendawi, filed a graphic description of the funeral: "Weeping as he walked in a funeral procession hours later, Jamaleddin pulled at the limbs of the dead, carried to a cemetery in the bucket of a yellow front-loader."


Images of war serve diverse purposes today. At Qana, the images' intent is to elicit a moral indictment of Israel's tactics and of war generally; at Abu Ghraib, to refute President Bush's stated nobleness of purpose in Iraq. Zarqawi's camcorder inside his house abattoir was meant to dispirit his American opposition "in the safety of their living rooms."

But whatever the purpose, a world in which people get fed streams of awful images to drive political conclusions produces a familiar effect: They eventually become inured to the images. Human wells of moral outrage are deep, but not bottomless. If emotional outrage is the basis on which they are expected to make judgments about politically complicated events like Lebanon, many will turn away, rather than subject themselves to a gratuitous, confusing numbing of their sensibilities. This is not progress.

After a while the 'reality' becomes no different than the fiction of horror movies that anyone can watch at any time. At that point the very people that Hezbollah is trying to propagandize stop listening. This means that either Hezbollah starts losing support or that they'll pull off something so devastating and horrific that the people they need will turn their backs on them, repudiating their actions.

Of course we could hasten the outcome if the media stopped acting as cheerleaders for this bunch of Islamofascist terrorists and started showing them for what they are – murdering thugs with delusions of grandeur.

UPDATE 8/5/06: Cox & Forkum have a poignant post with lots of links that delve into the actions of Iran and their motivations in regards to Hezbollah, as well as the West's failure to understand the meaning of 'War'.

UPDATE 8/6/06: Victor Davis Hanson worries that the present generation in the West is on the brink of moral insanity. As he writes, "...if we wish to learn what was going on in Europe in 1938, just look around."

Take Care Of The Small Stuff...

Chris Muir has the right of it and it applies both here at home and in the Middle East.



A Close Look At Energy During This Time Of High Demand

With the brutal summer heat having had its way with a good portion of the country, one has to ask the question about the power grids that run from shore to shore. How many times have the grid failed to meet extraordinary demands due to the lack of needed maintenance and delayed or canceled power generation projects? Far too often in my opinion.

Despite the delusions and best efforts of the We-Can-Meet-All-Of-Our-Energy-Needs-If-We-Just-Conserve groups, conservation is only a stop-gap measure, buying us a little time. Energy demand keeps going up, not because people are ever more wasteful or ignorant of energy efficiency, but because there are more and more people here and elsewhere in the world every day. Our modern civilization requires energy in ever increasing amounts to meet the demands of a growing population and more energy intensive businesses and industries.

It doesn't help that even clean energy technologies much touted by environmentalists are being blocked by many of those same environmentalists. We've heard of wind farm projects being delayed through means legal and illegal in an effort to prevent “Big Wind” from installing wind turbines on hillsides, ridges, and mountainsides.

Doug at GraniteGrok has posted about the anti-Big Wind wackos on more than one occasion, blocking the construction of electrical generation capacity for no other reason than a group of investor got together to build an eco-friendly free-energy means to generate much needed electricity. I don't know about you, but I'm not really sure what these folks mean by “Big Wind.” Is it anything like “Big Oil?” Is there a wind turbine equivalent to Exxon-Mobil out there that we're unaware of?

Back in April I asked the question “Is the New England power grid on the verge of breaking down?” This is a question that most people ask only when it is strained to the breaking point, as it has been during this last wave of very hot and humid weather. Otherwise they don't think about it. That is a mistake. And it's not just New England that's in this position.

We need new power generation stations, new power distribution systems, and upgrades to existing systems to meet future needs. But it seems that we have fallen victim to what I call The California Syndrome a.k.a. BANANA – Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone. People want the power but they don't want to build the systems necessary to make it possible. Of course these are the first people to scream about lack of power when overloads or insufficient supply force the utilities to start load shedding (blackouts) in order to preserve what systems they do have. You can't have it both ways.

Either we build new power plants and distribution systems or we can count on quickly becoming a Third World nation when our economy grinds to halt because there's not enough electricity to keep it running.


A Double Standard

Frank Gaffney looks at the war on terror and the differences in how it is being fought. As Frank writes, “the U.S would never accept the limits being pushed on Israel.”

How We Fight Terrorists

America launched air and ground assaults on Afghanistan, aimed at destroying not only the al Qaeda safe havens but toppling the Taliban regime. We damaged or destroyed critical Afghan infrastructure so as to deny its use to the enemy. Civilian casualties occurred, as did refugee flows. At one point, the U.N. declared the resulting dislocation a humanitarian crisis.

Once the campaign to eliminate al Qaeda was launched, there was no consideration given to negotiating with the terrorists or the government that afforded them protection. The United States would not have contemplated a U.N.-mandated ceasefire, let alone the insertion of an international peacekeeping force under a Chapter 7 mandate from the Security Council--whose purpose, inevitably, would have been to protect the terrorists from our military, not the other way around.

And most especially, it would have been inconceivable that the U.S. could accede to one of its enemy's central demands--for example, the removal of all American forces from the Mideast--as part of a negotiated ceasefire brokered by the U.N. and approved by the Taliban at the direction of al Qaeda.

How We Expect Israel To Fight Terrorists

First, Israel was told it must not undermine the Lebanese government, even though the latter had not only acquiesced to what amounts to a Hezbollah-controlled state-within-a-state in southern Lebanon. The government in Beirut actually has two Hezbollah ministers in its cabinet--a role al Qaeda never enjoyed in Taliban Afghanistan. This injunction had the practical effect of limiting Israeli efforts to press officials in Beirut to disassociate themselves from the terrorists in their midst.

Then, the U.S. embraced the idea that Israel must reward the government that has allowed Hezbollah to occupy and operate against the Jewish State from the part of south Lebanon the Israelis foolishly and unilaterally vacated in 2000. Where we destroyed the regime that afforded safe haven to our foes, Israel has been told it must make a further territorial concession to its counterpart by surrendering to Lebanon a small area known as Shebaa Farms that Israel has occupied since 1967.

It only gets worse from there. It makes me wonder how anyone can expect such a double standard to be employed, let alone enforced. It's no wonder Israel has said “Go to Hell!”

I would, too.


Too Civilized To Make War?

Skip at GraniteGrok has an interesting take upon the West's will to fight against Islamofascism, equating it to an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series called “A Taste Of Armageddon”.

As Skip comments:

The overall point was that if one civilizes war too much the underlying causes will go unaddressed. It becomes too easy to sweep things under the rug, keep ignoring the problems that pop up, and try to accept things as "that's the way it is". It becomes too easy to ignore reality and one will do anything to not upset the status quo. In other words, settle for stability now and worry about real peace sometime later. If ever. Maybe the problems will go away on their own.....uh-huh.

Have we become too civilized to defend ourselves, thereby dooming our civilization to oblivion? If we aren't willing to meet an enemy bent upon on destruction with the full force and fury that we are capable of, then we will not survive.

My wife Deb asked me if I thought that the fighting in the Middle East is the 'beginning of the end.' I told her that it would be if we didn't fight back. I also reminded her that should the harabahis ever use weapons of mass destruction, particularly nukes, that they may damage us, but they wouldn't win. In this case it's a matter of numbers. We have thousands of nuclear weapons and numerous ways to deliver them with pinpoint accuracy. If the Islamofascists ever made the mistake of using nukes, they will have lost the war, for we would retaliate, and the nascent Caliphate would die in nuclear fire.

Will it come to that? It could if we don't put full effort into destroying the barbarians at the gate, for that's what the Islamofascists are. Their actions and their words prove their hatred for everything that we hold dear. Things like freedom.