Day by Day

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I Told You So - Liberal Flameout At Plamegate

Please allow me to be the first of the second million of conservative bloggers and commentators to say “I told you so” about Plamegate. I had a feeling Plamegate would flame out when I saw the mighty array of Main Stream Media who filed a “friends of the court brief” that no law had been broken to keep Judith Miller out of prison, then showed up waving pitchforks, screaming “treason,” and were all fired up to roast Karl Rove and Dick Cheney.

The MSM did not come away totally empty handed from this long-running liberal farce. They showed the staying power of a porn star trying to finish a week’s worth of filming in a day, by repeating over and over that the Bush administration was exacting revenge on Joe Wilson because he exposed their lies about Iraq trying to purchase “yellow cake” uranium in Nigeria. In fact, the MSM clung to this story line even though as early as 2004 – that’s 2004, like two flaming years ago - it was well known that the Senate Intelligence Committee and a British intelligence review determined that Wilson lied, and that President Bush had good reason to say what he did. (For a succinct recapitulation of the salient facts, see FactCheck.Org)

In fact, the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that Joseph Wilson’s report actually supported President Bush’s statements, and discredited what Wilson himself said about his own report.

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Where the CIA hid Valerie in "Plame" sight!

“Disbelievably,’ faced with piles of evidence to the contrary, so voluminous that even former Clinton national security adviser Sandy Berger couldn’t have concealed it in his commodious pants, the MSM continues to portray Wilson as a martyr for truth, and Plame as a modern-day Mata Hari – who just happened to be spying from the deep cover afforded by a desk job in CIA Headquarters, Langley, Virginia. What better way to hide a spy than in plain sight, marching to work each day down the hallowed halls of the George Bush Center for Intelligence? No foreign spy service could conceive of the United States being so stupid. Brilliant!

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Where Valerie Plame got to strut her stuff, covertly of course

Etched into the wall of the original building's main lobby is a biblical verse which also characterizes the intelligence mission in a free society. It reads:

""And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.""
John VIII-XXXII


Who knew that biblical verse writers were so into irony?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Don’t Shit In Your Mess Kit

This crude phrase from my military past came back to me as I watched and read the coverage of the fighting in Lebanon. In story after story, that’s what journalists were doing to their integrity. Almost daily I would see a shocking photo on the cover of Time, U S News & World Report, or on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle. Then in a couple of days I would find a blog that proved the photos were staged or doctored, or that journalists had been duped by Hezbollah.

Easily the most egregious example of false reporting concerns the purported targeting of Lebanese Red Cross ambulances by the Israeli air force. The Zombie Time blog does a very thorough and clear debunking of the fraudulent or incompetent reporting of the “attack,” so I won’t go into the details they present. However, the bottom line on this incident is that it was reported as an Israeli atrocity, a blatant violation of one of the most sacred rules of warfare, and yet every fact indicates it never happened. Numerous photos were taken of the ambulance(s) supposedly hit by rockets from Israeli fighter jets, and the ambulances were later placed on display in Tyre, Lebanon. Had I been a journalist and seen the photos or the ambulances, I would have stated and reported immediately that they had not been hit by rockets, and in particular that the ambulance supposedly most damaged absolutely could not have been hit by a rocket directly striking the center of the red cross on the top of the ambulance.

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Have you seen the pictures of the ambulance? Any one with half a brain would know 1) any rocket hit would have totally destroyed the ambulance, and 2) there is no combat pilot in the world who would fire a rocket from a direct dive above a target. The rocket would be launched from a shallow dive, and come at the target at an angle to the ground of less than 30 degrees. That’s right, it would have hit the side of the ambulance, not gone straight down through the roof like a bomb might if launched from a high elevation. A close inspection of the photo of the ambulance roof shows the hole matches a round ventilation hole seen in the roofs of other Lebanese Red Cross ambulances. A close inspection also reveals no corresponding hole in the floor, and no fire or blast damage inside.

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This all escaped the scrutiny of trained journalists and resulted in reports of Israeli attacks on ambulances filed by the Associated Press, and soon appeared in newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe, in Time Magazine, in Britain on ITV News and in The Guardian, and many others.

The “journalists” working on this story, supposedly trained professionals all, filled their mess kits to overflowing with their own feces on this one. They continue compounding error by not running retractions and corrections. “Move on,” they say. “That’s yesterday’s ‘news.’”

Or what passes for “news” from these “journalists,” as they turn their only reason for their employment, their truthfulness and integrity, into excrement in their mess kits.

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Little Green Footballs has an excellent recap of faked news in their “Fauxtography Scandal Updates,” and one of the featured staged photo sessions is of a Lebanese “rescuer” near Qana who has been nicknamed “Green Helmet.” You’ve seen his picture on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle, in U S News & World Report, and in many others. In fact, if you look for him, you will soon find that he is the star of the disaster near Qana. He is ubiquitous in the photos and videos playing the role of rescuer, while what he actually did on that sad day was pose dead children for photo opportunities, holding them up like trophies to satisfy the photojournalists’ demands.

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The children were undeniably dead, possibly killed as a result of Israeli attacks on Hezbollah rocket launchers nearby, but the “Green Helmet” rescue shots were posed for cameras, and were not spontaneous news shots. One of the Reuters cameramen that day has since been fired for “Photoshopping” pictures to make them more dramatic. One example, still featured in U S News & World Report, shows a Hezbollah fighter posed in front of a huge fire, reportedly the result of an Israeli fighter plane shot down.

However, the photo is actually at a tire dump, and the fire was set, possibly accidentally, by Hezbollah. No Israeli jet or military action had anything to do with the fire, but that doesn’t seem to bother U S News & World Report. The photo showed up again on the Letters page of their 28 August 2006 issue. I guess you don’t feel any shame as a journalist if you’re so careless you don’t know you’ve been made a fool.

Just don’t accept when they offer to share their mess kit.

UPDATE: PowerLine has the story and pictures that prove Reuters is a willing participant in a journalistic fraud being perpetrated in Lebanon. When you look at the picture of the Reuters "press" car and the damage supposedly done by an Israeli rocket, then at its interior, the only possible conclusion is that Reuters is a party to releasing a fraudulent news report concerning its own activities. Any claim Reuters has to journalistic integrity is now excrement in their mess kits.

It's sad to see the formerly proud profession of journalism fall so low. Their only defense seems to be that everyone is doing it, and Little Green Footballs illustrates how lucrative it is for the Associated Press to prostitute its "news" coverage with an Arab bias.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Murder by Wasabi

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We hadn’t been married a year before Alice tried to poison me. Alice’s favorite food is sushi, and one evening she made sushi at home for us. When you’re not a highly trained and experienced Japanese sushi cook, sushi is very time consuming to prepare. So time consuming that it was an hour past our normal (late) dinnertime, and Alice was still preparing sushi. She had made enough for one person, as long as that person was very small with a tiny appetite. At the same time, we had prepared to eat our sushi dinner in the family room, because it was Monday Night Football, which I never willingly missed. Realizing she still needed more time to prepare enough sushi for two, Alice told me to begin without her. I dutifully sat down in front of the TV and cleaned my plate, although after a few bites the thought did enter my head that I hoped from now on we would go out for sushi.

Quite a while after I finished, Alice sat down to her dinner. She took one bite and spit it out. “This is awful!” she shouted. “How could you eat this stuff?”

I admitted that I thought it tasted bad, particularly the wasabi, which didn’t look right after I mixed it with soy sauce.

“Oh my God!” Alice exclaimed, “The wasabi was old, I don’t think I kept it refrigerated, and it will make you really sick! I can’t believe you could eat it without throwing up.”

Actually, I wasn’t surprised. Pop had taught me that, no matter what, you always eat what the cook prepares, then compliment the cook. No matter what.

Pop’s training came in handy many times. As I traveled in strange lands, and ate strange foods in strange places, I never failed to eat hearty, and the food never made me sick. This gave me a real advantage over many of my fellow Yanks. Some of them got sick just looking at the food, which meant a bigger share for me. “How can you eat that stuff?” they asked weakly, as I wolfed down my share and theirs too.

“Tastes OK to me,” I’d say, and take another bite as they turned their faces away.

“Oh Honey,” cried Alice, “I’m afraid I’ve poisoned you.”

Perhaps she had poisoned me, but I felt fine. By then Monday Night Football was over. In those days I had to wake up at 5 AM to get to work on time at Lockheed in Sunnyvale, 45 miles from Livermore over commuter-clogged freeways, so I excused myself to go to sleep. Alice was afraid that if I went to sleep, I wouldn’t wake up. At first she wanted to keep me awake, but as always, I fell asleep when my head hit the pillow.

Alice watched me sleep for awhile, and then started to doze off herself. As time passed she became more worried that I would die in my sleep, so she finally called the Emergency Desk at Kaiser Permanente. Alice explained to the Emergency Nurse that I had eaten my whole meal before she ate a bite, and that the wasabi was so bad she had to spit it out.

“What should I do?” Alice asked. “Should I take my husband to the hospital? Is there some medicine he could take? Should he try to vomit it up before it poisons him?”

The nurse tried to calm Alice, and told her that all she needed to do was observe me and see if I had stomach distress, such as cramps or nausea. She assured Alice that, if the wasabi made me sick, I would wake up and vomit, not die in my sleep.

Alice thanked the nurse for her patience and reassurance, and hung up the phone.

Then she stayed awake most of the night watching me sleep peacefully.

Friday, August 18, 2006

More Tripe From Eric Cripe and the San Francisco Chronicle

Every day is dumb letter day at the San Francisco Chronicle, and Eric Cripe is a repeat offender of facts and logic. The following is the super-size version of a reply I sent the Chronicle in answer to Mr. Cripe's. Of course, I heavily edited the letter I sent in hopes that its brevity would increase its slim chances at being selected by the Letters Editor. It wasn't, so here is the full version.

Editor - Eric Cripe of Pacifica serves up tripe as historical fact. His answer to “Don Tayloe’s dissertation on British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and liberal appeasement (Letters, “The new appeasers,” Aug 5)” was historically inaccurate. Like the man with only a hammer, to whom every problem looks like a nail, Mr. Cripe bends history to find a conservative designing harm to a liberal. In order to do this, Mr. Cripe first conforms the protagonists to the proper labels. Therefore, Mr. Cripe states “Chamberlain was, in fact, a strong conservative.” That would be headline news to Chamberlain and armies of historians. Chamberlain himself never liked to use the term "Conservative," preferring instead "Unionist."

Chamberlain’s political philosophy was most like the socialist Fabians, whose purpose was “to advance the socialist cause by reformist, rather than revolutionary, means.” His domestic policies were close to socialist, and far from conservative. Among them were workplace reforms to limit working hours of women and children, setting workplace regulation standards, slum clearance and the relief of overcrowding, the promotion of exercise, good diet, compulsory medical inspections, nationalizing coal mining royalties and passenger air services, and fixed holidays with pay.

Mr. Cripe was also mistaken about French and British roles over Czechoslovakia. He omits mention that the guarantors of Czech borders were the Soviets and the French, not the British, and none were ready to fight Hitler.

Mr. Cripe’s assertion that Chamberlain said “an attack on the liberal Czech government would be better for everybody” is incongruous, since his famous words were that the quarrel between Hitler and the Czechs over the heavily German Sudetenland was “a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing.” Further, Mr. Cripe’s statement that “France begged England to stop Hitler over Czechoslovakia” is equally at odds with the historical record, since it shows both France and the Soviet Union had alliances with Czechoslovakia, and that the French, Soviets, and English chose to appease Hitler. Hitler, Mussolini, Daladier of France, and Chamberlain signed the Munich Agreement, then Hitler and Chamberlin signed an additional resolution that all future disputes would be resolved through peaceful means. The French, British, and German military and diplomats were pleased, but Hitler was furious, and Stalin was unhappy.

Concerns that the Europeans wanted the Soviets and Germans to fight while they watched led Stalin to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939.

Mr. Cripe amuses rather than educates with his liberal mythology.

The following is Mr. Cripe's letter:

Conservative appeasers

Editor -- I understand that Don Tayloe's dissertation on British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and liberal appeasement (Letters, "The new appeasers,'' Aug. 5) was meant to offend, not to educate, but the opportunity for the latter should not be missed.

(Mr. Cripe, your perversion of "educate" is offensive to the educated. Strong Ox)

Chamberlain was, in fact, a strong conservative, who believed Hitler was a good attack dog against his liberal enemies. This is historical fact: When France begged England to stop Hitler over Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain said publicly that an attack on the liberal Czech government would be the best thing for everybody. Chamberlain was not a liberal appeaser, who wanted peace at any cost, but a conservative fool, who thought he could keep Hitler on a leash.

(As the British would say, the above is poppycock! Strong Ox)

This philosophy did find an echo in America at the time -- not among liberals, but among conservatives, who saw only good in the violent defeat of liberalism in Europe. Of course, it was liberal President Franklin D. Roosevelt who stood up to, and helped defeat, Hitler.

(Mr. Cripe gives short shrift indeed to the very illiberal Winston Churchill, who played no little part in the defeat of Hitler. Strong Ox)

History may indeed repeat itself, for today many conservatives believe, yet again, that evil can be used in the service of good. But we may not have a happy ending this time, for we have no strong liberal in the White House to balance the equation.

(Mr. Cripe, could you actually name an evil that conservatives believe can be used in the service of good? We have already determined that your version of history is at odds with the historical record, so which of your fantasy scenarios is poised to be repeated? As for a strong liberal in the White House, we have no such a one in the nation. If Al Gore or John Kerry had been elected, we still would have no strong liberal in the White House. Strong Ox)

ERIC CRIPE Pacifica

This is the letter Mr. Cripe refers to:

The new appeasers

Editor -- People in the San Francisco Bay Area are America's new Neville Chamberlains. In the 1930s, when the Nazi's were coming to power, Winston Churchill warned of the approaching evil. He was labeled a "war monger" by the London press.

Then as now, appeasement was rabid. Then as now, newspapers came to the defense of the appeasers because "peace of the world was at stake." It was not the terrorists who were the enemy, but the very people who were trying to raise the alarm.

Chamberlain, in a final peace effort, sold out the Sudetenland. That was just the weakness Hitler wanted to see. In a final twist of fate, before the bombs started to fall, the appeasers labeled those who wanted to confront evil as the evil force themselves. Finally, of course, appeasement ended as it always must, and millions and millions of people died.

Now Islamic terrorists are on the rise, and I see from "Normal America speaks out" (Letters, July 29) that history is repeating itself. Soon Iran will have a nuclear warhead. If we do not confront the Islamic menace now and with force, millions and millions will die.

DON TAYLOE Fresno

Jesus Saves, and the Little Red Truck

In 1949 we moved to Point Arena on the Pacific Coast of northern California. We didn’t travel much after that. It took five years before we coaxed Mom to travel south again on Highway 1 and cross the Jenner Grade north of the mouth of the Russian River on our way to a holiday in San Francisco. Pop didn’t go south and take Ron and me with him very much during that time either. On the few times we went south, I always looked for the red pickup truck at the bottom of the cliff, its front end washed by Pacific waves, at about mile marker 28 at the southern end of the Jenner Grade. In my mind the red pickup was a 1940 International Harvester, with a spotlight on the driver's side, because that was the one Pop bought shortly after our arrival in Point Arena.

I never heard many of the details of the accident, but found out the following. The driver survived. He went over the side when he dozed off, and his door popped open and he was thrown out soon after he started his descent. Although the hillside is steep, it is not nearly as steep as the cliffs on the Jenner Grade further north. The pickup plowed down the hillside, slowed down by brush and rocks, until its 600-hundred feet journey ended suddenly when its front end met ocean rocks and sand. There it stayed for years, at a 45 degree angle, its front end washed by waves at high tide, the rear end resting higher up on the base of the cliff, a vivid reminder of the perils of a careless moment while driving on the coast highway.

Just a couple of miles further south on Highway 1, about halfway between the two tortuous switch-back turns that we joked were so tight that a student in the front of the bus could shake hands with one in the back, there was a rock outcropping on which was simply marked with white paint, “Jesus Saves.” Years later, as I frequently drove along this stretch of road connecting Point Arena with all the world outside, usually late at night, often in thick fog, I always felt a wave of relief and well being when my eyes caught “Jesus Saves” in the dim light of our ancient cars’ headlights. I didn’t think it was a religious experience, but maybe it was. But in those days, northern California was very dark at night, and you could drive long stretches of road along the coast and think you were the only person awake for a hundred miles. In the dark, and in thick fog, it was easy to become disoriented. The radio was more of an irritant than entertainment -- its reception of stations varied between almost understandable to totally annoying static. It was a wonderful feeling on the long drive to be able, at least at one point, to know exactly where you were. When I saw “Jesus Saves,” I knew.

I knew, and at that point, at that time, on that journey, what more did I need to know? Another hour and I would be warm and comfortable with friends and family, in another hour I would be home.

Thanks, unknown, unknowable kind person who for many years came back to this tiny spot to refresh your message of hope to the world. Probably no one ever told you what a relief it was to see your message on a dark foggy night, but you knew.

I wish it was still there.

More stories from "The Good Old Days."

Point Arena Apprentice Poker Players - One day we thought we would be the big boys.
The Great Point Arena Fire of 1954 - Everyone likes to help
Pete Bjornavik, a Point Arena character - Fun to be around
Gopher Capital of the World? - There's a bit of larceny in all of us
1960 NCAA Basketball Championships - Thanks, "Chub" Ohleyer - A very generous man
Sweethearts Dance 1960 - Bad weather makes a special memory
Number, Please? - Personal connections before the dial telephone
Puddles the Pup - A big part of the best childhood in the whole world
You Gotta Ring Them Bells - Some wedding nights you don't forget, but you try!
After The Summer of 1954 - 7th and 8th grade, 60 students, one great teacher
The House We Built - Brother Ron and I dug the basement in 1954, with help from "Prince"
The Old High School - When we came to Pt. Arena in 1949, we lived in one big room of an abandoned high school building

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Pallywood

60 Minutes looks worse here than CBS did with the Texas Air National Guard/George Bush "letters." Are they just ignorant dupes, or are they a willing accomplice?

Green Helmet - Producer, Director, and Star

Green Helmet acting as cynical movie director in Qana

This nails down the issue of whether the Associated Press is complicit in biased reporting favoring Hezbollah and against Israel. They have allowed this fellow, "Green Helmet," to stage manage the display of Israeli bombing "victims" in two wars a decade apart. You have seen him in Time, US News & World Report, on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle, and in just about all the major new media that slurp up such sloppy journalism.

What you don't see are the follow-up stories that show how all of these major media players were fooled. Their sloppiness in providing accurate and unbiased reporting, their prime reason for existence, shows they have no regard for professionalism or their reputations. They have less virtue than prostitutes, because at least the prostitute delivers what the customer expects.

I wonder what Green Helmet does between wars? Probably works for CBS Quality Control.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Why It Is A War On Terror

Why It Is A War On Terror, Alan Keyes, World Net Daily, August 11, 2006


The following are excerpts from Alan Keyes commentary on Sen. Santorum’s speech to the National Press Club on July 20, 2006. It is well worth reading in its entirety here:

***

The main point of Sen. Santorum's speech is that President Bush was wrong to define the war in which we are presently engaged as a war against terrorism. "Some say we're fighting a war on terror," he observes. "That's like saying World War II was a war on blitzkrieg. Terror, like blitzkrieg, is a tactic of war used by our enemy; it is not the enemy. … In World War II, we fought Nazism and Japanese imperialism. Today we are fighting against Islamic fascism."

***

Terror isn't just a tactic Islamic fascists use. It is essential to what they are. Neglecting this fact is not only a semantic error. It is a strategic blunder.

***

Morale has always played a critical role in the outcome of war, but never more so than in the current conflict. A properly articulated understanding of the reason we must fight may be the key to maintaining our morale, i.e., our moral purpose and cohesion.
Sen. Santorum, himself, illustrates this at other points in his speech. Throughout the speech, he characterizes the Islamic fascists as brutal, wicked and evil.

***

It turns out that the key to victory or defeat is moral understanding. The Islamic fascists are evil, and it is right to defend ourselves against them. To illustrate their wickedness Sen. Santorum recounts the numerous terror plots and attacks that they have conceived and acted upon. So though terror is a tactic, their willingness to make use of it establishes the moral difference between them and the people they attack. Our sense of that moral difference is indispensable to maintaining the clear conviction that our fight against them is right and proper.

***

Each time we speak of the war on terror, therefore, we evoke the moral cause of the war in which we are engaged. We rightly remind ourselves that our fight is not just against people who have attacked us, but against the evil that they embrace and embody in their heinous crimes against human conscience. We also remind the world at large that the fight is not for us alone, but for people everywhere who believe that there are moral rules that should not be transgressed, even in war.

***

As a nation, we cannot escape this challenge by obscuring the moral clarity that defines and justifies the difficult war in which we are engaged.

---

We are not just doing the right thing by fighting terrorism, it is a moral obligation.

Fauxtography, From Michelle Malkin's Hot Air Vent


This is just one of many examples of faked photography. The list of duped news sources reads like a "Who's Who" of journalism - Reuters, Associated Press, New York Times, Time Magazine, US News & World Report, BBC, etc. & on & on. If I were disingenuous, I would say I was shocked, but in truth such sloppy and biased journalism meets my low expectations of the Main Stream Media.

Where is the media outrage that their once proud profession is being dragged through such a gutter of lying and falsification? In the military, we had a crude saying pertaining to being careful with the things that are important to you, "Don't shit in your messkit."

Doesn't anyone in the Main Stream Media understand that they are valuable only to the extent they are honest and credible?

In my field, accounting, Arthur Anderson lost sight of the fact that their very existence depended upon their trustworthiness and independence, and now they are no more. Reuters, Associated Press, New York Times, Time Magazine, US News & World Report, BBC, etc., seem to be headed in the same direction, following the lead of the increasingly irrelevant CBS News. After the Mike Wallace "interview" of Ahmadinejad this Sunday on "60 Minutes," irrelevant will be one of the nicest things said of CBS News. Among many words, "senility" and "butt kissing" leap to the top of the list.

Each time I remark that television and print journalism can't get any worse, they prove me a liar.

My first year of college, 1960 at Humboldt State near Eureka, (actually, in Arcata, the Green Capital of the World), idealistic fire burned in my eighteen-year old mind and I wanted to be a journalist and change the world by providing the truth that would set it free. It didn't take me long working for the college newspaper, The Lumberjack, to realize that I would be the one seeking freedom, freedom from the tyranny of my Editor. I changed majors. Idealistic fire met cold realism. Far from being fueled by idealism, journalists seemed to draw from a deep well of cynicism. But at least they were meticulously honest cynics.

Now evidence pours in every minute, every day, that cynicism is still in fashion, but meticulous honesty isn't.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Skibbinomics

As a student and occasional teacher of economics, I was intrigued by the extent that David Skibbins’ economics (ICO, August 4) differed from what I learned and later taught in college economic classes. Thinking it must be a new school of economics, I researched to catch up on the latest developments. However, I couldn’t find any support for his statistics, so for that reason I named his economic theories “Skibbinomics.”

Looking at his points, I decided to cover the last one first. “Our economy is tanking.” The latest measure of gross domestic product per person adjusted for purchasing power shows us at over $40,000 per year, a close second to Norway at the top. A look at growth in gross domenstic product shows a strong upward trend. For example, plus 3.2 percent in 2005, and very strong since 2003.

Our unemployment rate is currently 4.6 percent, so low as to be considered full employment. This statistic is determined by sampling 60,000 households, and contrary to Mr. Skibbins remarks about unemployment, there were not five million unemployed “dumped” while Bill Clinton was president. A month-by-month review of unemployment before, during, and after Clinton’s presidency shows modest incremental changes.

In terms of inflation (3.4 percent in 2005), and contradicting Mr. Skibbins, the Federal Reserve is still releasing statistics for currency in circulation each month (Federal Reserve Statistical Release H. 6, Money Stock Measures).

Perhaps this is what Mr. Skibbins was referring to when he said the "Federal Reserve just stopped releasing those figures." The Federal Reserve stopped reporting M3 on March 23, 2006 because:

M3 does not appear to convey any additional information about economic activity that is not already embodied in M2 and has not played a role in the monetary policy process for many years. Consequently, the Board judged that the costs of collecting the underlying data and publishing M3 outweigh the benefits.

Mr. Skibbins is equally uninformed about measuring housing costs. The “imputed rent” method he criticizes is actually by far the best means of measuring the cost of housing, and it or a variation is used by many nations.

In terms of comparison of food costs, as in all inflation measures, the comparisons measure changes for a particular item over time, and not against different items from years gone by. Learn more here about the Consumer Price Index.

It is remarkable that, according to Mr. Skibbins, the government has been able to so ably pull the wool over our eyes. Remarkably, he has a Republican president, Ronald Reagan doing it while Democrats controlled Congress, and a Democrat, Bill Clinton, doing it while the Republicans ran the show. Through it all, the Leftist stronghold of academia sat silently by while politicians played with the statistics and economic measurement tools upon which their theories and professions are centered.

Mr. Skibbins ends with the assertion that our daily financial travails are proof the economy is tanking. The problem I have with that is that I don't see it. I see businesses booming, employment soaring to the point that finding good workers is a real problem, and a huge variety of high quality goods to buy inexpensively. As I do my unscientific survey in the crowded stores - locally, Santa Rosa Costco and Home Depot, the Commissary and Base Exchange at Travis Air Force Base, up and down Santa Rosa Avenue, in bustling downtown Walnut Creek - I marvel how so many destitute shoppers and businesses are faking "making it." They are doing the best job of pretending to be prosperous the world has ever seen.

I guess the floods of mail-order catalogues we receive each day, and the fleets of delivery trucks that now roam the coast daily, are proof positive of destitution. We're shopping while the economy is dropping. Maybe that is what is really meant by "shop 'til you drop."

The following is the letter to which the above is a response:

Recession blues
Editor:


Inflation is now around nine percent, unemployment around 12 percent, and the Gross Domestic Product just went negative. We are in a full scale recession. But you won't know that from look­ing at the government fig­ures. That's because, for the past 30 years the govern­ment has been hedging those figures to lie about the economic state of the union.

Inflation: One of the best indicators of inflation is the measure of how much money is in circulation. (In Ger­many during the Thirties you would need a wheelbarrow to carry all the Deutschemarks to the market to buy a few groceries.) The Federal Reserve just stopped releasing those figures. In­dependent sources did the calculations and found the amount of currency in circu­lation went from eight to nine percent in the past four months, a signal of runaway inflation.

Cost of Living: Under Reagan, the government stopped measuring what it actually costs you to buy your house, and substituted what you might be able to rent it for in today's rental market. These days on the North Coast that's about one-third of the real cost. Cost of living was further skewed under Clinton, so that the Feds stopped measuring the ac­tual cost of the food you were buying, but instead substi­tuted the cost of the cheap­est food you could buy to survive.

Unemployment: Also under Clinton, five million-people were dropped from the unemployment figures. If you had been looking for a job and had been unsuccess­ful for over a year, you were no longer counted as unem­ployed. The number of "dis­appeared unemployed" has grown since then.

Jobs: One of the ways the government was able to report a 2.5 percent growth in the economy for second-quarter 2006 was by using the Birth/Death Model that allows the government to invent nonexistent jobs that they have no way of proving exist. They do this to bolster the Employment Report, which would be negative without those imaginary fig­ures.

What you know every time you go to the grocery store, or every time you run out of money the end of the month, is true. Our economy is tanking.

David Skibbins
The Sea Ranch


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Some Unsolicited Advice to Israel – attack! Attack! ATTACK!

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It is understandable that you, Israel, should feel bad about accidentally killing some Lebanese “civilians,” because you did exactly what Hezbollah wanted you to do. You may have noticed that Hezbollah targets Israeli civilians, doesn’t wear uniforms, hides its forces and armaments among civilians, and conducts its attacks from houses and buildings in cities. In other words, Hezbollah wants civilians to die – Israeli civilians from Hezbollah rocket attacks, and Lebanese civilians from Israeli retaliatory strikes. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. Terror is all they do. (Go to Mark Steyn for more)

As a terrorist organization, they don’t fight by the rules of warfare. All the Geneva Convention articles that bind civilized nations and establish codes of conduct for war don’t apply to them, and you will never catch them following the rules. In fact, what you will find Hezbollah doing is exploiting every standard of civilized conduct to their advantage to attack you.

They attack civilians, hide amongst civilians, and bask in the adulation of the Muslim “street.” Allah is easy to please, and very forgiving of bloodshed. At any point in time Muslims will be killing other Muslims and vice versa, and all in the name of and with the blessing of Allah. When you, Israel, or the United States start killing Muslims too, the Muslims experience a happiness trifecta. First, one Muslim sect is happy that other, sincerely detested Muslims are being killed. The Muslims being killed are happy – they get to be martyrs to jihad, get their 72 virgins, and get to take leave of the miserable lives on Earth that Allah so generously provides for His followers. Finally, all Muslims all over are happy, because they can do the thing that gives them the most pleasure – hate Jews and Americans.

Now the world wants you to agree to a cease fire with terrorists. In all sincerity, how in Hell do you have an agreement with terrorists? What do diplomats smoke, why do they always chose hope over experience? Hezbollah has been and is attacking with rockets and other armaments in violation and defiance of existing United Nations resolutions and Geneva Convention standards for the conduct of warfare. Hezbollah is being bankrolled and supplied by Iran and Syria, who are members of the United Nations and signatories to the Geneva Convention, again clearly violating international resolutions and standards.

It should be obvious, even to diplomats who have taken all leave of common sense, that this proposed cease fire works against Israel and in favor of Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, and Syria. All who attack Israel live to be reequipped and reorganized to fight another day, and Israel is left to dread a future filled with more rocket barrages on its cities, more cease fires, and more rockets, and ....

If Israel agrees to a cease fire, the Muslim world won’t reduce its hatred. Israel was hated before the attacks. Israel was hated during the attacks. And Israel will be hated long after a cease fire comes and goes. There is only one thing Israel could do to make Muslims happy – commit suicide. And suicide is what Israel will be committing if Israel agrees to sign on to these serial cease fires. Iran’s Ahmadinejad has consistently called for only one thing, the destruction of Israel. Hamas and Hezbollah have done the same.

That is all the world is promising Israel, an opportunity to watch its rabid enemies prepare their next rounds of attacks.

Israel will know peace only when they have won the hearts and minds of their enemies. Their hearts will be still, their minds at eternal rest.

The only rational path for Israel to take is to attack! Attack! ATTACK!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Hot, Hot, Hot

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Seventy six years ago, long before man-made Global Warming became Al Gore’s Holy Grail, we suffered through a much hotter period than the current one. In fact:

"From June 1 to August 31, 1930, 21 days had high temperatures that were 100 degrees or above" in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, Patrick Michaels, senior fellow for environmental studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, told Cybercast News Service. "That summer has never been approached, and it's not going to be approached this year."

How can this be? In 1930 we only had 23 million automobiles in the United States, compared to 240 million in 2004. In 1930, the rest of the polluting world lagged far behind. In the United States we had one auto per five persons, whereas in France and England, it was one auto per 40. Perhaps if we had Al Gore, Jr. then, instead of Al Gore, Sr., we would have started the fight against Global Warming sooner.

Except along came 1940 to 1975, when temperatures dropped, even though industrial capacity was strained to its limits to produce huge quantities of war equipment, thousands of aircraft with piston-driven engines flew daily fighter and bomber missions, huge warships burnt enormous quantities of diesel fuel as they plowed the seas, and tanks, trucks, and jeeps were in constant motion. Added to all these fossil fuels being consumed by war machines were the fires from burning cities, and the smoke from exploding bombs and artillery shells.

Through it all – smoke, exhaust, and rapid economic growth after the war – the temperatures stayed below average until…until what? Until the Earth started to warm again naturally as it had hundreds of years before during the Medieval Warming Period. Maybe someday it will be that warm again, and then there will be vineyards in England, and farms in Greenland once more.

Before the Medieval Warming Period there was a cold period, so cold in fact that during the time of Caesar reindeer were native to the forests of Germany and Poland. Fortunately, without benefit of the internal combustion engine, the Earth warmed and mankind and his plants and animals basked in the benevolent warmth and became stronger and healthier, became more fruitful and multiplied, thus speeding the end of the Dark Ages.

Of course, some of today’s warming has more to do with mankind than it does the natural cycles of the Earth, although not in the way Al Gore presents it. "Big cities are getting warmer -- with or without global warming -- because the bricks and the buildings and the pavement retain heat," Michaels added. For that reason, he prefers to compare temperatures in nearby rural areas. "There's been very little change" in those areas, "so we trust the record to be a reliable indicator of base climate."

Last year's hurricanes, which the prophets of Global Warming told us were proof positive of Its Coming, don't appear to have much staying power, as this year's hurricane season is off to a slow start.

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What does all this prove, if anything? It may not prove anything, but it indicates that long before the current hysteria, the Earth’s climate was remarkably variable. Without mankind’s help, the Earth became much colder and much warmer than it is today. During the last period when it became much warmer, mankind thrived and civilization advanced rapidly. Today, despite the mass hysteria abetted by the 24-hour news cycle, mankind is at its highest level of material progress and economic productivity. With the exceptions of Moslem countries and large segments of Africa (where there are large Moslem populations), the world is in a peaceful and highly productive phase.

In fact, if a country has relatively few Moslems or is not old-line Communistic like Cuba or North Korea, there is a very good chance that it is progressing rapidly, thriving economically, and contributing ever-increasing tons of carbon dioxide each day to the atmosphere. Al Gore may get us to impale the United States economy on the Global Warming sword, but the Chinese and Indians will say, “Al who?” and continue their rapid and energy-ravenous industrialization. In the end, the Earth will mock its puny inhabitants and create weather changes in accordance with its own sense of seasons, and the Sun will shine equally on the just and unjust prophets of Global Warming.

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The Times - Still Stuck On Stupid - An Interview With Ehud Olmert

(When Ehud Olmert was asked the following question, in his mind he thought "You twits are still stuck on stupid, aren't you? but he bit his tongue and gave the diplomatic response)

The Times interview with Ehud Olmert: for the full transcript, go here to The Times Online
A full and frank exchange between the Israeli Prime Minister and The Times's Middle East Correspondent Stephen Farrell in Jerusalem, August 2, 2006

Q: But there is a sense in the world, and you must be aware of it, of lack of "proportionality". Many people question how after two soldiers kidnapped and eight killed by Hezbollah we are now seeing upwards of 400 dead and rising in Lebanon. How can such an initial incident justify such a huge response from Israel?

A: I think that you are missing a major part. The war started not only by killing eight Israeli soldiers and abducting two but by shooting Katyusha and other rockets on the northern cities of Israel on that same morning. Indiscriminately.
Now we know that for years Hezbollah - assisted by Iran - built an infrastructure of a very significant volume in the south part of Lebanon to be used against Israeli people. The most obvious, simple, way to describe it to the average British person is: can you imagine seven million British citizens sitting for 22 days in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham in Newcastle, in Brighton and in other cities? Twenty two days in shelters because a terrorist organisation was shooting rockets and missiles on their heads? What would have been the British reaction to that? Do you know of a country that would have responded to such a brutal attack on its citizens softer than Israel did? Based on my knowledge of history no country in Europe would have responded in such a restrained manner as Israel did.
I don’t want now to draw comparisons [but] one could ask the question what precisely did the European forces [do] in Kosovo 10 years ago. How many innocent civilians were killed in Kosovo 10 years ago? We can draw on and on these comparisons.
What are we talking about? More than a million Israelis are sitting 22 days in shelters because of the fear of terrorists. In every single case...that we kill an uninvolved civilian in Lebanon, we consider it as a failure for Israel. And you know how many Israelis raise their voices as a result of this? And they don’t have to because we feel that we failed when we killed uninvolved people.
The difference between us and Hezbollah is that when we kill innocent people we consider it a failure, when they kill innocent people they consider it a success.
Tell me, who are they aiming at when they shoot already 2800 rockets on Haifa, Hanariya, Akko, Sefat, Afula and the rest of the places, if not to kill innocent people? So I’m sorry for every individual that was killed that was not involved.
And by the way, how do you really know that 400 innocent civilians were killed? How do you know who is innocent and who is not? Why? This is not an army. They don’t wear uniforms that distinguish them from other civilians. We didn’t attack any of the Christian quarters of Beirut. We didn’t attack any of the Christian residential areas in any part of Lebanon. We attacked only those areas where they had the Katyusha launchers, where they had the missile launchers, where they had the command positions of Hezbollah, where they had the storage houses, the logistic centres and so on and so forth.
So the fact that people were killed there who were not dressed in uniforms doesn’t mean that they were innocent civilians. There were Hezbollah people, they are the terrorists. Did you ever see terrorists dressed with military uniforms like we have in our army? No.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Ladies And Gentlemen, Presenting Atlas!

Since I originally posted this two weeks ago, Pamela of Atlas Shrugs has been subjected to some of the filthiest, bigoted, and anti-Semitic comments that our modern day Nazis and their Muslim admirers can create. If you read their remarks, you will agree with me that a sub-human species does exist, and they think they wouldn't be losers if only there were no Jews.

I beg to differ with them. It is obvious there is no world anywhere in which they would be anything but losers, no matter who they shared it with. The evidence is produced by their own hands, and is here and at the Vanguard News Network.

Please click on the links above and read their messages only if you have a strong stomache, and are not shocked to find that such low life forms are capable of posting comments on blogs.

Atlas VLOGS the WAR

Pamela, of Atlas Shrugs, sets a new standard almost daily for bloggers. In my wildest dreams I couldn't come close to her energy and passion, so I won't try. I'll just be thankful to have such a force on our side, and sit back and enjoy the show.

The all singing, all dancing, all adorable, Atlas!

Plus passionate politics.

ADDENDUM:

I emailed one of the most bigoted and vicious of the commenters, a fellow using the screen name von Manstein.

From: "Michael B. Combs" To: Subject: RE your email to Pamela at Atlas ShrugsDate: Thu, 3 Aug 2006 15:28:55 -0700I was in the Air Force over 21 years, and never shared a minute of it with sub-humans like you. It’s amazing what weeding out the mental midgets does for the military. I knew there were vicious scum like you out there, and that we were making the world safe for your stupidity and savagery. I’m glad you can find others like yourself on the internet. I would hate to think of the lonely life you would lead otherwise, not being able to find anyone as stupid and ignorant as yourself to share your bigotry and anti-Semitism.

Major Michael B. Combs, U S Air Force, Retired

He emailed me back:

Oooo! An enraged Fly Boy Goy straps on his moth-eaten flight suit and dodders out of the old folk's home to do one last bombing run for his kike overlords! I'm sure they'll be eternally grateful, bubbeleh!
Here's a Talmud taste of what those you wasted your life serving really think of you, Sooper Patriot:
"Jehovah created the non-Jew in human form so that the Jew would not have to be served by beasts. The non-Jew is consequently an animal in human form, and condemned to serve the Jew day and night." - Midrasch Talpioth, p. 225-L.

(I thought it would be interesting to check his email for accuracy, so I Googled and found this pertaining to the above. Since Jews avoid using "Jehovah," it seemed suspicious from the first word. I immediately found this rebuttal of the "quote."

CLAIM "Jehovah created the non-Jew in human form so that the Jew
would not have to be served by beasts. The non-Jew is consequently an animal in human form, and commanded to serve the Jew day and night." - Midrasch Talpioth, p225-L.


RESPONSE I was unable to check this reference in my extensive Judaica library. The book "Midrash Talpiyyot" is appparently an obscure eighteenth-century Kabbalistic work that is little known and carries no authority whatsoever. Even if the citation were correct (which seems doubtful in light of the other examples on this list, and the fact that Jews never employ the designation "Jehovah"), it is hard to imagine what could be proven from it about Judaism or the Talmud. From Usenet message catamont-2305980759150001@ts003d13.den-co.concentric.net )


"Even the best of the goyim [hebe-speak for 'cattle'] should be killed." - Abhodah Zarah (25b)T


A couple from the the modern-day yids whose hairy asses you so love to suck:
"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population."
-- David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.
"The English (or French or American, etc.) patriotism of the Jew is only a fancy-dress which he puts on to please the people of the country." - The Jewish World, December 8, 1911.


And for the grand finale, a brace from that other notorious hater, George Washington:
"The jews work more effectively against us than the enemy's armies. They are a hundred times more dangerous to our liberties and the great cause we are engaged in... It is much to be lamented that each state, long ago, has not hunted them down as pest to society and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America." (From The Maxims of George Washington by A. A. Appleton & Co.)


"A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation facilitates the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, infuses into one the enmities of the other, and betrays the former into participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification... It also gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, who devote themselves to the favorite nation, facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country." - Farewell Address, 1796


So now even a flag-wavin' turd like yourself should be able to clearly see that YOU are the one that has betrayed the true patriotic vision of the greatest of Americans; that YOU are the "vicious scum" who is the filthy traitor to his race & nation.

Unless, of course, you're a hook-snouted kike too - in which case you just did what hook-snouted kikes always do..... ;o)

Mazel Tov, Cap'n Whore!

I was intrigued by his George Washington quotes too, so I Googled his reference and found this:

An example of these claims appears on the following hate site(s):
http://abbc.com/islam/english/toread/clilist.htm (Radio Islam)
CLAIM

George Washington ( in Maxims of George Washington by A. A. Appleton & Co.)
"They (the Jews) work more effectively against us, than the enemy's armies. They are a hundred times more dangerous to our liberties and the great cause we are engaged in... It is much to be lamented that each state, long ago, has not hunted them down as pest to society and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America." George Washington

RESPONSE

(1)Well, I got the *Maxims of George Washington* (actually published by D. Appleton & Co., 1894) through interlibrary loan yesterday, thanks to U.C. San Diego being willing to allow a 104 yr. old volume to travel. It makes interesting reading. I found that the above quote is almost entirely accurate--EXCEPT that the original has no mention of the Jews. Why am I not surprised? When Washington made this statement he was, according to *Maxims* speaking of speculators in the currency, not Jews. I did a teensy bit of research & discovered that one of the great problems of our Revolution was that speculators cornered supplies of shoes, clothes & vital supplies & sold them at huge profits, while privateers would slip out of port & trade in other nations making individuals rich to the detriment of the national treasury. In a letter to John Augustine Washington (10/26/1778) Washington wrote: "I would to God that one of the most atrocious of each State was hung in gibbets upon a gallows five times as high as the one prepared for Haman." (Haman~In the Old Testament, a Persian minister who was hanged for plotting the destruction of the Jews.)

As to what Washington really felt about the Jews, I have found no negative statements--although I _did_ find addresses to Jewish congregations congratulating them on the freedom from persecution that America offered them! As a matter of fact, Jews played a great part in our Revolution. They took part in our rebellion from the very first: 9 Jews signed the Non-Importation Resolutions of 1765 (on display in Philadelphia at Carpenter's Hall). One, Haym Salomon, was a rich man who unstintingly gave money to help our leaders when in need (including Jefferson & Madison and other members of congress) & refused to be paid back & in addition gave many thousands of dollars to the Treaury & the army. Many other Jews gave money to our early government, including one Manuel Mordecai Noah who served as an officer on Washington's staff & who, upon enlistment, gave his entire fortune of 20,000 pounds to the cause. Many fought as soldiers.

Since Washington spoke out on his feelings about Indians and slaves, especially in his diaries & letters, I can't help but think that if he had any low opinions of Jews they would have surfaced long ago. The original poster tried to use the words of Washington to spread his foul lies & prejudices.

Hey Buryea, try _this_ quote from *The Maxims of Washington*:"I am sure, the mass of citizens in these United States mean well; & I firmly believe they will always act well, whenever they can obtain _a right understanding of matters_. But, in some parts of the Union, where the sentiments of their delegates & leaders are adverse to government, and great pains are taken to inculcate a belief, that their rights are assailed & their liberties endangered, it is not easy to accomplish this; SPECIALLY, as is the case invariably, when INVENTORS & ABETTORS OF PERNICIOUS MEASURES use infinitely more industry, in DISSEMINATING POISON, than the well-disposed part of the community, in furnishing the antidote. TO THIS ALL OUR DISCONTENTS MAY BE TRACED; and from it all our embarrassments proceed." (p.76,Maxims).
Susan Umpleby (sumpleby@earthlink.net) in Usenet message <01bd69c6$3fbc7b80$b4ebd9cf@default> http://www.dejanews.com/getdoc.xp?AN=344922853

RESPONSE (2)
In his famous letter to "The Hebrew Congregation in Newport," written in 1790, President George Washington pledged that the new nation would "give to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance" and thereby set the standard for religious freedom and civil liberties in America.From http://www.nps.gov/tosy/

In the light of these comments, George Washington could hardly be accused of being an anti-Semite. The full text of the letter follows:

To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport Rhode Island
Gentlemen:While I receive with much satisfaction, your Address replete with expressions of affection and esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of answering you, that I shall always retain a grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced in my visit to New port, from all classes of Citizens.The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past, is rendered the more sweet, from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security. If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good Government, to become a great and a happy people.The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration, and fervent wishes for my felicity. May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants, while every one shall sit in safety under his own wine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.
George Washington Letter to the Touro Synagogue, 1790 David S. Maddison (maddison@connexus.net.au)

It's a pure pleasure to see a bigot "hoist on his own petard!"

It's Time To Pull "Mad Dog" Ahmadinejad's Fangs

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The following is an excerpt from a rally with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which aired on the Iranian News Channel (IRINN) on August 1, 2006.

"Today, the Iranian people is the owner of nuclear technology. Those who want to talk with our people should know what people they are talking to. If some believe they can keep talking to the Iranian people in the language of threats and aggressiveness, they should know that they are making a bitter mistake. If they have not realized this by now, they soon will, but then it will be too late. Then they will realize that they are facing a vigilant, proud people."

Please note that this small-brained person just affirmed that the Iranian nuclear technology is a military instrument, not a peaceful, electrical power generating one. Only a fool would interpret his statement as anything else but a threat to soon have a nuclear warfare capability.

At the same time, Ahmadinejad is calling for the destruction of Israel. He has been calling for the destruction of Israel ever since he took office, not just since Israel retaliated against the Hamas and Hezbollah rocket attacks and kidnappings.

It’s time to pull the fangs from this mad dog.