Monday, January 28, 2008


Arun Gandhi, the fifth grandson of India's revered icon Mahatma Gandhi, believes he has the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - just kiss and make up. Arun, the co-founder and president of the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence at the University of Rochester, gave his views during an internet forum of panelists for the Washngton Post's "On Faith" page. He claimed that Israel and the Jews are the biggest players in a culture of violence that "is eventually going to destroy humanity."

Gandhi described Israel as "a nation that believes its survival can only be ensured by weapons and bombs." He went on to suggest that "it would be better to befriend those who hate you." Gandhi got part of it right - the only reason Israel has survived thus far is that it has the weapons and the nuclear bombs to defeat the standing armies (as opposed to guerrillas) of its sworn enemies. But Gandhi is out of his ever loving crackpot mind if he thinks Israel can survive by appeasing those who hate it and have vowed to eradicate it.

How can Israel befriend the Saudis who made demands of the Americans which were demeaning to the Israelis as a condition for their attendance at the Bush sponsored peace conference? (Refer to my blog, A LESSON FOR CONDOLEEZZA RICE, 1-13-08) How can Israel befriend the "moderate" Palestinians who will not repudiate repeated vows to destroy "the Zionist entity?" (Refer to my blog, ABBAS AND HIS "MODERATE" PALESTINIANS, 6-23-07) The answer is, it can't.

Here is what Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Authority's chief negotiator, said on the eve of last December's much ballyhooed "peace" conference at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Erekat declared that the Palestinians would never accept Israel as a "Jewish state." That non-negotiable declaration makes a mockery out of any hope for a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Why a Jewish state? With the defeat of Nazi Germany, the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust extermination camps were put in refugee centers with no other place to go. No country, including the U.S., was willing to accept them in any significant numbers. Israel became their only hope. Ever since it achieved nationhood, Israel has become a place of refuge for persecuted Jews from Russia and its former Soviet states, Poland, Lithuania, the Arab Mideast and Arab Africa. What if there were to be no Jewish state? Where then would the unwanted Jews in some Western and in all Muslim countries be able to go?

Following a shit storm of criticism, Ghandi apologized for his remarks about Jews and resigned from his peace institute. His grandfather in India, as well as Martin Luther King in our country and Nelson Mandela in South Africa, did change the course of history by nonviolent means. But those domestic tactics just don't work between nations when one side is determined to destroy the other.

Appeasement only whets the appetite of a hateful enemy. British PM Neville Chamberlain, acting on behalf of England and France in an attempt to avert the outbreak of war, appeased Hitler by letting Nazi Germany annex Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. A year later, Hitler started World War II. The only reason the U.S. and the former Soviet Union did not attack one another was because each had the nuclear weapons delivery systems that could vaporize the other's major cities, industries and military facilities. No kiss and make up there until well after the Soviet empire had self-destructed.

Throughout its brief history, Israel has had only one steadfast friend - the United States of America. The United Nations has been generally and historically unfriendly toward the Jewish state. Most European nations, with their dependence on Arab oil, have been unfriendly toward Israel. Russia, China, Cuba, and leftist Latin American regimes continually side with the Palestinians against Israel.

Kiss and make up? Appeasement? Horseshit! Israel cannot survive without a superior military and its nuclear threat. It cannot survive without access to the headwaters of the Jordan River. It cannot survive without defensible borders and those require that Israel retain parts of the disputed West Bank. Israel cannot survive without a strong and resolute leader like Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu at its helm.

Unfortunately for Israel, oil dependent industrialized nations have long been siding with the Palestinians so as to curry favor with the Jew hating Saudis. In order to survive, Israel cannot afford to be pressured into satisfiying their insatiable hunger for Arab oil by making suicidal concessions to those whose avowed aim is to destroy the "Zionist entity." Nor can the Jewish state afford to cave in to the George Bush-Condoleezza Rice pressure on Israel to finalize a peace accord by making the same suicidal concessions, a political strategy designed to ensure a legacy for President Bush.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Barack Obama started out to be a young refreshing candidate who happened to be black. He avoided playing the race card at all costs. That appealed to a lot of white voters, especially younger ones. He presented himself to all voters, both balck and white, as the candidate of change and hope. But something happened on the way to the forum. Obama became the black candidate just as Jessee Jackson before him had been.

How and why did that happen? The Clintons, both Bubba and Hillary, together with their surrogates deliberately "done" it to him. They played the race card in order to turn Obama into a "Jessee Jackson" candidate. Before Hillary and Bubba colored him black, Obama enjoyed high polling numbers among young and well educated whites, both men and women.

Now that he has been painted "the black candidate," he is loosing many of his white supporters because, as such, they think he is more concerned with black issues than with the issues that concern them most. And, that is exactly what Hillary and her husband, "the first black president," set out to achieve. They know that, despite any black anger over their injection of race into the campaign, in the end Hillary can still count on the support of blacks if she is the Democratic nominee.

The race issue was brought on by Hillary Clinton's statement that Martin Luther King's dream was realized only when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A number of angry black leaders then attacked Hillary for belittling Dr. King. Instead of leaving well enough alone, Obama made the mistake of issuing his own statement criticizing Hillary's comments. She immediately pounced on Obama by accusing him of injecting race into the campaign, an example of the kettle calling the pot black, no pun intended. Then, Bill labeled Obama's campaign a "fairy tale" and told voters his wife was going to lose in South Carolina "because she is white."

The Clintons and their surrogates have been relentless in doing a hatchet job on Obama. Surrogate Bob Johnson, founder of BET (Black Entertainment Televison), in a speech to a black audience in South Carolina, stated that the Clintons were championing black issues "when Obama was doing something in the neighborhood - I won't say what he was doing, but he said it in his book." That was a clear reference to Obama's admitted use in college of marijuana and cocaine.

Both Hillary and the former president are borderline pathological liars. Hillary's response to Johnson's drug statement was to make the ridiculous assertion, a bald-faced lie, that he was referring to Obama's work as a neighborhood organizer. Meanwhile, hubby Bill has been campaigning for her with outright lies and distortions about Obama's record. When Obama remarked that (President) "Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not," the Clintons attacked Obama for praising Ronald Reagan and Republican party ideas, which of course, he never did.

The savaging of Obama has led Maureen Dowd, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist and relentless critic of President Bush, to condemn Bill Clinton for resorting to attack dog tactics. And Robert Reich, President Clinton's Secretary of Labor, has now stepped forth to attack his former boss for "injecting race" into the presidential campaign. Even Senator Edward Kennedy jumped into the fray by angrily denouncing Bubba for playing a part in injecting race into the campaign.

Why should we expect anything different, what with all the lies perpetrated on the American public by both Clintons when the former Governor of Arkansas ran for the presidency and when he occupied the White House. One of Hillary's latest lies was a statement that John McCain would "love" to keep our troops in Iraq for the next 100 years. That is not at all what McCain said. The Arizona Senator stated that we may have to keep our troops in Iraq for another 100 years if that's what it takes to defend ourselves against Islamic terrorism.

However, all the lies about Obama are not nearly as devastating as Bill and Hillary's success in coloring him black. Poor old Barack, inexperinced in the ways of dirty politics, fell right into their trap of "Jessee Jacksonizing" his candidacy. Not only have the Clintons succeeded in eroding his white support, but they have also exploited the animosity between Latinos and blacks to galvanize Hispanic voters against Obama.

Obama has been forced to run not only against Hillary, but against the former president as well. While the Clintons played slash-and-burn politcal hardball, Obama for too long played slow-pitch softball. Having been marginalized as the black candidate, Obama's chances of winning the Democratic nomination now seem somewhat bleak even if he wins big in South Carolina.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I was forwarded a unique and enlightening simple lesson on how our tax system works. On the internet, it was credited to Davud R. Kamerschen, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at the University of Georgia. However, Dr. Kamerschen has denied that he is its author. Nevertheless, I thought the lesson was authentic enough to be reproduced in my blog. Whoever the author may be, he/she is definitely not an educated idiot.

Check out if you are interested in the history and possible authorship of this piece.

Bar Stool Economics: An explanation of how our Tax system works.

"Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers, he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so: The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings). The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings). The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28%savings). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings). The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings). The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

'I only got a dollar out of the $20, 'declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10!'

'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!'

'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!'

'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier."

(On the internet, someone added the following words: For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.)

Monday, January 21, 2008


A good friend, who is a Houston police sergeant on reserve duty with the U.S. Navy in Iraq, sent me a Canadian's evaluation of our current presidential candidates. I thought it was well worth reproducing in my blog.

NOTE: Theo Caldwell is hardly a non-partisan bystander. He is president of Caldwell Asset Management, Inc.. He is an investment adviser in both the U.S. and Canada. As such, Caldwell has a vested interest in the pro-business and investor friendly Republicans and would be expected to disparage any Democratic candidates.

Democrat or Republican? The question is shockingly easy!
Theo Caldwell, National Post (Canada)
Wednesday, December 26, 2007

An obvious choice can be unnerving. When the apparent perfection of one option or the unspeakable awfulness of another makes a decision seem too easy, it is human nature to become suspicious.

This instinct intensifies as the stakes of the given choice are raised. American voters know no greater responsibility to their country and to the world than to select their president wisely.

While we do not yet know who the Democrat and Republican nominees will be, any combination of the leading candidates from either party will make for the most obvious choice put to American voters in a generation. To wit, none of the Democrats has any business being president.

This pronouncement has less to do with any apparent perfection among the Republican candidates than with the intellectual and experiential paucity evinced by the Democratic field. "Not ready for prime time," goes the vernacular, but this does not suffice to describe how bad things are.

Alongside Hillary Clinton, add Barack Obama's kindergarten essays to an already confused conversation about Dennis Kucinich's UFO sightings, dueling celebrity endorsements and who can be quickest to retreat from America's global conflict and raise taxes on the American people, and it becomes clear that these are profoundly unserious individuals.

To be sure, there has been a fair amount of rubbish and rhubarb on the Republican side (Ron Paul, call your office), but even a cursory review of the legislative and professional records of the leading contenders from each party reveals a disparity akin to adults competing with children.

For the Republicans, Rudy Giuliani served as a two-term mayor of New York City, turning a budget deficit into a surplus and taming what was thought to be an ungovernable metropolis. Prior to that, he held the third-highest rank in the Reagan Justice Department, obtaining over 4,000 convictions.

Mitt Romney, before serving as governor of Massachusetts, founded a venture capital firm that created billions of dollars in shareholder value, and he then went on to save the Salt Lake City Olympics.

While much is made of Mike Huckabee's history as a Baptist minister, he was also a governor for more than a decade and, while Arkansas is hardly a "cradle of presidents," it has launched at least one previous chief executive to national office.

John McCain's legislative and military career spans five decades, with half that time having been spent in the Congress.

Even Fred Thompson, whose excess of nonchalance has transformed his once-promising campaign into nothing more than a theoretical possibility, has more experience in the U.S. Senate than any of the leading Democratic candidates.

With just over one term as a Senator to her credit, Hillary Clinton boasts the most extensive record of the potential Democratic nominees. In that time, Senator Clinton cannot claim a single legislative accomplishment of note, and she is best known lately for requesting $1-million from Congress for a museum to commemorate Woodstock.

Barack Obama is nearing the halfway point of his first term in the Senate, having previously served as an Illinois state legislator and, as Clinton has correctly pointed out, has done nothing but run for president since he first arrived in Washington. Between calling for the invasion of Pakistan and fumbling a simple question on driver's licenses for illegal aliens, Obama has shown that he is not the fellow to whom the nation ought to hike the nuclear football.

John Edwards, meanwhile, embodies the adage that the American people will elect anyone to Congress -- once. From his $1,200 haircuts to his personal war on poverty, proclaimed from the porch of his 28,000-square-foot home, purchased with the proceeds of preposterous lawsuits exploiting infant cerebral palsy, Edwards is living proof that history can play out as tragedy and farce simultaneously.

Forget for a moment all that you believe about public policy. Discard your notions about taxes and Iraq, free trade and crime, and consider solely the experience of these two sets of candidates. Is there any serious issue that you would prefer to entrust to a person with the Democrats' experience, rather than that of any of the Republicans?

Now consider the state of debate in each party. While the Republicans compare tax proposals and the best way to prosecute the War on Terror, Democrats are divining the patterns and meaning of the glitter and dried macaroni glued to the page of one of their leading candidate's kindergarten projects.

Does this decision not become unsettlingly simple?


My last blog, JOHN McCAIN ON THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE (1-20-07) brought to mind my experience as a faculty member of a college which for many years had been under the control of a small but vocal group of avowed Marxist academics who constantly condemned capitalism and our government's domestic and foreign policies in their one-sided classroom lectures and who were bent on indoctrinating the college's students with a bunch of communist crap.

Those Marxists, hiding behind an outright perversion of the principles of Academic Freedom, refuse to pledge allegiance to the United Sates of America. Let me give you an example. At the start of the first Gulf War against Iraq, the college's president had called a general faculty meeting. I cannot recall what the meeting was about other than that it had nothing to do with Iraq, but because it was the start of a war, I approached the podium and asked him to start the meeting by having us all recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The president, not himself a Marxist but handpicked for his office by the Marxist faction, refused my request. He informed me that "this is not the time or place" to recite the pledge and that he did not want to embarrass the Marxists because they would refuse to recite it and "will walk out" of the meeting. I told him, "So what, let them walk out," but he told me to shut up and get back to my seat.

Not the time or the place to plege allegiance to our country? What kind of nonsense is that? Any time, any place is appropriate for reciting a pledge of loyalty to this great land of ours, whether it be in a school, in a legislative body, at a sporting event, or even in a church. And it is especially appropriate at the start of a war when our troops are called upon to put their lives at risk for all of us.

With my wife in agreement, I once publicly offered the leader of the college's Marxist faction a one-way airline ticket to Cuba, China or any other country of his choice with the written stipulation that he would have to repay me if he ever returned. He refused my offer. The college president and the Dean of Instruction reprimanded me for going to the local newspaper to make the offer.

To the Marxists at the college where I was a professor, and to Marxist academics at all other colleges and universities, I say that if you cannot or will not pledge your loyalty to our country, the country which gives you the right of free speech and assembly, and which lets you indoctrinate your students with commuist crap, then please leave for any country of your choice and get your damn disloyal asses out of here!

Sunday, January 20, 2008


This morning, as I watched THIS WEEK on ABC, I seethed with rage over attacks made against John McCain by one of the guest panelists. That darling of the extreme left, Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor and publisher of The Nation magazine, accused Senator McCain of "war mongering" for saying that our troops may have to remain in Iraq for another 100 years. As luck would have it, just after that show I received an e-mail from friends in San Francisco which contained John McCain's remarks on the Pledge of Allegiance. So, in keeping with my recently acquired habit of including other people's materials in my blog, here is what John McCain had to say.


"As you may know, I spent five and one half years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us in solitaryconfinement of two or three to a cell. In 1971 the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room. This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs 10,000 miles from home.

One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian. Mike came from a small town near Selma , Alabama. He didn't wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old. At 17, he enlisted in the US Navy. He later earned a commission by going to Officer Training School. Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967. Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the opportunities this country and our military provide for people who want to work and want to succeed.

As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners to receive packages from home. In some of these packages were handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing. Mike got himself a bamboo needle. Over a period of a couple of months, he created an American flag and sewed on the inside of his shirt. Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike's shirt on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance. I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part of our day now, but I can assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed the most important and meaningful event.

One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically, and discovered Mike's shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it. That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours. Then, they opened the door of the cell and threw him in. We cleaned him up as well as we could.

The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we slept. Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room. As I said, we tried to clean up Mike as well as we could. After the excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting there beneath that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian. He was sitting there with his eyes almost shut from the beating he had received, making another American flag. He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better. He was making that flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to Pledge our allegiance to our flag and country.

So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget the sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made to build our nation and promote freedom around the world. You must remember our duty, our honor, and our country."

Now please, let us all join John McCain in saying, "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisable, with liberty and justice for all."

Friday, January 18, 2008


Having repeatedly blogged my disdain for Hillary Clinton, I could not resist including Christopher Hitchens' January 14th posting on Slade in my blog. It is noteworthy that Hitchens referred to the forcible rape of Juanita Broaddrick by Bill Clinton when he was the Attorney General of Arkansas, an allegation which never received the media coverage it should have gotten.

Why on earth would we choose to put the Clinton family drama at the center of our politics again?
By Christopher Hitchens

Seeing the name Hillary in a headline last week—a headline about a life that had involved real achievement—I felt a mouse stirring in the attic of my memory. Eventually, I was able to recall how the two Hillarys had once been mentionable in the same breath. On a first-lady goodwill tour of Asia in April 1995—the kind of banal trip that she now claims as part of her foreign-policy "experience"—Mrs. Clinton had been in Nepal and been briefly introduced to the late Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest. Ever ready to milk the moment, she announced that her mother had actually named her for this famous and intrepid explorer. The claim "worked" well enough to be repeated at other stops and even showed up in Bill Clinton's memoirs almost a decade later, as one more instance of the gutsy tradition that undergirds the junior senator from New York.

Sen. Clinton was born in 1947, and Sir Edmund Hillary and his partner Tenzing Norgay did not ascend Mount Everest until 1953, so the story was self-evidently untrue and eventually yielded to fact-checking. Indeed, a spokeswoman for Sen. Clinton named Jennifer Hanley phrased it like this in a statement in October 2006, conceding that the tale was untrue but nonetheless charming: "It was a sweet family story her mother shared to inspire greatness in her daughter, to great results I might add."

Perfect. It worked, in other words, having been coined long after Sir Edmund became a bankable celebrity, but now its usefulness is exhausted and its untruth can safely be blamed on Mummy. Yet isn't it all—all of it, every single episode and detail of the Clinton saga—exactly like that? And isn't some of it a little bit more serious? For Sen. Clinton, something is true if it validates the myth of her striving and her "greatness" (her overweening ambition in other words) and only ceases to be true when it no longer serves that limitless purpose. And we are all supposed to applaud the skill and the bare-faced bravado with which this is done. In the New Hampshire primary in 1992, she knowingly lied about her husband's uncontainable sex life and put him eternally in her debt. This is now thought of, and referred to in print, purely as a smart move on her part. In the Iowa caucuses of 2008, he returns the favor by telling a huge lie about his own record on the war in Iraq, falsely asserting that he was opposed to the intervention from the very start. This is thought of, and referred to in print, as purely a tactical mistake on his part: trying too hard to help the spouse. The happy couple has now united on an equally mendacious account of what they thought about Iraq and when they thought it. What would it take to break this cheap little spell and make us wake up and inquire what on earth we are doing when we make the Clinton family drama— yet again—a central part of our own politics?

What do you have to forget or overlook in order to desire that this dysfunctional clan once more occupies the White House and is again in a position to rent the Lincoln Bedroom to campaign donors and to employ the Oval Office as a massage parlor? You have to be able to forget, first, what happened to those who complained, or who told the truth, last time. It's often said, by people trying to show how grown-up and unshocked they are, that all Clinton did to get himself impeached was lie about sex. That's not really true. What he actually lied about, in the perjury that also got him disbarred, was the women. And what this involved was a steady campaign of defamation, backed up by private dicks (you should excuse the expression) and salaried government employees, against women who I believe were telling the truth. In my opinion, Gennifer Flowers was telling the truth; so was Monica Lewinsky, and so was Kathleen Willey, and so, lest we forget, was Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who says she was raped by Bill Clinton. (For the full background on this, see the chapter "Is There a Rapist in the Oval Office?" in the paperback version of my book No One Left To Lie To. This essay, I may modestly say, has never been challenged by anybody in the fabled Clinton "rapid response" team.) Yet one constantly reads that both Clintons, including the female who helped intensify the slanders against her mistreated sisters, are excellent on women's "issues."

One also hears a great deal about how this awful joint tenure of the executive mansion was a good thing in that it conferred "experience" on the despised and much-deceived wife. Well, the main "experience" involved the comprehensive fouling-up of the nation's health-care arrangements, so as to make them considerably worse than they had been before and to create an opening for the worst-of-all-worlds option of the so-called HMO, combining as it did the maximum of capitalist gouging with the maximum of socialistic bureaucracy. This abysmal outcome, forgiven for no reason that I can perceive, was the individual responsibility of the woman who now seems to think it entitles her to the presidency. But there was another "experience," this time a collaborative one, that is even more significant.

During the Senate debate on the intervention in Iraq, Sen. Clinton made considerable use of her background and "experience" to argue that, yes, Saddam Hussein was indeed a threat. She did not argue so much from the position adopted by the Bush administration as she emphasized the stand taken, by both her husband and Al Gore, when they were in office, to the effect that another and final confrontation with the Baathist regime was more or less inevitable. Now, it does not especially matter whether you agree or agreed with her about this (as I, for once, do and did). What does matter is that she has since altered her position and attempted, with her husband's help, to make people forget that she ever held it. And this, on a grave matter of national honor and security, merely to influence her short-term standing in the Iowa caucuses. Surely that on its own should be sufficient to disqualify her from consideration? Indifferent to truth, willing to use police-state tactics and vulgar libels against inconvenient witnesses, hopeless on health care, and flippant and fast and loose with national security: The case against Hillary Clinton for president is open-and-shut. Of course, against all these considerations you might prefer the newly fashionable and more media-weighty notion that if you don't show her enough appreciation, and after all she's done for us, she may cry.

Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair and the author of God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008


My last blog, A LESSON FOR CONDOLEEZZA RICE (1-13-08), contained an open letter written to our Secretary of State by Reuven Koret, an American-born Israeli. Among other complaints, Koret was very disturbed by Secretary Rice's concessions to the Saudis prior to and during the Mideast "peace" conference which took place at the U.S. Naval Academy at the end of last year.

Koret wrote: "What stunned me was when I read today that you gave in to the demands of the Saudis and agreed that the Israeli delegation would not be allowed to enter the same door as the representatives of the Arab States. The Israelis had to enter through the service entrance. The Israeli delegation agreed not to be photographed in the same pictures as the Saudis and other Arabs lest Muslims be embarrassed by appearing in the same photograph."

The Saudis also insisted there be no handshakes with the Israelis. Sadly, Rice and the Israelis agreed to go along with the degrading, insulting and unreasonable demands of the Saudis. And, who headed the Israeli delegation? It was Ehud Olmert, the Prime Minister of Israel. (Please refer to my blog, EHUD THE IDIOT, 1-6-08.) Olmert ought to be ashamed of himself for having caved into the Saudi demands.

If you've read my blogs, you know that I have been a long-time supporter of former Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, the leader of Israel's conservative Likud party. What would Bibi have done had he been at the head of the Israeli delegation instead of Ehud the Idiot?

Here is what I believe Olmert should have and Bibi would have told Condoleezza Rice. "Madam Secretary, with all due respect you can tell the Saudis they can go to hell. We will not use a different entrance. If you want any pictures taken of us, they will have to include the heads of all delegations taking part in the conference. We will extend our hands to the Arabs and it will be up to them whether or not to shake hands with us. If you insist that we go along with the Saudi demands, you will not see us in Annapolis."

How can Israel be expected to sit down and negotiate in good faith with the other side when the Palestinians and other Arabs are full of hatred against the Jews and have vowed to exterminate the "Zionist entity?" Any negotiations would have to be conducted by a strong and resolute leader and not by a weakling like Ehud the Idiot. If the State of Israel expects to be secure while surrounded by a multitude of sworn enemies, it can only do so with a strong leader like Bibi Netanyahu.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Occasionally, if I thought it was related to subjects which I've covered in my blogs, I have included pieces forwarded to me by friends. Being Jewish, I have frequently written about Israel, about Islamic fundamentalism and about the vow of the Palestinians and the other Arabs to exterminate the "Zionist entity." That is why I decided to share a copy of this enlightening letter to our Secretary of State with you.

An Open Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
By Reuven Koret
December 2, 2007

Madame Secretary,

Allow me to introduce myself. I am an American-born Israeli, and since my early childhood I have been sympathetic to the civil rights movement in the US, and human rights movements around the world. My mother was a civil rights activist, a marcher in the Washington demonstrations of the 1960's, just as she marched for the rights of beleaguered Jews in the USSR to gain their freedom. Among my proudest personal accomplishments has been the co-founding, with black and Jewish colleagues at Harvard University, of the pre-eminent website for Africans and African-descent people, now called AOL Black Voices

I therefore have been interested to read of your attempts to connect the civil rights movement and the Israeli-Arab conflict. Most recently, you were quoted as telling, in a closed-door meeting at Annapolis, a story from your childhood in Birmingham, using it to show what you thought was empathy for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. You said you did not want to draw historical parallels or be too self-reflective, but you did so anyway, recalling the time when a local church was bombed by white racists, killing four girls, including your classmate. "Like the Israelis, I know what it is like to go to sleep at night, not knowing if you will be bombed, of being afraid to be in your own neighborhood, of being afraid to go to your church," you said.

But then you went on to say, that, as a black child in the South, you were told that you could not use certain water fountains or eat in certain restaurants, you also understood the feelings and emotions of the Palestinians. "I know what it is like to hear that you cannot go on a road or through a checkpoint because you are Palestinian," you said. "I understand the feeling of humiliation and powerlessness." "There is pain on both sides," you concluded. "This has gone on too long." Well, we can agree on that, Madame Secretary. But the more I thought about your attempt at a historical parallel, the more it disturbed me.

I am writing to tell you that you are wrong about much else, and what you are trying to do to fix this will lead to results opposite of what you intend. Dr. Rice, you are wrong about how most Israelis feel. You keep saying that the vast majority of Israelis support leaving most if not all of Judea and Samaria and handing it over to the Palestinians. But poll after poll shows that is simply not true.

Most Israelis are pragmatic and we (sometimes) learn from experience. We saw what happened when we withdrew from Lebanon and Gaza, and we are not willing to repeat that mistake and allow Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and our airport to become a target for Palestinian rockets. You are wrong, too, when you think that all we care about is security. These days we worry less about being bombed, because of the security measures our government took, over Palestinian objections. Those same checkpoints you complain about, and the security barrier that we built which so many others complain about, keep bombers and drive-by shooters out.

But even if security weren't an issue, you need to understand that when you speak about Judea and Samaria, you speak about the Jewish People's heartland, not some foreign country. The Bible you read is filled with those places because that is where our faith was formed, that is where our history was lived for many more centuries than the United States has been in existence. And Jerusalem -- above all, the Old City and the Temple Mount at its center -- has been the spiritual core of our existence since the time of David and Solomon.

For centuries, the Jews were denied even the right to pray at our holiest sites near and on the Temple Mount. There and at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and in many other places throughout Judea and Samaria, the Arabs cruelly allowed us to get close, but never to touch, never to enter the place itself. That didn't change even in 1948 when we earned our own nation by defeating 6 attacking Arab armies and the local Arab population. But that victory was only partial: we lost the Old City of Jerusalem, Hebron and Gush Etzion, each loss accompanied by massacres by the Arabs. They burned down our synagogues: 17 out of 18 in the Old City of Jerusalem alone after the Jordanians took control in 1948. The other one they couldn't find because a decent Arab hid it.

Secretary Rice, I am going to be blunt, in the fashion you are known to be. Because you are doing business with the worst racists and anti-Semites in the world, and their bigotry is turning you into a racist and an anti-Semite, and an advocate for racist and anti-semitic policies. It's not like the world doesn't know who the Saudis are, and what they stand for. Jews can't even visit, for God's sake, and blacks are as close to slavery there as in most countries, except of course, most of the other Arab non-democracies you invited to your little gathering. You know that, I assume, but you choose to ignore it.

What stunned me was when I read today that you gave in to the demands of the Saudis and agreed that the Israeli delegation would not be allowed to enter the same door as the representatives of the Arab states. The Israelis had to enter through the service entrance. The Israeli delegation agreed not to be photographed in the same pictures as the Saudis and other Arabs lest Muslims be embarrassed by appearing in the same photograph. God forbid that the two religions should mix! And this Saudi nonsense about no handshakes with Israelis.

Doesn't this offend you in the least? Can't you use your bully pulpit to deal with it? Shame on you, Secretary Rice.How could you allow this to go down? How could you tolerate this kind of bigotry? If that's not a modern resurrection of Jim Crow laws, then what is? How dare you! And then to lecture Israel about the morality of its checkpoints?

Let me put it in the bluntest terms I can think of, but no less true for being blunt: in the eyes of the Arabs, Israel is the nigger of the Middle East, not because of our borders but because of being the Jewish State and, to make matters worse, beating the Muslims in every war. For surviving in a sea of Muslims, we have been constantly insulted, humiliated, discriminated against. We are -- because we are Jews, representing the Jewish State - - treated as less than human or, as they continually remind us, "a race of pigs and monkeys."

As such, Madame Secretary, we have no faith in the possibility of a peace treaty in a year or even in ten years, maybe not in a hundred. Why? Because the Arabs, the Muslims in general, and the Palestinians in particular, are educating their people, their youth, to hate us, to dehumanize us, to demonize us, to deny our basic rights.

The Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the militant wings of Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah, all defined as terror groups by your State Department -- these are the local version of the Ku Klux Klan you remember from your childhood, with one crucial difference: they don't just want to keep us down. They want to make us dead. Theirs is not a non-violent civil rights struggle, but a nationalist struggle to exterminate the people of Israel from the Land of Israel, primarily by violent means and, when necessary, political means using well-meaning people like you.

I need not tell you that our fears are not without justification, with Muslims the world over, and some non-Muslims as well trying to foment the idea of a world without Israel, without a Jewish state. And, sadly, you have to some extent thrown your lot in with them, by morally equating them and us, by saying that we are equally guilty of terror and incitement as the Palestinians, who invented terrorism and incite against us in their mosques, media and government statements.

The joint understanding you worked so hard to achieve in Annapolis starts wrong, when it refers to the Palestine Liberation Organization as one of the two parties. It's called that because it intends, has always intended, to liberate Palestine, all of Palestine, including all of what is Israel, expelling or exterminating all of the Jews who live here. The PLO has never, despite all the conferences and word play, retracted that desire. They continue to pursue their Plan of Stages to replace Israel with Palestine. They want a Jew-Free state of Palestinians and an Israel they will not recognize as Jewish, which they hope gradually turn into an Arab majority, by virtue of a higher birthrate and whatever "right of return" they can negotiate.

You did not insist that the Palestinian recognize Israel as the Jewish Homeland, even though President Bush does. You are encouraging them to believe they can have Palestine, and also destroy Israel from within. And the joint understanding is wrong in its very end, when it sets up the United States as judge of who is and who is not implementing the "road map."

Secretary Rice, neither you nor your bosses, have the right to judge us, nor do our leaders have the right to let you to do so. You are acting in ways that show us that you are not an honest broker, nor someone who knows very much about our region, and certainly not our country. Only the people of Israel can decide what is in the interests of the people of Israel.. You are aligning yourself with the world's most racist and anti-Semitic autocracies. And if your actions in Annapolis, and in your subsequent maneuver at the UN are any guide, you are learning from them and following their orders like they were your slavers.

You are applying Jim Crow laws to Israel. That should be as shameful and humiliating for you as it is for us. I am sure that, at some level, you know that what I am saying is true, that the Saudis and their ilk are odious, arrogant racists, who look down on you at least as much as they look down on us. One day you will recognize that the Arab despots, and the US interests they grease, are your masters, exploiting you as a willing slave to do their dirty work, a ‘dhimmi’ to hew their wood and carry their water. And the job they expect is for you to make Israel, the Mideast nigger, the dirty Jew of the world, pay -- pay so dearly and castrate itself to such an extent that it will not be able to defend itself when the killing attack begins.

We Israelis -- most of us -- know that. We shall overcome the Arabs, and the Persians, and we shall overcome you and your masters, if you insist on forcing us into a situation of existential vulnerability. We have no desire to rule over another people, but neither do we intend to allow that people or their cousins to destroy the Jewish homeland and exterminate Jewish history, which is their clearly and continuously expressed intention. We want to be free of them, in a way that does not allow them to threaten us, or undermine us, or kill us. May that day come soon.

Reuven Koret

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the appeals by two Kentucky death row inmates who claim that death by lethal injection violates the Constitution's protections against cruel and unusual punishment because that method of execution causes the condemned to suffer excruciating pain. Pending executions were put on hold nationwide when the Court agreed to hear the Kentucky cases. The Court is expected to hand down its ruling sometime this coming summer.

The lethal injection method used by most death penalty states consists of three drugs administered in succession. The first is an anesthetic which puts the prisoner to sleep. The second is a paralytic which paralyzes the lungs and other muscles. The final drug causes the heart to stop.

The appellants argued that, because the professional associations for doctors and nurses prohibit their participation in any executions, the lethal drug cocktails are administered by unqualified correctional employees. They argued that the drugs are often injected or mixed incorrectly so that the prisoner will not be unconscious during the execution process. Thus, the prisoner would be subjected to an excruciatingly painful death because the paralytic drug would prevent him from calling attention to his plight.

The federal government and several states argued that the method of lethal injections as used by Kentucky and the other death penalty states did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment and should be allowed to proceed. They argued that if the Court were to rule in favor of the Kentucky death row inmates, it would lead to an avalanche of never ending appeals which would tie up the state and federal court systems for years.

As usual in such cases, the Justices challenged the lawyers' arguments with their own comments during the presentation by both sides. The most enlightened comment came from Justice Antonin Scalia when, frustrated by the argument about using unqualified correctional employees, he told the appellants: "This is an execution, not surgery."

Why were the two Kentucky appellants sitting on death row? One of them was convicted of shooting to death a couple sitting in their car. The other one was convicted of shooting to death a sheriff's deputy who was trying to serve him with a warrant.

The Court can hand down one of three rulings. It can uphold the Kentucky death sentences, thereby ending the current nationwide moratorium on executions. It can rule in favor of the appellants, thereby abolishing any executions by the current lethal injection method. It can remand the cases back to the trial court for further examination, thereby extending the moratorium for many more years.

Monday, January 07, 2008


Superstar baseball pitcher Roger Clemens has been accused by trainer Brian McNamee of using steroids and human growth hormones, substances that were allegedly injected at least 16 times into his buttocks. McNamee also named a number of other athletes during a U.S. Justice Department investigation after having been warned there would be serious consequences if he did not tell the truth. Clemens claims McNamee is a liar and has filed a defamation lawsuit against his former trainer.

Clemens vehemently denied the allegations during an interview with Mike Wallace for CBS' 60 Minutes. That interview was shown last night. A visibly angry Clemens claims that McNamee injected him with lidocaine to relieve pain in his joints and with Vitamin B-12 which he said he takes on a regular basis for his health. He insisted that he has never taken any steroids or human growth hormones.

Unfortunately, this is a case of "he said, he said." I would like to believe Clemens, but my experience investigating narcotics cases makes it hard for me to buy his protestations. First there is his claim to have taken lidocaine for joint pains. Lidocaine is a local anesthetic used topically to relieve itching, burning and pain from skin inflammations. It is injected as a dental anesthetic and in minor surgeries. While a lidocaine shot in his butt might relieve Clemens of a pain in the ass, it is impossible for that injection to have any effect on a pain in his joints.

(During a news conference this evening, with his attorney by his side, Clemens changed his story about why he was taking lidocaine. Instead of "It's for my joints" as he explained it on 60 Minutes, he now claims to have taken the lidocaine injections for back pains. While his butt is clearly closer to his back than to his joints, lidocaine must be injected directly into the immediate site of the pain for it to have any effect. Thus, a butt injection could not possibly relieve a pain in his back.)

Then there is McNamee's accusation. He was being investigated by the Justice Department for the illegal distribution of steroids and human growth hormones to athletes. He was offered immunity from prosecution for his cooperation, but with the warning that the deal would be off and he would face additional charges for perjury if he did not tell the truth. It does not seem plausible that he would jeopardize a deal to avoid prosecution, and then face additional charges as well, by lying to investigators about his former close friend Clemens.

Finally, after having interrogated hundreds of illegal drug users, it has been my experience that there is nothing more convincing than a drug user trying to convince someone that he is not using drugs. And on 60 Minutes, Clemens' denials did appear to be very convincing. After that broadcast, his attorney announced that any one who did not believe what Clemens said "is not well." (Sorry sir, while I would like to believe your client, I find it hard to swallow his denials and, by the way, I do feel rather well.)

So, now it's back to "he said, he said" and who to believe. It all boils down to who has the most incentive to tell the truth and who has the most incentive to lie. McNamee, under threat of prosecution if he did not tell the truth, has a compelling reason not to lie. On the other hand, to protect his good name and reputation, Clemens has a compelling reason to deny ever having used any performance enhancing substances, whether that is the truth or not.

Last Saturday, Steve Campbell, a featured sports writer with the Houston Chronicle, had a column on the extraordinary excuses used by Clemens and other athletes in the face of doping charges. His column was hillarious. Yesterday, I was in deep shit with my wife because it was her birthday and, you guessed it, I forgot the occasion. She never reads the sports pages, but I made her read Campbell's column. It gave her a number of belly laughs and that sort of got me off the hook. (Thanks Steve.)

Steve Campbell has given me permission to use his Houston Chronicle column in this blog. So, be prepared for some good laughs as you read about these really amazing and incredulous alibis.

Ross Ribagliati, a Canadian snowboarder was stripped of his Olympic gold medal in 1998 for testing positive for marijuana. He claimed to have been exposed to some second-hand smoke during a New Year's Eve party in Canada. (Nevermind that his competition took place over a month later in Japan.)

Italian soccer player Marco Borriello blamed a positive drug test on an ointment he had rubbed on his pecker because his Argenitne model girlfriend had passed on an infection.

Olympian Dennis Mitchell blamed his illegal levels of testosterone on drinking several beers and having sex with his wife at least four times on the eve of his test. "It was the lady's birthday; she deserved a treat."

Cyclist Tyler Hamilton used the evil twin defense after testing positive for blood doping. He explained that a "vanishing twin" died in his mother's womb, infecting him with the incriminating-looking foreign blood.

Spanish discus thrower David Martinez blamed a positive steroid test on eating some infected pig meat and tennis player Petr Korda blamed a positive drug test on eating too much veal.

Chinese track coach Ma Junren blamed three of his record-setting runners testing positive for the performance enhancing hormone EPO on a supplement containing dried caterpillars and turtle blood.

German runner Dieter Baumann claimed he failed a test because someone must have injected his toothpaste with steroids.

High jumper Javier Sotomayor blamed a positive cocaine test on the CIA or the anti-Cuban mafia spiking his food.

Uzbekistan track coach Sergei Voynov explained he had a stockpile of growth hormone to treat his baldness.

British bobsledder Lenny Paul blamed a failed doping test on tainted spaghetti Bolognese.

British shotputter Paul Edwards blamed a failed steroids test on drinking shampoo. (Shampoo, the pause that refreshes.)

Campbell's column also recounted some excuses offered by athletes after a poor performance or for their temporary absence from competition. Zambian tennis player Lighton Ndefwayl offered a litany of excuses for losing a match to Musumba Bwayla. Calling his opponent "a stupid man and a hopeless player," Ndefwayl said he lost "because my jock strap was too tight." He also complained about suffering from concentration lapses because whenever Bwayla served, he farted. (Now that excuse really stinks!)

Soccer player Darren Barnard blamed a five months absence from competition on the fact he had slipped on puppy pee. Brazilian soccer player Ramalho explained that he spent three days sick in bed after he swallowed a suppository intended to treat a dental condidtion. (This poor slob obviously doesn't know the difference between his ass and his mouth.) Outfielder Marty Cordova blamed a week's absence on a severe sunburn suffered when he fell asleep at a tanning salon.

All these alibis reminded me of the time I busted a doper after his urine test proved to be positive for heroin. Despite fresh injection marks on both arms and other parts of his body, he vehemently denied any recent use of heroin. Instead, he blamed the positive test on "bad urine."

Sunday, January 06, 2008


First he mismanaged the war with Hezbollah and now he mismanages the "peace process" with the Palestinians. Ehud Olmert is a complete idiot. Why the Israelis ever elected him Prime Minister is beyond comprehension.

The "road map" to peace as laid out by "The Quartet" of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia specifically prohibits Israel from expanding any of their established settlements in the "occupied" West Bank. During last month's conference at the U.S. Naval Academy, Israel reaffirmed its commitment to The Quartet's peace plan. So, what does the idot do? Last week, in an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Olmert admitted that Israel is violating the peace plan by continuing to construct new homes in the existing settlements.

Israel has long maintained that it has a right to construct new settlement housing to account for normal population growth. Such construction is explicitly prohibited by the The Quartet's plan. In the interview, Olmert stated: "There is a certain contradiction in this between what we're actually seeing and what we ourselves promised. Obligations are not only to be demanded of others, but they must also be honored by ourselves. So there is a certain problem here."

The problem is not the settlement construction, the problem is Olmert. What in the world was he thinking when he gave that interview? His admission has placed Israel at a distinct disadvantage in any forthcoming peace negotiations. He has forced Israel to restart the negotiations from a defensive position. To the Palestinians and the other Arabs, all having vowed to exterminate the "Zionist entity," that will be seen as a sign of weakness, not of strength.

While many will praise Olmert's openess, his admission flies in the face of history. Most agreements between nations have been violated by one side or the other, if not by both. The United States itself has violated many past accords with other nations, as they have with us. That's just the way of international politics. And none of those parties were so stupid as to admit their transgressions.

The ancient Greeks had Alexander the Great, Tsarist Russia had Peter the Great and the Prussians had Frederick the Great. But Israel - a tiny ship of state awash in a stormy sea of Muslim hatred and hostility - is stuck with Ehud the Idiot at the helm.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


A good friend sent me an essay by Emanuel Tanay, M.D., a well known and well respected psychiatrist from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Tanay noted the failure by the Muslim peaceful silent majority to stand up against the worldwide atrocities committed by Islamic fanatics, comparing their silence to that of the Germans during the Nazi era. For brevity purposes, I cherry picked some of Dr. Tanay's remarks.

"We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this qualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectra of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. Tlhe fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.

It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who _ _ _ _ _ _ are gradually taking over the entire (African) continent in an Islamic wave. _ _ _ _ _ _ The hard quantifiable fact is that the 'peaceful majority', the 'silent majority', is cowed and extraneous.

_ _ _ _ _ _ Peace loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up because _ _ _ _ _ _ they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them _ _ _ _ _ _"

Where Dr. Tanay sees the Islamists as "fanatics", I see them as Muslim fundamentalists. Islam has never been a religion of peace. The fundamentalists continue to follow the warrior Prophet Muhammad's call to arms, to conquer the world and to kill the infidels who refuse to convert to Islam. The Muslim fundamentalists are the true believers in the Islamic faith.

While many Muslims are undoubtably cowed by the Islamists, there is more to the silence of the vast majority than meets the eye. It is my firm belief that the real reason Muslims in the Western World do not stand up to the fundamentalists is because subconsciously they approve of Islam's global jihad against the infidels.

Even though most Germans were never card carrying Nazi party members, the vast majority subconsciously, if not openly, approved of Hitler's attempts to exterminate Europe's Jews. Just like the Germans under Hitler, deep down in their hearts the vast majority of Muslims in the West are proud of the jihad waged by Islamists to dominate the world.

Dr. Tanay concluded his remarks by throwing out this challenge: "As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts, the fanatics (Muslim fundamentalists) who threaten our way of life." I suggest we insist that the peaceful majority of Muslims break their silence throughout the Western World with a demonstrative demand for an end to the global Islamic militancy.

Friday, January 04, 2008


Hanukkah with the Bushes
By Jeff Jacoby
Monday, December 17, 2007

On the 7th night of Hanukkah in 1944, my father was in Auschwitz . He had been deported with his family to the Nazi extermination camp eight months earlier; by Hanukkah, only my father was still alive. That year, he kindled no Hanukkah lights. In Auschwitz, where anything and everything was punishable by death, any Jew caught practicing his religion could expect to be sent to the gas chambers, or shot on the spot.

Moreover, Hanukkah, like other Jewish holidays, was often chosen deliberately by the Nazis as an occasion for murdering Jews. In "Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust," the historian Yaffa Eliach recounts one such slaughter:

"The men selected were marched outside. SS men with rubber truncheons and iron prods awaited them. They kicked, beat, and tortured the innocent victims . When the tortured body no longer responded, the revolver was used. . . . The brutal massacre continued outside of the barracks until sundown. When the [Nazis] departed, they left behind heaps of hundreds of tortured and twisted bodies."

Last week, on the 7th night of Hanukkah 2007, I was in the White House. President George W. Bush and Laura Bush have made it an annual tradition to host a Hanukkah celebration in addition to the customary White House Christmas parties, and my wife and I were honored to receive an invitation to this year's reception.

It was a beautiful and festive event. It was also an undeniably Jewish one, from the lavish buffet dinner prepared in a carefully "koshered" White House kitchen, to the Hebrew songs performed by the Zamir Chorale, to the several hundred guests drawn from every segment of the American Jewish community.

There was even a spontaneous worship service in the Green Room, where at one point about two dozen guests assembled for "maa'riv," the Jewish evening prayers. All this in a White House richly decorated for Christmas and occupied by a president who is devoutly Christian. It is hard to imagine a more compelling illustration of the American culture of religious tolerance and freedom.

Earlier in the evening there had been a menorah lighting in the Grand Foyer of the White House. Hanukkah commemorates the victory of Jews who fought long ago to preserve their religious identity in the face of an oppressive government determined to wipe it out , and Bush spoke of the ongoing struggle for religious liberty.

"As we light the Hanukkah candles this year," he said, "we pray for those who still live under the shadow of tyranny ." He described his private meeting earlier in the day with a small group of Jewish immigrants to the United States.

"Many of these men and women fled from religious oppression in countries like Iran and Syria and the Soviet Union," Bush said. Among those in attendance was Baghdad-born Ruth Pearl, who was 15 when her family - like so many other Jewish families - was forced to flee from Iraq.

She and her husband Judea, the parents of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, had come to the White House with their family menorah, which Daniel's great-grandfather Chayim had taken with him on leaving Poland for Palestine in 1924.

Daniel was murdered in 2002 by Islamist terrorists in Pakistan; his only crime, Bush noted, "was being a Jewish American - something Daniel Pearl would never deny."

Auschwitz, Baghdad, Poland, Pakistan: In so many places, across so many generations , to be Jewish was to be oppressed, excluded, terrorized. More than most people, Jews know what it means to be a persecuted minority .

And more than most, therefore, they have reason to be profoundly grateful for the United States and its blessings . America is what the Jewish sages called "malchut shel chesed" - a benevolent and generous nation. In the long history of the Jews, America has been a safe harbor virtually without parallel. Nowhere in all their wanderings have the Jews known such freedom, peace and prosperity.

I strolled about the White House last week, gazing at the portraits of past presidents and first ladies and listening to the Marine Band play "I Have A Little Dreidel." I thought about my father , and about the unimaginable distance from the hell he knew in 1944 to the place of joy and warmth where I found myself standing in 2007. I was overcome with a feeling of gratitude so intense that for a moment I was too choked up to speak. To be an American and a Jew is truly to be doubly blessed.

Jeff Jacoby's column appears regularly in The Boston Globe.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


You are going to think that I've lost my mind. I've got to warn you - there are dangerous illegal aliens from outer space among us. How do I know? Well, I do volunteer work three days a week at a nature center. Despite my lack of skills (you know the old saying - them that can do, them that can't teach) I was assigned to work with a special group known as the Gem Crew.

The Gem Crew consists of a bunch of old farts who are extremely well skilled in building, maintaining and repairing the nature center's facilities. As a matter of fact, I should have been suspicious from the very beginning because in my 80-plus years I have never known any individuals posessing so many different skills. Anyway, after I had been on the Gem Crew for about a year, I was taken into their confidence. I guess they figured I could keep a secret, knowing that I had been a narco cop.

I was sworn to secrecy by Bob P, who had taken me under his wing since I first arrived. Bob informed me that he and several of the Gem Crew members were really from Diputsnorom, a planet in a faraway galaxy. When I was finally able to stop laughing, he gave me these very dark glasses and told me to put them on. I must have passed out because the next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor looking up at a huge green lizard-like creature standing over me. It spoke like Bob.

Bob, the lizard, picked me up off the floor and pointed to the other Diputsnoromians. Each time I saw one of the other green lizards, I lifted the glasses only to see a human instead. There they were - Lew H, Jim E, Joe C, Tom S, JT, Don H and Joe J. Come to think of it, I should have realized Bob was not normal because he suffered no injuries when a tree fell on him and when an extension ladder he was on collapsed.

Bob told me the other members of the Gem Crew like me, who were not from Diputsnorom, do not know this secret and that it was revealed to me because I was the Gem Crew's only blogger. When the time comes for them to take over, it will be my job as the official blogger of the Diputsnoromians to let the people of the world know what was expected of them.

Bob also told me there are Diputsnoromian cells like this one at nature preserves all over the United States and the rest of our world. In this cell, Lew is the nominal leader. He is an expert on just about every skill ever developed by mankind and, because of that expertise, usually insists on things being done his way. JT is the communications director and it is his job to flood the internet with long e-mails, thereby driving all non-Diputsnoromians who read them out of their minds.

Joe C, in addition to his nature center work, also helps build Habitat for Humanity houses, all of which will collapse immediately when subjected to a secret radio signal. Joe C also maintains a garden at the nature center in which he secretly grows the plants needed to sustain the lizard-like Diputsnoromians. Tom maintains the nature center's electric lights and power lines which, upon a secret radio signal, will vaporize the center's administration, stewartship and education sections.

Don and Joe J live next door to each other in a nearby city with a huge chemical complex. It is their job to activate the radio signal which will vaporize the chemical industry in the area surrounding the nature center. Last month, Joe J had the worn-out secreted radio transmitter inside his right knee replaced with a new one. Jim is the cell's intelligence officer and it is his job to spy on and derogate every non-Diputsnoromian associated with the operation of the nature center. Bob is the cell's mole and it is his job to charm the sox off of all non-Diputsnoromians associated with the center.

Why am I revealing their secret now? It is because the time for their takeover is fast approaching. The green lizards have told me that they will seize this country the moment our citizens become so deeply divided that they will be constantly at each other's throats, thus facilitating the Diputsnoromian takeover. And that deep division will start the moment Hillary Clinton becomes our President.