Friday, July 29, 2005

President Bush Has a Big Problem

One of the great difficulties that President Bush and other leaders of the West have in fighting Islamic terrorism is that they can’t be completely honest about it. In order not to antagonize the majority of Muslims, who are peaceful, and even enlist their help in fighting terrorism, the President must refer to the terrorists in terms that aren’t completely correct.

I agree with this policy, but the more I study the causes of this terrorism, the more I understand that Islam is not a religion of peace. Islam calls for the killing of non-believers. Christianity went through periods when non-believers and those who did not subscribe to the favored form of Christianity were routinely put to death. The problem is that Muslims live in a society where some of them take this seriously now.

Fundamentalist Islamic terrorists have chosen as their targets symbols of Western culture, like the World Trade Center and also leaders of secular Muslim countries, like Anwar Sadat. To understand why, you must first understand that they believe that all human beings must follow the teachings of the Koran in all aspects of daily and municipal life. To them, the idea that people should make their own choices as to how they live their lives and how their government should function is blasphemy. But this is not the whole story.

Every point on the globe that has been touched by Western and especially American culture has been overwhelmed by it. The freedoms that we take for granted have been a magic elixir to peoples who never tasted it before. The progress and benefits that flow from our ideals are irresistible, and the terrorists are quite right in concluding that they must kill us to retain their culture. There is no chance that their hearts and minds can be won over by good deeds, and there is really no chance that they can win in the end.

Fortunately the great majority of Muslims has embraced some degree of liberalism and seems to be willing to trade some aspects of their culture for the benefits of modernization, and we must not let this war be seen as a religious war. We also have to stop the foolishness, let politics stop at the water’s edge and kill or capture the terrorists before they can kill many more of us.

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

The American Race

The American race is devoted to a set of ideals that are uniquely American. We have all colors, all races, all ethnicities and all religions. All across the globe, we see sights such as a young boy in a Sub-Saharan country wearing a baseball cap backwards; we see our CD’s being sold around the corner of an Arab mosque. We see our movies and television programs playing everywhere. We see computers and television sets. We see free elections springing up where before there was only tyranny. We see women voting and gaining rights never before offered. We see our culture spreading; we see people listening to an inner voice; there is no stopping it.

Today, as I have many times before, I was drawn to watch parts of the movie, “Midway”. I have probably seen this movie 5-6 times over the years and read Gordon Prange’s book on the subject over and over. To those youngsters who don’t know their U.S. history, the battle of Midway was the greatest naval victory in American history, and it turned the tide in the Pacific campaign against the Japanese in World War II. It came at a time, right after Pearl Harbor, when we were dangling at the end of our rope, and facing one of the greatest navies of all time.

Midway represents the best of the uniquely American race, because it was won with daring, skill, courage, dogged determination and luck against an overwhelming force. We had airplanes at the time that were totally outclassed by the Japanese Zero, and wave after wave of American fighter planes, horizontal bombers, dive bombers and torpedo bombers were blasted from the skies with almost 100% loss of life of American aircrews. The sacrifices of these brave men exhausted the air defense resources of the Japanese aircraft carriers and made it possible for a series of good decisions by American naval officers and questionable decisions by Japanese naval officers to combine, late in the day, with the lucky coming together of two groups of our dive bombers at one of those unique moments in history.

The result was the complete loss of all four Japanese aircraft carriers, the heart and soul of the Japanese navy, to one American carrier, the original Yorktown. This happened in the spring of 1942, and although there were very tough battles to come, incredible suffering to endure, and much trepidation over the eventual outcome; historians have been able to look back and declare that this was the turning point. Every other Pacific campaign was part of a mopping-up inevitability.

I have never been able to get through this movie without choking up a bit and wondering again where we get such men as those who participated in this great battle. It seems that throughout American history, from before the Revolution to the present day in Afghanistan and Iraq, we keep coming up with men whose courage, initiative and determination win the day.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Rick Santorum Gets It; Kennedy and Kerry Don’t

This was a news item a few days ago:
‘Massachusetts Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry lambasted Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum yesterday for writing that the Catholic Church's pedophile scandal was centered in Boston in part because of the city's morally permissive culture.’

As one who has experienced the grief and horror of having a child abused, not by a priest, but by a neighbor, I can tell you that it is worse than murder. At least when someone is murdered, they can’t be hurt anymore. Even if they live through it, a sexually abused child lives a life of misery, and this misery is spread to every member of their family and to their children and, often, to their children’s children.

During the 1960’s and 1970’s there was a counterculture revolution in this country, where doing anything that felt right was OK. People’s moral compass was shifted from a Judeo-Christian structure to an inner voice of moral relevancy. This new way of thinking was championed by liberal activists who equate it with a new concept of freedom. If you object, as Judge Bork and former Senator Moynihan (“defining deviancy down”) tried to do, you are ridiculed and labeled a Nazi.

As a citizen of Florida, I can tell you that almost every day this year there has been a horrendous new case of child abuse and murder in that state alone. Child abuse has become an epidemic in this country since moral relevancy gained the upper hand. I know that there are other factors at work, but Senator Santorum is basically right, and Senators Kennedy and Kerry are tragically wrong.

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Monday, July 18, 2005

Multiculturalism And The London Bombings

Out of the horrors of the 7/7 London bombings has come information that may save us. Kudos to the British police and security forces for their speed and efficiency in tracing the identities of the homicide bombers and of some of their masters, safely removed from the blasts themselves.

The fact that these were home-grown terrorists who were born and raised in Great Britain and who appeared to be living “normal” lives, although within the enclaves of almost closed Muslim communities, is of great significance. It means that “multiculturalism”, as practiced in England, the United States and in most of the West, is not a force for good, but a force of great evil. It means that the dangers of multiculturalism that some of us have been warning of for years cannot now be ignored or relegated to political incorrectness.

Multiculturalism is much more than a call to respect cultures different from one's own. It is grounded in self hatred based on distortions of history, led by activists who are free to promote this nonsense shielded by the freedoms, security and high standard of living provided by America and most of the West. It tells immigrants to value the culture they left as superior to Western culture, even though the immigrant undoubtedly sacrificed everything to come here and escape his culture.

As Bruce Thornton put it in “Private Papers”, “At the same time the West has welcomed immigrants we have abandoned the one thing that can make immigration work: the requirement that the immigrant assimilate to our culture and acknowledge that by virtue of his making it his home he thinks it is superior to the culture he left. In the U.S. this meant learning English, learning American history, American political ideals, American heroes and stories. It meant making America his home, the object of his affection he would fight and die for, as many immigrants have done and continue to do. If the immigrant wanted to keep something of his own culture, he could do that privately, through fraternal organizations or his church. But American public education and culture were not obligated to celebrate the numerous cultures immigrants had abandoned and, by doing so, had proclaimed to be inferior to America at some fundamental level.”

These four young men did not one day just decide to attack British citizens and British institutions out of the blue, any more than Ku Klux Klan members woke up one day and decided to join the Klan. Their hatred was planted and nurtured by what they heard at home and what they heard in their mosques and in other meeting places in their insular lives. They were then ripe for the final indoctrinations by radical Muslim fundamentalists who enlisted them in the religious war that they have been carrying out for decades.

We are watching Great Britain take the first steps in opening up these enclaves and in rooting out the hate-mongers whose venom has been tolerated and whose ravings have been authenticated by the multicultural movement there. Fortunately here in the USA, we have not taken multiculturalism to the point it reached in Britain. Let’s start recognizing its dangers more widely and root it out here. It’s taken decades to establish itself; it may take decades to stamp it out. Russ

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Friday, July 15, 2005

The Inconvenience of Certain Facts

As I watch the news the past few days, it becomes more and more obvious that many politicians and news people do not let facts get in the way of what they believe and say:

Joseph Wilson and Senator Schumer have called for Karl Rove to be fired and castigated even though no charges have been filed against him, and it appears he broke no laws nor did anything unethical in attempting to steer the press away from erroneous reporting. Of course, “politics ain’t bean bag”, and if his conversations served to punish a political enemy, so much the better in the Washington game.

It’s still being said that there was no connection between the terrorism of radical Muslim fundamentalists and the Iraq of Saddam Hussein, even though the 9/11 Commission report mentioned many connections, meetings, financing, support, training, etc. between Iraq and Al Queda long before 9/11.

It’s being said over and over that our military responses to 9/11 have caused the mainstream Muslim world to increase its support of Osama Bin Laden and Muslim terrorism in general. However, the Pew Survey that was published yesterday shows just the opposite: support for terrorists in Muslim countries has diminished appreciably recently, as has the stature of Bin Laden. The USA is not highly regarded, but what else is new?

The bombings in London have also triggered anew the charge that our joint military response in Iraq was the proximate cause for terrorist acts such as this, ignoring completely the series of terrorist acts that have been taking place against Western personnel and resources for decades. It is simply not true, but even if it were true, so what – give up? Give in?

One suspects that a major reason for the trumpeting of some of these positions might be a smokescreen to cover up the true facts that have come out about the scandalous lack of attention to world-wide terrorism during the Democratic administration of the 1990’s, and that these are the roosting chickens being camouflaged. What is that old lawyer’s saying? When you have the facts, pound the facts; when you have no facts, pound the table.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

It's More Than Just Liberals and Conservatives

Some of my more liberal friends have accused me of having no use at all for liberals; this just isn't true. First of all I see myself as very conservative in my world-view and in my economic philosophies, and as a moderate in social issues. I am well aware, though, that progress in anything, particularly in the human condition, requires dissatisfaction with the way things are. It is usually those of a liberal political outlook who are creative and who come up with and press for the implementation of new ideas. It is usually those who give us our great art and entertainment.

I see this in my study of history, my observation of world events and in my recollections of my own life’s experiences. Worthwhile programs like Social Security and Medicare would never have come into existence without the actions of progressive liberals like Presidents Roosevelt, Truman and Johnson. Although the Environmental Policy Act that created the EPA was signed by a conservative President, Nixon, it would never have happened without the work of liberals, and I welcome their attempts to improve the lives of the common man.

On the other hand, what they often don't understand is that new ideas usually fail, but much more important than that is that through history no democracy has ever lasted. Every great historian down through the years has warned us that all democracies go through certain stages, and that the great danger is that the mob eventually gains access to the public treasury, which leads to bread and circuses for all and to its downfall.

When you put this together with the trashing of American traditional values by some liberals, who either believe America to be an evil place, and/or who follow the moral relevancy of doing whatever feels good, you can understand why conservatives want to hold on to the tried and true. Open warfare then breaks out when conservatives find that extreme leftist liberals do not want to debate the issues, but to destroy the reputations of those who oppose them, as they did to Judge Bork and Sec. Donovan, and as they have tried to do to Judge Thomas and to President Bush.

The Constitution of the United States is not just a great document that binds us; it is the main vehicle our forefathers drafted to work together with our republican form of government to give us the gift of a democracy that can last forever. It can be changed when an overwhelming majority sees, over the passage of time, that change is necessary; but it should never be distorted to reflect the passions of the moment - even if the ends seem to justify the means. That is why many conservatives abhor the Griswold, Roe vs. Wade and Kelo vs. New London decisions. They are seen as distortions to reflect the fashionable philosophies of a few, and we need to right the dangerous course on which these decisions have placed us by appointing justices who will overturn them.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

What's So Great About America

I’ve been trying to improve my understanding of two questions: 1. Why do some Americans, like Senator Durbin or Ward Churchill for example, seem to hate America so much they actually would like to see us lose the War on Terror? and, 2. What really are these fundamentalist Muslims, the ones who are indiscriminately killing people, innocent women and children and fellow Muslims and Christians alike, trying to accomplish and why?

It had been my belief that spokesmen for the left have criticized the war effort being carried out in Afghanistan and Iraq and in more than 100 countries around the world because they were more interested in undermining President Bush and regaining power than in the consequences of losing this war. But what was nagging at me was the thought that it is much more than that – that it fit into the battles that have been swirling around me all my life.

Recently I discovered a book by best-selling author, Dinesh D’Souza entitled, “What’s So Great About America” that answers these questions in a superb and uplifting fashion. D’Souza examines the reasons why some Americans and some Muslims think America is evil because of its alleged bigotry and moral degeneracy. D’Souza, a black, conservative immigrant from India, pulls no punches as he explores situations in our history that have been heavily criticized, but when examined from a larger historical perspective, can also be a source of pride.

D‘Souza discusses the origins and effects of the movement to moral relevancy in the West, and its role in providing one of the sparks in the religious war he believes we are in with Muslim fanatics. He also warns of the dangers of multiculturalism to the spirit of America, but is optimistic that the American way of the melting pot will always win out.

His book has a solid intellectual foundation, but is easy and enjoyable to read; it is only about 200 pages long, plus footnotes. It was published in 2002 by Regnery Publishing

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Monday, July 11, 2005


Prior to our incursion into Iraq, I overheard my grandchildren spouting multiculturalism nonsense they had been taught in school. I wrote them the following letter as part of an attempt to overcome this brainwashing. It provided the starting point to what has now developed into a weblog called "From Sea to Shining Sea" that I launched one year ago. I have decided to republish this piece each year in July.

To My Grandchildren: Be Proud

To someone my age, grandchildren are terribly important because they represent the future. I’m writing this because I want to make sure that my grandchildren understand some things that will be very important to their future – and to their children's future.

Any American who studies history – whether ancient history or recent history – should realize two major lessons from history: Lesson 1. You and I and the ordinary working person in this country have a quality of life that in most of the world has been available only to a very few, extremely wealthy persons of royalty. Of the billions of people born since the world began, almost everyone has lived wretched, short lives of incredible poverty and despair. This widespread quality of life you and I have is of recent origin and came about because of the unique qualities of American civilization – freedom, capitalism and inventiveness.
Lesson 2. Every great civilization – the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Spaniards, the Turks and others – every one of them has eventually disintegrated or disappeared. Today we live during the great American civilization. Will it also disappear?

Sometimes great civilizations ended because of military defeats, but more often, they ended because of internal decay. You might say that they committed suicide. During your lifetime you will encounter many people who are mentally conflicted in some way. Some are criminals who will hurt you if you let them. It’s pretty easy to stay out of their way. But some are conflicted in more subtle and devious ways. They don’t understand history. They don’t understand that American freedoms and American traditions and the bloodshed of American patriots not only provided the wonderful life we have – but have offered hope to all the rest of the world. These people are Americans, but inexplicably they hate America.

Yes we have made mistakes, and sometimes we have been forced to choose the lesser of two evils, but unlike every other civilization, America has always tried to help. After we won World War II, the most terrible war in history, we offered a hand of friendship to our enemies. Instead of ransacking their countries, as all previous victors throughout history had done, we helped them to rebuild and taught them how to live in freedom. However, these people who have this kind of problem don’t see this; they only see the mistakes we have made. They are like some people who, if you give them a rose, will only see the thorns. The problem is, these Americans with this kind of outlook, may be the ones who destroy our civilization – if we let them.

Who are these people? Back in the 1970’s a Senator, Senator Church who headed an important committee and who for some reason hated the CIA so much he not only persuaded the Congress to weaken the CIA (possibly why the 9/11 attacks succeeded), but he published the names and addresses of CIA agents around the world. This is very personal for me because a near classmate at my high school in Providence, RI, the CIA Station Chief in Athens, Greece, Richard Welch, was murdered shortly thereafter on the front steps of his home. Also during the 1970’s a man named Daniel Ellsberg stole and published military secrets that undermined public confidence in our military at a time when American service men and women were under fire. During Desert Storm in the 1990’s two CNN TV broadcasters, Peter Arnett and Bernard Shaw, actually broadcasted from Baghdad while our men and women risked their lives. Their television programs gave information to the Iraqis and could have cost American lives.

We also have many people in our country who seem willing to undermine our society in order to make money or to further some agenda that may arise out of their form of sickness. We have movie, television, radio and music producers who constantly try to expose young people to more and more violence and near-pornography in order to increase the shock value of their products and make more money for themselves. If this wasn’t bad enough, at least it is understandable. What is not understandable is the number of people who actually believe that it’s good for us to see and hear this filth.

For all its faults, the United States of America has been and remains the source of hope and progress to the peoples of the world. American and Western culture was the first culture to ban slavery (which still goes on in parts of Africa and the Middle East), and we are the first country to go to the aid of countries that suffer disasters. We are the only country in the world where millions of people (remember little Elian Gonzalez) risk their lives every year to try to get here to live.

Since evil thrives when good people do nothing, it is up to the rest of us to fight against all these conflicted people. I hope I’ve tried during my lifetime, and I hope you will too.

Love, Grandpa

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SSI and The Time Value of Money

 One of the joys of college teaching always obtained from my course, “Introduction to Computers”, where I taught freshmen how to develop spreadsheets using VisiCalc, then Lotus 1-2-3, and then Excel. I would tell them that they had a unique advantage, their youth, and show them the time value of money by developing a spreadsheet into which they could insert various investment amounts, interest rates and time periods.

I went back to one of those old spreadsheets the other day and found the following results. If you invest $1500 per year for 35 years (the average worklife) at 3% (the best return earned by present practices with Social Security), you end up with $93,414. If you invest at 7% (the average return on the US stock market for the past 100 years), you end up with $221,870. If you invest at 10% (the most prevalent average for various periods), you end up with $447,190. This assumes annual compounding, which is the worst case assumption you can make.

Here lies the heart of the argument in favor of putting some portion of Social Security taxes into tightly regulated individual or private accounts. Since I know that Social Security is going into the red sometime between 2018 and 2042 (depending on who is doing the forecasting and what assumptions are being made), I want something done now beyond just raising taxes, cutting benefits and/or raising the retirement age – some combination of which is necessary no matter what else we do. I want something done now for the sake of my children, my grandchildren and their children.

Those who say that this involves unacceptable risk simply do not know what they are talking about. If you take any 35 year period and average the stock market returns, the lowest figure you get is 3%, so the worst case of the stock market equals what Social Security earns now. There has to be another agenda at work here to discourage private accounts. Either that, or they have no confidence in the future of this country.

There is one valid argument against private accounts; it will require large amounts to be borrowed by the US government to finance the changeover, since tax receipts will not be enough to cover current expenditures, earlier than forecast. I liken this problem to the couple who continues to rent as they save enough to purchase a home without a mortgage. How foolish this is with rent payments going nowheres and housing prices rising by leaps and bounds. Russ

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Ted Williams Head

I have sent the following e-mail to Republican leaders in Congress and to President Bush: "I have been a conservative Republican for many years and an active supporter of President Bush. If you examine your records you will find that I have made substantial contributions to both of the President’s campaigns and also to the Swift Boat Veterans. I am outraged, however, and ready to withdraw my support for you over the issue of Ted Williams’ head.

Even though a Florida court found that Ted Williams desired that his head be removed after his death and frozen cryogenically in the hope that future scientific advances would be able to bring him back to life fully cured, I demand that Congress and the President intercede to remove his head from cryogenic storage and bury it. Issues like this are none of the business of individual families and state courts. They can only be fairly handled by Congress and the President of the United States. Families and state courts do not have the expertise to deal with moral and civil issues like this or even the Terri Schiavo case.

I know we used to be a republic where issues like this were reserved to the states to handle, but from listening to the cable news talk shows, I can tell that technology has rendered state laws and procedures obsolete. I can also tell from watching the edited video of Mrs. Schiavo that she is almost ready to emerge from the state she has been in for the past 15 years, and the 19 Florida judges who have heard and ruled on this case obviously only want her dead for nefarious reasons of their own. Finally, I am sending all of you a copy of my own personal Living Will so that when and if my time comes, you will know what I intend and will stay out of my family’s personal business. "

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Darwinism Revisited

There are two kinds of evolution: microevolution and macroevolution. Microevolution refers to very small changes in the forms of living creatures that are inherited and passed on. No-one seriously questions that this is a fact. Macroevolution (the major part of Darwin’s concept) maintains that major changes and even the appearance of new species is the result of the accumulation of tiny changes that appear at random over huge periods of time. Darwinists go on to maintain that humans and all other animal life forms have common ancestors leading back to one original life form.

I have come to believe that macroevolution is nonsense, although for a good part of my life I accepted this nonsense because it was taught as a fact in my biology textbooks. I have come to believe that it is nonsense because of recent discoveries about the complexities of life – and also because I have learned that many of the evidences presented for macroevolution were fraudulent or just plain wrong. Darwin presented a theory, which he understood and acknowledged was only a theory and unproven at the time. He went on to say that future discoveries of fossils of intermediate forms would prove his theory correct – and that the absence of such discoveries would, over time, undermine his theory.

All of the fossil discoveries since Darwin’s time (1859), with a couple of minor and arguable exceptions, have shown only fully developed specimens. Instead, the Cambrian explosion approximately 500 million years ago, shows the sudden appearance of huge numbers of life forms with no ancestral fossils at all. Despite that, biology textbooks continue to treat macroevolution as a fact and continue to present certain examples as evidence – examples many in the field call “idols of evolution”.

One of these idols is a group of drawing called Haekel’s embryos, which purport to show that the embryos of all animals go through similar and look-alike developmental stages that illustrate their ancestral forms. Although these drawings were found to be fraudulent and totally made up decades ago, they still appear in many current biology texts. Another idol is the peppered moths of England. Gray moths were said to evolve into black moths when industrial pollution increased – thus reducing their chances of being eaten by birds when they alighted on blackened tree trunks. Then they supposedly evolved back into gray when pollution decreased, and white lichen again covered tree trunks affording gray moths camouflage. This story is in every biology textbook. The problem is that it is wrong. Subsequent studies showed that this type of moth exhibited this behavior at random throughout England, never alighted on tree trunks at all, and the photos presented had been staged.

In fact all of the “idols of evolution” appearing in our textbooks have similar problems and should be thrown out. Apparently, though, there is a cadre of scientists who have wanted macroevolution to be accepted and have been willing to bend the evidence to make their point. They have been as dishonest as the religious zealots who fake miracles. As we learn more about the disappearing evidence of macroevolution, we also learn more about the complexities of life. Microbiologists have discovered that a single living cell is more complex than a nuclear submarine. They have discovered infinitesimal biological engines such as the bacterium flagellum that operates like an outboard motor with specialized parts that have no use except as components of that engine. Could that have just happened by chance?

They have analyzed the wound healing process and found that an incredibly complex series of steps in succession involving a score of special protein molecules must occur if healing is to take place properly. In discussing two of these healing molecules in his book “Darwin’s Black Box”, Michael Behe estimates that “the odds of getting TPA alone to be 1/10 to the 18th power; the odds of getting TPA and its activator together would be about 1/10 to the 36th power. That is a horrendously large number. Such an event would not be expected to happen even if the universe’s 10 billion year life were compressed into a single second and relived every second for ten billion years”.

Where are we then? Until and unless many examples of transitional forms are found in the fossil record, we will never know if the Darwinists are right. Every day evidence is building that they are wrong and something else has been happening, but we may never know that either. Darwinism laid the foundation for the huge evils that shook the world during the 20th century – the slaughter of 30 million Russian peasants and six million Jews to name just two. Darwinism laid the foundation for relativism and the “feel good” morality that is destroying our civilization. If Darwinism is unproven and no longer makes any sense, why teach it to our children as a fact that cannot be disputed? The engine of life is a hidden mystery after all. Russ

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The War Between Left and Right

At present there are at least three wars going on in the United States between those on the left and those on the right: a culture war, a political-information war, and a world-view war.

You only need to turn on your television set or radio or go to a movie to know that the left is winning the culture war. It is no accident that disgusting vulgarity and near-pornograghic casual sex fill the airways and the movie screens. It is no accident that discipline is long gone from public schools, and that young men are no longer expected to treat women with respect. It was no accident that Janice Jackson lost her halter-top during last year’s Super Bowl show.

The political-information war is another matter. The main stream media, long the arm of the Democratic Party, are losing viewers and readership as more and more people turn to talk radio, cable news and the internet to gain information and insight. Republicans have held the majority in the House of Representatives since 1994, and now hold the Senate and the Presidency. If it were not for the role of activist liberal judges, some results of this political-information trend would be reflected in the cultural war by now, but the inertia of our system and the filibustering of conservative judges has prevented this.

The world-view war is between a belief that world citizenship should prevail, held by the left, and a commitment to a continuation of a strong, nation-state posture by the United States, held by the right. This war is up for grabs, as most Democrats, aided by daily, almost comical, stories in the mainstream press and network television of abuse by U.S. soldiers, continue their attempts to bring down President Bush and to undermine the war on terror and any other strong unilateral action we might take to defend ourselves.

Those of you who support the traditional principles of the Democratic Party must work harder to wrest control of your party from those on the far left who have taken it over; moderate Republicans must get their heads out of the sand and start to stand for something; and conservatives have to fight even harder, or all that has been won and paid for with blood for over 225 years will slip away. Russ

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