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HOW TO START EACH WEEK WITH A POSITIVE OUTLOOK Print E-mail
Written by To The Point News   
Friday, 04 May 2007


1. Next Monday morning, open a new file in your computer.  

2. Name it "Hillary Rodham Clinton"       

3....
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SARKOZY AND HISTORY Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Wednesday, 25 April 2007

France has been at many turning points in its history.  There have been times before when its future seemed doomed.  I have many friends here in DC who have taken a close and knowledgeable look at the present condition of France and see no hope.  Not even if Nicolas Sarkozy is elected president on May 6.

Me, I'm with Yogi Berra - it's never over until it's over.  I have high hopes for M. Sarko.

Let's see how he might measure up along with that handful of great men who have repeatedly rescued France from the ash heap of history over the last 15 centuries.

Our story begins with Julius Caesar, who brought the land of the Gauls (a confederation of Celtic tribes) into the Roman Empire with his defeat of their chieftain, Vercingetorix, in 52 BC.  But by the 300's of our era, Roman rule had weakened, and Gaul was overrun by a Germanic people from across the Rhine River called the Franks.

The Franks were a welter of pagan tribes who fought each other as well as rival tribes like the Visigoths.  Then came a king who united them all in a common Frank, or French, identity, Clovis (466-511).  He did this not only militarily, but more important, culturally, by marrying a Burgundian princess, Clothilde.

This marriage created France, for she was a Roman Catholic, and Clovis abandoned his paganism and converted for her.  Clovis created France as a Christian nation, setting the entire continent of Europe on a Christian future.
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THE DDT PARTY Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 26 April 2007

Everyone "knows" that DDT -  Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane - is a terrible poison.  It isn't, of course (see, for example, the Harvard Nurses Health Study).  Yet because everyone is so sure it is, some folks on the Republican National Committee figure it might as well be used to poison the Democrats.

So don't be surprised if you hear the party of Lost Harry Reid and Pelosi Galore, of Shrillary and Barack Hussein being called The DDT Party - the party of Defeat, Death, and Taxes.

Defeat - as in surrender, wanting America to lose, waving a white flag at America's enemies.

Death - as in promoting a culture of death, of the murder of millions of unborn children, of hysterically opposing any attempt to prevent their murder.

Taxes - as in always advocating more and higher taxes as the answer to any problem.
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THE TO THE POINT SALON Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 27 April 2007

One of the basic contributions of France to civilization was the salon, where the most intelligent and literate of Parisian society would gather in elegant relaxation to courteously discuss any matter of interest.

The founder of the French salon was Catherine de Vivonne (1588-1665), known as the Marquise (for she was married to a French noble or Marquis) de Rambouillet.  In 1618, she began receiving guests in her salon bleu of the family home, the Hôtel de Rambouillet on the Rue St. Thomas-du-Louvre in Paris.

There were nobles like La Rochefoucauld, cardinals like Richelieu, generals, scholars, poets, artists, wits, and the most cultured ladies of French aristocracy.  There was good cheer, good manners, discussion flourished, and erudite conversation became an art.

I am in no way going to compare myself to the Marquise (or TTPers to Richelieu!), yet we may be witnessing the emergence of a salon that she might appreciate on To The Point.  I am referring to the massive response - 70 posts - to Beatles in Baghdad in our User Forum.
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KITTY AND ME Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 26 April 2007

Okay, it's time for a fun story.  It is, of course, not fun when someone passes, as Kitty Carlisle did last week (4/17) at age 96.  But it prompts me to reveal how I met her, as it was pretty hilarious.

She was a Broadway and Hollywood actress, but she became a household name as a panelist on the TV show To Tell The Truth, which first aired in 1956.  It was three years later, at age 15, that I was a guest on the show.

You know the setup.  Three contestants, each claiming to be the same person;  four panelists interrogating them and guessing who's real.  Each wrong guess was worth $250.  When I met my two impostors before the show, I asked them:

"Isn't the object of this game to fool the panel, fool all the panelists so we can win the most money, which is $250 times four or $1000?" I asked.  "So what would be the best way to do this?  I think it would be by my pretending to be dumb.  I have to tell the truth, the rules are that I can't lie, but I can pretend to stumble and be unsure.  You guys act confidant. If all the panelists fall for it, we get all the dough."

They both thought this was a great idea.
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THE SHAME OF CONDI, CAUGHT IN BED WITH THE MULLAHS Print E-mail
Written by Michael Ledeen   
Thursday, 26 April 2007

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whose tenure at Foggy Bottom began with such energy and fine language about support for freedom in the Middle East, is begging the Iranian foreign minister to come to a "future of Iraq" conference in Egypt next week. She told the Financial Times that it would be a "missed opportunity" if Minister Mottaki didn't show up.

In the same interview, she denied ever thinking about regime change in Iran. Our Iran policy, according to the secretary, is to "have a change in regime behavior." Some day she will perhaps explain how any rational person can believe this cast of characters capable of changing behavior that has been constant for 28 years.

We are back to the days when Madeleine Albright went to international meetings hoping to get a one-on-one with an Iranian minister so she could apologize for past American sins and get on with the glorious business of striking a grand bargain with the mullahs.
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BUMBLING DEMS Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Thursday, 26 April 2007

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are demonstrating they are not ready for prime time.  This could cloud what looks now like rosy Democratic electoral prospects next year.

Democrats in Congress have sent to the president a supplemental appropriations bill calling for withdrawal of troops from Iraq beginning in October, which they know he will veto, raising substantially the already high profile of the issue.

It's remarkable that Democrats, as a matter of policy, are siding with America's enemies in time of war.  It didn't work so well for them when they did that during the Civil War. 

And it is questionable political strategy to make a swift retreat from Iraq the centerpiece of their legislative agenda.  But more remarkable is how clumsily Democrats are executing the strategy they've chosen.
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GLORIFYING THE PRIMITIVE Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Joel Wade   
Friday, 27 April 2007

There is an idea that fuels the kind of indulgence of the feelings that I wrote about last week, that I would call an idealization of the primitive.

I have traveled with Jack over the years and visited many different cultures, including a band of San Bushmen in Botswana, the "Spider People" of Eastern Bhutan, the Xicrin and Assurini tribes in the Amazon, and nomadic Khampas in Tibet.

I have had an interest in our roots as a species, where we have come from, how we have evolved, what we have gained, and what we may have lost along the way. At one time I thought that one of those things lost was a kind of emotional honesty and energy that would make for a more vibrant way of living.

What I have found is that there is no "Noble Savage". It is a concept that is as much an oxymoron as a "Jumbo Shrimp," or a "Marijuana Initiative."
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MUCH TO THEIR SURPRISE Print E-mail
Written by To The Point News   
Thursday, 26 April 2007




surprise
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BEATLES IN BAGHDAD Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 19 April 2007

During dinner with a Kurdish businessman in Dubai last week, I suddenly began hearing a Beatles song in my head.  Written in 1967 by John Lennon and Paul McCartney for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, the song is Getting Better:

I've got to admit it's getting better
a little better all the time
I have to admit it's getting better...
...getting so much better all the time


His goods and products are shipped into Dubai from India, China, and elsewhere, where they are transshipped to Basra, Iraq's port, then put into containers and trucked across Iraq south to north into Iraqi Kurdistan.  On average he is trucking three container loads across Iraq a day.

I asked him what difference Bush's "surge" has made in the past couple of months.

"A very dramatic improvement," was his answer. 

As I am writing this (Thursday afternoon 4/19), I just saw on Drudge that Harry Reid, the Dems' Senate leader, has proclaimed the war in Iraq is "lost."  But it's the Democrats who are losing now, not America.
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JAHANNAM IN JOLO Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 19 April 2007

When I saw the news bulletin that Moslem terrorists had decapitated six hostages on the southern Philippine island of Jolo, I thought of the 1939 movie, The Real Glory, where Gary Cooper plays a US Army doctor trying to protect Christian villagers in the Philippines from a cholera epidemic and Moslem suicide killers - set in 1906!

The leader of the Moslem fanatics is named Alipang.  Cooper breaks Alipang's will by threatening to kill him and bury him wrapped in a bloody pigskin.  Afraid such defilement will result in his not going to heaven but Jahannam, Islamic Hell, Alipang commands his men to surrender.

I thought it ironic in the extreme that this news report about Jolo should appear three days after an obscure item in the business section of USA Today, Squeezing Diesel Out Of Animal Fat.

The story announced: "Oil company ConocoPhillips and meat producer Tyson Foods said Monday they're joining forces to produce diesel fuel for U.S. vehicles using beef, pork and poultry fat."

Biofuel from pig fat.  Does that ring a bell from say, a year ago (April 2006) when you read about Project Jahannam?
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ESKIMOS ON MARS Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 20 April 2007

The news story headlined Canadian Military Reinforces Arctic Claim had a dramatic lede:

"Battling high winds, 25-foot ice walls, mechanical breakdowns and whiteout conditions, a Canadian military team, including Eskimo reservists, last week completed a 17-day trek [across Ellesmere Island] designed to sustain Canada's claim to sovereignty over the high Arctic."

Of course, the reporter then had to include a ridiculous global warming spin in a story on Canadian national security:

"[Expedition leader Maj. Chris Bergeron] said old-timers among the Eskimos, who call themselves Inuit, told him they had never seen open water and bare rocks so close to the North Pole."

Being quite familiar with Ellesmere, Canada's northernmost island, I can assure you the reporter, Barry Brown has never been there and is laughingly ignorant - like most glowarmers.

Just as ignorant as the Eskimos - who live over 400 miles away from Ellesmere's northern shore on the Arctic Ocean (which is itself 550 miles "close" to the North Pole).  The only Inuit or Eskimo community on all of Ellesmere's 76,000 square miles is Grise Fiord on the far away south shore.  They have no knowledge at all of the Arctic Ocean.

Which brings me to Mars... 
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THE IRANIAN FAÇADE Print E-mail
Written by Dagny D'Anconia   
Friday, 20 April 2007

During a speech delivered in the Western Iranian province of Javanroud on December 20th 2006, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proclaimed:

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is now a nuclear power, thanks to the hard work of the Iranian people and authorities....Iranian young scientists reached the zenith of science and technology and gained access to the nuclear fuel cycle without the help of big powers... The Iranian nation will continue in its nuclear path powerfully and will celebrate a nuclear victory soon." 

Ahmadinejad also said Israel, US, Britain will vanish - "this is a divine promise."

Thus Ahmadinejad took credit for all the nuclear work actually done by Russians, and told them they were no longer needed.  He then ceased to pay them for their work.  Iran was thumbing its nose at not only Israel, the US, and Britain.  It was thumbing its nose most of all at Russia.

It's not a good idea to do that to people who are both ruthless and know you're a fake.

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THE MEDIA IS PSYCHOLOGICALLY SICK Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Friday, 20 April 2007

For the sake of a few dollars more, NBC has brought closer the day of the next public mass killing in America.

"This was a sick business tonight, going on the air with this," acknowledged NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams of his network's decision to air portions of the "multimedia manifesto" Cho Seung-Hui mailed NBC in the interval between his murder sprees on the Virginia Tech campus.

It was indeed a sick business decision.  Mass killings inspire copycats. "School campuses in at least 10 states were locked down or evacuated in the aftermath of a Virginia Tech student's shooting rampage," the AP reported Wednesday.

NBC is not alone in its guilt.  Every news organization which rebroadcast portions of the video, or newspapers (like mine, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for which I write a column) which published still photographs of Mr. Cho posing with his weapons is complicit.

We say we do this to protect "the people's right to know."  The real reason, of course, is we hope the titillation will increase our number of viewers or readers.

But as we fatten our bottom lines, we send a message to every sociopathic loser: Wanna be famous?  Go kill a lot of people.  We'll put your face and your story and your alleged grievances into every home in America.
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FEELING SAFER AND BEING SAFER Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Both supporters and opponents of gun control are shoe-horning the tragedy at Virginia Tech into their pre-established templates.  Both have ammunition.

On the one hand, Mr. Cho was able to purchase the firearms he used in the murder spree -- Glock 19 and Walther P-22 handguns -- lawfully at a local gun shop.

On the other, the Virginia Tech campus is a "gun free zone," where students, faculty and staff are forbidden to have firearms, even if they have concealed carry permits.  Mr. Cho lived in a dorm on campus, where he stored his weapons and ammunition.  The school's policy banning guns wasn't very effective in Mr. Cho's case.

A fundamental difference between supporters and opponents of gun control is their attitude toward personal responsibility. 

Liberals tend to offer excuses for the perpetrators of violent acts (he was poor; his mother drank; his daddy beat him), and to assume that potential victims have no right to play a role in their own defense.

Those who think the law abiding should be permitted to carry firearms argue that if some of the students, faculty, or staff had been armed, they could have cut Mr. Cho's murder spree short.
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