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THE SILVER LINING OF BUSH’S DARK CLOUD Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Thursday, 07 June 2007

President Bush has cast a huge, dark cloud over the Republican party.  But in that cloud's very size there may be a silver lining for the GOP.

Most of those Americans who don't think President Bush made a mistake by going to war in Iraq are appalled by how clumsily the war has been conducted.  The president's strong backing for the "comprehensive" immigration reform bill now before the Senate, compounded by his attack on the character and motives of those who oppose it have split the GOP.  

"Using advanced, hi-tech tools, Karl Rove has found the last pocket of support for Bush and destroyed it with laser-like efficiency," said Democratic Web logger Mickey Kaus of the illegal immigration controversy.

If present trends continue, Mr. Bush may be fortunate that his dog, Barney, can't tell pollsters what he really thinks.

But in Mr. Bush's uncanny ability to alienate Republicans nearly as much as he does Democrats may lie the GOP's salvation.

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DOLLAR VS. THE EURO Print E-mail
Written by Richard Rahn   
Thursday, 07 June 2007

Do you think the U.S. dollar will continue to fall against the euro? First-quarter economic growth in the U.S. was just revised down to only 0.6 percent while the euro area grew 3.1 percent, and the U.S. dollar reached an all-time low against the euro in April. (In July 2001, it only took 84 U.S. cents to buy one euro; last week it took $1.34 to buy that same euro.)

Those who have been pessimistic about the U.S. economy (some from the time Ronald Reagan was elected) crow they are right, given the first-quarter number. But, before counting out the U.S., it would be wise to look at the data. Changes in economic growth rates most often are due to changes in tax, regulatory, trade, government spending and central bank policies, much like a runner's speed will decrease if he gains weight and increase if he slims down.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Europe was lean and hungry and ran quickly to rebuild its war-ravaged economies. By the 1970s, it had begun to put on the fat of higher taxes, government spending and regulation. As a result, its growth rates fell and for the last quarter-century, Europe has grown more slowly than the U.S.

But then, not to be outdone, the Washington political establishment did some really dumb things over the last few years, which have taken away much of the benefit of the Bush tax cuts.
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THE GREAT-SOULED MAN 2007 Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Monday, 04 June 2007

This was written the day of the passing of President Ronald Reagan on June 5, 2004.  We run it every year in honor of the greatest American of the 20th century.

In October of 1965, Ronald Reagan came to speak at UCLA. I was a senior, and it was a depressing time to be a College Republican. Barry Goldwater had been thrashed the previous year, and my professors were so left-wing that I took one to court because of her biased grading.

The UCLA Student Union was packed, SRO. There was a buzz that Reagan was considering running for governor against the entrenched Democrat, Pat Brown. My buddy and fellow CR Bill Anthony and I sat expectantly in the audience. As Reagan began to speak, he filled the room with an energy that was both exciting and soothing, and the thousand-plus students were entranced.

Then he caught us by surprise.
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THE FORGOTTEN LESSONS OF THE SIX DAY WAR Print E-mail
Written by Ariel Cohen   
Monday, 04 June 2007

On June 5th the world will commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Israel's victory in the Six Day War. This was one of the most convincing conventional military accomplishments of the twentieth century, one which removed the threat of annihilation from the Jewish State for the following four decades.

During May 1967, Egypt's dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser and the leaders of Syria, apparently misled by carefully fed Soviet disinformation, mobilized their armies, and kicked out UN peacekeepers from Sinai. Nasser proclaimed that "the Jews would be thrown into the Mediterranean." "Our basic objective will be to destroy Israel," he vowed on May 26.

Against all odds, tiny Israel triumphed over the combined armed forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.

The key to Israel's victory was recognition that the survival of the nation was at stake.  This led to full mobilization of the state and the people; and creation of a government of national unity. Both the people and its leaders had no choice but to become heroes overnight.

Israel's continued existence depends on its leaders remembering and not forgetting the lessons of the Six Day War.
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YET AGAIN THE NEW YORK TIMES ON THE SIDE OF TERRORISTS Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Tuesday, 05 June 2007

The FBI announced Saturday three Moslem men have been arrested for plotting to blow up fuel tanks and pipelines at John F. Kennedy international airport.

The New York Times ran a story about the plot in Sunday's paper.  On page 30.  The front page was reserved for a sympathetic story about Omar Ahmed Khadr, a suspected al Qaeda terrorist being held at Guantanamo Bay. 

We learned early in that story that Mr. Khadr was only 15 when he was arrested in Afghanistan in 2002; that he is "nearly blind in one eye" from the firefight in which he killed one American soldier and maimed another, and that he "doesn't trust Americans." 

Only much deeper in the story does reporter William Glaberson mention that young Mr. Khadr's father was a senior deputy to Osama bin Laden.

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THE TTP SUMMER SCHEDULE Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 01 June 2007

Fall, winter, spring, we at To The Point endeavor to have the TTP Weekly Report issued like clockwork - every Friday by noon.  (So it's always pretty crazy Thursdays and Friday mornings!) 

Summers are different, this summer especially.  By the time you get this, I'll be off to run a safari in the Serengeti, then to various remote islands in the Indian Ocean.

The good news about this is that you'll learn all kinds of fascinating things about some of the world's weirder places.  The not-so-good news is that many of these places don't have an internet connection.  Which means there's no way to have a regular Weekly Report schedule.

So here's what we'll do:  post articles and columns whenever and as soon as we can throughout each week.  I normally edit every single item posted on TTP - but in my absence, our back-up editors will step up to the plate.

I'll also launch a new feature for To The Point called The Potpourri.
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IVAN SIRKO FOR PRESIDENT! Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 01 June 2007

There is a marvelous painting by Russian artist Ilya Repin (1844-1930) entitled Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks (click on the link for the image).  It is a large oil on canvas (6.5 ft. high by 8.5 ft. wide), and it made an unforgettable impression on me when I saw it some years ago at the Alexander III Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

It is a historical tableau set in 1676, depicting a group of Christian Cossacks from what is now southern Ukraine called the Zaporozhian Host (who lived "above the rapids," za porohamy, of the lower Dnieper River). 

They are in a good mood, for they had recently demolished in battle an army of Ottoman Sultan Mehmet IV's (1642-1693).  This was a prelude to the Moslem Sultan's historic defeat at the Battle of Vienna (September 12, 1683) that you read about at the close of Asia Minor (Part One).

Yet the Sultan had the gall to demand that the victorious Cossacks, as Christian infidels, submit to his Moslem rule and be his subjects.  They decided to write him a letter, and you can see they had fun doing it. 

While I had seen the painting, I never read the letter, copies of which have been preserved.  We owe thanks to TTP member Julius Wroblewski who sent me the text, so I can share it (albeit bowdlerized) with you.

As you read it, while thinking about our present White House which won't effect regime change in Iran or protect our borders, you may feel the temptation to yell out loud about the Cossack leader who wrote the letter, "Yes, this is the guy I want in the Oval Office!"

The Cossack leader's name, you see, was Ivan Sirko.

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COMMENCEMENT 2007 Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 31 May 2007

[This commencement address was originally published two years ago. We will rerun it annually at college graduation time. Feel quite free to send this to any recent college graduate you may know.]

Mr. Chancellor, Members of the Board of Regents, Members of the Faculty, Honored Graduates, Families and Friends:

It's funny that they call this ceremony a Commencement, for you've all reached the finish line:  college, goodbye, we're outta here.  Yet of course, "commencement" means a beginning, not an end.

But one is supposed to at least start - commence - a talk such as this by saying funny things.  So I'll start by talking about Clark Gable movies.  If you've heard of Clark Gable at all, you know he was the biggest movie star in Hollywood a long time ago.  His most famous movie was of course Gone With The Wind.

He made a movie in 1955 called The Tall Men with Jane Russell as his girlfriend and Robert Ryan as the heavy.  It's a pretty ordinary Western flick with outlaws and cowboys and Indians - and at the end, Ryan, the bad guy, and his henchmen get the drop on Gable, the good guy, and all seems lost.  Suddenly, surprise, Gable outfoxes Ryan and triumphs.  Gable makes his exit, and after he does, Ryan delivers a line that I want you to never forget.

Serendipity is funny, a very funny thing, finding something where you least expect it.  Out of the blue, out of a movie awash with pedestrian dialogue, comes a line so profound it detonates inside your brain. Ryan turns to his men and says:

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WANT TO REALLY SUPPORT OUR TROOPS IN IRAQ? Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 01 June 2007

Everyone says they "support our troops" fighting in Iraq.  Liberals just pretend they do - while conservatives are sincere but may not know how to for real. 

The first step in really supporting our soldiers is to understand they believe in what they are doing.  Hundreds of thousands of the finest young Americans our country possesses have served in Iraq or are there right now.  All but the tiniest fraction not only believe in the morality of this war but that it can be won.

How can you directly support them?  Let me introduce you to Major Eric England, an Air Force intelligence officer who has been deployed in Saudi Arabia (where he was on 9/11), Bosnia, Colombia, Afghanistan, and in Iraq for eight months of combat duty.

Maj. England is developing a very interesting way for regular folks to give soldiers in Iraq what they actually need.  He calls it Online Troop Sponsorship Registries.  Here's how it works.

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WHAT DOES GEORGE BUSH SEE IN TEDDY KENNEDY’S EYES? Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Thursday, 31 May 2007

For a pretty decent, mild-mannered, soft-spoken guy, George W. Bush sure has a knack for engendering rage.

Liberals tend not to like the president because of what he's trying to do.  Conservatives are upset with him chiefly because of how frequently he botches what he tries to do.

President Bush is a stubborn man.  This is both a strength, and a weakness.  When he thinks he's right, the president sticks to his guns, come Hell or high water.  That's basically how he faced down congressional Democrats (whose positions on issues are driven more by polls than by a sense of right and wrong) over funding for the war in Iraq.

But the president is often wrong when he thinks he's right.  At a press conference in Slovenia in June, 2001, Mr. Bush famously said of Russian president Vladimir Putin: "I looked the man in the eye.  I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy...I was able to get a sense of his soul."

Since then the former KGB officer has been dismantling democracy in Russia and working night and day to frustrate U.S. foreign policy.

Many conservatives could have told Mr. Bush that if you look into Ted Kennedy's eyes, you won't see a soul much more trustworthy than Vladimir Putin's.   

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NANCY PELOSI IS AIDING AND ABETTING TERRORISTS Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Thursday, 31 May 2007

Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has stepped up his support for terror since he received a friendly visit from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in early April. Human rights advocates in Syria have gone into hiding.

"Many Syrian... pro-democracy activists have privately expressed dismay at Ms. Pelosi's message of friendship to the government of Syrian President Bashar al Assad," reported the New York Observer.  "They say that Ms. Pelosi's visit, no matter how well intentioned, has effectively pulled the rug out from under them."

Ms. Pelosi's embrace of the Syrian dictator "made the regime feel that Americans were divided on how to deal with Syria," said a human rights advocate interviewed by reporter Katherine Zoepf.  "This sends a message to the regime that the pressure is off, that it can do what it likes."

Shortly after Ms. Pelosi left Damascus, Syria's best known human rights lawyer, Anwar al-Bunni, was arrested on a trumped up charge.  He reportedly has been tortured.

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THE INVISIBLE HOSTAGE CRISIS IN IRAN Print E-mail
Written by Michael Ledeen   
Thursday, 31 May 2007

Rarely have so many journalists, politicians and commentators so totally missed a headline. There are now five American hostages in Iran.

Each case has been largely treated by itself, almost as if it were an oddity, something requiring a special explanation, instead of another piece in a luminously clear pattern whose meaning should be intuitively obvious to us all.

Iranian and Iranian-supported terrorists have been trying unsuccessfully to capture armed Americans in Iraq for some time (a hostage-taking operation failed last September, for example), but they found that the Americans fought back.

They have now snatched unarmed Americans within Iranian borders.  The five American hostages are:

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THE LIBERAL SEA OF SELF-DELUSION Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Joel Wade   
Friday, 01 June 2007

Isn't it odd that peace activists tend to be so vicious in attacking their opponents?

There is an annoying quality that I have noticed over the years from my liberal colleagues and other people who consider themselves on a "spiritual path" of some sort.

It's their posture of deep understanding and compassion, kindness and non-violence, inclusive and careful language, and gentle and softly-spoken words.

It's annoying because it seems such a pose - for I rarely come away from a conversation involving conflict with such people feeling understood and cared for, treated kindly and respectfully, included and "met."

More often than not those gentle and soft spoken words have seemed to mask something else that is not so gentle, kind, or non-violent.

It is all an exercise of self-delusion.
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MONTANA BORDER PATROL Print E-mail
Written by To The Point News   
Friday, 01 June 2007

Ever wonder why so few illegals sneak into the US from the north?  One answer is the Montana Border Patrol.

montana_border_patrol

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CONCORDIA 2007 Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 25 May 2007

Are you ready for the greatest one week adventure in the world?

So here it is:  a Helicopter Expedition to the base of K2, the second highest mountain in the world, in an inaccessible (except by high-altitude helicopter!) region where Pakistan, China, and India come together.

At the base of K2, there is a confluence of gigantic glaciers known to mountaineers as Concordia.  It is considered to be the single spot of the most magnificent scenery on earth.  You are surrounded by dozens of peaks over 22,000 feet, five over 26,000, one (K2) over 28,000.  Our planet doesn't get more spectacular than this.

Last summer, as you may recall, I led the first ever helicopter expedition to Concordia. 

This September I can take you. 

All the details are at http://wheelerexpeditions.com/concordia/.

Please let me know if you'd like to stand at Concordia with me.  Here's what that (and K2) looks like:

k2-jw

I hope you can join me.  And remember, only Conservatives are allowed on a Wheeler Expedition!

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