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It is a humbling experience to have a deep conversation with a truly great man. Harry Wu has been nominated repeatedly for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is in the same league with Andrei Sakharov, Lech Walesa, Aung San Suu Kyi, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It is Harry Wu who deserved the Nobel Peace Prize last year, not a racist kook, Wangari Maathai of Kenya, who believes AIDS was invented by white scientists to exterminate black Africans. When I had lunch with Harry this week, we agreed that China faces chaos - and that the Chicoms will most likely try to cure the chaos with war. The New York Times reports (12/31/04) that there were over 60,000 - sixty thousand - riots, disturbances, and public protests throughout China in 2004. "People can see how corrupt the government is while they barely have enough to eat," a demonstration leader was quoted. "Our society has a short fuse, just waiting for a spark."



To The Point supports the recognition of Somaliland as a viable nation independent of Somalia. As Richard points out, even though Somaliland is a success and Somalia an anarchic failure, our State Department refuses to advocate its recognition, for fear that would be announcing that the borders of most African states are make-believe - which they are. Somaliland is one of To The Point’s “Liberation Links” listed in the left side bar. You can learn more about Somaliland by going to -- JW What is Somaliland? Don't be embarrassed if you don't know. Very few people know, and that is the beginning of the problem. Somaliland is not Somalia, but is a part of what used to be Somalia -- and it may or may not be an independent country. As you may recall, Somalia was the country in which the famous "Black Hawk down" incident (and later movie) occurred. Somaliland is on the Horn of Africa, surrounded by Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Gulf of Aden. First, a little history:



Chief Justice William Rehnquist's health is so poor he likely soon will be called to the Great Appellate Bench in the Sky. On NBC's "Meet the Press" program last month, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev), said he could support the elevation of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia to chief justice, but not Justice Clarence Thomas. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, a liberal Democrat who is black, said Reid's erroneous attack on Thomas appeared to be motivated by racism. "It is the black justice who cannot write opinions, articulate independent thoughts, or perform his job well," she said, writing in the Chicago Tribune. "The exact same comments were made about the late Justice Thurgood Marshall."



In an early column I discussed the Windows registry. It holds thousands, sometimes more than ten thousand settings. Some of these settings are for Windows itself, and others are for applications. As time passes, the registry becomes clogged with useless or erroneous entries. These can be left over from incomplete installations, incomplete uninstall routines. Many other problems arise. A user may move an application file without realizing that dozens of registry entries point to the old location. Application errors can leave traces in the registry. Malicious intruders as well, as I’ve discussed on several occasions. When the registry goes bad your problems can vary from annoying to disastrous. The most common ailment is that the computer slows down. Another common problem is that clicking on shortcuts doesn’t start the program. Further down the scale, some programs won’t run at all. More disastrously still, Windows functions only work intermittently or not at all. In the past I recommended Norton System Works. Its one step cleanup is good at setting some minor problems in the registry right. I suggested a utility called JV-16 for a thorough cleanup of the registry. JV-16 is no longer in business. It’s time to choose a new registry cleaner.


GEORGE BUSH AND THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES: Why There Hasnt Been Another 9-11

There has been a rumor floating in the Washington ether for some time now that George Bush has figured out what Sword of Damocles is suspended over Osama Bin Laden’s head. It’s whispered among Capitol Hill staffers on the intel and armed services committees; White House NSC (National Security Council) members clam up tight if you begin to hint at it; and State Department neo-cons love to give their liberal counterparts cardiac arrhythmia by elliptically conversing about it in their presence. The whispers and hints and ellipses are getting louder now because the rumor explains the inexplicable: Why hasn’t there been a repeat of 9-11? How can it be that after this unimaginable tragedy and Osama’s constant threats of another, we have gone over three years without a single terrorist attack on American soil? The proximate reasons aren’t sufficient: that we have taken the fight to the enemy in Iraq, drawing their attention and energy away from America; that the intel and law-enforcement folks have caught and prevented a number of planned attacks. These are good reasons why there haven’t been more attacks - but they don’t explain why there haven’t been any.



Of all the tsunami pictures I have seen, this one, a wall of water 20 feet high sweeping into Patong Bay, Thailand, best visualizes its horrendous destructive power. What we need now is one like this targeting Turtle Bay, Manhattan to sweep away the United Nations.



As I prepare to go out and celebrate New Year 2005 -- I plan to celebrate the majestic and history-making election of 2004. What makes this an epochal election is what it says about the American public. After Nov. 2, the world now knows that Americans intend to stand and fight. The American public had every excuse to cut and run. Had they elected Mr. Kerry, the world would have correctly judged it a repudiation of Mr. Bush's aggressive war strategy. But the American public stuck. And in so doing they have created a world-historic event. In the face of an insurgent, violent, radical Islam, a solid majority of the American public does not intend to yield an inch. In a storm-tossed sea, the American public is a rock. It is more than a rock. It is the rock on which civilization will make its stand. Americans are standing upright, their strong arms uplifted against the barbarians.



What a great year. I think, all up and all in, 2004 was a fabulous year for freedom and America. It started out with the Rose Revolution in Georgia, throwing out the Soviet apparatchiks to elect a free market pro-America government, and ended with the Orange Revolution doing the same thing in Ukraine. In between, liberated Afghanistan successfully held its first-ever democratic elections.We got to memorialize for history the greatest American of the 20th century, Ronald Reagan. We re-elected George Bush and inflicted an utterly demoralizing defeat on the George Soros-Michael Moore Democrats. Inflation and unemployment are low, stocks are higher, the economy is humming. We didn’t suffer a single terrorist attack on American soil, took the fight to the terrorists and are close to winning in Iraq. And on top of all of this, Yasser Arafat gave to the world the best possible gift he could give: he died. Frank Sinatra himself couldn’t ask more from a year like 2004.Right, very interesting, thanks Jack for yesterday’s news - what about 2005? That’s what you’re asking, yes?



The coldest night of my life was spent in the Buddhist temple on top of this mountain: 7,360 foot-high Sri Pada in Ceylon. It’s named for the Sacred Footprint of Buddha, a depression in the rock of the summit around which the temple is built. Pilgrims come to watch the sunset and most have the foresight to bring a blanket. Having climbed up from the torrid jungle in only a t-shirt the afternoon before and lacking such foresight, I froze all the way to dawn.Ceylon - or the official name of Sri Lanka, if you prefer - is one of the most entrancing lands on our planet. That such a place of gentle beauty should be visited by such horror as we have seen this week is an undiluted tragedy. For the people of Ceylon and their Indian Ocean neighbors who suffered the monumental horror of a tidal wave coming out of nowhere and washing away their lives, there is no silver lining. Life has the capacity to be utterly tragic with nothing to balance or outweigh it.To argue otherwise would be to demean the suffering of the tsunami’s victims. Yet while there is no silver lining for them, there may be one for us. This numbing event may be humbling enough to teach the egomaniacs of the left that nature is a vastly greater destroyer and alterer of nature than the puny activities of man.The Left is possessed with a peculiarly pathological form of egomania: We human beings are so immensely powerful and so immensely evil that we can threaten the entire earth! It is this nut-case egomania that fuels the religion of environmentalism.



To the Point received the following from a friend in the Pentagon:

CHRISTMAS VISITORS They came in single file, about 50 of them. Silent ambassadors, to tell us who they were. They moved at a slow pace, passing us for over 20 minutes. Some walked, while others pushed their wheelchairs as best they could. Some were helped along on crutches by their wives or sweethearts. They were escorted front and rear by US Marines in dress blue uniform. I have never seen prouder Marines. The Amputee Ward from Walter Reed Army Medical Center visited the Pentagon today. Some wore looks of resolution, pride, or dignity. Many had prosthetic devices where limbs used to be. All of them wore looks of surprise. We, the 26,000 employees of the Pentagon, lined both sides of the A ring (the inner ring of the Pentagon) to watch them pass and welcome them with thunderous applause. Half a mile they walked through a gauntlet of grateful fellow citizens two and three deep, who reached out to shake the hands of the remaining good arms or grasp the remaining fingers of hands that have given ultimate service. They walked through us to the main concourse, where they were met by the Army Band and color guard playing martial music for them and where the mall was filled with additional people who swelled the applause. Many of us just called out loudly, "Thank You!" because we didn't know what else could be said; thank you for your service to us. The applause never stopped.None of them spoke. They just cried. So did we.It was the closest I have been to Christmas in a long time.
I have a request that I would like make to you - that you consider supporting these wounded soldiers at Walter Reed in a way that would mean so much to them.The number ONE request at Walter Reed hospital is phone cards. The government doesn't pay long distance phone charges and these wounded soldiers are rationing their calls home. The hospital administrators say they can use an “endless” supply of phone cards so that the wounded soldiers can call their friends and families. A phone card of any amount, even $5 is greatly appreciated. Wal-Mart has good prices on AT&T cards, Sams Club is even better, if you are a member. Just buy a phone card of any amount and send it to:Medical Family Assistance CenterWalter Reed Medical Center6900 Georgia Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20307-5001 Please consider letting everyone you know that they can do the same. It’s one way to give American soldiers who have been wounded in battle fighting to keep terrorism from our shores a happier New Year.