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NOW THERE IS ONE

We only recognize giants when they are gone, heroic ages when they are past. The day will come when America’s children will learn that the 1980s was such an age, bestrode by three giants who together rid the world of one of the great evils of history, the Soviet Union. They were Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher. Now, only one is left. We mourned the passing of Ronald Reagan last year, Pope John Paul’s this, so before we mourn Lady Thatcher’s, who turns 80 this October, let us acknowledge the incalculable debt those who live in freedom today owe to this triumvirate of truly extraordinary human beings. It is easy to believe the hand of Providence set them on history’s stage one after the other in the short space of two years, exactly at the time America and the West was on the verge of surrender to the seeming inevitability of Soviet power. Easy to believe with hindsight. But at the time,a Polish priest, an English woman commoner, and an American movie actor were about to confront the most evil power in the world. How off the wall do you want history to get? Truth is not simply stranger than fiction, it is more dramatic and awe-inspiring.

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YET AGAIN THE NEW YORK TIMES ON THE SIDE OF TERRORISTS

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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RESPITE FROM LUNACY

I just returned from ten days on the Nile in Egypt. It was a special experience to see it once again, this time through the eyes of my 12 year-old son Jackson. A wonderful side-benefit to such an experience is that you get to ignore newspaper headlines and all the general craziness of the world, if only for a few days. I didn’t read a single paper or magazine while I was gone. So when I arrived back home to wade through those that had piled up in my absence, one lunatic event after another kept popping out at me. After plenty of goofy international headlines, my laughing fits continued with stories here in the US. 59 former State Department diplomats have written a letter demanding the Senate not confirm John Bolton as Ambassador to the UN. Among the signers were Princeton Lyman, Monteagle Stearns, and Spurgeon Keeny. These weirdo first names are not made up inner city jive monikers like Paluja Ratoomba. Only Ivy League ultra-blue-blood aristocrat pansies get names like that. I’m sure Bolton is worried sick that a bunch of over-the-hill Little Lord Fauntleroys are scared he is going to explain reality to the representatives of Third World dictatorships. But then the lunacy stopped being funny. The Bush Brothers’ refusal to prevent Terri Schiavo’s killing will do lasting political damage to them both.

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NANCY PELOSI IS AIDING AND ABETTING TERRORISTS

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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CLEOPATRA WAS A BLONDE

No, this is not a blonde joke. If you want one of those, go to this week’s Humor File. Cleopatra was in fact a blonde. That’s because she was not Egyptian. She was a Macedonian Greek, with hair as blonde as Alexander’s. Alexander conquered Egypt in 332 BC, then went on to subdue all of the Middle East. When he died nine years later, his just-conquered empire was fought over and carved up by his generals. The one who ended up running Egypt was Ptolemy (367-283 BC). Declaring himself Pharaoh, he founded the Ptolemaic Dynasty, with twelve Ptolemies in succession, many of whom had wives named Cleopatra. The Cleopatra we know, lover of Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, was the daughter of Ptolemy XII, and entitled Cleopatra VII (69-30 BC). There was not a drop of Egyptian blood in the Ptolemies. They remained 100% Greek, including the Queen of the Nile herself Cleopatra. Can you imagine Elizabeth Taylor as a blonde? It kind of shakes up your image of history. I am writing this overlooking the Nile in Cairo. The Pyramids of Giza are in the distance. If there is one thing omnipresent in Egypt it’s history - and most all of that history is old, in more ways than one. For 3,000 years, Egypt has been a sleeping giant. Now it may be about to reawaken.

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WHAT DOES GEORGE BUSH SEE IN TEDDY KENNEDY’S EYES?

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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THE REAL LOCKBOX

So now Alan Greenspan says the “lockbox” the Democrats pretend to advocate for Social Security must be “real.” Addressing the Senate Committee on Aging this Tuesday the 15th, he proclaimed:

In addressing Social Security's imbalances, we need to ensure that measures taken now to finance future benefit commitments represent real additions to national saving. We need, in effect, to make the phantom `lock-boxes' around the trust fund real.
It’s going to be very interesting to watch Democrats squirm - and a lot of squishy Republicans - when conservative Republicans on Capitol Hill take Greenspan’s demand seriously.They are going to advocate something called The Real Lockbox. It puts the Dems in a lockbox without a key.There are some very smart Congressional Republicans getting behind The Real Lockbox concept, which is far superior to President Bush's own private accounts plan. Whether they end up in a tug-of-war with the Bushistas, or the latter admit to the flaws of their initial proposal, is going to be a major political drama this spring.

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THIS IS MADNESS

Here's an example of the false advertising for the Senate immigration bill. Dallas Morning News columnist Rod Dreher asked an immigration lawyer friend what he thought of the bill.  This was his reply: "This bill has no enforcement at all.  It says, in effect, that no Y (guest worker) or Z (amnesty) visas will be issued to anybody until the following steps are taken.  But in the meantime, provisional Y and Z visas will be issued, with exactly the same effects and benefits except they can't be turned into green card status." This is madness.  To grant an amnesty before the border is secure is to invite another massive influx of illegals. It gets worse. 

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FRUITCAKE FASCISTS

The decision by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer this week that withholding marriage licenses from homosexuals is somehow unconstitutional is the latest example of America’s retreat from democracy. The type of government America is moving towards is a krytocracy.Remember the word. American democracy has been superceded, replaced, by a krytocracy - a government of judges. Unelected judges.America’s Constitution and the laws passed by Congress under its authority no longer have any meaning. The Constitution’s only - only - meaning is what judges say it has. We live in an era of krytocratic tyranny: rule by the arbitrary feelings and whims of judges.But it’s worse than that. The Kramer decision is yet another example of the seizure, the wholesale theft, of American culture by a tiny fraction of Americans. Less than 2% of Americans are homosexual, engaging in practices the vast majority of Americans find abnormal and perverse if not morally repugnant - yet are willing to tolerate and ignore. Yet being tolerated and left alone is not good enough. Despite the fact that no culture in human history has ever looked upon homosexuality as psychologically normal and made no legal, moral, or cultural distinction between its activities and those of normal folks, homosexuals are waging a war upon America to force her to do so. That’s why they have become Fruitcake Fascists.

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QUELLING QUALMS ABOUT RUDY

I'm against abortion under most circumstances.  So why does Rudy Giuliani's firm declaration of support for a procedure I abominate make me more likely to support him for the Republican nomination for president? I'll be a single issue voter in 2008.  If we don't win the war on Islamic terror, nothing else will matter very much.  All of the "top tier" Republicans who seem today to have a realistic chance of winning say the right things about the war on terror.  So does George W. Bush.  Mr. Bush is an honest, brave, compassionate man whose heart is in the right place.  But his head's been somewhere else.  The mistakes his administration have made have put our mission in Iraq in serious jeopardy.  After over six years of the Bush administration, I yearn for competence in the White House.  I want a president who will run the government, instead of being intimidated by his own bureaucracies.  I want a president who will appoint competent people to key positions, not the likes of Alberto Gonzales or Michael Brown.  I want a president who not only understands what's at stake in the war on Islamic terror, but who can communicate those stakes effectively to the American people.  Which is why I'm attracted to Rudy.

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