Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Roman street musician

I shot this on 19 May while traipsing about Rome. I always thought playing a tune on wine glasses was kind of cool.

I used my cell phone camera (Samsung Blackjack), so don't rag on me about the quality.

ACLU resorts to publicity stunts

The increasingly irrelevant ACLU has filed suit against Jeppesen Dataplan, a flight services subsidiary of Boeing. Their transgression? Providing flight services to those eeevil CIA "extraordinary rendition" flights.
The lawsuit, which the ACLU planned to file later Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, charges that flight services provided by Jeppesen enabled the clandestine transportation of the men to secret overseas locations, where they were tortured and subjected to other "forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment."

Mike Pound, a spokesman for Englewood, Colorado-based Jeppesen, said company officials had not yet seen the lawsuit and had no immediate comment.

He said Jeppsen provides support services, rather than the flights themselves. "We create flight plans, what the fuel requirements might be, where they might refuel, the airports that they might use."

He said the company's customers include airlines, private pilots and companies.

"We don't know the purpose of the trip for which we do a flight plan," said Pound. "We don't need to know specific details. It's the customer's business, and we do the business that we are contracted for. It's not our practice to ever inquire about the purpose of a trip."

ACLU attorney Ben Wizner said after the news conference: "Either they knew or reasonably should have known that they were facilitating a torture program."

Companies "are not allowed to have their head in the sand, and take money from the CIA to fly people, hooded and shackled, to foreign countries to be tortured," said Wizner.
Oh, puh-lease.

Meanwhile, CIA director General Michael Hayden had this to say about the rendition flights program:
The CIA, Hayden said, has run secret detention and rendition programs for targets in the war on terrorism that are lawful, in keeping with Western values, and far smaller than critics have claimed.

"I've never managed a more sensitive, law abiding workforce in my life," said Hayden, an Air Force lieutenant general who previously ran the National Security Agency and served as deputy director of national intelligence.

"Some things (that are written) are incredibly hurtful to people who are doing their lawful and patriotic duty. When I have a chance, I want to set the record straight," Hayden said.

He acknowledged that in March, he told a meeting of European Union ambassadors that a recent European Parliament report charging that the CIA has operated more than 1,200 secret flights through Europe is grossly exaggerated. The CIA has detained fewer than 100 suspects since March 2002, he said, and all have been treated according to the "values we have in common" with Europeans.

False statements about the program "take an honest debate … to the darkest corner of the room," Hayden said.

More buffoonery from American Al Qaeda

Somebody needs to tell Adam Gadahn, aka Azzam al-Amriki (Azzam the American), that he both looks and sounds like a complete buffoon every time he appears in a new video. In this latest one, he sounds like that knight in Monty Python And The Holy Grail, threatening grievous bodily harm after having his own ass handed to him and several limbs severed from his body.

Oh, sure...he's learned well the dreaded pointing finger thing from his mentor (and, I suspect, gay lover) Ayman al-Zawahiri, but he can't quite shake the spoiled, progressive leftist American kid aura. He parrots al Qaeda's absurd demands (all Americans out of Muslim lands, end support for Israel, strike the letter M from the English language, etc.), and warns of dire consequences should we fail to comply.

C'mon, Osama...send us someone scary!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Turkey to go after Kurds in Iraq?

Not good, if true.

If Turkey goes Kurd hunting in Iraq, a sovereign nation under the protection (some would say occupation) of the United States, this won't bode well for US/Turkey relations. Add to that the fact that the Kurds have been the one group in Iraq supportive of American efforts there, and you have a pretty volatile combination.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Red Sox watch

Magic Number: 101

Somebody pinch me. We're heading into June, and the Sox are not only on top of the AL East, but continue to hold the best record in the majors. As an added bonus, the Evil Empire is tied for dead last in the division with the T-Bay D-Rays. Only four other teams in the majors have a record worse than theirs.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Random notes and observations after a three week road trip

By the numbers:
Miles flown: 11,000 (roughly)
Countries visited: 5
Top speed reached on the German autobahn: 210 Km/h (hey...there was traffic!)
Nights spent in hotels: 19 (so it wasn't quite three weeks.)
Airlines flown: 6 (Delta, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, Iberia, Alitalia)
Meals not eaten at home: 57 (or so)

Country notes:
UK (Round 1, London): I've been to the UK before, so no surprises here, except for the fact that the Docklands area of London is freakin' bleak. Well, one other, more pleasant surprise was London City airport. Most people have heard of Heathrow and Gatwick, and a few Yanks may have even heard of Stanstead airport. But right next to the Docklands is London City airport, from where one can fly to any number of destinations in the UK and Europe. It was from there that I continued on to Frankfurt. It's a small airport with a single short runway and NO taxiway. When your plane pushes back from the gate, the pilot taxis the plane (as quickly as possible!) down the runway to the end, then turns around 360 degrees in a turn-about area to
point the plane into the wind. Standing on the brakes, the pilot brings the engines to full throttle. The plane shudders and shakes, straining against the brakes. When the pilot releases the brakes, you're thrown against the back of your seat, and airborne before you know it. Pretty impressive. Needless to say, it's all small commuter planes flying in and out of here.

France (Paris): I've heard it said that Paris would be a great place if it wasn't full of Parisians. There may be something to that sentiment. After deplaning at Charles De Gaulle airport and retrieving my luggage, I set out trying to find either a hotel shuttle or a taxi. Exiting the terminal building to the ground transportation area, I went to a stand that appeared to be a courtesy shuttle area. Of course, this being France, it was silly of me to think they'd have courtesy shuttles. There was a guy standing there and I asked him, politely AND in French, if he spoke English. His reply was a brusque " English." I came real close to saying "I suppose if I said 'fuck you', you'd understand perfectly well.", but I didn't. Oh, and the weather there sucked, too. I may have come away with a better outlook had I actually had time to do some sight-seeing.

Spain (Madrid): I found the Spaniards considerably more friendly than the French. I suppose it doesn't hurt that I can actually stumble along a bit in Spanish. Madrid seemed like a nice city, but I only spent one night there so didn't get a chance to see much of it. Don't go for happy hour after work in Spain. If you do, you won't eat. You'll get 'tapas', little bites of something or other to eat, with each round, and the ones they serve at the Holiday Inn in Madrid are substantial. I figure after three beers, you're not going to be interested in dinner, and after four you just might curl up in the corner and go to sleep.

Italy (Rome): This was, by far, the best leg of the whole trip. Not having ever been to Rome before and having a whole weekend to kill there obviously helped. The Italians I met along the way were (mostly) great, and the weather was spectacular the whole time there. See my earlier posts from Rome for more.

UK (Round 2, Reading): It says much about how crappy the Docklands area of London is that I had a better time in Reading. Actually, that's not fair to Reading, since Reading's not a bad town. There's a large retail complex there called The Oracle, and the entertainment area surrounding it is pretty good. There's a great pub called The Hobgoblin that's great for just hanging out and having a few pints, always with some interesting characters, not the least of whom are the bartenders. The day I got there was typically crappy English weather, but turned absolutely perfect after that. As bad as the weather in Britain is, when it's good, it's stellar.

Chavez makes good on threat

Last December I posted this piece about Venezuela's commie buffoon-in-chief's threat to shut down an opposition television station by not renewing their broadcast license. Sadly, BBC reports today that Hugo Chavez is following through on his threat.
Protests are expected in Venezuela's capital Caracas as a TV station opposed to President Hugo Chavez prepared to be taken off the air at midnight.

Mr Chavez has refused to renew a licence for Radio Caracas TV (RCTV), saying the station has actively tried to undermine his government.

[ ... ]

In place of RCTV, a new state-sponsored channel, TVes, will launch with programmes that Mr Chavez has said will better reflect society.

The government is providing $4m of funding to launch the new station.
And a fine reflection of society the new station will be, no doubt.

Friday, May 25, 2007


The only question is, where do you get eggs big enough to go with it?

'Wine terrorists' challenge Sarkozy

Militant vintners...who knew? It's hard to copy and paste when you're shaking with laughter, but here goes.
A shadowy group of wine activists has issued a one-month ultimatum to Nicolas Sarkozy threatening "action" if the new president fails to help the industry.

The Regional Committee for Viticultural Action (CRAV) has been known to hijack tankers of foreign wine and dynamite government buildings or supermarkets.

In a pre-recorded message delivered to France 3, a regional television channel, from "somewhere in the Languedoc hinterland", five balaclava-clad men read out a statement addressed to the new president.

Looking more like Corsican nationalists or masked Islamic fundamentalists than winemakers, the "wine terrorists" vowed that if nothing changed and the price they received for their wine had not gone up, they would go "into action".

[ ... ]

While nobody will own up to being a member, it is an open secret that the CRAV is the armed wing of winemakers' unions of the Languedoc and Roussillon, the highest producing wine region in the world. In France, and the Languedoc-Roussillon in particular, production far outweighs demand.
The wine making industry in France has an armed wing? I believe that's number 8 on the Top 10 signs your group may be a terrorist organization.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

MSM finally notices Sderot

I've posted a few items about the barrage of Kassam rockets Palestinian thugs have been firing on Sderot, Israel since last November. So it was good to see that some of the mainstream media outlets have finally started reporting on this ongoing atrocity which specifically targets civilians.

I wasn't too surprised to see word of this on Fox News' web site, but was shocked this morning when I caught a segment on CNN International about it.

Earlier posts on Sderot:
Hizballah paying bounty for dead Israelis

Close call

A very brief cease fire

Palestinian rockets turn Sderot into ghost town

Monday, May 21, 2007

Old timers

A few years back, I was in the wilds of Pennsylvania having a bite to eat and a beer and ended up chatting with an older gentleman at the bar. During the course of the conversation, he mentioned that he'd been a P-51 fighter pilot during World War 2. Right away, my bullshit meter went on alert, but a few of the things he said led me to believe that he was the real thing. One anecdote in particular rang true.

He spoke of a squadron commander he once had who'd inspect the planes when they returned from ground attack missions. If you didn't have mud on the windscreen, you weren't pressing hard enough and got the shittiest mission assignments as punishment. That story, along with a few other amusing stories, convinced me he was the real thing. I bought his beers the remainder of the night, which was a cheap deal for me.

Tonight I was at a pub here in Britain (Reading). I was chatting with a gentleman who I thought was maybe 10-15 years older than I, but who turned out to be a bit older. He said he was a young lad during the London blitz. Again, the bullshit detector went off, but he told a story that convinced me he was telling the truth.

When the "Jerrys" would attack, he and his brother would try to identify what kind of plane it was by the sound. He described that at his age (about 5 at the time) it was all so exciting, but when the Battle of Britain finally ended, he recalled how "boring" life was.

I guess boredom isn't so bad, after all.

"Rain and daytime darkness..."

If there ever was a phrase to describe typically English weather, "rain and daytime darkness" is it. I caught the national weather report on Sky News this evening, and that's how the weather guy described it.

Not that I dislike Britain or anything mind you, but after a weekend in Rome, the weather's a bit of a buzz-kill.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ancient Rome has gone to the...cats?

While wandering around Rome yesterday, I stumbled upon this spot called Area Sacra. From what I can gather, the spot was uncovered during some demolition work in 1926, and consists of several temples from, well, some period of ancient Imperial Rome.

What I found amusing here was the cats. The area, being closed off to people and, more importantly, free of bone-crushing vehicles, has become a home to feral cats.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

When in Rome...Part Due

At the office yesterday, my colleague asked me what sights I planned to go see in Rome today. When I replied that I actually had a flight back to the UK at noon, he looked at me as if I was nuts. It dawned on me that I had a weekend to kill, and I could either kill it in cold, rainy Reading (not even London!), or in warm, sunny Rome. Gee, let me think about that...for about half a second.

So I called our travel department and got a flight booked for early Monday morning that gets me into Heathrow more than early enough to get in a full day at the office, then reworked my hotel reservations.

So it's off to see some of the sights, and with any luck my cell phone camera will produce pictures good enough for posting.

When in Rome...

It was hard to turn down seats like this.

So, I get into Rome very late Thursday night and head to work Friday morning. A colleague has arranged tickets for us for Friday night at the women's quarter finals of the Internazionali BNL D'Italia tennis tournament. On the bill was 14th ranked Slovak Daniela Hantuchova v. Medina Guarriges of Spain, ranked 31. I'd never been to a professional tennis match before, so it sounded pretty cool. The seats were front row, at the net. Best seats in the house.

Hantuchova ended up winning the match, 7-6 (8), 7-5, but she shouldn't have. This girl made so many unforced errors she should have been trounced. The match seemed sloppy at times because neither player seemed able to put a first serve into play, but when it really mattered, Hantuchova was able to get the point and I guess that's what makes a winner.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Prince Harry doesn't get to go to the dance

Much is being made in the British media about the defense ministry's decision not to send Prince Harry to Iraq. Personally, I think sending him was a bad idea, anyway. Harry, like any other member of the royal family, is a national symbol.

Sending him into Iraq would have been similar to a Pennsylvania National Guard unit deploying to Iraq with the Liberty Bell. Think the jihadis wouldn't want some of that just for the propaganda victory?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Two beers? That'll be 130 lashes

Ouch. I hope that beer was good.

An Iranian emigrant to Norway was visiting relatives in Iran when he was caught red-handed in the midst of the heinous crime of drinking beer.
"We were on an outing with family and friends, six or seven in the evening, and were having a barbecue and enjoying ourselves. Altogether I drank two beers. The police happened to drive by," Mamandy said.

He said that he was immediately arrested and taken to the police station where he was sentenced to 130 lashes. This sentence, for beer drinking, was carried out publicly according to news agency Iran Focus.
Ain't Sharia grand?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

World's best cheeseburger (so far)

If the cut lines on the burger look kind of straight, it's because I had to eat this
thing with a knife and fork. And I guess those are French Fries,
not 'Freedom Fries'

What's a guy to do when he's in Paris for his last of two nights and needs a bite to eat? He gets a cheeseburger, of course! Yes, I had a cheeseburger tonight.

Being on the road for about my sixth straight week, I didn't really have the energy to go out and hunt down a good, real French meal, so I decided to just order a cheeseburger at the bar of the Paris Renaissance La Defense hotel. This turned out to have been a pretty good call, as this was easily the Best. Cheeseburger. Ever. (so far)

A quick look at the new "cold war"

The only English-language news I can get here in Paris at the moment is BBC World, a source I instinctively find suspect. But they've been giving reasonably fair-play coverage to the war of words between the US and Russia, largely over the planned US deployment of a missile defense shield to eastern Europe.
"Moscow is not convinced by Washington's assurances that (missile defense) in Europe will not be directed against Russia," Neverov told ITAR-Tass.
Question: If the only way a European missile defense system can be directed against Russia is in reaction to Russian missiles launched against Europe, what's Russia worried about?

Commies, and crypto-commies, suck.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Iranian whack job whips up anti-US frenzy in Dubai

Not satisfied with fomenting anti-US sentiment in his own country, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad led an anti-US rally in Dubai.
Ahmadinejad wants the Emirates, Oman and the other Persian Gulf Arab countries to drop their military alliances with Washington and join Iran in a regional effort to maintain stability in the energy-rich region. Washington maintains 40,000 troops on land bases in Persian Gulf countries outside Iraq and has 20,000 sailors and Marines in the region.

"Every time your name is mentioned, hatred builds up," Ahmadinejad said of the United States. "Go fix yourself. This is Iran's advice to you. Leave the region."


My new, improved travel plans

Well, I survived London and made it to Germany Friday evening. The part of London I was in was, to be polite, awful. The Docklands area is bleak with not much going for it.

So after a couple of meetings today, I'll take off for Paris then continue on to Madrid and Rome before returning to the UK on Saturday for another week of work there.

I'm hoping I can get some laundry done at the the hotel in Paris tomorrow.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Checking up on Eurabia

I'm off to London today, then it's off to Germany, France and Spain before wrapping up my trip in the UK. All told, I'll be in Europe through the end of May or beginning of June, so posting will be light, but I hope to post good stuff when I do find the time.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Blog reader project survey

In case you're interested, The Blog Reader Project is surveying blog readers to, as best I can tell, figure out what you drive, and what your alcoholic beverage of choice is while you're driving it.

Survey link

Why is this kid smiling?

This kid's smiling...I'd be in therapy.

This reminds me of an urban legend from when I was a kid.
A 9-year-old boy who complained of an earache was a little surprised when the doctor told him that a pair of spiders had tried to make a home out of him.

"They were walking on my eardrums," said Jesse Courtney.

One of the spiders was still alive after the doctor flushed the fourth-grader's left ear canal.
Excuse me while I reach for the Valium. Have I mentioned that I really hate spiders?

WaPo notices Democrats' true nature

Today's Washington Post carries an excellent editorial pointing out the Democratic leadership's inexplicable assault on Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, a staunch US ally.
In a region where populist demagogues are on the offensive, Mr. Uribe stands out as a defender of liberal democracy, not to mention a staunch ally of the United States. So it was remarkable to see the treatment that the Colombian president received in Washington. After a meeting with the Democratic congressional leadership, Mr. Uribe was publicly scolded by House Majority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), whose statement made no mention of the "friendship" she recently offered Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Human Rights Watch, which has joined the Democratic campaign against Mr. Uribe, claimed that "today Colombia presents the worst human rights and humanitarian crisis in the Western hemisphere" -- never mind Venezuela or Cuba or Haiti. Former vice president Al Gore, who has advocated direct U.S. negotiations with the regimes of Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, recently canceled a meeting with Mr. Uribe because, Mr. Gore said, he found the Colombian's record "deeply troubling."

[ ... ]

In fact, most of those who attack Mr. Uribe for the "parapolitics" affair have opposed him all along, and for very different reasons. Some, like Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), reflexively resist U.S. military aid to Latin America. Colombia has received more than $5 billion in economic and military aid from the Clinton and Bush administrations to fight drug traffickers and the guerrillas, and it hopes to receive $3.9 billion more in the next six years. Some, like Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.), are eager to torpedo Colombia's pending free-trade agreement with the United States. Now that the Bush administration has conceded almost everything that House Democrats asked for in order to pass pending trade deals, protectionist hard-liners have seized on the supposed human rights "crisis" as a pretext to blackball Colombia.

Perhaps Mr. Uribe is being punished by Democrats, too, because he has remained an ally of George W. Bush even as his neighbor, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, portrays the U.S. president as "the devil." Whatever the reasons, the Democratic campaign is badly misguided. If the Democrats succeed in wounding Mr. Uribe or thwarting his attempt to consolidate a democracy that builds its economy through free trade, the United States may have to live without any Latin American allies.
And this is the party to which we've just given both houses of Congress and are considering for the Presidency? We're in serious trouble, my friends.

Wake-up call

In yesterday's Daily Mail, Ruth Dudley Edwards wonders: Will Britain one day be Muslim?
This week has been another terrible one for those of us who want a society in which all races, religions and cultures mix to their mutual advantage and enrichment.

On Tuesday, five men were sentenced to life in prison for plotting to use a huge fertiliser bomb in what would have been the UK's largest mass murder.

Omar Khyam, Waheed Mahmood, Salahuddin Amin, Anthony Garcia and Jawad Akbar - first and second generation immigrants - responded to the tolerance of the British people by trying to kill as many of them as possible.

Is it absurd to hope that the exposure of their evil after a 13-month trial which cost an estimated £50 million has finally provided the wake-up call that this slumbering country so badly needs?

Or will we continue to allow the politically-correct lunatics to stay in charge of what is becoming an asylum?

I'm one of those old-fashioned immigrants to this country who feels passionately grateful, is proudly British (as well as Irish - having been born in Dublin), and believes that immigrants have more duties than rights. [Right on, but I'd extend that sentiment to all citizens. --ed.]

And, further, that one of those is to adjust to British society rather than expecting it to adjust to them.
Ms. Edwards doesn't bring up anything new here, but she says it very clearly. Read it all.

French forecast: Rampaging 'youths', scattered car burnings

In the latest indicator that Europe may yet have a future, it appears that Nicolas Sarkozy will cruise to victory in France's elections today. This despite warnings from his opponent, socialist Segolene Royal, that his election would anger the criminal element in France.

Sure enough, The London Times reports, French police are on riot alert.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Democrats: 61% are barking moonbats

Every once in a while I post something about just how pathetic my old political party has become. Yes, I'm a recovering Democrat, and until today, I thought there might be hope for redemption for the party. But a recent Rasmussen poll has disabused me of that notion.

It seems that 35% of Democrats believe President Bush knew in advance about the 9/11 attacks. Not only that, but 26% of Democrats aren't sure. Put another way, fully 61% of Democrats aren't convinced that evil Islamists hijacked airliners and flew them into buildings in New York and Washington, and that our government had no prior knowledge.

This is simple moonbattery of the highest order. It all started with Michael Moore ("Repeat after me: There is no terrorist threat") was given a position of honor at the Democrats' National Convention in 2004 and has continued with a parade of moonbat celebrities (Charlie Sheen, Rosie O'Donnell, etc.) since.

The Democrats are sick and twisted, yet Americans willingly gave them control of both houses of Congress last year and I won't be surprised if they get the White House next year.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Where did you get your MBA?

If there was a Genghis Khan School of Business, they probably taught a variation on this method of instituting a mass layoff.
Shop staff filed outside when the fire alarm sounded at a department store - only to be greeted by managers and told "you're sacked."

[ ... ]

Workers gathered outside after the alarm was deliberately set off to clear the store of customers on Wednesday morning.

In the car park they were made aware that there was "bad news."
This would be amusing if it wasn't so awful.

Medieval barbarism meets modern day thuggery

Celebrate diversity

Aftenposten reports that a Pakistani gang in Oslo, Norway has been capturing and torturing members of a rival Moroccan gang in a basement torture chamber complete with chains on the walls.
A chilling trial is going on north of Oslo that revolves around a modern-day torture chamber, allegedly used by a Norwegian-Pakistani gang to terrorize members of a rival Moroccan gang.

Arshad Mahmood, the main 38-year-old defendant, owns the house where police found three men badly beaten and being held hostage in the home's cellar.

The room could only be described as a torture chamber, according to police. The three hostages, all Moroccans, were allegedly chained to its walls while they were beaten and kicked, police said.
It's a good thing Norway is so open to immigration by people like this. Their unemployment rate would skyrocket from all the out of work law enforcement professionals.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The speech Bush should be giving

A buddy of mine sent me this today, and it's too good not to post. If I was the President's speech writer, this is what I'd be writing.
Normally, I start these things out by saying "My Fellow Americans..."

Not doing it this time. If the polls are any indication, I don't know who more than half of you are anymore. I do know something terrible has happened, and that you're really not fellow Americans any longer.

I'll cut right to the chase here: I quit. Now before anyone gets all in a lather about me quitting to avoid impeachment, or to avoid prosecution or something, let me assure you: there's been no breaking of laws or impeachable offenses in this office. The reason I'm quitting is simple. I'm fed up with you people.

I'm fed up because you have no understanding of what's really going on in the world. Or of what's going on in this once-great nation of ours. And the majority of you are too damned lazy to do your homework and figure it out.

Let's start local. You've been sold a bill of goods by politicians and the news media. Polls show that the majority of you think the economy is in the tank, and that's despite record numbers of homeowners including record numbers of MINORITY homeowners. While we're mentioning minorities, I'll point out that minority business ownership is at an all-time high. Our unemployment rate is as low as it ever was during the Clinton Administration. I've mentioned all those things before, but it doesn't seem to have sunk in.

Despite the shock to our economy of 9/11, the stock market has rebounded to record levels and more Americans than ever are participating in these markets. Meanwhile, all you can do is whine about gas prices, and most of you are too damn stupid to realize that gas prices are high because there's increased demand in other parts of the world, and because a small handful of noisy idiots are more worried about polar bears and beach front property than your economic security.

We face real threats in the world. Don't give me this "blood for oil" thing. If I was trading blood for oil, I would've already seized Iraq's oil fields and let the rest of the country go to hell, and don't give me this 'Bush Lied, People Died' crap either. If I was the liar you morons take me for, I could've easily had chemical weapons planted in Iraq so they could be 'discovered.' Instead, I owned up to the fact that the intelligence was faulty. Let me remind you that the rest of the world thought Saddam had the goods, same as me. Let me also remind you, regime change in Iraq, was official US policy before I came into office. Some guy named 'Clinton' established that policy. Bet you didn't know that, did you?

You idiots need to understand that we face a unique enemy. Back during the cold war, there were two major competing political and economic models squaring off. We won that war, but we did so because fundamentally, the Communists wanted to survive, just as we do. We were simply able to outspend and out-tech them.

That's not the case this time. The soldiers of our new enemy don't care if they survive. In fact, they want to die. That'd be fine, as long as they weren't also committed to taking as many of you with them as they can, but; they are. They want to kill you, and the bastards are all over the globe.

You should be grateful that they haven't gotten any more of us here in the United States since September 11, but; you're not. That's because you've got no idea how hard a small number of intelligence, military, law enforcement and homeland security people have worked to make sure of that. When this whole mess started, I warned you that this would be a long and difficult fight. I'm disappointed how many of you people think a long and difficult fight amounts to a single season of 'Survivor'.

Instead, you've grown impatient. You're incapable of seeing things through the long lens of history, the way our enemies do. You think that wars should last a few months, a few years, tops.

Making matters worse, you actively support those who help the enemy. Every time you buy the New York Times, every time you send a donation to a cut-and-run Democrat's political campaign, well, dammit, you might just as well Fedex a grenade launcher to a Jihadist. It amounts to the same thing.

In this day and age, it's easy enough to find the truth. It's all over the Internet. It just isn't on the pages of the New York Times or on NBC News. Even if it were, I doubt you'd be any smarter. Most of you would rather watch American Idol.

I could say more about your expectations that the government will always be there to bail you out, but; you're too stupid to leave a city that's below sea level and has a hurricane approaching. I could say more about your insane belief that government, not your own wallet, is where the money comes from, but; I've come to the conclusion that were I to do so, it would sail right over your heads.

So I quit. I'm going back to Crawford.

I've got an energy-efficient house down there (Al Gore could only dream) and the capability to be fully self-sufficient. No one ever heard of Crawford before I got elected, and as soon as I'm done here, pretty much no one will ever hear of it again. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to die of old age before the last pillars of America fall.

Oh, and by the way, Cheney's quitting too. ,That means Pelosi is your new President. ,You asked for it. ,Watch what she does carefully, because I still have a glimmer of hope that there're just enough of you remaining who are smart enough to turn this thing around in 2008.

So that's it. God bless what's left of America.
Some of you know what I mean.