Thursday, December 27, 2007


The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi, Pakistan is one more glaring and bloody example of the moral degeneracy of militant Islam. The former leader of Pakistan was killed for two primary reasons: 1)She was a woman, and to a Muslim fundamentalist, a woman in a position of power is an abomination. (2) She wanted to pull Pakistan into the 21st. century by revitalizing its economy. To a religion bent on keeping its mindset in the seventh century, the very idea of economic and technological progress is akin to blasphemy, and therefore something to fear and attack.

There is no question that it took enormous courage for Bhutto to return to Pakistan, knowing the opposition she faced.She was ousted as President in 1996 over charges of rampant corruption in her administration. The validity of these charges have never been fully adjudicated. Nonetheless, the Pakistani middleclass saw her as their salvation. India, their neighbor as well as their enemy, along with China has had one of the most dynamic economies in the world over the past decade. Understandably, a large segment of the Pakistani's want a piece of that action. They saw Benazir Bhutto as someone who could set their country in that direction. Now with her killing comes the question: Will free elections come to Pakistan as scheduled in January, and if so, who will oppose President Musharraf?

Once again, a religion whose credo is violence, and whose dogma is saturated with the blood of innocent victims has brought chaos to a region in desperate need of entering the 21st. century and the community of civilized nations.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


We have yet to hold the first presidential primary, and already I've had it up to here with all the talk about religion. Some discussion of religion was inevitable considering Mitt Romney, a Mormon, is seeking the Republican nomination. Outside the state of Utah, most Americans know little about Mormonism beyond their propensity for polygamy.

With Pastor Mike Huckabee's rise in the polls, the subject of religion remains a salient issue for many. Perhaps the highpoint (or lowpoint, depending on your viewpoint) was a recent Huckabee campaign ad that appeared to have a floating crucifix in the background.This mysterious cross turned out to simply be a bookcase reflecting light; however it served to keep religion on the front burner of campaign rhetoric.

The presidential candidates of both parties have fallen all over themselves to declare their personal religious beliefs and Christian values, apparently so no one mistakes them for heathens or Wickens. I have no interest whatsoever in anyone's devotion to the Bible. The only document I want my elected officials to swear allegiance to is the Constitution of the United States of America. And it should be noted that nowhere in the Constitution is there any mention of God. That is the ultimate separation of Church and State. The Founding Fathers had the wisdom to realize-unlike the current batch of politicians--that mixing of the two would create a heady concoction poisonous to liberty.

As the godfather of modern conservatism, Barry Goldwater, once stated: There is no place in this country for practicing religion in politics.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Regardless of whether you are driving a brand new Lexus or a twelve year old Chevy Lumina with chipped paint and cigarette holes in the upholstery, you may want to pamper it as if it were a bottle of Chateau Lafite 1959. Why? Because on December 19 President Bush signed into law a bill requiring automobile manufaturers to increase fuel economy to 35 MPG by 2020. When politicans begin to see themselves as auto design engineers, it may be an early indicator of the coming Apocalypse.

In order to achieve this mandated goal, carmakers will have to radically alter car designs. Those big powerful sedans and Suv's that we Americans love will become relics of the past, like rumbleseats and Betamax VCR's. Instead, those fuel efficient vehicles will have to be smaller and lighter. Translated, that means slower, cramped and more dangerous. The next time you're at a stoplight and a Mini Cooper pulls up next to you, take a long hard look, because it's the future of automobiles.

Sure, hybrids will take up some of the slack, but you'll be paying a premium for them. And when you have no choice but to pump ethanol into your tank, be prepared to pay more and get less mileage than gasoline.

The ultimate goal is certainly a laudable one: Be less energy dependent on the unstable oil Mullahs in the Middle East; yet there is a way to do it without sacrificing our lifestyle, pocketbooks and automobile safety. We must ignore the shrill and radical rants of the environmental left and begin drilling for our own oil. We can make huge steps toward energy independence simply by utilizing the vast oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico and the Anwr reserves in Alaska. Geologists estimate that the oil beneath the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge may be second in size only to the reserves in Saudi Arabia, the world's largest repository of petroleum. For those concerned about despoiling nature, it should be pointed out that extracting the oil would require only 8% of the 19 million acres of the Alaskan Refuge.

Until we come to our senses and devise a rational energy policy, you better treat the family car with more consideration than a prom date.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


December 7 is the one year birthday of my granddaughter, Camille Grace. She was born on Pearl Harbor Day, 2006. To commemorate the occassion, I wanted to name her Pearl Bailey Gurtatowski. Fortunately for her, her parents ignored me. Like her older sister, Lilly, Cami is beautiful, smart and an absolute joy to her grandparents.We have been blessed twice over. Happy birthday, Cami.

Monday, December 3, 2007


First the bad news: Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party won last Sunday's election by garnering 68% of the vote.

The good news: Hugo Chavez lost his bid to be president for life in Venezsuelan elections. In an obvious repudiation of his socialist agenda, Chavez reported that he lost the election 51% to 49%. Many experts say if that is what the Chavez government claims are the results, then the real results are probably closer to 80% to 20%. Despite his country being awash in oil money,the country is enduring a food shortage. So much for socialism helping the poor.

The Russians, who have no conception of what a democracy is, gave Putin almost unlimited powers. Even though he must vacate the post of President in 2010, the referendum allows him to maintain power. It is presumed he will declare himself Prime Minister, and then handpick the next President, who will, of course, be a puppet for Mr. Putin. Scratch Vladimir Putin deep enough and you will find an old school Bolshevik straight out of the Stalin-Kruschev school of dictatorship. What else would you expect from a guy who once ran the KGB?

Friday, November 30, 2007


If anyone still harbored doubts that Islam is the most dangerous religion on the planet, events in Sudan should eridicate those doubts. A Sudanese court convicted Gillian Gibbons, a 54 year old British schoolteacher, to 15 days in prison for the heinous crime of permitting her students to name a teddybear Muhammad.While she sits in a Khartoum prison, thousands of Sudanese have taken to the streets-many brandishing knives and swords-- demanding her death simply because she named a teddybear Muhammad. When their religion is offended, do Hindus demand death? Do Christians? Or Jews? Or Buddhists? It is only Islam, the supposed religion of peace.

Before anyone accuses those of us who voice anti-Muslim sentiments as being anti-Arab, many may be surprised to learn that most of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims are non-Arabs.

Finally, there is a quote from the holy book of Islam that is a perfect summation of the Muslim mindset: "Muhammad is Allah's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers..." Qur'an 48:29.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Iraq Troop Surge: Strength In Numbers

By any measure, the American military troop surge that began in February of 2007 has to be considered a success. In January, death by shooting and execution in Iraq numbered 51 a day. Now it is 18 a day. In January,killings as a result of bombings were 43 a day. Now it is 9 a day. Violence overall is down 55%.Obviously, Iraq is still a violent and dangerous country, and any amount of deaths are a trajedy, but the surge has clearly reduced the number substantially. All of this came about with the addition of approximately 30 thousand additional troops. These numbers certainly beg the question: Why didn't we invade Iraq with more troops to begin with? Colin Powell was a strong advocate of invading with overwhelming troop strength. Then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had the opposite view. He believed in a smaller, more mobile, more agile military presence. In retrospect, it is obvious who was right and who was wrong on this issue. How different would have the Iraq war been had we gone in there with 200,000 troops instead of the 125,000 mandated by Rumsfeld? If a mere 30,000 soldiers can make a signifigant difference, what kind of difference would have been made by 75,000more boots on the ground for the invasion?

While I supported the original invasion of Iraq, it is clear that the occupation has been an ill-planned fiasco. The Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld team had no coherent strategy for post-Saddam Iraq, and despite their denials, they also had not anticipated the thousands of insurgents that have devasted that country.

The lesson is clear: Do not go to war unless you intend to devastate and destroy the enemy through overwhelming force through numbers. Islamic Radicals would not waste a second on showing us mercy. Tens of thousands have needlessly died because we pulled our punches.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


"Lions For Lambs," yet another Iraq war (or more accurately, anti-Iraq war) film opened this weekend to terrible reviews and tepid boxoffice. The film has a stellar cast of Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, who also directed. Despite the superstar cast, the only audience "Lions For Lambs" will draw are insomniacs searching for something to put them to sleep. Like its Iraq war predecessors, "The Kingdom," "Rendition," and "The Valley of Elah," this Tom Cruise vehicle fails to find an audience for its liberal agitprop. Critics and the media attribute the failure of these films to the war weariness of filmgoers. And it is a legitimate claim. You cannot turn on the TV or radio, or open a newspaper or news magazine without confronting the violence and bloodshed in the Middle East. Audiences apparently want diversion from the war when they buy a movie ticket--and who can blame them? The great Viet Nam war films like "Apocalypse Now," "Platoon," and "Full Metal Jacket" were released five to ten years after the war ended.

There is another factor for the failure of these Iraq war films that no movie pundit has cared to address. Maybe the producers of these films and the liberal media refuse to accept the fact that a majority of Americans support the war, our military and George Bush. The last thing they are going to spend their money on is a movie that attacks and demeans everything they believe in. The polls keep telling us how unpopular the Iraq war is, but people are also voting with their wallets. What they are saying to the Hollywood leftist elite is "We're not wasting our hard earned money on your anti-military, anti-American propaganda posing as entertainemnt."

Hollywood, in its self-absorbed culture, believes that most Americans think exactly like they do. Their cinematic jihad is hemmoraging red ink, proving that Robert Redford and his ilk are the film business eqivalent of suicide bombers.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Wouldn't you love to have had a dollar everytime you heard or read the term "alternative fuels?" We are constantly being told by environmentalists, politicians and the media that we need to be less dependent on foreign oil, and how we must wean ourselves off of gasoline. Ethanol has become the poster child for alternative fuels. This bio-fuel derived from corn is touted as the primary panacea for all of our energy problems, but is it really the Holy Grail of alternative fuels that its proponents claim it is?

On closer investigation, you'll find that rather than conserve energy, ethanol represents a tremendous expenditure of energy. It takes 70% more energy to produce than it actually generates. According to research done by David Pimental, Professor of agriculture at Cornell University, processing a single acre of corn requires 140 gallons of fossil fuel at a cost of $347 per acre. On a per gallon basis, ethanol cost $1.74 to produce, compared to $0.95 per gallon for gasoline. There are also environmental costs. Corn production erodes the soil 12 times faster than the soil can renew itself. If we were to replace half of our gasoline consumption with ethanol, it would require that 90% of our farm land be converted to corn growth.

In terms of money, there would be no savings whatsoever for consumers. Ethanol costs more at the pump, and gives the average driver 2 to 5% less gas mileage. The International Institute for Sustainable Development says that government subsidies for ethanol development costs taxpayers 5.5 to 7.3 billion dollars a year. Because corn has become a cash crop bonanza for farmers, they are devoting more acreage to the crop. This has a twofold effect: First, the ethanol production itself, because of the law of supply and demand, drives up the cost of corn, and because growing it has become so lucrative, farmers are planting it in place of other crops, such as soybeans, wheat and tomatoes, thereby driving up the cost of those commodities and creating shortages.

If we truly are serious about acheiving greater energy independence, we have only to look in our own backyard. The Anwr Reserve in Alaska comprises 19 million acres. Geologists tell us there is as much oil beneath it as there is in Saudi Arabia. To extract it would require the use of only 8% of that area, hardly the desecration of nature that environmentalists claim it would be. In addition, there are huge oil reserves in the Gulf off of Florida, but because of pressure from environmentalists, our lawmakers refuse to allow us to extract a single ounce. Meanwhile, Mexico and Russia are busily engaged in sucking out that oil, while we pay more and more at the pump.

A coalition of politicans, farmers and corporations have produced their own personal gusher: our tax dollars that are being used to line pockets in the name of dubious science. Only a reasoned and rational approach to the energy problem will plug that geyser.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Betrayal From the Inside

Let me preface my remarks by saying I am a radical for capitalism. I'm talking about no-holds-barred, laisseze faire, free market capitalism unimpinged by misguided politicians with all the economic expertise of Neanderthals. I provide this disclaimer so my critique will not label me as another anti-capitalist, socialist/collectivist knucklehead.

On Tuesday, October 30, Merrill Lynch announced the retirement of CEO Stan O'Neal. Mr. O'Neal was shown the door after the country's largest brokerage house reported a quarterly loss of $2.24 billion dollars, the worst quarter in its 93 year history. This, combined with almost a fifty percent decrease in its stock value, sealed the CEO's fate. For his inept and incompetent mismanagement of the company, Mr' O'Neal was rewarded with a "departure package" of nearly 160 million dollars. It begs the question: How much would he have gotten had he done a good job?

These humongous golden parachutes given to failed executives goes beyond the absurd and irrational. They are fundamentally wrong for two reasons. First, they make for horrendous public relations. Big business and the corporate world have enough trouble with their image without such profligate and irresponsible spending. What is the public to think when they see their stock investments plummet and people losing their jobs, while the CEOs' responsible for the debacle receive severance packages the size of Rumania's Gross National Product? No wonder people hold a dim view of big business.

Second, these packages breed incompetence. Where is the incentive to do a good job? Who would be overly concerned with their performance and quality of their work when they will become rich whether they succeed or fail? What kind of message does this send?

What we have is a case of the "good-ole-boys" executive club taking care of one another. Once you become a member, your financial nirvana is all but guaranteed.

All it would take to end this stupidity is for one major company to come forward and declare that there will be no golden parachutes for failure. If you screw up, you get a pat on the back, six months salary and don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out. Only trouble is, a company taking that stance would never be able to hire a quality executive--not when every other corporations is still offering the golden parachutes to top managerial talent. And who could blame them?

A CEO who heads up a successful and highly profitable firm is entitled to whatever the market will bare in terms of financial renumeration for a job well done. But to reward failure is the corporate equivalent of injecting yourself with the E Coli virus. Capitalism's biggest players may ultimately be its biggest threat.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hillary care scare

It is a mystery as to why anyone with normal intelligence and the ability to count past ten without using their fingers would support Hillary Clinton's proposal for universal healthcare. If you've been walking around this planet for more than a couple of decades with eyes and ears intact, one thing should have become painfully obvious: Whatever government touches turns to crap. One only has to look to Social Security, Medicare and the Medicare drug program, Medicaid, the Postal Service, Fema, the IRS, the Viet Nam War, the Iraq War, ad nausem. Can you name one government bureaucracy that is run with the efficiency and cost effectiveness of Microsoft, Walmart or Toyota? Of course you can't; nonetheless, we still demand that the government take charge of our health. For those of you still clamoring for Hillary care, let me drop one more name: Walter Reed Hospital. It was only a matter of months ago that we found out about the deplorable conditions at that facility--a facility that is supposed to provide state-of-the-art care for our brave warriors injured in the ongoing war on terrorism. It is no coincidence that Walter Reed Hospital is run by the Federal Government.

Those with a socialist mindset attack our healthcare system, while praising the Canadian, Cuban and European systems. If you want a similiar system put in place in our country, consider this:

In the Canadian "single payer" system, every major medical procedure is put on a waiting list. According to Canadian physicians, patients are forced to wait twice as long as is medically reasonable for specialized care such as surgery and chemotherapy. As a result, cancer death rates are twenty percent higher than in the United States. Those who are financially able come to the US for their healthcare. So much for the glory of the Canadian system.

The National Center for Policy Analysis in Great Britain says that one in eight patients in that country is forced to wait over a year for neccessary surgery--the same surgery that patients here receive within a matter of days following diagnosis.

In his documentary "Sicko," Michael Moore paid homage to the Cuban system. What the movie didn't show was its two-tier approach to medical care. The top tier, which has access to the finest doctors and facilities, is reserved for Communist Party leaders and other elites. The bottom tier, infamous for dirty , understaffed and woefully ill-equipped hospitals, is for the average Cuban citizen. The best testament to Cuban healthcare came months ago when Fidel Castro fell seriously ill. He was cared for, not by the doctors of his glorious Socialist healthcare, but by doctors flown in from Venezuela.

Finally, someone, somewhere has to pay for universal healthcare. Again, taxes in Canada are 28 percent higher than in the US.

Libertarian writer P.J. O'Rourke said it best: If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait till it's free.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Solution To War

The same crazies who protest free trade in the United States and around the world are usually the same crazies who participate in anti-war protests. What they fail to realize is that they are contradicting themselves.

Economics--along with religion--is a major instigator of war. When a country is isolated from the rest of the world, it becomes a prime candidate to strike out at surroundings nations in order to insure its economic survival. The Second World War is a perfect example. Japan, isolated for centuries, attacked its neighbors to gain much needed land and resources. Germany, hamstrung by the Treaty of Versailles, took military action against its neighbors for the same reasons.

Only international free trade can forestall such catastrophies. This concept is the bane of leftists and socialists around the world, who see it in the narrow Marxist context of capitalist exploitation. In reality, it is the natural antidote to war.

When nations engage in open and free trade with other nations, they become entwined like tree roots, each dependent upon the other for its economic prosperity. With such economic co-dependence, it is highly unlikely countries will initiate military action against each other. Japan attacked us on December 7, 1941. Can anyone even remotely conceive of Japan doing the same tomorrow? Of course not. Why? Because we have become trading partners. And trading partners have too much to lose to go to war against one another.

Maybe one of these days the free trade protesters will realize they are railing against their own solution.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Myth of Iraq Democracy

After Saddam Hussein, his two sons and the Republican Guard had their butts handed to them, the United States launched the second phase of its offensive: bringing democracy to Iraq. It has been a long and frustrating struggle, and for good reason. The only true democracy in the Middle East is Israel, and it is no coincidence that it is the only non-Muslim nation in that region. Why should religion be a factor? Because in order for a democracy and free market system to take root and flourish, there must exist two prerequisites: a belief in the sanctity of the individual; and the rule of law. Islam embraces neither of these.

Islam is a religion that repudiates human intellect and free will. The concept of the sovereignty of the individual is totally lacking in Shia law.One's needs and desires are subordinated to the religious collective. A primary example is the treatment of women. Are they free to fulfill their lives? They are not even free to show their faces in public. In some Muslim nations, they are not allowed to drive, and are permitted to work only as teachers and nurses. During the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan,young girls were not even allowed to attend school. Religious police prowl the streets in search of the most trivial violations of Islamic law. Violations are met with swift and cruel punishment.

If you doubt the anti-intellectual charges agains Islam, then ask yourself these questions: Where are their renowned institutions of higher learning?Where are their major hospitals and medical research centers? What scientific and technological breakthroughs have they spearheaded? Other than oil, what other major industry thrives in the Middle East? And speaking of oil, it is Western technology and engineers that keep the oil flowing.

The reason for the dearth of intellectual progress and accomplishment is because the Islamic religion is mired in superstitious dogma authored over a thousand years ago. Note that despite the enormous wealth derived from oil, most of the populace live a lifestyle only marginally improved from their brethren centuries ago. And as for the rule of law, there can be none wherever tribalism is the primary means of social order. Throughout the region, violence between Shiite, Sunni and Kurd has existed for centuries, as warlords seek to broaden their power and control. Tribalism rules by brute force, and freedom is the first casuality. Regardless of how much money or how many troops we send to Iraq, there can be no democracy until the shackles of superstition are broken. Only the values of reason and rational thought can bring peace and democracy to that country.

Didja Ever Notice...

...Al Gore's winning the Nobel Peace Prize is the equivalent of Lassie winning an Oscar for best actress (or actor, since Lassie is actually a he, which would make him the first gender-bending actor in films. Oh, those Hollywood types.) the Southern California fires are being blamed on Global Warming. Shows you how stupid Smoky the Bear was. He blamed fires on people being careless with matches. Does a bear shit in the woods when its burning? Just thought I'd ask.

...due to long production time lines, Hollywood is finally releasing anti-Iraq films, like Rendition, and Lions For Lambs, all of which portray our military in a negative light, making one think that most of our soldiers are murderers and rapists. Could it be because Iraq is viewed as President Bush's war, and the war of the Republican Party? By contrast, do you recall the film, BLACKHAWK DOWN, released several years ago? That was the film about our military action in Somolia. In that movie, our military was portrayed as brave and loyal warriors. Maybe that was because that was the war of liberal Democrat president, Bill Clinton. Apparently when there's a Republican in the White House, only murders and rapists enlist.

...Congressman Pete Stark, Democrat from California, finally apologized for implying that our military in Iraq were killing innocent women and children...I forgot. It's a Republican President's war. that Dumbledore has been outed as gay, how long will it be before Harry Potter is revealed to be Dakota Fanning in reverse drag?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


We are but a cooling cinder
left over from the Big Bang
a spec of dust lodged in the
corner of the eye of the universe


(Published in the OCT. issue of The Oak Magazine)

It is like being alone...

despite her constant presence--
the unraveling mind, shriveling heart,
the uncontested compression of thought

when the eyes resemble frosted glass
upon which longings etch random shapes,
lucidity fading like worn denim.

In front of a sun-mottled window
she eats a Hershey bar, the chocolate
melting on her tongue the way memories
melt away in her synapses.

I reach out to stroke her hair,
yet even this close,
it is like being alone.

Debating The Great Scam

Below are a list of ten points to use against Al Gore and his minions should you find yourself debating the validity of of the concept of Global Warming. Caution: Do not use around anyone allergic to the truth.
1. There has not been an increase in global temperatures since 1998.
2. Global warming isn't really global. In the past century there has been no recorded increase in the temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere.
3. Antarctica was warmer in the 1930's than it is today.
4. The period from 1300 to 1500-known as the Midieval Warming-had higher average temperatures than today.
5. Weather stations at the South Pole show a cooling trend.
6.Contrary to claims made by Al Gore, the polar bear population is increasing, and at its highest numbers in forty years.
7. 550million years ago, CO2 levels were 18 times higher than today. During the Jurassic period, they were 9 times higher.
8. Al Gore is correct when he states there is a correlation between increased warming and increased CO2 levels, except he has it backwards. CO2 levels increase has a result of atmospheric warming, not the other way around.
9. While ice bodies are melting along the coast of Greenland, ice formations are actually growing inland.
10. The five hottest days on record in Chicago--with temperatures between 102 and 109--all ocurred prior to 1940.