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?