Thursday, August 28, 2008


HOW DID I MISS this McCain ad, entitled Remote Control?

As Filler wrote, "Effective. I know the tired Democrat response: "Republican fear tactics". The thing is both sides appeal to fear: Democrats want you to be afraid of losing your job, of not having enough money for food or health care. Republicans want you to be a afraid of terrorists and tyrannical regimes. One fear is out of our individual control, the other fear can be faced individually. We don't need a president to face our individual fears, but we need one to face the larger, existential fear. I'll let you figure out which is which."

Actually, McCain is using the Democratic fear card. Each of the statements in this video are from prominent Democrats including Biden and Obama.

The only reason some (and they know who they are) will think this ad is a gross and low blow is because it is an effective ad. It uses other candidates' words against Obama. Then at the end, Obama's own words grab him by the throat. And for all you liberals who caterwaul about the ad containing scenes of war, surely you realize that this is indeed the dangerous and volatile world we inhabit. To deny what is going on in the world is all the more reason that you people have no business in positions of leadership of this country. The WHOLE ENCHILADA must be considered, lest we fall into some make-believe fantasy and a vulnerability where things can get real nasty really quick down the road.

Like most intelligent Americans, the Democrats in this video realize that experience is a necessity when choosing a president. And while we're taking a breather from all this critical thinking, let's ponder the uglier than thou liberal fear card...

1. Global Warming
3. Bush is a fascist!
4. McCain = Bush 3

Both fear cards are somewhat factual. Both fear cards are largely unprovable, since they exist solely as an existential hunch, based on a loose amalgamation of moving targets without regard to the fullness of time and the specificity of space. Frankly, politics as such, is a mendacious bore.

I'm pretty certain at the end of the day I will have preferred the mosh pit of my old punk rock days to all this political pudwhacking. Every soldier of the spirit who revels in the presumption of truth and banks solely on powers of persuasion and fact-laundrying sophistication when presenting one's visceral issues while I wither in the solitude of the keyboard, I say, more power to you, but I say it in jest, because frankly, in all generosity of spirit, I know I have other, perhaps better, perhaps not, but other things to do than to work that sort of con on myself, or you.

Life is fiercely complicated. I aim to persuade no one to my side of the equation beyond what I produce as a lone artist and occasional friend. Vote with your heart. Vote with your brain. Don't vote at all. But know this. Some of us aren't as stupid or as timid as we appear, and others are far more stupid and loathsome than they presume themselves to be. Life is a gamble, a mine-infested path, that way. Despite any promise of payoff in this gamble, I can only hope that God (whatever) will save us from the frenetic demons that live within us, one and all, politics be damned.

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SHOT AT THE DNC in Denver this week. It looked like these 9/11 Conspiracy wolves were ready to tear Michelle Malkin from limb to limb. This whole episode reminded me of the 1960s civil rights confrontations. You know, wolves will be wolves, and bullies will be bullies, no matter what the conflict...

I mean, what do people like this lead bully expect to accomplish? That Malkin would suddenly be addressed by a shaft of light, fall to her knees, tearfully repent of whatever opinions she may have held, and convert to this wolf's version of cocksure dogma? Makes for engaging TV, I suppose, is the fragile logic working here.

These sorts of bullies stalk their prey, unfortunately from both sides of the divide. As the song says, "This is not America."

An excerpt from my poem "Died In My Mouth" by an earlier me, circa 1980. I was then 25, a budding poet, and a fearless hunter standing among the breeze-swept reeds of Corpus Christi. My, how times have changed. I am no longer fearless.

And the saint thus
Spoke scantily to the prophet:
"He who demoralizes another
"Can claim no morality for himself."
To this the prophet said nothing, but
He knew in part the saint
For a shanty fool.

(And the unfed,
Left to perish among
The unwelcome, left to ravish
The beauty of beast, and the beast
Of beauty, established
Many fine logics.)

I fell blank at such a formula—
Asses built on caged numbers observed,
Deserved and dirty word reserved
For quaint molecules and family,
Where my occupation is a gift to anyone
Stroking along fishy fables,
Mentality tables, cradled
Images, daisies, nightsies,

I am the yellow sheep
I can’t earn my keep
Proving the fallibility of this text
World without maps
World without worldliness

My mind, an accurate page.
My head keeps to its own symbol,
There is no comfort.

I wonder what proof died in my mouth.

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"THE NOTION THAT THE US is imperialistic is absurd. Have we invaded Canada or Mexico (and don't even try that ridiculous Atzlan notion)? Did we annex West Germany after WWII? Every other superpower in world history has expanded their borders through invasion and conquest? The Romans did. The British did. We haven't. We stopped at California in the 1840's. We're the exception. We could invade Mexico and be in South America in a week. That's what imperialists do. Shows how clueless and/or dishonest liberals are. Don't let the facts get in the way.

"What a pathetic joke academia has become. I had a mix of liberal and conservative professors in the early 1980's at a small Catholic college outside of Boston. Where's the diversity on campus now?"

Quoted from a comments section on Front Page for its peculiar and rather quaint notion that America is getting a bad rap. Of course I agree with those sentiments, although I understand why the battleground is bloody. It's bloody because all the marbles are up for grabs. Its the syzygy of race, religion, and riches, the contemporary Three R's that cries out for a solution, a solution anyone with a POV seems prepared to shred in its fervor to create this NEW ONE in its own image.

But back to the purported imperialism of America. I might also add how utterly imperialistic it is that we give billions of dollars in foreign aid, and run up huge trade deficits with most of our major trading partners in an attempt to what? conquer them? I agree that America's cultural dinner table needs to be reined back to our own bunkhouses. But while we're on this topic, let's be damned sure that we insist that the Arabs and other misguided Islamists, Communists, and Assorted Gutter Fascists must do the same.

And now, let's parse the polarization that the American ideal has created with a few words from David Horowitz, yes, THAT David Horowitz:

"One of the best justice's in the country is black female Janice Rogers Brown. But she loves the Constitution and the Democrats would never, ever confirm her to the HIgh Court. How about Hispanic justice Miguel Estrada? President Bush nominated him for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The Democrats filibustered his nomination to death. Estrada finally pulled his name from consideration. The democ-rats aren't for women or minorities, they're for leftists first and always. Ask these people. Ask Judge Robert Bork. Ask all the women Bill Clinton molested about how much support they got from the Democrats and the NOW organization."

Sad really. The grand experiment postulated by our venerable founders seems to be coming to a gutwrenching end, catching pernicious hell from both ends of the loaded barrel, and while many of us dare to transcend this latter day madness, we seem powerless if not ruthlessly apathetic to muster the courage and seize the moment to right ourselves.

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THERE IS ALWAYS MORE from where this came. While the Left postures to bury America in some international assault on the integrity of nations and national borders, I wonder how long it would take for me to become a nuisance in their own well-tended backyards. Let's get real, and stay real folks. The "march against globalism" folks feign outrage when it comes to international commodities have no problem allowing the unmanaged influx of undocumented or unwanted strangers into our broken system.

With The New Case Against Immigration, National Review's Mark Krikorian has written one of the year's bravest books. In a political atmosphere where proposing to crack down on even illegal immigration can get one labeled a "nativist" or "xenophobe" in polite circles#151;and a racist in others#151;Krikorian dares to question the level of legal immigration, a topic most fear to explore.

For openers. it boggles the mind that an axis of political, media and business elites favors illegal immigration. Nonetheless, stopping illegal immigration is popular among voters. It's so popular, in fact, that presumptive GOP presidential nominee John McCain forsook his mainstream media constituency and its citizen-of-the-world mentality to give lip service to what American citizens want#151;at least while the Republican primaries lasted.

If Krikorian's name were Mark Running Bear, he'd probably get less flack for questioning the practical effects of legal immigration. I'd bet a dollar that the author hears retorts that Krikorian sure sounds like an immigrant name, as he receives cheap shots about the Armenian Mob.

Everyone should have learned in grade school that one of the minimum standards for being considered a real life nation-state is having a definable border and the means to control it (though, no doubt, that's a controversial topic in many public schools today).

Krikorian's premise is that America has a right to decide who comes here#151;legally or not#151;and set a limit on newcomers. Period.

In fact, The New Case Against Immigration spends surprisingly little time on illegal immigration; instead, Krikorian focuses on the effects of mass immigration upon a modern welfare state infected by political correctness.

Unlike many who dare to broach this topic, Krikorian does not contend that today's immigrants refuse to assimilate with American culture or have little interest in it. Rather, he turns the argument on its head.

It's not that immigrants are much different than they were a hundred years ago#151;it's that America is different in several important ways:

  • The nation no longer is set up for mass assimilation. In recent decades, we have set up a racial spoils system that is supposed to make up for past American sins, but it applies to newcomers as well. The public schools—the main engine of assimilation in past generations#151;don't even try to make proud Americans out of Americans anymore.

  • Those who come to the United States from many countries often encounter a seismic shift in technology, traditions and mores. A century ago, the main differences an immigrant faced when coming to America were life under liberty and vastly improved opportunities.

  • America no longer is a frontier country looking to populate vast empty territories with a growing need to entice sturdy laborers to our shores.

  • Most importantly, the U.S. is now a welfare state—and minimum income, health care and schooling are guaranteed for anyone who crosses our border. This alone makes mass immigration impractical.

    Read it all at Front Page...

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  • Tuesday, August 26, 2008


    EVIDENCE OF A COVERT CAMPAIGN to undermine the presidential primaries is rife, so it's curious that many within both the Democratic and Republican parties have ignored the actual elephant in the room in 2008. That would be Karl Rove, the G.O.P.'s longtime political strategist and a man many politicos still refer to as "The Architect". Accused of rigging the two previous presidential elections, this master of deceit would have us believe he's gone off to write op-eds and armchair quarterback this year's coverage for Fox News Channel.

    Not so. According to an article in Time magazine last November, Republicans were organized in several states to throw their weight behind Senator Barack Obama, one of several candidates competing against Senator Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. While Rove's name isn't mentioned in the story, several former fundraisers and strategists for President Bush are identified.

    With the help of Wall Street investment firms, these gentlemen flush Obama's coffers with cash early on in the race, something conservative deep pockets had not done for any candidate in their own party. With receipts topping $100 million in 2007, the freshman senator achieved a remarkable feat, given that he only first appeared on the national scene in 2004. In fact, the vast majority of Americans did not even hear of him until 2006.

    To expedite the Rove strategy, a website and discussion forum called Republicans for Obama formed in 2006. The executive director of New Hampshire's Republican Party, Stephen DeMaura, later established “Stop Hillary Clinton (One Million Strong AGAINST Hillary)” on Facebook. At the same time, the Obama camp launched its own initiative targeted at Republican primary voters called "Be a Democrat For a Day".

    The campaign included a video that was circulated in Florida, Nevada, Vermont and elsewhere explaining the process of switching parties for the election. In addition, many states nowadays hold open primaries, allowing citizens to vote for any candidate, regardless of their party affiliation. In Nebraska, the mayor of Omaha publicly rallied Republicans and Independents to caucus for Obama on February 9th. In Pennsylvania, Time reported on March 19th that Obama was running radio ads in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia asking Republicans to register as Democrats and then vote for him in the state's April 22nd primary.

    The tactic, called crossover voting, allowed Obama to open up an unsurmountable lead in pledged delegates, particularly in the 12 red-state caucues that he won. Republicans for Obama was certainly not bashful in making its case in an email appeal linked to its home page before the March 4th contests. "Since Texas has an open primary," the appeal read, "Republicans and Independents should sign in at their polling place and request a Democratic ballot. They should then vote for Barack Obama... Just think, no more Clintons in the White House."

    Then there was Iowa, which held the nation's first caucus on January 3rd. Here G.O.P. winner Mike Huckabee received just half as many votes as Clinton, who finished third behind Obama and John Edwards. According to, 43,000 out of 52,500 party changes for the caucus were switches to the Democrats. "Pre-caucus polling had [Obama] in a head-to-head battle among Democratic voters with Sen. Hillary Clinton", the post read. The reporter said pundits were attributing Obama's victory margin to independents.

    Of the 17 states holding open primaries, Obama won 13 of them. And an analysis of the caucus results to date shows that a disproportionate number of delegates were awarded to Obama. DNC Chair Howard Dean and superdelegate Donna Brazile have since been accused of manipulating the primary schedule and caucus voting to insure Obama would prevail ast the party's nominee. Although she maintains she's neutral in this year's primaries, Brazile served as the DNC whipping boy when it stripped nearly 350 delegates from two Clinton strongholds, Florida and Michigan, in the lead-up to the primary season. The sanctions were imposed after both state legislatures scheduled early contests.

    In fact, Donna Brazile may have been Rove's inside connection to the DNC. The two befriended each other in 2003 and have been trading political favors ever since. When he resigned from the Bush Administration last summer, Rove even called Brazile from Air Force One to break the news. "Mr. Rove's resignation is not a retirement," Brazile wrote in her newsletter afterward. "It's just another opportunity for him to create that lasting Republican majority he envisioned years ago and to spend his waking days doing what he so enjoys—beating Democrats in the alleys and gutters. Just ask Sen. Hillary Clinton, Mr. Rove's target when he called in to speak to Rush Limbaugh. He couldn't help it. Mr. Rove just had to take one last shot before riding out of town. More to come, Team Clinton."

    Read it all at Lynette Long's blog. It's a enough to make once wish for...

    I think the watchword "worry" applies to more than just swing states. This election was over the moment the liberal left wing of the Democratic Party decided to play king maker. The Republicans may be too far to the right for many of us Independents out here, but they know when and how to woo undecided voters. I agree with Carville, get tough or lose the election. But somehow, I don't see the DNC insiders skipping their own self love-fest to develop a strategy to win.

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    WHEN BARACK OBAMA ACCEPTS the Democratic nomination later this week, he will portray himself as a shining example of the Great American Dream. With his impressive rhetorical skill, he will speak of embracing America’s common ideals and securing them for future generations and continuing on that glorious path established by our founding fathers, yada, yada. And he won’t mean a word of it.

    To the contrary, Obama largely rejects the principles of individual liberty on which this nation was founded. His thinking is more closely aligned with Karl Marx’s than John Locke’s.

    “In America,” Obama frequently scoffs, “we have this strong bias toward individual action. You know, we idolize the John Wayne hero who comes in to correct things with both guns blazing. But individual actions, individual dreams, are not sufficient. We must unite in collective action, build collective institutions and organizations.”

    Or as Marx put it, “Don’t wrangle with us so long as you apply, to our intended abolition of bourgeois property, the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom, culture, law, etc.”

    Personal liberty and responsibility are dangerous, according to Marx, because they allow an individual to be “regarded as an isolated monad, withdrawn into himself,” rather than one whose responsibility is to the larger society.

    Echoing that sentiment, Obama regularly sneers that the right wing “keeps appealing to that old individualistic bootstrap myth: get a job, get rich, and get out. … And they also have hijacked the higher moral ground with this language of family values and moral responsibility.

    “Now we have to take this same language — these same values that are encouraged within our families — of looking out for one another, of sharing, of sacrificing for each other — and apply them to a larger society. Let’s talk about creating a society, not just individual families, based on these values.”

    Indeed, Obama openly scorns the idea that individual families should take care of themselves. In his speeches he mocks conservatives who prefer “to give everyone one big refund on their government — divvy it up by individual portions — hand it out, and encourage everyone to use their share to go buy their own health care, their own retirement plan, their own child care, their own education, and so on.”

    “In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society,” he continues. “And it is especially tempting because each of us believes we will always be the winner in life’s lottery, that we’re the one who will be the next Donald Trump, or at least we won’t be the chump who Donald Trump says: “You’re fired!”

    Got that? Only chumps dare to dream. (This from the candidate peddling hope.)

    Although Marx would wince at the mention of God, he surely would approve of Obama’s implicit disdain for private ownership and individual achievement expressed in this line: “As long as there are those who try to privatize our government and decimate our social programs and peddle a philosophy of trickle-down and on-your-own, I ask you to keep marching for a vision of America where we rise or fall as one nation under God.”

    Marx denounced the “bourgeois freedom” that permitted “an individual separated from the community, withdrawn into himself, wholly preoccupied with his private interest and acting in accordance with his private caprice.”

    That upsets Obama, too. In the canned speech he gives at college commencement ceremonies, he says to graduates, “You can take your diploma, walk off this stage, leave this city, and go chasing after the big house and the large salary and the nice suits and all the other things that our money culture says you should buy. You can narrow your concerns to what’s going on in your own little circle and live life in a way that tries to keep your story separate from America’s.”

    Marx was more succinct. Explaining why the right to own private property is wrong-headed, he said because it allowed “the right to enjoy one’s fortunes and dispose of it as he will without regard for other men and independently of society.”

    Obama doesn’t quote Marx word-for-word—but it’s close. Looks like Joe Biden isn’t going to be the only plagiarist on the Democratic ticket.

    From the Washington Examiner columnist Melanie Scarborough, an award-winning commentary writer whose work has appeared in more than two dozen newspapers, magazines, and books.

    Strange that the Obama's opted for the large salary, big house, fancy suits, dance lessons for the children, that is to say, the good life, while laying a guilt trip on doe-eyed college graduates aimed to convince them to eschew such a path. Yep, change we can believe in. Always egging up someone else to do the changing, while coyly exempting themselves.

    Read on to read Zoe's charitable comments hailing the senior Senator from Massachusetts:

    Senator Kennedy brought tears to my eyes last night. He is still working for us—reminding us of our history and that the rest of us need to get off that couch and get to work and take up that baton he is handing us. I see several of you, by your comments, are doing just that. But for the rest of us...

    With that heroic vision in mind, we need to unite and control the corporate ruling class that has put us in this era of Poverty. Our fight is very American as exhibited by Bacon's Rebellion in 1676 where poor whites and poor blacks were united against the elite Tidewater Gentry.

    The "gentry" owned all the good land/property and had political power beyond their numbers (they could afford lobbyists). Many of the poor (small farmers, indentured servants, etc.) were debtors. Sound familiar?

    The fear of the unification of the black and whites led Virginia to pass laws that made slavery lifelong and a status that was passed on to one's children. This now created a racially based class system with blacks at the bottom. The poorest white indentured servants were now above them. This broke the commonality of interest that ensured cooperation between the poor English and poor Africans which had existed during Bacon's Rebellion.

    Thus, legalized, hereditary racial slavery led to the division among the poor and working class today.

    Time to finally do something about it which brings us to the historical significance of Mr. Obama's candidancy. Can we reach full circle? Can we be lead out of the desert by Mr. Obama?

    Are we capable of really educating ourselves about what our nation needs instead of just reacting to the stimuli of soundbites, spin, fake news, propaganda, prejudice, paid political hacks calling themselves "pundits" or commercials designed to misinform?

    Can we lift off the yoke placed on us since 1676 that controls us and has brainwashed us into the luxury of thinking we can look down on people when the majority of us are under Mr. McCain's $5M cutoff?

    Can we, the majority, unite our country by class, color, gender, race, creed just this once to flex our power as a democratic people?

    The rich just keep on getting richer doing whatever they want because there is no accountability. They can buy their $20m homes and take their golden parachutes after raping a company made up of people trying to earn an honest wage to support their families.

    It is time for a reckoning. And it time to end the manipulation of our nation. Thank you Senator Kennedy for never giving up your hope in us.

    Yes, it's time for some radical centrism to shake this rotten tree. It's time for accountability. It's time to strike at the failed policies of those who seek to enslave us, whether these forces come from the far left or the far right, or even worse, from agents of foreign agitation and aggression. Enough is enough.

    Then there is the breaking news of the lawsuit filed by Philip Berg against Barack Obama officially stipulating that as a foreign national, Obama is not constitutionally qualified to stand for election to the highest office in the nation.

    But here is the sad news. Police are investigating whether they have foiled an assassination plot against Barack Obama after four people were arrested near the Democratic convention in Denver in the possession of high powered rifles. Fortunately, this asinine plot was foiled.

    Oh yes, the photo at the top of this entry? That's poverty. That's also George Obama, Kenyan son of Harvard graduate Barack Obama, Sr., and brother to the Democratic Party's candidate for President of these United States of America, an America he would hand over to the United Nations as a down payment on the New World Order he expects to usher into existence, if he thumps John McCain in November. No doubt he will have a mandate. Not much different than Mister Bush's desperate mandate. A change of uniforms. That's all. Such as the ways and means of the Left. Strap yourself in, my friends. This ride will turn bloody, somewhere, somehow, no doubt. Maybe his brother will kick things off by offering a handout to George in Kenya, now that the press has broken the story, and helped puncture the Obama balloon. Charity begins at home they say.

    Here are a few words from the ever insightful Max Publius:

    "McCain is so rich (not usually a bad thing, unless you're a rich Democrat talking about Republicans) that he can't remember how many houses he has, as he admitted in a recent radio interview. Now, this is somewhat profligate, I must admit. It shows a lack of concern with finances that only people who stumbled upon their money would have (in this case, through his rich wife, who inherited it). But then there is Obama, who is exploiting McCain's domicile innumeracy.

    "Obama owns one house. It is a small mansion (some of McCain's are small condos), but he would have us believe owning one house is a sign he is an ascetic. He doesn't mention how, when he wasn't so well known, it was financed through his crooked friend, the jailed Tony Rezko, a Syrian "Islamochristian"-type whose signature corruption style involves deals with the likes of the Nation of Islam and shady Iraqi financiers.

    "Losing track of your money is somewhat irresponsible, but losing track of the number of brothers you have, as Obama has, is completely repulsive. The press has dug up yet another Obama half-brother, this one living in total abject poverty in a fly and disease shanty in Kenya on less than a dollar a day. Obama is aware of this brother's impoverished existence, but in the years since Obama became quite affluent, and now a multi-millionaire, it's been cool with him. He just doesn't mention him; he's basically totally forgot about him, his own family. "For the price of a cup of coffee a day," Obama could have lifted his brother, who had only the misfortune of being born in Kenya, up from poverty. But he didn't. Now Obama wants to take care of your family.

    "Of course, this brother is a result of Obama the Senior's Islamically-inspired philandering—a lack of concern with off-spring among those who "emulate the prophet" in this regard. That brings up Islam, of course. Obama believes the sharia call to prayer is "the most beautiful sound on Earth." No mention what he thinks of the Islamic justification for killing ex-Muslims, polygamy, wife beating, child marriage (rape) , or the Koranic exhortations for violent jihad against non-Muslims or the degrading treatment of "people of the book" (Christians and Jews) under sharia law. This would seem rather more compelling for the voters to know about, post 9/11, than Obama's opinion on the incessant warbling from Muslim minarets. After all, Obama is the son of a semi-lapsed Muslim. He might have some feelings on the topic.

    Fat chance we'll hear about it.

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    Monday, August 25, 2008


    THE PRESIDENT OF SWITZERLAND stepped to a podium in Bern last May and read a statement confirming rumors that had swirled through the capital for months. The government, he acknowledged, had indeed destroyed a huge trove of computer files and other material documenting the business dealings of a family of Swiss engineers suspected of helping smuggle nuclear technology to Libya and Iran.

    The files were of particular interest not only to Swiss prosecutors but to international atomic inspectors working to unwind the activities of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani bomb pioneer-turned-nuclear black marketeer. The Swiss engineers, Friedrich Tinner and his two sons, were accused of having deep associations with Dr. Khan, acting as middlemen in his dealings with rogue nations seeking nuclear equipment and expertise.

    The Swiss president, Pascal Couchepin, took no questions. But he asserted that the files—which included an array of plans for nuclear arms and technologies, among them a highly sophisticated Pakistani bomb design—had been destroyed so that they would never fall into terrorist hands.

    Behind that official explanation, though, is a far more intriguing tale of spies, moles and the compromises that governments make in the name of national security.

    The United States had urged that the files be destroyed, according to interviews with five current and former Bush administration officials. The purpose, the officials said, was less to thwart terrorists than to hide evidence of a clandestine relationship between the Tinners and the C.I.A.

    Over four years, several of these officials said, operatives of the C.I.A. paid the Tinners as much as $10 million, some of it delivered in a suitcase stuffed with cash. In return, the Tinners delivered a flow of secret information that helped end Libya’s bomb program, reveal Iran’s atomic labors and, ultimately, undo Dr. Khan’s nuclear black market.

    In addition, American and European officials said, the Tinners played an important role in a clandestine American operation to funnel sabotaged nuclear equipment to Libya and Iran, a major but little-known element of the efforts to slow their nuclear progress.

    The relationship with the Tinners “was very significant,” said Gary S. Samore, who ran the National Security Council’s nonproliferation office when the operation began. “That’s where we got the first indications that Iran had acquired centrifuges,” which enrich uranium for nuclear fuel.

    Read it all in the New York Times. And, of course, far be it from the Times to hold the lid on American secret operations. Here's the deal:

    An inventor and mechanical engineer, Friedrich Tinner got his start in Swiss companies that make vacuum technology, mazes of pipes, pumps and valves used in many industries. Mr. Tinner received United States patents for his innovative vacuum valves. By definition, his devices were so-called dual-use products with peacetime or wartime applications. Governments often feel torn between promoting such goods as commercial boons and blocking them as security risks.

    As recounted in books and articles and reports by nuclear experts, Mr. Tinner worked with Dr. Khan for three decades, beginning in the mid-1970s. His expertise in vacuum technology aided Dr. Khan’s development of atomic centrifuges, which produced fuel for Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, now variously estimated at 50 to 100 warheads.

    Yet while Mr. Tinner repeatedly drew the attention of European authorities, who questioned the export of potentially dangerous technology, he never faced charges. Mr. Tinner’s involvement with Dr. Khan deepened beginning in the late 1990s, when, joined by his sons, he helped supply centrifuges for Libya’s secret bomb program.

    In 2000, American officials said, Urs Tinner was recruited by the C.I.A., and American officials were elated. Spy satellites can be fooled. Documents can lie. Electronic taps can mislead. But a well-placed mole can work quietly behind the scenes to get at the truth.

    For instance, the United States had gathered circumstantial evidence that Iran wanted an atom bomb. Suddenly it had a direct view into clandestine Iranian procurement of centrifuges and other important nuclear items.

    This is all very sad, and precisely why the peace movement, dear friends, can and should never be localized. War is a global business with unsavory players in every nook and cranny. There is always more cloak and dagger intrigue going on behind the scenes than any self-righteous group of ordinary citizens can possibly know at any given moment in time. There will be a war of massive scale, so devastating, so wicked, so awful in its reach that finally mankind will be defeated in its pursuits for domination. Only then will peace be possible. I personally despise this notion, but I fearfully suspect it is also the truest statement to be written about the mind of man in these dangerous times. Thus, I support my own government to do its military best to stop this next war, by any means necessary. Because this next war will not be cheered by victors.

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    Saturday, August 23, 2008


    THE INFLUENTIAL Associated Press (AP) wire service has belatedly run a story about Barack Obama’s Marxist mentor without mentioning the smoking-gun evidence that the mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, was a Communist Party member. The dishonest story, which represents damage control for the Obama campaign, was written by AP writer Sudhin Thanawala.

    AP is one of the largest news agencies and serves thousands of print and electronic media outlets.

    Under the innocuous headline, “Writer offered a young Barack Obama advice on life,” the story calls Davis, a member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) when it faithfully echoed the Stalinist line, merely a “left-leaning black journalist and poet” known for “leftist politics” and someone who might be accused by some of having “allegedly anti-American views.”

    Davis was not a “journalist” in any real sense of the term. He was a propagandist and racial agitator for the CPUSA. He was also a recruiter for the communist cause.

    So let us prepare to watch how Joe Biden fits into these new shoes...

    Read it all.

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    Still uncommitted? Here's something from the camp of Democratic Party politics that caught my attention. It was originally published on June 2, 2008 by a blogger named River Daughter.

    The Party Unity My Ass un-Party (PUMA) was born yesterday. We already have many new members. But, some of you may ask, what does it mean? How can we make a difference? Before I get to that, I’d like to refer you to one of Anglachel’s latest posts, The Idea of Obama. I think that what Anglachel is describing is a kind of “puppy love” or an infatuation. The situation we have here is precisely the reason why superdelegates were created in the first place. There is a unacknowledged immaturity about the Obama faction that many parents among us will recognize.

    Here’s the money quote:

    The deep problem of Obama’s campaign is that he and his supporters do not want to face the political reality of their own conflicting desires. They both want to sweep to victory in November and they want to purge the party of anything connected to the Clintons, which includes all of the voting contituencies represented by that amazing and talented duo. The failure of the Unity Pony stems directly from that fantasy of majority status without majority support and the political work and compromises that go with cultivating that support. Thus, their model for unity is unanimity through elimination, purging the ranks of the unclean and unbelievers.

    They will not acknowledge that Hillary is a legitimate political actor and reduce her to an inhuman monster and enemy. They will not acknowledge that her supporters have sound, rational reasons for our support, and reduce us to mindless fools and spoils of war. They shift blame for their own choices and actions onto us and expect that we will cater to their whims.
    Like adolescents, they insist on making their own decisions and yet expect us to get them out of a jam later. They hate us because of who we are and yet they need us in order for them to get what they want. And the superdelegates are the too permissive parents who are giving in to them because they can’t handle the screaming and guilt trips that will follow if they don’t.

    This is where we come in, PUMAs. We will fill the role that the superdelegates have abrogated. It is our job to say “no”. We do not want to lose in 2008. We do not want another four years of Republican rule. We want 4 years of intelligence, competence and courage in a time of what will surely be a very critical time in our nation’s history. Terrorism is still out there. There are two wars going on. Our military is stretched so thinly that our national security is compromised. We have an energy crisis and many families are hurting. Our financial institutions got themselves over their heads. And there is a serious environmental catastrophe at hand in global warming.

    Now is not the time to put a love object in office, a weakling who will be entirely dependent on his power elite enablers. Or worse, he may be a dissembler who has barely disguised his contempt for the voters.

    There will be a lot of calls for “Unity!”. But let us acknowledge what this really is. “Unity” is a weapon that the party is going to use against us. It is the emotional blackmail of the teenager. “If you don’t let me have my way, it will be all YOUR fault if something bad happens!” “If you don’t get in line, it will be YOUR fault if we lose.”

    Don’t give in to this. This is where a parent’s mettle is tested. When the stakes are not high, like staying up too late on a school night, we can afford to let them live with the consequences of their actions. When the situation is critical, we have to be firm. We have to give them choices. We have to tell them that we will not be willing participants in their destructive behavior. We have to tell them that the consequences of their behavior will fall on *their* heads. We have to take away the car keys. Not ground them. Just not aid them in doing what they want. We have to exert our authority.

    That goes for superdelegates as well who are failing in their responsibilities. We will hold them accountable as well. If they allow these children to run the house, they will have to live with the consequences, not us.

    Barack Obama is a ruthless campaigner who has brought out the worst in the political system but no matter how far he has come, he is a failure. He has failed to live up to core Democratic principles, He has failed to respect the voters. He has failed to disguise his contempt for average, hard working American men and women. And because he has failed in so many ways to appeal to the electorate at large, he will fail the ultimate contest. He will be a failed presidential candidate. We do not wish to be associated with failure while there is still time and an opportunity to avoid it.

    We will not be blackmailed into party unity in order to indulge irresponsible people in their fantasies. Our votes belong to us and we will do with them what we feel is best for us, the party and the country.

    The action plan for PUMAs is:
    1.) Dissociate yourself from the party. Tell them you will not be a party to its self destructive behavior.
    2.) Reflect on your values. Read the credo at the top of this site and create at better one. Keep the language general and inclusive. Concentrate on universal truths and beliefs. Avoid wordsmithing.
    3.) Stick together. We are powerful as a unit if we do not fall victim to the psychological warfare that is about to be directed at us. Turn off the media. Avoid conversations with trolls. Stand firm and do not yield.
    4.) Remember that there is a better alternative. Hillary Clinton is the strongest candidate for the party and the nation. She has a lot of support out there. The nation will rally around her if we let them know we are not giving in. We must not let her concede one inch. Stand firm. Send her your good thoughts. Send her money. Do not give up.
    5.) Spread the word.

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    Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, is author of The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Power to the East. He recently spoke with NPQ editor Nathan Gardels.

    NPQ: One aspect of post-globalization, of the world growing more diverse after the playing field has been flattened, is non-Western modernization. Do you see this in Asia?

    Kishore Mahbubani: Yes. I try to distinguish between modernization and Westernization.

    They are not the same thing at all. The paradox that the West hasn't grasped yet is that you have modernization and de-Westernization taking place at the same time. That is something that doesn't fit the Western mindset. For them, modernization can only be Westernization.

    Modernization means that you want to have a comfortable, middle-class existence with all the amenities and attributes that go along with it—clean water, indoor plumbing, electricity, telecommunications, infrastructure, personal safety, rule of law, stable politics and a good education system.

    As these societies modernize and become more confident, they are rejecting the Western frame of mind and cultural perspectives they have accepted, or been forced to accept, for the past 200 years.

    You have to go inside the Asian mind to understand this new thinking. In prospering Asia today, there is a sense of pride and liberation. There is a sense that "I've had this Western veneer covering my mind, now I can peel it off. Now I can be myself. I may speak English fluently, but I have a different soul."

    Just as the Italian Renaissance reconnected Europeans back to the greatness of Greek and Roman times, so too, in Asia today, a kind of renaissance is taking place as we rediscover our cultural roots.

    The Nalanda project is a good example of what I'm talking about. From the 5th through the 12th century, Nalanda was the biggest university in the world, where scholars from China, India, Japan and Korea connected Asia until the Turkish invaders destroyed it without a trace. It was a center of learning and innovation. Now, after the Western interlude, we are rediscovering these old connections of the past and rebuilding a new civilization on its foundations.

    This shift in the Eastern mind seems to have been largely missed by the West. Indeed it has taken on real momentum in the years since 9/11 when the West has been preoccupied with terrorism and Islamic radicalism.

    NPQ: How are these values different from the West's? Are you talking about Confucian, socially conservative values versus the more libertarian West? Is it anti-West?

    Mahbubani: For the moment, parents in Asia still want to send their kids to American universities, at least until more Asian universities, improving ever more in quality, reach world standards. We are not about to give up the modern world of science, technology and economics. What we are rediscovering are new perspectives on the cultural and moral side.

    Yet, even with respect to Confucian values, we don't want to go back to the old days. But we do want to modernize those values in light of our own experience, not just adapt some liberal outlook on freedoms of the individual because that is what the West had done.

    I grew up in a household not of Confucian but of Hindu values. As a child, I was supposed to touch my father's feet as a demonstration of respect. I always hated that. I rebelled against it. Today, of course, the notion of respecting elders remains, but not the extreme oppressive form of it from the old era. It is leavened more by the concept of equality, the Western gift to the world. So, we have a mix.

    I have spent my whole adult life listening to Western music. But now it is the old Hindi songs of my childhood that get me going. This shows in my thoughts somewhere, I am returning to my roots. What do the rich Chinese buy? Chinese antiques so they can connect to their past.

    NPQ: What is the difference here between what you are describing and the globalized hybrid culture everyone shares today with the crosspollination that comes from a more open global society?

    Mahbubani: There is a kind of new cosmopolitan global personality emerging, it's true. That is one phenomenon we see. I'm intrigued to see how popular culture mixes with traditions the world over. I went to a Chinese function in Singapore recently in which Punjabi Bhangra music was being played. That is part of the cosmopolitanism that is coming.

    But one particularity of what is happening in Asia is a rediscovery of the once-lost past, in China, in India. One good example is what is happening in TV shows. As a child growing up, I only saw American TV shows like I Love Lucy, My Three Sons and so on. Today, increasingly the Chinese TV is about some legendary hero from the Qing dynasty.

    Now this is the way the future SHOULD evolve. Bravo! A wonderful interview. Read it all.

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    Thursday, August 21, 2008


    PATERNALISM IS THE RESTRICTION of freedom for the good of the person restricted. AIPCS acts in loco parentis because [Ben] Chavis, who is cool toward parental involvement, wants an enveloping school culture that combats the culture of poverty and the streets.

    He and other practitioners of the new paternalism—once upon a time, schooling was understood as democracy's permissible, indeed obligatory, paternalism—are proving that cultural pessimists are mistaken: We know how to close the achievement gap that often separates minorities from whites before kindergarten and widens through high school. A growing cohort of people possess the pedagogic skills to make "no excuses" schools flourish.

    Unfortunately, powerful factions fiercely oppose the flourishing. Among them are education schools with their romantic progressivism—teachers should be mere "enablers" of group learning; self-esteem is a prerequisite for accomplishment, not a consequence thereof. Other opponents are the teachers unions and their handmaiden, the Democratic Party. Today's liberals favor paternalism—you cannot eat trans fats; you must buy health insurance—for everyone except children. Odd.

    Read it all in the most recent George F. Will column. Don't look now but I think there is light in this here tunnel. While it is clear that Chavis is controversial in many ways, neither his tactics nor his reputation seemed to stymie his success. In another surprise move, Chavez left the school in 2007.

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    Tuesday, August 19, 2008


    AFTER READING ARCH-CONSERVATIVE Tony Blankley's syndicated article about the shortcomings of the presumptive Democratic nominee's worldview, two comments left on the site intrigued me even more than Mister Blankley's.

    First, the comment by SoxConn:

    Obama needs to go back to his sources of "principled diplomacy". One of the underlying principles was internationalizing "liberal capitalism" NOT internationalizing liberal socialism. There is a big difference in who controls the distribution of "fruits of labor", those that earn it or those elitists that want to socially engineer equality. It's been tried before in 1917 and 1924 to 1953 and failed.

    Global Warming or Climate Change or whatever it is today is losing it's appeal as revenue (and political power) source because of conflicts with energy problems and a false foundation in consensus science. A goal of reducing "extreme poverty" 50% by 2015 is Miss Congenialty stuff. The guy needs a baseline in reality, not celebrityism.

    The comment left by a woman who dubbed herself—Bandai—is even more likely to ring true for many of us:

    My late husband and I worked way too hard and made good money. We could have had a great life in our retirement but for the fact that we both tried to help out our families, whose needs were endless, and whose ambition was limited to transferring our "wealth" to support their idleness.

    My husband is now gone, and I struggle every month to make ends meet, but I had the good sense to turn off the constant drain on our resources after I was diagnosed with a progressive illness that will eventually be terminal and had to stop working.

    Despite their solemn promises to repay the "loans" at the time of request, not one of them has ever repaid a dime. The family has long forgotten all the help they received from us, and I am resented for my necessary decision.

    The point is, one working couple most likely cannot support an extended family in comfort in perpetuity; nor can one country sharing their wealth support the world and make everyone wealthy or happy.

    And contrary to logic, our generosity will not win us the respect of the world, but rather resentment.

    We can still do good in the world, just not by transferring our wealth, which we, as individuals, will eventually need to support ourselves. I volunteer my time to local organizations. Most of us have talents that can benefit others in some way.

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    Monday, August 18, 2008


    12 August 2005

    [Congressional Record: June 9, 2005 (House)] [Page H4340-H4345] From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access


    The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Mack). Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 4, 2005, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Bartlett) is recognized for 60 minutes.

    Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland. Mr. Speaker, the subject that I want to spend a few moments talking about this afternoon really began for our country in 1962. We were still testing nuclear weapons then, and for the first time the United States tested a weapon above the atmosphere. This weapon was detonated over Johnston Island in the Pacific. This was a part of a series of tests called the Fishbowl Series, and this was Operation Starfish in 1962. We had no prior experience with the detonation of a weapon above the atmosphere. We prepared for this test with airplanes and ships using radar and theodelites and instrumentation to measure the effects on the ground from a blast that was some 400 kilometers in altitude.

    In conversations just today with Dr. Lowell Wood from Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, I learned more of the details of the results of that test. They had not anticipated the magnitude of the effects at the ground under the blast; so many of their instruments simply pegged and they were not able to get a clear indication of the effects. I might note that the Soviets had extensive testing experience with EMP over their own territory. They had a much larger territory than we and some of it quite remote; so they were able to instrument more extensively and had a lot more experience than we have had. This was our first and only experience with a superatmospheric detonation of a nuclear weapon.

    The effects over Hawaii, which was about 800 miles away, included several totally unexpected things; so there was no instrumentation on Hawaii to record the effects.

    So all they can divine from the effects is what happened. Some street lights went out, and analysis after the fact indicated that these were the street lights that were oriented so that there was a very long line effect. In other words, the wires feeding the street lights constituted a very long antenna which received the signals from the detonation in space such that there was arcing and some of the street lights went out. This was investigated, and some of the failures were retained and were shown to a commission that I will talk about in a few minutes, Mr. Speaker, that spent 2 years studying these effects and the risk to our military and to our country.

    There were other effects in communications and so forth. As I said, none of this was expected; so there was no instrumentation. We have since tried to determine the effects of what is called electromagnetic pulse produced by a nuclear detonation. We have done that with laboratory devices, some of them quite large that could expose a whole airplane, but none of them obviously large enough to include miles and miles of long-line effect.

    The EMP pulse at that distance was estimated to be about five kilovolts per meter. We will have occasion in a little bit to talk about that in light of present capabilities. Because there was intense activity above the atmosphere, the Van Allen belts were pumped up; so there were a number of low Earth orbit satellites that decayed very rapidly as they passed through the Van Allen belts.

    Mr. Speaker, I want to kind of put what we are going to say in context. So I want to indicate here some of the seriousness of EMP and its implications. In 1999, I sat in a hotel room in Vienna, Austria. I was there with 10 other Members of Congress and several staff members. We had there three members of the Russian Duma and a representative of Slobodan Milosevic. This was just prior to the resolution of the Kosovo conflict. We developed with them a framework agreement that was adopted about 5 days later by the G-8, which the Members may remember ended the Kosovo conflict.

    One of the members of the Russian Duma was Vladimir Lukin, who was well known to this country because he was the ambassador here at the end of Bush I and the beginning of the Clinton administration. At that time he was a very senior member of the Russian Duma. He was very angry and sat for 2 days in that hotel room with his arms crossed looking at the ceiling. We had not early asked the Russians for help and they felt offended about that, and the statement he made expressing that sentiment was that "you spit on us. Now why should we help you?'' And then he made a statement that stunned us. The leader of that delegation was the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. *Weldon*), who speaks and understands some Russian. And when Vladimir Lukin was speaking, he turned to me and he said, "Did you hear what he said?''

    Of course I heard what he said, but I did not understand it because I do not understand Russian.

    But then it was translated, and this is what he said: "If we really wanted to hurt you with no fear of retaliation, we would launch an SLBM,'' which if it was launched in a submarine at sea, we really would not know for certain where it came from. "We would launch an SLBM, we would detonate a nuclear weapon high above your country, and we would shut down your power grid and your communications for 6 months or so.''

    The third-ranking communist was there in the country. His name is Alexander Shurbanov, and he smiled and said, "And if one weapon would not do it, we have some spares.'' I think the number of those spares now is something like 6,000 weapons.

    This likely consequence of a high-altitude nuclear burst was corroborated by Dr. Lowell Wood, who in a field hearing at the Johns Hopkins University applied physics laboratory, made the observation that a burst like this above our atmosphere creating this electromagnetic pulse would be like a giant continental time machine turning us back to the technology of 100 years ago. It is very obvious that the population of today in its distribution could not be supported by the technology of 100 years ago. And I asked Dr. Wood, I said, "Dr. Wood, clearly the technology of 100 years ago could not support our present population in its distribution,'' and his unemotional response was, "Yes, I know. The population will shrink until it can be supported by the technology.''

    Just a word, Mr. Speaker, about what this EMP is. It is very much like a really giant solar storm. All of us are familiar with solar storms and with the disruption to our communication systems. And this is like a really giant solar storm. It is kind of like really intense static electricity everywhere all at once, all over the whole country. It is sort of like a lightning strike that is not just isolated to one spot. Different than a lightning strike in terms of the intensities and so forth and the spectrum, but it would be everywhere all at once over a very large area.

    I have here in front of me the report, and I will have occasion to refer to that again a little later, the report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack. This is the executive summary. The report itself is very thick and there is a big classified addendum to the big report. And I just want to turn to one page here, and this is page 4, and it says: "What is significant about an EMP attack is that one or a few high-altitude nuclear detonations can produce EMP effects that can potentially disrupt or damage electronic and electrical systems over much of the United States virtually simultaneously at a time determined by an adversary.''

    I talked a little bit about what EMP is. It produces a large number of Compton electrons above our atmosphere which are trapped by the magnetic fields around the Earth. They move at the speed of light. The prompt effects are such that if the voltage is high enough, all electronic equipment within line of sight is damaged or destroyed. These are called prompt effects. And, of course, satellites are very soft because it costs about $10,000 a pound to launch a satellite; so they do not launch a lot of hardening on the satellite if they do not need to.

    So all of the satellites within line of sight would be taken out by prompt effects. It would not go so high, by the way, as the satellites that are 22,500 miles above the Earth. And it would pump up the Van Allen belts so that satellites that were not in line of sight would die very quickly and one could not reconstitute the satellite network by launching new ones because they also would die quickly.

    Let me show a chart here that shows the effects of this bomb exploding over the United States, and this shows a single weapon. This shows a single weapon detonated at the northwest corner of Iowa, and it shows it at about 600 kilometers high, and this would blanket all of the United States. And the concentric circles here, not true circles because there is a little distortion of the electrical fields by the magnetic waves around the Earth, but these represent the intensity of the field that is produced by this. At the center we can see it is 100 percent. But even out at the margins of our country, it is down to 50 percent.

    Now, a little later I will show a statement from some Russian generals that were reviewed by the people who put together this report, and they said that the Russians had developed weapons that produced 200 kilovolts per meter. Remember, the effects in Hawaii were judged to be the result of five kilovolts per meter. So this is a force about 200 times higher. The Russian generals said that they believed that to be several times higher than the hardening that we had provided for our military platforms that they could resist EMP.

    Others know about EMP. I did not want anybody to believe that we were letting the genie out of the bottle and others did not know about that. I mentioned earlier the statement by Vladimir Lukin, the Russian member of their Duma, and this is the statement that I referred to here, and that was in May 2, 1999: "Chinese military writings described EMP as the key to victory and described scenarios where EMP is used against U.S. aircraft carriers in the conflict over Taiwan.'' So it is not like our potential enemies do not know that this exists. The Soviets had very wide experience with this, and there is a lot of information in the public domain relative to this.

    A survey of worldwide military and scientific literature sponsored by the commission—that is the commission that wrote this report—found widespread knowledge about EMP and its potential military utility including in Taiwan, Israel, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea.

    Terrorist information warfare includes using the technology of directed energy weapons. These are little weapons that produce an EMP-like effect, but over a very much more restricted area, and also electromagnetic pulse produced from nuclear weapons.

    By the way, an enemy no more sophisticated than Saddam Hussein would need no more than a tramp steamer, a Scud missile and a crude nuclear weapon like is probably available in North Korea or might be bought or stolen from some Russian source. That would not shut down the whole United States, because the Scud missile could not carry it high enough, but it would certainly shut down the whole Northeast.

    By the way, this is not like the Northeast blackout that we had a couple of years ago. This would produce damage that you would not recover from simply by turning a switch. It would probably destroy large transformers. These very large transformers are made to order, and if you need one, they will build you one, not in this country, we do not build the big ones anymore, they will build you one over in Europe or Scandinavia, and it will take maybe a year-and-a-half to 2 years to get it. So it is not like you are going to recover from this tomorrow.

    Iran has tested launching of a Scud missile from a surface vessel, a launch mode that could support a national or transnational EMP attack against the United States.

    We have a second chart which shows more of the evidence that potential enemies out there know that this is a potential weapon.

    "If the world's industrial countries fail to devise effective ways to defend themselves against dangerous electronic assaults, then they will disintegrate within a few years. 150,000 computers belong to the U.S. Army. If the enemy forces succeed in infiltrating the information network of the U.S. Army, then the whole organization would collapse, the American soldiers could not find food to eat, nor would they be able to fire a single shot.''

    I kind of think they would be able to find food to eat. This is from an Iranian journal, so you know they know about this and they are thinking about this.

    "Terrorist information warfare includes using the technology of directed energy weapons, magnetic pulse.'' I referred to that earlier.

    Iran has conducted tests with its Shahab-3 missile that have been described as failures by the Western media because the missiles did not complete their ballistic trajectories, but were deliberately exploded at high altitude. This, of course, would be exactly what you would want to do if you were going to use an EMP weapon.

    Today we are very much concerned, Mr. Speaker, about asymmetric weapons. We are a big, powerful country. Nobody can contend with us shoulder-to-shoulder, face-to-face. So all of our potential adversaries are looking for what we refer to as asymmetric weapons. That is a weapon that overcomes our superior capabilities. There is no asymmetric weapon that has anywhere near the potential of EMP.

    Iran described these tests as successful. We said they were a failure because they blew up in flight. They described them as successful. Of course, they would be, if Iran's intent was practicing for an EMP attack.

    Iran's Shahab-3 is a medium-range mobile missile that could be driven on to a freighter and transported to a point near the United States for an EMP attack. I might state that an early use of EMP is a common occurrence in Russia and Chinese war games.

    I just would like to spend a moment or two talking about kind of the history of how we got here and why the big concern about EMP and the risk that it poses to us. I mentioned Operation Starfish in 1962.

    Then we really had a scary event which we did not know about for quite some time that happened in 1995 when there was a Norwegian weather rocket that was set off. The Norwegians had told the Russians that they were going to fire this weapon, but that did not get to the proper level. When the weapon was fired, it was interpreted by the Russians as a potential first strike of the United States against them and they had alerted their nuclear missile response. They came very close to launching that, and we did not know about that until some time after.

    In 1997 I had a very interesting experience. I am on the Committee on Armed Services. This was during the Clinton administration, and he had set up a Commission on Critical Infrastructure. General Marsh, retired, was disadvantaged by it. I asked him about EMP, had they looked at that?

    His answer was, yes, they looked at it.


    He said, well, we did not think there was a high probability that would happen, so we did not continue to look at it anymore.

    I told him, gee, with that attitude, if you have not already, I am sure when you go home tonight you are going to cancel the fire insurance on your home.

    What one needs when there is the potential for a very high-impact, low-probability event, is what we call insurance. I think that every American citizen has the right to ask their government, have you made the proper insurance investment to protect me, to protect my country, in the event, which we hope is not a high probability, in the event that there is an EMP attack against our country?

    Your home burning, by the way, is not a high probability event. You may have a $300,000 home and it may cost you $300 for fire insurance for the year. So you can do the simple arithmetic that tells you the insurance company does not expect very many homes to burn that year.

    Then the next event in this little timeline was my trip to Vienna, Austria, when I met there in that hotel room with Members of the Russian Duma. In 2001 we had some tests at Aberdeen with a device that was made using only the equipment that a terrorist might buy from Radio Shack or a place like that to see if you could put together a directed energy weapon, a weapon, by the way, that if sophisticated enough one might drive down Wall Street and take out all the computers in the financial market. It would not go further than that, but if it did that, that would, of course, be an enormous blow.

    In 2001, the Commission was set up and then in 2004, last year, we have the report of the Commission.

    I just would like to show you a chart now of the commissioners. We will not have time to talk about the capabilities of all of these commissioners, but I will assure you that these are all giants in their area. They were appointed from among the foremost scientists, experts and military officers in the United States to achieve a mix of talent on scientific aspects of EMP, nuclear weapon design, military implications of EMP and the effects of EMP on civilian and military infrastructures.

    Dr. William Graham, the Commission chairman, was science advisor to President Reagan. He ran NASA and was one of the first scientists to study the EMP phenomenon when it was first discovered by its United States in 1962.

    Commissioner John Foster, Johnny Foster, who designed most of the nuclear weapons in the inventory the United States today, was a director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and for decades has been a close adviser to the Department of Defense on nuclear matters.

    Dr. Lowell Wood is a member of the director's staff at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he inherited the scientific mantel of Dr. Edward Teller, the inventor of the hydrogen bomb.

    I had a very interesting personal experience related to Dr. Lowell Wood. When I became interested a number of years ago in EMP and the potential implications, I knew that Tom Clancy, who lives in Maryland and he has come to do several events for me, I knew that he had a novel in which EMP was one of the sequences in his novel. I know that Tom Clancy does very good research. So I called to ask him about EMP and its implications.

    He said that if I had read his book, I probably knew as much about EMP as he knew, but he was going to refer me to what he said was in his view was the smartest person hired by the U.S. Government, and that was Dr. Lowell Wood. So Dr. Lowell Wood comes with great recommendations.

    Commissioner Richard Lawson was a USAF general, served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the U.S.-European Command.

    Dr. Joan Woodard, I had a very interesting experience with Dr. Woodard. I was visiting my son and daughter and children out in Albuquerque, he works at the Sandia Labs, and he brought home a little note talking about a seminar they were having which was exploring some issues that I thought would be relevant to the work that the Commission was doing. I did not know at that time that she was a member of the Commission.

    So I asked for a briefing, and I spent 5 hours in a classified briefing at Sandia Labs. And it was not just Dr. Joan Woodard, it was a large number of people at the labs there that were focusing primarily on the national infrastructure consequences of this.

    What I would like to do now is go through some of the statements and recommendations of the report. The next chart shows the threat and the nature and magnitude of EMP threats within the next 15 years.

    On the right you see the coverage that is produced by weapons detonated at various altitudes. I mentioned 600 kilometers. Actually 500 kilometers pretty much covers the margins of our country and, of course, the lower the altitude you detonate it, the less area that it covers, but the higher will be the intensity of the pulse that is produced.

    This is a direct quote from the EMP Commission report: "EMP is one of a small number of threats that may hold at risk the continued existence of today's U.S. civil society.''

    Now, that is couched in the careful kind of scientific terms, but what that really means is that a really robust EMP laydown, which, as Vladimir Lukin in that hotel room in Vienna, Austria said, would shut down our power grid and communications for 6 months or so. And if one weapon would not do it, as Alexander Shaponov said, four absolutely would do it, particularly with the power of the weapons that the Russian generals say that they have developed.

    What this would do is to produce a society in which the only person you could talk to was the person next to you, unless you happened to be a ham operator with a vacuum tube set, which, by the way, is 1 million times less susceptible to EMP than your present equipment that the hams use. And the only way you could get anywhere was to walk, because, you see, if the pulse is intense enough, it turns off all the computers in your car. There will be no electricity, so even if the car ran, you could not get gas.

    By the way, if you have a car that still has a coil and distributor, you are probably okay, because those are pretty robust structures compared to today's cars with so much microelectronics in them.

    It would disrupt our military forces and our ability to project military power. For the last decade, Mr. Speaker, we have been waiving hardening on essentially all of our military platforms because it costs maybe as little as 1 percent, maybe like 5 percent more to harden. It can be done. That is the good news story. If you do not harden, you can get 5 percent more weapons systems. And since we have had so little money during those years, the Pentagon opted to run this risk. With terrorists about, I think that is probably a risk we do not want to continue to run.

    The number of U.S. adversaries capable of EMP attack is greater than during the Cold War. We may look back with some fondness on the Cold War. We then had only one potential adversary. We knew him quite well.

    Now we have who knows how many potential adversaries, and they come from very different cultures than we, and we have a great deal of difficulty in understanding them and communicating with them.

    Potential adversaries are aware of the EMP's strategic attack option. I started, Mr. Speaker, with talking about the fact that I was not letting the genie out of the bottle. Ninety-nine percent of Americans may not know very much about EMP, but I will assure you, Mr. Speaker, that 100 percent of our potential enemies know all about EMP. I think that the American people need to know about EMP because they need to demand that their government do the prudent thing so that we will be less and less susceptible, less and less at risk to an EMP attack year by year. The threat is not adequately addressed in U.S. national and homeland security programs. Not only is it not adequately addressed; it is usually ignored, not even mentioned, and it certainly needs to be considered.

    I might note that Senator John Kyl, with whom I served in the House on the Committee on Armed Services, wrote just a couple of weeks ago a very nice editorial in the Washington Post, and we will have his quote a little later, on EMP effects and how we need to be about preparing ourselves for that.

    Terrorists could steal, purchase, or be provided a nuclear weapon and perform an EMP attack against the United States simply by launching a primitive Scud missile off a freighter near our shores. We do not need to be thinking about missiles coming over the Pole. There are thousands of ships out there, particularly in the North Atlantic shipping lanes, and any one of them could have a Scud missile on board. If you put a canvas over it, we cannot see through the thinnest canvas. We would not know whether it was bailed hay or bananas or a Scud launcher. You cannot see through any cover on ship. The Commission on the Emerging Ballistic Missile Threat chaired by Secretary Rumsfeld before he was Secretary, and Dr. Bill Graham, the chairman of this commission was his vice-chair, found that ships had been modified so that they had missile-launching tubes in ordinary freighters. You can read that in their report.

    Scud missiles can be purchased on the world market today for less than $100,000. Al Qaeda is estimated to own about 80 freighters, so all they need, Mr. Speaker, is $100,000, which I am sure they can get, for the missile and a crude nuclear weapon.

    Certain types of low-yield nuclear weapons can generate potentially catastrophic EMP effects. These certain types of weapons are weapons that have been designed for enhanced EMP effects. They may have little explosive effect, but very high EMP effects over wide geographic areas, and designs for various such weapons may have been illicitly trafficked for a quarter of a century. We are certain that the Chinese have them. Of course the Russians have them; they developed probably better or at least as good designs as we developed. We designed them, by the way, but never built them. The Russians we understand have both designed and built them, and we now believe those designs to be pretty widespread out around the world.

    The next chart shows the comments from the Russian generals, and to protect the Russian generals we have redacted their names. But the commission met with Russian generals, and they claim that Russia has designed a super-EMP nuclear weapon capable of generating 200 kilovolts per meter. And the Russian generals told our commission people that they believe that to be several times higher than the level two, which we had hardened our weapons systems; even those that are hardened and, as I mentioned, Mr. Speaker, most of our weapons systems now procured are not hardened.

    Russian, Chinese, and Pakistani scientists are working in North Korea and could enable that country to develop an EMP weapon in the near future. Now, this is not what the commission said; this is what the commission reported the Russian generals to have said.

    The next chart shows additional comments from the EMP Commission report. States or terrorists may well calculate that using a nuclear weapon for EMP attack offers the greatest utility. Mr. Speaker, there is no way that a country could use a nuclear weapon against the United States that would be as devastating as using it to produce an EMP lay- down. I had not noted, but I should note, Mr. Speaker, that there is no effect on you or me from this weapon. We are quite immune to that. We will not be damaged by that. Buildings will not be damaged by that. It will affect only electric and electronic equipment.

    EMP offers a bigger bang for the buck. Now, this is from their report; I am not saying this. EMP offers a bigger bang for the buck against U.S. military forces in a regional conflict or a means of damaging the U.S. homeland. EMP may be less provocative of U.S. massive retaliation compared to a nuclear attack on a U.S. city that inflicts many prompt calories.

    Just a couple of words about this. As Vladimir Lukin said, if it were launched from the ocean, we would not know who launched it. So against whom would we retaliate? Even if we knew who launched it, Mr. Speaker, if all they have done is to disable our computers, do we respond in kind, or do you incinerate their grandmothers and their babies? This would be a really tough call. Responding in kind might do very little good. There is no other country in the world that has anything like our sophistication in electronic equipment, and no other country in the world is so dependent as we are on our national infrastructure. So this is a real problem and a big incentive to use this weapon without fear of retaliation, as Vladimir Lukin says, with no fear of retaliation.

    EMP could, compared to a nuclear attack on the city, kill many more Americans in the long run from indirect effects of collapsed infrastructures of power, communications, transportation, food, and water. Can you imagine our country, Mr. Speaker, with 285 million people, no electricity, and there will be no electricity, no transportation, no communication? The only way you can go anywhere is to walk, and the only person you can talk to is the person next to you. What would we do? How many of our people might not survive the transition from that situation to where you had established a sort of infrastructure that could support civil society as we know it today.

    Strategically and politically, an EMP attack can threaten entire regional or national infrastructures that are vital to U.S. military strength and societal survival, challenge the integrity of allied regional coalitions, and pose an asymmetrical threat more dangerous to the high-tech West than to rogue states. This makes the point that I was making that because we are the most sophisticated, we are the most vulnerable.

    Technically and operationally, EMP attacks can compensate for deficiencies in missile accuracy, fusing range, reentry, velocity design, target location, *intelligence*, and missile defense penetration. We are really superior in all of these areas, and none of our enemies out there, except for Russia and China, and we would not expect an attack like this from either of them, but there is nobody else out there who really can be very good shots with their missiles.

    But what the EMP Commission report is pointing out is, they do not need to be. Anywhere over the northeastern United States will shut down all of the northeastern United States, and anywhere near the middle of our country, you can miss it by 100 miles and it really will not matter. Anything near the middle of our country detonated high enough with the right kind of weapon will blanket the whole country with an EMP force that could knock out all of our electronic equipment.

    The next chart shows some other comments in the EMP report. One or a few high-altitude nuclear detonations can produce EMP simultaneously over wide geographical areas. As the chart we showed earlier, the whole country can be blanketed with one about 600 kilometers high.

    The thing they were really concerned about, because we have a very sophisticated infrastructure with lots of interdependencies, they were really concerned about the cascading failure, unprecedented cascading failure of our electronics-based infrastructures, which could result in power, energy, transport, telecom, and financial systems and are particularly vulnerable and interdependent. And if one of them comes down, if you bring down the power grid, Mr. Speaker, you have brought down all of these other parts of our national infrastructure. EMP disruption of these sectors could cause large-scale infrastructure failures for all aspects of the Nation's life.

    Now, these are not my words; these are taken from the EMP Commission report. This commission was set up as a part of public law, and that is noted here on this chart. Both civilian and military capabilities depend on these infrastructures. Without adequate protection, recovery could be prolonged months to years for recovery. And here on the right is a little depiction showing some, and there are more than that, showing some of the interrelationships. For instance, electric power is not shown as important for water or for banking and finance, and for government services; and of course it is. So if you do not have electric power, for instance, you do not have any of these other things.

    There was a number of years ago a scientist by the name of Harrison Scott Brown. I think that he worked at CalTech, and he offered a series of seminars called the "Next 100 Years.'' This was during the Cold War. And one of the questions that it was appropriate to ask during the Cold War was, What would you do after the nuclear attack? You may remember, Mr. Speaker, your parents talking about the backyard shelters that were built during the 1960s. Sometime after that I went to work for IBM and they were still talking about the fact that IBM had loaned its employees money interest-free to build a backyard shelter. There was a real concern that there could be a bolt out of the blue and that we could have a nuclear attack. We had a big civil defense organization with lots of shelters. They were stocked, and you were given pamphlets and you were told where to go.

    I think, Mr. Speaker, that today, with the potential for terrorist attack, we need to turn back a few pages and learn from our experience during the Cold War when we recognized that the more prepared an individual and a family was to be self-sufficient during that attack, the stronger we would be as a whole; and I think that we could profit, at least have a more intense focus on civil defense in our homeland security efforts.

    Harrison Scott Brown was concerned about what you would do after you came out of the fallout shelter and how you would reconstitute your society to reestablish the kind of an infrastructure that you had before the attack. His concern was that in the United States, and this was a number of years ago, his concern would be even greater were he alive today, his concern then was that we had developed such a sophisticated, interrelated infrastructure, that if it came down like a house of cards, that it might be very difficult, maybe, he thought, and I will explain in a moment why, maybe impossible to reestablish that infrastructure. Because, he noted, that this infrastructure was built up gradually from very simple to very complex, when there was available to us a rich resource of raw materials, high-quality iron ore. That is all gone. Our best ores now, I think, are \1/2\ of 1 percent taconite ores.

    When oil essentially oozed out of the ground, when the water washed the dirt away, you could see coal exposed in some of the hills of Pennsylvania. The oil now is deep and hard to get or offshore or in the Arctic. All the good coal has been burned. Now, to get oil and to get coal, we have to have the infrastructure. You have to have diesel fuel shipped to you. You have to have large excavators.

    His concern was that if our infrastructure collapsed as a result of a nuclear attack, today we are talking about an EMP attack, which does not blow up buildings, but it shuts down the infrastructure because it would destroy, disrupt all of the electronic equipment if the pulse was high enough; and a determined, sophisticated enemy could make sure that it was high enough.

    So he was concerned that maybe it would not be possible now without that high-quality, readily available resource of raw materials that might be very difficult without massive help from other parts of the world that we could reconstitute our society.

    I think, Mr. Speaker, that we need to be looking at that threat to our country today. I am sure it is no less a threat now than it was when Harrison Scott Brown was holding those seminars.

    In 2004, the EMP Commission met with very senior Russian officers, and we showed that on the sign. They warned that the knowledge and technology to develop what they called super EMP weapons had been transferred to North Korea and that North Korea could probably develop these weapons in the near future, within a few years.

    The Russian officers said that the threat that would be posed to global security by a North Korean armed with super EMP weapons was, in their view, and I am sure, Mr. Speaker, in your view and mine, unacceptable.

    You know, why use EMP, as we noted in a previous chart? A terrorist or rogue state might be so inaccurate that they could not even use a nuclear weapon to take out New York City. They might hit the countryside somewhere near. But it would not really matter with that low accuracy if they were doing an EMP laydown. Because anywhere over New England would be quite good enough, and there is no way that they could do as much damage to our country by a ground burst, even if it hit the city, than if they could do a high altitude burst, which produced EMP and took down, if it was intense enough, all of our infrastructure.

    EMP has such a wide area of effect that if the weapon is large enough or several are used, covering potentially an entire continent, that even a highly inaccurate missile could not miss its target in an EMP effect. EMP attack involves exoatmospheric detonation, meaning that attack, this is really interesting, Mr. Speaker, this attack would occur before the weapon ever reentered the atmosphere. So even if we were really good at taking out weapons before they hit us, it really would not matter, because this is detonated before it starts to reenter. So any weapon that would take out a missile on its final descent would be useless, because it has already detonated and the damage is done at altitude.

    Increased dependence on advanced electronic systems results in the potential for an increased EMP vulnerability. And what this does is to make that attack more attractive to our assailants. The fact that we are ever more sophisticated and therefore ever more vulnerable makes it ever more attractive to our adversaries, because this really becomes the ultimate asymmetric weapon.

    EMP threatens the ability of the United States and western nations to project influence and military power, because a third-world country with a crude missile and a crude nuclear weapon could, in effect, hold us hostage. This is why it is so important that we stop the spread of nuclear weapons.

    EMP can cause catastrophic damage to the Nation by destroying the electric power infrastructure, causing cascading failures in the infrastructure for everything: telecommunications, energy, transportation, finance, food, and water.

    I live on a farm. I cannot even get a drink of water without electricity, because the pump in my well that supplies my water has to have electricity. So we are all really dependent on this infrastructure.

    Degradation, and this is really minimized, degradation of the infrastructures could have irreversible effects on the country's ability to support its population, and then millions could die. That is true.

    In the final analysis, Mr. Speaker, the EMP Commission report is really a good news story. So far what we have been talking about does not really sound like good news, does it? It sounds like the worst of all news that you could get. But there really is good news here, and the good news is that we do not have to be this vulnerable. It is really not all that expensive to protect our systems against EMP. You just have to do it.

    But we have a problem, and that is the cheapest way to do it is when you are making them, if you design it in. Then it may cost as little as 1 percent more. For really sophisticated electronic stuff, probably not more than 10 percent more. But if you are trying to add it after it is built, then it can cost you as much as the device itself, which means that we need to start, you can only do what you can do, and we need to start in our national infrastructure by deciding what is most essential to protect and then expeditiously protecting that as fast as we can.

    Every new water system we put in, every new sewage system we put in, every new power line we run, every new distribution system we put in needs to be hardened. It is not all that expensive to do. You just need to do it.

    Now we have hardened in the military our command and control. We are pretty sure that we can talk to each other after an EMP laydown. But that does not give me much solace, Mr. Speaker, because that is the equivalent of me having my brain and spinal cord work, but my arms and my hands will not work. I am not sure just having the capability of my brain communicating with my spinal cord does me much good if my arms and my legs will not respond to those signals.

    The EMP Commission has proposed a 5-year plan that, if implemented, would protect the United States from the catastrophic consequences of EMP attack and make recovery possible at surprisingly modest cost.

    I would like now to turn to a statement that was made by Dr. John Kyl. I mentioned his name earlier. Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security, which I chair, his words in his op-ed piece, held a hearing on a major threat to the United States not only from terrorists but from rogue nations like North Korea.

    An EMP attack is one of only a few ways that America could be essentially defeated by our enemies, terrorists or otherwise. Few if any people would die right away, but the long-term loss of electricity would essentially bring our society to a halt. Few can conceive of the possibility that terrorists could bring American society to its knees by knocking out our power supply from several miles in the atmosphere. But this time we have been warned, and we better be prepared to respond. We really do need to respond.

    Here is another statement from Major Franz Gayl.

    The impact that EMP is asymmetric in relation to our adversaries, now these are all in the public domain. I want to be very careful, Mr. Speaker, that I do not leave the impression that I am letting the genie out of the bottle. Ninety-nine percent of Americans may not know about EMP, but I will guarantee you 100 percent of our adversaries know about EMP. And we need to know about EMP, because to be forewarned is to be forearmed, and we need to do something about that.

    The impact that EMP is asymmetric in relation to our adversaries, the less developed societies in North Korea, Iran and other potential EMP attack perpetrators are less electronically dependent and less specialized, while more capable of continued functionality in the absence of modern conveniences.

    I do not know that outside of Pyongyang that many people in North Korea would even know if electricity went out. I am not sure they depend much on electricity.

    Conversely, the United States would be subject to widespread paralysis and doubtful recovery following a surprise EMP attack. Therefore, terrorists and their coincidentally allied state sponsors may determine that, given just a few nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles, that subjecting the United States to a potentially non- attributable EMP attack, we would not even know where it came from if it came from the oceans, is more desirable than the destruction of selected cities. Delayed mass lethality is assured over time through the cascade of EMPs' indirect effects that would bring our highly specialized and urbanized society to a disorderly halt.

    The vulnerability of the United States to EMP attack serves as the latest revelation that societal protections associated with our national security can no longer be assured by traditional nuclear deterrence and battlefield preparations on their own.

    Let me put up now a conclusion chart. The EMP threat is one of a few potentially catastrophic threats to the United States. By taking action, the EMP threat can be reduced to manageable levels, but we should have started yesterday, Mr. Speaker. We just must start today.

    U.S. strategy to address the EMP threat should balance prevention, preparation, protection and recovery. We need to be studying all four of these. Critical military capabilities must be survivable and endurable to underwrite U.S. strategy. If they can bring down our military, that really puts us at risk.

    The 2006 Defense Authorization Bill contains a provision extending the EMP Commission to ensure that their recommendations will be implemented. We need to have them around to make sure that we are following through on their recommendations. Terrorists are looking for vulnerabilities to attack, and our civilian infrastructure is particularly susceptible to this kind of attack. It needs to be hardened.

    When you have a weak underbelly, you are inviting attack there. They are going to attack at the weakest link, and our infrastructure complexity is certainly our weakest link. The Department of Homeland Security needs to identify critical infrastructures. What do we need to protect first?

    Then we need to have a plan for what would we do if we had the EMP attack tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, the next year, 5 years from now. How far along would we be in protecting ourselves? But we need to have a plan for what we would do in the event that that happens.

    The Department of Homeland Security also needs to develop a plan, I really want to emphasize this, Mr. Speaker, to help citizens deal with such an attack should it occur. Each of us as individuals, each of us as families, each of us as a church group, each of us as a community, needs to have plans for what we would do in the event of an EMP attack. We need to know what we need to do to prepare so that we are not going to be a liability on the system. Our strength as a Nation is going to be greatly increased if each of us as a family, a church group, a community, is prepared so that we will be less susceptible to the loss of these infrastructure supports.

    Mr. Speaker, this is really a good news story. We know about this problem. It has not happened yet. We have a great study with great detailed recommendations of what we need to be doing. The good news is that if we do these things we will have reduced our vulnerability and we will have now taken from the enemy an enormous strategic capability that they now have because we are such a sophisticated society, depend so much on our infrastructure, and if they can bring down an infrastructure they can bring us down.

    We have a mighty Army. It will not be much good if the folks back home do not have anything to eat.

    Mr. Speaker, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. I am sure Americans will respond to this challenge. And challenges are really exhilarating. You feel really good at night if you have met a challenge and you have had some successes in meeting that challenge.

    Mr. Speaker, I think we have a bright future ahead, and it is going to be even brighter if we respond appropriately to the warnings that are here.

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