Sunday, July 22, 2007

The "Why" of Harry Potter

People who aren't parents are quick to dismiss the Harry Potter series as fluff. They think of it as juvenile fiction whose sole purpose is to entertain. But let us look at this from the perspective of literature. Great art, whether written, painted or performed, is a reflection of the era in which and FOR which it was created. Shakespeare had some horrible puns designed for the groundlings to giggle at. In a similar fashion, seemingly innocuous rhymes such as "Ring Around the Rosy" and "Mary, Mary Quite Contrary" were veiled commentary on the news items of the day. "Mary" was Mary Queen of Scots, later beheaded as an usurper. "Ring Around the Rosy" was a song based on the symptoms of the plague. Even other nations had their versions of childhood literature that was designed as morality plays or commentary. "Sur Le Pont D'Avignon (On The Bridge at Avignon) made reference to "on y danse" or everyone dances, never mentioning that they "danced" because that was the location where public executions were carried out. Even Grimm's Fairy Tales, a childhood classic in its original unDisneyfied form, was a very serious look at expected behavior and the very serious consequences for those who fail. Read the originals sometime for a better feel of how serious life was during those dark days. In Victorian England, Dickens showed the cruel division of classes and the depth of poverty. America's Mark Twain, showed Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer as the relatively new "classless" Americans who could attain greatness regardless of their backgrounds. So now we come to the present. Look carefully at the world around us. Although bad things have happened to children throughout history, no generation has been made more aware of the dangers of drugs, pedophiles, poverty, homelessness and war. A host of fates are often seen as inevitable. So when you are confronted, as these children are, with a world that appears consummately evil, isn't it nice to think that an average decent kid can turn the tide? We have Lord Voldemort, absolutely Evil. And we have Harry, not a genius, but instead a consequential hero who does what he has to simply because it is the right thing to do. This is totally a concept of western thought. And although Rowling is British, Harry in his demeanor and his tone is just as "American" in his attitude as Tom Sawyer. In a world filled with danger and menace, I find it a very hopeful thing that so many children seek out a hero who does the right thing, simply because it IS the right thing to do. So please, when you hear children, or college kids, or even adults like myself discussing Harry Potter and his world, don't be so quick to dismiss us. We are indulging in fantasies and as with all literature, Potter's world has some lessons to teach us. I hope we are learning.
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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fourteen Reasons to Deport Illegal Immigrants or Illegal Immigration and the National Debt

I have to admit that a friend of mine sent this to me, but having gone to the links, I must admit that is it staggering the amount of debt that these people are placing out our economy. Please read....

Reasons to Deport Illegal Aliens...
1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens
each year.
2. $2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs
such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.
3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal
4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school
education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of

5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the
American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.

6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens.

7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.

8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for
Welfare & social services by the American taxpayers.

9. $200 Billion Dollars a year in suppressed American
wages are caused by the illegal aliens.

10. The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that's
two and a half times that of white non-illegal aliens. In particular,
their children, are going to make a huge additional crime problem in
the United States .

11. During the year of 2005 there were 4 to 10 MILLION illegal aliens
that crossed our Southern Border also, as many as 19,500 illegal
aliens from Terrorist Countries. Millions of pounds of drugs, cocaine,
meth, heroine and marijuana, crossed into
the U. S. from the Southern border. Homeland Security Report:
12. The National Policy Institute, "estimated that the total cost of
mass deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion or an average
cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period."

13. In 2006 illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION in remittances back
to their countries of origin.
14. "The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One Million Sex
Crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants In The United States ".
So using the LOWEST estimates, the annual cost OF ILLEGAL ALIENS is
$338.3 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR! So if deporting them costs between
$206 and $230 BILLION DOLLARS, get rid of em', We'll be ahead after
the 1st year!!!
Please pass this on. Americans need to wake up!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Vipers In Our Midst: Islam in the U.S.

Read this article

Then, Read this article (Okay, I know its from PBS, but that doesn't make it any less alarming)

For those who persist in saying that Fox News is simply a mouthpiece for the current administration, please note that one of these articles is from the Associated Press and the other is an excerpt from a PBS related program. The letter below is one that was sent to the DMN blog from a Muslim student at SMU. There is no question that there are elements in the world who through their delusional religious or cultural tendencies seek to destroy what is loosely labeled as "The West" but which is in reality, the United States. Too many ignorant people in this country have what amounts to a very silly and dangerous conciliatory attitude. Forgiveness and negotiation are western concepts. They are the foundations of Judeo-Christian religious texts and filter through our Constitution, our Bill of Rights and our daily lives. These precepts aren't accepted in the East and especially not accepted by those who follow the most violent and dangerous versions of Islam.

In reading an assessment on the relative lack of security surrounding such features as our railways, our water supplies and chemical storage facilities, I have to admit I am worried. Add to that porous borders where it is estimated on 15% of the incursions are stopped. I look at my community with a mosque in an industrial area near a railroad and another across from the water treatment plant-where chlorine and other chemicals are stocked by the train car, and I become very concerned that in our western attitude of bending over backwards to accommodate those of other cultures and other faiths we are slitting our own throats. I am not a naturally suspicious person, but when we admitted Atta and his merry band, they came to learn to fly. They used that knowledge to kill our citizens. Are we currently teaching the very people who will turn and kill our own children? Too many "students" are coming to America on visa, getting grants to do so, and returning to foment war against us. Is our hubris, our fatal flaw, to be our openness to diversity allows vipers in our midst?

Driving and Cell Phones

Today, during what is laughingly known as Rush Hour, I had to take my husband to DFW airport. Now I expect traffic. I even expect delays. What I didn't expect was the cast of seemingly thousands of idiots on the road going out of their way to force other innocent drivers to the brink of Road Rage. Here's just a sampling:

-To the young lady driving the white Nissan Murano (although after watching you drive we began calling it a Morono...) Did you realize that THERE ARE OTHER CARS ON THE ROAD? I ask this because you whipped in and out of lanes without a signal, without a clue and pretty darned near no space. And you didn't do it just once, but numerous times as you headed down Geo. Bush towards I-35.

-To the lady in the blue Taurus, who at the north exit of the airport simply drove totally in front o me without warning. It would have been bad enough if you did that just to get in my lane, BUT YOU DID THE SAME THING THREE TIMES TO GET TWO LANES OVER TO THE EXIT! Clue to the Clueless-if you miss an exit-THERE'S ANOTHER ONE DOWN THE ROAD! YOU CAN GO BACK!!!

-To the guy with the grossly overloaded Giant Toyota Truck and Trailer-going slower than the speed limit doesn't insure that the overloaded trailer hitch won't snap off in traffic. Next time make TWO loads and try going the minimum speed limit rather than virtually parking in the middle of 121.

-To the snazzy dude in the black BMW-it is NOT ACCEPTABLE for you to wave after nearly shearing off my front bumper. Merge means MERGE-not speed up to the front of thenext lane and cut off everyone else. AND YOU DID IT TWICE!!!!

While I was noticing the manners and consideration or lack thereof of Dallas drivers, I noticed something else-every single driver that was doing something dangerous or stupid was ON THEIR CELL PHONE. When you are in a car or truck you are driving what can be a two ton weapon of death. Is that one message, or that one phone call really worth someone's life. Many states are taking a stand and making severe penalties for those who text and drive. But we can also set insurance standards where drivers who are in accidents while on their cell phones are fully financially liable for damages. I am tired of seeing ditzy people wandering around the road taking other people's lives and safety for granted just so they can stay connected.


(Once again, the exception would be if you are transplant recipient in waiting or the surgeon performing the transplant. Other than that you calls can wait until you stop the car.)

These selfish, distracted people are costing us in lives, in money and in time. Pay attention. Stop being so self-centered and realize that there are a whole world of things that you can impact by your dangerous behavior. Below are some links to current stories that played out due to cell phone use while driving.

Distractions Can Be Deadly

It Causes Accidents

Lives Are Destroyed

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Why Are Muslim Men So Weak?

I'mWithFred - Contribute Now

I am confused that a society that hides its women away from view considers itself morally strong. What kind of culture cannot withstand the view of a woman's arm or leg or face or hair without trembling? Are Islamic men so morally weak that they cannot control their lust? Are they so easily swayed that they insist on imposing virtual invisibility upon their mothers, wives and daughters? I am not advocating immodest behavior or dress, but for every female advocate that claims the hajib and veiling "protects" her dignity, there are crowds of other women silent because the society doesn't permit them the freedom to speak their mind. They are jailed for petty crimes of nail polish, makeup and "westernized values". They are allowed to seek education as second class citizens, forced to enter back doors to mosques, schools and colleges and made to submit to daily inspections worthy of the most austere Catholic grade school. What kind of society thinks so little of its citizens personal control that they have to clamp down with a heavy vise of fatwas and edits on the people that DO follow the Quran? And then they have the gall to try to impose that will on other nations, because make no mistake about it, this is the patient hundred year plan of the Islamists. Already English towns have been approached about being permitted to apply sharia law over and above British common law. And yet the leftists and the liberals want us to believe this is a war of greed. If holding onto freedom, if keeping a war out of the American and European nations is greedy, then count me as such. Instead we are seeing the type of vindictive behavior that has been an earmark of The Partition between India and Pakistan. Half a century later, this is still a shooting war where the hostilities run deep. If you think the Israelis are wary of Muslims, ask the Hindus and Buddhists forced to leave Pakistan of their views. This returns us to the topic, what kind of people are enforcing this hateful and suspicious type of rule? They are tribal warlords who have used treachery and guile to win their way to public support. They hold a viselike grip on their own people and seek to control the rest of us whether through oil price manipulation or outright terror. And make no mistake, the new friendship between Iran and Venzuela is one of convenience. How better to create madrassas within close striking distance to the American mainland? Leftist refuse to see, but this is far more serious than the Cuban Missle Crisis. And with porous borders and blind and self-serving politicians, we are in a heap of trouble.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

And Now....A Candidate for All Seasons

Here's a candidate we can all support because like all good candidates, he stands for everything and says nothing of substance.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

After The Love Has Gone: Global Warming After Live Earth

After the crowds have gone home. After the celebrities have boarded their individual private jets and headed to Gstaad for a toddy. After the approximately one third of the trash from Wembley stadium that can be recycled has been carted away-what then. Well here's an idea. How about some truth? Al Gore and his band of merry men and women have ridden this big wave quite long enough. As stated before in this blog, the sampling for such far reaching conjecture was far too small. And now that celebrities have gotten on board, our mindless star worship has led too many people to believe that The End is imminent. Hogwash. Sure maybe Iran will nuke us, but the possibility of the seas rising in tidal wave proportions and swallowing Los Angeles and Nueva York ( a bow to the multiculturalism that is becoming not just accepted but required in my part of the world...) Previously people who have questioned the validity of the theories presented by the quasi religion that is Global Warming have met with serious consequences. Jobs have been lost, tenure denied, elections lost. And now we are looking at a wildly liberal Democrat party that has for all intents and purposes been hijacked by the European Green Party. Go ahead, look at the Green platform and compare it to the Democrat proposals. It is socialism. And one of its key planks is ecology and environmentalism. Those are not bad things necessarily, but when you have to make up facts to panic a population in order to gain power, I am not sure that you are playing the game within the rules. So now this Doubting front has traveled the steering currents to become a serious storm of backpedaling. And the more the scientists start looking at facts rather than junk science, the shriller the religionists of the Global Warming church will become.
(The link is in the headline....)

Liberal Canonizations and other Perils of Modern Education

The education hierarchy, in its ever changing position as arbiters of what is Right and what is Wrong with American society, was once again fooled. Linked in the headline above is an article discussing the misleading fabrication of the book I, Rigoberta Menchu, a tome that is hailed by some womens' studies and Hispanic studies programs as an prime example of the exploitation of native peoples by the "evil" Europeans. Let me stop here and note that there was unbelieveable cruelty on both side of the issue. The superiority of European technology and weapons is what permitted Europeans to dominate the much larger, but poorer equipped native tribes. However, in this day and time we are bombarded by repeated leftist assaults via what is called literature, and much of it is foisted upon our college students as FACT over FICTION. I am tired of people using their ethnicity, their gender or whatever human frailty they possess to manipulate society and to be pushed by professors who have an agenda to sell.

Liar, Rigobert Menchu

Monday, July 09, 2007

"Private Jets for Climate Change"

The headline above is a quote from some of the bands who saw through this little political escapade disguised as benefit and did not participate. It is estimated that the one day at Wembley used as much energy as 3000 Britons FOR A YEAR!!! Live Earth is probably one of the most delusional, self-serving bits of propaganda to come along in awhile. While the likes of Madonna and The Pussycat Dolls pat themselves on the back, only one third of the trash generated is recyclable.

LONDON, July 7 -- "If you want to save the planet, I want you to start jumping up and down!" Thus Madonna revealed her plan to combat global warming.

In fact, Madonna's estimated personal carbon footprint is estimated to be 300 times the average British family. Not all groups were persuaded to closing rank. In fact, none other than The Who, refused to participate noting that the travel of celebrities to the event was more disastrous than the average workaday world. The timing itself could have been better, as it was on the anniversary of the British bus bombing. Below are a few quotes.

"It's an inconvenient truth, but mixing rock with recycling is awkward. In a TV interview earlier this week, Matt Bellamy of the band Muse mocked the event as "private jets for climate change."

Go here for a really scary image of Madonna

"John Buckley of Carbon Footprint, an organization that helps companies reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, said Saturday that Live Earth will produce about 74,500 tons of the gas.

"We would have to plant 100,000 trees to offset the effect of Live Earth," he said, speaking by telephone. But, he added, "if you can reach 2 billion people and raise awareness that's pretty fantastic."

Want to find out your carbon impact?,

On National Health Care

If the Democrats are to be believed, the biggest issue in the next presidential campaign after the Iraq War is national health care. While I agree that due to the lack of tort reform and the sometimes ridiculous payouts garnered by the likes of John Edwards and his fellow trial lawyers, they are shutting the barn door after the horse has run away. The problem with our public health system is not simply the precipitous rise in costs, but the very reason that clinics, hospitals and healthcare providers have had to raise the prices on those of us who pay through the nose for health insurance. And that reason is the illegal immigrants who are accessing our public clinics and hospitals for medical care, including the birth of "anchor babies" that will help insure their residency. Advocates for those here illegally like to say that via sales taxes and property taxes derived via rent, that immigrants pay their "fair share". But exactly how fair is that? If they are being paid off the books, as so many are who work in day labor, then no income taxes, no medicare, no disability payments are removed. Yet when they enter into most public hospitals, they can claim a full amount of service and since many of them use false identities via fraudulent documents or matricula consulare-which are virtually untraceable-they can walk out of the hospital and never pay. Try that if you have insurance. And healthcare is just the tip of the iceberg. It's no secret that schools are struggling to stay ahead of their budgets, largely because of federal programs such as ESL, free lunch, free breakfast, etc. Nobody wants to see a child go hungry. I don't want a child to go hungry. But I also think charity begins at home. Are there not enough poor folks born and raised here that need such services? Would more of the working poor and their employers be able to afford health insurance if the burden of paying for those who use public medical services but DO NOT PAY were out of the system? It is a simple fact of supply and demand that when additional costs are added into the system, in order to survive, the system MUST pass along those costs to those individuals and companies that CAN PAY. So when you get a bill for that three dollar Tylenol or that twelve dollar ice pack, it is because of the six or seven other people who simply will not pay. When we talk about mandates there is a certain amount of personal ethics that has to ensue. While we should take care of our poor and needy, we are not mandated to care for the poor and needy of all other nations.

From the Dallas Morning News(excerpt from link on the title)

"In 2004, the hospital spent $70.7 million delivering 15,938 babies but ended the year with a $7.9 million surplus in obstetrics.

The positive bottom line resulted from a hefty infusion of Medicaid funds, about $34.5 million, to cover the delivery costs for the undocumented women. Dallas County taxpayers also kicked in $31.3 million, or about 40 percent of the total obstetrics costs, and the federal government paid an additional $9.5 million to make up for the hospital's high percentage of patients on Medicaid, the state-federal insurance program for the poor."

Here's the math:
(from Insurance .com.)
Typical costs: According to the cost of having a baby depends on where you live. The average ranges from $6,000 to $8,000 for a normal vaginal delivery and $10,000 to $12,000 for a cesarean birth (in some parts of the country, the costs can reach $14,000). Care with a nurse-midwife may cost less; a complicated pregnancy will cost more; and some practitioners and hospitals offer a sliding scale based on family income."

"Look instead to the bursting-with-life corridors of Parkland Memorial Hospital, a remarkable place that delivers more than 16,000 babies per year -- more babies than any other hospital in the country. That's more babies, in fact, than are born in 10 of America's states."

So let's do a little simple math based on the lowest numbers. Please realize that these are rounded numbers for the last year available, 2006, which means that the number are probably higher NOW.

16,000 total births at Parkland Hospital x 70% of the births to illegal immigrants=
11,200 deliveries to illegal immigrants at Parkland Hospital

11,200 deliveries to illegal immigrants x $6000 per for vaginal birth
(I figured that there were a few good souls that did pay and there were some women who had ceasarians or complications that were higher and that would somewhat account for the general ballpark figure)

Yes folks you read that right-Sixty Seven MILLION dollars and some change. And that is just at one hospital. I hesitate to even think exponentially how that balloons when you consider ALL the public hospitals across the nation. So those of you who blindly follow the Clintonian concept of free health care for all, please remember why we can't afford health care now. And it's not greedy Big Pharma-that's due to lack of tort reform, and it's not the Doctors because they are snafu'd in their own medical liability insurance hell, and it's not the hospitals which are paring down services and rapidly becoming specialty hospitals to accommodate special needs-it's the number of people here who use our medical system as a social stopgap for the problems they have left behind in their home countries.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Fish or Cut Bait, Gore

From Wikipedia:

"Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) was an American committee formed in 1985 by four women: Tipper Gore, wife of Senator and later Vice President Al Gore; Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker; Pam Howar, wife of Washington realtor Raymond Howar; and Sally Nevius, wife of Washington City Council Chairman John Nevius. They were known as the "Washington wives" — a reference to their husbands' connections with the federal government. The Center eventually grew to include 22 directors.

The PMRC claimed that popular music, and especially rock and heavy metal music, was partially responsible for the contemporary increase in rape, teenage pregnancy, and teen suicide. The group's mission was "to educate and inform parents" about "the growing trend in music towards lyrics that are sexually explicit, excessively violent, or glorify the use of drugs and alcohol," and to seek the censorship and rating of music."

Look at this weekend's slate of performers and ask yourself, at what point does the end justify the means? Either Tipper was wrong in attacking rock music and setting up parameters to free speech OR the whole Global Warming crowd is bowing down to an appeal from those who should be squelched. I would assume Mrs. Gore would want the religion of Global Warming widely spread, but if we condemn ministers for using questionable material to lure new converts to the fold, then is this any different? Does an internationally televised series of venues not "glorify" rock lyrics and concepts that should be otherwise condemned? You really want people to believe that the "family centered music" of Madonna, Pussycat Dolls and some group called Rip Slyme is a positive musical statement? Don't get me wrong, personally I like many of the performers on the slate, but when you look at the condemnation of rock music by Mrs. Gore and then see this magic flip to using the same type of music to push a political agenda, then there's something fishy.

PS. I think that this series of broadcasts should be labeled for the political programming that it is. And as such, I think that equal time needs to be enforced.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Why Marriage Matters

For too long, marriage has been considered optional. We see celebrities and average people pop out babies without any sort of commitment at all. And for some people, a minority of them, it works. But for too many young people, they see this as an option and it ends up being an anchor that weighs them down economically and educationally for the rest of their lives. If, as stated by The Smartest Woman in the World, it takes a village to raise a child, then perhaps we should get all of our villages to restate the standards of behavior, such as not getting pregnant when you haven't the will or means to take care of a child. I have kids in my school who see getting pregnant and living on public dole as a viable career path. And I teach in an upper middle class school. Movie stars notwithstanding, most single women who have children without the benefit of a spouse wind up on welfare. They remain poor and their children remain poor. Shouldn't we want more for our kids? And why aren't more people within the community outraged at the media that promoted promiscuity to kids without fully disclosing the possible outcome?

From the Economist magazine) There is a widening gulf between how the best- and least-educated Americans approach marriage and child-rearing. Among the elite (excluding film stars), the nuclear family is holding up quite well. Only 4% of the children of mothers with college degrees are born out of wedlock. And the divorce rate among college-educated women has plummeted. Of those who first tied the knot between 1975 and 1979, 29% were divorced within ten years. Among those who first married between 1990 and 1994, only 16.5% were. At the bottom of the education scale, the picture is reversed. Among high-school dropouts, the divorce rate rose from 38% for those who first married in 1975-79 to 46% for those who first married in 1990-94. Among those with a high school diploma but no college, it rose from 35% to 38%. And these figures are only part of the story. Many mothers avoid divorce by never marrying in the first place. The out-of-wedlock birth rate among women who drop out of high school is 15%. Among African-Americans, it is a staggering 67%. Does this matter? Kay Hymowitz of the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think-tank, says it does. In her book "Marriage and Caste in America", she argues that the "marriage gap" is the chief source of the country's notorious and widening inequality. Middle-class kids growing up with two biological parents are "socialised for success". They do better in school, get better jobs and go on to create intact families of their own. Children of single parents or broken families do worse in school, get worse jobs and go on to have children out of wedlock. This makes it more likely that those born near the top or the bottom will stay where they started. America, argues Ms Hymowitz, is turning into "a nation of separate and unequal families".

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Judge One President, Judge Them All

While I don't fall in lockstep with some of the decisions made by President Bush, I am sick to death of the way the media whips him on every move. Look at the list and compare the pardons and commutations made by other presidents. Some will surprise you.


George W. Bush (2001 - )
Pardons -- 13
Commutations -- 4

Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
Pardons -- 396
Commutations -- 61

George H.W. Bush (1989-1993)
Pardons -- 74
Commutations: 3

Ronald Reagan
Pardons -- 393
Commutations -- 13

Jimmy Carter
Pardons -- 534
Commutations -- 29

Gerald Ford
Pardons -- 382
Commutations -- 22

Richard Nixon
Pardons -- 863
Commutations -- 60

Lyndon Johnson
Pardons -- 960
Commutations -- 226

John F. Kennedy
Pardons -- 472
Commutations -- 100

Dwight Eisenhower
Pardons -- 1,110
Commutations -- 47

Harry Truman
Pardons -- 1,913
Commutations -- 118

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tony Blair/Terrorism & Tiny Minds

Tony Blair seems like a decent enough chap. He has a nice family, he's polite and he's articulate. But the British press pilloried him for allying with the United States in what is truly a War Against Terror. Blair had read the insider information and seen what the potential was for violence spreading outside of the Middle East and into Europe and the US. And even though Mr. Blair is what is known as a liberal, he cared more about doing the right thing, than doing the politically expedient thing. The British press hounded him. The spread rumors, lies and disinformation with their goal, as with most western press, to pry another ally away from the United States and gain control over whatever political puppet was put in place. Today there were three open attempts at terror on British soil. Two car bombs, thankfully detected and defused, in London and another in Glasgow. The changeover from Blair to the new PM was today. I talking to experienced terror experts, all were agreed that the attitude of appeasement has made it easier for terrorists to infiltrate British mosques and recruit British subjects to attack their own country. Is this not EXACTLY what President Bush said would happen if we appease terrorists by giving in? And yet our press is doing to President Bush exactly what the British press did to Tony Blair. What do you think will happen if someone whose appeasement attitudes such as Hilary, or John Edwards or Barak Obama get in office? How long do you think it would be until we had a serious attack on American soil? Wasn't 9/11 enough? If I were Tony Blair, a man far more gracious than I am, I would hire out a series of prominently displayed billboards with these words: