“To the European people … you only have a few more days to accept bin Laden’s truce or you will only have yourselves to blame.”
Thus spake al Qaeda through two Arabic web sites. The date is July 15. The truce was to give European nations time to pull all troops out of Muslim countries, presumably Afghanistan included.
How will Europe respond? Why not America?
Al Qaeda should that it still has the capability to strike in Europe by the train in Spain bombing that changed that country’s government and policy. The Spaniards put their collective tails between their legs and ran home, giving one big victory to terror. If other European countries follow Spain’s lead, al Qaeda will only grow stronger, and America and the coalition of the willing will take on more of the burden of making the world safe for non-Muslims.
Apparently, al Qaeda has little confidence in its ability to strike the United States. Why else would its threats be directly aimed at Europe? This is proof that the Bush Doctrine is working. By hitting them hard, consistently, and first, the terrorists have reduced capacity to hit us back. By taking the fight to bin Laden’s front yard in Iraq and backyard in Afghanistan, we have him on the run even as he has Spain, France, and others looking over their shoulders.
This the western world’s greatest opportunity to announce its intention to survive. Let Europe embrace the Bush Doctrine and join America in rolling back the tide of terror al Qaeda and others have wrought.
The good news is that the economy added 112,000 new jobs in June. The bad news is that that figure is less than half of what economists expected. More bad: manufacturing lost jobs.
Personally, I was stunned by the news. The month when kids get out of school for the summer, resorts increase staff for vacation season, etc., should have seen a big number. I was siding with the more optimistic economists expecting 300,000+ new jobs. Unless there’s a major revision later, that didn’t happen.
I wish we could take solace in finding a big increase in hours worked and productivity, but both were down. So the sum of these data is that companies hired a few more people than were let go, that overworked employees were relieved of some of their overtime, and that the economy continues to grow.
These are not bad things. Between January and May, I worked an average of about 62 hours per week. Others on my team worked more. Contracts signed when the economy was very weak, particularly in the technology field, meant we could not profitably hire the number of skilled people we needed, so everyone had to work longer hours. Needless to say, morale and quality were the victims. When people, particularly people in mental jobs, are working over 50 hours a week, their net productivity declines rapidly. I have personally observed software programmers whose total lines of bug-free code begin to drop after 45 hours. I don’t mean the marginal return from additional hours worked, but the actual amount of bug-free lines of code.
With productivity and work weeks approaching records during the first half of 2004, it is time for a break. Businesses like the numbers associated with very high productivity, but their glee is shortsighted and short-lived. Maintaining very high operational tempos eventually sends the best workers looking for greener pastures, and bottom lines are reduced when low quality results in rework or refunds to customers down the road.
What the economy needs now is for businesses to take a balanced approach to payrolls. We can’t afford another free-for-all like we had in 1998-2000, when companies overpaid for questionable talent and then tried to find something for their employees to do. Instead, companies need to hire enough people to relieve the loyal, experienced folks who kept doors open during the recession.
So the news wasn’t all bad. American workers have more job choices, hire incomes, and fewer hours of work. That means they will spend money on leisure, fix up their homes, cars, and lawns, and buy gifts for loved ones. These are good news–these are the reasons we work.
The stories, the facts, the meat of the case, against the United Nations are beginning to leak out. Here is one such story from the New York Post.
Saddam used bribes to UN Officials to divert $10 billion from food and medicine for the Iraqi people to building palaces and killing people he didn’t like. The UN quietly endorsed this practice.
Giving money to UN relief agencies is more than a waste: it’s supporting corruption that kills innocent people. The UN must be destroyed.
Iraqis are flocking to stores to buy a dancing Saddam doll.
Now I know what to get the kids for Christmas. Not too long ago, such a novelty would have earned torturous death for its owner. Today, stores can’t keep the things on the shelves.
This is the best proof in a long time that we were morally right to liberate Iraq.
On to Iran!
Once upon a time, when I was young and naive, I would have thought such a statement by a mass murderer would only help George Bush. But the attitudes of my fellow Americans, led by the cowardly liar Michael Moore (please sue me) has hardened my opinion of my neighbors. My guess is that this evening’s talk shows will host more than a few “mainstream” pundits who will claim Saddam’s indictment of Bush proves Moore’s case–that Bush is in fact a criminal.
Were the present generation of gutless, wimpy, risk-free Americans around in 1941, Roosevelt would have been impeached and Hitler exhonorated as a victim of FDR’s bloodthirsty imperialism. What a bunch of cowards we are.