Thursday, May 28, 2015


Living language
Defined by ignorance


Don't know how "curmudgeon" is defined? Look it up.

I am a former PRINT (as in newspaper, a local museum may have one) reporter and editor. I worked back in the day when reporters reported - vs. created - the news and slanting/"spinning" the news was limited.

Over the years I've been amused by how the language has adapted, usually by a push - perhaps a shove - from Madison Avenue.

The other day I saw an advertisement on tv for a four-door "coupe."

When did a "coupe" (two doors) become a "sedan" (4 doors).

According to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, a "coupe" is defined as

    a 2-door automobile often seating only two persons; also : one with a tight-spaced rear seat — compare SEDAN
while "sedan" is defined as
    : a car that has four doors and that has room for four or more people
I'll concede that as I was growing up, a coupe could sit more than two people but the vehicle only had two doors. The first car I remember was a 1949 maroon Ford coupe.

"Penny" for your thoughts

You are handed change and you find you have a dime, a nickel, and a penny.

But in reality. That "penny" is a "cent." America has not had true "pennies" since the Brits gave up their rule over the several colonies that later became united states. There was a time when "one red cent" was as common in American's language as the mis-named "penny."

As an aside, the term "two-bits" means 25 cents as in "two bits, four bits, six bots, a dollar." A "two-bit" anything was the Made in China version: cheap.

From the Latin

Today a "cohort" is a buddy, a fellow traveler and can be both singular and plural. In fact, however. "cohort" is an ancient Roman army unit. The United Nations of Roma Victrix describes a "cohort" as a unit that

    included 6 centuriae or a total of 480 fighting men, not including officers. In addition the first cohort was double strength but with only 5 centuriae instead of the normal 6. Emphasis mine.

When something is "decimated" it is reduced by a tenth. Merriam-Webster (ibid.) states that

    to select by lot and kill every tenth man
but it admits that in current usage "decimate" is taken to mean
    to destroy a large number of (plants, animals, people, etc.)
When you think "decimate" think "deca"; Latin for ten

If it's free, it's for me

TV ads - the bane of the language - frequently offer me a free gift if I only will do this or that, usually spend my dollars for a product I probably don't need.

A "gift" is something given without recompense; it's "free." Ergo, "free gift" is redundant.

Calling a spade a shovel

Unlike the spade vs. shovel above - there IS a difference; one has a pointed blade (shovel) and one had a flat/straight blade (spade).

Spades are made for moving something (snow, manure, etc.) from point to point; shovels are made for digging (but often a post-hole digger or auger might be a better choice).

"Shatter" your expectations

GM's Buick will, according to the Mad Av language mavens, "shatter your expectations."

I THINK the agency types meant that the 2015 Buick will exceed the buyer's expectations.

According to Merriam-Webster online (ibid.), to "shatter" something means to

    to break suddenly into many small pieces or to damage (something) very badly
Neither the transitive verb and the intransitive verb definitions for "shatter" come close to suggesting that "shattering" is a good thing. I suspect that the advertising wizards were equating "shatter the glass ceiling" (as in "breaking through") to shattering (exceeding) expectations.

There is a Buick "expectation shattering" commercial on YouTube.

Heart to heart cardiac

There's a tv ad - I love tv ads; they are such fertile ground for this curmudgeon - that tries to sell me an over-the-counter (OTC) medication for my cardiac heart health.

When I was an Air Force medic, back when Orville and Wilbur were flying their machine, I learned that cardiac was the same as heart.

Granted, a "cardiac-to-cardiac talk" seems weak when compared with a "heart-to-heart talk." While "heart" has multiple means, as in "get to the heart of the matter" among others, in the advertisement's instance, "heart" was referring to the muscle that handles blood to and from the cardio-vascular a/k/a circulatory, system, in other words, the cardiac (cardio-, cardiac).

Minutes and moments

Back in the day - and I had an unabridged that told me so - a "minute" was 60 seconds and a "moment" was 90 seconds, a minute and a half. In today's usage, a "moment" can be almost any duration; it's relative. To a child waiting for parental assistance, a "moment," even in its classical sense, can seem like an eternity.

Burglars and robbers

A person breaks into a store and makes off with the goods. The person is a "burglar"; he - or she - "burglarized" the store.

You are walking down the street, enjoying the evening air and a miscreant relieves you of your valuables, you have been "robbed" by a "robber."

The FindLaw web site defines "burglary" as

    the act of entering or remaining unlawfully (as after closing to the public) in a building with intent to commit a crime (as a felony)
and "robbery" as
    theft/larceny of property or money through the offender's use of physical force or fear against a victim.
The FindLaw definition for "burglary" notes that
    The crime of burglary was originally defined under the common law to protect people, since there were other laws (as those defining larceny and trespass) that protected property. State laws have broadened the common-law crime. Entering at night is often no longer required and may be considered an aggravating factor. The building may be something other than a dwelling, such as a store or pharmacy. Some states (as Louisiana) have included vehicles under their burglary statute. There are degrees of burglary, and some of the usual aggravating factors are the presence of people and use of a deadly weapon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Check expenditures
Before increasing taxes


The state of America's highways and byways has been declared by many civil engineers as dismal at best.

This is a nationwide problem if tv reports can be believed. I know it's true in my area.

The engineers tell us that all it takes is money, money the government apparently lacks.

What to do? Raise taxes, of course.

Rather than raise taxes, taxpayers should ask: What happened to all the money collected on every gallon of gasoline and Diesel we buy?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), an independent organization, every gallon of gasoline sold in the U.S. adds 18.4 cents to the federal kitty; a gallon of Diesel adds 24.4 cents to the federal coffers.

Travelers who take to the air pay a 22 cents a gallon for jet fuel while commercial fill-up cost a mere 4.4 cents a for jet fuel, according to the Tax Foundation.

In addition to fuel taxes, travelers on commercial flights get the privilege of paying still more fees (taxes); just how much is listed by the U.S. State Department on its Airport Taxes and Fees Update page.

All of the above are federal taxes. State taxes are on top of those fees, but stay in the states in which they are collected and supposedly used by the states to maintain their highways and byways. The American Petroleum Institute (API) web site has a state-by-state breakdown of fuel-related taxes.

IN MY STATE I pay 54.82 cents/gallon for fuel for my flivver. Folks to drive Diesel fueled vehicles get to pay 58.07 cents a gallon, but of course their gallon usually takes them farther.

Click on image to enlarge

I'm not complaining about the user tax I'm currently paying. I'm not happy with what I consider gouging by the petroleum companies (that also pay taxes on their products). I AM complaining about the apparently lack of return on MY investment due to what I assume must be mishandling of the monies I and every other traveleer - by car, bus, train, or plane - pays into the federal treasury, monies that are supposed to be used to maintain and improve the nation's transportation infrastructure.

According to media reports, the funds are NOT being "wasted" on bridge inspectors. Nor or the funds being "wasted" on railroad safety measures (that might have prevented the recent D.C.-to-NYC derailment).

Before congress burdens Americans with more transportation-related taxes, let it demand an accounting from the various bureaucracies that are handling the collected revenue now.

Perhaps there are too many administrators and not enough people in the field. Perhaps there is some "pork" that can be trimmed from projects close to individual politicians' hearts.

Over the years our politicians, of all parties, have let our nation slide into a second - if not third - class country both within our borders and internationally.

I don't think the answer to our problems is to raise taxes. Rather I suggest it is to make better use of the resources at hand; cut waste and inefficiency.

It may be necessary that additional taxes must be levied, but first let us take a look at where the money is going now.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Starter buttons back
As new cars' "feature"


OVER THE YEARS I have driven a number of cars.

One, a "3 on the post stick shift" had the starter button under the clutch pedal; the clutch had to be pressed to the floorboard to press the starter button, assuring the car would not move even if it was in gear - the clutch disengaged the gears. equating to "Neutral" in automatic transmissions.

Later I had a car with a push button starter on the dashboard. I don't recall if the vehicle was a stick shift - 3 on the post or 4 on the floor - but manual or automatic, the button was moved from the floorboard to the dash. Either the clutch had to be engaged (if a manual transmission) or the automatic had to be in Park or Neutral for the starter to engage.

Then came the integrated key/starter assembly found on most cars even today.

Now, today's "modern" flivver once again sports a starter button.

THE STARTER BUTTON is a feature on some of the pricier models; the image is from an Audi "TT." CarMax has (had) a 2014 Audi "TT" listed for a few dollars less than $40k.

THERE IS A PROBLEM, it turns out, with separating the starter from the ignition switch.

Apparently there is no way to turn off the car's engine - other than to press the START button again.

After years of driving cars that are shut off when a key is turned, it is easy for many drivers to forget to press START to stop (the engine).

There have been several incidents where a driver has left the vehicle, thinking the engine was off only to watch as the vehicle moved off on its own - motor running, transmission engaged.

In the "olde days" of pushbutton starters on the floorboard or on the dash, the only thing the starter button did was activate the starter mechanism; once the engine "caught," the starter was released. Turning the ignition key shut off the engine (as could a number of other things such as the '49 Chevy's upside-down distributor cap when it fell off - been there, done that).

I'm a geezer - it beats the alternative - and I've had sticks (3 on the post and many on the floor) and automatics. I've not tried the flipper gear shifts - they remind me of many lunchtime hours playing pin ball at the kiosk just off Miami High's campus, "back in the day."

I don't consider a START switch, even one with both START and STOP painted on the button, to be progress. From a risk management point of view, asking drivers to relearn a process to kill an engine is asking for trouble.

Is there something "sexy" about a START button? Does carrying one less key really make a difference?

One thing about the Start/Stop button, it is NOT foolproof. Something needs to be done to assure that when a driver leaves the driver's seat, the vehicle automatically shuts down or, as t minimum locks the transmission or the axel(s) to prevent the unattended vehicle from moving.

What next? A return of the hand crank to start the vehicle?

1914 Ford Model T touring car
Note hand crank above license plate
Note the woman behind the wheel


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Eyes have it

Optician wins my business;
But doesn't sell me anything


I WENT TO THREE OPTICIANs the other day to get a lens to correct one eye; the other eye just has a new lens implanted (due to cataract) and I see "pretty good" with the new lens. The other eye has a "developing" cataract.

The ophthalmologist's optometrist pushed for me to buy contact a contact lens from the ophthalmologist's optician. The optician was likewise strongly inclined to push for a contact.

Not being sure I could tolerate something in my eye I asked if there was someway I could check to see if I could accommodate the foreign object over my pupil.

Sure - for $100.

I THINK THAT $100 is $99.99 too much to pay to just find out if I could tolerate a contact lens. I demanded my prescription; with the script in hand, I marched out.

The next day I went on my Search for a Corrective Lens.

My first stop was at a "Two Pair for $69" optician I had used in the past. Mind, I never got two pairs of glasses for $69; it always came out closer to twice that price, what with my high correction and polycarbonate lenses. I showed Janet The Optician my prescription and she suggested I would be better off in many ways with a contact.

"But, Janet, I'm not sure my eye will tolerate a contact."

With that, Janet got up and, telling me to follow her, went to the store's collection of contacts. "Wash your hands<" she instructed as she selected a lens.

Back at her station, she opened the contact's container and told me to fish out the tiny lens. When I finally managed this, she gave me instructions on how to insert the lens. Since I once wore (hard) contacts, I half listened to her - much the way experienced air travelers pay attention to the fight attendants during the safety spiel - with other things going through my mind. My mistake..

Fortunately, Janet was patient and once I admitted I needed "encouragement" I got the lens over the pupil.

My eye didn't complain and within a few minutes it was as if there was nothing in the eye … except I now had great distant vision. My "very close" vision was something else. The remedy, Janet said, would be a bifocal lens, but, she said, that decision would be between me and the store's ophthalmologist. Meanwhile, she worked up a "worst case" cost for a year's supply of bifocal contacts.

So far, my only "cost" to discover I can wear contacts had been just a little time; my wallet remained closed.

I decided to shop around before having the exam. I went to two other optical shops and basically told the persons there what I had told Janet. Neither offered to let me see if I could tolerate a contact; both were happy to tell me I could get an exam for contacts for more than the "Two Pair for $69" store would charge.

Back to Janet. She arranged for the store's ophthalmologist to examine my eye for contacts.

Bottom line: the ophthalmologist, noting the massive difference between the right eye and left eye, recommended I "live with" my current "no lens" condition until after my next cataract operation (probably within 12 months). In the end I paid for a standard exam.

Neither Janet nor the ophthalmologist work on commission so neither was under pressure to sell me something that, in the end, might have been contra-indicated.

It would have been nice to have (close to) 20/20 in both eyes, but I can "live with" one good eye for middle to distant vision and one bad eye for very close small print reading.

My personal "bottom line" is that IF I need correction after the second surgery, my first - and probably only - stop will be at Janet's workstation at the "Two Pair for $69" store.

Friday, May 8, 2015

My take on Deflategate

How is it possible QB
Couldn't feel soft balls ?


TRUTH IN BLOGGING: It has been decades since I played football and even then I was a tackle, never handing the ball.

But as a father I tossed around footballs for my now-adult children; trust me, I knew when a ball was under-inflated, "soft."

If an almost couch potato can tell if a football is under-inflated, is it possible that an NFL center and quarterback failed to notice something amiss with the ball's (balls'?) internal pressure?

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is no newcomer to the gridiron. He was a QB at Michigan before signing with the Patriots in 2000.

As New England's QB, Brady played 209 NFL games between 2000 and 2015 with 7,168 passing attempts. How many times did he handle the ball in practice sessions? Anyone's guess.

SO HOW CAN IT BE that the center, the QB, and the receivers failed to notice the ball was soft? The same question can be asked of the game officials who handled the ball(s) between every play. Did the Patriots and officials (gasp) conspire - say it ain't so - to defeat the Indianapolis, nee' Baltimore, Colts in Superbowl xLix (49 for those who flunked Roman numerology).

CNN, under a headline reading Tom Brady likely knew of 'inappropriate activities,' Deflategate report says cites an "NFL commissioned report" that focuses on at least four "interesting" points:

  1. Text messages between a part-time New England Patriots employee and an equipment assistant with talk of cash, free shoes and autographs.
  2. The part-time employee -- a locker room attendant responsible for 12 footballs before the AFC title game -- spending 100 seconds in a bathroom after game officials had approved the balls for play.
  3. Measurements taken at halftime after a team that is losing tips off the league about footballs that appear to be too soft.
  4. The Patriots' star quarterback and the equipment assistant suddenly exchanging phone calls in the days just after news of underinflated footballs blew up.

Maybe the Patriot's win was legit; perhaps the Colts should have stayed home. But if the New Englanders cheated, their win should be forfeited and everyone on the offense who handled the ball should loose their winner's bonus.

If there was cheating, the NFL officials that handled the ball should be fined at least what they received for officiating and they should be banned from officiating at any games - professional or otherwise - in the future.

I can understand that weather has an effect of air bladders - every time we have a cold snap (here that means 60F) I have to pump up the flivver's tires - but if that was the case, the Colts' balls also would have been soft; apparently the Colts were playing hard ball.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Nepal wasn't ready
For 'quake volunteers


IF THE STORY headlined Disorganization plagues relief efforts, frustrating even trained volunteers is true - and I suspect it is - Nepal both benefitted from and suffered from the sudden influx of volunteers following the recent earthquake and after shocks.

No surprise.

Another practitioner, then in Pakistan. and this scrivener had a lengthy email exchange on volunteers pouring into a disaster area when the hosts were ill-prepared to accept their help and to direct the volunteers to areas where they were most needed.

While most non-governmental practitioners probably never will need, or encounter, a surge of volunteers we can offer diplomatic input to our Emergency Management office.

The problem encountered in Nepal, where volunteers poured in from many places, was that it wasn’t prepared to absorb them.

There is a language problem.

There are logistics problems.

There are "show the flag" problems; national and organizational egos can - and often do - get in the way of helping those who need the help.

There are political problems; e.g., bivouacing Iranians next to Israelis might not be the most advisable situation.

Emergency managers need to take lessons from the military high command.

During World War 2, Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower was in charge of the European Theater of Operations.

"Ike" was blessed - or perhaps cursed - with a handful of prima donnas (or whatever the male equivalent is called): Patton and Montgomery leading the list. He also had to contend with De Gaulle and the Free French.

While each had his own agenda, Eisenhower was in charge and he forced these gentlemen to what needed to be done for the good of the war effort.

Fortunately military discipline prevailed and Ike kept the generals' egos reigned in and the Allies, not always working in concert, won the shooting war in Europe.

Nations, as generals, have "national egos" and the Emergency Manager on the spot must be both diplomat and martinet.

While nations develop plans to invade or repel other nations, they also should plan on how to welcome, and control, nations and individuals who swarm to a disaster site with good intentions but, often, little else.

As far as the nation volunteers and volunteer organizations, while you are preparing to board the transport that will take you to the disaster site, ASK THE ON-SITE EMERGENCY MANAGER or volunteer coordinator what is needed and where.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


PwC (finally?) realizes
Vendors are a real risk


MY FAVORITE SOURCE of links to risk articles, Advisen FPN, pointed me to a PwC puff piece (it came via PR Newswire) titled Growing Use of Vendors Intensifies Risk of Business Interruption, According to PwC US.

PwC, a/k/a PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, tells us that

    As businesses increasingly rely on external parties for critical services, they become more vulnerable to business interruptions. This is especially true when such businesses know little about their third party vendors' resiliency and recovery capabilities, according to a new PwC US whitepaper, which examines the effects that vendor resiliency, or lack thereof, can have on an organization's business continuity strategy. Titled, Business continuity beyond company walls: When a crisis hits, will your vendors' resiliency match your own?, the PwC report also notes that risk becomes greater when the organization has a limited understanding of its own business interruption threats, resiliency status and recovery capabilities and strategies.

I wonder if, coming from PwC, that basic information experienced risk management practitioners have been preaching for years - decades - will have some impact.

According to PwC's report,

    (R)eliance on third parties is gaining momentum, and if companies lack insight into their critical vendors' resiliency and recovery capabilities, they run the risk of their own strategic goals being derailed. "Our clients are adjusting to the shift in global economic power and demographic shifts – two of the megatrends we identified – by increasing their use of strategic vendors to accelerate their global growth strategy and decrease time-to-market for their products and services. Along with the increase in strategic vendor reliance comes the need to more formally monitor vendor and other third party risks," said Brian Schwartz, PwC US Risk Assurance, Governance, Risk and Compliance leader.

    In order to protect against business interruption risks, companies should institute a business continuity management program that encompasses vendor risk by incorporating increased resiliency and rapid recovery. PwC outlines five steps to help companies look beyond their own walls and examine interruption risk among the vendors who provide support.

While I would suggest that "reliance on third parties" is not gaining momentum, it is a fact of life for almost every organization; I cannot think of any that survives sans vendors. No man is an island, nor is any organization.

Slowly, slowly business continuity practitioners are learning that limiting their search for risks "inside the building" is hardly sufficient. It could be compared to searching for hametz NB only in the kitchen while ignoring the dining room (and kids rooms).

Business continuity must expand to become true ENTERPRISE Risk Management considering ALL risks from ALL areas - from incoming (raw materials, orders, payments, delivery systems) to outgoing (QA/QC, advertising/PR, delivery systems, customer financial well being,), and the items mentioned here are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. (Add to that government regulations, taxes, and fees, competition, lenders, investors, and many, many more potential "got'chas.")

Most practitioners have expanded out from behind the locked doors of IT/MIS to try to discover an organization's raison d'etre, but - unfortunately - many still are looking for risks only within the organization.

As PwC now recognizes, as "businesses increasingly rely on external parties for critical services, they become more vulnerable to business interruptions."

'Course you knew that.


Note 1 Hametz - leavened food prohibited to Jews during Passover

Monday, May 4, 2015


Don't have a job?
Burn out neighbors


LET ME BE "UP FRONT" about this.

Rioting because you don't have a job is criminal. There ARE jobs, lots of jobs where employers are "willing to train; no experience necessary."

Rioting because there are more blacks arrested (and found guilty) than whites likewise is criminal; look at who commits the crimes. Violent crime is more common among blacks; paper crimes and large scale crimes are committed more by whites.

All police are racist and hate blacks. Does that include black cops? Could it be because when a cop works a black neighborhood he or she gets little or no cooperation from the black community, even when investigating black-on-black crime.?


Since Baltimore is in the news now, and since many of the people taking to the streets, both the ones burning down their own neighborhood and the ones calling for calm, are complaining that "there are no jobs; it’s the economy; black men can't get work," lets look at the Baltimore Sun's on-line JOBS page.

Don't have a computer of Internet connection? Go to the local public library; most public libraries now have FREE Internet access.

The Sun's JOBS page on Sunday, May 3, 2015, listed 524 jobs with Will Train in the job description.

Nothing suits your fancy in and around Baltimore, how about other Big Cities: Chicago, Detroit, Houston, LA? Access jobs in those cities via the libraries' free Internet access. Tired of big cities? How about Gillette WY; check out the jobs listed in the News-Records JOBS page. In a town with less than 32,000 population, there were four "Will Train" jobs listed.

If you can't find a job where you live - MOVE!

Unlike some countries, the U.S. is a big place and jobs across the country are as accessible as the nearest public library. Many government employment services also have Internet access available, for free, to job seekers.

Follow Paul Simon' advice and
Hop on the bus, Gus.

I'm writing from experience. I have lived and worked in at least 13 U.S. states (as well as overseas), sometimes in several cities in the same state. Unless you are world famous for whatever it is you do - and obviously neither of us is - you have to go to the job; it won't come looking for you.

Ahh, but almost all employers want applicants with a high school education.

Get a GED.

The local school board can help with that and it's usually free. See how smart you really are compared to your peers.

By the way, where are the positive results of Head Start (thank a deep south Texan for that) and free meals at school?

Not enough options?

How about the military. That doesn't mean you will be going to Afghanistan or Iraq. While the Army and Marines probably are the most willing to take just about anyone, some people in the Air Force never leave the States during a four-year tour; you might see the world in the Navy, but if discipline is not your "thing," the Navy isn't for you. The Coast Guard might be an option, but while the Shallow Water Sailors (a misnomer, by the way) usually stay close to home, the Guard is very selective.

Blame it on "The Man"

OK, everyone knows there is a higher percentage of blacks in jail for violent crimes than whites. Everyone ought to know there is a higher percentage of whites in prison for paper crimes (fraud, tax evasion, swindles) than blacks. I've been to the United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg PA and read the names of the "guests." Most belonged to white inmates.

My son, the cop - who, by the way is a minority, albeit not black - patrols a predominately black neighborhood on rotation with other cops. What he does not get is cooperation from the neighborhood's residents, even when it is black-on-black crime. The black cops who serve with my son have the same problem, yet the community cannot or will not police itself.

Get off the street, get a job or get on a bus

The only people to blame for the riots are the rioters; people looking for an excuse to take from people who worked for that they have; to steal from their shops and to burn them out - people who braved the neighborhood and paid super high premiums on insurance, if they could buy insurance; people who when they could hired locals to help out.

No job? Stop whining and blaming everyone else. If you can't find a job in town, Hop on a bus, Gus - Greyhound has depots almost everywhere.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Iran shreds what China
Declared is a Paper Tiger


Obama=Chamberlain; Ayatollah=Hitler
Washington's promises just empty words


THE UNITED STATES had, until it abrogated it, an agreement with the Marshall Islands government to defend it as if it was US. soil, and that pledge included Marshall Islands flagged vessels on the high seas.

USA Today reports that

    Iran seized a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship on Tuesday after claiming it ventured into Iranian waters in the Strait of Hormuz, defense officials said, an incident that could complicate talks about Tehran's nuclear program.

    There were no Americans among the crew of the Maersk Tigris, though the United States has security responsibilities with regard to the Marshall Islands.

Meanwhile, the BBC relates that the US military 'monitoring' Iran ship seizure
    A US naval destroyer has been ordered to the region to "monitor" the situation.

    The ship was in an area recognized as an international shipping lane, he went on.

So much for American promises and official commitments.

The BCC also reported that

    Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif, said that the Maersk shipping company, which charters the vessel, had been ordered by an Iranian court to pay damages to a private firm.
No longer will America decisively act "from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli"; no longer are America's promises - already compromised by previous administrations - be considered of any value by the country's "allies."

A number of years ago the Chinese, before they bought America, called the nation a "paper tiger." I'm not so sure "paper" is not too solid a word for America today.

Without question most Americans are tired of war, of sending their young men and women to fight wars in foreign lands for foreign causes.

But the ayatollahs' chutzpah, especially gross given the current administration's acquiescence to every Iranian demand while, like Israel and the "Palestinians," getting nothing in return, is beyond all civilized comprehension.

Don't the politicians in Washington "get it"?

The ayatollahs seized the embassy during the administration of Democrat Carter - the example of a bungling administration that only current the one may surpass for ineptitude - but the U.S. still held out hope for the regime.

When the USS Cole was attacked and sailors killed, Democrat Clinton was the president and commander in chief who failed to effectively act against the ayatollahs.

China was wrong - the U.S. is not a "paper tiger," it is, at best, a gossamer tiger, smoke and mirrors.

Cartainly no one wants to harm "innocent" Iranians - Persians - in an effort to eliminate the ayatollahs, but collaterial damage must be expected - along with the howls of outrage from the world's liberals.

    I am reminded of the story from Germany following its capitulation to the nazis:

    When they came for the Jews, I said nothing; I am not a Jew.
    When they came for the Communists, I said nothing; I am not a Communist.
    When they came for the Roma, I said nothing; I am not Roma.
    Now they are coming for me, and there is no one left fo speak up for me.

    Eventually the ayatollahs will come for the liberals, their political allies du jour, and who will cry for the liberals then?

King Solomon was right when he opined that there is a time for war and a time for peace.

It's time that the U.S. meets its commitments. It is time that the U.S. must adandon its failed diplomatic efforts vis-à-vis Iran. It's time to remove power from the aayatollahs and their army.

But, unlike the fiasco in Iraq, it's time for the U.S. to realize it will need to guide the Persians toward a peaceful Iran as it guided Japan and Germany after WW2. It cannot re-establish a shah, but it need not establish a U.S.-style democracy, either. The type government for Iran is best determined by the Iranians, bearing in mind that they always - from Cyrus on - have lived under a heavy-handed rule. In other words, the U.S. should avoid making the mistakes it made in Iraq - and Cuba, and …