Shire Network News #132 has been released. The feature interview is with Ann Bayefsky, editor of the Eye on the UN website and Director of the Touro College Institute of Human Rights and the Holocaust.  She says the 2001 Durban Conference on Racism, which turned into an anti-semitic hatefest, is being repeated shortly in Geneva, and as happened the first time, it’s been hijacked by Islamic countries, who seem bent on widening the focus to include taking away the right to free speech. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to "Consider This!"

It’s time to go through the "Consider This" mailbag because, well, frankly, it’s never been gone through before, and my wife is wanting some floor space back in our basement.  So I’ve combed through the sacks and sacks of letters, found that most of them were filled with clothes our kids have outgrown, and come up with some of the burning questions that simply must be answered.

Is your real name Doug Payton, or is it a pen name, like Tom Paine or Brian of London?  Indeed, that is my real name.  If I was going to use a fake name, I’d hope I could come up with something more interesting and more obviously fake, like Barack Obama.

Why are we losing in Iraq?  Well, Mr. Bin Laden, I find it very interesting you should ask that question.  The fine folks at the Strategy Page website have indeed been reading what different factions in your organization have been saying on that very matter.  Aside from the fact that most of your leadership and soldiers are dead, captured, running away or just quitting, I’d have to say that killing fellow Muslims in an attempt to kill the infidels probably had a lot to do with it.  Framing those casualties with the oxymoronic term "involuntary martyrs", while probably enriching some public relations firm, didn’t seem to turn the tide.

Will Susan Sarandon really move to Italy or Canada if McCain is elected US President?  I think she technically said she’d "be checking out a move".  And, like all those other Hollywood types that threatened a move when Bush was elected, and then re-elected, maybe she’s just acting.  The "Consider This" Magic 8 Ball replies, "My sources say no."

I read that Harvey Korman died.  Who was he?  Oh, you poor, poor youngster.  Harvey Korman, who died at 81 this past week, was a comedian who, among many other things such as a few Mel Brooks movies, was one of the regulars on the old Carol Burnett Show.  Now that was comedy.  It was so funny that Korman himself, after rehearsing the sketches over and over, still often had to stifle his own laughter, or turn his back to the audience to hide it, when Tim Conway delivered some zingers.  But Korman most certainly pulled his own weight on the show and made it the classic it is. 

Is Al Gore’s movie "An Inconvenient Truth" really going to be done as an opera?  Yes, it seems so, for the 2011 season in Milan, Italy.  No, you just can’t make up stuff like this.  Pavarotti with charts and graphs just seems like it would chase off all but the most liberal of opera lovers, but if it works, I wonder if setting the US Constitution to music would be useful.  I’m betting that the opera house will initially have its thermostat set at a chilly 65 degrees, and programmed to rise to 80 by the end, just to enhance the experience.  Dave Barry thinks that, at the end, the fat lady will burst into flames.

I like Obama’s idea of talking with our enemies without preconditions.  We just need to sit down with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, explain our point of view, give him some economic incentives, and make friends with him.  Then he won’t pursue nuclear weapons, if you really believe that’s what he’s doing.  Is that all it would take?  Have a heart-to-heart, give him some goodies, try to identify with his inner anti-Semite, and we’d all be hunky-dory.  I don’t know, Mr. Carter, I just seem to remember that that sort of "diplomacy" didn’t work out so well with North Korea.

Where are people disappearing from at an alarming rate?  From Barack Obama’s "Faith Testimonials" page.  First Jeremiah Wright mysteriously disappeared.  Now Father Michael Pfleger has dropped off the radar after saying, from the pulpit of Trinity Church, that Hillary Clinton thought she was entitled to the presidency because she’s white, which is demonstrably false.  Actually, she thinks she entitled to it because she’s a Clinton.  And now, Obama himself is disappearing from the Trinity Church rolls.  I guess after 20 years, the Trinity pulpit got too outrageous in just 6 short months.

I have a math question: If a missile leaves Tehran at 3pm traveling 125 miles per hour, and 10 minutes later a missile defense system in Jerusalem launches countermeasures traveling at 150 miles per hour, where will they meet and who can I blame it on?  Well, Mr. Ahmadinejad, I’m just going to forward this to someone who could figure that out.  "Jimmy Carter, Plains, Georgia."  There, that should be educational, for the both of you.

Consider that.

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