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Leon de Winter

Leon de Winter is a novelist and columnist for Elsevier Magazine in the Netherlands. His last novel, The Right of Return is a thriller set in Tel Aviv in 2024. He presently lives in Los Angeles.
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I Will Not Fund the Egyptian Regime, Which Plans to Kill Me

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 - by Leon de Winter

A while ago the Dutch version of the British TV format Who Do You Think You Are? took me on a journey into the past – the program confronts people with their family history. In my case, they took me to Westerbork transit camp in northeast Holland. It was there, during the Second World War, that Dutch Jews were imprisoned before being sent on to eastern Europe, where most of them ended up at Sobibor in Poland, to be killed. It was the first time I heard some of the details about the lonely weeks that my maternal grandmother spent in Westerbork, separated form her children and her husband, left behind in their home town. He died before they could send him to Sobibor. My grandmother was murdered immediately she arrived there. Most members of my mother’s family, and my father’s family were killed in Sobibor. Some in Auschwitz.

A year ago the Middle East Media Research Institute (memri.org) published a report about various articles on the official website of Egypt’s Muslim Brothers. It concluded: ‘The website of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt, Ikhwanonline.com, contains articles with anti-Semitic motifs, including Holocaust denial and descriptions of the “Jewish character” as covetous, exploitative, and a source of evil in human society.’

The report gives several examples: ‘In a June 2011 sermon posted on the website, MB in Egypt General Guide Muhammad Badi discusses the Jews, their traits, and their actions: “Allah warned us against the deceit of the Jews and their dangerous role in sparking wars: ‘Whenever they kindle a fire for war Allah puts it out, and they strive to make mischief in the land; and Allah does not love the mischief-makers [Koran 5:64].’”

And: ‘Following the May 2010 Gaza flotilla incident, a writer on the site named Mahmoud Abd Al-Rahman discussed “the Zionist Jewish character”: “For ages, human society has faced the problem of the Zionist Jewish character. All nations and cultures are in agreement over the nature of the disease intrinsic in the Zionist character… namely sanctification of money, sex, robbery, interest, and treachery… We saw this in pharaonic Egypt, and in the Canaanite, Amalekite, Babylonian, Persian, and Roman [eras].

“The amazing thing is that all the nations dealt with the [Jewish] character in the same manner: by excising this tumor that has harmed all of humanity.”’

These are no mere incidents. Memri reveals the organization’s long history of aggressive anti-Semitism. The current Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, has expressed the same virulent anti-Semitism. Memri translated interviews Morsi gave in September 2010, not long before the start of the celebrated Egyptian Spring, in which he states: “Either [you accept] the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war. This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know – these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.” And: “They have been fanning the flames of civil strife wherever they were throughout history. They are hostile by nature.”’

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Does Trayvon Martin Killing Reveal Epidemic of Racial Violence?

Friday, March 23rd, 2012 - by Leon de Winter

The present media wave about the tragic death of Trayvon Martin is for me, an outsider, a fascinating lesson in race, politics, and media perversity in America.

The impression is being generated that young black men are continuously hunted by white men, and killed.

So I wanted to know the exact figures. The most recent, those of 2009, I could find are on the site of the Department of Justice.

About 13% of the population is black. About 80% is white (this number includes Hispanics).

In 2009, 2,963 white individuals were killed by white offenders. White offenders killed 209 black individuals.

In that same year, 2,604 black individuals were killed by black offenders. And 454 white individuals were killed by black offenders.

As we see, there is cross-racial deadly violence, but offenders mainly cause victims within their own race; it is so-called intra-racial.

What about recent decades? Murders surveyed between 1974 and 2004 show that 52% of the offenders were black, 48% were white. Of the victims, 51% were white, 47% were black.

In that period, 86% of white murders had whites offenders, and 94% of black murders had black offenders.

There may be a hunt by white vigilantes for innocent young black men in Florida — if it exists, the figures show this is a limited phenomenon. Trayvon Martin’s death should be thoroughly investigated and the vigilante should be brought to trial in case he broke the law. But such a crime is an exception.

The main problem for young black men is not violent white men chasing them. It is black on black violence.

The number of net cross-racial violence in 2009 shows that blacks killed more whites than whites killed blacks. To be exact: 245 more.

Update: 

Hmmmmm (A Turn in the Case?)

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Obama: US Uses 20% of Oil, Only Has 2% of Reserves

Friday, March 16th, 2012 - by Leon de Winter

President Obama recently asked a group of young students to make a calculation. About the global oil reserves and America’s oil consumption he said that a simple calculation would make clear that America has to decrease its oil consumption.

He said that America uses 20% of total oil production and that it has only 2% of the world reserves. He said: Make the calculation!

Well, let’s do that.

Assume that America’s world reserves are only 2% of the global reserves. In reality, the American reserves are much, much bigger, but we will not dispute that number.

Imagine that those 2% are 2% of global reserves of 100,000. That would be a volume of 2000.

Imagine that the yearly global production is 100. America’s consumption is 20%, so a volume of 20.

In this example, America could go on consuming a volume of 20 since it owns itself a volume of 2000. It could go on consuming 20% of the world oil reserves for another hundred years.

In other words: it doesn’t mean a thing to create a link between 20% of consumption and 2% of the global reserves. It all depends upon the size of the world reserves.

Only ten years ago, The Independent (UK) warned that the world would run out of oil ‘between 2010 and 2020’ since the world reserves were only 80% of what had been previously thought. The newspaper was very wrong.

Recently, estimates calculated the US fossil fuel reserves to be, at minimum, sufficient to cover American consumption for another 90 years.

The President, I am sorry to say, is talking BS about oil and fossil fuels. There is plenty under our feet.

Does he know he is talking BS? Absolutely. Why is he not ashamed of talking BS? Because he dreams of a green economy.

A green economy will serve environmental values and the idea of social justice. In order to save the world from capitalistic exploitation and pollution, a leftist global leadership aims to reshape the production of goods and services in order ‘to spread the wealth around’ and limit the individual ‘pursuit of happiness’. Only what is green, will be socially acceptable. This new leadership will define what happiness can reasonably entail within the parameters of a clean environment and collective social justice.

These are the defining ideas in the world in which President Obama spent his learning and academic years. The people who developed and expressed those ideas were his intimate friends and colleagues.

Why does he lie about oil and does he is obstruct oil production and oil exploration? There are higher goals to serve.

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Why Barack Called Sandra

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 - by Leon de Winter

Many people tried to figure out on what point President Obama decided to call Sandra Fluke, the woman Rush Limbaugh called ‘ a slut’. I have a source within the administration who has the transcripts of the conversations that took place in the Oval Room on March 2nd, the day the President called Ms. Fluke. He handed me copies of the transcripts.

I can testify these transcripts are genuine. Here is the key part: 

Advisor: Mr. President, it is time you make one of your famous ‘let me call a citizen’ call.

President: Sure. Anybody in particular?

Advisor: Maybe relatives of the people who died in the tornadoes? It has been hell from Illinois to Louisiana. Twisters in southern Indiana, southern Ohio, most of Kentucky, central Tennessee, northeastern Mississippi and northwestern Alabama.

President: Wow, that’s bad. Lots of folks died, I assume?

Advisor: Yes, Sir.

President: I guess they all love their guns and God? Didn’t help much in those tornadoes, did it? F**k ‘m.

Advisor: Yes, sir.

President: What else?

Advisor: Sir, today, students at Ohio’s Chardon High School will go back to school the first time after a gunman killed three teenagers in the school’s cafeteria.

President: Hate those things. Adolescent f**k ups. Ohio, you say?

Advisor: Yes, Sir.

President: Could be a candidate for a call. The school’s principal or so. More?

Advisor: Two of our troops in southern Afghanistan were killed yesterday, sir. Still a reaction to the burning of the Quran.

President: Should I call that s**thead Karzai again? I apologized didn’t I?

Advisor: Maybe you should call relatives of the troops, Sir.

President: Isn’t there a religious guy, a Taliban freakin’ s**thole or so, in Afghanistan that I can call directly? Maybe that will work.

Advisor: That is a good idea, Sir.

President: What’s more?

Advisor: Rush Limbaugh called a woman a slut, Sir.

President: He did WHAT?

Advisor: Sir – Rush Limbaugh – called – a woman – a – slut.

President: A SLUT! Are you kidding? He called a woman – a SLUT?

Advisor: Yes, Sir…

President: That’s unacceptable! Totally unacceptable! There is a guy on the radio who calls an American citizen a slut? I cannot believe that!

Advisor: It is absolutely true, Sir.

President: This is beyond… Rush Limbaugh calls a woman a slut… This is crossing all the lines… This guy is calling a person a slut…

Forget about those tornadoes and troops. Get me the woman on the phone! Right now!

I have the transcript here in my hand to prove it. This is how it went.  

 

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Bibi’s Speech in Amsterdam

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 - by Leon de Winter

Roger Simon’s account of Bibi’s speech at AIPAC, which I followed on Fox, reminds me of Bibi’s speech in Amsterdam last November. It took place in the Portuguese Synagogue, completed in 1675 and paid for by wealthy Jewish merchant families who had fled Spain and Portugal during the Inquisition.

It was packed to capacity with highly critical Jews in heavy coats, gloves, shawls. It was freezing cold. There was a heavy cordon of policemen around the The Snoge, as this synagogue is called by the Jews. Demonstrations of Israel bashers were announced.

The Snoge does not have electricity. There are no modern lights. There is no heat. But there were candles, thousands of them, in old brass chandeliers, and soon it wasn’t cold anymore; the warmth was radiated by our bodies. I saw many Jews who are member of the social-democrat party, nowadays a group leaning towards favoring the Palestinians. But when Bibi entered, we all got up and gave him an ovation, the liberal Jews as well, minute after minute after minute until he begged us to sit.

And Bibi started talking, in the golden light of candles, as if this was a moment three hundred years old, no, three thousand years old. He spoke as a prophet, a general, a poet.

At ten feet from Bibi, I sat next to my friend Abraham Moszkowicz, the number one criminal trial lawyer in Holland and the best orator in our country. He was watching Bibi with open mouth, tears in his eyes, not believing the mastery Bibi showed. The rhythm, the pauses, the ease, the body movements – total control, total conviction, total emotion.

When Bibi ended his speech, we were all in tears. Aware of the significance of the historical and geographical position of this building, in which Bibi had spoken. Not that long ago, in this area of Amsterdam, the Jews were forced out of their homes and deported to Poland and killed in camps as if they were vermin. But here was a man who unapologetically told us that, if necessary, Israel was going to use force in order to defend us, the Jews in the Diaspora and the Jews in the Middle East.

There was no doubt why his words were genuine, and urgent, and critical. What he was talking about, that that are people who want to kill is because they want to kill us, we, Jews in Holland, do not question. The history of our desecrated families is proof of the terrible truth Bibi touched.

Outside, in the cold rain, behind the backs of a hundred policemen, we found three demonstrators hoarsely calling for a boycott of Israel.

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FIRST DRAFT – HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL

Friday, March 2nd, 2012 - by Leon de Winter

A source close to the president faxed me this (disapproved) draft of a secret letter by president Obama to president Karzai. I cannot reveal his name, but the source assured me it is real – Leon de Winter.

FIRST DRAFT – HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL

To: Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Aghanistan

From: Barack Obama, President of the USA

 

Dear Hamid,

The wave of violence in your country has shocked me, and I am sure you have been surprised by it as well. How many copies of the holy book of Islam have been burned and destroyed by attacks of Islamic radicals on mosques? Countless thousands. Your people never take to the streets when those attacks happen. But the burning of a small amount of copies, by accident, after radical Islamic prisoners have desecrated them by writing messages in them, resulted in dozens of victims, among them some of my soldiers.

Why do these radicals shut up when Muslims burn other Muslims and copies of the Quran, but go nuts when my men seem to be – again, by mistake – responsible? Let me guess: your people consider my soldiers, who have bled to ban tyranny and bring prosperity to your barren lands, infidels who are not allowed to touch your holy book. Your people don’t see courageous men in my soldiers, but dirty dogs.

Hamid, this is what happened on February 1st, 2011:

TUNIS — Arsonists set fire to a synagogue in the southern Gabes region of Tunisia, a leader of the local Jewish community said Tuesday.

“Someone set fire to the synagogue on Monday night and the Torah scrolls were burned,” Trabelsi Perez told AFP, criticising the lack of action by the security services to stop the attack.

“What astonished me was that there were police not far from the synagogue,” added Perez, who is also head of the Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba, the oldest synagogue in Africa.

Twenty-one people were killed, including 16 European tourists, when Al-Qaeda bombers attacked Ghriba in April 2002.

Did the Jews go nuts in New York or Jerusalem? Did they chase Muslims and did they try to kill them? No. They shrugged. They love their scrolls as passionate as you love your Quran, but they know how to distinguish between sacred content and the objects themselves.

O, yes, for the Jews these scrolls are sacred. They are willing to be killed in order to save them. But they will not kill for them. It goes against the message of these scrolls. Life is sacred. Save one life and you save the universe – you know the quote, has been copied in the Quran.

And what about Bible burning, Hamid? Is almost a daily thing in some African countries and Pakistan. Do the Christians in Rome or Berlin hang the Muslims they could grab? No. They know they can print bibles by the millions. The paper copy may have been turned into ashes, but the biblical message survives.

You know what, Hamid? I truly believe that killing as an act of revenge for the burning of books is a very primitive act. It reminds me of the backward belief in totems. When I was a student I took some classes in anthropology and Claude Levi-Strauss, and I know that revering totems is a phase in the development of a more refined idea of religion.

To be honest, Hamid, I have had it with you guys. We spent billions of dollars in your backward country. We have remained silent when your corrupt hands hid hundreds of millions. From now on, I will speak up. And I believe you deserve the Taliban.

So I make you a promise, Hamid: I will withdraw my soldiers from your poor, illiterate, backward nation, and I will come back to bomb the s***t out of you when you or your Taliban friends try to hurt a single American citizen.

Yeah, I am angry. Your Muslims seem to be driven by sheer stupidity, and I have lost my patience with them. Drown in your pitiful land – sorry, the wrong image since there is no water. Hamid, we could have brought water to you, but you prefer to keep the mental and physical drought of the desert.

So, go ahead. Don’t expect me to apologize for my soldiers. F**k you and your crazy believers, Hamid. You deserve poverty, diseases, cruelty. You are an inhumane bunch of lunatics.

 

Without any respect,

 

Barack Obama

 

Note by BHO: No way I’m going to send this draft. Make me another one. I want to apologize.

 

 

 

 

 

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A secret note from Binjamin Netanyahu to President Obama

Thursday, May 19th, 2011 - by Leon de Winter

Dear Barry,

I have to keep it short this time since I’m in a plane on my way to you, but I immediately need to make clear to you that your speech is, to be blunt, sheer stupid.

You want us to withdraw to the 1967 borders. As you know, the pre-1967 borders were an open invitation to violence and terrorist attacks. If you want a repetition of the Gaza disaster, force us to withdraw to those lines and create an independent Palestine. Our national airport will be right on those lines. The heart of our country will be open for rockets.

But I will not be just a nuisance to you. I will do what you want us to do if you think it is reasonable. And with that I mean: if you think that withdrawing to the pre-1967 lines is reasonable, I ask you to act within the same vein. Don’t just talk, but do the walk.

We have only 7 million inhabitants. When one dies, it is as bad as when 43 people in your country die. So if you want us to do what you think is reasonable, if you want us to take risks that you think aren’t risks but safe and sound historical decisions, let’s make a deal: when we have withdrawn to the pre-1967 lines and an Israeli citizen dies because of terrorist rocket fire, you fire rockets in your population areas until you have 43 of your citizens dead. If 10 of our people die, you make sure 430 of your citizens die. This is reasonable if you really think that your proposal is not an act of suicide for Israel.

I’m sure you are not asking your friends to take risks you are not willing to take yourself – that’s friendship, isn’t it? You don’t want our commercial airliners to be exposed to gunfire, do you? You are totally convinced that the Palestinians will live peacefully at our side and that’s why you are telling us to withdraw, it’s as simple as that, isn’t it? You are so sure there will be peace that you can easily agree to my proposal: they kill one Israeli, you kill 43 Americans.

This is the Shakespearian (or maybe: biblical?) deal I want to discuss with you tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it!

See you soon,

Your friend Bibi

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On the ‘Right of Return’

Thursday, May 19th, 2011 - by Leon de Winter

I know something about The Right of Return since I wrote a novel with that title.

The right of return is the essence of the Jewish-Arab conflict in the Middle East. The descendants of the Palestinian Arabs cannot give up the dream of returning to the areas that are the Jewish homeland since 1948. Their return would mark the end of the Jewish state – and that is precisely what the plan is.

When the Palestinian Arabs (there has never been an Arab country called Palestine – the name is an AD 135 Roman invention to punish the Jews for their revolt) have their own country without the explicit end of their Right of Return demand, violence will intensify. Most Palestinian Arabs are already ruled by Palestinian Arabs. A sizable piece of the West Bank is under Israeli military control in order to limit the chance of terrorist attacks. Withdraw the military and violence will explode.

The Palestinian Arabs have to explicitly end the Right of Return demand – it would terminate the conflict. Of course, terrorist groups will continue to attack Israel, but at least two of the three Palestinian states (Jordan, Palestine, Gaza) could live in peace with Israel.

Is it possible for the Palestinian Arabs to give up this dream? I’m afraid they can’t. They are by now defined by this dream, which allows them avoid the heavy task of building a decent civil society with decent civil institutions. The moment they have given up the Right of Return, they are responsible for their own fate. They cannot blame the Jews anymore.

The mythical narrative of the Right of Return (‘once we were rich and happy in the lands now occupied by the Jews’) is the beating heart of what is now called the Palestinian people. Once this Right of Return is gone, there will be nothing that distinguishes them from other Arabs. The Right of Return is what makes Palestinian Arabs different. Most Arabs claim that they suffer because their dictators are being supported by evil Western imperialists, which by now sounds shallow, but only the Palestinian Arabs can claim that they are really driven out from their fertile grounds by racist Jews, who confiscated their riches. This is the strongest argument imaginable in the Arab world. They would be crazy to give it up.

Back to the 1967 lines with some adjustments? Great – but only under the explicit condition that there will never be a Right of Return.

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Condemn this awful act of illegal American violence!

Monday, May 2nd, 2011 - by Leon de Winter

A year ago, Israel’s Mossad targeted a Hamas operative in Dubai. It was a clean hit: he was killed in a hotel room. No collateral damage. They just had to change the sheets.

There was a lot of outrage, of course. ‘This is a breach of international law.” “The Israelis disregard national boundaries.” “It is stupid because targeted killings don’t solve anything.” This one was also often used: “Israel is no safer or better liked because Mossad is effective at homicides.”

Well, the the Navy Seals are also very effective at targeted killings. Is the USA safer after Bin Laden’s death? Certainly not. But it feels rather good.

So, the Pakistanis were not involved and this operation was executed on foreign soil. A blatant breach of international law! So, where are you, defenders of international law? Isn’t it logical you start condemning the targeted killing of Osama bin Laden? No due process, no legal rights? The Seals shot to kill. And President Obama authorized the killing.

True progressives of the world, unite and condemn this awful act of illegal American violence!

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The Islamist worm turns in Libya

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 - by Leon de Winter

Americans often have difficulties picturing a map of the world, but Libya is Italy’s backyard. Italy’s energy consumption is for a quarter dependent on Libya.   What Colonel Ghadaffi is doing to his people, is not completely un-African. It is only happening closer to our western homes.

Italy’s Foreign minister is scared as hell. He knows that Ghadaffi is a cruel madman, and he knows as well that that it can be more cruel too. It’s hard to imagine for us, pampered with safety, health, security – just hand Libya to the Islamists, and you have half of the Libyan population running to the boats to reach Italy, and the other half calling for Jihad in the streets of Palermo and Milano.   Italians know their backyard as thoroughly as they know how to design a car or dress a woman.  

This is what the minister said:   ‘Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, whose country has been at the forefront of the debate as the EU entry gate for thousands of illegal immigrants from north Africa, said the threat of an “Islamic Arab Emirate at the borders of Europe” in Libya was now a matter of “serious concern”.

He said there was “an urgent need” for “national reconciliation”, underlining he was “extremely concerned about the self-proclamation of the so-called Islamic Emirate of Benghazi.

”This would be a really serious threat,” he said.’

Sure, that would be a serious threat. Islamist strongman Yusuf al Qaradawi returned to Egypt after thirty years exile in Qatar and spoke last Friday to the crowd on Tahrir Square, and now there are rumors about a Libyan Emirate. Wonderful! Give them freedom and democracy and they will try to kill the infidels, like they tried to rape a CBS journalist shouting Jew, Jew!

Completely breathtaking is a video on the website of the New York Times. It shows Nicholas D. Kristof, not the worst writer of the Times, having a haircut.  He explains that we should not worry about women’s rights in Bahrein after the revolution. And we see masses of demonstrating Shiite women dressed in black from head to toe, some of them having their face covered, and he is right, we should not be worried about women’s rights over there.   They don’t want them.   Could it be that they mean ‘I want to be free to be an Islamist’ when they shout ‘freedom’? Could it be that they mean ‘I want to democratically introduce Sharia’ when they shout ‘democracy’?

I mean, I’m only guessing!

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wonderful!

Saturday, January 15th, 2011 - by Leon de Winter

One of the most breathtaking opening lines of a column I’ve ever read, I read today in the Los Angeles Times.
Let’s call it “historic.”
There were written by Ronald Brownstein, a progressive journalist.

Here’s the first line he wrote in that column: “Let’s stipulate that Jared Lee Loughner’s mind is a dark and twisted maze.”
There is no need to stipulate: it’s a fact. The second line: “And that he was driven to violence by feverish compulsions, not a political cause.”
True. Well analyzed by Mr. Brownstein! Third line: “And that his conception of politics fits no recognizable framework.”
Brilliant!
And now Brownstein starts hitting: “Even so, Saturday’s rampage should encourage everyone in the political arena to look in the mirror.”

It took away my breath.

There is no logical, reasonable connection between the fourth line and the first three, but Brownstein feels there’s no reason he should be held back by logic and reason. And on he goes, line five: “Here’s one reason: Everyone who deals in hyperbolic political rhetoric was only a mouse click from disaster after Saturday’s attack.”

Really? Jared is a nutcase, didn’t listen to talk radio, didn’t watch the news, and may have never read a newspaper. He was a gamer, a 9-11 truther, a pothead, a conspiracy-freak and deeply mentally ill, but because of him “everyone who deals in hyperbolic political rhetoric” should have been on the brink of disaster last Saturday.

Line six: “Yes, there’s no evidence that the alleged gunman drew direct inspiration from any incendiary language on the Internet (or elsewhere in the media).” Right! Nothing. Nada. Niente. Nichts.

And here comes the killer line: “But if he had, the source of that rhetoric (left or right) would pay an enormous political price.”

Jared hadn’t because he was not interested in politics but obsessed by nightmarish magic. Still, everyone uttering hyperbolic rhetoric would pay an enormous price, according to Brownstein.

It’s nonsense. But its printed nonsense. So it has the suggestion of seriousness.

Here are some variations:

“Yes, there’s no evidence that the alleged gunman drew direct inspiration from fashion statements on the Internet. But if he had, the source of those fashion statements would pay an enormous price.”

“Yes, there’s no evidence that the alleged gunman drew direct inspiration from statements by Al Gore on the Internet. But if he had, Al Gore would pay an enormous price.”

“Yes, there’s no evidence that the alleged gunman drew direct inspiration from my dog. But if he had, my dog would pay an enormous price.”

“Yes, there’s no evidence that Ronald Brownstein drew direct inspiration from clear thinking. If he had, he wouldn’t have written this piece of dreck.”

“Yes, there’s no evidence that the alleged gunman drew direct inspiration from Barack Obama’s 2008 statement ‘If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,’ which he found on the Internet. But if he had, the source of that statement would pay an enormous price.”

Love The Los Angeles Times. Always brings a smile to my face.

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