Lit by lightening -- Iraq I : reality, illusion, and politics -- Iraq II : where was Congress? -- Fire in the Holy Land : Israel and the Arabs -- Ayatollahs, blue jeans, and nukes : the question of Iran -- China : the once and future superpower -- Optics : seeing the world through a wider lens -- Terrorism vs. tolerance -- Who speaks up for the rifleman? -- Our sword and shield -- "Always shoulder the wheel" -- Crabs or prairie dogs : politics and paralysis -- Beyond gridlock : a new electoral scenario? -- Competitiveness : staying in the game -- Entitled? -- Conclusion: Leadership -- My Mount Rushmore.