Tom Ridge is a bona fide public official? I'm not falling for it.

Okay, here it is for the benefit of those of you who don't know a hoax when you see one. Tom Ridge is a Phil Hendrie character. He's not real. He's a comic character that was made up for entertainment and somebody in the media didn't understand that and starting reporting it as fact. This has happened before. Remember that Phil Hendrie character Steve Boesell and his bogus lawsuits that G. Gordon Liddy reported as fact? It's okay if you don't. That's what I'm here for. And that's why I'm able to pick up on what's happening here.

You might have gotten a clue when they started reporting this colored alert system. Orange alert? Oh, come on. In the systems design industry there's a word for that kind of approach: Goofy. Here's what I do on green alert days: get up go to work go home go to bed. But on high alert days here's what I do: get up got to work go home go to bed. See how that works?

To give America a fair chance at spotting the hoax they tried to make it more ridiculous. "We have credible non-specific information . . . " Translation: "We're pretty sure something could happen, but we have absolutely no idea what it might be. Keep your eyes open." Good idea. I'll discontinue my practice of driving to work blindfolded.

Now, for those of you who didn't clue in at that point, they escalated things. "Everybody run out at buy duct tape and plastic for your windows." Oh, yeah, that's going to keep the chemicals out. If you don't seal your windows completely, you die from the chemical weapons. If you do, you die of suffocation.

But now we're getting close to the end of the segment where Phil Hendrie says "The voice of Tom Ridge was done by me, Phil Hendrie." Just to give everyone one last chance of figuring it out, he has the character coming out with public service announcements about dedicating one room of your house to hide from the terrorists.

Dueling Analogies.

Drastic times call for drastic measures. Now, let's say you take your car to the mechanic and he tells you "You've got an exhaust leak, it's corroding out the whole chassis. In order to save the car your going to have to get rid of the engine." A car without an engine is not a car. An America where we spend our lives huddled in a little room is not America.

Here's the deal. When it comes to the point that my life as an American is spent cowering in a duct-taped room, America has ceased to exist. If that's what it takes to save our way of life, that way of life is not worth saving. The one that was worth saving has ceased to exist.

That's one way of looking at it. Now let's say you're up in the mountains and your friend falls down and cuts his leg badly. He's bleeding uncontrollably. You can save him from bleeding to death by using a torniquet. You know why he's going to die? Because you're not willing to use the tourniquet because you know if you do he'll lose his leg. We are convinced that there's a neat and painless way to solve things when drastic action is required.

But wait a minute. I thought you said in your first analogy that drastic solutions that destroy what you're trying to save are not advisable. Why yes I did. The difference is, in the first analogy the proposed solution was bogus. You could make the analogies equivalent by making your friend say "A life without a leg is not worth living." That's what I was saying in the first analogy.

Here's the alternative to cowering in our closets that we're not willing to do. Saddam wants nuclear weapons. I say let's give him one. Let's give him one of our very best ones, special delivery next day air.

Did you see that? Your reaction was just like if I'd told you "I can save your life, but you're going to lose your leg if I do."

Now, I would never nuke Baghdad because of its historical importance. I know that's a silly reason. But the point I'm trying to make is that the rules have changed. We can keep being the world's nice guys, or we can get the problem solved.

I've flapped my gums about this before. There is a solution to this problem, and it's a technique I call recruiting.

As soon as the American revolution ended, we got busy building the same kind of conventional military that we'd defeated by using unconventional techniques. Now we've got the greatest military might in the history of the world and our best solution is to duct tape ourselves inside a closet.

We aren't equipped to chase down loonies one by one, so what we've got to do is recruit people that are. Khadafy, for example. Listen, Mohammar ol' buddy. Next time an American dies in a terrorist attack we are going to destroy one of your cities. No questions, no UN resolutions, no time wasted, we are going to remove it cleanly from the map.

Oh, get your jaw off your chest. Pick up your history books and count the number of times entire cities have been leveled. All those cases were for conquest. Ours is for defense.

We're just exercising our freedom of speech. We're sending the message that "We don't defend ourselves by hiding behind walls. We're thrilled to leave you alone when you leave us alone, but you screw with us even a little bit and we will wreak destruction on you in Biblical proportions."

Now you know that we're never going to do that. Just remember you heard it here first. This patient's going to die 'cause we don't have the stomach for the cure.