Sunday, September 30, 2007
On October 7, 1985, four Palestinian terrorists hijackers seized the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean for two days. One American, Leon Klinghoffer, was killed. He was in a wheelchair when he was pushed overboard.
On October 12, 2000, seventeen U.S. sailors were killed in a terrorist bombing of the USS Cole which was refueling in Aden, Yemen.
On October 7, 2001, the U.S. and Britain launched a sustained air-strike campaign against Afghan-based terrorists, member of al Qaeda, and the ruling Taliban militia.
Source: The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
“Schmoozing with Terrorists” is, at first glance, a very odd title for a very serious book by Aaron Klein, an American, orthodox Jew with what has to be either unbelievable courage or a death wish the size of the crater left behind after 9/11. His book ($25.95, WND Books) shares actual interviews he conducted with the leading terrorists of our times.
“We have failed to carry out a coherent policy against terror”, said Klein. “We have failed to understand global terror and how to annihilate it. As a result, the terrorists are much stronger today than before September 11, when our war on terror began.”
While attending Yeshiva University, Klein gave up thoughts of becoming a physician in order to move to Israel and become a journalist. He is the Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com and writes a weekly column for the Jewish Press, the largest weekly Jewish newspaper. He has been interviewing terrorists since the age of 19.
The result is a window into the terrorist’s minds and motivation. Everything, including both the suicide of the bombers and the murder of civilians is justified by the Koran, the holy book of Islam. It not only absolves the killer, it promises him a life in a paradise filled with wine and women. This has to make Islam the most twisted and most dangerous religion on earth. An estimated 1.3 billion people are faithful to it.
What Klein discovered as a journalist was that, “My colleagues in the news media talk all the time to venom-spewing jihadists, to terrorist-sponsoring dictators and they ask softball questions and give terrorists a platform from which to spew their anti-American propaganda.”
“The vast majority of the news media,” says Klein, “the vast majority of reporters I work with here in the Middle East, are individuals who don’t have the ability to tell good from evil. These reporters have absolutely no moral compass whatever.”
That is why we are not dealing with "insurgents", "militants", or "activists." We are dealing with cold-blooded murderers.
Recent polls indicate that Americans, in greater numbers, are beginning to abandon the notion that Islam as a “religion” should command the respect we give to other major faiths. Painfully, Americans are concluding that cutting Islam slack while it ruthlessly kills anyone, including fellow Muslims, that stand in the way of its quest for worldwide domination, is a very bad idea.
In an interview with Sheik Saleh Faraj, one of the leaders of the Islamic Liberation Party in the West Bank, Klein quotes him as saying, “Islam cannot tolerate any idea or principle or any way of life that does not go with its laws and its visions and its rules.”
What emerges from this interesting book, based on face-to-face meetings with some truly evil men, is the understanding that Israel simply cannot negotiate a path to peace with the Palestinians. A sovereign nation now for six decades, it has fought several wars, including a brief one in 2006 with Palestinians—Hezbollah—based in Lebanon. It signed the Oslo agreements and was rewarded by Arafat with an “Intifada” and, after unilaterally withdrawing from the Gaza strip, the response was to use it to fire rockets every day and launch raids into Israel to kill and kidnap its soldiers.
The lessons that Israelis have learned are those being slowly learned by Americans. There can be no peace with people whose sole aim in life is to kill or enslave you. Nor is this just an Israeli or American problem, it is a global problem. The Spanish and the British have both been subjected to terrorist attacks, as have occurred as well in Bali and elsewhere.
Speaking of the vast divide between Islam and Judaism (and he could have included Christianity as well), Klein writes, “One of the greatest differences between Judaism and Islam is in the religion’s priorities. Jews are taught to serve the Creator in this world to achieve heaven in the next, but also that all Jews merit a place in heaven. The main emphasis in Judaism is life, not death. The Torah only vaguely refers to heaven, with little description of what it is. All Jewish sages agree heaven is for the soul and encompasses spiritual, not physical bliss.”
The ability of jihadists to justify their terrorist acts is astonishing. “There is no violence. This is jihad for God,” said Ala Senakreh, the West Bank chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. No violence? Bombing people as they celebrate Passover, sit in a pizza parlor, or are gathered outside a discothèque?
The jihad has visited America once dramatically on September 11, 2001. It will come again if we don’t shake loose of the lethally naïve notion that this war is one being fought only in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that we should leave as soon as possible so as not to anger the jihadists by fighting them on their “sacred sands.”
There is a reason that Israel’s jails are filled with Palestinians. That’s what you do to people who want to kill you.
There is a reason we are in the Middle East and are likely to be for a generation before we, the West, can impose some measure of sanity in a region of the world that has resisted every standard of human rights that has evolved over the centuries.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
On September 27, Friends of the Earth issued a statement to the effect that “Powerful Representative John Dingell (D-MI)—known for his loyalty to the auto industry—stunned many when he joined the likes of Friends of the Earth and Al Gore by announcing his support for a carbon tax.”
It’s doubtful that Dingell took this action without first insuring that auto industry representatives had signed off on it. Corporations prefer knowing the cost of things and will even accept such taxes if they think it means they can factor it into operations and pricing. Given the U.S. auto industry’s errors of judgment in recent times, losing its dominant position in the marketplace to Japanese automakers, going along with carbon taxes is just another big mistake. Consumers take note!
Friends of the Earth thinks that “the rate at which Dingell’s bill taxes carbon is too low to encourage the kind of carbon-cutting we need to stop global warming, the bill represents a serious legislative attempt to use a direct tax to fight global warming.”
What is wrong with this statement? Here’s a hint—there is no global warming beyond the most normal and natural warming that has occurred since the end of the last mini-ice age in the 1800s. The earth is not heating up. It is not going to heat up. If anything, the earth is at the end of a long interglacial period between ice ages. These cycles run from 10,000 to 11,500 years and it has been 11,500 years since the last major ice age ended. We are due for a new ice age.
Global warming? Not likely. Not happening. But the perfect instrument with which the Greens can impose all manner of limitations on the discovery, extraction, and use of energy sources such as oil, natural gas, and coal.
Only reluctantly have Greens come around to endorsing nuclear energy because it is pollution-free. They have fought the construction of new nuclear energy facilities for years, just as they continue to obstruct any new oil drilling at the very time that America needs to reduce its dependency on the Middle East.
The folks at Friends of the Earth know that “a carbon tax (will) put a price on carbon emissions sooner than the complex ‘cap and trade’ proposals currently under consideration, but a carbon tax is also less likely to get bogged down in litigation after it is enacted.”
In the end, they don’t care how people are punished for using oil, natural gas and coal for electricity, to heat their homes, to fuel their cars. What matters is that they be made to pay more for it.
To make it palatable Friends of the Earth know that the Dingell bill must have “a way of refunding to the poor any costs they incur from the tax. The downside of taxing consumption directly is that it can punish the poor who have no choice but to consume…”
What they do not acknowledge is the obvious fact that all of us have no choice either. So, at a time when the dollar is losing value against other currencies and there’s a mortgage and housing crisis, Friends of the Earth demonstrate once again that they are not friends of consumers and taxpayers.
Do you want to pay a carbon tax? No? Then you had better tell your Congress critter before you end up paying to save the earth from something that isn’t happening because the whole theory behind global warming is a fabric of lies.
As always with the environmental movement, the very thing that keeps any modern nation going, energy and its sources, is under incessant attack. Coal is responsible for more than half of all the electricity generated in America, so naturally the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has announced a campaign directed “against two of the financial sector’s biggest funders of coal expansion in the United States.”
Oblivious of the nation’s growing need for electrical power to serve its more than 300 million citizens, RAN will hold a teleconference on October 2nd and release “a briefing paper detailing these bank’s contributions to the coal industry.”
One would almost think that these banks were funding concentration camps when, instead, what they are doing is insuring a steady supply of one of America’s greatest and cheapest reserves of energy, coal.
“People across the country are waking up to the threats posed by coal”, said the RAN news release. “The world’s dirtiest, most carbon-intensive and most heavily used energy source—and demanding that it be replaced by energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy sources like solar and wind.”
This is so idiotic and false as to almost defy comment. One would have to cover the whole of the land surface of America with wind farms and solar radiation facilities to even begin to generate a small portion of the amount of electricity Americans use every day. Both wind and solar are so inefficient and costly they depend on government subsidies and grants to even exist.
Wind farms only function when the wind is blowing and solar when the sun is shining. The rest of the time, when not drawing down on their stored energy, both require conventional energy generation facilities to fill in when they cease to provide electrical power. These latter facilities, sourced by coal, hydroelectric, or nuclear power, must be kept running anyway, so where’s the savings? Answer: None!
And Americans are surely not “demanding” more wind farms or solar energy. The cost of installing solar panels on an average home in New Jersey runs about $60,000.
“Coal power is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and a top contributor to air pollution, asthma and ecological destruction,” says RAN. Rubbish!
The U.S. has had air quality standards overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency since the 1970s and there is no evidence to support these claims. Moreover, new coal burning plants have technology available to trap carbon dioxide (CO2) before it hits the atmosphere.
The next time you see anything that RAN announces, I suggest you RUN to find the truth. It’s out there. You just won’t hear it from RAN.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
By Alan Caruba
It is no accident that the United Nations, the lead perpetrator of global warming nonsense via its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, held a “summit” on the topic the same week as the White House conference Thursday and Friday. While the Bush administration has wisely avoided signing onto the 1997 UN Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, one suspects its conference is a sop to all the environmentalists and a way of saying to the Democrat leadership, “See, we can be Green, too.”
None of the nations that signed the UN Kyoto Protocol ever met its mandated limits on emissions. To do so would have been economic insanity. And, of course, both China and India were exempt!
At the UN, the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was saying stupid things like, “the time for doubt has passed.” Hardly! The fact is that more and more climatologists and meteorologists around the world are beginning—finally—to speak out against the global warming hoax. Could it be the Greens are getting nervous, even desperate, as the hoax begins to come apart thanks to greater public doubts?
Also attending the UN gathering was California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and he is going to wreak havoc on his State if it mandates strict emissions standards to supposedly avoid “greenhouse gases.” You can sit back and watch large, medium and small industry exist California and leave it to the farmers and Hollywood. The notion that humans can and should do something about carbon dioxide (CO2) is idiotic. Every one of us exhales two pounds of it daily! When you inflict laws on every form of business activity that might emit something, anything, in the name of global warming, all you’re doing is providing them with a good reason to leave.
California’s air quality problems are real and have a lot to do with the millions of cars on its highways, often as not driven by illegal immigrants. The Rocky Mountains and other mountain ranges within California effectively trap the ozone to the point where brown clouds of it are visible, but none of this has anything to do with global warming.
At the White House, you can be sure a lot of hot air will be expended on the subject of climate change, but that is exactly what the climate does. It changes. In fact, it is such a natural, normal function of climate that many of the cycles of change are already well known to scientists. Getting upset over climate change is like being upset that it will rain tomorrow or next week. That’s what weather does and predicting it is limited to maybe three or four days at best. After that, it is just an informed guess.
In their Washington Times September 26th article, Timothy Ball, a noted climatologist, and a colleague of his gave some good advice on how to recognize propaganda when you hear or read it. It involves:
# Activists claiming natural events are unnatural, or normal events abnormal.
# Speculation and exaggeration presented as unbiased fact.
# Exploitation of basic fears.
# Taking advantage of public ignorance about science.
# And continuously shifting goalposts. Predictions for near-term events are pushed off to be in the future.
Don’t be fooled and complain to your Congress critter or Senator if they try to vote for anything based on global warming. The earth has been warming since the end of the last mini-ice age in 1800. It’s normal. Claims of a sudden rise in the earth’s temperature are bogus.
Separating climate fact from fiction
Timothy Ball/ Tom HarrisSeptember 26, 2007
This week is especially challenging for citizens trying to separate fact from fantasy in the climate debate. From the excited rhetoric of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's high-level event in New York, the pontifications of Ted Turner at the Clinton Global Initiative or politicians pandering for the green vote at President Bush's leaders summit, the public is in dire need of self-defense strategies.
The most reliable tool is simple skepticism. "I don't believe you; prove it" is an appropriate response to Al Gore and his climate campaigners. But such a charge is politically incorrect when applied to climate change so most people need something more passive, a climate change propaganda detector.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The Center got its name in 1990 based on the way "scare campaigns" are used to influence public opinion and policies.
The real point is that Iran is, for all intents and purposes, at war with the United States and inviting someone leading a nation that is shipping lethal weapons into Iraq for the purpose of killing American military is a very bad idea. Nor is this about academic freedom. A speaker from the Minute Man movement to shut down the southern border against the million or so illegals who enter this country was booed off the stage at Columbia University last year.
If you know anything about the vast majority of colleges and universities, you know that political correctness, i.e., liberalism, is the order of the day on most campuses. As St. Paul said, "When I was a child, I spoke as a child. I understood as a child" and this is a pretty good description of liberalism. It is a childlike desire for "a better world" that tends to ignore the real world's nastier aspects. Conservatives want a better world, too. Sometimes the only way to get that is to seriously deter bad people from doing bad things.
Mamoud Amadinejad is a very bad person, the front man for a bunch of very bad ayatollahs running a theocracy in Iran. This is a regime that began with the hostage taking of American diplomats. The most recent hostage taking that made big news were the British seaman. An American scholar, visiting her aged mother, was jailed for several months on the trumped up charge that she was a spy until she was released. The mullahs are bad people.
Just because they hold elections in Iran, do not be fooled. No one gets to run for office without the ruling ayatollah's permission. Just because it looks like democracy, that doesn't make it so. Ask the Palestinians whose recent election ended with Hamas driving out its opposition, Fatah, at gunpoint.
It's anyone's guess when anything resembling real democracy shows up in Iraq. Until then, it's likely to remain a bloody place where guns decide issues, not votes. Why the Bush administration even thought they could conjure up a constitution in a few weeks, an election in another few weeks, and call it democracy defies a rational answer.
Finally, the other reason why Amadinejad should not have been invited was for the propaganda value it had back home in Iran and throughout the Middle East. Just because the president of the university called him a petty, cruel dictator does not change anything so far as the message his appearance sent to those who do not like us, nor was that likely to have been reported anywhere but in the press of free nations or that of Gulf states that have no love for Iran.
It is also the name of a collection of my commentaries published in 2003 by Merril Press of Bellevue, Washington. A later collection, "Right Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy", was published in 2006.
Welcome to Facts Not Fantasy, a blog by yours truly, Alan Caruba. This blog is intended to augment my weekly commentaries on my website for The National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about "scare campaigns" intended to influence public policy and opinion.
The range of topics FNF will cover will include environmentalism, energy, education, immigration, the North American Union which is being stealthily imposed, Islam and the Middle East, natural security issues and, of course, politics.
For indepth comment on any of these topics, you should visit the Center's website. Its archives provide carefully researched and documented information, along with opinion.
This is the result of my having begun my professional life as a journalist. For most of the past years, however, I have been a public relations counselor and this has brought me into contact with many different aspects of the economy through the many people who get up every morning and set out to do the very best job they can.
Another website of mine you might want to visit is http://www.bookviews.com. Since the 1960s I have been a reviewer and am, in fact, a founding member of the National Book Critics Circle. In addition, I am a longtime member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the National Association of Science Writers.
This blog is called "Separating Fact from Fantasy" to represent my dedication to facts, to the truth as best as it can be determined.