Wednesday, October 31, 2007

More than 13 Million Illegal Aliens in the U.S.

By Alan Caruba

A new report from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) contains some truly frightening news as Americans celebrate Halloween.

There are now an estimated 13 million illegal aliens living in the United States. In 2000, the number was about 7 million and that’s a 60% increase. Just how long can this nation continue to do nothing about what amounts to an invasion?

Nearly 8.4 million of these illegal aliens live in just six states, California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey. Other FAIR reports estimate that these people costs U.S. citizens in excess of $27 billion annually to cover K-12 education, health care needs, and the incarceration of criminals in just those states.

Dan Stein, president of FAIR, notes that, “Almost from the day the Bush Administration took office, they made it clear that their aim was to reward immigration with amnesty and assorted other benefits. As a result, we have seen record increases in illegal immigration, mounting burdens on taxpayers, and unprecedented public concern about this issue.”

At 13,175,000 people, the illegal population of the United States is now larger than the entire population of Illinois, the nation’s fifth most populous state. More than three-fifths of the states have seen their illegal alien population more than double since 2000. In all, 24 states now have illegal populations that exceed 100,000.

In a recent commentary, Terence P. Jeffrey wrote about terrorists that “swept into Cananea in a convoy of 15 vehicles. They kidnapped seven policemen and two civilians. Outside town, they shot and killed four of the policemen and dumped their bodies in a park.” He was not writing about Iraq or Afghanistan. Cananea is just across the border from Nogales, Arizona, a mere twenty miles away in the Mexican state of Sonora.

This is a major national security issue that is going to bite us big time. It is an issue that unites most Americans in their opposition to what is being allowed to occur by a federal government that continues to ignore it.

In 2008, don’t vote for anyone who will not take a strong stand on ending this invasion and encouraging illegals to return to Mexico and the other Caribbean and South American nations from which they are coming.

Amnesty is no longer even an option worth considering.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Autumn 2007

By Alan Caruba

Today, like all others, is filled with controversies and potential threats to the peace of the world. There's a debate raging over a UN Laws of the Sea Treaty with the apt acronym "LOST" because it would create a funding stream for the utterly corrupt United Nations and impinge on our national sovereignty. The horrors out of the Middle East fill the headlines. Drought threatens Georgia. A tempest rages off the coast of Florida.

Et cetera.

And, today, I drove over to the little "village" area of my former, lifelong hometown of Maplewood, NJ from neighboring South Orange where I now reside and I enjoyed the trees turning the hues of Autumn and the brisk, but comfortable chill in the air. Overhead some flocks of birds were migrating south.

Living in the northeast where the season is most prominently on display makes the troubles of the world and the nation fade, if only momentarily, into the tableau of a picture-perfect suburban landscape with the homes nicely spaced and the lawns swept clean of fallen leaves.

To be oblivious of this is the business of children, intent on discovering everything because everything is new and that which is known is taken for granted. For those old enough to understand the beauty and the glory that such days bestow, they are unique pleasures to be enjoyed.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Rush Limbaugh Aired my Commentary Today

By Alan Caruba

So I am working at my computer when a friend emails to say that Rush Limbaugh is literally reading my latest commentary, "Eating Food Will Kill You", on the air!

I have been at this writer's trade for a very long time, but I must admit hearing the noted radio personality read one's work is a treat.

It will be posted on on Tuesday, tomorrow, but can also be found on a number of news and opinion Internet sites such as

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Not "Step it up", but Step on it

By Alan Caruba
A week from now, on November 3rd, Friends of the Earth will roll out yet another tiresome effort to brainwash people into believing that global warming is an immediate peril.

The FOE will sponsor rallies around the country "and invite our politicians to join us" in order to pressure them to show "real leadership on global warming." There is no global warming. At least the kind that Al Gore and the FOE describes.

There is only the natural warming that has occurred since the end of the last mini-ice age in 1850. Neither the United States, nor the rest of the world is in the grip of a searing global warming. Temperatures generally have not risen barely a degree in the 150-plus years that have passed.

Not the California wildfires, nor hurricanes, nor any other natural event has anything whatever to do with global warming. Think about it, long before anyone ever heard of global warming, there were wildfires and hurricanes, and blizzards, and floods. Et cetera! Long before global warming, these same environmentalists were predicting a new Ice Age.

The "Step it up" campaign on Saturday is evidence of how deeply involved environmental groups are in the political life of the nation because they understand they can impose more and more limitations on the economy and on the personal lifestyles of Americans if voters believe the earth is imperiled and that vast cutbacks in the use of energy are required.

On Saturday next, take down the names of the politicians spouting global warming nonsense because you will not want to see them in office in the future---your future!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Saving Jerusalem

By Alan Caruba

Word is rapidly making the rounds of the blogosphere of an emergency coalition that has been formed to save Jerusalem from being divided up between the Israelis and the Palestinians as yet another effort to secure peace with the Muslims.

On the face of it, this is such an idiotic act that one can hardly imagine why the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would even consider it, let alone actually put it on the same table of utterly failed “negotiations” with various Palestinian groups whose sole objective is the destruction of Israel.

Was nothing learned from the Oslo Agreements that were almost immediately followed by Yasser Arafat’s “Intifada” and, after his death, by the civil war between his Fatah organization and Hamas?

The U.S. State Department policy toward Israel these days seems to be peace at any cost and, of course, that never was and never will be way to achieve peace. Pressuring Israel, an invaluable ally in the region, to give up a piece of Jerusalem is as wrong-headed as all the previous efforts to negotiate "a roadmap to peace" when few of Israel's neighbors are even interested in that prospect.

As other nations fall all over themselves to "make nice" with Muslims, history records that the current Middle Eastern mess that began with the debacle of the post-WWI Versailles Treaty and subsequent League of Nations, has demonstrated an Arab resistance to Western powers, then and now. In fairness, all England and France did was divide up the region for their own imperial, colonial, and economic interests.

Then- U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was a naive onlooker whose chief aim seemed to be the conversion of Arabs to Christianity and his pie-in-the-sky notion of a world governmental body that would end the prospect of future wars. That idea got blown to hell in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. (It reasserted itself in the form of the United Nations and it is still the "great powers", now called the Security Council, that makes all the big decisions about war and peace.)

In sum, Jerusalem is Judaism’s holiest city, home of the Temple Mount, its most revered site. To get an idea of how much the Muslims respect other religions, after conquering the city in 636 AD, they built the al Aqsa mosque right on top of the Temple Mount and to this day Jews are not allowed to visit any closer than the famed Wailing Wall. Before and after the Six Day War, the governance of the mosque was ceded to Jordan, a nation that has maintained good relations with Israel.

The Palestinians have systematically desecrated other sites in Israel that have also been sacred to Christians and their once flourishing Christian populations have been driven out. Even the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem, is now largely a Muslim city. The notion of transferring some of Jerusalem’s holy sites to Arab sovereignty will do no more to secure peace than any of Israel's previous efforts.

One need only see the failure of Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza strip to understand the truth of this. The Gaza today is a place from where Israel is rocketed daily.

Among the organizations that are part of the emergency coalition are the National Council of Young Israel, the Orthodox Union, the Rabbinical Council of America, and the list is growing daily.

It is entirely likely that many American Jews, even assuming they favor an independent Israel, do not understand the significance of the proposal to relinquish part of Jerusalem. Indeed, American evangelical Christians may grasp it better than their Jewish friends.

The future of Jerusalem has no place on any negotiation table with any Palestinian/Muslim entity.

Jerusalem existed for more than two thousand years before the existence of Islam. Nowhere in the Koran is the city even mentioned by name. The only reason it plays any role in the Muslim world is that it was conquered in past ages and fought over during the Crusades before lapsing into a backwater of the Ottoman Empire.

Muslims claim that Mohammed journied there one night on his favorite horse, flying through the air, ascending to heaven to spend time in the company of Jewish prophets and Jesus. On this fanciful story rests the Muslim claim to Jerusalem!!!!

What can you do? You can suggest saving Jerusalem as a sermon topic in your church or synagogue.

If you belong to a group with a Christian or Jewish affiliation, you can get the group to issue a statement opposing any transfer of control over any part of the holy city.

You can email the office of Israel’s prime minister to let him know you oppose the proposal.

If you have a blog, you can post this commentary or one of your own to let more people know about this.

If Jerusalem goes to Muslim/Arab control, the whole of Israel will follow in time and with it the dreams and hopes of countless generations of Jews and Christians.

One of the websites on which you can garner more information is:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Really Good Quote

"The fact that we have so many of our citizens in jail says nothing derogatory about our system of government. It DOES say a lot about how our family structure, our educational system, and our religious community, has failed and failed miserably."

This is from a post at Insight on Freedom by a cyber-friend of mine whose blog I heartily recommend.

This is what divides conservatives from liberals. Conservatives know the system is broken and want to fix it by calling on people to obey the law, get a job, make sure their children receive a good education, and mind their own business. Conservatives don't mind putting miscreants and criminals in jail. Liberals keep insisting that law-breakers are merely the "victims" of society, blaming everyone but the drug dealers, drug users, thieves, rapists, and murders.

Liberals keep turning their face toward government at every level to "fix" society's problems. And while they do that, they are busy removing the Ten Commandments from anywhere someone might actually read them.

In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected President. By 1994, the voters had installed a Republican Congress after a succession of idiotic ideas from "Don't Ask. Don't Tell" to the HillaryCare takeover of the nation's health industry were rejected.

In a decade that saw the first bombing of the Twin Towers, Clinton set about closing military bases and signing the gun-control "Brady Bill." Reelected, Clinton's second term was a huge mess thanks to his immoral behavior with a White House intern about the same age as his daughter. Impeachment failed even though he lied to federal judges and everyone else in the room, including the whole nation.

And all the while the national sense of propriety and moral behavior was under attack in ways that included the presidency. It had begun in the 1960s and it has continued ever since. Little wonder we are filling our jails to such an extent there's no room for the millions of illegal immigrants who flout our borders and our laws.

It's Hot in California: Part Two

By Alan Caruba

"No one fire can be blamed on global warming, but there is no doubt that changes in our climate are causing more fires that are more severe. The tragic events unfolding in California are yet another stark reminder that action is needed to combat global warming now, and the EPA should not stand in the way of California's lead."

This is a paragraph from an email from Friends of the Earth this morning. The notion that the California wildfires are a "reminder that action is needed to combat global warming now" is one of those "toss-away" phrases you will find Greens using all the time. It's part of their philosophy that, saying something often enough makes it true.

What is true is that, under constant pressure from Greens to restrict all kinds of forest management programs, the U.S. has seen some truly catastrophic wildfires in the past decade or so. If you never remove undergrowth, dead or dying trees, it only takes one lightning strike to create a fire.

It is also true, as predicted in my previous post, that the Greens will exploit the California wildfires and every other weather event to advance their lies.

These people are shameless.

A perfect example were the statements made yesterday by the Lt. Governor of the State who choose this tragedy as an excuse to politicize the event by criticizing the Iraq war. People in California were losing their homes and possessions, and all this moron could do was bloviate about the Bush administration.

A lot of people are likely to decide it is time to leave California after the fires. They will leave as much because of the cascade of illegal immigration, increasing taxation, and environmental mandates as any other reason.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ignoring the Constitution

By Alan Caruba

“The Senate failed to obtain cloture on the DREAM Act amnesty (S. 2205) on October 24 by a 52-44 vote, for which 60 YES votes were needed to prevent a filibuster. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) and Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill) were attempting to bring this nightmarish amnesty bill to the floor under Senate Rule XIV without it ever having been debated in committee.” (Oct 24, 2008)

This was the notice that arrived from an organization devoted to getting a handle on the immigration mess that is one part Bush administration indifference and one part the effort of Mexico to alter the population of the United States. Mexico has encouraged one tenth of its population (much of it illegal) to move to the U.S.A. instead of finding the means to build an economy whereby they might actually want to stay in Mexico.

As bad as the failure to get control over the nation’s southern border is, the notice to me bespoke Sen. Reid’s complete contempt for the U.S. Constitution. The notion that the Democrat Majority Leader would try to slip a bill through the Senate without that body having an opportunity to even debate it is obscene.

Americans of a generation or two born since the years just preceding and following World War II received an education that placed a fair amount of emphasis on American history and about the Constitution that binds us together and has afforded us becoming the most powerful financial and military nation on earth. There was a time when that honor belonged to the British Empire, but they let it slip away.

We are in very real danger of letting the requirements of the Constitution slip away as more and more power is ceded to the Executive branch, the Presidency, and while the Legislative branch, Congress, fails to engage in the primary job of democracy, compromise. The whole purpose of the Constitution was to slow down and require debate among opposing factions for the purpose of requiring them to compromise. Failing that, we end up with more bad laws than good.

We now live in a vile era of politics in which a “winner take all” philosophy exists and the warfare between Democrats and Republicans does injury to the purpose of government. The Republican majority that began when voters turned Congress over to Republicans in 1994 and then the first Bush presidency with its hair-thin victory. The lesson of that was lost on Bush and Cheney.

“The Chief Executive will on occasion feel duty bound to assert monarchical notions of prerogative that will permit him to exceed the laws,” said an obscure Representative from Wyoming back in the days when Congress was investigating an illegal operation to supply Nicaraguan anti-communists under cover of Reagan’s National Security Council. That’s what Dick Cheney thought then and he has pursued that philosophy and policy in spades since becoming the Vice President.

In the same way that Congress has not acted upon its exclusive Constitutional mandate to declare war since WWII, it has been the presidents since Truman that have controlled that process. It’s why we drifted into Iraq without much serious debate in Congress. It’s why Americans wonder out loud if (or when) Bush will get us into a war with Iran without taking the decision to Congress.

Everybody senses that something is very wrong with Congress and out of control with the White House.

If more people actually knew something about American history in general and the U.S. Constitution in particular, they would be a lot more worried.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Greens Continue to Kill the Nation's Economy

By Alan Caruba

A news release from Earthworks, yet another of the hundreds, if not thousands, of environmental groups heralded a vote by the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee today approving “a major rewrite of the badly outdated 1872 Mining Law” prior to what it anticipates as a House floor vote “as soon as next week” with the prediction that H.R. 2262 will pass.

This bill will put a variety of obstacles in the path of any mining for any natural resources that exist in the nation, whether it be coal, gold, iron or any of the many other valuable minerals that a technologically advanced society and economy depends upon.

“It applies to hundreds of millions of acres of federal public lands,” says Earthworks, noting that the 1872 Mining Law as originally intended to “spur the nation’s westward expansion, makes mining the ‘highest and best use’ of public lands’” and most certainly contributed to the nation’s economic success in the century that followed and to this day. No mining, no minerals. This isn’t rocket science.

The federal government owns millions of acres of “public lands” including much of Nevada and Alaska, as just two examples. This, of course, runs contrary to the central concept of private property that was a keystone of the Constitution. It also accounts for the catastrophic wildfires that in the past and currently have destroyed acres of mismanaged forest and adjacent developed areas. The State of Georgia is experiencing a water crisis as billions of water from that State is drained off into Florida by the Corps of Engineers for “endangered species.”

Earthworks is devoted to “conservation”, but the original conservationists did not include the concept of not mining, not engaging in timber harvesting, not grazing livestock, or any of the other elements of a thriving economy. They believed, for the most part, that certain parts of the nation’s natural wonders should be preserved for the use and enjoyment of future generations. In some cases, places like the Grand Canyon and others were kept intact for just that purpose.

H.R. 2262, however, expands the power of federal land managers to prohibit mining in favor of other uses such as hunting, fishing, and recreation. New mines would be prohibited if they were determined to pose water pollution hazards. This makes sense, but it should be a real, not imagined, hazard.

At a time when the nation is trying to reduce its deficit, the bill would start a fund of $50 billion for “cleanup of America’s hundreds of thousands of abandoned hardrock mines.” What kind of cleanup is hard to imagine. Simply sealing off access would seem sufficient to most people. Spending $50 billion dollars for such an effort when there are so many other more pressing needs, such as repair and upgrade of the nation’s infrastructure of roads and bridges, is wasteful.

The bill, said Earthworks, would “protect core wildlife, roadless national forest lands, wild and scenic rivers from irresponsible mining.” Let’s be honest. Any kind of mining is regarded as irresponsible by environmentalists. Every square mile of America is regarded as scenic.

This proposed bill is just another economy-killer if it is enacted into law and when consumers discover they are paying more and more for everything that requires the United States to import minerals for the manufacture of everything that may occur to them, but it will be too late.

Monday, October 22, 2007

It's Hot in California

By Alan Caruba

It's probably just a matter of a day, maybe less, before we begin to hear that the wild fires consuming Malibu and a large swath of California are the result of "global warming."

These days everything is the result of "global warming." Ice melting somewhere? Global warming. Hurricanes? Global warming. Blizzards? Global warming. Wild fires? Global warming.

There was actually a time in U.S. history when people understood that various parts of the nation would encounter drought or floods or other elements of nature at work without attributing it to a single cause. Least of all, you wouldn't near them say, "Well, it's the work of too much carbon dioxide contributing to greenhouse gas emissions."

That kind of pseudo-science mumbo-jumbo works great with people too ignorant to think for themselves, but for a growing number of Americans and others around the world, the day-in and day-out drumbeat of "global warming" is wearing thin.

As well it should. It is a complete hoax. The earth is not experiencing any kind of massive, higher than average (if there is even anything approximately an average) temperature. The warming that has occurred since around 1850 is the natural response to a previous mini-ice age that began in 1300. The earth has warmed about one degree or maybe a shade less.

As the fires in California rage on, we are guaranteed to hear that "global warming" is the cause. The real cause is mostly likely the same horrendously bad forest management practices that have been in place ever since the environmentalists--Greens--began insisting that no tree be cut down for any reason. That would disturb "pristine" nature.

Yes, it would and it would also create perfect conditions for catastrophic wild fires because forests, as any timber professional will tell you, must have diseased and dying trees removed to make room for new, healthy ones. Opening up forests through careful harvesting of trees also contributes to the health of the forest.

Living in a world where everything is the result of "global warming" is like living in an insane asylum where you are the only sane one in the midst of brainwashed and brain-dead people who keep babbling about "global warming" all the time.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Linking Up for the Common Good

By Alan Caruba

I'm pleased to welcome "Right Truth", "Texas Fred" and "Stop the ACLU" to our list of favorite sites. As bloggers who share common views and values link with one another and afford visitors to our sites to check out others, the world of ideas expands like the galaxy.

It was shared ideas that moved the colonists to break with the most powerful empire of its time, Great Britain, and after a period in which the founding fathers discovered the Articles of Confederation were not going to work, it was the Federalist Papers that disseminated the ideas behind the new Constitution and convinced the States to yield power to a federal authority of surprising complexity.

Those of us on the Right still put our faith in that Constitution and understand that the United States is the only power that stands between a return to a time in which the will of a few determined the policies of nations and a world moving toward greater democracy and power sharing with the governed. We are still a very long way from that world.

A billion Chinese have little say in the policies of that nation. A billion citizens of India have kept democracy going there against great odds. A billion Muslims are being forced to decide between tolerance and peace, and the ancient mission of Islam to dominate the world. A whole continent of South America is wavering back and forth between the pull of communism/socialism and free market capitalism. The experiment of the Eureopean Union is finding growing resistance as people are urged to forego their national histories, their culture, to see themselves solely as Europeans.

And here in the United States, powerful and influential forces are trying to tear down our borders and merge the nation with Mexico to the south and Canada to the north in a North American Union. That effort must be thwarted and ended because it is driven by greed, not the welfare of the people affected and because our national sovereignty must be protected.

So it behooves as all who share common views and hopes to "link up" in a great community of ideas and to advance those ideas for the common good.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Eating Meat

By Alan Caruba

I am having a beautiful, thick steak tonight. I love meat.

It got me thinking, however, of the thousands, if not millions of studies and articles that have been published that associate meat with various cancers and a quick Google tour will impress you with the fact that there is virtually an anti-meat industry out there, forever churning out more studies about and against meat.

When you actually read what many have to say, what you discover that various things found in meat "are suspected" of having a link to colorectal, breast or prostrate cancers and that people who eat meat "may be particularly exposed."

I suspect I could commission a similar study on chocolate or asparagus and the study would find the same connections.

I also suspect that, in some families, there is a long history of genetically predesposed people who, while eating meat, fish, pork, vegetables, or the bark off of trees all encountered some kind of cancer.

Where you live, what kind of work you do, and a whole range of other factors likely play a role in whether you encounter some kind of cancer during your lifetime.

The particular animus toward meat, however, seems to take a lot of its motivation from the efforts of vegetarian groups who devote a great deal of time to advocating a vegan diet.

All this ignores the fact that humans are physically designed to eat meat, from our teeth to our digestive system, our bodies function as meat-eating machines. Red meat provides high quantities of iron as opposed to plant foods. There's phosphorus, too, and B12.

So we need to relax a bit when it comes to the torrent of anti-meat propaganda that the mainstream media loves to slap on the front page. It sells newspapers. It keeps people watching the TV or listening to the radio.

And a lot of it may be quite dubious, have a hidden agenda, and well worth ignoring.

Rates of cancer, virtually all kinds, have been falling for decades now. That's the good news.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Get Your Shots! Wash Your Hands!

By Alan Caruba

Earlier this week I got a flu shot in anticipation of the usual problems associated with this disease that seems to mutate from winter to winter, taking on new forms that require a new vacine. It's a good investment.

And next week I will get a booster shot for pneumonia. One needs to do this every six to ten years and it is especially important for the elderly. Pneumonia in my youth was called "the old man's friend" because it was frequently the illness that led to death among the elderly. I doubt this has changed much.

We are now learning that a new form of "staph" disease, resistant to most available medications is responsible for killing more people annually than AIDS. Anyone remember the panic that surrounded the early outbreak of AIDS? Well, that is likely to be the scenario regarding the new health threat.

I know this will seem too simple a response, but probably the single most useful thing anyone can do to stay healthy is to wash your hands. Physicians will confirm this if you ask. If you work around others, live in a crowded urban environment, attend school, et cetera, and even if you don't, wash your hands regularly and especially before you prepare food or after a trip to the bathroom. Do it after you've spent the day shaking hands with other people. Wash!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Everyday Disasters on Capitol Hill

By Alan Caruba

It is helpful to be wired into the behind the scenes action on Capitol Hill and I don’t mean the predictable reporting the various liberal or conservative news magazines or newspapers churn out.

Take, for example, a Science & Technology subcommittee meeting this week on the subject of polar bears and the Endangered Species Act. Suffice it to say this is one of the most idiotic pieces of legislation passed. The notion that humans, not Nature, should determine what species survive and which do not is egotism squared. For the record, easily 90% or more of all the species that ever lived on planet earth are extinct. Darwin called it “survival of the fittest.”

When it comes to being designed to survive in the harsh waters of Arctic, polar bears are the winners. They are superb swimmers and, despite everything Al Gore keeps telling you, their population has been steadily growing for many years. However, at the subcommittee meeting, you wouldn’t know that. Its witnesses were a hand-picked bunch of Greens whose testimony, like so much of what Greens have to say on any subject, was just so much hogwash. Only Representative Rohrabacher (CA) was there to introduce any real facts into the discussion.

These meetings are designed to be bits of charade by which to advance the Green lies and the Green policy agendas, all of which end up costing taxpayers and animal lovers a lot more than they are worth, if indeed, like the ESA, they are worth anything. Billions have been wasted already on "saving" animals, but many weren't even endangered at all.

Elsewhere Myron Ebels of the Competitive Enterprise Institute led a “Cooler Heads” meeting on Tuesday designed to point out how the ESA is being used on federal lands to insure that no natural resource—coal, natural gas, oil, timber—can be accessed, extracted, mined, or harvested.

If the polar bear lies become law, the entire north slope of Alaska will be off limits in terms of its extensive oil and natural gas deposits. They will stay buried while the U.S. grows more dependent on the Middle East and other nations, some of whom do not like us.

What does that mean to you? Well, a barrel of oil today is now fetching $83 to $86 and you can expect it to go to $100 if this keeps up. You will have time to see how all this fits together when you’re pumping gasoline (with an ethanol additive) into your car’s tank and experiencing sticker-shock at how much it’s costing you.

For that you can thank the Greens and all the others who hate Big Coal, Big Oil, Big Timber, et cetera.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Old Homestead

By Alan Caruba

From 1942 until 2004, I lived in a lovely, suburban, upscale town called Maplewood. It is one of those picture postcard towns in New Jersey, so perfect it was used for some of the scenes in the movie, "One True Thing" that starred Meryl Streep.

Rising property taxes and the fact that living in a three-bedroom home alone made no sense led me to sell--happily at the top of the housing market--and I moved to a luxury apartment complex one town over. In truth, I do not miss having to mow the lawns, rake the leaves, or shovel the snow. Or paying others exorbitant fees to do so.

So, this morning I received a call from the owner of my former home, a doctor of internal medicine who is now moving his growing family to Arizona. That's a far cry from the 62 years my parents and I spent in that house.

And what is the one question friends and family want to know? How much is the old house selling for? Given the renovations, far more than I received, but given the housing market, likely to turn out to be less by comparison.

It is an odd thing to leave a home in which virtually the whole of one's life has been lived. (I was five years old when my parents purchased it.) I thought the transition would be far more difficult, but in truth it wasn't. The house was repainted a different color, given a new roof with a new color. Suffice it to say the interior underwent changes as well; a whole new kitchen, new heating and cooling, et cetera.

I have had occasion to visit with the new--soon to be former--owners. The house has the shape and form of what it has always been, but it quickly ceased to reflect any of the familiar library of books that filled the rooms, the comfortable furniture from acquitions over the years, and of course my loved ones were gone. I doubt their ghosts would have wanted to remain.

So now 9 Brookside will pass to new owners, oblivious of the lives lived there, the wonderful memories when friends and family gathered. Those remain for me and those are my treasures, worth far more than just the house.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Because They Told Me So

By Alan Caruba

Perhaps you have noticed that the mainstream print and broadcast media have decided that Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat nominee and the next President of the United States. If you read otherwise, it’s because some reporter or pundit has not yet gotten the message.

We are informed that Hillary has a huge bankroll for her campaign and she does. We are -told her poll numbers are favorable and they are. Her campaign “team”, we’re told, is composed of the best in the business and that’s probably true too.

So it almost seems tiresome to have to wait around to anoint—elect her the first woman President.

But there are Republicans seeking the nomination of their party and one of them will run against her, I hear you say. You still don’t get it, do you? The mainstream media (MSM) have decided—now—who the winner will be so the GOP candidate is of no importance.

Some may say, the same MSM backed John Kerry against Bush the last time and Al Gore against Bush the time before. True, they also lined up to support McGovern, Dukakis, and Carter who succeeded to office based upon the misdeeds of Richard M. Nixon. And then for eight years they derided Ronald Reagan as a doddering old fool until George Walker Herbert Bush was elected, also derided, followed by that paragon of morals and progressive politics, William Blythe Clinton.

If you were born in 1989, you have never known a President who was not named either Bush or Clinton.

This nation, however, was born out of the tumult of colonists who despised the English monarchy and wanted to establish a new form of government that would put an end forever to hereditary rule.

We have come full circle to an era in which two families have traded the presidency back and forth for 18 years at this point. That’s obscene.

What’s worse, the actual politics of the nation, drawing on the template created during the years when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in office (1933-1945) has not just remained, but has metastasized into a huge central government with entitlement programs that are currently going broke. Whole generations have never known what it is to live without Social Security, Medicare, and a raft of government programs to fund just about any and every activity, from attending college, to starting a small business, to home ownership, ad infinitum.

Hillary Clinton is offering more such programs. The Democrats in Congress are in a snit because a health insurance program for children was vetoed. If you love federal spending now, you will love it when the White House and Congress are turned over to the Democrats.

And that, thanks to the worshipful coverage of the MSM, is what is likely to happen. If Hillary Clinton is elected to a second term, it will be 2017 before the office becomes open again. By then, Chelsea Clinton will have been groomed to take over. Or maybe one of the Bush twins?

Does it matter anymore? Americans are living in a quasi-monarchical era, disinterested in anything other than the arrival of the next government check in the mail.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Nobel Prize for the Biggest Liar

By Alan Caruba

Well, it’s official. The Nobel Peace Prize now is being awarded for the Biggest Liar of the Year. Naturally, Al Gore took top honors.

The former Vice President received his award primarily for a documentary that cannot be shown in the schools of Great Britain without giving students a warning that it is filled with errors and deliberately false claims.

“An Inconvenient Truth” won an Oscar for documentaries in the last Hollywood festival that brings together over-paid actors, directors, and others who hate America and see film as a means of attacking foreign and domestic policies far beyond their comprehension.

Previous winners of a prize that was supposed to be given only to people who actually furthered peace in the interest of mankind included Yassir Arafat who rejected any peace agreement offered by the Israelis and rewarded their efforts with years of terrorism. His legacy has been taken up by Hamas, Hezbollah and their sponsor nation, Iran.

I fully expect to see Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, receive the award next year for his denunciation of the Holocaust and his demand that Israel be “wiped off the map.”

He would join the ranks of prize-winners like Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, who heard nothing and saw nothing while Saddam Hussein turned the UN Food for Oil program into a huge bribery scheme to rip off millions for himself, his sons, and his cronies when not engaged in the mass murder of Iraqis. The list of UN failures under Annan’s administration is too long to discuss here, but they did include the massacres in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

It isn’t the first time the Nobel Prize committee paid honor to a liar. There was Rigoberta Menchu, a Guatemalan who had penned a book filled with lies about the oppression of that nation’s Indian population that included the assertion that her brother had been killed by government agents when, in fact, he was alive and living nearby her at the time.

Except for the $1.5 million in prize money, the Nobel Peace Prize is utterly bereft of any value anymore. Of course, the money will help pay the enormous energy bill that Gore pays for the maintenance of his home in Tennessee and for the cost of the gasoline and jet fuel needed for his chauffeured limousines and private jets.

The Nobel Peace Prize has become more than just a bad joke. It is an obscenity and an offense to the memory and intent of Alfred Nobel.

Leaving New Jersey in Droves

By Alan Caruba

Why do I pick on New Jersey? Because it’s so easy and because I was born, raised, and have lived here for most of my life. It is home to some really wonderful people, but it is home to fewer and fewer of them.

A study by two Rutgers economists, James Hughes and Joseph Seneca, reveals that people are abandoning the Garden State at a rate three times higher than just five years ago.

“Census Bureau data reveal a sharp downturn in New Jersey’s population growth in the 2002-06 period and a sharp upturn in the number of people leaving the state,” the two wrote in a commentary published by the largest circulation daily, The Star-Ledger. On its front page, it published an article with the headline, “Jerseyans leave at alarming rate.” New Jersey has the distinction of joining California, Louisiana, and New York as having more people leaving than arriving or just staying.

Comparing these four states is dicey at best. After 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, a lot of Louisianans didn’t even have a home to which to return. The Hurricane, possibly the worst in U.S. history, decimated a big chunk of that state, along with parts of Mississippi.
No homes and no jobs was a good reason for that migration. As for California, the reasons for leaving are so vast as to require a book. Unchecked migration of illegal aliens comes to mind. A failure to anticipate and provide adequate energy generation and enough environmental regulations to drive any business elsewhere come to mind. New York? Well, it elected Hillary Clinton its Senator and has a Governor who wants to give illegal aliens driver’s licenses. Enough said.

A Monmouth University/Gannett polling institute announced in mid-October that a poll they conducted revealed that, “49% of New Jersey adults would like to move out of the state at some point, compared to 44% who would prefer to live out their lives here, and 7% are unsure. Moreover, 51% of those who want to leave the state say they are in fact very likely to make good on that wish. Another 36% say they are somewhat likely to eventually leave New Jersey and 10% are not too or not at all likely.”

The reasons even the Sopranos are thinking of moving to North Carolina or Florida are easy to understand. New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation. We have one of the highest sales taxes as well. It costs more to buy auto insurance here than anywhere else. It has had, with the exception of Christie Whitman, one Democrat after another running the state. Whitman borrowed more debt to add to that created by other administrations. She left the job of Governor to head the Environmental Protection Agency. President Bush fired her. She is rumored to be up for the lead in the sequel to the movie, “Clueless.”

By April 2007, the state’s debt ranked it fourth among all other states. It closed out 2006 with $33.7 billion in public debt. It has been among the most indebted states since 1998. One would think our legislators might take some lesson from this, but you would be wrong. Only California, New York, and Massachusetts ranked higher.

This is a state that elected Democrat Jim Florio Governor (1990 to 1994) who immediately raised taxes and almost as immediately was defeated for a second term, replaced by Republican Whitman. This is a state that elected Democrat James McGreevy Governor only to watch him resign (with his wife at his side) for placing his alleged lover, an Israeli citizen, in a high paying state homeland security job. It turned out that McGreevy was gay. Who knew?

Now the state is run by Governor Jon Corzine, a Democrat gazillionaire who was bored after having bought the job of U.S. Senator, so he bought the job of Governor. He’s been in hot water ever since it became known he was giving lavish gifts to his ex-girlfriend and her family members. The fact that she also heads up the state’s largest union of civil servants adds a bit of drama to the revelations. Were legislators surprised to learn in July that they have an unfunded bill of about $69 billion for the health insurance they promised to current and future public retirees? Answer: Yes, probably.

Add into this mix a state Supreme Court that cannot interpret the state constitution that it forbids any other element of the state government but the legislature to initiate spending of any kind. Instead, these robed savants saddled the state with billions in the name of “the children” by requiring a school construction program that transfers money to urban and Democrat-controlled districts from suburban districts. The court has ordered free preschools for 3 and 4 year olds in urban districts even though the state constitution requires schooling only for those ages 5 through 18. Apparently a lot of people in those suburban districts are leaving.

This is also the same state that passed a Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act that instantly destroyed the value of homes and farmlands in a 1,300 square-mile region. As noted in a December Star-Ledger editorial, “Development controls are so sweeping that perhaps less than 20 percent of land in the region is left available for construction, even in the half of the region lawmakers had targeted for future growth.” Killing all growth in a huge swath of the state’s northwestern counties is yet another reason people are leaving.

The result of all of this spectacular stupidity is a projected state income and sales tax loss of $539 million in 2005. “Based on 2006 population out-migration data, the tax losses are estimated to have increased to $680 million in 2006.”

There is, of course, an astonishingly high rate of corruption among our elected leaders of every description; yet another reason for people to head for the exits.

If you tax people to a point where being middle-class is meaningless and punishable, they will leave for places where they are not regarded as a cash cow to be milked for public servants and social programs, and somewhere their children and grandchildren are not expected to pick up the bill. New Jerseyeans are deciding to leave in droves.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Worst Ex-President Ever

By Alan Caruba

Historians and others love to make lists of the best and the worst of personalities and events, so permit me to offer a candidate as the Worst Ex-President Ever. I give you Jimmy Carter, anti-Semite, intellectual and moral weakling, and all-around bad person.

I think Jimmy will edge out Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor who made a botch of the Reconstruction after the Civil War and cannot even begin to compare with the largely unknown Harry Truman who succeeded Franklin Delano Roosevelt to see through to a successful conclusion of World War II, the implementation of the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, and after other wise decisions, retired to his home in Independence, Missouri. Neither Truman, nor other former Presidents, constantly sought the public spotlight to voice criticism of those who followed him into the Oval Office.

Jimmy Carter, who gained the highest office largely because of the voter’s revulsion against the Watergate scandals and the resignation of Richard M. Nixon, cannot shut up. During his time in office he blamed the American people for a “malaise” that affected the economy that was largely in the dumps. It never occurred to him that cutting taxes and taking other measures might have helped stabilize or jump-start the economy.

He was in office in 1979 when the Iranian revolutionaries stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took our diplomats hostage. Other than a poorly planned, failed military mission to extricate them, the voters would have to wait 444 days for Ronald Reagan to take office before their release.

Jimmy Carter presided over the giveaway of one of the most important U.S. assets on this and the southern continent, the Panama Canal. The result of that idiotic decision is that the People’s Republic of China now owns property at both ends of the Canal. He is best known for negotiating a 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt in which Israel gave up the Sinai captured in the 1967 war, a conflict initiated by Egypt. Islamic militants rewarded the Egyptian president by assassinating him.

His response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was to cancel U.S. participation in the Moscow Olympic Games and imposing a grain embargo. The former short-circuited the benefits that would have accrued from any victories by U.S. athletes and the latter created a world of pain for U.S. farmers.

Jimmy Carter was and is a dunce, a dolt, a moron of spectacular proportions and since his defeat by Ronald Reagan, he has been a petulant, vile little man. Never mind that he won the Nobel peace Prize in 2002. Yassir Arafat, the father of all Arab terrorists, also won that prize and it has since been handed out to a succession of people like Mikhail S. Gorbechev and Kofi Annan with sometimes dubious credentials.

The complete destruction of that Prize’s diminished stature will occur if Al Gore receives it.

Of late, Carter has written a book comparing Israel’s sixty years of being under attack by its Arab “neighbors” to South Africa’s Apartheid policies. This totally ignores Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon and from the Gaza strip, the occupation of both were the result of wars waged against it.

He is in the news again for having publicly attacked Vice President Dick Cheney as a “disaster” and a “militant.” He accused Cheney of avoiding any service in the military, ignoring the obvious fact that Cheney served as Secretary of Defense at one point in his career of public service.

The former President (1977 to 1981) needs to take heed of the meritorious behavior of former Presidents who refused to criticize those who held the job after them, but he can’t because he knows what a failure he was and is oblivious to what a failure he is.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Green Lies About Antarctica

By Alan Caruba

Yesterday I received a news release about a new book, “Antarctica: The Global Warming”, a collection of photos by Sebastian Copeland. Celebrating it were two events and it struck me that the environmentalists have mastered propaganda in ways that are as impressive as they are deceptive.

According to the release, Copeland says, “Most people think of Antarctica as utterly remote from their lives and their worlds—and they’re right, it is thousands of miles away from most of us. But our actions here, in the industrialized world, are changing this fragile, beautiful continent forever, and I wanted my book to ask people to think about that.”

This is utter nonsense. There is nothing that those of us in “the industrialized world” are doing that has any affect on Antarctica, nor are we “changing” that continent “forever.” This assertion puts humans at the center of all life on earth and then blames humans for despoiling it, presumably because of “industrialization.” What we find in this statement is the Greens' distaste and even hatred for anything we recognize as modernization, technology, and the improvement in the lives of all who benefit from it.

The release goes on to note that the first celebration of the book will be at the United Nations in New York and that the UN Environmental Program is hosting an exhibition of the photos. It is essential to understand that the UN is the nexus for all the “global warming” lies that have been the core of a program designed to extend its control over all nations and all the people of the world.

Global warming as described by these lies is the current and near-future warming of the earth in ways that threaten all life on it. Currently, just about everything that does happen is attributed to “global warming” and it has reached a point where even people with no knowledge of science recognize how ridiculous this is. The earth has been naturally warming since the end of the last mini-ice age in the 1800s. We are all in an interglacial period between major ice ages. Nothing we do will alter that natural cycle. Nothing we do has any effect on the actions of the Sun, the oceans, clouds, volcanoes, and other the other things that determine the earth’s climate.

So, while Copeland’s photos are no doubt beautiful, they are being used to continue the lies that Antarctica is suffering the effects of “global warming.”

In September, Meteorologist Joe D’Aleo reported that Antarctica “has quietly set a new record for most ice extent since 1979. The Southern Hemispheric area coverage is the highest in the satellite record, just being out 1995, 3001, 2005 and 2006. Since 1979, the trend has been up for the total Antarctica ice extent.”

While noting that the Antarctica Peninsula area “has warmed in recent years and the ice near it diminished during the Southern Hemisphere summer, the interior of Antarctica has been colder and ice elsewhere has been more extensive and longer lasting, which explains the increase in total extent.”

So, being told that one portion of Antarctica has been warmer—in the summer—and that some of its ice has diminished is much like hearing that California has experienced some climate event and that this should be extrapolated to include the entire United States.

Ohio State researcher, David Bromwich, agreed with D’Aleo, saying “It’s hard to see a global warming signal from the mainland of Antarctica right now.” He might as well have added, “or ever.” According to the NASA GISS data, the South Pole winter (June through August) cooled about 1 degree Fahrenheit since 1957 and the coldest year was in 2004. New cold records were set in Australia, South America, and Africa.

So the news releases are going out, the UN’s environmental liars are holding their celebrations, and the drumbeat of “global warming” continues. It is all part of the greatest hoax ever perpetrated in modern times and it’s time for it to end.

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It's My 70th Birthday Today

By Alan Caruba

A visit to The National Anxiety Center today will include my commentary “On Turning 70” wherein I share a few thoughts on hitting an age that I formerly thought of as “ancient.” Now I think that “old” is more like 85.

In fact, both my parents lived into the 90s, so I can authoritatively say that 85 is about the time that folks who make it to that age do show the signs we associate with being “old.” Today, if one enjoys good health, 70 can be experienced in much the same way as 50 or 60. Everyone, of course, brings their own emotional baggage to each new year and, if you are somewhat introspective, it is possible to rid oneself of the bad stuff and focus on the good.

I thought I might “splurge” a bit today, but I woke thinking I was fortunate to enjoy a circle of good friends and family, so the need to do anything special seems superfluous. Indeed, one of those friends called at 8AM to begin a day of calls, emails, and cards that is probably the greatest reward and the most fun.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Triumph of Animal Testing

There are a lot of loons around who want to end the testing of new pharmaceuticals and medical technologies on animals. Below is an excerpt from Americans for Medical Progress that neatly sums up why such testing is preserving lives:

"Today’s announcement regarding the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine underscores the importance of laboratory animals in health research. Americans for Medical Progress congratulates Mario R. Capecchi, Martin J. Evans, and Oliver Smithies as they are honored by the Karolinska Institute for their animal-based research that pioneered gene targeting, technology now being used to develop treatments and cures for countless serious ailments.

“The Nobel Assembly's announcement stands in bold counterpoint to the dangerous agenda of animal rights leaders who are actively lobbying to stop scientists from conducting animal studies in disease research," said Jacquie Calnan, president of Americans for Medical Progress, a nonprofit organization that stands in support of biomedical research. “An end to animal-based research would be a critical blow to the health and well-being of people, pets, livestock and wildlife.”

Ms. Calnan noted that the three scientists who share this year’s Nobel Prize created the toolkit by which scientists are able to use mice to study heart disease, cancer, cystic fibrosis, hypertension and many other diseases. Already, several treatments have been developed and many more medicines are in the pipeline.

The citation by the Nobel Assembly stated: “Gene targeting has pervaded all fields of biomedicine. Its impact on the understanding of gene function and its benefits to mankind will continue to increase over many years to come.”

Well over two-thirds of the Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine have been awarded for research that has relied, at least in part, on animal studies. A survey of living Nobel laureates conducted to commemorate the centenary of Alfred Nobel’s death found virtually unanimous agreement that animal research remains necessary if new treatments and cures are to be developed."

Know someone who beat cancer? Thank a mouse!

Where are the Hurricanes?

Where are all the hurricanes that "global warming" is supposed to create? So far this year none have made landfall anywhere in the United States though two did churn up the Gulf of Mexico and crossed into that nation. It is October already and the hurricane season will end on November 30 so maybe we've just gotten "lucky" or maybe the "global warming" connection is as spurious as meteorologists say it is?

As this is written, the weather in the tri-state area is an astounding 80 degrees or so. Admittedly unusual for October, but that's the thing about the weather, except in the most general terms, it is impossible to predict short term or long.

By all known factors, the United States should be into at least a decade of serious hurricane activity, but except for Katrina and Ruby in 2005, the East Coast and Gulf area has been mostly spared. Will, like 2006, this year go into the books as defying the experts and prognosticators?

Let's hope so!

In the meantime, you might want to pay a visit to

Sunday, October 7, 2007

American Self-Loathing

By Alan Caruba

If there is one trend I see in ascendancy in America it is a tremendous amount of self-loathing that is expressed by all manner of people about America. It is different from the typical criticism that is endemic to a society obsessed with self-improvement. The tone of the loathing is a belief that America is inherently bad.

What was bad about removing from power a pathological dictator named Saddam Hussein? What was bad in trying to bring some understanding and implementation of modern society, human rights, and a democratic form of government to a place littered with the mass graves of Iraqis? What was bad about removing from power a man who had waged war for eight years against Iran and who had invaded Kuwait? Is not a more peaceful Middle East to be preferred over one in the thrall of Saddam’s ambitions and greed?

What Iraq represents to me is America’s courage. When other nations look the other way, surrender to tyranny, substitute rhetoric for action, America can and will take up the burden of deterring men doing bad things that ultimately can harm the general welfare of the world.

My parent’s generation, fresh from a Depression, was not cowed by the attack on Pearl Harbor and took up arms against both the Japanese Empire and the Nazi and fascist regimes in Europe. Today, I actually hear some people say that America “deserved” to be attacked on 9/11. That is appalling. And absurd.

Lost in the midst of our concern over the rise of militant Islam is the fact that, having brought the Soviet Union to its knees after some four decades or more of resolutely resisting its efforts to expand Communism and its hegemony worldwide, Americans are too distracted to see its rise in South America and, worse, here at home where all kinds of Communist programs such as universal healthcare are proposed, the attacks on private property are unending, and an endless variety of laws to intrude into and control all aspects of our lives.

Major reasons America came into being was the concept of individual liberty, the essential right of private property, and freedom from taxes without representation. These were radical ideas at a time when monarchy ruled in most places of the world.

This tendency to blame America for the world’s ill is bad for our national soul and wrong beyond description. It plays to people’s worst instinct, the desire to tear down that which is good and cast blame on everyone but themselves. America still does most things astonishingly well and much better than in other nations.

What we have been permitting since the end of World War II is the growth of the federal government and its increased control of too many aspects of our lives. Big government isn’t the answer. It’s the problem.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

America and the Restoration of Israel

By Alan Caruba

In Iran and throughout the Palestinian territories, Persians and Arabs poured into the streets on October 5th otherwise known as “Al-Quds” day. They shouted “death to Israel” and “death to the U.S.” The Arabic name for Jerusalem is Al-Quds.

At one point, that poisonous viper, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, speaking at Tehran University, said, “Europeans cannot tolerate the Zionists in their region and country, but they want to impose them on the people of the region”, meaning the nation of Israel. “Give these vast lands of Canada and Alaska to them to create a country for themselves,” he said.

Ahmadinejad, who fancies himself a scholar, is an ignorant fool who, if he knew anything of history would have to begin by acknowledging that more than two thousand years before Islam was invented by Mohammed, Israel had been home to the Jews and that, not once, but twice they had built the temple in Jerusalem, its capitol.

He would also know that the Temple Mount was and is the holiest site in Jerusalem for the Jews, but with the customary arrogance of Islam, it was where, having conquered the city they choose to build their mosque. Accept for conquest, Arabs, i.e., Muslims, have no claim whatever on Jerusalem, nor on Israel.

Not once in the Koran, Islam’s holy book, is Jerusalem ever mentioned!

Yet Muslims lay claim to Jerusalem with the absurd story that Mohammed flew there on his horse one evening and communed with the long dead prophets of Israel and Christianity. For a while, Mohammed commanded that early Muslims face Jerusalem when they prayed in the hope he could convert the Jewish tribes residing in Arabia. When that failed, he commanded that Muslims face Mecca. And he attacked and slaughtered the Jews.

Yet Ahmadinejad has the gall to suggest that Jerusalem and Israel does not rightfully belong to the Jewish people as a Jewish nation.

This ignorant fool does not know that one of the earliest religious movements in America was for the restoration of Israel to the Jews! On October 31, 1819, in Boston’s Old South Church, Levi Parsons took the pulpit to offer a sermon. “They who taught us the way to salvation were Jews,” he began. “Our God was their God. Our heaven is their heaven.” Parsons said that, were the Ottoman (Muslim) occupation of Palestine were to vanish, “nothing but a miracle would prevent their [the Jews] immediate return.”

An indelible part of American history are the Christian missionaries who went to the Middle East to perform deeds of righteousness so that the Jews would be enticed to return home and “receive Him”, that is to say, Jesus. As historian Michael B. Oren writes in his book, Power, Faith, and Fantasy, “The emergence of a Messianic Jewish polity in Palestine would fulfill the conditions necessary for the Second Coming, Parsons affirmed.”

The very earliest settlers of America, the Pilgrims, saw themselves as an extension of the Jewish faith. “Come let us declare in Zion the word of God,” proclaimed William Bradford, the future governor of the Plymouth Colony, as he stepped off the Mayflower in 1620. For him, the new land was a Zion in which the much-persecuted Pilgrims could worship freely, drawing their faith as much from the Old Testament as the New.

Many a missionary suffered and died for the belief that Jerusalem was and is the capitol of the Jewish State, Israel.

Long after Ahmadinejad is dead and freedom is restored to the Iranian people, there will be Jews in Israel and the long history of America’s belief in the rights of Jews to live there will continue.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Public Relations, Consumer Confidence, and Liars

By Alan Caruba

I was interviewed recently by a reporter for National Public Radio’s “Marketplace”, providing a sound bite about the coverage of Countrywide Financial’s problems as its stock price heads south, causing the layoff of a huge number of employees in the wake of the subprime mortgage loan debacle.

I have long been accustomed to being the “go to” guy when the press has questions about public relations and the news was about a small army of Burson-Marsteller PR folks brought in to fix the ailing home lender’s image.

When trust returns to the home mortgage industry in general, Countrywide—if it is still around—will rebuild. Meanwhile, it has to very publicly reinforce the need for ethical practices and not use “competition” as an excuse for a lack of caution.

Meanwhile, it's a good idea to keep in mind that the economy is doing just fine. Unemployment is still at record low rates. As the holidays approach, consumers will open their wallets. Some of them will look at the new housing prices and decide to buy one. The economy is amazingly resiliant.

It has been interesting to see the growth of “crisis control” in tandem with “reputation management” as an important function of public relations, but I tend to favor fighting one’s enemies long and hard before any crisis is allowed to happen. This is particularly true when it comes to issues of public policy and public opinion.

Environmental groups have, for years, used lies of every kind to advance their agenda. The result has often caused the needless loss of life as in the case of the ban on DDT. The vast "global warming" hoax threatens to waste trillions of dollars limiting "greenhouse gas emissions" by imposing "carbon taxes" when humans have no role whatever regarding the earth's climate.

Any enterprise whose success is predicated on issues involving energy, chemicals or pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and—most importantly—consumer confidence has got to be prepared to join the war against those who spread lies about the good things they do.

If not, the liars win. It’s just that simple.

Election Prediction Pandemonium

By Alan Caruba

I find it odd that many political pundits have already concluded that the Democrats will sweep into further power in Congress and that Hillary Clinton will become the first woman President of the United States.

I seem to recall the pundits saying that Howard Dean, a former Democrat candidate, was raising so much money and had such momentum that nothing could stop him. A rather lackluster John Kerry did that and then went on, despite being savaged during the campaign, to come astonishingly close to unseating George W. Bush.

What all this ponderous predicting is about is (1) the mainstream media’s continuing love affair with the Democrat Party and any socialist program it proposes and wants to fund with taxpayer money, and (2) the desperate need to write something for the daily deadline, be it a newspaper or broadcast.

There are, of course, signs of Republican meltdown. Several GOP members of Congress have announced they will not run for re-election and, most importantly, the GOP coffers are nothing compared to the Democrat National Committee. Money being the mother’s milk of politics, a lot of GOP donors are, well, not donating.

Just as a week can be a very long time during a political campaign, the several months that lay ahead for both parties are subject to the unexpected. I will boldly predict that there will be no terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland because, as Aaron Klein points out in his new book, Schmoozing with Terrorists, “Overwhelmingly they told me they hope Americans sweep the Democrats into power in part because of the party’s position on withdrawing from Iraq, a move, as they see it, that ensured victory for the worldwide Islamic resistance.”

I am pretty sure Democrats do not want it widely known that among their greatest fans these days are Islamic terrorists from Tehran to Baghdad, Damascus to Beirut, and in Gaza. The very notion that one of the Democrat candidates is named Barack Hussein Obama is nothing less than astonishing.

The tolerance of Americans is nothing short of amazing. Not only is Senator Obama sporting a Muslim name, he is Black and doing fairly well against the Clinton juggernaut. That is not likely to last, however, has he has shown a degree of political ineptness that gives one pause.

The pundits all agree that Hillary will be the next President, but here again one should take care to be advised by people who have been notoriously wrong in the past and are likely to be again in 2008. Whoever runs against her as the Republican candidate is going to be running television ads that will give people reason to worry—a lot—about Queen Hillary.

The fitful occupation of Iraq is going to be the single dominating issue and the news out of Iraq these days is not that bad. U.S. casualties are down. There are fewer suicide bombings. What passes for a government there is making some progress. The Kurds are secure in their enclave. The British are reducing their presence in Basra and southern Iraq. The “surge” appears to have been a genuine success and there is further encouraging news from U.S. military activities.

None of this bodes well for Democrat candidates. They need failure in Iraq. They need to pander to the desire of some Americans to leave the mess of occupation. They are dependent on the short memory span of Americans who recoiled in shock on September 11, 2001 from the reality of an attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

Indeed, all around the world right now the terrorists seem to be on vacation. Is there a consensus among them that all they have to do is wait for a woman to occupy the Oval Office? Given their contempt for women, not to mention their oppression of women’s rights (and human rights in general), does anyone think that a Hillary presidency would not trigger their worst instincts?

The Iowa and New Hampshire primaries are weeks away. Given the Super Primary when many States vote, their impact may be less than anticipated or predicted.

Politics is a blood sport in America. 2008 is going to be ugly. And unpredictable.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Third Rail of God

By Alan Caruba

The third rail in a train system is the exposed electrical conductor that carries high voltage power. Stepping on the high-voltage third rail usually results in electricution.

The phrase “third rail” has come to mean an idea or topic that is so "charged" and "untouchable" that any candidate for office, public official, and these days anyone who posts to the Internet, who dares to deal with the subject is likely to find himself or herself in hot water.

Nothing gets Americans more worked up than religion. In what was the first experiment in which a nation was forbidden from declaring a national religion by its founders and which has a long tradition of tolerance, religion rallies Americans like nothing else. A Newsweek poll earlier this year found that 91 percent of those surveyed believe in God.

Unsaid, however, is that these same Americans believe in a largely Christian God. When Christians say God they mean Christ Jesus. Catholics take it a step further with the concept of the trinity. Jews reference only a single God figure. The god of the Muslims is Allah, the name of a former Arabian Moon god adopted to represent the God worshipped by Christians and Jews. When Muslims pray, they face Mecca. When Jews pray they face Jerusalem. Buddhism, by contrast, is opposed to violence and doesn’t posit an omnipotent god.

American politicians have their job cut out for them when it comes to religion as they must, by tradition, embrace all as equal and valid. That can create some interesting situations. For example, the White House just hosted an iftar dinner to mark the beginning of Ramadan and there was a ceremony held on Monday, October 1 in the Pentagon for approximately 100 Muslim Department of Defense employees.

If the notion of Muslims working in the DOD at the same time a considerable portion of our military is deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq gives you pause for concern, you are not alone. Afterall, the task at hand is the killing of their co-religionists who are bent on imposing Islam on the world. Grant that not all Muslims are jihadists or believe in the establishment of a new global caliphate, even if only 10 percent do, that’s still more than a hundred million Muslims! That said, Middle Eastern Muslims seem to have no problem with killing other Muslims, often for belonging to the “wrong” sect, be it either Shiite or Sunni.

In contrast to the Christian message of love and forgiveness, Islam’s message is “convert or die” or keep your religion, become a “dhimmi”, pay a tax to your local mosque to be left alone, and accept a variety of unpleasant conditions meant to remind you that you’re going straight to hell because Mohammed said so.

While Ramadan was beginning—its month-long fast no doubt borrowed from the fast that Jews observe on Yom Kippur—there was a convention not far from Pentagon headquarters, sponsored by the Atheist Alliance International. Held at the Crown Royal Hotel in Crystal City, Virginia, this past weekend, it featured some of the stars of Atheism as speakers.

One of my favorites was the writer Christopher Hitchens, a genuine talent. He shared honors with Oxford professor, Richard Dawkins, and author Sam Harris, all three of whom have some bestselling books decrying religion as myth and God as the biggest myth of all. According to reports, several hundred attended the event.

A general theme of atheism is that religions start wars, are responsible for all manner of persecution, animosities, et cetera. And this is empirically true. Anyone familiar with history can point to a long list of awfulness involving the three major religions, even citing accounts from the Old Testament and, of course, the execution of Jesus by the Romans. The rise of Christianity was essentially a conflict between the new religion and the older gods of Hellenism. The Koran is one long account of battles fought, truces broken, and the Hadith, the book based on Mohammed’s life, also tells of assassinations and dreadful behavior.

The West, led by the United States, is engaged in a new religious war. Some say we invaded Iraq for the oil, but we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan because Osama bin Laden and others have declared war on the West, i.e., Christianity and Judaism, in the name of Islam. Islam has an equal contempt for Hinduism and Buddhism. We can either choose to wage war against them to preserve ourselves and Western civilization or we can surrender.

That’s where the third rail of God has gotten very dangerous for the politicians running these days for their party’s nomination. None dare come out and say this is going to be a long and bloody war. None dare even suggest it is a religious war. Consider the charades going on in the White House and Pentagon to hide this fact.

The split between the parties is quite obvious. Democrats declare they intend to withdraw from the Middle East’s field of battle. Republicans are intent on waging the war no matter how long it takes. And Republicans bring to the voting booth their religious beliefs while Democrats rarely even mention having any.

In November 2008, a lot of voters—many of whom believe in God—are going to decide whose side they’re on, His or His enemies.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

There Really Was a Thomas Paine

By Alan Caruba

A friend of mine sent a birthday gift, Christopher Hitchens’ “Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man”, part of a series, “Books That Changed the World”, published by Atlantic Monthly Press. Hitchins, of course, is most famed of late for writing “God is Not Great”, a book about his (and others) atheism that has sold rather well.

I don’t know what, if anything, they teach these days about the Founding Fathers, but I'm told the current politically correct garbage that children are learning is that they were all horrible slave owners and unworthy of any other attention except for that business about fighting the American Revolution and later writing the oldest living Constitution in the world.

Parenthetically, I have frankly wondered why we didn’t just hand the Iraqis a copy of our Constitution and suggest they write in the words “The Republic of Iraq” and get on with the business of democracy. But no, that would have been too easy. Instead Iraq has a constitution that requires it be governed by Islamic sharia law, something that means Islam is the state religion and God help you if you’re not a Muslim. Just ask the Christians who have lived there forever. They are being subjected to all kinds of depredations. This is so common where Muslims are in charge that it hardly seems worth mentioning except for the fact that most Americans are totally unaware of it.

As it was in my youth, Paine gets shunted aside when it comes to famous Founding Fathers. I don’t believe there’s even a statue in Washington, D.C. for the man. Yet this was the brilliant pamphleteer whose Common Sense sold an astounding half a million copies in the course of the American Revolution. It was truly a bestseller, but more importantly, it argued the cause for a break with England and did so assuming the intelligence of his readers. A copy of it can be had from Penguin Books “Great Ideas” series. It runs to just over 103 pages in a small, handheld edition. And it is brilliant.

Hitchens does an excellent job of bringing the legendary Paine alive in a portrait of a very real man with all the flaws that attain to being brilliant, far ahead of his time, seriously mistaken about the French Revolution, and, to his credit, utterly opposed to monarchy and aristocracy, a form of feudalism that had been the standard of government for hundreds of years in Europe.

Born in England, Paine would find a true home in America and especially an America composed of colonies whose people had decided to break free of the taxation and other abuses of the Crown.

If all this sounds like something from “long ago”, I would remind you that monarchies are still the order of the day in the Middle East. The Saudis are ruled by a royal family as are the people in Yemen, Qatar, the United Arabic Emirates and similar entities. The king of Morocco still mostly calls the shots. And, of course, though they do not rule as in former times, there is still a British royal family. Why, I do not know.

It’s always a good idea to reacquaint oneself with an important figure from the past through a really good biography. It’s also a good idea to remember that America is a relatively young nation despite its ascendancy to superpower status. It wasn’t that long ago—my youth actually—when it was desperately trying to climb out of a calamitous Depression and then plunged into World War II to save the world from despotism.

Americans, now our aging parents and grandparents, had the courage and resiliency to wait out the Soviet Union from 1945 to the early 90s, resisting Communist tyranny and giving hope to all those in its grip.

There’s an old threat to the world that has become a new threat and it’s called Islam. I have no doubt Thomas Paine would be warning us of it were he alive today.

Who Made These Statements?

1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few...... And to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity."

3) "(We) ....can't just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people."

4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own turf in order to create this common ground."

5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."

6) "I think it's time to send a clear message, to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy, that they are being watched."

These statements are not from Das Capital by Karl Marx. They are by Hillary Clinton.

Comments made on:
(1) 6/29/04
(2) 5/29/07
(3) 6/4/07
(4) 6/4/07
(5) 6/4/07
(6) 9/2/05

Monday, October 1, 2007

Bookviews is Posted. Announces Ban on Self-Published Books.

By Alan Caruba

Rejoice booklovers! The October edition of has been posted and it offers news of nearly sixty new fiction and non-fiction books on a wide range of topics.
If you’re not familiar with the site, visit it at

This month has sections of interest to those who enjoy reading history, on business-related books, on books for children and younger readers, and a selection of new novels. My favorite, of course, is "My Picks of the Month", the opening section that is devoted to unique books of merit and, this month, a DVD of the final show of the great British television series, "Prime Subject."

It also marks the announcement of a decision to ban self-published books from consideration. I receive an average of three to five books a day. That’s close to 135 new books every month! When you factor in the growing number of self-published books by authors who have turned to venders such as iUniverse and others, it just adds to those already in the pipeline from small, medium, and large publishers.

How does one make a selection from so many books? It helps to be a veracious reader and to have lots of experience. As a founding member of the National Book Critics Circle, I have been reviewing since the 1970s. What once was a column in weekly newspapers evolving into a newsletter and, in the cyber age, into an Internet site.

If you think you’re not getting the full story from the print and broadcast media headlines, you’re right. New books on the hot topics of our times are often the best way to gain insight to the issues and personalities in the news. For pure entertainment, there’s a constant flow of new novels.