Monday, June 30, 2008

McCain's Green Babble

By Alan Caruba

A lot of us are going to figuratively hold our noses and vote for John McCain because the notion of Barack Obama as President is too awful to contemplate, but if you go to, you will find some of the worst Green babble posted on his “Issues” page and bodes ill for ridding us of a lot of bad science and worse “solutions” to solve so-called environmental problems that do not even exist.

Here’s what passes for McCain’s “Principles for Climate Policy”

# Climate policy should be built on scientifically-sound, mandatory emission reduction targets and timetables.

#Climate policy should utilize a market-based cap and trade system.

#Climate policy must spur the development and deployment of advanced technology.

#Climate policy must facilitate International efforts to solve the problem.

Given these “principles”, I recommend that McCain choose Al Gore as his vice presidential running mate, because they could have been written by Gore.

They are so wrong for so many reasons, but the most obvious is that we do not have to reduce emissions, i.e. carbon dioxide, because (1) it constitutes 0.038% of the Earth’s atmosphere, (2) it has virtually no role as regards the Earth’s climate, and (3) it is the second most essential gas other than oxygen because every bit of vegetation on Earth requires it.

Beyond that, mandatory emission reductions will only manage to impose large and very unnecessary expenses on all manner of human activity from manufacturing to transportation to agriculture, et cetera.

This brings us to McCain’s advocacy of a cap and trade system. This is the bogus buying and selling of “carbon credits” to create a whole new market for something that will simply drive up the cost of doing business for no good reason. The costs will be passed along to consumers and those running the exchanges for these credits will make any money from this scheme along with, of course, charlatans like Gore who run companies that sell these specious “credits.”

You might as well be buying credits for promising not to eat cotton candy or marshmallows.

As to spurring the development of advanced technology, what does McCain think American corporations and entrepreneurs do for a living? Our $14 trillion economy is built on research and development. The U.S. government has already wasted $50 billion on so-called “climate research” and none of it points to any global warming.

Finally, seeking “international” efforts to solve the problem will only prolong the history of the United Nations’ lies about global warming at a time when the Earth is a decade into what is likely to be a very long cooling period. In short, there is no warming and hasn’t been since 1998.

McCain’s climate policy is ignorance squared, especially if you pause just one moment and ask yourself what exactly can humankind do with regard to changing, altering, slowing or improving the climate in any way? The answer is nothing.

The Earth has been around 4.5 billion years, undergoing all kinds of climate from ice ages to long periods in which the CO2 levels were far higher than they are today.

These principles need to be scrapped, but they won’t be because they are a blatant attempt to skim off some votes from so-called environmentalists who have no more clue about the Earth than McCain.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

He Kept Us Safe

By Alan Caruba

I know any number of people who truly hate George W. Bush. The mainstream media are always telling us that John McCain will lose because the Democrats have hung “George Bush’s third term” around his neck and is counting on the rather widespread disaffection for the President, whether it be Democrat or Republican.

I am not convinced of that. Though when I read the environmental balderdash on McCain’s website these days, I just want to puke.

Sometimes, however, you need to look beyond our shores to know that some people “get it” when it comes to the most particular role that George W. Bush has played in the last nearly eight years in office.

Take, for example, a column in the Guardian, a very liberal British newspaper and one not known for being fond of the U.S. Imagine my surprise to read on June 17, “Bush made the world a safer place” by Oliver Kamm.

“The postwar history of our continent would be different and less benign if the United States had heeded that message (to go home). His office, and the system of collective security from which we benefit, would be justification enough to welcome President Bush’s visit to London last week. But there is an additional reason peculiar to the Bush presidency. For all Bush’s verbal infelicity, diplomatic brusqueness, negligence in planning for post-Saddam Iraq, and insouciance regarding standards of due process when prosecuting the war on terror, the world is a safer place for the influence he has exercised.”

Well, bravo! Well said!

At long last it has taken an Englishman to note that Bush decided to kill jihadists in their backyard instead of waiting for them to show up here again after 9/11. Given the courage, discipline, training, and superior firepower of our military, we have done a splendid job. This explains why Iraqis are beginning to show signs of figuring out how to run Iraq without the need for a war-mongering pathological sadist and his two sons.

Depending on who succeeds Bush, the U.S. will either pull out, laying waste to the sacrifices of our soldiers or we shall be there for McCain’s metaphorical hundred years. American military bases have been in England and Europe since 1945.

At this point, one can rather confidently conclude that Barack Hussein Obama has no stomach for a war with the Islamists who cut off the heads of those they take prisoner and thus can be said to share an “insouciance regarding standards of due process.”

I have had no end of complaint about George W. Bush over the years, but I will grant him that not one, single act of terrorism has occurred in the United States under his watch. No one in 2001 would have bet $2 that the U.S. would have enjoyed such remarkable security. Instead, the Islamists attacked London and Glasgow, Madrid and Bali.

Historians will judge Bush’s two terms in the light of hindsight, but Americans, always impatient, always reluctant to wage war or address the need to fix the things we broke in the process, worried about $4 a gallon gasoline and the rising price of avocadoes, need to keep in mind that the war in Afghanistan and Iraq has maintained the peace here at home.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Is the North Pole Melting? Forgetaboutit!

By Alan Caruba

The latest story to get scientists emailing furiously among each other was the one in the Telegraph, a British newspaper, that all the ice around the North Pole would melt away this summer.

This story has surfaced before, most notably in The New York Times, and clearly journalists should not be allowed to grapple with the extraordinary notion that, in the SUMMER, the ice at the top of the world might actually melt a bit because the northern hemisphere gets—what’s the word---oh yes, WARMER!

These highly complex concepts such as "warm" in the summer and "cold" in the winter just completely overwhelm the ability of journalists to cope with any sign of climate change.

Seaman who have sailed the Arctic waters have known for a very long time that the sea ice breaks up in the summertime. It’s not even news. The recent discovery of huge undersea volcanoes is going to be big news one of these days when scientists learn more of their effect on ocean temperatures. Like those on the surface, they are scattered throughout the oceans and at the poles.

Mount Erebus has been an active volcano in the Antarctica, accounting for a semi-permanent hole in the ozone above it.

While my friends in the world of science spent the day discussing the story via email, it reminded me of all the people who keep telling us about global warming and how most have no science credentials at all.

Al Gore has a degree in government, not science, nor does England’s Prince Charles who likewise lacks a science degree. When you check out television personalities like Katie Couric, Scott Pelley, Matt Lauer, or Meredith Viera, you discover that none of them have degrees reflecting any branch of science.

Moving along, other leading advocates of global warming include Al Sharpton, Alicia Silverstone, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ted Turner, and Robert Redford, all of whom were either college or high school dropouts.

People who are billed as scientists often majored in areas other than meteorology or climatology. There’s the infamous James Hansen of NASA who got the whole global warming ball rolling back in the 1980s with a warning we’d all be dead by now. He has since revised that prediction, but his degree is in physics and mathematics. Bill Nye “the science guy” has a degree in mechanical engineering!

The politicians who use global warming to look environmentally concerned and correct include John McCain. He has a Bachelor of Science degree, but managed to acquire it while graduating 894th out of 899 in his class. Newt Gingrich has no science degree whatever, but has a PhD in modern European history. Robert Kennedy, Jr., one of the greatest twits to have ever been born into that family, has a BA in government and a JD in law. No science degree.

The list of dropouts and graduates in fields other than science who run around bloviating about global warming is a very long one. They are ill-equipped to tell anyone about the complexities of the Earth’s climate because it is such a complex subject that even those who are recognized as experts have the good sense to be humble. Not one of them can tell you why clouds do what they do. Nobody knows.

So, rest easy. The North Pole is not melting. That’s good news for Santa Claus.

Disclosure: I graduated shortly after the end of the last ice age with a BA in communications, but have written extensively on science topics for decades. I am a longtime member of the National Association of Science Writers.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Supreme Court Affirms the Second Amendment

By Alan Caruba

Eighty million Americans breathed a sigh of relief when the Supreme Court struck down the Washington, D.C. ban on gun ownership. Had the Court not supported the Second Amendment that asserts the right of Americans to own guns, the next step would have been efforts to take their guns away and to insure that no one could purchase one for self-defense.

Americans would have gone from being citizens to subjects.

Over the span of thirty years since the ban had been imposed Washington, D.C. had become the murder capital of the nation and, if this lesson has been lost on Americans, then it is surely time to restate it. Where citizens are permitted to own guns and, in those States where they are permitted to carry concealed weapons, the crime rates and, in particular, murder rates fall dramatically.

Some might argue that this is also a racial issue because so much of the violence in our cities is black-on-black with murder cited as a major cause of death among young, black Americans. However, a statement by Project 21, a black activist leadership network has hailed the decision.

“This is a great day for law-abiding citizens of the nation’s capital who have been unjustly been denied their full right to protect themselves and families for over 30 years,” said Project 21’s Deneen Borelli. “Perhaps the government should find a better way to keep illegal guns away from criminals and not law-abiding citizens.”

This Supreme Court decision confirms once again the intention of the Founding Fathers and the intent of the Second Amendment to ensure that Americans have a right to bear arms, i.e., to own guns and to use them for self-defense and as a defense against a government that might turn against its own citizens for the purpose of enslaving them.

The Second Amendment protects not just citizens, but the Constitution because it ensures that it will not be destroyed for those in power who might want to impose a totalitarian regime.

Every day in America, gun owners protect their lives and others against criminals, often by doing nothing more than a show of arms. Where guns are forbidden, the innocent becomes nothing more than victims of criminals and the crazed.

An armed America is a safer America.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Election Tutorial: Immigration

By Alan Caruba

Oil and more precisely the price of a gallon of gas has emerged as probably the number one issue of the forthcoming national election, but right behind it will be immigration. Other than energy, population has the most impact on a way of life American’s prefer.

Unfortunately for most Americans, both Barack Obama and John McCain, their parties, current and previous administrations have been hell-bent to artificially and unnecessarily increase the nation’s population by (a) turning a blind eye to the massive annual invasions of illegal aliens, (b) advocating amnesty for those already here, and (c) doing virtually nothing to impede the flow of both legal and illegal immigrants.

The massive citizen outcry in 2007 when an amnesty bill was being considered by Congress should have sent a message to the nation’s politicians, but the government has been intent on growing the nation’s population despite the wisdom of native-born and naturalized citizens who understand that this is a bad idea.

They understand it when they are stuck in traffic congestion. They understand it as more and more illegal immigrants crowd into our cities and suburbs while, at the same time, costing taxpayers millions to maintain schools crowded with their children, special programs for those who do not speak English, hospitals whose emergency rooms are the only access to care many can afford (the cost must be absorbed by the hospital and government agencies), and a variety of welfare programs because unskilled and frequently uneducated illegal immigrants make greater use of them. Predictably, they experience a higher rate of poverty than the general population. Why?

Despite ample evidence that a moratorium on immigration would have many benefits, our political elites refuse to acknowledge that America is being harmed by the burden of more than 12 million illegal aliens in our midst and more arriving every day. As Mark Krikorian says in his new book, “The New Case Against Immigration”, an amnesty would result in “nearly triple the fiscal burden they place on the federal budget, from $10.4 billion a year to $28.8 billion.”

If politicians will not even consider an immigration moratorium, they could at least respond to the public’s demand for better enforcement of existing immigration laws. Krikorian points out that the current illegal population could be reduced “through consistent, across-the-board enforcement of the immigration law.”

The reality is that our immigration system is broken, understaffed, and leaves Americans vulnerable to future attacks on the homeland. “On any given day, the United States Customs and Immigration Service processes 30,000 applications, conducts 135,000 national security background checks, answers 82,000 telephone inquiries, and more”

“In 2005, about 800 visa officers issued about 6 million visas to foreigners, an average of 75,000 visas per officer, roughly one every fifteen minutes” Many visas, of course, were for business travelers and tourists, but the system is so overwhelmed that it makes it too easy for people with bad intentions to slip through or just overstay their visit. And that’s not counting the millions who simply sneak into the United States.

It is madness to do nothing to slow down both the legal and illegal immigration process. Americans understand that instinctively even if they don’t have the statistics at their fingertips.

The problem remains that those in Congress or the White House who take an oath to protect this nation just don’t care who gets in or how many. The result is bleeding taxpayers who must pay out billions for the many ways illegal immigration imposes huge burdens on our society.

Between now and Election Day would be a good time to let the candidates know how you feel about this. It might help.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Election Day Scenarios. What's Yours?

By Alan Caruba

Predicting Election Day outcomes this far in advance is a fool’s game, but it’s fun to play around with possible scenarios.

Barring some explosive revelation about Barack Hussein Obama or John McCain, the outlines of likely outcomes are fairly visible. I am, however, always reminded of former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards who once said, “The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.”

If money is the mother’s milk of politics than Obama has a huge, current 3-to-1 lead over McCain and that imbalance is likely to remain. Obama has, from the beginning of his campaign, proved to be a money-raising machine. McCain’s problem is that he is a Republican at a time when a lot of Republicans are so sick of their party that they are reluctant to contribute to his campaign no matter how much they want him to defeat Obama.

So one scenario is a huge blow-out for Obama and the Democrats. The “change” he has been advocating would increase the Democrat’s control over Congress and put him in the Oval Office. The downside of this is that he may well be the least prepared person for the job since Andrew Johnson replaced Lincoln.

A second scenario is that the next election, like so many before it in recent election cycles, proves to be agonizingly close as Republicans, waking from their stupor, turn out in sufficient numbers to defeat Obama with lots of help from the independents. McCain may be old, but one third of the population is old too. And they vote! The kids that are all worked up over “change” and “hope” are going to be too busy playing video games and text messaging to vote.

A third scenario is that America’s famed racism rears its ugly head and Obama gets blown away as white voters turn out in droves to make sure he does not get any closer to the White House than an invitation to tea. Ironically, Hispanic voters are quite likely to vote against him as well. There is no love lost between Hispanic-Americans and Afro-Americans. When asked to identify themselves racially, Hispanics put a check mark in the “white” box.

A fourth scenario put forth by World Net Daily is that it will be an election where large numbers of voters simply stay home. The theory is that disaffected supporters of Hillary Clinton will not want to cast a vote for Obama after having their hopes of a woman president dashed. How many Republicans, unhappy with their candidate, decide not to vote is too difficult to say, but it remains a possibility, though a dim one. Republicans are patriots at heart and not likely to abandon their party or their nation. Many are already convinced Obama is a Communist.

Given that many Democrats swoon whenever they see Obama, their vote is assured, though some may, as in the days of Reagan, cross over to McCain because they are blue-color, evangelicals, gun-owners, or for comparable reasons. This is entirely likely. It also returns us to the second scenario of a very tight win for McCain.

For myself, I see a potential loss by McCain because I think he will be unwilling to engage in a truly horrid campaign of inuendo, smears, racism, or other unpleasantries. He was defeated by George W. Bush in the primaries that led to Bush’s first term by such tactics and I suspect that he does not want to be remembered for engaging in anything like them, even if it costs him the election. This speaks to his character and his military heritage.

That said, plenty of others will gladly do the dirty work for him. The 527 groups that will air their commercials are likely to be far more interesting than those of the candidates. In that respect, the soft atmospherics of the commercials to “re-introduce” both candidates strike me as obvious and unconvincing.

One thing is already evident and that is the appalling amount of pandering that both candidates have already begun to demonstrate. This portends months of flip-flops on various issues. Obama’s rejection of public financing is just the beginning.

I have a friend who believes, as I do, that if McCain would climb down off his little Green environmental cloud and declare he is for drilling here, i.e. ANWR and in States known to have oil reserves, and drilling now, the election would be his. Neither of us think he’s smart enough to do that.

One suspects that both candidate’s will be counting on the short memories of voters and, possibly, a great deal of voter fatigue by the time Election Day rolls around. It is likely that a lot of voters will not make up their mind until within 24 hours of the polls opening. We have evolved into a nation suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder.

Monday, June 23, 2008

World to End. Vote Democrat.

By Alan Caruba

Sometimes having begun my working life as a journalist is an embarrassment. This is particularly true when I read stories like Saturday’s Associated Press garbage, “Everything Seemingly is Spinning Out of Control” by Alan Fram and Eileen Putnam.

Their idiotic article begins with a litany. “Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.”

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! That’s what Dorothy and her friends, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man, were worried about as they made their way to the Emerald City, only to be told they had to bring the broom of the wicked witch to the Wizard who turned out to be a charlatan, a carnival sideshow windbag blown off course in his balloon.

The world is full of sorrows and tribulation, and there is no end to the charlatans.

The AP article required the reader to go almost to the end before learning that, “American University historian Allan J. Lichtman notes that the U.S. has endured comparable periods and worse, including the economic stagflation (stagnant growth combined with inflation) and Iran hostage crisis of 1980, the dawn of the Cold War, the Korean War and the hysterical hunts for domestic Communists in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and the Depression of the 1930s.”

Yes, indeed, Things were much worse in former times and we don’t have to look very hard any more for domestic Communists. Many are members of Congress and you can find their names by visiting the website for the Progressive Caucus. Two of them recently suggested the U.S. oil industry be nationalized, as if the government could do a better job running it than private enterprise.

A little further on we get to the piece de resistance of the article, the revelation that the bad times of the past were cured when “each period was followed by a change in the party controlling the White House.” (Emphasis added)

If Fram and Putnam are not on the payroll of the Democrat Party, then they surely should be for writing tripe like this. It screams at the reader to vote Democrat and, in particular, for Sen. Barack Obama, the wizard of hope and change.

This is not journalism by any stretch of the imagination. It is a blatant use of scare tactics to influence the outcome of an election. One expects a political party to engage in such tactics, but a major newswire syndicate should have a layer or two of seasoned editors who make sure such tripe does not move to newspapers and other media.

Let me give you an example. In the early 1960s I was a rooky reporter for a local weekly newspaper serving a small city in New Jersey. My editor sat me down and said, “Look kid, let’s say you don’t like one of the council members for some reason. You know what I expect you to do? I expect you to bend over backwards to give that guy a fair shake. It’s not your job to agree or disagree with what he says or how he votes. Your job is to report it and let the reader decide.”

Good advice then and good advice now. Instead, the AP reporters threw together a laundry list of things people are worried about today, many of which are called “Acts of God” by the insurance industry, and then rather blatantly suggest that they vote for the party that is out of power.

This ignores the fact that the Democrats have been in control of Congress since the 2006 midterm elections. Promising a burst of action to solve the nation’s problems, they have not demonstrated much progress except for Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Harry Reid’s announcement that “the war is lost” and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi taking time to visit Syria’s dictator.

Holding hearings to provide former White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, with a platform for his gibberish or grilling oil company executives who have no control over the price of oil is hardly action by most people’s reckoning.

But who cares about facts when you can string together natural calamities and economic distress to give the Democrat candidate for President a boost while pretending to be journalists?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Obama's Hesitancy, Expediency, and Credibility

By Alan Caruba

I am not a political pundit although I occasionally write about the candidates. I recently wrote a commentary, posted on the website for The National Anxiety Center, about Sen. Obama’s distaste and disdain for America’s corporations and the clear indication that he intends to grow the government even larger.

I am more like the average person who follows the campaign via television as the news channels chew over it 24/7. I watch a little while. I listen to a little talk radio.

On Friday I was asked by a radio host what I thought of the latest flap over the way campaign aides to Sen. Obama had asked two women wearing Muslim head scarves to move out of the range of photographers before he made a speech. I was, in fact, being asked as a public relations professional. My answer was that Sen. Obama is beginning to encounter some real questions about his authenticity as an individual.

Granted that politics is as much about perception as policy, the fact that campaign aides did not want any visual imagery of Islam suggests that someone on his staff is worried about voter’s fears that Sen. Obama may actually be a Muslim, despite his long association with a Chicago church.

My perception of Sen. Obama is the same as his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who described him with perfect accuracy as “a politician.” Wright said plainly that Sen. Obama will pretty much say anything because that’s what politicians do to get elected.

A polarizing figure in his own right, Rev. Wright and his church got dumped by Sen. Obama as it became clear that any further affiliation would severely harm his campaign. It is, by the way, a campaign for the presidency that began after the Senator had spent barely 143 days in the Senate during its working sessions. This is a measure of raw ambition that would surely rival all of the others combined who entered the primaries, including Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Obama is the presumptive Democrat nominee because of his rhetorical skills. He is a powerful speaker. However, that power ends when he does not have a teleprompter, a memorized stump speech, or even some 3-by-5 inch cards from which to work.

When required to speak on his own, the most prominent and noticeable aspect of his presentation and personality is his hesitancy.

Sen. Obama measures out words, pauses, calculates what listeners might be thinking, pauses, considers modifying what he just said, says something else, and pauses. He is hesitant to the point of appearing unsure of himself, fearful of the unguarded truth, and in need of a script.

His sense of expediency is seen in his readiness to distance himself from people who he knows were a poor choice of friends, supporters, and advisors when he was a young, ambitious part of the notorious Chicago political machine. His judgment then gives little cause for confidence in whomever he selects to advise him now. His use of former and future lobbyists puts the lie to his assertion they will not play a role in his presidency.

He has been cautious to the point of never varying from the Democrat Party in any vote in the U.S. Senate. He often voted “present” in his Illinois days rather than take a position. Once we get beyond “change” and “hope”, the positions he has articulated look less and less an answer to present and future needs.

Expedient in his ruthless pursuit of the presidency, Obama is hesitant when not in a controlled, staged situation. He has the attributes of a person who wants to be all things to all people. This is the antithesis of leadership.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Diplomatic Theatre

By Alan Caruba

Recently, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in a lightning visit to Israel met with Mamoud Abbas of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, a group purporting to represent Palestinians, but which is now confined to the West Bank, having been driven out of Gaza by Hamas, a militant group whose goal remains the destruction of Israel.

Secretary Rice made it clear that U.S. policy opposed the building of new housing developments in the West Bank. One must pause and ask what right does the U.S. have to meddle in the affairs of a sovereign nation that has been under attack by the Palestinians and neighboring Arab nations for the entire sixty years of its existence? Maybe, though, the protest was just some form of diplomatic theatre? Like pretending that Mamoud Abbas is in charge of anything?

A recent military exercise conducted by Israel in which bombers and fighters demonstrated they could fly 900 miles, about the distance between Israel and Iran, was characterized by U.S. sources as appearing to be directed against Iran. Well, duh! Given the repeated threats to the existence of Israel by various Iranian leaders, plus the likelihood that it will soon have nuclear warhead capabilities for its missiles, Israel would have to be suicidal if it did not demonstrate its ability to lay waste to Iran’s nuclear and military facilities. Didn’t it recently flatten an alleged nuclear facility being built in Syria?

From the day the U.S. recognized Israel’s independence it has gone back and forth between support and criticism. The diplomacy of the two nations often seems baffling. Most certainly the U.S. has come to the aid of this lone democracy in the Middle East, providing the arms it needs for self-defense as well as loans to help its development into an economic dynamo. Our allies often benefit from such policies.

Zionists who had worked since the end of the 19th century to establish a Jewish homeland were, following the Holocaust, recognized as having a legitimate right to the land from which they had been exiled in 70 C.E. by the Romans.

This right had first been formally recognized by Britain’s Balfour Declaration of 1917. The land to be ceded to Israel included the West Bank, then under the control of what would come to be known as Jordan, just one of the Arab nations invented by the Treaty of Versailles following the end of World War I. In order to reward the Hashemite Arabs that had fought with Britain against the Ottoman Empire, Winston Churchill was instrumental in stripping away the West Bank from the original territory that was to be Israel.

According to Wikipedia, from 1948 until 1967 the West Bank was under Jordanian rule and Jordan did not formally relinquish its claim to the area until 1988. Jordan's claim had never been recognized by the international community. The West Bank was captured by Israel during the Six-Day War. With the exception of East Jerusalem, the West Bank has not been annexed by Israel. Most of its residents are Arabs, but Israelis have been moving there because, in a very small nation, they have to live somewhere. The West Bank, integral to ancient Israel, is a natural location. Historically, the West Bank, known to Jews as Samaria and Judea, had always been a part of Israel.

Israeli settlements have been built in the area since 1967 in response to the large number of Jewish immigrants who flooded into Israel, many fleeing Arab nations where their families had lived for several generations. Others came from Russia after restrictions on their immigration were ended.

After sixty years of failed efforts to destroy Israel it remains a mystery to me why Israel has not annexed the West Bank, but that has been its official policy, perhaps to avoid having to enfranchise its Arab population. It is generally unknown that over a million Arabs are Israeli citizens and their growing population could prove a problem for an avowedly Jewish nation.

In May, writing in the U.S. News & World Report, Fouad Ajami, said, “The Arab imagination could never reconcile itself to the permanance of the Jewish State”, adding that, “In its short history, Israel has held up a mirror for the Arabs, who have not liked what they have seen.”

In point of fact, Arab nations have all but abandoned the so-called Palestinians, a designation that has no basis in history since there never was a state called Palestine. The Arabs living in the area prior to the establishment of Israel largely considered themselves to be living in southern Syria. If there is anything that could be called a Palestinian state, it is Jordan.

The so-called Palestinians have been sustained largely by the United Nations which created UNRA, an agency that has spent billions and succeeded only in making them the oldest refugee group in history! They are now into a third generation of refugee status.

The politics of Arab nations who refuse to recognize Israel turned these refugees into a group of people whose sole purpose was to resist the reality of Israel. For this they have suffered greatly. Only the moral restraint and reluctance of Israel to militarily crush them has kept the so-called Palestinians a factor to be dealt with. Over time, both Egypt and Jordan signed ceasefire agreements with Israel and extended formal recognition.

All of which brings me back to the question of why the U.S. believes it has a right to demand that Israel stop building settlements to meet the demands of its growing population. Could such demands merely be a charade understood by both American and Israeli diplomats? Could the notice taken of the military exercise actually be a way for the U.S. to emphasize what Iran faces if it continues to threaten Israel and its neighbors?

The pursuit of a two-state agreement is a mirage. Witness that the PLO and Hamas now war with each other.

The West Bank? It belongs to Israel. The U.S. knows it.

And Iran, which uses Hezbollah, composed of Palestninans, as its proxy in a war against Israel may wake up some morning to discover that America’s proxy, Israel, has destroyed their nuclear dreams of hegemony.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Is the Democrat Party the CPUSA in Disguise?

By Alan Caruba

It’s no secret that Democrats are liberal, but when you peel away their devotion to environmental policies that have left America vulnerable to foreign nations on whom we depend for the importation of oil, what has been revealed is an intention to nationalize our nation’s oil industry. That, simply stated, is communism.

One might expect members of the Communist Party USA to advocate the nationalization of our oil companies, but hearing it from the lips of Democrat Party members of the House of Representatives should send a chill of fear through every American.

It was the former Soviet Union’s reliance on revenue from its nationalized oil industry that proved to be a major factor in the collapse of that totalitarian regime. It is, in large part, Russia’s nationalized oil and national gas industry that props up the current regime, a thinly disguised resurrection of the former communist party.

Having invited foreign, privately-owned oil companies to help revitalize their industry, the current leadership in Russia ruthlessly abrogated the original contracts to deprive them of much of their initial investment. Russian oil and natural gas company executives who resisted either fled to self-imposed exile or were jailed.

Russia has since sought to coerce European and former satellite nations by threatening to withhold the oil and natural gas on which they depend.

The nationalization of Venezuela’s oil industry by a communist regime led by Hugo Chavez is currently destroying that nation’s economy. Most of the oil in the world is under the control of nationalized industries. U.S. oil companies, combined, own only four percent of the world’s known oil reserves.

At a June 18 press conference, however, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) called for the government to nationalize and own refineries, threatening U.S. oil companies with nationalization. “We should own the refineries. Then we can control how much gets out into the market.” Earlier, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) had also threatened oil company executives with nationalization.

In a demonstration of a complete lack of understanding of how the marketplace for oil operates, nationally and globally, Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) said, “You cannot drill your way out of this.” Exploring for and drilling oil is precisely the way to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil!

Rahall is the chairman of the Resources Committee and is apparently ignorant of the fact that the U.S. has literally billions of barrels of oil untapped in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, off the continental shelf of the nation’s vast coastlines, and in many States.

Florida, for example, long resistant to permitting off-shore drilling, has discovered that the high price of gasoline is forcing many Americans to abandon plans to drive to Florida for vacations there. Meanwhile, China has joined with Cuba to explore and drill for oil barely 90 miles or less off the coast of Florida. Similar energy policies in California caused its largest utility to go bankrupt and has deprived its citizens of a reliable supply of energy.

The Democrat nominee for President, Sen. Barack Obama, has called for a windfall profits tax on U.S. oil companies, but in 1980 such a tax, before it was repealed, led to the three decades of decline in oil production in the United States. U.S. oil companies do not control the price of oil, a global commodity sold on mercantile exchanges around the world. Their profits are less than those currently being enjoyed by the pharmaceutical industry, high tech industries, and financial and banking firms nationwide.

It was former President Clinton who refused to allow exploration and drilling in ANWR in the 1990s and it has been a Democrat-controlled Congress that has resisted President Bush’s call to allow access to the estimated seven billion barrels of oil untapped beneath ANWR.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) deliberately sought to mislead Americans into believing that the oil leases held by U.S. oil companies mean that they could drill tomorrow to produce oil, but neglected to mention that oil leases are no guarantee that any oil would be found. A high percentage of wells that are drilled come up empty. It is a highly speculative and highly expensive business to find and extract oil.

This brings us to the fact that a vast matrix of environmental legislation slows the process by which oil can be accessed and, later, refined for use by consumers. The U.S. has not allowed a new refinery to be built in more than three decades as a result of this legislation. It takes, on the average, ten years between finding oil and making it available to consumers.

Voters paying $4 a gallon can thank the Democrat Party’s alliance with environmental organizations for the failure and refusal to allow access to our national reserves of oil and natural gas. Lying about it and shifting blame to the oil companies does not change this fundamental truth.

The past actions of the Democrat Party and the assertions by several Democrat members of Congress represent the true face of the party and its close resemblance to the Communist Party USA should be a cause for grave concern in the forthcoming national elections.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Optimists and Pessimists

By Alan Caruba

One’s outlook on life depends heavily on whether you are by nature an optimist or a pessimist. That is especially true of economists of whom Harry Truman once said he wanted a one-armed one to advise him because the ones he talked to were forever saying, “On one hand and on the other”, generally from the same set of statistics!

Having plied the precarious trade of public relations counselor for much of my misspent life, I can tell you that there is no such thing as a client on which one can plan long-term. The vagaries of the economy are such that they often disappear the moment the economy begins to go south on them. In fairness, they often have no choice. Others fail to see that “showing the flag” in good times and bad is an essential part of doing business in America.

What those unschooled in business management often do not see is the wise decision to reduce outlets that no longer generate a reasonable profit margin in favor of opening others that will. The population shifts and with it the buying habits of people as they move around. Similarly new products are introduced and gain a foothold or are abandoned when they don’t.

For example, these days Eddie Bauer is closing more stores, having already shuttered 27 shops in the first quarter, but is planning to open two others by the end of the year. The Gap is closing 85 stores, in addition to others owned under the names of Old Navy and Banana Republic. The company will tilt toward its Gap brand. Another clothing chain, Ann Taylor will close 117 stores nationwide. There are any number of such chains that are restructuring in this fashion. The high-end seller of gadgetry, Sharper Image, has filed for bankruptcy protection and announced the closing of 90 of its 184 stores.

A casual glance at such news would suggest a nation whose economy is in serious trouble, but as Larry Kudlow, an economist and commentator, pointed out in May, “Corporate profits are outperforming all expectations. With three-quarters of the S&P 500 companies reporting, profits outside the banking system have increased ten percent over a year ago.” Unemployment remains at remarkably low levels nationwide.

The point being that, depending on your outlook, optimist or pessimist, there is ample news available to reinforce your evaluation of the economy, but a free-market economy is always subject to spurts of growth followed by slowdowns. This cycle is the only predictable thing despite mountains of statistical data. The U.S. economy is surprisingly, often astonishingly, able to adjust and adapt, even if some pain is involved.

Much of the pain consumers are feeling at the gas pump is the result of extraordinarily bad decisions regarding America’s energy needs going back to the days of the Carter administration and forward through the last three decades of environmentalism that continues to stymie any efforts to provide coal-fired or nuclear plants to provide electricity, and the thwarting of any ability to access our extensive oil and natural gas reserves in ANWR or off our coasts on the continental shelf.

The Congressional mandate for the use of ethanol is a classic example of what happens when politicians interfere with business decisions and they do it all the time!

Voters need to focus their attention on the platforms and promises of the two candidates for president. It’s worth noting that John McCain has begun to tilt toward favoring domestic oil exploration and production while Barack Obama seeks to impose an industry-killing windfall tax on the profits of oil companies.

The nation’s future economy literally hinges on your vote because, without affordable energy, America ceases to be globally competitive.

Optimists will vote Republican. Pessimists will vote Democrat.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Democrats are Forever Looking Backwards

By Alan Caruba

When former Vice President, Oscar and Nobel Prize winner, Albert Gore, Jr., endorsed Barack Hussein Obama, it demonstrated why the Democrat Party is always looking backward, as opposed to the future.

First of all, what candidate would seriously want to be endorsed by a man who has made himself a laughingstock by advocating one of the greatest hoaxes of modern times? Al Gore has become a joke, huffing and puffing about global warming while the Earth is halfway through the tenth year of a cooling cycle.

Secondly, wasn’t Al Gore defeated in 2000? I know it was close, but close does not count in an election. For the last eight years, thanks to being reelected, George W. Bush has been in the White House. Al Gore is a certified loser.

Thirdly, wasn’t Al Gore Vice President during eight years of non-stop scandal and even an impeachment attempt of Bill Clinton? Wasn’t he reluctant to even be seen on the same campaign stage with Monica Lewinski’s former boyfriend? Didn’t the Democrats lose control of Congress during Gore’s and Clinton’s term in office?

As today’s teens might say, “Al Gore is so yesterday!” That holds true as well for the Democrat Party. Yesterday, however, includes a party whose leadership has insisted that the war in Iraq was lost after having voted to authorize and continue funding it.

So, if your stomach could take it, you could have witnessed Al Gore fulminating against George W. Bush and calling for change when, of course, Bush is not running for office. The Democrats are desperate to get everyone to believe that John McCain will be just a continuation of Bush policies, but McCain is famous for having opposed and voted against quite of few of them.

These days, too, the Democrats are busy trying to convince everyone that McCain will take Social Security and Medicare away from all the old folks and, aside from the fact this is a blatantly obvious scare campaign, about the only thing Democrats can look back on with pride are programs instituted under—are you ready—former Presidents Roosevelt and Johnson. Democrats have to reach back to the 1930s and 1960s to find something to crow about. It was left to a Republican, Richard Nixon, to extricate us from the last war they got us into.

Meanwhile, the Democrats who joined in the last eight years of a Republican spending frenzy are hoping no one will notice that both of these “entitlement” programs are going broke and that the federal government keeps borrowing from their surplus funds to pay for the day to day activities.

This brings us to Barack Hussein Obama who keeps telling us, “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times…and then just expect that other countries are going to say okay…”

Since when does America set its domestic policies and determine its lifestyle based on what “other countries” have to say? What Marxist handbook was he reading when he concluded that the government has a right to decide what we drive, how much we eat, and how cool we want our homes this summer?

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, what I am hearing does not jibe with “the land of the free” if Obama is going to be in charge of your energy use and what you have for dinner. The last time America had food rationing we were engaged in a war in Europe and the Pacific at the same time and we won that war!

Finally, Al Gore’s endorsement should remind us of all those environmentalists and their fellow travelers in Congress who, during President Jimmy Carter’s term, instituted a windfall profits tax on oil companies that Barack Hussein Obama is advocating today!

Since March 27, 1980 when the Democrat Congress passed that tax, U.S. oil production has declined to 59% of what it was back then. Need I remind you that Jimmy Carter has also endorsed Obama?

Gore and Carter, two Democrat relics of the past. Two seriously flawed and failed politicians. And Barack Hussein Obama wants to take us back to those bad old days!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Iraq Fades as News

By Alan Caruba

Five years passed an extraordinarily successful invasion of Iraq and the taking of Baghdad, followed by several years of a slow and bloody learning curve, Iraq is fading from the front pages of our newspapers and reports on television precisely because Iraq has begun to learn how to govern itself, to develop a national identity out of its warring religious groups, and perhaps most importantly to create an army and police corps to provide a real measure of security.

It has cost the United States billions to achieve this and those who would prefer to leave dictators in place in the name of stability or to wait for renewed attacks on our homeland have become silent for the most part.

We have one candidate, Barack Obama, who gained political traction by expressing his opposition to the war and our continuing military presence in Iraq. We have another who understands that war is often the only way to liberate a captive people and rearrange the geopolitical map of the world.

The study of history is, more often than not, the study of warfare, of the winners and losers. It’s why we still remember the exploits of Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Washington, Grant and Lee. In the modern era, it’s why we know the names of McArthur, Nimitz, Patton, and a former General and President, Ike Eisenhower.

It’s why we re-enact Revolutionary and Civil War battles. Wars can enslave and wars can liberate. The winner gets to write the history. This is why winning is the only choice a rational person would want.

I can understand why people advocate peace. Who does not want peace? The problem is that there are far too many other people in the world for whom war makes perfectly good sense and, in Islam, war or jihad, is one of the pillars of the faith until the whole world is required to worship Allah. That makes for a very interesting comparison with Christianity whose message is love, albeit a religion with its own long history of intercine and external wars. The predecessor of both faiths, Judaism, has its own history of conquest and its own wars.

So why is the media showing so little interest in what is shaping up to be the successful outcome of our war in Iraq? I think it is because they want America to fail. The liberal media is utterly baffled by the stubborn determination of most Americans to win.

Washington’s war of Revolution against the British took some seven years to accomplish its goal of independence and then the new nation had to stumble around with the Articles of Confederation until some very smart men gathered in secret in Philadelphia to come up with the Constitution.

The initial years of our republic were hardly a smooth beginning and by 1863 we ended up fighting a horrendous Civil War over issues of states’ rights and slavery. Why should we expect the Iraqis who lived under the rule of a pathological killer for three decades be expected to learn the arts of modern democratic governance any faster than our early leaders did?

Why is war so a bad thing when, in the case of Iraq, we have killed a lot of al Qaeda jihadists and uncooperative followers of Muqtada al Sadr who is currently hiding out in Iran? Like flies to honey we created the killing fields and destroyed them. These days what’s left of al Qaeda is hiding out in the remote regions of northwest Pakistan where even the Pakistanis are reluctant to go. Keep them penned up there. Keep killing them there.

For all the criticism of George W. Bush—much of it deserved—there has not been a single major or even minor attack on the United States since 9/11. Who would have put money on that in 2001? Or 2003?

That’s why Americans have historically preferred men with some military experience when they pick a President, albeit Bush43’s resume in that regard is thin. Even so, he did serve in the Texas Air National Guard. Some military training, some experience is better than none at all. Barack Hussein Obama has none.

For my part, I am delighted that Iraq is no longer “news” in the sense of combat and casualties. You should be, too.

Russert Revisited

By Alan Caruba

Like others, on news of the death last Friday of NBC’s Tim Russert, I posted a brief tribute to the respected journalist.

It has been a long weekend of endless repetitive tributes and we are promised a week more and are likely to be offered a front-row seat at his wake and burial. This is excessive and inappropriate.

I think it reflects the inherent arrogance of news media professionals who regard what they do as a sacred calling and their most prominent members as demigods who decide what is news, what we should know, and how we should interpret it.

I say this as a former newspaper reporter, editor, and as a commentator whose views are widely posted on news and opinion Internet websites and published in a variety of publications. I know well the feeling of power that comes with calling a politician or other individual to get a quote or to grill them on some position they have taken on an issue.

Russert is being enshrined in the pantheon of journalists whose work influenced events through the print and broadcast’s coverage of it. He was instrumental in shaping our opinions of those elected or appointed to high office.

Much of the criticism directed to the mainstream media involves their deliberate effort to determine the outcome of elections, cheer the onset of a military conflict and then, when they grow weary of it, to seek an exit.

When not engaged in such decisions, they seek to influence public opinion to advance theirs and other’s agendas such as the shameful decades of lies printed and spoken about a non-existent “global warming.” Long after thousands of scientists worldwide have signed petitions to denounce those lies and a decade passed the beginning of global cooling, they continue to insist on printing those lies.

Russert’s domain was politics. The rise and fall of nations is dependent on who they choose to lead them and Russert did an excellent job of revealing the accuracy or falsehood, the changes in opinions given and revised, of national leaders. This is what journalism should do, but the now seemingly endless repetition of the memories of Russert held by his colleagues and co-workers betrays the view that they hold the future in their hands.

They do not. They report on events and personalities. They do not make the decisions that face those elected to respond to events such as an attack on the nation, a war to protect its citizens from further attacks, or the geopolitical ramifications of every decision. History judges that, but journalism is history being written on the run against tight deadlines. It is often wrong and subject to revision in hindsight that reaches back decades.

There is something very wrong about the treatment being accorded Tim Russert. It says more about the state of journalism in America today where its famed anchors are treated like celebrities while reaping large salaries, receive industry awards, honorary degrees, and the various ways we reward the rich and famous.

Journalism is not about being famous for being a journalist. It is about reporting the news as fairly, as accurately, and as impersonally as possible. I think Tim Russert knew that better than those who are inundating us with too much coverage of his untimely death.

News is not about journalists and journalism, unless, like Dan Rather, they fail in their obligation to report it properly. It is not about Barbara Walter’s former love affairs. It is not about Katie Couric’s ratings.

It is not about Tim Russert’s death days after the event when the nation faces serious economic and foreign policy challenges.

We tend to forget that journalists often get it wrong. Indeed, they often do this on a daily basis.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Mother Nature and Man's Foolish Games

By Alan Caruba

Anyone who has spent any time outdoors knows that Mother Nature is a cruel mistress. She can be awesomely beautiful and astonishingly cruel. This no doubt accounts for the way early man concluded that prayers, rituals, and other efforts to cajole, flatter, and influence nature were necessary to explain and avoid the many ways nature will find to kill you if you are not prepared.

Recently a camp full of Boy Scouts, famous for their motto, “Be prepared”, discovered that truth when a tornado tore through without any warning, killing some of them.

Indeed, one can trace the rise of civilization to the development of agriculture, irrigation, cities, road building, dams, and other efforts to ensure that enough food would be available and enough habitats built to withstand too much heat and too much cold, all to survive earthquakes, floods, and all manner of threats, including plagues of insects.

In the long, billions-year history of Earth, man has put himself at the center of his own brief history despite ample evidence that Mother Nature, the Sun, the oceans, reoccurring ice ages, and other phenomena are really in charge. Despite our astonishing ability to construct cities, it only takes a really big flood to remind us that we are not in charge.

That is, of course, what is happening today in the Midwest. Again. In California, the weather is perfect for wildfires. Again. In Japan an earthquake has destroyed roads and bridges with a bit of a jiggle. Again. Elsewhere, largely unnoticed and ignored, the world’s wheat crops in Asia, Africa, and Latin America are being threatened and destroyed by an epidemic of stem rust, a deadly crop infection.

The ignorance and arrogance of man continues unabated. Since the 1980s the world has been told that it is threatened by “global warming” and, as people are slowly discovering, the entire threat is based on flawed and often deliberately false computer models put forth by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Literally thousands of scientists worldwide have finally mustered the courage to sign their names to petitions saying it is all a lie.

The politics of the environment, not its realities, cause almost comical efforts to please both the environmentalists—anti-human and anti-progress to the core—and the rest of us who need gasoline to fuel our cars and, come winter, oil to heat our homes. Then, of course, there are the literally thousands of ways petroleum is used to serve a modern, advanced society. Plastic comes to mind.

The latest example is word that, despite idiotically identifying an estimated 25,000 polar bears as “endangered” due to “global warming”, the U.S. government has issued regulations to provide legal protection to the oil companies risking $2.6 billion to explore for oil in and around the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska. The environmentalists are calling this a betrayal of the sacred polar bears whom they worship and, more truthfully, their incessant efforts to deny oil to a nation full of people whose budgets are being savaged by rising prices of both oil and food.

This is further proof of the stupidity of politics that deny citizens access to their own nation’s natural resources while trying desperately to look and sound “green” despite the lies and failures of so-called environmental “alternatives” to a nation’s energy needs.

The United States of America is now at least thirty years or more behind the proverbial eight ball when it comes to oil because its elected leaders thought they were in control when, all the time, it was Nature and the demands of a society that literally runs on oil.

A real respect for Nature and for the security and welfare of American citizens would have rejected the environmentalist’s lies, but that would have required the kind of courage that few politicians ever exhibit.

Instead, Americans will go to the polls in November to decide between two presidential candidates who still believe that global warming is happening despite the fact the Earth is well into a decade of cooling. This is the kind of stupidity that ends up endangering people’s lives while simultaneously destroying the economy.

It’s going to get cold for the next two or three decades. The blizzards everywhere in the northern hemisphere will be worse than the memory of most alive today.

The Sun, meanwhile, is not cooperating with the global warming hoax. It has gone very quiet in recent years, a well-known indicator of the cooling that is occurring and, indeed, of the next ice age, due any day now in this or the next century.

It doesn’t matter what the government says. It doesn’t matter what the United Nations says. Mother Nature will have the last word. Again.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert, R.I.P.

By Alan Caruba

He was such a familiar face, always with a smile and a laugh, a journalist who had the kind of credibility that comes with a combination of knowing his trade and being well liked by everyone in it.

News of Tim Russert’s death has shaken those who knew him personally and those who knew him only from his coverage of the nation’s political scene.

For men of a certain age, those in their 50’s, his sudden death from a heart attack at age 58 proved to be a greater shock. Old in America has become 80. The average life expectancy is 78.

I told a number of friends in Russert’s age bracket that “Life doesn’t come with a warranty and surely not with a guarantee.”

To those just in their twenties with whom I chatted, I told them to “always eat dessert”, my way of saying you should enjoy each day and that includes ice cream, cake or cookies. A life without chocolate is not worth living.

Russert will be replaced in his anchor chair on “Meet the Press” and his analysis on NBC-TV and MSNBC-TV will be sorely missed. In time a new face will become as familiar as his and, hopefully, as respected and admired. But it will be a new face.

This is a good time to remind ourselves that none of us is irreplaceable. Indeed, all of us are replaceable and the best we should hope and strive for is to be deeply and sincerely missed.

It is a good time to remind ourselves of the value of being nice to everyone who crosses our path—yes, complete strangers—and, more importantly, those who bless our lives with their friendship and love.

Rest in peace, Tim Russert.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

No Drilling. No New Refineries. Get a Horse!

By Alan Caruba

I keep wondering how long it will take Americans to connect the dots and figure out why the most powerful economy the world has ever seen cannot manage to drill for oil in its own backyard and then get it refined nearby.

The news on June 10, if anyone was paying attention, was about the way the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental groups were able to thwart the plans of ConocoPhillips to expand its refinery in Roxana, Illinois. An appeal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was upheld because, said the EPA, its air permit, previously granted, just did not meet all the excruciating requirements involved.

For the record, ConocoPhillips was and is prepared to invest an estimated $1 billion to add a second coker, otherwise known as a crude oil processor. The company wants to expand in order to process Canadian tar sands oil. These days it refines approximately 306,000 barrels of oil per day to produce gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, asphalt and other products.

This explains in part why ExxonMobil has just announced it will sell off its gas stations because the real money is made “upstream” as they say in the oil industry. The profits from the “downstream”, in this case at the pump, are so small as to be a drag on earnings.

All those members of Congress that want to punish the oil companies for making a profit should check the balance sheet. From 2003 to 2007, ExxonMobil paid taxes (in all forms) in the amount of $64.7 billion. This actually exceeded its U.S. earnings by more than $19 billion! You do the math. Exploration, discovery, and drilling are where the money is. Wisely, this company has diversified into chemicals and a variety of petroleum related products.

Meanwhile, the only thing that the Greens are pumping is more hot air about global warming. According to the Sierra Club, “climate change is decimating many species” and pushing Congress to pass the Global Warming Wildlife Survival Act. Another name for it might as well be the “Do Not Drill for Oil, Mine for Coal, and Build a Pipeline for Natural Gas Act.” The world is not running out of polar bears, but Americans who have to pay $4 plus for a gallon of gasoline are beginning—at last—to run out of patience.

Over at Friends of the Earth, they are very annoyed that America’s high school students studying civics might read a new textbook that raises questions about global warming and/or climate change, based on real science, not the lies they and other Greens have been putting out for decades. FOE is currently flogging something they call “climate equity.” According to them, “The next President must acknowledge that the U.S. has contributed more global warming pollution to our atmosphere than any other nation.”

Oh yeah? What about those coal-fired plants that China can’t build fast enough to provide electricity? Or comparable efforts in India to meet the needs of a growing economy? In the end, the Greens are utterly opposed to any development, i.e., modernization, anywhere and they don’t care how many lies they have to tell.

Actually, they don’t have to worry that much. The next President will either be a Democrat who wants to further destroy what’s left of the oil industry in America or a Republican who believes global warming is real.

The Greens here in America don’t want you to drive your car, your truck, your tractor or that big Harley-Davidson hog. They don’t want any oil company to drill for oil anywhere on or offshore of America. They don’t want any new refineries built.

In short, get a horse!

Obama: Does Anyone See a Pattern Here?

By Alan Caruba

It’s getting more and more difficult to keep up with the number of people with whom Barack Obama has been or is associated who have either resigned, as in the case of James Johnson, selected to lead his search for a vice president on his ticket, or who he has to denounce and distance himself from in some fashion.

The most famous is Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the leader of the Chicago church Obama attended for twenty years. First he rid himself of this troublesome pastor and then he resigned from the church. He later had to renounce the words of a priest delivering an oration in the same church who was uncharitable to his then-opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Earlier he referred to his grandmother as a typical white woman despite the fact that she took him in and raised him as her own. Then later he decided she had been an inspiration.

Putting distance between himself and a variety of shady characters such as ex-Weathermen, Willliam Ayres and Bernadine Dohrn, Obama fell back on the now-familiar excuse that these were bad people a long time ago. The same cannot be said of the recently convicted Chicago real estate magnate, Antoin "Tony" Rezko, who helped bankroll his political career and find a million-dollar home for him.

We have from now until next November to learn more about Obama’s choice of friends, supporters, and advisors, but it’s already becoming difficult to keep track of those with bad attitudes or shady backgrounds.

Does anyone see a pattern here?

We are being asked to elect a man to be the next president of the United States who has demonstrated incredibly bad judgment in the choice of these people. Moreover, he has set himself to be a moral paragon ready to clean up Washington, D.C. by avoiding lobbyists and cracking down on evil capitalist corporations.

Has he put lobbyists on his own staff, said to be some 700 persons at this point, the most of any presidential candidate in the history of the nation? The short answer is yes. Lobbyists and others paid to influence legislation routinely move back and forth to work in the campaigns of candidates.

You cannot choose your family, but you can select the company you keep in church and in public and private life. Sooner or later, though, a lot of people are going to wonder about those choices, particularly in light of the continual necessity to get away from an ever increasing number of them.

Finally, I keep asking people who say they are going to vote for Obama what his policies are other than getting out of Iraq? Most of them have no real idea. One problem is the way he seems to reverse course from week to week. Obama may well be the most misunderstand candidate ever to run for public office. This is bad enough if he was a member of some small township council, but he is a Senator who wants to be a President.

A check of his voting record reveals a hardcore devotion to every liberal piece of legislation Democrats proposed. There isn’t even a hint of bipartisanship here.

Apparently he’s against millionaires and for blue collar workers, but the latter did not vote for him in large numbers during the Democrat primaries. Neither did women. People who own guns are surely not going to vote for him. Evangelicals are not likely either. A lot of very young, very ecstatic people are enthralled by him, but the young do not vote that much come Election Day.

Electing a President involves a lot more than mass hysteria. Character and judgment are the defining aspects of those we elect to lead the nation.

As the issue of Iraq fades and the rising cost of gasoline and food moves to the top of national priorities, Obama’s “solutions” to these problems provide no solution at all, nor will America’s enemies disappear or be enraptured by his eloquence.

The fatigue of keeping track of those whom he no longer calls friends, advisors, and supporters will begin to take its toll by November.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Why Can't McCain Say "Oil"?

By Alan Caruba

While grabbing a bite to eat for lunch, I turned on the television and MSNBC was broadcasting live a presentation John McCain was making somewhere. He does well in these relatively unscripted events, but when he got to the topic of the price of gasoline and how to reduce current and future pain at the pump, he could not bring himself to say “oil.”

He ran off a string of “alternative” energy ideas such as solar, wind, nuclear, and “a battery that will let your car go a hundred miles” on a single charge, but there was no mention of America’s vast oil reserves in Alaska or the billions of barrels geologists believe exist in our continental shelf, 85% of which Congress has put off-limits to exploration or drilling. There was also no mention of the coal that accounts for more than 50% of the electricity in the U.S. and which would be required by his magical future automobiles.

(Revised text) Bill Clinton did not favor drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge where an estimated 7 to 15 billion barrels of oil exists and Congress resisted efforts of the Bush administration to permit drilling. That's a total of 16 wasted years when we could have been extracting it.

That is precisely why America has become dependent on foreign oil, the price of which is currently being bid up by speculators worried about more war in the Middle East, i.e., an imminent attack on Iran. First we had to kick Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait and then we decided to remove him entirely. Was this about tyranny or oil? Read my lips: O-I-L.

As for Iran's nuclear ambitions, the same action Israel took first with Iraq and more recently with Syria would end that. Or we could, in cooperation with the European Union and other nations, cut off foreign investment and markets to the ayatollahs until they cry "Uncle Sam!"

As the Saudis keep telling us, there is plenty of global oil to meet our needs, but it is the mercantile exchanges around the world where the price is set. Lacking an adequate domestic supply, Americans depend daily on the importation of 10.1 million barrels of foreign oil. We use 5.1 million barrels of domestic oil, and are required to add 0.4 million barrels of ethanol.

You can thank OPEC and Jimmy Carter for the pathetic state of domestic oil production. It has been in decline since the OPEC oil embargo that saw the first real jump in prices at the pump. You would have thought we would have taken a look at our capacity for domestic oil production, but what Carter did and some politicians (Obama!)are advocating today was to impose a “windfall profits” tax on American investor-owned oil companies.

All of a sudden the incentive to spend the millions required to find oil and produce it for domestic consumption disappeared, a condition that dates back to at least 1985. Thereafter, since most of the places in America where oil can be found were put off-limits, U.S. oil companies decided to look and drill for oil elsewhere in the world. (The exception is the Gulf of Mexico.)

With either McCain or Obama in the White House, new domestic exploration and drilling is not likely to happen, particularly since McCain cannot bring himself to even say the word “oil” and Obama wants to seize oil company profits in precisely the same way Jimmy Carter sabotaged the industry.

The recent charade of hauling oil company executives before a congressional committee demonstrates what idiots we have elected to high office.

While McCain is reeling off his list of alternative energy sources, he neglects to mention you can’t pour solar, wind or nuclear energy into the tank of an automobile, truck or tractor! McCain has drunk deeply of the global warming Kool-Aid and favors the kind of carbon credit program that was just defeated in the Senate. Both he and Obama were conveniently out of town when the vote on Al Gore’s cap-and-trade scheme was taken. Otherwise we would have discovered that both candidates cannot wait to destroy what is left of our economy.

How to turn things around is almost too simple.

First, get rid of the congressional mandate for ethanol. Ethanol effluent pollutes more than gasoline and ethanol ensures less mileage per gallon. It has significantly distorted the worldwide agricultural marketplace.

Second, get rid of the EPA mandate for the formulation of some 45 different blends of gasoline that drive up the cost in various areas of the nation. Consumers end up paying for all this essentially useless additional refining process. Unless you live in some place where the natural geography contributes to smog, the air in most of the nation is just fine.

Third, open up ANWR to drilling. NOW!

Fourth, let oil companies explore and drill for oil and natural gas offshore of our coasts. Environmentalists want to build miles of ugly wind farms there, but a couple of drill platforms are apparently too awful to endure for the literally billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas that exist.

Then wait patiently as the price of oil and natural gas drops like a stone.

Frankly both the presidential candidates scare the hell out of me, but I will settle for McCain if he just begins to say that magic word, OIL.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Heat Wave, But....

By Alan Caruba

While the East Coast swelters in temperatures that are in the high 90’s, I waited for the usual environmental propaganda to say that this was proof of global warming, but it has not yet been pumped through the usual mainstream media system of lies about the climate.

Instead, the reality is that the Earth continues to cool and one interesting example of that was a news item out of Aspen, Colorado. The Aspen Skiing company announced on Monday, June 9, that it will open Aspen Mountain from June 13 to June 15 for skiers and snowboarders. It seems that record winter snowfall has left an average of more than three feet of snow on the upper slopes.

In late May, despite Green predictions that the Arctic is melting so fast that it will provide a new route, a Northwest Passage, for ships, a group of eco-tourists on a vessel offering polar expeditions found themselves trapped when a former Soviet icebreaker, refitted for visits to the supposedly disappearing ice, was trapped in late May by ice.

According to Quark Expeditions of Norwalk, Connecticut, the ship included a heated indoor swimming pool, exercise rooms and a sauna, and I am sure the passengers, tiring of looking at a sea of ice appreciated them. Eventually, after being in the icy grip of Mother Nature for a week, winds and tide permitted the ship to break free of the ice pack.

In April, approximately one hundred sealing ships were trapped in ice floes off the northeast coast of Newfoundland while they were participating in the annual seal hunt off Canada’s easternmost province. It required the Canadian Coast Guard to rescue a number of the trapped vessels and their crews. However, at one point, an icebreaker sent to free them actually found itself trapped. As reported, “In addition to three icebreakers on hand, the Coast Guard is flying helicopters in to provide food and support to the stranded sailors.”

So much for the blather about the North Pole melting.

In May, meteorologist Anthony Watts issued a report on the way temperatures continue to cool. The new global data revealed a whopping three quarters of a degree Celsisus drop in temperatures since January. That may not seem like much, but climatologist, Dr. Roy Spencer, formerly of NASA and now the principle research scientist at the University of Alabama, said that, "If you exclude the anomalous 1992 cooling from the Pinatubo volcano eruption, it's the coolest May in 20 years."

Even the U.S. government, courtesy of NASA, has admitted that the Earth is now a decade into a cooling cycle and it is likely to last at least two or three more decades.

Question: Why do both candidates for President keep talking about global warming?

All this is occurring as the Public Broadcasting System is preparing to foist a two-hour pack of lies in a television spectacular called “Heat.” Check your local listings for more of the same brainwashing and propaganda that has nothing to do with the realities of a Sun that has been largely devoid of magnetic storms, sunspots, for a few years now. It is the Sun that determines how warm or cool the Earth will be and this is a known sign of cooling. It has real scientists very worried.

And, of course, this planet is now approaching the end of the latest interglacial period between ice ages, about 11,500 years on the average, so some massive climate shifts will occur at some point, changing everything we humans have grown accustomed to over the past centuries.

What we called “civilization” coincides with this period between ice ages. A new one is going to ruin a lot of plans.

"Warning Signs" Unlocked! has "unlocked" this blog so that I can once again post my daily observations on events and personalities.

It took a week, but let's hope the random designation of this blog as "spam" does not occur again.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Battle Between the Left and the Far Left

By Alan Caruba

Watching the Democrat Party Committee decide to let Florida and Michigan delegates attend the convention in Denver, albeit with just a half-vote each, was greatly enlivened by those raucous folks who insisted on shouting their disapproval of the entire proceedings. The partisanship in the room between the Obama supporters and those demanding equal rights for poor Hillary was almost comical.

This was, however, a very serious event, brought on by what must be the most convoluted and idiotic set of rules on how and when to run a primary election. I thought Michigan’s Carl Levin encapsulated the essence of the problem when he asked why two all-white States like New Hampshire and Iowa always had to go first. I suspect that a lot of people have been wondering why primary elections have to begin in the middle of a corn field or amidst the bone-chilling snows of a New England state.

The fact that both Florida and Michigan essentially gave the party elders the finger and decided to hold their primaries when they wanted to was, in retrospect, refreshing. The Founding Fathers intended for most of the power to reside in the states, each of which is an independent republic, and all of whom have ceded certain powers, limited by the Constitution, to the federal government which is itself a republic. After George Washington's presidency political parties emerged and have been a part of the nation's life ever since.

As the committee conducted its affairs, lingering offstage was Hillary, desperate to scoop up a few more delegates to the convention to put an end to the upstart Illinois Senator who was in the process of crushing her dream of becoming the first woman President.

What we witnessed was a battle between supporters of the Left, Hillary Clinton, and of the Far Left, Barack Obama. The problem for the Democrat Party is that it hasn’t had a new idea since the days of the New Deal. It has no solutions for the problems of the nation beyond throwing money at them and to do that it must take that money from the taxpayers; it must bleed corporations of the funds they need for research and innovation.

The result is that we all now live in a nation that is technically bankrupt. We have entitlement programs from the 1940s that eat everyone’s income in order to provide for old age and illness, responsibilities that used to be an individual’s personal responsibility. The demographics of America work against this system as fewer young workers enter the system to pay for those who most benefit from it. Importing half the population of Mexico is not going to help matters.

The voters have been tilting to the Right since the days of Ronald Reagan even though they have also tended toward a more centrist approach to government, taking the best from both political ideologies. This explains why our elections are so closely divided with often just a handful of votes, usually from independents, determining the outcome.

Now we are at a tipping point in our history. If Sen. Obama wins, the ideology of the Far Left will win. If Sen. McCain wins, we will have bought ourselves some time to fix a broken system.