By Alan Caruba
There is so much news coming at us from all directions that it is easy to let some important aspects of it slide by. Here are some bits and pieces of recent news items.
Associated Press: “Last week’s Iraqi elections appear to have been a rousing success—a major step toward a stable democracy that will hasten the day when U.S. troops can leave.” That was the first paragraph of a Feb. 4 story, but in my daily newspaper the headline read: “One peaceful election hardly testifies to stability in Iraq.” Give me a break! President Bush said it was vital to the Middle East that more democracy be encouraged there and, guess what, in addition to Turkey and Israel, it’s called IRAQ!
EnergyTribune.com: “Ethanol Bankruptcies Continue, 14 Studies Have Exposed the High Cost of Ethanol and Biofuels.” That’s the Feb 4 headline. It turns out that “about nine percent of all the ethanol plants in the U.S. have now filed for bankruptcy and some analysts believe the numbers could reach as high as twenty percent.” That’s because the whole ethanol thing is a scam. It has driven up the costs of corn so high even the producers can’t afford it any more. And ethanol does nothing to reduce dependency on imported oil. Producing and using it puts more, not less, greenhouse gas emissions into the environment.
The Middle East Media Research Institute: Reporting on “The Reality of Oil Import by the United States”, it turns out that we are not sending billions entirely to the Middle East as is commonly reported. Figures for 2007 reveal that, although Saudi Arabia remains second among the nations from which the U.S. imports oil, Canada was number one, Mexico was number three, and Venezuela was number four. We imported oil from England as well and, with the exception of Iraq and Kuwait, the rest were either African or South American nations.
Numbers USA: They sent a notice on Feb 2 that addressed some statistics the mainstream (or is that lamestream?) press have neglected to report. Among the figures cited was the fact that 2.5 million Americans lost jobs in 2008 at the same time the federal government was permitting the immigration of 1.5 million new foreign workers! To put it another way, 138,000 new foreign workers continue to arrive each month while Americans are filing for unemployment benefits!
Agence France Presse: Would you believe that the forthcoming Durban II United Nations racism conference has Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya chairing the planning committee and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iran as the vice-chair? You can’t make up stuff like this. UN Watch, an independent group, said, “it’s heart-wrenching though not surprising that Durban II is hijacking the noble cause of human rights and anti-racism, with the aim of legitimizing an agenda of hate and extremism that targets innocents in Mumbai, Madrid, Israel, and elsewhere.” The UN is a place where totalitarian governments get together to undermine the most fundamental tenets of Western civilization.
Star-Ledger (NJ): The headline on a Feb 6 four-paragraph story read “Activist gets 22 years for Michigan State fire.” The real story however is that she was a member of the Earth Liberation Front, never mentioned at all in the report, and had caused a million dollars damage and destroyed years of valuable research on New Year’s Eve 1990. She also admitted to a dozen other acts of property destruction. Describing her as an activist is comparable to saying that Osama bin Laden is an “activist.”
All Media: The big news is, of course, the impending breakdown of the national and international financial system. If calmer heads prevail, we may just avoid it, but with President Obama bad-mouthing the economy and breaking out in a public sweat, there isn’t much hope of a happy outcome.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” Obama’s new theme is “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”