Thursday, April 30, 2009

Events Will Decide Obama Presidency

By Alan Caruba

A former British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, was once asked what he feared most and his answer was, “Events.”

Leadership is tested by things that happen over which neither a Prime Minister, President, nor any other national leader has any control. Bush43, as are all Presidents, was warned daily of potential threats, but until 9/11 Bush was into a relatively standard first term feeling his way with Congress on a few legislative initiatives.

History will record that Bush43 was up to the moment. People forget that, not only had he attended and received degrees from both Yale and Harvard, but had served in the Texas Air National Guard and qualified as a fighter pilot. This is no small feat. Moreover, he had experience in the business sector before becoming Governor of Texas. So, when 9/11 occurred, he had a lot of experience, knowledge, and resources to draw upon, including a father who had been President!

Bush made a strategic decision to expand the initial success in Afghanistan against al Qaeda to include the removal of a threat to the entire Middle East when he invaded Iraq, along with the British and other allies. Saddam Hussein had previously conducted an eight year war against Iran and had later invaded Kuwait. In retrospect, it appears to have been a good idea to rid the region of this destabilizing entity.

What was not anticipated, however, was the even greater destabilizing factor of fundamentalist Islam as personified by al Qaeda and the Taliban. It currently threatens the government of Pakistan. Until the entire world takes the Islamic jihad seriously and takes steps to tamp it down, “events” in the Middle East and elsewhere are going to continue to challenge peace everywhere.

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina wreaked so much destruction over such a wide swath of Gulf States that surely no President could have anticipated it and clearly the federal government encountered levels of incompetence in Louisiana that were unforgivable.

Occurring while the Iraq war gave little evidence of a successful outcome meant that these two events rendered blows to Bush’s presidency from which it would never fully recover. The coup de grace came late into the last weeks of his presidency when the sub-prime mortgage crisis was precipitated by a run on U.S. banks that has not been fully reported upon to this day.

At this point President Obama has not been tested except by the appearance of incompetence among those he has chosen for his cabinet and as his White House advisors. They are generally ideologues and often radical in their views. The most reputable among them and the most welcome is literally a holdover from the Bush administration, Robert Gates as the Secretary of Defense. Other than Gates, the Obama administration is a re-run of the Clinton administration with none other than the former First Lady as Secretary of State. How bizarre is that?

The President’s primary response to the banking/housing crisis, the problems facing elements of the U.S. auto industry, and even the outbreak of swine flu has been to literally throw billions of dollars at them.

No one, other than Republicans, appears to be asking where this money is going to come from without drastically raising taxes; the worst option in a recession or depression. That leaves borrowing and even China has voiced concerns about its continuing investment in U.S. treasury notes.

Beyond borrowing and spending money, there are the unknown, frequently unpredictable, and often grievous “events” that lie in wait for this President.

The fall of the Pakistani government to the Taliban could literally set off a third world war. Attacks on U.S. cities would create panic and demands for retaliation. A sudden surge of illegal immigration from Mexico if its government collapsed or was unable to cope with the flu outbreak has already initiated demands to close the 2,000 mile border. Some close observers already regard Mexico as a failed state.

The pressures on a Democrat administration that wants to reduce the investment in the nation’s military, that wants to create a more open border immigration and an amnesty policy, that has launched a charm offensive with enemies such as Iran, that wants to impose a nationalized healthcare system, all could and would be derailed by “events.”

History records that it was only World War II and the mobilization of America that finally got the nation out of a decade-long depression, despite and often because of every effort made by the Roosevelt administration.

President Obama will discover what his predecessors did. There is no way to prepare for events that change public opinion overnight. There are only the time tested responses. That requires pragmatism, not idealism.

This President is going to be tested and, if his past is any indication, when events occur the choices he will have to make will likely prove unpalatable.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The "L" Word

By Alan Caruba

It’s a very curious phenomenon, but I have been aware of it for quite a while. It is when a liberal insists that they are actually a conservative.

I have any number of friends and relatives who are pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, favor amnesty for illegal aliens and opening the borders to more immigration. They tend to think President Obama walks on water and they often vehemently insist that they are conservatives.

I can remember when the very word “liberal” was turned into a label that people wanted to shun. It became the “L” word and, soon enough, we had no liberals among us, but lots of “progressives.”

The Republican Party is said to be in shambles, unable to elect a candidate even to a safe seat in New York State, but contrast that with folks in Minnesota who have elected a former comedian and failed liberal radio host, Al Franken, to be a United States Senator. Barring a court reversal, we shall all be saying “Senator Franken” as if this worst of all jokes makes any sense.

Democrats are now the proud owners of a three trillion dollar budget in a time of economic distress when by any rule of common sense the government should be looking to spend less, borrow less, cut taxes, and restore the value of the U.S. dollar.

Regarding the budget, Ronald Reagan said, “The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern.” That, however, is exactly how liberals see it.

That’s why the Democrat-controlled Congress could send President Obama a so-called “stimulus” bill with 9,000 pet projects—earmarks—and he would sign it with the claim that, though “imperfect”, it would improve the economy.

This runs contrary to the conservative belief that allowing that money to remain in the pockets of taxpayers to pay mortgages, send kids to college, and maybe buy a new car is a better idea.

So I say to the Republican Party and fellow Stone Age conservatives—take heart!

What goes around, comes around, and what is coming around is massive unemployment such as this nation has not seen since the 1930s in the depths of the Great Depression. What’s coming is an object lesson in what happens when the government tries to run automobile companies, insurance companies, and banks.

It has been in charge of Amtrak since 1971 and has never turned a profit in all that time. Some will argue that people simply didn’t want to use mass transit, preferred to fly or drive, but I would suggest that Amtrak is the perfect example of an idea that sounded good at the time, but which ignored reality. Rail is great for moving freight, but its time for people-moving for anything other than a commuter route has passed.

Another strange liberal notion is their disdain for “the rich” and their distrust of all corporations right up to the moment they start laying off employees or are forced to close their doors thanks to bad government policies such as increasing taxes in hard times or imposing endless “environmental” and other regulations.

The liberals have spoken! Just barely over half the voters have elected a candidate who won’t release his birth certificate or any other information about himself beyond the two biographical books he has written.

They’ve elected a man whose friends come out the most corrupt political machine in the nation.

They’ve elected a man who attended a church whose pastor said “G-d damn America!”

He’s appointed the most clueless cabinet of department secretaries seen in a very long time. His Vice Presidential choice recently required a "Sixty Minutes" fawning makeover to make him look less gaffe-prone. Fortunately for him, Janet Napolitano of Homeland Security has taken over that task.

Obama cannot deliver a ten minute speech without a TelePrompter. His answers to reporters questions often wander around for twice that amount of time.

Imagine how thrilled the networks are that Obama wants a third primetime press conference in as many months!

And now we have liberals who insist that they are, in fact, conservatives. However, they have really big hearts that bleed for captured terrorists, that care for illegal aliens, and that favor unions that destroy industries. They want to take everyone's guns away in order to cut crime.

They are liberals who are convinced that “global warming” is the reason for everything from obesity to hurricanes. They neither know, nor understand climate science. It will be, however, “global warming” that the White House and Congress will use to justify the imposition of “cap and trade” legislation allegedly to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the use of the energy the nation requires.

Liberals will applaud this vain, self-destructive, witless assertion that the United States alone can change or even bother to change the climate.

It will be the exercise of political power that will prove the undoing of liberals. It just comes down to how much pain liberals will endure before even they change their minds.

The first glimmer of reality was seen with the April 15 “Tea Parties” coast to coast. The current reality is seen in the public’s reaction to the swine flu threat roiling out of Mexico.

No matter how much spin the White House and its lapdog mainstream media put on these and other events, those in power will have it taken from them.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

USA Becoming Leading Apologist for Everything

By Alan Caruba

If some found fault in George W. Bush’s muscular approach to foreign affairs which included the belief that the entire West had a stake in fighting al Qaeda and the general threat of resurgent Islamic fundamentalism, the policy pendulum has now swung to the view that the United States of America is to blame for everything that is wrong in the world.

Those who think the USA is to blame for 9/11 need read no further. Blaming America now includes “global warming.”

Unfortunately, the United Kingdom’s Guardian newspaper deliberately distorted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's statement at a UN climate change conference to make it sound like the USA was taking responsibility in its words, as the leader “of the world’s polluters.” What Secretary Clinton actually said was that the United States "wants you to grow" and is intent on finding solutions that will allow countries to combat climate change without stunting development."

"Of course, each economy here is different. Some, like mine, are responsible for past emissions; others for fast-growing current emissions," she said. "We may be at different stages of development ... but we all have to do our part."

The "pollution" cited is carbon dioxide, a gas that plays no role whatever in so-called “climate change”, the other name for “global warming.” It is a gas that is vital to all life on planet Earth.

Ever since the Supreme Court, in one of the most idiotic decisions it has rendered in modern times, concluded that CO2 is a “pollutant” and therefore subject to regulation and control by the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA has engaged in a full-bore effort to extend its clammy grasp on CO2 and, by extension, control of all energy use in the nation.

We know that energy use is bad because President Obama, for example, has openly stated he wants to “bankrupt” the coal industry and one of former President Bush’s final acts in office, the opening of our offshore continental shelf to exploration for energy reserves, has been since rescinded.

How this fits into Obama’s call for “energy independence” remains a mystery unless he intends to blanket the nation with wind and solar farms. Who needs food crops or livestock anyway?

At a United Nations meeting in Copenhagen, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “issued a mea culpa (on Monday) on America’s role in causing climate change,” said the Guardian article. That’s right; the USA now “causes” climate change. We are responsible for the average temperature of the planet, all hurricanes, floods, droughts, and, well, everything.

Let us all pause for a moment to ignore the role of the Sun, the oceans, clouds and other natural factors beyond humanity’s control.

The object of the UN meeting was to continue the fraud known as the Kyoto Protocols that imposed emissions restrictions on those nations foolish enough to sign onto them. They are the UN’s solution to something that is not happening. They also place great economic burdens on the signatory nations that must pay for the privilege of using coal, natural gas and oil or drastically cut back on their use.

The UN Protocols exempt nations like China and India, along with most Third World developing nations. Okay, so a third of the Earth’s population is off the hook, but, if you believe Hillary and Barack, the U.S. is still to blame for something that has nothing to do with the Earth's climate.

When the Protocols were first proposed, the then-US Senate voted unanimously in 1997 against participating in this lying power grab by the UN.

Not so for the Obama administration. Having completed his global “apology tour”, the new mantra of the United States government is that we are to blame for having taken the lead against the Islamic terrorists, the effort to protect Afghanistan against the Taliban, and the freeing of Iraq from a psychopathic dictator, Saddam Hussein.

Please ignore the fact that jihad is a sacred duty of all Muslims dating back to the seventh century.

We now live in a nation whose President bows to Saudi royalty while being rebuffed by its alleged allies on requests to help resolve the global financial crisis or to participate in a military response to a rampaging jihad that, among other things, appears close to taking over Pakistan.

If you think that things have gotten worse since President Obama took the oath of office on January 20, you’re right.

If you think they will continue to get worse, you’re right.

Editor's note: Within an hour or so after the initial posting of this commentary, it was revealed that the Guardian report of Secretary Clinton's statement at the climate conference was a deliberate distortion. The original text of this post was revised to reflect this.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mosquitoes: Just Waiting to Kill You

By Alan Caruba

I’ll bet you didn’t know that the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) held its 75th annual meeting in New Orleans in early April. It had nearly one thousand attendees according to the report out of its Mount Laurel, New Jersey headquarters.

As a youngster, almost as long ago as when the AMCA was founded, I can recall the torment of New Jersey’s mosquitoes. During the spring and throughout the summer, they were ever present. These days it is a rare occasion to find one buzzing around inside one’s home or apartment. Why is that?

The short answer used to be DDT and, in more recent times, the development of a variety of pesticides that effectively “knock down” the mosquito population. Before its invention and use during World War II, mosquito abatement programs mostly consisted of “the ditching of marshlands” to reduce the habitat where mosquitoes bred in the millions. From 1935 through 1950 that’s how New Jersey dealt with mosquitoes.

In the next twenty years, killing mosquitoes got a lot easier, but in the 1960s Rachel Carson wrote a screed against DDT and, in the wake of the environmental movement and from the earliest days of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a primary target for elimination became pesticides, not the pests that spread disease.

These days, the AMCA is a “partner” in the EPA’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program whose goal is “reducing pesticide risk.”

Let me tell you what the real risk is.

I shall do so in the words of the AMCA. “Mosquitoes cause more human suffering than any other organism—over one million people die from mosquito-borne diseases every year. Not only can mosquitoes carry diseases that afflict humans, they also transmit several diseases and parasites that dogs and horses are very susceptible to.”

Okay, I hear you saying, hey, Malaria is something that just kills off Africans. Well maybe you’ve heard of something called West Nile Fever. Thanks to some mosquitoes that hitched a ride on an international flight, “Since 1999, nearly 29,000 cases of West Nile Virus, with more than 11,000 neuroinvasive disease and more than 1,000 fatalities have occurred in the United States, the world’s most advanced nation.”

West Nile Fever was the star of the AMCA meeting this year which also included a symposium “on the future of Public Health Pesticides.”

I will tell you what the future is now that Carol Browner is President Obama’s “environmental czar” and Lisa Jackson, formerly of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, is heading up the EPA.

The future is an all-out effort to ban or restrict the use of any insecticides that might actually protect PEOPLE against the transmission of West Nile Fever or any other disease organism by a mosquito or other insect species. Then add to their hit list the rodenticides that kill off rats and mice.

Mosquitoes also transmit Dengue and Yellow Fever. They transmit dog heartworm. Then there’s an equine disease that can also infect humans, and a couple of others. All occur in many States throughout the nation even if you don’t hear much about them.

As Joe Conlon, Technical Advisor for the AMCA, points out, “As the world shrinks through trade and tourism, we can expect to be continually challenged by exotic diseases far worse than West Nile Virus only an 8-hour plane flight away.” And, dear reader, your primary line of defense are the unsung heroes of the AMCA, part of the nation’s public health infrastructure, working to combat mosquitoes.

As if mosquitoes weren’t enough to worry about, pest management professionals in New Jersey and throughout the northeast are gearing up to combat Lyme Disease, transmitted by ticks.

A little known fact about ticks is that they also transmit diseases that include babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, bartonella or tularemia. There are, in fact, more than a hundred different strains of Lyme disease and the Northeast is a major region for infections, but it has also been reported in 49 States because more than fifty species of migratory birds spread the tick population in addition to deer and other creatures.

Why am I telling you this? Because Mother Nature in all her glory and beauty has an arsenal of mosquitoes, ticks, cockroaches, and other insect species lining up to kill you if they can. Or, at the very least, to make you very ill.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is aptly and correctly named. It exists to protect the “environment”, but behind its green doors are people whose war on any pesticide use anywhere demonstrates that they have a greater concern for the welfare of mosquitoes, ticks, and other creatures than for you, your children, or your pets.

Too Much, Too Deliberately, Too Dangerous

By Alan Caruba

If the first hundred days of the Obama administration have been a blur of legislation, controversy, embarrassing choices to fill top positions, and reversals of the previous administration’s policy, it may well have been too much for the public to absorb.

It was, in my view, very deliberate. The Democrats inside the beltway who held the majority in Congress, now had a Democrat President to advance their agenda. They moved swiftly and, in doing so, they foisted massive trillion-dollar amounts of debt on present and future generations.

Over at the Federal Reserve, they revved up the printing presses and made money out of mere paper. It appears that the government has given away billions of taxpayer’s money without any true accounting as to who received how much. Meanwhile, banks that received TARP money are desperate to return it.

Barack Obama was the most visible President ever in the weeks since the inauguration on January 20. He seemed to be everywhere because, in many ways, he was everywhere. As an Associated Press story put it, “In all, Obama took more trips outside Washington in his first month than any of his five immediate predecessors had in theirs.”

Among those trips was one to London for a G-20 Conference in which he was rebuffed on his request that other nations do more to stimulate their own economies. He attended a NATO conference but was unsuccessful in getting its members to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Another trip was to a conference on Latin and South American affairs where Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez was eager to be photographed with him, saying “I want to be your friend.” Perhaps Obama’s relaxation of restrictions on Communist Cuba might have encouraged him to believe he had already found a friend? He sat through a 50 minute tirade against America by the Nicaraguan president and refused or just failed to criticize him for it.

People dubbed these trips the Great American Apology Tour. It made a lot of Americans, including his supporters, uncomfortable. Others were more blunt, warning that he made himself and the nation look and sound weak.

It has been a flurry of activity that included the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison, an announced troop withdrawal from Iraq, the transfer of some troops to Afghanistan, the reversal of a ban on stem cell research, a program that extended health care coverage to millions of children, and the virtual takeover of General Motors that included a demand its president step down (he did),

All this was very deliberate. His White House advisors knew they would have a limited amount of time to fully exploit the new President’s popularity before some cruel realities set in.

Among those realities will be a dramatic rise in unemployment as the tipping point arrives for General Motors and Chrysler. No doubt bankruptcy will be tried, but it seems unlikely at this point that either will survive. As summer arrives and workers are idle for nine weeks instead of the usual two, union support will begin to vanish. If the two companies cease to exist, Obama will be blamed. At the same time, many others are entering the unemployed lists. None of that bodes well for Obama.

An even greater problem is Mexico that gives every appearance of being on the brink of collapse. The drug cartels seems to be far better organized and armed than the government which, up to now, tried to ignore them until they could no longer could. The Mexican oil industry that provides the vast bulk of government funding has been poorly managed and now the country has been identified as the locus of a potential global pandemic of swine flu.

If Mexicans in large numbers head north, nothing short of massed troops on our 2,000 mile southern border will stop them. They will more seriously destabilize life in American than they already have, requiring huge outlays of public funds to teach their children, tend to their healthcare, and deal with crime. Will a Democrat President and leader of a Democrat Party that has pushed hard for amnesty try to stop a vast flow of immigration from a failing nation?

Far away in the Middle East, Pakistan is on the verge of collapse at the hands of the Taliban and, if that happens, it poses an immediate peril to India, a nation that has been a total obsession with the Pakistanis since they broke away in 1947. Both are nuclear armed nations and that is a recipe for a war that would quickly go beyond the borders of those two nations, particularly since Afghanistan is also in play with the Taliban.

The question remains, therefore, can a new President who has never managed so much as a Seven-Eleven, is among the youngest elected to office, and arrived there without so much as a full term in the Senate, meet these challenges?

So far, the only thing we know he’s good at is reading a TelePrompter and running up the national debt.

That, in itself, is dangerous to the economy and to the future, but some very dangerous people around the world have been taking his measure. If they think he is weak, likely to vacillate until it’s too late, or fail to take any action, events will swiftly turn very ugly for him and the rest of us.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Solar Scenarios

By Alan Caruba

The end of the world has always been a popular theme for various religions and for doomsayers in general. The Mayan calendar identifies December 21, 2012 as the end of the world. In the second century B.C., the Jewish cult, the Essenes, framed it as a battle between good and evil, and the Book of Revelations offers its own scenario.

The latest version, of course, is Al Gore’s prediction that the Earth is on fire from “global warming” and we have to buy his carbon credits to avoid it. Even President Obama is preaching this absurd, baseless nonsense in order to drum up votes in Congress for his economy-killing “cap-and-trade” scheme to tax all energy use.

A real, science-based apocalyptic scenario exists and humanity has had a taste of it over its brief 10,000 years on Earth. It has to do with solar cycles during which there is a significant reduction of magnetic storms, otherwise known as sunspots, on the engine of our solar system. These cycles are closely tracked and we are now in Solar Cycle 23.

James A. Marusek, a nuclear physicist and engineer, recently wrote about the current cycle and I will excerpt his article. He believes there are two paths ahead and each is marked with a “Danger” signpost. You need to know about them, even if there is nothing that anyone on the planet can do about it.

“It is now evident,” Marusek writes, “that the Grand Maxima state that has persisted during most of the 20th century has come to an abrupt end.” Older solar cycles averaged 797 spotless days, more than twice that of recent ones. They accounted for the cold spells often called little ice ages.

“We are now at a crossroad,” writes Marusek. “Two paths lie before us. Down one path lies monstrous solar storms. Down the other path lies several decades of crushing cold temperatures and global famine.”

Our most current experience with the latter has been the cycle that began around 1998 when the Earth’s average temperatures began to cool. It has been accompanied by glaciers that have begun to grow, increasing ice at the North and South Poles, and snowfall in desert nations that have not seen snow in their recorded history.

If the current solar cycle, devoid of sunspots and closing in on some six hundred days continues, solar scientists have a name for it, a “Dalton Minimum” or a “Maunder Minimum.” It is still too early to say if the Sun will take this route. The alternative is a period of very intense solar storms.

Either way, the result would wreak havoc on the Earth. Fewer sunspots will mean a colder Earth and that means reduced production of the crops we depend upon for food for ourselves and for the livestock that provide part of our diet. The alternative is massive solar storms that produce magnetic field energy that is released in the form of huge magnetic flares.

The effect of such flares could destroy the large extra high voltage power transformers in the United States and other nations. Replacing such transformers would take over a year and each cost in the area of ten million dollars. The National Research Council examined what could occur and concluded that “it would result in large-scale blackouts affecting more than 130 million people (in the U.S.) and expose more than 350 major transformers to the risk of permanent damage.”

Try to imagine an electrical blackout that lasts months, even years.

Too much magnetic activity destroys the electrical system. Too little brings on either a little ice age or triggers the next full scale one. The Earth is at the end of the 10,000 to 11,500 year cycle between ice ages, so the potential for the latter scenario is very real. When it arrives, it will do so very swiftly.

If you are tempted to dismiss either scenario, history has another story to tell. During a particularly brutal winter in 1779-1780, the surface of the Hudson River was solid ice for five weeks. Early settlers traveling west in covered wagons crossed a frozen over Mississippi near present day St. Louis in 1799. In England, the Great Frost of 1683-1684, the River Thames was completely frozen for two months and nearly a foot thick at London.

A nation without electricity with millions of people unable to light, heat or cool their homes or apartments, to use any appliance, to control traffic, to use any communications, to function based on modern technology is almost beyond our imagination.

Thus, while politicians and other charlatans preach “global warming”, talk of green jobs, and refuse to permit energy industries to have access to oil, natural gas, or coal, while planning to tax the emissions from what energy we do use, the Sun has other plans.

You can read James A. Marusek’s paper at:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Adrift on an Ocean of Lies

By Alan Caruba

“The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.” -- H.L. Mencken

Does this make sense to you?

The President is closing in on his first hundred days in office, but records that would normally be made available during the course of a campaign or on request have not been made available.

They include:
Occidental College records
Columbia College records
Columbia Thesis paper
Selected Service Registration
Medical records
Illinois State Senate Schedule
Certified copy of original Birth Certificate
Embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth
Record of baptism

This President who keeps calling for “transparency” has one of the most opaque “paper trails” of his own life. There must be a reason, right?

What is “Torture”?

The controversy over whether the United States “tortures” people known to engage in terrorist plots against our nation includes condemnations of such practices as:

Water boarding
Sleep deprivation
Food deprivation
Continuous music
Lights on all the time
Confinement to a small cell

Meanwhile, jihadist websites and others in the Middle East have shown videos of the following:

Hostages being beheaded
Homosexuals being hanged
Improvised explosive devices killing American soldiers
Snipers killing American soldiers

In some Middle Eastern nations:

Women are subject to “honor killings”
Women are gang raped based on nothing but an accusation
Women are buried up to their shoulders and stoned to death for adultery
Public floggings are a common practice
Hands are chopped off as criminal punishment

This goes on while some seek to portray America as an uncivilized nation that “tortures” in order to protect its citizens. Meanwhile, there is no reporting on our military's free medical clinics in Afghanistan that treat people who often walk for a day or more to get there.

Heating Up Support for a New Tax:

Three days of yet another Congressional charade wrapped up this week as proponents of legislation to impose “cap and trade” restrictions on energy use—a huge tax—trotted out witnesses to declare that “global warming” requires it.

When Al Gore testified, he neglected to mention that, since leaving the office of Vice President, he has made millions from the sale of carbon credits and his investments in companies making “green” technology. This legislation would make him even more wealthy. Add this to his lies about "global warming" and then draw your own conclusion.

And, it need be said loudly and often, there is NO global warming. The planet is in a ten-year-old cooling cycle.

History's immutable Lessons:

History is replete with examples of barbarity and deception. It is naïve to think we should be exempt just because we live in “modern” times.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Striking Iran

By Alan Caruba

“DEBKAfile's military sources cite some Western intelligence and nuclear weapons experts as predicting that Iran could turn out nuclear weapons some time in the next 12 months.”

Anyone paying any attention to Israel these days knows that it is preparing its own citizens and the world for a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Except for foreign consumption, the Israelis have largely abandoned talk of peace with the Palestinians or hope for any other alternative other than to punish an Iran whose leaders are totally obsessed with the destruction of their homeland, sacred to millions of Christians as well

The military action against Gaza was designed to neutralize its military capabilities and to warn Hamas against taking further action against Israel. Take a look at a map. Gaza is a thin strip of land, but it seethes with hatred for Israel because its inhabitants are mere pawns in the larger game the Arabs play. I doubt Arab nations are bothered greatly by keeping this group of people stateless refugees for at least two generations. The Palestinians, however, have consistently refused to accept statehood.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah has been unusually quiet of late. As for the rest of the Arab nations in the region, all would be delighted if Israel takes out the Iranian nuclear capability. They cordially hate Iran for its hegemonic ambitions to control the Middle East. Iranians who are Persians, not Arabs, may share Islam with the rest of the region, but they have far greater cultural and historical roots.

At this point, all of President Obama’s efforts to “reach out” to the Iranians have been rebuffed and now they are holding an American journalist hostage. The Iranian revolution began by holding American diplomats hostage for 444 days and they have routinely taken hostages as playing cards.

Neither America, nor Israel, takes hostages. We both, however, have a good track record for killing our enemies.

Israelis have had their soldiers taken hostage, often killed, and have been trying to get one returned from Hamas control for several years now. Arabs know that every Israeli is the concern of the whole nation. This contrasts greatly with the incessant rocketing of southern Israel that Hamas engaged in until the Israelis had no alternative but to retaliate. Then their leaders hid in safe bunkers while the populace was left to fend for their own lives.

These are not nice people. The Iranian leadership could have opted to join the modern world, benefit from their oil riches, built and upgraded their refineries, and done all those things nations do to improve their infrastructure and compete in the global marketplace.

Instead they used the oil wealth to sponsor both Hamas and Hezbollah and, of course, they have invested millions in the pursuit of nuclear power, not for electricity, but for the waging of war and, in particular, for the annihilation of Israel, a goal articulated over and over again by its President, Mamoud Ahmadinejad, and the handful of ayatollahs that rule with an iron fist.

The Israelis have learned the lessons of the Holocaust; the deliberate murder of men, women and children who were Jewish. They will not let that happen again. They will strike at Iran and, unfortunately, they will not have the support of the United States’ current leadership who are either too naïve, too willfully blind to the threat, or just too inept to deal with the Iranians.

It would not surprise me if the United Nations took the occasion to expel Israel as a member nation. It would be a good, but lost, opportunity for the United States to announce its withdrawal from the stinking heap of offal that passes itself off as an international institution worthy of any support.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Taking of America

By Alan Caruba

The United States homeland has rarely been invaded. The British tried to subdue the colonists for seven years until they finally gave up and went home. We became a sovereign nation. They came back in 1812 and the lesson we learned from that was to spend money in order to have a decent army and navy available.

The Japanese bombed Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor in 1941, but other than putting some troops on a few Aleutian Islands, they didn’t get close to the mainland.

Today, however, America is being taken prisoner from within. Leading the attack is Barack Hussein Obama who won an American Idol campaign against the worst GOP candidate since Bob Dole.

Both Obama and John McCain agreed that global warming was a threat. Both agreed that we need to extend amnesty to another couple of million more people who snuck into the country illegally. The primary difference was that McCain was a patriot who had fought and suffered for his nation. Obama’s disdain for America is just below the surface.

The first three months of Obama’s administration have been a dazzling display of how the new President has been everywhere all the time, especially on television, on the covers of magazines, and of course dominating what is left of the front pages of daily newspapers. It has been Obama! Obama! Obama! 24/7.

His “apology” tours are a turn-off to Americans, generations of whom have sacrificed money and lives to protect many living in the very nations Obama has visited. His overtures to both Iran and Cuba have been dismissed.

He has proven to be an extraordinarily divisive leader and one whom even his strongest advocates have begun to doubt for his failure to represent a nation that sees itself as inherently good, as founded in the best values of freedom and liberty.

In concert with a Democrat controlled Congress led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Read, Americans have been saddled with more spending and a greater level of debt than all previous 43 Presidents combined. There is no way these trillions of dollars can ever be paid back and Obama knows it.

He also knows or at least thinks that most Americans are so stupid they will roll over for all of this and just let it happened. He’s wrong.

The “Tea Parties” on Tax Day, April 15, are just the tip of the iceberg. Easily a million Americans turned out for anywhere from 700 to 850 events from coast to coast and they are not going to go away.

On July 4th, Americans by the millions should flood into Washington, D.C. and let the White House and Congress know that they’re “mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more.”

They should be prepared to come back as often as necessary, but most especially they need to being organizing to turn out enough votes to take political control of Congress away from the Democrats. The Republicans need to become more than a rear guard resistance movement and needs a new generation of candidates to unseat Democrats.

That will be the first step in shutting down the Obama Express, a political bulldozer that is burying the America that men fought and died for through many wars and for which both men and women now serve in our Armed Forces in nations and on oceans around the world.

Unless you haven’t been paying attention, all that TARP money that banks were forced to take is going to be converted into shares giving the government voting power over how those banks are run. The government is not supposed to be in the banking business. It is supposed to regulate it, not own and operate it.

This week, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich) will hold meetings to “find ways to help the struggling newspaper industry.” Watch out! If the government decides the best way to do that is to purchase an interest in major newspaper chains, America will return to the bad old days of the Nazis in Germany and the Soviet regime in Russia.

There are a number of bills introduced in the U.S. Senate (#773 and #778) that would grant the White House sweeping new powers to access private online data, regulate the cyber security industry, and to shut down Internet traffic during a declared “emergency.”

If Americans can’t be weakened financially enough by the insane spending and borrowing that Congress has engaged in, it has one more way to suck what little money you have left out of your pocket.

Congress will hold hearings on the Environmental Protection Agency’s finding that carbon dioxide is “harmful” to everyone’s health and, as the by-product of all energy use, must be regulated with a “cap-and-trade” program that will require industries and businesses of every description to buy “carbon credits” in order to operate. Billions will flow into the government’s coffers and the price of everything will rise for consumers.

And it is all based on a lie called “global warming.” Carbon dioxide plays no role in so-called climate change. The climate is always in a state of change and the current one is a cooling, not warming of the planet.

Americans are now adrift in a shrinking lifeboat on a sea of lies. The taking of America is occurring with every passing day that Obama is in office and the Democrat-controlled Congress is in session.

And you wonder why ordinary Americans are buying guns and ammunition in record amounts?

An administration filled with tax cheats and environmentalist loonies, and a Congress filled with people fully engaged in lining their own pockets poses the greatest threat this nation has ever faced.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Annual Green Orgy: Earth Day

By Alan Caruba

On Earth Day we will have been engulfed by the avalanche of “Green” propaganda that preceded it, fills the day, and then continues relentlessly thereafter.

When I say “propaganda”, I am being polite. Much of the foundation of the environmental movement is pure lies, mind boggling distortions of questionable “science”, and a thin veneer for the entire purpose of environmentalism, the imposing of a one-world agenda for the enrichment of a few who dream of a monopolistic control of the world’s resources and its human work force.

It would be managed for the uber-wealthy—an unelected group of elites, selected “world leaders” and politicians, plus a vast diplomatic corps backed up by the coercive might of police and armies answering not to sovereign nations, but the “new world order” exemplified by the United Nations.

If this sounds like some huge conspiratorial theory, one need only read books like “Our Global Neighborhood: The Report of The Commission on Global Governance” (1995, Oxford University Press) a product of the United Nations in which the vast web of UN treaties, most of which are rooted in environmental agendas, is spelled out.

While Americans provide billions to the United Nations as its greatest source of funding, the UN has been busy turning out the Wetlands Convention, Convention on Ship Pollution, Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals, UN Law of the Sea, Vienna Convention on Ozone Layer, Biological Diversity Convention, and the Framework Convention on Climate Change, among many others.

This is the same United Nations that has yet to stop a single war since its founding after WWII, except through the intervention of U.S. military power. It has stood on the sidelines while we stopped North Korea’s invasion of South Korea in the 1950s, expressed concerns over our ill-fated Vietnam War, passed dozens of resolutions concerning the belligerence of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein who had waged war against Iran for eight years and then invaded Kuwait. Then it watched as the U.S. finally rid the world of this maniac.

These days it continues to dither over the genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region, much as it has with regard to others. On the international stage, it continues to blame tiny Israel for all the ills of the world while most of the other Middle East nations remain in the grip of monarchs and dictators, devoid of any democracy or freedom.

The real problems in the world are largely tied to poverty and the oppression and corruption that facilitate it, but the United Nations is mostly composed of the very nations responsible for poverty, racism, sexism, and other ancient ills of mankind. It is a useless global doppelganger.

On Earth Day you will hear all manner of claims that the Earth is in severe environmental danger due to the human population, but what you won’t hear or read about is the 2009 Index of Leading Environmental Indicators, an annual report by the Pacific Research Institute and the American Enterprise Institute. You won’t hear about the recovery of ecosystems in places like the Cuyahoga River—the one that literally caught fire in 1969—or Prince William Sound, the site of the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker spill.

This year’s report notes that no American or Western European city ranks among the top 50 cities in the world for air pollution. Wealthy nations pay attention to these problems. You won’t hear that, according to the U.S. Geological Survey sampling of drinking waters in 17 areas around the continental U.S., there was no or low presence of 258 different man-made chemicals. You won’t hear that stratospheric ozone—the good kind—appears to have reversed its long-term decline and is increasing over the U.S.

You won’t hear about these improvements because the U.S. press and media do not want you to hear about them and will not report them. As for the rest of the world, notably China and India, they are in a hurry to catch up with the success of the West. China keeps building coal-fired plants to provide the electricity necessary for an economy that must serve more than a billion people and India has launched itself on a program of nuclear power.

What you will hear is that the nations of the world must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, 2030 or 2050 or “global warming” will destroy the Earth. Only there is NO global warming. The Earth has been in a cooling cycle for the past decade and it is likely to last for several more decades.

There is no reason whatever for the endless schemes of the environmental organizations to demand that various industries reduce their “carbon footprint.”

An example of these idiotic proposals was announced by the Book Industry Environmental Council. Its goal is the reduction of the U.S. book industry’s “greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020 with the intent of achieving an 80% reduction by 2050.”

This ignores the fact that thousands of trees have to be cut down and ground into paper pulp for the endless production of largely idiotic books regurgitating nonsense about dieting while at the same time printing dozens more cookbooks. I have reviewed books for nearly fifty years and have seen enough rubbish published in every single year to fill scores of landfills.

Earth Day is a lie from start to finish.

Worse yet, it frightens small children into believing they are harming the Earth and it seeks to enslave adults into participating in programs that deprive them of a world that benefits from anything made from plastic, a derivative of oil, and many of the beneficial chemicals that protect them from the diseases spread by insect and rodent pests, and the mobility that our cars and trucks provide.

It seeks to limit access to more and more land and ocean areas, removing their vital resources of coal, oil, and natural gas from use by a human population that depends on the energy they generate.

The Earth Day orgy of lies will come and go, but the battle with this insidious movement, directed from the citadel of hatred called the United Nations, goes on.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nutty Stuff About Greens and Cows

By Alan Caruba

If, as Earth Day approaches on April 22nd, you think you’re reading and hearing more abject nonsense and pure insanity about the environment, you’re right.

The mainstream media is set to go crazy with all manner of “Green” articles about the human assaults on the Earth that are intended to make you change your every lifestyle choice to become more “sustainable.”

The usual prophets of doom will be given prime space on opinion pages to tell us over and over that the Earth cannot possibly exist much longer if we continue to drive our cars and trucks, if we continue to heat or cool our homes and apartments, if we insist on flying anywhere for a vacation, if we do anything that might make our lives more comfortable and enjoyable.

A paroxysm of insanity always coalesces around Earth Day, but it never goes away because hundreds of thousands of people now make a living inventing statistics regarding the “carbon footprint” of everything.

They infest our colleges and university, burning through billions of dollars in government grants devoted to “climate change” and they are employed by countless “environmental” organizations that exist solely to enrich their coffers while preaching the most absurd nonsense to those who naively believe the Greens are seeking to “save the Earth.”

Climate change is one of President Obama’s priorities and it will be used to justify horrid “cap-and-trade” legislation intended to impose a tax on the use of all forms of energy. No doubt your local utility is already shelling out millions of dollars to purchase these utterly bogus “carbon credits” in order to be allowed to continue providing electricity by burning coal or having the audacity to build a nuclear plant. Coal accounts for fifty percent of the electricity we use and nuclear for twenty percent.

The other way of bankrupting America is the President’s proposed health care program that will put the government in control of the nation’s vast health care system, making us all wards of the state in order to secure any care. Comparable systems in England and Canada are nothing short of a disaster.

The ruination of the U.S. dollar is being accomplished by massive borrowing and spending programs allegedly to “stimulate” the economy when history offers ample proof that every time the government gets involved in the business, industrial or financial sector, it lays waste to it. The automotive industry is just one example.

All this is by way of my taking note of a recent Associated Press story about a U.S. dairy industry program intended to “engineer the ‘cow of the future’ to pass less gas, a project aimed at cutting the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020…”

“The cow project aims to reduce intestinal methane, the single largest component of the dairy industry’s carbon footprint” according to Thomas P. Gallagher, chief executive office of the U.S. Dairy and Dairy Management Inc’s Innovation Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

The Associated Press article informs the reader that “Greenhouse gas emissions are blamed for global warming. Cutting the dairy industry’s emissions by 25 percent would be equivalent to removing about 1.25 million passenger cars from the nation’s roads every year, Gallagher said.”

The article does not mention that there is NO global warming occurring and that reducing emissions of “intestinal methane” qualifies as one of the most stupid ideas ever produced by the Greens propagating this hoax. It does note that “The University of Arkansas’ Applied Sustainability Center estimates the dairy industry contributes less than 2 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Center does not offer any statistics regarding the greenhouse gas emissions of elephants, antelope, otters, squirrels, lions, and tigers and bears, oh my!

Tinkering with the digestive system of cows is just one aspect of the way the Greens have sought to extend their control over every aspect of food, from its production to its consumption, revealing the totalitarian nature of environmentalism.

It’s also just nuts!

Aside from the fact that the statistics cited are pure invention and fantasy, the reader is advised to understand that any mention of “greenhouse gas emissions” or “sustainability” is just another way of saying that the Greens intend to coerce everyone, including cows, into bowing down to their false gods.

If everyone involved with advancing the goals of the Greens were to be fired tomorrow and required to get real jobs, the economy would prosper beyond our wildest hopes and dreams.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The UN's Durban II Hate-Fest

By Alan Caruba

On Monday, April 20, the United Nations will convene Durban II, a conference which purports to encourage efforts to end the scourge of racism that has driven much of the history of mankind.

Like everything that emanates from that disgusting international organization, it has no intention of living up to its Declaration on Human Rights. If it did, it is unlikely that Iran’s Mamoud Ahmadinejad would receive a warm welcome, nor that Iran would have been the vice-chair of the preparatory committee led by Libya’s representative.

When Ahmadinejad spoke at the UN General Assembly last September, he said: “The dignity, integrity and rights of the European and American people are being played with by a small, but deceitful number of people called Zionists. Although they are a miniscule minority, they have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the U.S. in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner.”

For Ahmadinejad, all of the Arab nations of the Middle East, and a large number of European nations, everything wrong with the world is conveniently explained by blaming the Jews. Durban I, held in South Africa, was such a hate-fest of anti-Semitism that the U.S. representatives withdrew and refused to participate.

Under the Obama administration, some of our diplomats tentatively attended planning sessions of Durban II despite knowing that it was going to be a repeat of Durban I. In doing so they signaled a degree of legitimacy for this most vile conclave. The Obama administration has decided to renew its membership in the UN Human Rights Council, something the Bush administration refused to do.

The previous UN Human Rights Commission was so vile that it had to be “reformed” into the present Council, but its membership includes the African and Asian groups, neither of which is famous for anything other than repression, corruption, and racism.

Member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference hold a majority in each of these groups, giving it the balance of power. Neither the U.S. vote, nor that of its “Western European and Others” group play any role in ameliorating the abject racism of the Council.

Durban II intends to criminalize any “defamation of Islam” based on a Pakistani proposal that only mentions Islam by name and ignores the other religions of the world such as Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and, of course, Judaism.

Islam regards all other faiths as “infidels” or unbelievers and the Koran explicitly says they should be subjugated and that their adherents can be killed, especially if they are Jews. It is a crime in Islamic nations to speak ill of Islam and the punishment is death. Converting to another religion will get you killed as well.

In a statement to the April 17 meeting of the preparatory committee held in Geneva, Switzerland, Anne Bayefsky of Eye on the UN, said, “The eyes of millions of victims of racism, xenophobia and intolerance are upon YOU, the representatives of states and the United Nations. And instead of hope you have given them despair. Instead of truth you have handed them diplomatic double-talk. Instead of combating anti-Semitism, you have handed them a reason for Jews to fear UN-driven hatemongering on a global scale.”

When it convenes on April 20th, the birth date of Adolph Hitler in 1889, his spirit will dominate the proceedings of Durban II. The good news is that no U.S. diplomats will attend. One hopes other nations whose people suffered and died as the result of his genocidal hatred will not attend either.

Durban II is yet another example of the Islamic jihad, its centuries old war on all other faiths. Those that deny its existance will continue to suffer its consequences.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Stop the EPA Before it Destroys America!

By Alan Caruba

If the Environmental Protection Agency were some benign government unit tucked away in the corner of some massive federal government building, we could safely conclude it was doing its job to keep the nation’s air and water clean.

It is the very antithesis of that. It is a Green Gestapo that has wreaked havoc with all aspects of the nation’s industrial and agricultural communities, run roughshod over property rights, declared puddles to be navigable waters, and removed invaluable, beneficial chemicals from use to protect the lives and property of all Americans.

In much the same way as the FBI maintains a “Ten Most Wanted” list of criminals, so does the EPA.

The EPA’s former director, Carol Browner, was recently discovered to be a commissioner in Socialist International, described by Steven Milloy of as “a decidedly anti-capitalistic political cause.” Socialist International’s principles are the communist principles set forth by Karl Marx.

Browner is presently the chief White House advisor to the President on environmental issues.

The announcement that the EPA has declared carbon dioxide a “pollutant” and all so-called greenhouse gases a danger to human health and welfare now clears the way to regulate every single economic activity in the nation, most notably the emissions from automobiles.

The EPA is poised to further ruin the quintessentially American auto industry with regulatory power that will determine what kind of automobile Americans will be permitted to drive, limiting the use of internal combustion, and forcing the purchase of high cost hybrids and those run on massive batteries.

Naturally, the announcement was greeted with joy by the likes of the demented Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and a panoply of environment organizations such as the Environmental Defense Fund.

The EDF hailed the announcement saying “The U.S. is taking its first steps as a nation to confront climate change.” Vickie Patton, EDF’s deputy general counsel, went on to say “Global warming threatens our health, our economy, and our children’s prosperity.”

Only there is NO global warming and there is NOTHING that the U.S. government or all the governments of all the nations of the world can do about “climate change.” This is a “threat” that does not exist!

What the EPA and other elements of government can and will do is use the international “global warming” hoax to pass new laws and more regulations to destroy the economic viability of all activities that utilize energy.

Here’s why CO2 and the so-called “greenhouse” gases do not perform a “greenhouse” function. As explained by retired analytical chemist, Hans Schreuder:

“With no atmosphere at all, our moon is very hot in sunshine (over 100°C) and very cold in the shade (less than minus 150°C).”

“With earth receiving as good as the same amount of solar irradiation, our atmosphere thus acts as a cooling medium during the hours of sunshine and a blanket during the hours of darkness.”

“Global warming, global cooling and all climate change is caused by the daily revolutions of our earth around its own axis, throughout which time the varying amounts of heat gained during the day and similar variations of heat lost during the night make the weather what it is: ranging from plus 50°C to minus 50°C (even more extreme in places), unpredictable beyond a few days and at times violent or totally quiet.”

“That's quite apart from the seasonal differences caused by the annual trip around the sun and the varying distance that our planet revolves around our sun and we're not even considering even greater forces of influence.”

The entire white paper is available at

Throughout its history the EPA has deliberately distorted actual science to advance its own warped “environmental” agenda. This EPA ruling permits the government to control all aspects of CO2 emissions, short of the exhalation of CO2 by human beings.

Humans emit CO2. Animals emit CO2. And energy use emits CO2.

It is not a “pollutant” or a threat to health; it is a natural gas vital to all life on Earth via the process of photosynthesis by all plant life. Without CO2 all vegetation dies and with it all animal life.

Congress has a long record of restricting access to the nation’s vast reserves of coal, oil and natural gas. Our “dependency”; the importation of these energy sources is entirely the result of national policies. Now add thousands of regulations on all USE of energy.

Some will mark the announcement as the beginning of the decline of the American economy, but the U.S. government has long been engaged in all manner of control over everything required for a successful economy.

What begins is the end to the abundant choices Americans have always had regarding the manufacture, distribution, and purchase of anything and everything common to our present lifestyle.

It is a cruel despotism that has been unleashed on all Americans.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lovelock's Last Gasp: Gaia Theorist Says We're Doomed

By Alan Caruba

It is the height of vanity to think the Earth will come to an end shortly after one’s mortal life ends. Some people think that, without them, the Earth cannot survive and we call these idiots environmentalists and, sometimes, megalomaniacs.

A perfect example of this is James Lovelock, the man credited with coming up with the Gaia Theory that says the Earth is a living creature and, of course, that humans are some kind of horrid cockroach infestation that is destroying it.

Now in his 90s, Lovelock has written “The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warming.” This book is an extension of all the other astonishingly bad “science” that has brought fame and fortune to Lovelock as he and other alleged scientists began warning that “global heating may all but eliminate people from the Earth.”

Like Al Gore and James Hansen, two other prominent “global warming” charlatans, Lovelock continues to say that the Earth is warming while, for the past ten years, the meteorological satellites and other measurement instruments have reported a distinct cooling trend. At the same time, the Sun which is the primary instrument of the Earth’s climate cycles, has gone “quiet.” It is currently into one of its well known cycles of low to no sunspot activity.

At the heart of all environmentalist propaganda is the view that humans are causing “global warming” and destroying the Earth by doing things like raising crops and animal stocks to eat, using the abundant oil, natural gas, and coal sources as energy for transportation and the maintenance of our lives and industries, and generally fouling everything we touch from our rivers, oceans, land areas, and other species.

“Simply cutting back fossil-fuel burning, energy use, and the destruction of natural forests will not be a sufficient answer to global heating,” says Lovelock, oblivious to the reality of a cooling planet; one that is on the cusp of a predictable ice age since we are now about 11,500 years into an interglacial period since the last one.

Why anyone credits Lovelock with having any special knowledge or insight is beyond my understanding. He made his early reputation for his discoveries in the transfer of infectious disease and advances in the measurement of trace gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. The man is not a climatologist or meteorologist.

Lovelock and others keep telling people that carbon dioxide will be the death of all of us, claiming erroneously that it is critical to the amount of heat that exists in the Earth’s atmosphere, but CO2 is barely 0.038 percent of the atmosphere, a very minor player that shows up in increased amounts 800 or more years after any major climate change.

Moreover, there have been periods in the Earth’s past when there was a lot more CO2 and, not surprisingly, forests, jungles, and all manner of vegetation were even more abundant than now. Dinosaurs grew to huge sizes thanks to the rich diet available or by dining off of the herbivores. And then they went extinct. No one suggests they died from an excess of CO2 in the environment.

The essential problem with Lovelock’s theories about carbon dioxide and global warming is that they lack any scientific merit. The other problem is that environmentalists and politicians worldwide have latched onto them as a means to exert total control over the lives of everyone on Earth.

If Lovelock were just an obscure scientist raving about the end of the world in some English pub, we could happily ignore him, but he is one of the founders of the movement that has been taken up by the United Nations and implemented in various ways by nations that have wasted billions on so-called “clean energy” such as wind and solar energy, biofuels like ethanol, and the set-aside of vast areas of America to ensure that millions of tons of coal cannot be mined, nor billions of barrels of oil and cubic feet of natural gas tapped for our use.

Always, at the heart of Lovelock’s and environmentalist programs is the view that humans are to blame for the Earth’s extraordinary, chaotic, and uncontrollable climate systems.

Lovelock despairs that “No voluntary human act can reduce our numbers fast enough even to slow climate change. Merely by existing, people and their dependent animals are responsible for more than ten times the greenhouse gas emissions of all the airline travel in the world.”

Lovelock thinks it was “brave” for ten thousand people to make the long journey to Bali, the site of the last United Nations climate control conference, but says that “As we hold our meetings and talk of stewardship, Gaia still moves step by step toward the hot state…” No, Jim, Gaia—Earth—is cooling, not heating. That invalidates all the rest of the gibberish in his latest book and the lies President Obama and others keep telling about global warming.

When it comes to the Earth, Lovelock says that it has “not evolved solely for our benefit, and any changes we make to it are at our own risk. That way of thinking makes clear that we have no special human rights; we are merely one of the partner species in the great enterprise of Gaia. We are creatures of Darwinian evolution, a transient species with a limited lifespan, as were all our numerous distant ancestors.”

Unlike other “transient species”, however, the human one has organized itself into complex societies that permit it to use energy sources to build vast cities, developed transportation that move millions around the globe every day, have communications systems that allow people to address all manner of needs and problems, created agricultural systems that feed six billion people every day, discovered how to eliminate or cure diseases that threaten our lives, and also found time to create music, drama, and literature that enhances our lives.

All this has occurred in the very brief period of about ten thousand years from the days the first humans stood upright, banded together in families, tribes, and nations, and about five thousand years ago began to devote most of our time to looting, pillaging and killing one another with greater efficiency.

Lovelock is now closing in on his own mortality and the odds are that he will join the many other prophets of doom who despise their own species while worshipping an Earth that constantly reminds us all with earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, floods, droughts, ice ages, and other natural calamities that we are not in charge of anything.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day, Tea Party Day

By Alan Caruba

Growing up as the son of a Certified Public Accountant and, later, as the brother of a CPA, the talk around the dinner table was frequently about taxes and the Internal Revenue Service. Being quite young at the time, the minutia of the discussion escaped me, but I came away with a strong sense of how the IRS could wreak havoc in the lives and enterprises of clients who had run afoul of its impenetrable regulations.

These days the Tax Code of the United States is so huge and being added to on a daily basis that it is impossible for anyone to understand, but one need only understand that those like the current Secretary of the Treasury and other appointees of the Obama administration understood the need to avoid paying the full amount of what was due until or unless they were caught.

Cheating on one’s taxes has achieved a perverse patriotic status given the way the federal government redistributes the revenue via a Congress that exists only to pass multi-billion dollar spending bills with thousands of “earmarks” that are intended to ensure their reelection in their districts or states.

Moreover, the federal government has completely ignored the U.S. Constitution that forbids “bailouts” that disburse funds from the public treasury to private enterprises.

James Dale Davidson of the National Taxpayers Union and the author of several books on the way the government both collects and disburses tax revenue said “The politicians don’t just want your money. They want your soul. They want you to be worn down by taxes until you are dependent and helpless. When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.”

The present financial crisis is based entirely on government mandates that required banks and mortgage firms to make bad home loans to people who would, in a previous era, never have qualified to receive them and then used government sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to purchase those bad loans.

They, in turn, “securitized” them and sold them to insurance, banking and investment houses that fell victim to what is arguably an insane policy based entirely on the liberal belief that everyone has “a right” to live in their own home even if they could not afford it.

Americans gathered in the hundreds of thousands from coast to coast on April 15, the day taxes are due, to protest not just the manner in which the financial crisis was brought about, but to protest the present plans of the Obama administration to carry out the warning Davidson issued.

“Tea Parties” are named for the best known tax protest in pre-Revolutionary, colonial America against those imposed by England, demanding “No taxation without representation.”

The harsh reality of our present times is that Americans have no representation in either Congress or the White House.

The will of the people is being trampled upon by extreme left-wing ideologues that ginned up and then used the fatigue and disapproval of enough Americans for the previous Bush administration to acquire power.

Forgotten amidst this is the fact that many conservatives protested the Bush initiatives ranging from No Child Left Behind to a proposed amnesty for illegal aliens, to the failure of the former President to veto any spending bill for six of the eight years he held the office.

We have arrived at a point where citizens must organize and gather in meetings around the nation to demand to be heard. My fear, however, is that the Democrat controlled Congress and, most certainly, President Obama has no intention to listen or respond to the will of the people.

Driven by the belief that the federal government alone knows best and aided by the way the individual, sovereign powers of the states has been steadily eroded by federal programs that can threaten to withhold funding vital to their needs, the liberals in charge know they must impoverish Americans in order to make them entirely dependent on the central government.

It is no accident, as commentator Paul Driessen points out, that that the current indebtedness imposed on Americans through spending and taxation “is more accrued debt than 43 previous administrations combined, and it doesn’t include the cost of servicing this debt or the U.S. share of the $1.1 trillion ‘global stimulus’ devised by the Group of 20, to be administered by professional spenders at the International Monetary Fund.”

Looming in the near future is a “climate change” bill that would impose a “cap and trade” government auction of “carbon credits” that U.S. industries and businesses would be required to purchase. Every business enterprise would have to spend millions to acquire these credits in order to use energy to produce the goods that constitute the wealth they generate for investors, employees, and the economy in general. The cost of these credits would be passed onto consumers.

There is no “climate change” crisis that can or should be addressed by the U.S. government. The Earth is not warming. It has, for a decade, been cooling. This is due in part from reduced solar activity in the form of cyclical reductions in magnetic storms known as sunspots.

The alleged “global warming” has been exposed as a huge hoax perpetrated on an international basis to enrich the United Nations while positioning it to become a global government.

The Obama administration is engaged in a vast effort to deny the expansion and development of the energy sources America needs as its population increases and it is doing so under the false flag of “climate change.”

No amount of “clean energy”, solar and wind, will ever substitute for oil, natural gas, and coal. Vast reserves of these energy sources exist and it is the U.S. government that refuses to permit access to them. So-called clean energy constitutes barely one percent of the energy used by the nation.

The debt imposed by Obama administration initiatives is deliberate. It cannot be blamed on the previous Bush administration.

The lies being told daily by President Obama and the collusion of Democrats controlling the Congress are the single greatest danger facing the nation.

One can only hope that the Tea Parties held on Tax Day mark a massive push-back against a plot to impose an unconstitutional and un-American effort to render Americans too poor, too dependent, too weary to fight back.

The future of the United States of America literally hangs in the balance.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

EPA Holds a Bed Bug "Summit"

By Alan Caruba

I know the media and, by extension, everyone else is focused on April 15 as the day tax returns must be filed, but there is another event going on in Washington that is not likely to get much attention.

It is a two-day, April 14-15 Bed Bug Summit being held by the Environmental Protection Agency to address the nationwide infestations of bed bugs. One of the reasons this nasty little pest has burst upon the scene goes back to the banning of DDT by the EPA.

By the end of the 1950s, bed bugs were no longer a significant pest problem. Bed bugs had been so thoroughly eliminated by pest management professionals that a new generation of them had never seen one or had any idea how to combat them. Of the many insect pest species, bed bugs are among the most difficult to eliminate.

Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” got the anti-pesticide panic going by defaming DDT. Not only was it banned here, but also worldwide. The ban has since led to millions of needless deaths in malarial regions like Africa.

Bed bugs are common in other nations that are less attentive to insect pest eradication and with the rise of international travel they hopped a ride to the United States via the luggage of foreign tourists and Americans returning home from traveling abroad. They began showing up initially a few years ago in hotels and resorts frequented by travelers as well as the homes of Americans who had been overseas.

Had the EPA not banned DDT in 1972 it is very likely there would be no significant bed bug problem here in the United States.

As the EPA put it at the time, “The general use of the pesticide DDT will no longer be legal in the United States after today, ending nearly three decades of application during which time the once-popular chemical was used to control insect pests on crop and forest lands, around homes and gardens, and for industrial and commercial purposes.”

This has been a chronic problem with the EPA. It tends to create or exacerbate more problems than it solves.

The agency banned Chlordane in the 1980s; it was one of the most effective and successful termiticides ever invented. Pest controllers used to pump it into the ground around a home and it would stay there for a half century as a chemical fence against termites seeking access through foundations or getting close enough to build a mud tunnel to get inside a home. Termites are responsible for an estimated five billion dollars damage annually, more than all the fires and floods combined.

In 1998, Harry Katz, a pest management expert, noted that “Many studies were made of chlordane’s effect on humans. The World Health Organization reports about a study in 1981 in which mortality of 782 workers who manufactured chlordane and heptachlor for up to 20 years showed no increase in cancer in comparison to normal death figures. In another study by Wang and MacMahon in 1980, all cancer deaths were lower than expected. In a follow-up study in 1982, the two Harvard researchers looked again at the mortality rates of termite control technicians and found there was no significant increase of cancer cases.”

These and other bans almost always come down to a political and/or ideological decision. The science regarding such bans rarely represents any real or significant threat unless perhaps someone literally drinks the stuff from the bottle!

The EPA has a registration process for new pesticides (and renewal of older ones) that literally costs chemical producers millions of dollars before a pesticide can be registered for use either exclusively by pest management professionals and specific to particular pest species, or made available off the shelf to the public.

During the Clinton administration, Carol Browner, then the EPA Director and now the environmental advisor to President Obama, announced the restricted use of one of the most effective pesticides against a whole range of insect pests, Dursban, and removed it from use by consumers who had been using it successfully for decades to rid homes, dorm rooms, offices and everywhere else of cockroaches, spiders, ants, mosquitoes, etc.

Browner said the Agency was "shutting off the manufacture of this chemical” according to the Associated Press, but anti-pesticide fanatics complained that the EPA action did not recall the product already on store shelves. The EPA saw no problem allowing the use of Dursban to continue as an agricultural application to protect food crops against insect predators.

The primary reason given for the Dursban ban was that the action was taken to protect children from exposure. Any time you hear it’s “for the children” that’s a sure sign there is little real science-based justification.

The EPA effectively banned a pesticide called “Ficam”, a remarkable product that eliminated a wide range of insect pests and was applied with nothing more toxic than water. By demanding that the product go through the multi-million dollar registration process again, the EPA drove it from the marketplace when the manufacturer decided it wasn’t worth it.

These bans are almost always based on the ideology that pesticides are a threat to humans and other species like birds or fish. When properly applied pesticides are only a threat to insect pests that have, for millennia, transmitted diseases to humans.

In parts of Central and South America today, people are dying of Dengue fever and a nasty disease called Chagas. In the United States Lyme Disease, transmitted by ticks, continues to afflict people. By contrast, a pesticide-based campaign against West Nile Fever, transmitted by mosquitoes, has proven effective.

There is a reason your favorite supermarket or restaurant is not home to insect and rodent pests. It is because professionals using pesticides keep it pest free. There isn’t a school, a hospital, or any other public facility that is not kept pest free in the same way. Usually the work is done at night so as not to disturb the delicate sensibility of the very people being protected.

For two days the EPA will listen to testimony about the bed bug problem afflicting the nation. They could have saved themselves the time, effort, and cost involved by simply adopting a more science-based attitude toward pesticides, but that is not going to happen so long as the ideologues and other scare mongers are in charge.

In the interest of full disclosure, years ago I used to do public relations for “Ficam” and I continue to provide PR services to my state pest management association. For nearly four decades, I have known dozens of pest management professionals who take justified pride in keeping the homes, offices, and businesses of their clients pest-free.

Monday, April 13, 2009

On Not Understanding Capitalism or Liberalism

By Alan Caruba

Not long ago, Rasmussen Reports conducted a national telephone survey and asked “American adults” if they believe capitalism is “better” than socialism. I found it disturbing that only 53% responded that they did.

That is a very bare majority of Americans who think capitalism is a better economic system than one essentially controlled by unelected bureaucrats, no matter where it’s found.

Fully 20% thought socialism is better and 27% weren’t sure.

It turns out that age has a lot to do with your attitude about capitalism. Adults under 30 were evenly divided. “Thirty-somethings,” Rasmussen reported, “are a bit more supportive of the free-enterprise approach with 49% for capitalism and 26% for socialism. Adults over 40 strongly favor capitalism, and just 13% of those older Americans believe socialism is better.”

Republicans by a margin of 11-to-1 favor capitalism. Democrats are more closely divided with just 39% favoring capitalism, while 30% favored socialism. Among those not affiliated with either major political party, 48% preferred capitalism while 21% favored socialism.

I have no proof of this, but I suspect that most Americans would have some measure of difficulty defining the differences between capitalism and socialism. One of my favorite definitions is by Winston Churchill who said that “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

Back in the 1940s, Norman Thomas, a U.S. Socialist Party candidate for President, said, “The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism’, they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without ever knowing how it happened.”

If Thomas were alive today, he would no doubt take a great deal of pleasure in Social Security, Medicare, and other “entitlement” programs that constitute a third or more of the nation’s annual budget. They are not voluntary.

The problem all such programs are encountering is that they are going broke. As the demographics of the nation change, we are running out of a younger, working population for the support of older ones. Europe has long since arrived at this point.

The irony is, of course, that capitalism is the only system that has a built-in motivation (called risk) for people to start new businesses, employ others, and strive to grow and succeed. America is one long story of such entrepreneurship, of venture capital looking for the next new idea, new product, or new service.

Capitalism also caters to the most inherent attribute of humans; greed. What is always overlooked, however, is the way wealth, once acquired, finds expression in philanthropy. Countless worthy causes in the arts, health, scholarships, aid to the less fortunate, et cetera, flourish because of private giving. And there is much to be said for inheritance; the right to pass on one’s wealth and property to one’s family.

Thus socialism is counter-intuitive to how humans organize themselves, their lives, and their societies.

As former President Ronald Reagan put it, “The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose.”

As we close in on April 15, the date your income tax payment is due, the power of governmental coercion becomes quite evident. It is also the day this year that nearly two thousand “Tea parties” will be held around the nation to protest the tripling of the nation’s deficit, the proposed increases in taxation, along with the wastefulness of so much of what passes for government spending.

The Unconstitutionality of “Bailouts”

There needs to be another item on the Tea Party agenda. It is the fact that the “bailout” monies disbursed to General Motors and to a variety of banking, investment, and the huge AIG insurance company are totally in violation of the U.S. Constitution that forbids government choosing what enterprises will be allowed to continue or fail.

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano warns against this in his most recent book, “The Revenge of Dred Scott.”

“The Constitution does not repose in the Congress the power to bail out individuals or private industry; Bailouts violate the equal protection doctrine because the Congress can’t fairly pick and choose whom to bail out and who to let expire; they violate the General Welfare Clause because they benefit only a small group and not the general public; they violate the Due Process Clause because they interfere with contracts already entered into; and they turn the public treasury into a public trough.”

Now consider this: This year’s bailout, stimulus, and other spending binges have obligated future generations of Americans to $12.8 TRILLION in debt, according to a recent Bloomberg study. Meanwhile, Congress and the Obama administration are poised to impose a bogus “climate change” program that could cost $3 trillion and regulate every aspect of our lives.

America is at a critical turning point and it must, if it is to have any future whatever, turn away from this profligate and very liberal use of the public treasury, combined with the baseless “cap-and-trade” program of carbon credits that will cripple what economy is left.

Socialism aka liberalism, as it is currently being put into effect by the Congress and the White House, prevents the failures that are necessary for the correction of bad management and bad judgment.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

When the Inmates are in Charge

By Alan Caruba

If you ever wondered what it would be like if seriously deranged people were close to the seat of power in America, you can stop wondering.

In January, the Competitive Enterprise Institute issued a three-page memorandum. William Yeatman, the author of the memorandum, had serious concerns about the nomination of Dr. John P. Holdren to be the White House Science Adviser.

This position heads the Office of Science and Technology Policy which, in official lingo, “serves as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the President with respect to major policies, plans and programs of the Federal Government.”

“John Holdren’s 40-year record of outlandish scientific assertions, consistently wrong predictions, and dangerous public policy choices make him unfit to serve as White House Science Adviser,” warned Yeatman.

Just how crazy is Holdren? On April 8, according to the Associated Press, Holdren said that “global warming is so dire, the Obama administration is discussing radical technologies to cool Earth’s air.” Holdren suggested that one option includes “shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays.”

The last time anything of this nature was discussed, it was called “a nuclear winter” in which the debris from a nuclear war would fill the atmosphere and keep the Sun’s warming and nourishing rays from getting through.

According to Holdren, “It’s got to be looked at. We don’t have the luxury of taking any approach off the table.” Holdren believes that the Earth is in the grip of global warming, but the difference between belief and science is that the latter demands proof. Take, for example, the data our weather satellites have been sending back since 1998 all of which points to a cooling Earth.

Twice during the interview, Holdren compared global warming to being “in a car with bad brakes driving toward a cliff in a fog.” The truth, however, is that Holdren is a genuine cuckoo who probably checks under the bed every night to make sure the bogyman isn’t there.

Yeatman described him more charitably as a “chronic alarmist”, citing just a few of his paranoid fantasies. In 1971, Holdren predicted that “some form of ecocatastrophe, if not thermonuclear war, seems almost certain to overtake us before the end of the century.” We are now safely into a new century and the only catastrophe is the Obama administration.

The really neat thing about making catastrophic predictions is that they always take place way into a future. In 1986, Holdren was predicting that global warming would cause the deaths of one billion people by 2020. This is eight years beyond 2012 when devotees of the ancient Mayan calendar predict the end of the world will occur. Neither are likely to occur.

In 1998 Holdren warned that we just can’t go on using energy fuels like oil, natural gas, and coal that represent nearly one hundred percent of everything we and everyone else uses now and will into the future. These days we hear President Obama blathering away about “clean energy”, but there is reality and there is the increasingly weird world of the White House.

In a recent article, Robert Bryce, one of the nation’s leading authorities on energy, pointed out that “Oil now provides nearly 40 percent of America’s total primary energy use. It also provides nearly all of the energy needed for the transportation sector. Coal and natural gas together provide about 50 percent of America’s primary needs.”

That leaves “clean energy”, solar and wind power, “but together,” Bryce notes, “these sources currently provide about 0.16 percent of Americans total needs.” It should also be pointed out that solar, wind, and ethanol production would not exist were it not for huge government subsidies and mandates for their use.

Both President Obama and Holdren think “clean energy” should receive billions of dollars while the White House does everything in its power to destroy the nation’s oil and coal industries.

The Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, recently said that windmills off the East Coast “could generate one million megawatts of power, roughly the equivalent of 3,000 medium coal-fired power plants, or nearly five times the number of coal plants now in the United States.”

The reality, however, is that there aren’t 3,000 coal fired plants operating. There isn’t even half that number. The Institute for Energy Research estimates that, to achieve Salazar’s insane goal, there would have to be 309,587 giant 3.15 megawatt wind turbines spread over 1,800 miles of coastline or about 172 turbines per mile of coastline. And, of course, the wind would have to blow 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Are these people crazy? You bet! Are the inmates in charge of the asylum? Yes, indeed.

They aren’t the only ones. The American Meteorological Society and several other otherwise respected science groups have completely lost their wits. The AMS wants to explore “geoengineering’s potential to understand its limits and to avoid rash deployment.”

Geoengineering? Remember that Star Trek movie that featured the “Genesis” machine that could convert a dead planet into one with grass and trees, rivers and oceans? When the AMS starts talking about geoengineering, it is strictly into cloud cuckoo land.

Absolutely nothing humans can or should do to mess with the unimaginably huge forces that determine the Earth’s atmosphere should even be contemplated. It is insane! It’s beyond science fiction. It is global genocide. Holdren has been urging “population control measures” since the 1960s.

In 1969, Holdren wrote that it was necessary “to convince society and its leaders that there is no alternative but the cessation of our irresponsible, all-demanding, and all-consuming population growth.” This is another way of saying that there are too many people sharing the planet with Holdren and he has been thinking about that “problem” for a very long time.

So have others in the Obama White House and, in terms of energy use, their “solution” is to make energy so expensive that people will stop driving, starting using mass transit, or just telecommute without going anywhere ever again. Forget about air conditioning and other aspects of modern life.

They intend to achieve this by scaring everyone with global warming talk and by claiming carbon dioxide is a “pollutant”. Then they intend to have the Environmental Protection Agency regulate it. Then they will tax it in the form of cap-and-trade “carbon credits” that must be purchased by all forms of industry and business in America. The costs will be passed along to consumers.

Billions would flow to a government that already is spending trillions in a mad scheme to fix the financial crisis.

What ever happened to just doing nothing? Sometimes when there is no problem, doing nothing is the most brilliant answer. There is no global warming. And, left alone, the financial crisis would correct itself in time. Everything the government is currently doing was tried in the 1930s and it just prolonged the Depression and made it worse!

In the meantime, loonies like Dr. John Holdren will be whispering into Obama’s ear about “shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays.”