Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cap-and-Switch: Hello Sucker!

By Alan Caruba

Here’s a look at the introduction of a draft bill co-sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), co-sponsored by John Kerry (D-MA). It is the Senate alternative to the horrid “Cap-and-Trade” bill authored by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA). Call it “Cap-and-Switch.”

To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence,
reduce global warming pollution, and transition to a
clean energy economy.

All those who believe Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Jolly Green Giant are real should stop reading now.

Let’s look at the objectives of the Senate version of a huge tax on all energy use by every American. As I will note later, the bulk of the cost will fall on low-and-middle income households.

“To create clean energy jobs.” This is pure bunk. Such jobs would be primarily in the production of solar and wind energy. Other such jobs involve biofuels such as ethanol. Combined, solar and wind represent barely one percent of all the electricity generated daily in the nation. If solar and wind were profitable, you can be sure that American entrepreneurs would have long ago become more active, but if it were not for taxpayer dollars subsidizing solar and wind, neither would likely exist.

The only thing ethanol has done has been to raise the cost of the corn from which it is made and reduce the mileage of every gallon of gasoline to which it is added.

Testifying, Sept. 30 before the House Committee on Small Business, Manning Feraci, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board was seeking a continuation of the industry tax incentive. He said “the industry is in the midst of an economic crisis. Plants are having difficulty accessing operating capital. Volatility in commodity markets and reduced demand for biodiesel in both domestic and global markets are making it difficult for producer to sell fuel.” Nobody wants it!

There will be few “clean energy jobs” as compared to the employment that coal, oil and natural gas industries currently provide and could expand upon if the government wasn’t trying to put them out of business.

“Achieve energy independence.” Are you stupid? Boxer, Kerry, Waxman and Markey think you are. So does the President and many members of Congress.

How does America achieve “energy independence” when it will not allow the oil in Alaska’s ANWR to be extracted? When 85% of the nation’s offshore continental shelf, home to estimated billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas, is off-limits to any exploration and drilling? When the President wants to eliminate the current subsidies that encourage oil companies to invest billions to find new reserves? When there is a full-scale attack on America’s coal industry even though coal provides half of all the electricity we use?

Just how does America “achieve energy independence” under such circumstances? How, indeed, do we heat or cool our homes, run our businesses, or even turn on the lights if Congress is opposed to the acquisition and use of our known and estimate energy reserves? Pretty soon, for reasons that defy understanding, Americans will not even be able to purchase an incandescent light bulb in the nation where it was invented!

“Reduce global warming pollution.”
First of all, there is NO global warming. Why would Congress pass a law intended to deal with something that is a complete hoax? And what is global warming pollution? Is it the second most essential gas to all life on Earth, carbon dioxide (CO2)? If so, this law is scientifically absurd and baseless. CO2 never had anything to do with the warming that occurred after the end of the last little ice age, around 1850.

No matter what the Supreme Court and others have ruled, if CO2 is a "pollutant", than we should all be in jail because that’s what we and other mammals exhale. It also occurs when energy sources such as coal and oil are used to keep factories producing, along with hospitals, schools, airports, seaports, and the Capitol of the United States functioning.

“Transition to a clean energy economy.” Oh sure, just as soon as we cover hundreds of thousands of acres of America with solar mirrors and wind turbines, we can make that transition. We have an economy that is dependent on coal, oil and natural gas. We have abundant natural reserves. What we don’t have is a President and Congress with the intelligence to understand that China is building a new coal-fired plant every week to meet its energy needs, that India has an aggressive nuclear energy program going for its economy, and this single piece of legislation will destroy any hope that the American economy can recover and grow strong again.

According to a study of the Waxman-Markey bill by Andrew Chamberlain, it will be the shareholders, not ratepayers, that will be the primary beneficiaries of cap-and-trade’s absurd creation of a market for the purchase and sale of “carbon credits.” It will be based on how much CO2 a utility, industrial, or any other entity is producing. The credits will literally permit them to keep on “polluting” even though that means “global warming” would, in theory, just get worse. Even though there is NO global warming. Make sense to you?

Chamberlain succinctly says, “These new findings should send a clear message to the American people (that) cap-and-trade helps the powerful and hurts the rest of us. And as Congress’ corporate allies receive the bulk of the benefits Waxman-Markey has to offer, our environment, along with our struggling economy, will suffer for years to come.”

“Congress needs to get out of the business of picking winners and losers and allow the market to determine which energy and electricity sources should power our economy.”

I leave you with a short list of just some of the U.S. corporations seeking to benefit from this hideous piece of legislation. Twelve of them sent an open letter to the U.S. Senate urging swift action on the climate change bill. They are Bumble Bee Foods, Dell, DuPont, FPL Group, Google, HP, Johnson & Johnson, Johnson Diversity, Levi Strauss & Company, Nike, PG&E Corporation, and Xanterra Parks and Resorts.

Time to let your Congressman and Senators know you think this is a very bad idea.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

When Did Energy Become the Enemy?

By Alan Caruba

One of the most curious and, frankly, frightening aspects of environmentalism is its hatred of the use of energy. One can draw a straight line between the Carter administration that imposed a windfall tax on the U.S. oil industry and the present Obama administration that is all for offshore oil drilling just as long as it takes place in Brazil, not America.

There is, in fact, offshore oil exploration and drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly near Florida. The problem is that it is being undertaken by China and Russia.

In America, Ken Salazar, Obama’s Secretary of the Interior, is likely to slow offshore development, but it should be noted that 85% of the nation’s continental shelf has long been under a ban against exploration and development, and was throughout the eight years of the Bush Administration. The same holds true for vast oil deposits in Alaska’s ANWR area.

Until the 1970s, America’s economy thrived on affordable energy. Fully 85% of all the energy we need and use comes from coal, oil and natural gas. That is not going to change despite all the blather about “renewable energy” sources such as solar or wind. Neither of these has proven to be either reliable or affordable without huge government subsidies wherever they have been tried.

As Seldon B. Graham, Jr. notes in his book, “Why Your Gasoline Prices Are High”, in 1981 a windfall profits tax was imposed, “This tax, in effect, sent U.S.A. Oil’s exploration and drilling budgets straight to the government to spend as it pleased; thereby leaving little or no exploration and drilling budgets for USA Oil.”

The result was “a death notice” to the industry. “Many U.S. oil and gas companies went bankrupt because of the windfall profits tax. Those U.S.A. oil companies which survived were forced to go overseas to explore and drill in foreign countries.”

The result of the windfall profits tax was that it forced “the U.S.A. to defend Middle East oil.” And that, dear reader, is why we are still in the Middle East providing an umbrella of protection, rescuing Kuwait from Iraq, then having to re-invade Iraq, and now faced with a decision to militarily end Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons with which to threaten other Middle East nations.

Graham, with more than fifty years experience in the oil industry, has also been vocal in opposition to yet another idiotic government mandate, the addition of ethanol to every gallon of gasoline drivers must purchase.

Ethanol is touted as another “clean” energy alternative, but Graham notes that even as it reduces the mileage available from each gallon, it also emits more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. “Clean biofuel is the big lie”, says Graham. That said, carbon dioxide not only plays no role in “global warming”, but there is no global warming; the Earth being in a cooling cycle for the past ten years.

Just like Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama regards oil, natural gas, and coal as the enemy. Jerome Corsi of World Net Daily recently warned that “President Obama declared war on oil and natural gas at the United Nations global warming summit and he made the same pitch to the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh.”

Obama told the UN, “I will work with my colleagues at the G20 to phase out fossil fuel subsidies so that we can better address our climate challenge.”

On September 10, Buddy Kleemeir, chairman of the Independent Petroleum Association of America told a Senate Finance Committee that “The Obama administration’s budget request would strip essential capital from new American natural gas and oil investment by radically raising taxes on American production.”

A recent New York Times article noted that “The oil industry has been on a hot streak this year, thanks to a series of major discoveries…these discoveries, spanning five continents, are the result of hefty investments that began earlier in the decade when oil prices rose…”

First, note that the discoveries are the result of risks taken nearly a decade ago. It takes a long time to find new oil reserves and it requires billions of dollars. Second, note that these discoveries have largely been in other continents.

Third, if U.S. policy deliberately reduces the ability to make those investments by phasing out “fossil fuel subsidies”, it ensures that the nation remains dependent on Middle East and other foreign oil imports. Fourth, it puts the lie to the endless talk of America becoming “energy independent.”

America has been systematically stripped of access to its own interior and offshore energy reserves since the 1970s and at the heart of this conspiracy have been the many environmental organizations that have first secured legislation to enable their obstruction and second to impose, often through the courts, measures that attack, not just energy, but agriculture, timber, and other formerly thriving elements of the nation’s economy.

The destruction of America is moving apace and we have a president who continues to lie about “global warming” in order to further its decline.

Monday, September 28, 2009

First Strike Magic

By Alan Caruba

When I was a teenager, I made a lot of money as a magician, entertaining at parties. At Ted Collins Magic Mecca I could buy the wonderful apparatus that existed for the sole purpose of fooling people who, it turned out, loved to be fooled.

Fooling people is a full-time occupation for those seeking to avoid war or planning to engage in one. Saddam Hussein believed that if the world thought he had weapons of mass destruction, Iraq would be safe from attack. He successfully deceived everyone, but it also led people to conclude he could not be left to use them.

Earlier, on Yom Kippur 1973, while Israelis were worshipping during the holiest day of Judaism, Egypt and Syria used deception to begin a fourth Arab-Israeli war that ended in defeat for both of them.

Since its inception, Israel has had to deal with Muslims intent on destroying the nation and its people. Now they are faced with what is often called “an existential” threat from Iran, but there is nothing existential about it, nor is it Israel’s problem alone.

The long quest for nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them is nearing fulfillment for the Iranians and they have never made it a secret that they intend to attack Israel. So Israel and to some extent America has had to work the magic needed to deter Iran from acquiring nukes and the deception needed to eliminate its capacity to ever use them.

With the exception of North Korea, it is the Middle East that threatens the rest of the world with its combination of Islamic fanaticism and nuclear capabilities. The nukes that already exist in Pakistan must not be allowed to fall into the hands of the Taliban that threaten both that nation and Afghanistan. Al Qaeda continues to issue threats against Europe. Here in the United States Islamic terrorism cells have been disrupted.

A recent story on the DEBKAfile, an Israeli news agency, reported “US giant bunker-buster bomb project rushed since Iran’s Qom site discovered.” The story said that “The Pentagon has brought forward to December 2009 the target-date for producing the first 15-ton super bunker-buster bomb (GBU-57A/B) Massive Ordinance Penetrator, which can reach a depth of 60.09 meters underground before exploding.”

The article went on to say that “DEBKAfile’s military sources report that top defense agencies and air force units were also working against the clock to adapt the bay of a B2a Stealth bomber for carrying and delivering the bomb”, adding that “Congress has since quietly inserted the necessary funding in the 2009 budget.”

The magician in me thinks this story was intended to be read in Tehran. Monitoring Israeli and other news media and vice-versa is an essential element of an intelligence operation.

Here, though, is where it gets very interesting. As reported by, “A pair of chartered Airbus A310 transport aircraft carrying 5,000-lb GBU-28 bunker buster bombs staged through Scotland’s Prestwick International Airport outside Glasgow on 22 July 2006 to refuel and give the crew a rest before continuing to deliver the bombs to Israel. At least two more flights were anticipated before mid-August.”

Assuming the accuracy of the report, Israel by 2006 already has bunker-buster bombs.

However, on January 11, 2009, in the last weeks of the Bush administration, Reuters reported that “President Bush deflected a secret request by Israel last year for specialized bunker-busting bombs it wanted for an attack on Iran’s main nuclear complex and told the Israelis that he had authorized new covert action intended to sabotage Iran’s suspected effort to develop nuclear weapons, according to senior American and foreign officials.”

So, what is it? Does Israel already have bunker-buster bombs or is the United States gearing up for its own possible attack? Or both?

By August 2009, Reuters reported that “The Pentagon is seeking to speed deployment of an ultra-large bunker-buster bomb on the most advanced U.S. bomber as soon as July 2010, the Air Force said on Sunday, amid concerns over perceived nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran.” Is it December 2009 or July 2010?

Iranian intelligence officers have to wonder and that is the magic of a first strike.

Israel has already conducted long-range airborne exercises to test its ability to deliver these bombs to Iran’s sites, nor does Israel need U.S. permission to over-fly Iraq. It can do so with the blessing of Saudi Arabia, no friend of Iran.

Iran has still more to worry about. During a September 22nd military celebration, it lost its only AWAC, early warming aircraft when another jet crashed into it. Although it has contracted with the Russians to acquire surface-to-air missiles to protect its nuclear sites, there is some question when they will be delivered, if ever.

All these reports, available with any Google search, conflict in some way and all could be part of an elaborate deception to leave Iran unable to respond to an attack on its nuclear facilities.

The same deception that Iran has practiced for years in order to secure the time necessary to join the nuclear club of nations has been practiced against it as regards the availability of bunker-buster bombs.

Like the magician who deftly maneuvers his audience to watch his right hand, the left one is acquiring the cards or doves to surprise that audience.

It is not likely to deter Iran, but it is likely to surprise Iran some morning when its nuclear facilities are destroyed.

Twice the Israelis have destroyed nuclear facilities, once in Iraq in the 1980s and, more recently, in Syria. The Iranians are deceiving themselves if they think theirs are not marked for destruction.

Editor's Note: A NewsMax story confirms that the Saudis, as I suggested, will grant the Israelis permission to use their air space to attack Iranian nuclear facilities. You read it here first!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

All Obama, All the Time

By Alan Caruba

You know things are amiss when a British newspaper takes President Obama to task in an editorial titled, “Too much Obama.”

America and the rest of the world have had nine months of President Obama and all the flaws that were hidden by campaign rhetoric and coverage are now on daily display. The problem, specifically, is too much rhetoric, too many speeches in too many places.

The Times
of London politely suggested “he has adopted flawed tactics for which he has only himself to blame.”

“One of these is to be everywhere, all the time. Five television interviews in one day, an unprecedented appearance on a late-night talk show and eight speeches in two weeks have guaranteed him blanket coverage since his summer holiday. But what is on show is the personality of the office holder, not the authority and mystique of the office, which dissipate with every soundbite.”

In classic English understatement, The Times noted “He is somewhat vain”, but suggested most presidents were. That’s like saying all columnists or editorial writers are occasionally vain. In Obama’s case, it goes beyond vanity. There is something creepy about Obama. He doesn’t just enjoy the spotlight; he craves it like an addict.

Democrats in upcoming elections are still running against Bush, but this strategy is not likely to work in November and surely not in next year’s midterm elections.

The war in Afghanistan is now Obama’s war. The unwanted reform of Medicare is rightly called Obamacare. Continued babbling about global warming and climate change, a topic near or at the bottom of the list of American’s concerns, makes Obama look foolish. And, of course, unemployment remains high and recovery is, at best, sluggish.

Mocked as the “Messiah” or “the One” during the 2008 campaign, Obama exhibits all the characteristics of someone who believes that, by words alone, he can transform not just the nation, but the world. A torrent of words is achieving nothing.

The result is All Obama, All the Time.

To the extent that American’s blame the media for helping him get elected, the same media that keep him front and center hour after hour is suffering blowback.

As reported by CNSnews, a recent poll by the Sacred Heart University Polling Institute revealed that “Two-thirds (67%) of Americans surveyed think that ‘objective and fair journalism is dead’, while an overwhelming 89.4 percent believe the news media played a role in the election of President Barack Obama.” In other words, they think they were hoodwinked by the media.

Parenthetically, since September 2008, all forms of journalism, print and electric, have shed 35,800 jobs according to one recent study and those jobs are not likely to return.

Observers of Obama note that the job of the presidency is to represent and defend Americans. “It is not all about him,” is the most frequent criticism.

At some point, much like the ACORN revelations, something from his past is likely to jump up and do severe injury to Obama’s capacity to perform the duties of the office of president.

In the meantime, his failure to publicity note and commend the seizure of three Muslims, separately accused of planning terrorism troubles Americans. His opposition to the Honduran government in favor of a leftist who attempted to usurp that nation’s constitution puts him in the company of Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers. The trickle of releases from Guantanamo is not going unnoticed. And the Democrat meltdown over Obamacare demonstrates his failure to lead within his own party.

All Obama, all the Time is becoming a national nightmare.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Liberals are Killing America

By Alan Caruba

It is not a new observation, but it is one that needs review and repeating every so often. Why do liberals always seem to get on the wrong side of any issue concerning America’s future? Its sovereignty? Its financial security? Its defense?

I think this question is particularly timely given the public discussion of Obamacare that included a huge peaceful protest march on Washington September 12th. The President’s non-stop campaign to get “reform” passed and the heated exchanges in Congress do not represent actual healthcare reform, but are testimony to a liberal obsession with a very bad idea.

You know something is desperately wrong when Democrats will not permit the proposed bill to enjoy a grace period of 72 hours during which both the public and members of Congress can actually read it before a vote is taken.

The irony of the current battle is that the bill will significantly change Medicare, a program advocated by liberals and, like Social Security, established by Democrats in Congress. It will destroy a free market for insurance programs individuals may choose to purchase. Or not.

There is no dispute that both programs, safety nets for Americans, have been helpful. Neither is voluntary There is no doubt that both are insolvent because they are unsustainable. This has been exacerbated by the way Congress has dipped into the funds intended to be set aside for them.

Obamacare will end up killing a lot of the people that Medicare was intended to save from the diseases and accidents that afflict the elderly.

It is not so much a “reform” as an admission of the failure of Congress to properly administer Medicare. Moreover, the “reform” will seize control of one sixth of the nation’s economy and dangerously, insidiously come between physician and patient.

It is a reform that is doomed to failure because there simply are not enough doctors, nurses, and other licensed and certified healthcare providers.

The global warming hoax and the arguments that “saving the environment” justifies a horrid “cap-and-trade” bill under consideration is another example of how liberal zeal for apparently noble “causes” reaps more harm than good. In the process, actual known, proven science has been abandoned.

In many ways, America has historically demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to Nature. The set asides of vast tracks of national forests and natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone attest to this and the national effort to clean our waters and air attest to this.

The problem, one that was anticipated and feared by the Founding Fathers, is the continued expansion of the federal government’s control over all aspects of our lives. The creation and existence of the departments of education and energy have harmed America in countless ways. The Environmental Protection Agency is an assault on science and property rights. All are essentially unconstitutional.

There never was any scientific evidence for “global warming” and yet it has been the all-purpose “go to” justification for restrictions that range from toilets that lack sufficient power to flush and, soon, a prohibition on the incandescent light bulb. Environmental restrictions have done irreparable harm to the nation’s economic growth.

Natural phenomenon from hurricanes to floods to forest fires have been blamed on global warming and this continues even though the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for a decade and what warming occurred after 1850 was a natural cyclical response to a previous little ice age that had begun in the 1300s.

Liberals, however, lack common sense. Environmentalism has transformed from conservation to a wholesale attack on America’s industrial base and, in a larger sense, capitalism. The Left has always attacked capitalism and the free market system that is essentially self-regulating.

This is particularly evident in liberal efforts to render the nation unable to access its own vast energy reserves of oil, natural gas, and coal. Energy is called the “master resource” because, without it, life can be harsh and progress in the form of innovation and invention, slows. Industrialized nations are differentiated from “undeveloped” nations almost entirely on the basis of the availability and widespread use of affordable energy.

Liberals, however, would not just leave vast parts and populations of the world bereft of the energy needed to grow crops, create jobs, and serve the basic needs of their people, but continue to use environmentalism to denigrate everything from driving one’s car to the use of plush toilet paper.

While America has always been “a nation of immigrants”, the process of accepting new citizens has been undermined in recent decades by the ceaseless flow of illegal aliens entering the nation and not merely ignoring the naturalization process, but also taking wrongful advantage of social programs such as welfare, our educational system, and our healthcare system. Liberals, however, continue to campaign for amnesty programs.

The liberal attack on the institution of marriage, on the free expression of religious faith, and other elements necessary to a civil society is yet another example of the way a nation they profess to love is undermined as its core values are systematically destroyed.

And let it be said that in the decades since the 1960s and 70s, men and women who have been elected to Congress and to occupy the White House on the basis of their avowed conservatism, have too often yielded to liberal arguments and programs. Tax and spend is now a bipartisan philosophy.

Liberals now hold majority political power in Congress and the White House, and the nation has been witness to the abandonment of our allies abroad and an appalling level of corruption, wasteful spending on pet projects, of which ACORN is just one example.

Liberals created the programs that led to massive mortgage loan failures; liberal programs enacted to impose “fairness” ignored the inability of everyone to own their own home. Something was desperately wrong when government entitles such as Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac owned over half of all mortgage loans.

The government’s failure to exercise oversight and regulation over all elements of the nation’s financial system, based on existing laws, has resulted in the greatest ponzi scheme of the modern era and the failure of banks and investment houses. The Federal Reserve is neither federal nor a reserve.

Lastly, the grasp for ever more power, the introduction of unelected “czars” in the executive branch, and the possibility that the most liberal president ever elected is seeking the destruction of the nation call for both action and an increased devotion to conservative principles.

Americans are demanding a return to governance based on the limits of the Constitution and the reduction of senseless spending and borrowing. America belongs to “We the People” and We the People must defend it from those who see America only as a nation to be plundered.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Making Law, Ignoring Science, Taxing via Ignorance

By Alan Caruba

You begin with bad science, the kind that has no basis in fact. You get corporations to promote that bad science in order to increase their profits. Then you get the courts involved to rule on what those corporations are doing and when they incorporate the bad science in their judgment, you complete the circle of ignorance.

Somebody always ends up with the bill for this and it is always either the consumer and/or the taxpayer.

The process is called “rent seeking” when corporations attempt to manipulate public opinion and policy for their personal gain. Recently, Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank, wrote gleefully about a decision of the Second U.S. Court of Appeals, State of Connecticut et al v. American Power et all, that concluded that states and other plaintiffs have the right to sue five electric utilities for creating a “public nuisance” by emitting carbon dioxide (CO2), thus contributing to global warming.

As I am wont to point out almost every day, there is NO global warming and CO2 plays no role whatever in the process by which the Earth warms. It is, however, the most hyped “greenhouse” gas, alleged to be responsible for the planet’s warming. No, the Sun is the most responsible for that and right now it is in hibernation, producing far fewer sunspots (magnetic storms) than in previous years. The result is that the Earth has been cooling for the past decade.
Apparently the judges, Joseph McClaughlin and Peter Hall, were unaware of this or, for whatever reason, thought that it was permissible to open the utilities to law suits anyway. They may have been relying on one the most stupefying decisions handed down by the Supreme Court that likewise declared that CO2 was a greenhouse gas and a “pollutant.”

How the Supremes came to the conclusion that a gas responsible for all the vegetation on Earth and thus vital to all life on Earth was a pollutant, defies understanding. We humans emit CO2 every time we exhale. The Court is not immune to stupidity, however, because prior to the Civil War, it ruled that Dred Scott, a freedman was, in fact, a slave on the theory, one presumes, that once a slave, always a slave.

Lewis noted that “These utilities for years have lobbied for carbon cap-and-trade schemes. Instead of opposing climate alarmism, they have helped to promote it.” The lies about global warming have come back to bite them!

In sum, cap-and-trade would allow the utilities and other producers or users of energy to makes heaps of money selling so-called “carbon credits” among each other. Think of it as a high stakes game of Texas Hold’m poker or the sale of indulgences by the Church that wiped the purchaser’s sins clean.

Now, instead of trading carbon credits, the utilities will be subject to endless consumer lawsuits for the high crime of producing electricity while emitting CO2.

One day after the Appeals Court decision, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it had finalized new requirements for the nation’s biggest sources of “greenhouse gases” to publicly disclose their annual emissions “providing the necessary foundation for effective federal policy to reduce global warming pollution.”

Only there is NO global warming and thus no need to “reduce” it. And CO2 is not a pollutant. Just because the EPA says global warming is real does not mean it is. Just because the courts say that CO2 is a pollutant does not mean it is.

If Congress passes the Cap-and-Trade bill that just barely passed the House and is now in the Senate for a vote, it will cost families approximately $1,800 more each year to heat, cool, and power their homes so that a handful of the very rich can get richer trading carbon credits while everyone else gets poorer.

If this sounds a lot like those mortgage loan “derivatives” that were “bundled” as assets and sold to banks and investments house, thus generating the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, you’re right.

It’s all very creative, but the court’s decision, the EPA’s regulation, and the claim that global warming exists are all utterly false. They are all lies piled upon lies.

And you as a taxpayer and consumer will be forced to pay for them out of your pocket.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The U.S. Capitol and Islam's Endless Jihad

By Alan Caruba

On Monday, September 28, Jews around the world will celebrate Yom Kippur, fasting and seeking to begin the new lunar year with a clean slate. The holy day is traditionally celebrated after one has paid debts and sought forgiveness for any wrongs.

For the Israelis, in 1973, it included having to go to war after a sneak attack by Syria and Egypt.

It is not a coincidence that the Muslim month of Ramadan occurs during this same period. Muhammad borrowed a lot of Judaism, but he brought to his new religion some decidedly Arab traits and one of them was intolerance. When a Jewish tribe residing in Arabia refused to acknowledge him as the prophet of Allah, he had all the men executed and the women and children sold into slavery.

When Muslims captured Jerusalem, Judaism’s and Christianity’s most holy city, they chose a site sacred to Jews to build a mosque, al Qud, on the Temple Mount. In Islamic mythology, it is the site where Mohammad ascended to Heaven to meet his fellow prophets after flying to Jerusalem in a dream. There is no indication he ever set foot in Israel, nor is Jerusalem even mentioned by name in the Koran. One of the reasons for the Crusades was to restore Jerusalem to its rightful owners.

In a fashion that Jews and Christians can never quite understand, Islam insists that it is the only religion that should be practiced on the planet. While it gives lip service to Judaism and Christianity because the two faiths have a holy book, it holds Hinduism, Buddhism, and other faiths in complete contempt for lack of a similar scripture.

Americans should pay attention when, on Friday, September 24, some in the American Islamic community hope to bring together up to 50,000 Muslims to surround the U.S. Capitol for Jummah prayer, otherwise known as their Sabbath, celebrated on Fridays, just as Jews do.

The Capitol celebration will be led by Sheikh Ahmed Dewider, a Manhattan cleric who reportedly once said that “through the domination of Islam and its ideas, the White House will change” and expressed the hope that someday the White House would become the Muslim House.

According to The New York Times, the main organizer of the event, Hassen Ibn Abedellah, was “the most aggressively combative of the lawyers” representing the terrorists who staged the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Abdellah has claimed that Zionists “control the government, the politics, the economy, and the media in the U.S.”

Thus, the Friday event will be led by men who are both anti-Semitic and who harbor dreams of turning America into a Muslim nation subject to Sharia, Islamic law.

Occupied elsewhere, President Obama will not be able to participate, but he was also too busy to participate in the National Day of Prayer, acknowledging it with a perfunctory proclamation. Busy as he is, he did host a White House dinner celebrating what he called “The Holy Month of Ramadan” and recently issued a proclamation at the end of Ramadan which concluded with an Arabic blessing.

I suggest Friday’s Capitol event is part of Islam’s endless jihad against all other faiths and reflects its ambitions for the United States of America.

Editor’s Note: Our thanks to the American Family Association for their contribution to this commentary.

The Reality of Healthcare Reform

As noted over at Theo Spark's blog, this sums up the healthcare reform Obama and the Democrats want to impose on us:
"A medical system with the compassion of the IRS, the efficiency of the U.S. Postal Service, and the financial solvency of the Social Security system. What could go wrong?"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Unbearable Arrogance

By Alan Caruba

As the months pass by in the Obama administration, some traits are beginning to emerge that inform us in a general way what we’re up against.

To the astonishment of many, it is an administration filled with Marxists. The “Green Jobs” czar Van Jones was exposed as one and resigned. Now it has been revealed that yet another, Mark Lloyd, designated as the “Diversity” czar, holds the Venezuelan dictator, Hugo Chavez, in high esteem, calling his power grab “an incredible revolution.”

Even before these two, it was learned that Carol Browner, the “Environmental” czar, was a highly regarded member of the Commission for a Sustainable World Society, which is part of the Socialist International.

As various members of the Obama administration expressed their views on events and issues, we discover that they hold most Americans in low esteem. David Axelrod, the communications advisor to President Obama, dismissed an estimated 1.8 million Americans who participated in the September 12 protest march saying, “They’re wrong.”

There hasn’t been a comparable event in years, but “They’re wrong.”

Given the polls that all say that the nation’s economy is the number one issue that needs to be fixed, the White House has embarked on two major pieces of legislation guaranteed to wreck it still more. Healthcare “reform” should have the same priority as fixing the nation’s infrastructures of roads, bridges and ports, but instead there has been a non-stop effort to initiate a government takeover one sixth of the nation’s economy. Some people might call that Marxist.

Likewise, the hideous “Cap-and-Trade” bill, a huge tax on the generation and use of all energy has been the other administration priority. If you wanted to reduce America to third-world nation status, just increase the cost of energy while, at the same time, opposing any offshore exploration and extraction of oil and natural gas, and making it nearly impossible to build any coal-fired plants that currently provide just over fifty percent of all electricity.

This brings me to Dr. Steven Chu, the Secretary of Energy, the subject of a September 21 Wall Street Journal article that reported “Dr. Chu said he didn’t think average folks had the know-how or will to change their behavior enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

There is no reason, zero reason, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There is no global warming and, even if there was, carbon dioxide, (CO2) the primary gas over which controls would be imposed, has nothing to do with climate change. Instead, hundreds of years after a warming, it shows up in the atmosphere in somewhat enhanced amounts. And even that is a good thing because CO2 is essential to all life on Earth as plant food.

“The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should,” opined Dr. Chu. “The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is.”

I daresay the American public are not like teenagers, nor should they be regarded or treated as such, but therein lies the unbearable arrogance of the Obama administration.

The notion that the President of the United States has to be on all five (save Fox) Sunday morning talk shows says that his handlers believe viewers must be overwhelmed with a torrent of lies to accept the administration’s position on healthcare reform. When one anchor noted that an element of the reform package was a hidden tax—an excise tax—that simple truth was brushed aside.

The President’s speech at the United Nations repeated every lie about “climate change” we have been hearing since the 1980s and that repetition is so unpersuasive that “global warming” ranks last among the priorities that Americans have these days. It’s no longer Obama’s “Audacity of Hope”, it is the audacity of his lies that confront all Americans.

The Earth has been cooling since 1998. It is making the global warming liars desperate to get whatever national and international action taken before it becomes even more evident. The fact that the President would address it as justification for any action his administration might take reveals the depths of deception that exist within it.

The kind of arrogance and outright deception Americans are witnessing is increasingly distressing and generating a lot of anger. It’s not going to go away. Hugo Chavez may have fans inside the Obama administration, but beyond the gates of the White House he is known for what he is, a dictator.

To borrow a phrase from a Hollywood film, fasten your safety belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Department of Defenselessness

By Alan Caruba

When World War Two arrived at America’s doorstep, we had to virtually build an Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines from scratch. The war had been raging in Europe since 1939 by the time the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor propelled us into war in 1941. The Japanese had been sacking, raping and looting Manchuria and China since 1931.

Now President Obama wants to reduce the U.S. arsenal of nuclear weapons to a reported “hundreds rather than thousands” to prepare for deep cuts. Truman was the first and last president to actually use a nuclear weapon to end the war with Japan.

Since then, all presidents have paid lip service to reducing the threat of nuclear weapons, but there is an iron law that says you cannot “un-invent” something once it comes into existence.

The suggestion that the world is “safer” or “less safe” because nuclear weapons exist is purely subjective. What we know is that without nuclear weapons all nations that do not have them are at a severe disadvantage with those that do.

That is why both Pakistan and India, traditional enemies, both developed their own nuclear weapons in secret while ignoring international prohibitions and proscriptions against them, It is also why little North Korea that cannot keep the lights on at night also developed them. They are a tidy source of income to a criminal communist satrap.

All the major powers have them and the worry is that they will fall into the hands of terrorists; presumably of the Muslim variety.

The big worry, however, is Iran’s program because there are few world leaders who do not doubt they will use them. Iran is not regarded as a terrorist organization like al Qaeda, but the simple fact is that Iran is the world’s leading supporter of terrorism whether you call it al Qaeda, Hizbollah, Fatah, Hamas or any one of the endless self-declared jihad groups.

So it is cause for real concern that we have a president who not only put the kibosh on a missile defense system to be placed in Poland and the Czech Republic, but now wants to unilaterally disarm or greatly reduce America’s nuclear arsenal.

Having apologized profusely to Europe and Muslim nations for America’s apparent misdeeds in coming to their defense in the past, President Obama is now punishing tiny Honduras for expelling a former president who wanted to ignore that nation’s constitution and its supreme court to set up a Hugo Chavez-type government.

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s Chavez, a big fan of Fidel Castro’s Cuba, has been busy cutting deals with Russia, China, and any other nation hostile to the interests of America.

To cap off his efforts in the passed eight months, President Obama has allowed his Attorney General to re-visit decisions regarding the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of advanced interrogation techniques that are widely acknowledged to have thwarted attacks on the homeland. Seven former CIA directors wrote the President to say this was a very bad idea.

It’s a bad idea that is exacerbated by President Obama’s intention to close down Guantanamo and to return terrorists to their home nations. From there, they return to the front lines of jihad because that’s what jihadists do.

Officially, throughout the Obama administration, the words “war on terrorism” and “terrorists” are never uttered out loud. They have been banned from the lexicon of the State Department, Homeland Security, and possibly even Defense.

Meanwhile, arrests have been made of an alleged terror cell, the results of which will no doubt reveal planned attacks that would have killed many Americans.

None of this bodes well for America and all of this suggests that many more D.C. marches will be needed to encourage Congress to put the brakes on efforts to render America insolvent, in the grip of unaccountable “czars”, and defenseless.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Obama Explains Everything About Healthcare..Again

Florida Ignores Billions in Oil/Gas Revenue

By Alan Caruba

If you were the governor of a state that had anywhere from $7 billion at the low end and $41 billion at the high end in oil and natural gas revenues, wouldn’t you want to drill for it? If you did, you would open up between 20,000 and 40,000 news jobs related to the exploration, extraction, and distribution of these vital sources of energy.

That’s the case in Florida and, in fact, along the long East, West and Gulf of Mexico coastlines of U.S. states. Is there oil out there? As Business Week reported in early September, “It may be one of the biggest oil finds of the year, if not the decade” referring to one made by British Petroleum in the western gulf of Mexico. How big? Billions of barrels of oil.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER) personally delivered 11,816 comments from Americans to the Secretary of the Interior. They want the U.S. to drill off our outer continental shelf. At present, 85% of it is off-limits to exploration and extraction. It is unlikely that Ken Salazar will lift the ban. Like the entire Obama administration, he is opposed to accessing oil, natural gas, or coal.

For people who run around shouting that America needs “energy independence”, neither Democrat, nor Republican presidents or politicians have allowed the nation’s vast interior and offshore resources to be tapped for decades. This is a criminally stupid policy.

The main opposition, of course, comes from the many environmental organizations that want to keep everything “pristine” while the rest of us could be looking at $7-a-gallon gasoline if things heat up in the Persian Gulf or blackouts if they continue to block the building of coal-fired plants to generate electricity (coal accounts for just over half of all the electricity we use daily.)

What most Americans still don’t “get” is that the Greens lie all the time to achieve their agenda. The Sierra Club was recently found out in a lie about a 1990 “oil spill” in Tampa Bay that never happened!

Among the many lies Greens tell about offshore drilling is that there is not enough energy in the outer continental shelf to justify exploration. Interior’s own Minerals Management Services estimates that the OCS contains 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Those are likely to be conservative estimates given recent oil discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico by BP and Chevron.

Then there is the canard about oil leaks. According to the U.S. Department of Interior data, offshore operators produced seven billion barrels of oil from 1985 to 2001 with a spill rate of .001 percent! According to the National Academy of Sciences, the majority of oil in the ocean, 60 percent, is the result of natural seeps through the ocean floor.

In Florida, the Greens are waging a fight to keep that state from benefiting from the oil in its OCS areas. The National Petroleum Council estimates that the eastern Gulf may hold up to 36.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 5.2 billion barrels of oil. The 45,000 acre Jay and Blackjack fields in northwestern Florida, the state’s most prolific, will yield a billion barrels of oil. There are similar fields in Sunniland in Southwest Florida.

Why wouldn’t Florida want to tap all that income to fund its schools and other public facilities and programs? Texas dedicated $716 million from energy revenues to public education in 2008. In 2008 and 2009, oil and gas receipts from severance taxes in Texas generated nearly $7 billion dollars.

Why wouldn’t other coastal states want to do the same thing? Imagine what it would be like to have more national energy sources, perhaps another refinery or two, and more coal-fired and nuclear plants to produce our growing need for electricity? Imagine all the jobs that would generate?

And now try to imagine why the U.S. government has steadfastly resisted and thwarted this since the days of Jimmy Carter?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Just How Awful is the UN?

By Alan Caruba

It is hard to imagine a more nauseating assemblage than those who gather for a meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Belonging to such an organization—and the United States does—is an insult to humanity.

When the General Assembly votes, it puts nations such as Liechtenstein and Tonga on an equal footing with the United States. It is one vote, one nation. The United States has more people living in Florida than live in more than 130 member nations of the UN.

The United Nations is so corrupt and so devoid of any sense of decency that it should have been abandoned by the United States long ago. By 2003, there had been 291 wars resulting in 22 million deaths and during that time, the UN had authorized military intervention only twice; once in response to North Korea’s invasion of South Korea and following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. In both cases, the United States bore the brunt of the fighting.

Despite 17 resolutions, the UN disapproved of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 to remove Saddam Hussein and the Baath regime. Now long since swept under the carpet was the Iraq’s corrupt “Oil for Food” program during Kofi Annan’s stewardship as Secretary General, but it’s well to remember that Saddam benefited to the tune of $21 billion while UN officials looked the other way.

Unknown to most Americans is the role of the Muslim bloc of nations whose numbers dominate the United Nations, thwarting measures to improve the rights of women, enforce religious tolerance, and other worthy causes, while they frequently play host to terrorist organizations or supporting terrorist activities.

The UN’s Commission on Human Rights was so abysmal that it was scrapped and replaced with a “new” Human Rights Council, but how new can it be when its first members included Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other regimes famous for human rights abuses?

President Obama will be among the heads of state addressing the General Assembly, but that podium will also be open to the odious Mamoud Ahmadinejad.

On September 24, the President will preside over a meeting of the UN Security Council and five seats away from him will be Libya’s longtime dictator, Col. Moammar Quaddafi. The discussion will be about “non-proliferation” of nuclear weapons, but there will be no discussion of disarmament.

Next week, the Human Rights Council will hear a report by Richard Goldstone, a South African judge who agreed to investigate Israel’s brief war on Gaza. Though a Jew and self-described supporter of Israel, the report has been widely reported to lay all the blame on Israel and none on Hamas, the Palestinian organization responsible for years of rocket attacks on Israel.

The UN Commissioner of Human Rights, Navi Pillay, will also make a presentation whose 80 paragraphs devote 66 to Israel’s alleged misdeeds and 8 to Hamas, an organization devoted to the genocide of the Israelis. Thus, the ancient principle and right of self-defense will be flushed away in pursuit of the continuance of the UN’s insane hatred of Israel.

In 2000, the former Commission passed a resolution endorsing a Palestinian right of resistance to what it deemed Israeli “occupation” of lands lost in the wars against Israel. Six of the nine European Union nations voted in favor of it. The U.S. had lost its seat on the Commission in the previous year.

The UN’s idea of refugee relief has been to run “camps” for Palestinians, some of whom are in their second and third generations, living in isolation from Middle East nations that refuse to accept or integrate them as citizens.

One could rightly condemn the United Nations as utterly useless in lieu of its long record of failure to deter wars, the purpose for which it was founded following World War Two, but its own record of abuses is breathtaking. The introduction of UN peacekeeping troops has often been a prelude to rape and other crimes against local populations, nor has the presence of UN troops prevented massacres such as in Srebrenica during the Serbian-Kosovo conflict.

Its International Atomic Energy Agency has never prevented the acquisition of technology to make nuclear weapons. Both Pakistan and India secretly achieved their own weapons and the IAEA has proven useless with regard to North Korea and Iran.

It should also be noted that the entire “global warming” hoax was hatched by the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change, a farcical group that for years issued reports filled with preposterous computer models predicting what the climate would be in 2050. The IPCC has been the driving force behind the odious Kyoto Protocols upon which the current “Cap-and-Trade” bill in Congress is based.

The one thing the IPCC did not count upon was the onset of a global cooling cycle in 1998 that will be around for decades.

Most awful of all has been the unending effort of the United Nations to establish itself as a world government with its own military, control of the world’s oceans and seas, population and health issues, and, of late, the suggestion that it establish a global currency.

It is an Orwellian global bureaucracy, determined to become a global government that would exert its control over every aspect of life on planet Earth.

The United Nations is a failure.

Nations will not cease to conduct diplomacy with one another if the UN headquarters is shuttered.

Its presence on U.S. soil is a national disgrace.

Its existence is a threat to our national sovereignty.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

At War with Iran for Thirty Years

By Alan Caruba

Iran has been at war with the United States for thirty years.

When one’s life spans time from the beginning of World War Two, the decades of the Cold War, and the emergence of rogue regimes in Libya, North Korea, Venezuela, Iraq and Iran, you develop an instinct for spotting the enemies of freedom. Russia and China never leave the radar screen.

Following World War Two, America entered into a long period called the Cold War and the stakes could not have been higher. It would last from 1945 until 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

We had entered the “Atomic age.” Though the threat was great, no one believed that the leaders of the Soviet Union were ever crazy enough to actually use nuclear weapons. The strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction worked for both adversaries and still does, but that is not the case with Iran.

From the earliest days of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, its leaders were determined to acquire nuclear weapons and the missiles with which to deliver them. From the beginning, America was always identified as Iran’s greatest enemy, the “Great Satan”, while Israel was called the “Little Satan.”

It is criminally stupid, if not insane, to believe that Iran will not use its nuclear weapons.

I repeat: Iran has been at war with the United States since the inception of the Islamic revolution in 1979. Defying all international laws, Iran seized American diplomats and held them hostage for 444 days, waiting for the inauguration of President Reagan before releasing them. One of the “students” who participated in that outrage was Mamoud Ahmadinejad, the current president of Iran.

This is a nation that has embraced taking hostages, political assassinations, suicide bombings that killed American Marines in Beirut and, later, the bombing the Khobar Towers in eastern Saudi Arabia. In the wake of 9/11, Iran provided sanctuary to al Qaeda leaders fleeing U.S. forces.

Iran is ruled by a psychotic, criminal regime.

Dr. Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, has written “The Rise of Nuclear Iran: How Iran Defies the West.” It details Iran’s determination to acquire the ability to build its own nuclear weapons and to deliver them with missiles.

From the day Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seized control of Iran, its subsequent leaders have been working toward an Islamic Armageddon that defies the imagination.

On December 14, 200l, Ali Akbar Rafasanjani said, “The use of an atomic bomb against Israel would totally destroy Israel, while the same against the Islamic world would only cause damage”, adding “Such a scenario is not inconceivable.”

“From 1979 to 2009,” writes Dore, “Iran was consistently prepared to take incredible risks to confront the United States.”

President Obama appears to be oblivious to the long history of Iranian aggression as he pursues a strategy of “soft power” through apologies to the Muslim Middle East and seeking direct negotiations with Iran.

Iran has always used negotiations to achieve its nuclear goals and it has always used deception as the primary means to do so. It “negotiated” with the European Union while buying time to build its nuclear weapons capacity. Iran is not pursuing a “civilian” use of nuclear power.

From Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama, any show of American weakness has only emboldened Iran’s plan to assert hegemony over the Middle East and to carry the Islamic revolution to the rest of the world.

“In the absence of a U.S. response to successive Iranian provocations, Iran did not sit back quietly, but exploited what it perceived as western weakness by adopting a policy of continuing escalation,” says Gold. And he is right.

The U.S., Europe, and nations in the Middle East cannot—dare not—assume that Iran will not use nuclear weapons. Just the opposite. Its unique Shiite belief that only an Armageddon of massive death and chaos can bring about the “return” of the Twelfth Imam, a mythical figure that will impose Islam on the entire world, propels Iran toward a nuclear war. It is a belief that is critical to an understanding of the psychology of the leaders of Iran today.

This is why, twice in the past, Israel has destroyed nuclear facilities in the Middle East, first in Iraq in the1980s and more recently in Syria. It literally has no choice other than to destroy Iranian facilities.

Negotiations will not work.

Economic sanctions will not work.

United Nations resolutions will not work.

The world, the United States, and Israel are rapidly running out of options.

We are all rapidly running out of time.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Signs of U.S. Decline

By Alan Caruba

Let me begin by saying I am not an economist, but I have had a rather unique “education” in the way American’s make a living, thanks to a long career as a public relations counselor working with corporations, trade associations, and others across a broad band of manufacturing and other activities, including agricultural.

My working philosophy was that, if I could understand what they were doing, anyone else could as well. Along the way I learned that farming has got to be one of the hardest ways to make a living. It is just dawn to dusk work. Next to that is manufacturing anything.

So, naturally, when Business Week magazine asked on its cover, “Can the future be built in America? Inside the U.S. Manufacturing Crisis”, it caught my eye. As Pete Engardio, the reporter, put it “The good news is that the U.S. is at or near the cutting edge in most of the emerging product areas,” particularly high tech, the bad news is that “Unless the U.S. can magically resurrect its manufacturing base, the good-paying jobs from these breakthroughs will be offshore.”

The irony is that the high tech breakthroughs were paid for with billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars that funded research at federal and university science labs, going back to the 1960s when the new products were just in the idea stage.

The numbers, too, tell the story. “In 2000 the U.S. exported $29 billion more high-tech products than it imported”, but “by 2007 that had turned into a $54 billion trade deficit.”
This is attributed to “two decades of unconstrained out-sourcing to Asia” that has “hallowed out much of America’s base of suppliers, factory managers, and skilled technicians.”

Not mentioned in the article is the way America’s schools have since the 1960s been turning out students with poor math and science skills, along with writing and reading skills. The average freshman college student spends time in “remedial” courses for things earlier generations routinely learned. Add to that the crushing costs of a college education and you have a recipe for a dumbed down and debt-ridden work force.

While we’re being told that the recession is “technically” over and jobs are a “lagging indicator” of recovery, my own worst suspicions are that jobs in general are going to be lagging for a long time to come, especially the skilled ones that nations like China and India are developing with rigorous educational systems.

“Nations in Asia and Europe aggressively court strategic high-tech industries with generous tax breaks, cash grants, cheap credit, low-cost utilities, and speedy regulatory approval.”

“By comparison, the U.S. has been indifferent to manufacturing; even when tax breaks are factored in.” Philosophically, the Obama administration appears to regard both Wall Street and corporations as an enemy that must be subdued with greater and greater regulatory oversight.

The fact that the existing oversight agencies failed in their duties does not seem to be understood. That’s why ponzi schemer, Bernie Madoff, and others were able to get away with it for years.

“Also, it can take two years to obtain all the environmental, health, and safety permits for a modern electronics plant—a lifetime in the tech world.” It’s a lifetime in any business enterprise. The U.S. manufacturing base may be the most heavily regulated segment of society of any nation with which we must compete.

Consider, too, the guiding philosophy of the Obama administration. Anything that contributes to the provision of energy is bad. Coal mines, bad. Offshore oil and natural gas drilling, bad. Anything, too, that uses energy is bad.

America’s auto manufacturers (the federal government and the unions now own General Motors and Chrysler) are being told they must get more mileage out of a gallon of gas, forcing them to modify automobiles in ways that simply make them more dangerous to drive.

In response to a survey by Deloitte Research and the Manufacturing Institute, U.S. executives said they believe that America’s competitiveness will decline further by 2012. An overhaul of the corporate tax code would be a good place to begin to reverse that. U.S. corporations pay higher taxes than just about anywhere else in the world!

These and other indicators are signs of decline in what used to be the greatest economy the world had ever seen. Other nations have watched and learned the lessons we have forgotten or reject. They are going to eat our lunch.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Obama: Wrong, Just Wrong

By Alan Caruba

What continues to astound me is how wrong the Obama administration is on so many issues. It is not unusual to disagree with some element of the White House agenda, no matter who is president, but I keep looking for something, anything, with which to agree.

This is the price Americans who voted for “change” without actually asking or understanding what that change would be are paying. Most, I suspect, were so fixated on any change that did not include George W. Bush that it was no surprise that Obama’s initial answer to every question in the first few weeks of his term was to blame Bush for “the mess” he encountered.

The problem with that is that every president leaves his successor “a mess” in some respect. For ten years FDR never successfully figured a way out of the Great Depression until World War II solved that problem. When he died, Harry Truman had to conclude the war in the Pacific and did so with two A-bombs. Then he had to save Europe from Soviet ambitions and get the UN off the ground.

When I say “wrong”, I mean that it wasn’t just wrong to try to take over one sixth of the nation’s economy with a grandiose remaking of Medicare, but it was blindly arrogant and stupid. Medicare, heading toward insolvency and riddled with waste, was not the biggest problem to be solved, getting the nation’s financial house in order was.

How did Obama do that? Well, he got a massive “porkulus” bill passed that promised to jolt the economy with “shovel ready” projects and what everyone knew was just a lot of spending to help Democrats get reelected. Eight months later, barely ten percent of the money has been allocated and anyone out of diapers knows the stimulus will be replete with enormous waste.

When I say “enormous”, we are talking about billions and trillions. And that is the other wrong Obama perpetrated. He blessed the borrowing and spending of trillions of dollars, more than all the combined presidents who preceded him together. A nation with that much debt is automatically at a disadvantage, requiring either massive new taxes or, the least likely alternative, cutting spending.

If Obamacare wasn’t such a dumb idea, the other major legislative initiative is the utterly insane “Cap-and-Trade” bill that is a huge tax on energy use. Even internal White House memos estimate a cost of $1,800 per family in America if it passes. With most D.C. estimates, you can double them to arrive at the final, actual cost.

Taxing Americans at a time when they need to hold on to their money is wrong and stupid, but doing so in the name of reducing “global warming” when there hasn’t been any global warming for a decade and the planet is looking at ten, twenty or more years of cooling isn’t just wrong, it’s the worst kind of lie. Yes, the President is lying.

Then there’s Afghanistan. The generals want up to 40,000 troops to properly wage war there (if that is even possible) and a lot of Americans of my generation remember similar requests for Vietnam. Afghanistan is not, as the President says, a war of “necessity.” If you want to talk about necessity, talk about the possibility of the Taliban taking over Pakistan with its nuclear weapons. There’s nothing in Afghanistan worth fighting for.

The real necessity is the need to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities. The president of France has been saying for months that Iran will soon have A-bombs and nuclear-tipped missiles. He’s worried because those missiles can strike France and, of course, all of the other European nations.

So, naturally, the news is that the President will not put a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic; another wrong decision.

What is Obama’s plan for Iran? He wants to kiss the hem of the Supreme Leader’s robe. He wants to “talk” with Ahmadinejad. This is worse than just wrong. It is just blind stupidity that will permit Iran’s lunatic leaders to assert nuclear hegemony over the entire Middle East while taking barely one day to obliterate Israel.

That’s what eight months of the incessant braying of the lead Democrat donkey has given us and it does not bode well for America or the world.

After nearly two million Americans showed up in Washington, D.C. on September 12th, the president’s chief advisor, David Axelrod, dismissed them as being “wrong” about the issues they protested.

No, it is this insanely ideological, utterly socialist, union boot-licking, anti-constitutional, “czar” crazy administration that is, sadly and dangerously, WRONG.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Technically" We're Out of a Recession

By Alan Caruba

I cannot tell you how relieved I was to hear Ben Bernake, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, announce that the United States is “technically” out of the recession. I spent much of the day waiting for my phone to ring with offers of work.

Chairman Bernake did add that jobs would lag, but all the experts say that jobs always lag and, if that’s the case, I am thinking this time around jobs are not only going to lag, they are going to disappear, run away, and leave much of the work force unable to live the “American dream.”

There was a time when the American dream included the opportunity for everyone to own their own home. That dream was based on having a steady job and a decent wage. It was dependent on people saving some of their income for a down payment. It was not dependent on federal government programs that put pressure on banks and mortgage lenders to make loans to people that ACORN had dragged in off the street.

I would feel a lot better about Bernake’s announcement if Congress wasn’t right now getting ready to pass a piece of legislation that every single poll says the MAJORITY of Americans do not like and do not want.

I speak of course of Obamacare. The same polls also suggest that the more Obama shows up on television giving speeches, being interviewed, and otherwise sucking all the air out of the room, the more a MAJORITY of Americans distrust and dislike him.

Obama will do all five Sunday news-talk shows on Sunday. He is booked as a guest on the David Letterman Show. I am pretty sure he is planning to be on “Dancing with the Stars” ever since he heard that former Speaker Tom Delay is going to take a turn around the floor.

I would feel better if the Cap-and-Trade tax on all energy use in America wasn’t simmering in some witch’s cauldron somewhere in the bowels of the Senate. Even by White House estimates, Cap-and-Trade would cost families nearly $1,800 a year.

That’s just what we all need, a tax on energy that will drive more manufacturing out of the nation to places that do not punish businesses with OSHA, environmental regulations, minimum wage, and a panoply of other demands before they can even think of making a profit.

I’d feel more secure about the end of the recession if the federal government would divest itself of its ownership of General Motors and Chrysler, along with AIG, the insurance company that was too big to be allowed to fail. I was raised to believe that the government wasn’t supposed to own “private” businesses.

I’d feel better if the government would actually DO SOMETHING about the thousands of illegal aliens that continue to flood into the nation across our southern border. I would feel better if I knew for sure Congress wasn’t going to foist an amnesty on the ten to twelve million illegals currently availing themselves and their families of our welfare, educational, and healthcare systems.

I’d feel better if the United States would make it quite clear to Iran that it will take whatever steps necessary to ensure those lunatics do not possess the ability to make atomic bombs and nuclear-tipped missiles.

And I would feel better when, after nearly TWO MILLION AMERICANS show up in the streets of Washington, D.C. to peaceably protest Obamacare and all the other insane borrowing and spending programs of the current administration, its spokesmen could have the decency to acknowledge them!

David Axelrod, the President’s advisor, dismissed the 9/12’rs saying, “They’re wrong.”

We are not wrong. We are angry. And now we have been treated to having the worst president of the modern era, Jimmy Carter, tell us that the only reason we are angry is because Barack Hussein Obama is black. To borrow a word from Bernake, Obama is “technically” half white, a mulatto.

So, hooray! The recession is over. Why isn’t my phone ringing?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Keeping Americans in the Dark

By Alan Caruba

After endless speeches and the biggest protest march in recent U.S. history, one would think that the Obama administration would get the message that Americans do not want them or the present Congress to tamper with Medicare other than to eliminate waste.

The administration’s top spokesmen, however, professed to know little about the march by nearly two million Americans and, at the same time, to know more about the nation’s healthcare system than those inside it who say there simply are not enough physicians and nurses to meet even today’s needs.

Americans have figured out they don’t want Obamacare, but a regime that has its own agenda and intends to impose it on an unwilling public is not interested in the voice of the people.

If you think Obamacare is a nightmare or as Rush Limbaugh now calls it “crap legislation”, you have no idea what the Obama gang have in store for you. H.R.2454, the American Clean Energy And Security Act of 2009, barely passed the House in June. It is also known as the Waxman-Markey bill and, most generally, as Cap-and-Trade.

It is a monstrosity that everyone, including its sponsors, agree is a massive tax on all energy use. The minute you walk in your home or apartment and turn on the lights, you will feel the impact of this bill. It is currently marinating in the Senate.

Here’s what almost no one is talking about. At what point will America begin to experience California-style blackouts and brownouts when there simply is insufficient capacity to generate electricity?

Let’s begin by understanding that Cap-and-Trade is based on something that is NOT happening and therefore requires no legislation. Moreover, there is NO scientific justification for reducing or sequestering carbon dioxide, a trade gas that is vital to all plant growth on Earth and, by extension, to all life on Earth.

Cap-and-Trade refers to so-called “carbon credits”, essentially a new form of financial instrument to be sold, purchased, and traded among utilities and industries that generate and use energy. It exists because Congress believes “global warming” is occurring when, in fact, it stopped ten years ago.

The American Clean Energy And Security Act is a complete and total deception.

The “clean energy” to which it refers is wind and solar energy which provides just about one percent of all the electricity in the nation and exists only because it is heavily subsidized with taxpayer and energy consumer dollars. These are quite possibly the two most stupid ways to generate electricity ever invented.

As for energy “Security”, you need to know that the Obama administration is doing everything in its power to restrict the use of coal, a provider of just over half of all the electricity generated in America, and is opposed to the exploration and development of any new sources of oil in or offshore of the nation.

America is being stripped of any “security” that would result from access to our own vast reserves of coal or of oil and natural gas.

In early September, the Associated Press reported that the EPA has identified 79 coal mine permits “for review.” When the EPA says it is reviewing something, it really means it is setting up the process to withdraw permission. Using the Clean Water Act as cover, 49 mines in Kentucky, 23 mines in West Virginia, six in Ohio and one in Tennessee will get the axe. The impact on the economies of these states, the loss of jobs, and the loss of the coal is incalculable at this point.

That, however, is just one example of the Obama War on Coal in America. In August, the board of South Carolina’s largest power producer, Santee Cooper, voted to suspend construction of a proposed $2.2 billion Pee Dee Energy Campus, a 600-MW coal-fired power plant in Florence County. No plant. No energy. No jobs. Et cetera.

I could regale you with the many other ways Obama is trying to shut down the nation, but you get the point.

As Pogo famously declared, “We have met the enemy and they is us!” In this case, the enemy is in the White House and in the U.S. Congress.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Running out of time

Obama's Weakness

By Alan Caruba

It is one of those coincidences that is, at the same time, so odd and so apt that it requires analysis.

Both Osama bin Laden of al Qaeda and Jed Babbin, editor of Human Events, have come to the same conclusion about President Barack Hussein Obama and virtually on the same day.

When two such disparate individuals, separated by half a globe, conclude that Obama has rendered himself “powerless”—bin Laden’s word and “weakened”—Babbin’s description, you have to take notice.

Commenting two days after the 9/11 anniversary, bin Laden redundantly blamed America’s relationship with Israel for attacks and promised that “all we will do is continue the war of attrition against you on all possible axes,” during an 11-minute video that showed a still photo with a voice-over.

Babbin calls Obama “the incredibly shrinking president”, who has become weakened in his first eight months in office by domestic objectives to the point that he has taken his eye off the ball when it comes to international threats “at least as old as bin Laden’s 1996 fatwa of war against the United States.”

Babbin worries that Obama is clueless regarding the impending Iranian goal of producing enough fissionable material to make its own atomic bombs and nuclear tipped missiles. He reminds readers that, in June, Obama’s Cairo speech “green-lighted Iran’s nuclear program by saying, ‘I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons.'”

Translation: The U.S., under Obama’s administration, will do nothing to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. “Weakened by anger and naivete,” says Babbin, “Obama is incapable of dealing with Iran. On Iraq and Afghanistan, the news is no better.”

Bin Laden is of the same opinion! Noting that Obama retained Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense from the Bush administration, bin Laden said, “Reasonable people knew that Obama is a powerless man who will not be able to end the war as he promised.”

It must really suck to be President of the United States and have bin Laden and Jed Babbin, along with two million folks who showed up on September 12, tell you they think you’re an idiot and a weakling to boot.

A third voice requires our attention and it is Dore Gold, Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations from 1997 to 1999. Dr. Gold has a new book, “The Rise of Nuclear Iran: How Tehran Defies the West.”

Dr. Gold takes the U.S. and Western nations to task for their long and tepid response to Tehran’s openly declared intention to become a nuclear power.

Iran’s Mamoud Ahmadinejad has made no secret of the fact that he wants to “wipe Israel from the map” and one of its ayatollahs has mused that Iran could afford to lose a million or more of its people to achieve that goal.

Dr. Dore warns that, “Few understand the significance of the moment the world is facing. A nuclear Iran involves the merger between radical Islam and nuclear weapons technology,” adding that “a nuclear Iran will be able to offer a protective, nuclear umbrella over al Qaeda or any group, allowing it to strike with impunity.”

“In short, says Dr. Dore, “a nuclear Iran will totally alter the international security environmental, setting the stage for a new scale of terrorist threats that the world has not yet witnessed.”

A lot of people find reasons to deplore Israel, but I suspect they will be greatly relieved if that tiny nation does what a great power like the U.S. won’t do.

Unless Iran’s nuclear facilities are destroyed, no American, no European, no Russian, no Chinese, and no one in the Middle East will be safe from the chaos Iran’s leaders want in order to bring about the return of the Twelfth Imam, a mythical Shiite figure.

You cannot talk to or negotiate with people who are crazy.

Welcome New Followers!

The number of "followers" to this blog has now passed 150!

I issue a hardly welcome to new members of this blog's family and thank earlier ones for your comments and words of support.

Alan Caruba

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Great Copenhagen Liar's Conference

By Alan Caruba

From December 6 through the 18th, a conference sponsored by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will gather in Copenhagen, Denmark, to explore ways to “prevent global warming” and I would like to be among the first to tell all those idiots checking their passports and deciding what to pack that they can all stay home.

This is not an original thought on my part and, in fact, is occasioned by Prof. Henrik Svensmark. He is director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at the Technical University of Denmark and, not surprisingly, knows a lot about the Sun and climate.

Permit me to share some of his thoughts. In a September 9th opinion titled, “While the Sun Sleeps”, Prof. Svensmark wrote, “Last week, the scientific team behind the SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) reported that the number of sunspot-free days suggest that solar activity is heading towards its lowest level in about 100 years.”

“Everything indicates that the Sun is moving into a hibernation-like state and the obvious question is whether it has any significance for us on Earth.” Good question, Professor! Particularly since the Sun is the sole source of heat for the Earth. When it takes a nap, everybody takes notice.

The professor then had a little professorial fun describing the Little Ice Age that occurred after a period of medieval warmth that had begun around 1000 AD. After 1300, however, it got a lot colder. Settlements in Greenland disappeared. The Thames froze over repeatedly. And here’s where we need to pay attention, there were “long periods of crop failure.” Between starvation and disease, it reduced the population of Europe by about a third.

“It is important to note that the Little Ice Age was a global event,” said Prof. Svensmark. It did not end until the mid-to-late 19th century; around 1850 in America. Do your math. That’s five centuries. As the Earth began to warm up and particularly in the last fifty years, “solar activity has been the highest since the medieval warmth of 1,000 years ago.”

Now, keep in mind that a couple of hundred, perhaps a thousand or more diplomats, scientists, and environmentalists are going to gather in Copenhagen for the single purpose of extending or expanding the Kyoto Protocols that are based on the assertion that the Earth is warming even though it is not.

Moreover, the IPCC will announce that, if the industrialized nations do not dramatically reduce the production of “greenhouse gases” (carbon dioxide), we are all doomed. In the United States, the Cap-and-Trade bill which passed the House by a slim margin will be up for consideration in the Senate. It is based on the global warming lie. It will drive up the cost of energy for all Americans and basically wreck the economy!

Like the witches in Macbeth, for years the IPCC has been stirring a cauldron of lies about global warming and the world’s media, intoxicated by the fumes rising from the pot, have never ceased from telling us that the Earth is warming when it is not.

The Sun, however, is not cooperating.

“It now appears that the Sun…is heading towards what is called ‘a grand minimum’ as we saw in the Little Ice Age,” says Prof. Svensmark.

“Indeed, global warming has stopped and cooling is beginning.” At a recent World Climate Conference in Geneva one of the participants predicted the cooling will likely continue through the next 10 to 20 years.

All those IPCC computer models that have been predicting global warming were wrong, are wrong, and will remain wrong for all time until the Earth actually begins to warm again.

If, however, the Earth slips into a new Ice Age and not just a "little" one, it will be several hundred thousand years before they are valid.

The Copenhagen conference is, like global warming, a hoax.

I hear it's very cold in Copenhagen in the winter.

So now we know what "Change" means

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Fine Art of American Protest

By Alan Caruba

There have been many mass marches on Washington, D.C., so the locals know how to make plans to anticipate the congestion and the police are polite and skillful in the science of crowd control. They can afford to be polite because the crowds, no matter how large, are too.

Oh, sure, they shout a lot, but that’s what a protest march is all about. Back in April 1894 unemployed workers known as “Coxey’s Army” showed up to demand that Congress do something. It was the second year of an economic depression that would last another two years, but it was the worst that had hit the nation barely three decades since the end of the Civil War.

Americans know where to head when they are at odds with their government and most know or suspect that the source of their problems can be found in Washington, D.C. and they are always right.

Bloodshed has been extremely rare at such events. On June 17, 1932 a “Bonus Army”, some 20,000 World War One veterans and their families massed in the Capitol seeking advance payment of bonuses from the Hoover administration. The year is significant. It was four years passed the beginning of the Great Depression that began in 1929.

Orders were given to disburse them and to destroy the shanties they had built. An Army General named Douglas McArthur led the troops. Several of the veterans were killed. Hoover’s reputation never recovered from that march.

Americans tend to march to protest economic issues and/or wars. Some social issues draw crowds such as the March 28, 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom which most people remember because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous speech, “I have a dream.”

The 1960s were punctuated by many marches to protest the Vietnam War. The crowds massed in 1965, 1966, 1967, and1969. They kept coming back as in 1971. In April 1974 some ten thousand gathered to demand the impeachment of Richard Nixon. On August 10, 1974 Nixon resigned; the first and only President to do so, the final act of the Watergate scandal.

The 1980s had a smattering of smaller marches, but they were about things like lesbian and gay rights or global nuclear disarmament. It wasn’t until another war that a lot of Americans got on the buses to Washington, D.C. again. The Gulf War ginned up a crowd estimated at 75,000. The 1990s saw a handful of marches of not much consequence.

The war in Iraq stirred familiar passions and the first protest march was on September 24, 2005. By 2007 the pace picked up, but while the war was unpopular with many Americans, it did not generate the kind of anger that Vietnam did. Barely ten thousand showed up in July 2008 and, by Washington, D.C. standards, that was small.

What is significant about the Saturday, September 12, 2009 march was the totally grassroots nature of the event. It was billed as a “Tea Party”, a name taken from the rather spontaneous tea party events that occurred shortly after Congress went insane and started spending billions of taxpayer dollars on bailouts, the takeover of General Motors, ownership of an insurance company, and a huge so-called “Stimulus” bill.

With the economy heading south, Americans quickly and correctly concluded that the Democrat controlled Congress and the new President were taking the nation over the cliff with their spending, borrowing, and printing of dollars.

September 12, 2009, however, was a protest against President Barack Obama.

Second and third in line for public protest were Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Having achieved total political power, the President and Congress had generated a massive grassroots resistance barely seven months into his term.

On Saturday Americans from around the nation gathered in Washington, D.C. to demand that the U.S. Constitution be obeyed!

The U.S. press initially described the crowd as “tens of thousands.” It was so big that, by evening, even the Capitol police had not yet released an estimate of its size, but British press observers pegged it at two million!

America was born in protest and a new generation is carrying on the tradition. It is not an idle thing. They could have gone to a football or baseball game. Instead, they came to Washington, D.C.

Only fools would dare ignore them.

For some great photos you won't find in the mainstream media, go here: