Saturday, October 30, 2010

Goodbye Global Warming, Hello Biodiversity

By Alan Caruba

After three decades of trying to push the global warming scam to a point where billions could be made selling and trading bogus “carbon credits”, the global schemers have abandoned it in the wake of 2009 revelations that a handful of rogue climate scientists were literally inventing the data to support it.

If there is one lesson to be learned from and about environmentalists, it is that they are utterly relentless. The ultimate goal is one-world government directed from the United Nations by unelected bureaucrats who are soulless strangers to the truth, to morality, to humanity.

The United States supports this abomination to the tune of billions every year.

The United Nations is a place where some of the world’s dictatorships have delegates representing them on its Human Rights Council, where a vast Oil-for-Food scandal flourished while Saddam Hussein held power in Iraq, where a single agency’s sole purpose is to ensure that Palestinians remain refugees six decades after the rebirth of Israel.

It is an organization where all manner of international treaties are ginned up to extend its control over the entire land mass and all the waters of the earth.

It is where the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) practiced its deceit, regularly documenting a rise in the earth’s average temperature even when a new natural cooling cycle began in 1998.

Everything that could be attributed to a phony global warming to keep the people of the world scared flowed from this enormous lie. It caused governments to invest billions into the worst forms of energy, wind and solar, along with endless other equally worthless “Green” programs.

So, now, permit me to introduce you to the NEXT Big Lie—biodiversity!

It is the claim that a “Global extinction crisis looms, new study says.” That’s the headline on an October 27 Washington Post article by Juliet Eilperin, the Post’s designated shameless scaremongering reporter.

In June, the delegates from 200 nations gathered in Busan, a South Korean port city, under the banner of the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), a platform just like the discredited IPCC, but with the goal of denying vast areas of the earth from the development needed to feed six billion people and provide the raw materials vital to the energy required for a modern technological society dependent on electricity and on transportation fuels.

The “reason” for this is the alleged extinction of “nearly 26,000 species across the globe.” The list was compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature that purports to count all the mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish in the world to determine how “imperiled” there.

The very idea evokes incredulity. It is laughable and it is impossible. In the same fashion people were told that the global warmers could predict the temperature of the Earth fifty to a hundred years from now, we are expected to believe that all current species are imperiled. Just as humans were blamed for a non-existent rise in the Earth’s temperature, human are blamed on a massive and fictional extinction.

Consider that, from the earliest forms of life on earth to the existence of present species all have been engaged daily in the act of killing and eating one another. Ruminants that dine on grasses and other vegetation remain the prey for predator species.

Consider that of all the species that ever existed on Earth, 99% are extinct.

Nicholas K. Dulvy, a co-author of the list of alleged endangered species, complained that “We’ve transformed a third of the habitable land on earth for food production.” Oh, heaven forbid that humans should have enough food!

So, naturally, as reporter Eilperin noted, “Environmental groups are pushing for a goal of protecting 25 percent of all land on earth and 15 percent of the sea by 2020” even though, under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, roughly 14 percent of terrestrial areas and less than one percent of the ocean are already subject to so-called “environmental safeguards.”

Expect to begin hearing from yet a new group of “scientists” claiming that every creature from antelopes to zebras, from anteaters to weasels, albatrosses to vultures, crocodiles to vipers, and all the fish in the seas are doomed! Doomed! Doomed!

Billions of dollars that should go to feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and all manner of humanitarian needs will be siphoned off by this new group of United Nations grifters and charlatans for endless “research” grants and, of course, more international meetings to discuss this horrible new crisis.

This is how the cruel enviro-mafia works. We have all had a taste of it since the late 1980s when the global warming hoax was first perpetrated. The biodiversity lie needs a quicker death.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Al Qaeda Sends a Message Again

By Alan Caruba

On March 11, 2004, just days before general elections in Spain, bombs went off on trains in a series of coordinated attacks that killed 191 people and wounded 1,800. An investigation determined that they were the work of an al Qaeda “inspired” terrorist cell, though it was said at the time there was no direct connection.

The ruling party, Partido Popular, had supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a policy that was generally unpopular with Spaniards. The result was that its opposition won the elections.

I do not believe in coincidences and news that two explosive devices were found on cargo planes headed for America just days before our general elections suggests a pattern.

The larger pattern, of course, has been a number of recent terrorist attacks from the Christmas Eve “underwear bomber” to the more recent Times Square bomber. The only thing that seems to have protected Americans from being murdered as infidels is the sheer incompetence of those involved.

That kind of luck does not last forever.

Ironically, on October 27th I posted a commentary that was intended to be a reminder that, as we got ready to go to polling places on November 2nd, we have been too distracted from the fact that outside of America there is still a dangerous world.

Al Qaeda has sent us a message. The first part of the message was that they are still around and still at war with the Great Satan, America. The second was that they believe they can influence the outcome of our midterm elections. Though unintentional, the third part of the message is that they are a bunch of incompetents who, unlike Timothy McVeigh of Oklahoma City infamy, cannot put together a decent bomb.

That, of course, is an overstatement because Arabs, whether al Qaeda or not, have been blowing up each other’s mosques with regularity throughout the Middle East. There’s an Arab saying that goes something like “I against my brother. My brother and I against our cousins. My brother, my cousins, and I against the world.”

Even the Mafia had more internal cohesiveness than these sons of Allah whose biggest problem in life is who to kill next.

Unlike the Spaniards who voted to run away from the Iraq conflict, these would-be bombers have seriously misunderstood how Americans think. You attack us, we send in the Marines—and the Army—and the Air Force—and we park a couple of Navy carrier groups off the coast..

If the Yemenese do not get serious about their jihadists, finding and killing them, they will eventually get a visit from Uncle Sam. They don’t have that many friends in the world and that includes their neighbors in Saudi Arabia, so it’s likely to get very nasty for them.

The American military will be exiting Afghanistan in 2011 because President Obama never wanted to be there in the first place. I hate to agree with anything the man says or does, but in this he is correct. The Afghanis are tribal. When not finding a reason to fight one another, they will join together to fight anyone from outside. And that is likely to include the Taliban at some point.

The troops we are leaving in Iraq will be there when our grandchildren have grandchildren. The U.S. has a long history of never leaving a nation once we have invaded. Just ask the Germans, the Japanese, or the South Koreans, all of whom appear to have found that arrangement to their advantage.

Aside from the operational failure of this latest terror attack, what stands out is the lack of terror among Americans. Even the stock market took it in stride on Friday.

On Tuesday Americans are going to clean house in a Congress whose members are so unpopular that the survivors and the new winners will have gotten the message voters will have sent.

That’s not just a problem for Democrats. It’s a problem for al Qaeda, too.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Voters are Distracted in a Dangerous World

By Alan Caruba

It is natural that Americans would be focused on the November 2nd elections, but it is worrisome that they are also distracted from a world that grows more volatile and dangerous by the day.

Just across the southern border, Mexico is disintegrating into anarchy with mass murders occurring all the time. The government gives little evidence of being able to gain control because, as often as not, holding a position in its government will get you killed. A recent article reports that 1,200 children have been killed by cartel violence in Mexico since 2006. Overall, more than 28,000 Mexicans have been killed as the result of drug trafficking related-violence between December 2006 and July 2010.

At what point must Mexico be put under martial law to crush the drug cartels or cease to be a modern state? At what point would the U.S. have to invade militarily to impose security on our shared southern border?

While Americans ponder the elections, the U.S. has moved a second carrier group to the Persian Gulf, perhaps because military intelligence has picked up signals that the Iranian leadership which normally works through proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas is preparing for either an offensive or defensive state of war.

Iran has managed to stir the cauldron of the Middle East for decades now. Closely allied with Syria and the main support for Hezbollah, Lebanon is poised for yet another civil conflict and no matter what the outcome it will not bode well for Israel. A huge arsenal of rockets and other weapons have been moved into Lebanon since the 2006 conflict with Israel.

The failure of the Iraqi elections to result in a ruling coalition in its parliament is a sign of instability and it is known that Iran has played a massive role in the provision of weapons that were used against U.S. forces following the 2003 invasion.

Economic sanctions against Iran are having some effect, but not enough to destabilize the ruling junta of ayatollahs even in the face of major protests in the streets of Tehran following the rigged reelection of Mamoud Ahmadinejad.

Afghanistan has proven to be a total loss for U.S. policy and the exercise of its military efforts. Participating nations are withdrawing from the NATO military coalition there. General Petraeus has noted that the Taliban are safely harbored in Pakistan, a nation into which the U.S. has poured billions to no obvious effect.

China is achieving hegemonic ambitions as its economy continues to grow, keeping Japan on edge and manipulating North Korea, always a potential trigger for conflict. While many see it as a military enemy, its real strength is the enormous U.S. debt it owns in the form of our treasury securities. Its human rights record is dismal and it continues to hold a recent Nobel Peace Prize winner in jail.

Europe is only just beginning to recognize the threat posed by a huge population of Muslims in its midst. Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has recently declared that “multiculturalism has failed.” In France, there are areas in its cities that are “no go” zones controlled by their Muslim population and this is true in other European cities as well. In England, the most popular name for new baby boys is Mohammed!

South America is a patchwork quilt of nations either friendly to the U.S. or led by communists like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez who continues to seek alliances with Russia, Iran, and South American neighbor states.

A visit to a website of Freedom provides a map illustrating that much of the world; in particular Russia, China, the Middle East and large portions of Africa do not offer any freedom to their vast populations.

Foreign relations are a duty allocated to the president of the United States. The midterm elections which are mostly about domestic issues will not likely affect the policies of the remaining two years of President Obama’s first and hopefully last term. He is weak on Middle Eastern affairs, seemingly indifferent to Mexico and illegal immigration issues, and has alienated many leaders in Europe.

A fragile U.S. economy and, in particular, its dollar, leaves America vulnerable to its enemies.

Depending on the outcome of the midterm elections, we may either see an energized Republican Party, supported by the Tea Party movement, take dramatic efforts to end wasteful spending, repeal Obamacare, and ensure the Bush tax cuts do not expire, or we will enter upon a period of political gridlock and compromise that will endanger the nation’s future in ways that defy the imagination.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Note to Visitors/Followers: Blogger.Com Not Posting Artwork or Photos has a technical problem affecting many users like myself. It makes it impossible to add artwork or photos to a post. Its "Help" section lists numerous complaints about this so one can only hope and assume they are working to repair the technical aspects of this.

Alan C.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Politics 2010 in Black and White

By Alan Caruba

In 2008, Barack Obama would not have been elected to the presidency if white voters had not reached a point since the days of the 1960s Civil Rights movement to think a black man could and should have a shot at the job.

If race played a role in the election, it was usually Obama that made reference to it, lightly touching on the subject to acknowledge and diminish it.

The only Americans permitted to discuss black/white relations these days are its media-designated spokespersons like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. When the NAACP spoke up recently, it was to condemn Tea Party members as racists.

Rather than advance the condition of blacks in America, Obama has done almost nothing. Indeed, one of his administration’s first acts was to defund charter schools in Washington, D.C. where, like most major urban centers, the schools that young blacks attend are universally dismal.

It is, of course, impossible to look at the handsome, young black President without seeing a handsome, young black President. Understandably, he has the support of the vast majority of America’s black population; approximately 9.9 million according to the last census. They are a minority among minorities. There are now more Hispanics than blacks.

It is, however, Obama’s policies, not his skin color, that have created resistance. In a recent statement, Earl G. Graves Sr., chairman and publisher of Black Enterprise, said, “The distress is real and legitimate. First, people of all races and economic backgrounds are continuing to suffer as the result of an economy that continues to struggle.”

Graves, however, gave Obama a pass with the now familiar assertion that Obama “inherited this mess”, but the fact is that Obama sought the presidency and all presidents inherit whatever issues preceded their term in office or occur on their watch. It is the manner in which they address those issues by which we judge their competency.

Graves lamented that, despite Obama’s election as the nation’s first black president, “there are still people who just cannot get past the issue of race. They still can’t bring themselves to respect a black man, even if he is the President of the United States, regardless of his policies and actions.”

To which I say “hogwash.”

The forthcoming midterm elections are all about the Obama administration policies; the profligate borrowing and spending, the bailouts, the takeover of the nation’s healthcare sector, the shutdown of offshore oil drilling, the insults to foreign allies, and the timidity toward foreign enemies.

Having lived in the south at a time when segregation was the norm, I can attest to how far white America has come in rejecting those restrictions, but I would argue that their hopes for America’s black community have fallen well short of expectations.

White Americans are hugely disappointed. Much had to be ignored when some of them voted for Obama. At one point in the campaign he had to disavow Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the twenty years he attended a church devoted to black liberation theology; a church where Rev. Wright could stand in the pulpit and say, “God damn America.”

Much within America’s black community remains dysfunctional. A recent Wall Street Journal commentary about the NAACP, noted that “Blacks are 13% of the population but comprise 38% of prison or jail inmates in the U.S., and black-on-black violent crime is the norm. Blacks commit 52% of all murders and make up 49% of all murder victims—90% of them are killed by other blacks.”

In cities, many of which that have had black mayors, the schools are among the worst. More than 70% of black children are born to single women and, as The Wall Street Journal commentary noted “are more likely to live in poverty, perform poorly in school, to commit crimes and abuse drugs.” This is a failure of the progress many white Americans had wished for.

Obama is no flag-waving black American. He has noticeably been unwilling to salute during the playing of the national anthem. He is demonstrably a socialist in a capitalist nation.

When he selected Van Jones, a black member of the Communist Party, to be his “green jobs czar”, Jones resigned when his communist affiliation was revealed. When Obama lived with his grandparents in Hawaii, a teenage mentor was Frank Marshall Davis, a black newspaper journalist and poet who was widely known in the 1950s to be a communist. His memoirs speak of his affinity with Marxist students and faculty members.

He was elected despite this. It has taken less than two years in office for the backlash to occur.

It may be unfair, but whites hold black politicians to a higher standard of behavior simply because they have risen to positions of power, often as the result of heavily black constituencies.

Charles Rangel (D-NY) is facing ethics charges along with Maxine Waters (D-CA). It was revealed that Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) steered college scholarships to members of her own family. In 2006 Rep. William Jefferson was found to have $90,000 in bribe money in his home freezer and subsequently went to jail. In 1994, Rep. Mel Reynolds was found guilty of having had sex with an underage 16-year-old campaign worker.

When it comes to the Department of Justice, issues of voting rights are front and center. The double standards of DOJ under the leadership of a black Attorney General, Eric Holder, are a cause for concern in the white community.

While on a recent campaign stop in Rhode Island Obama repeated his mantra that the nation’s economic problems are all due to Republicans despite the obvious fact that Democrats have been in control of Congress since 2006. Prior to the 1994 midterm elections, Democrats had controlled Congress for forty years.

At one point Obama said, “We can’t have special interests sitting shotgun. We gotta have middle class families up in front. We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.”

The ill-conceived and unfortunate back-of-the-bus remark comes from the early days of the Civil Rights struggle for equality when, throughout the South, blacks were required to sit in the back of the bus. Applying it to Republicans was especially offensive. In a recent radio interview he told Hispanic listeners that they must “punish our enemies.”

Like an old time Southern Democrat politician Obama has played the race and ethnicity card reflecting his party’s dependency, not just on blacks, but a hoped-for Hispanic support as well. The rest of his base has shrunk to unions and the nation’s youth.

The midterm elections are expected to make a dramatic change in Congress and, when the dust settles, it will not be because America is led by a black president, but because America is led by an incompetent president, a socialist whose policies will have been soundly rejected.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Adrift on an Ocean of Lies

By Alan Caruba

“The men the American public admires most extravagantly are the daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.”  -- H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

One of the insights that age provides is that we are all adrift on an ocean of lies from the moment we are born to when we pass from this world. So much of what we initially “know”, taught to us at home and in school, broadcast via newspapers, radio and television, in the workplace, and, in particular, requiring us to make decisions about the politicians we select to govern in our name, are lies.

The British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, categorized them as “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Lies and lying, however, may be the natural order of life because even nature employs lies when various species devise ways to camouflage themselves either as a means to deceive and lure prey or to avoid becoming prey.

The prevalence of lies in the affairs of men and nations accounts for why the U.S. has a CIA and a NSA, two giant intelligence and counter-intelligence operations. It is why a third branch of our government is the judiciary.

Americans are now experiencing an avalanche of lies in the form of political ads, media reporting intended to sway the outcome of the forthcoming elections, and the pronouncements and predictions of various politicians and pundits. Not all are lying, but it is safe to presume that most are.

The rise of talk radio and the popularity of personalities such as Rush Limbaugh are based on a hunger for the truth. The revelation that National Public Radio has a deliberate leftist agenda enraged many who genuinely enjoy its programs.

The great anger driving the midterm elections is directly traceable to the lies of the President, his administration, and the Democrat leadership in Congress. Beyond and behind these lies is a mortgage banking system that had been in place for years leading up to the moment that the critical housing market collapsed. The “American dream” of a home must still be earned and paid for. There is no free lunch.

Simply said, making loans to people who were never expected to repay them, turning around and selling those mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government entities who in turn “bundled” those bad loans and sold them as securities to banks and investment house was, in hindsight, a system that had to fail at some point.

Passing a “financial reform” act that did not mention Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while vastly expanding the Securities and Exchange Commission only compounded the lies.

The elections are about the lies told to sell Obamacare, to hide the real numbers of unemployed, to shut down oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and to insanely increase the national debt by borrowing more in two years than all previous administrations combined had done since George Washington was president.

The lies came at a dizzying pace from the day President Obama was sworn into office.

He told the world that America is not a Christian nation.

He said that “green jobs” were an answer to no jobs.

He said that Medicare “reform” was not a lie designed to implement a governmental takeover of healthcare, one-sixth of the nation’s economy.

He said that General Motors and Chrysler were taken over as wards of the federal government instead of being permitted to reorganize (shake loose of union demands) under the normal process of bankruptcy.

He said the stimulus act was a solution to a stagnant economy when it was, in fact, a laundry list of Democrat earmarks, a “porkulus” bill.

He pushed for a Cap-and-Trade act to sell “carbon credits” as the lies about global warming were crashing around the world. This is the year that the Chicago Climate Exchange will end carbon trading.

The President who dazzled so many with soaring oratory during his campaign proved so inept at explaining his actions that his formal press conferences virtually ceased while his access to the nation’s print and broadcast media increased.

His use of Teleprompters became a national joke.

In a world where lies and the use of violence have always been a driving force throughout human history, where greed is instinctual, we should not be surprised at the folly with which we are surrounded, but we can and must strive to educate ourselves about the truths that are essential to the survival of our form of governance and the future of America.

We can learn that humans have nothing to do with the Earth’s climate; that nothing compares with or can replace the original, totally natural biofuels—oil, coal, and natural gas—that socialism/communism always enslaves and always fails; and that telling the truth is always superior to telling a lie.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Time to End the Ethanol Rip-Off

By Alan Caruba

Psst! Want to avoid $25-to-$30 billion in new deficit spending over the next five years? You do? Okay, then email, fax or call your congressman and tell him you want to let the 45 cents-per-gallon Volumetric Ethanol Tax Credit (VEETC) expire on December 31, 2010.

In the same way you want Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts that are due to expire the same day, letting the VEETC expire will end a subsidy to ethanol producers. It is the only way they can stay in business. It is a hidden tax we pay every time we fill up our gas tank and it is one that deprives us of the full value of pure gasoline.

When Republicans take control of the House and possibly the Senate as well, they will have not just an opportunity, but a mandate to end support for ethanol and biodiesel, two of the worst ideas ever foisted on drivers.

Need it be said that the ethanol scam began with former President Jimmy Carter? He also thought that solar and wind power was a great idea. Ethanol, though, is particularly pernicious because, simply put, it is corrosive to engines. It takes a bite out of every driver’s wallet every time they fill up with a federally required ethanol-gasoline mixture, and it actually reduces the mileage you will get from every gallon.

As a recent issue of Business Week magazine points out “Today the U.S. offers a 45 cent per gallon tax credit to refiners that blend ethanol with gasoline. The government also requires gasoline makers to use a steadily increasing amount of the additive, and it imposes an import tariff to deter foreign competition.”

If you wonder why such stupidity is permitted, Business Week points out that it is a $27 billion industry today. Last year the tax credit was worth more than $4.7 billion.

If the tax credit for ethanol expires on December 31 along with a protective tariff consumers will cease being ripped off. When the $1-a-gallon incentive for biodiesel expired at the end of last year, so did the niche industry making it.

Ethanol is made from corn and biodiesel is made from soy beans. The farmers growing these crops will cry bloody murder, but there is a global market for them so they won’t be selling the farm any time soon. Instead, the cost of the countless food products made in whole or part from corn and soy beans will likely decrease, along with the cost of feed, mostly corn, for livestock.

The battle over ethanol pits its producers and corn farmers, along with the U.S. Agriculture Department against an unusual coalition of environmental groups and cattle ranchers. The former have come to question the alleged benefits of ethanol and the latter have always opposed the way the government’s ethanol mandate forces up the cost of feed corn.

Applauding from the sidelines will be the major U.S. auto manufacturers that worry ethanol will corrode engines that are not designed to handle the stronger blend. Take away ethanol and the cost of an auto will be reduced.

The ethanol tax incentives are just one part of the appalling failure of bad environmental ideas and policies that Americans have had to suffer since the days of Jimmy Carter.

All those “Green jobs” and Green energy projects Obama promised as he rolled out his economic stimulus plan just over a year ago have proven to be a boon…for China! The Department of Energy estimated that 82,000 jobs were created, but government job creation estimates are notoriously wrong. Meanwhile, DOE acknowledged that eighty percent of some Green programs, including $2.3 billion of manufacturing credits, went to foreign firms in China, South Korea, and Spain!

About the only “good” news is that only some $20 billion in stimulus funds have been spent.

Americans are slowly realizing they have been robbed at the gas station courtesy of the U.S. government and that their tax dollars are being shipped overseas to purchase wind turbines and solar panels that, together, produce barely three percent of the electricity used daily.

The problem is that the Greens and the U.S. government have kept Americans in the dark for a very long time regarding all these squirrelly “solutions” they have come up with to save the world from “global warming” (ain’t happening) and dependence on foreign oil (they won’t stop selling it to us and we have virtually stopped drilling here).

The sins are many, the jobs for Americans are few these days, the borrowing continues unabated, government spending is obscene, and, next year, you will not be permitted to purchase a 100-watt incandescent light bulb.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just Because You're Paranoid

By Alan Caruba

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someone isn’t watching you,” goes the adage and in America where there’s a television camera just about everywhere, as well as folks with phones that can record live action and transmit the video, it’s probably more true today than ever.

My paranoia tends to focus on politicians and, in particular, those of the liberal stripe. The reason for this is simple enough. They promise not to raise taxes and then they raise taxes.

They promise to reduce the national debt and then increase it by $3 trillion in under two years.

They promise to “reform” Medicare and then they destroy it.

They promise to create and “save” jobs, and the unemployment rate just keeps climbing.

The lies are endless and highly destructive of my beloved nation.

My levels of paranoia have been off the meter since Obama was elected and on their way to the Moon ever since he took the oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Even though Obama briefly taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, he does not give much evidence of liking the Constitution. In an early interview he said that the Constitution “is a charter of negative liberties. (It) says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your account.”

Well, the government, for example, can’t search your home or office without a warrant, must provide a speedy trail, and importantly cannot restrain your right to free speech, deny a free press, or the right to peacefully assemble to protest. It cannot “establish” a national religion, but it cannot forbid the practice of religion even though cities and towns across America are afflicted with demented people who would deny you the right to celebrate Christmas in any fashion.

No where in the Constitution is there a provision for the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Human Services, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and much of the rest of the alphabet zoo that comprises our present government.

It surely does not say you have to buy something you don’t want!

The whole object of the Constitution is to limit the size of government, make the process of passing legislation difficult, and to distribute political power via its “checks and balances” to ensure no one branch can do too much damage.

As we close in on the November 2nd midterm elections, I am again impressed with the way the Founding Fathers created a document that allows Americans to engage in corrective measures by ridding themselves of truly bad politicians and replacing them with those who promise to do a better job.

We do this every two and four years, weeding out Senators, Representatives, and Presidents who are too stupid or criminal to be allowed the power we grant them.

If it were not for paranoia the Tea Party movement would not exist. The power of the Constitution has permitted this leaderless movement to coalesce around the single idea of ridding the Republic of people whom we deem dangerous to its future.

The current U.S. President is rapidly approaching levels of disapproval not seen since the days of Jimmy Carter.

It’s hard not to feel paranoid about a President who wrote to the Secretary of State asking that 80,000 more Muslim “refugees” be allowed into the United States where we have already witnessed 9/11, the Fort Hood murder spree by U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, and the trial of Faisal Shashad, a Pakistani granted citizenship who demonstrated his appreciation by trying to kill Americans in Times Square.

Do we really need 80,000 more potential jihadists? And why does Obama want to encourage this?

In the interest of brevity, let me add a distinct sense of paranoia about Bill Clinton traveling all over to endorse Democrat candidates. It is testimony to the short attention span of Democrats that they do not recall Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Hillary’s abortive healthcare reforms, Monica Lewinsky, his lies under oath, his impeachment trial, nor that the things he gets credit for occurred after Republicans gained control of Congress.

I am just paranoid enough to think that Bill is collecting political favors Hillary may use if she decides to run for president. One President Clinton was more than enough. One President Obama is one too many.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Iranian Hegemony, American Timidity

By Alan Caruba

Remember George W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil”? Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. Bush identified these three during a January 29, 2002 State of the Union speech. On March 20, 2003, the U.S. and coalition forces invaded Iraq in “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” We were assured that weapons of mass destruction would be found and, for the most part, few were.

The U.S. had been in Afghanistan since shortly after 9/11 in 2001, but Iraq became the focus and Afghanistan a backwater combat area where, as best as one can determine, nothing much has changed except that, reportedly, the U.S. is providing cover for meetings between the Taliban and President Karzai. The levels of corruption between these two are impossible to parse and, as usual, the only topic on the agenda is who gets to control the heroin industry that passes for Afghanistan’s Gross Domestic Product. Also reported is that Iran has been bribing top Afghan officials.

When I served in the U.S. Army, it was in a minor intelligence function as part of the Second Infantry Division. Its primary duty for a very long time has been the defense of South Korea where approximately 30,000 troops are stationed. They have been there since a truce was signed in 1953! The U.S. tends to stay on forever once we’ve invaded a country with the exception, of course, of Vietnam.

I mentioned my Army service only because the most recent intelligence “dump” by WikiLeaks evokes a visceral response to ever letting our enemies know anything about our conduct of the Iraq war and, in this case, the enemy is still Iran. It has been Iran since they took our diplomats hostage in 1979.

To my mind, WikiLeaks is engaged in an act of war against the United States, but I am sure that a legion of international lawyers would say they are not.

The worst part of all this is an analysis reported by an Israeli news agency, Debka File, over the past weekend. As often as not, one will find reports there that never seem to make it into the mainstream media here in the U.S.A.

For example, I suspect most Americans have no idea that we again have a second carrier group in the area of the Persian Gulf. That’s a lot of fire power and one or two such groups have been parked there for a very long time for a very good reason. Meanwhile, Egypt and Saudi Arabia just conducted “secret” war maneuvers together and it isn’t because either expects to be invaded by Bahrain.

The initial Debka File analysis of the U.S. classified documents “bared a catalogue of extreme abuse by Iraqi forces against fellow Iraqis and Iran’s deep involvement in terrorist operations against Americans and Iraqis alike—to both of which the U.S. turned a blind eye.”

Several very troubling facts emerge from the documents. U.S. troops “were instructed not to investigate any breach of the laws of armed conflict, such as abuses of detainees, unless it directly involves members of the coalition.” That kind of directive comes down the chain of command from the very top.

Iraq became a sovereign nation on June 30, 2004 and the fighting among its elected leaders has not ceased for a day as to how the oil riches will be divvied up between Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites.

The last elections were held on March 9, 2010 and Iraq still does not have a functioning government. In the days when Saddam Hussein ran everything, elections involved a 99% vote for the psychopath, but this year’s election involved 325 seats in the parliament and a coalition government has not been decided upon for the last eight months.

Granting that Saddam was evil incarnate, he was nonetheless a bulwark against Iranian ambitions. He had invaded Iran in the 1980s and spent eight years trying to win a war against it. Failing that, he turned around and invaded Kuwait, drawing the U.S. into the first invasion, but one in which he was allowed to remain in power after Iraqi troops were pushed out of Kuwait.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has had the backing of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In the past he has had ties to Iran because both are Shiites and, according to Debka File he “headed Iran-backed Shiite terror networks responsible for political assassinations on his orders.”

The new intelligence data reveals even more about the extensive involvement of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Al Qods Brigades in attacks on American forces in Iraq. Over the course of the conflict there since 2003, American troops suffered 4,287 dead and 30,000 wounded in combat.

Out of all this expenditure of American treasure and lives, Iran has emerged with a strong network of puppet militias in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. It has forged strong ties with Syria. It has a network of allies inside Iraq. And it has pursued its quest for nuclear weapons and the development of the missiles to deliver them as far away as parts of Europe.

All of this suggests that America’s expressed policy of establishing a democratic Iraq and the total lack of confrontation with Iran adds up to failure at this point. The problem with that assertion, however, is that Saddam was an unpredictable, disruptive figure who had to be neutralized.

It looks like George W. Bush’s Axis of Evil is still very much intact and an understandably war-weary United States is leaving a battlefield whose nations were created in 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles way back when Woodrow Wilson was the president.

As the French say, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Obama's Failure Agenda

By Alan Caruba

Normally, we assume that anyone who runs for and assumes the office of president has an agenda intended to succeed and thereby ensure that history will look favorably on his accomplishments. The men who served in that office craved success and loathed failure.

Barack Obama didn’t merely promise hope and change. On June 3, 2008 in his nomination victory speech, he said that “this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal…”

Lovely rhetoric, soaring oratory, but the sick were being cared for in hospitals all over America, even if they could not afford it because the law required such care then and now. No one was being turned away at the emergency room. As for jobs, in 2008 the unemployment rate rose to 6.1%, the highest level since September 2003. Today, it officially stands at 9.6% and is widely understood to be far closer in reality to 20%.

As for the Earth beginning to heal, I have no idea what he meant by that and I doubt anybody else did. Last time I checked, the Earth was doing just fine. The seas, meantime, have been rising a few millimeters each century and give no indication of stopping.

What will end, however, is the control of Congress by the Democrats in November; definitely the House and even possibly the Senate. What has already ended is Barack Obama’s credibility. Few people who have been paying attention believe anything the man says.

It took less than half his term to achieve this, but it began with his oath of office that required a “do-over”. Legislatively, letting Nancy Pelosi write and ram through a $787 billion stimulus bill was an indicator that Obama was clueless regarding ways to jump-start the economy. Obama signed it into law in February 2009.

Meanwhile he busied himself taking over ownership of General Motors and Chrysler, signing off on a failed “Cash for Clunkers” program.

The stimulus program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, spent $63 million on a tunnel to nowhere in Pittsburgh, an $89,000 sidewalk that led to a ditch in Boynton, Oklahoma, and the president’s belated discovery that there were no “shovel ready” projects.

Among the projects were $1.9 million for international ant research, $554,763 for the National Forest Service to replace windows in a closed Mount St. Helens visitor center, and $308 million for a joint clean energy venture with BP, the oil company best known these days for the Gulf of Mexico spill.

While Americans were losing jobs and seeing their homes foreclosed upon, the Obama administration was spending $700,000 to study why monkeys respond negatively to inequality, $529,000 to study the effects of the environment on local populations—in the Himalayas, and $456,000 to study the circulation of Neptune’s atmosphere.

Nearly $9 million was spent on signs promoting the administration’s sponsorship of various stimulus projects.

His idea of partisanship was to tell Republicans in Congress “We won.”

His press conferences were such disasters there was a stretch of more than 300 days between the last two.

His foreign policy decisions included abandoning Poland, Tibet, and Israel. His efforts to entice Iran were rebuffed and the leaders of European nations and Russia made no secret that they regarded him as a dunce.

Obama took credit for the official end of the Iraq War even though that had been set in motion by the Bush administration well before his election. Instead of just closing down U.S. participation in the Afghanistan quagmire, Obama prolonged it.

At the heart of the mortgage loan financial collapse were two government entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but when the Obama administration signed off on new regulations for Wall Street, neither were even mentioned in the reform legislation.

Big Government will keep getting bigger as agencies such as the Security Exchange Commission increases its budget by twenty percent to $1.2 billion, more than triple its size in 2000. It is expected to increase by more than one thousand people to about 4,700 regulators, a 36% increase from 2007.

Left unsaid that this is the same SEC that failed to spot Bernie Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme or did anything regarding what were later deemed “toxic assets” requiring a TARP program to bail out the banks, investment firms, and AIG, an insurance company.

Absolutely nothing good can be said for Obamacare. Most Americans opposed its passage and most say they want it repealed.

It’s a long list of failures and bad judgment. It’s worth keeping in mind that, on the day Barack Obama was inaugurated, the National Debt stood at $10.626 trillion. A recent calculation put it at an all time high of $13.665 trillion, an increase of $4.9 trillion in under two years.

The National Debt, by the time Obama leaves office in 2012, is projected to soar to nearly $16.5 trillion and that is more than one hundred percent of the value of the nation’s economy.

Here’s what I think. I think this is exactly what Barack Hussein Obama had in mind when he ran for the presidency and what has been a deliberate agenda while he has been in office.

Don’t forget to vote on November 2nd. The next Congress, particularly the House where all spending bills must be initiated and passed, must slam on the brakes if America is to survive Obama’s failure agenda.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Liberal Organizations Betray Their Members

By Alan Caruba

As we head into the home stretch leading to the November 2nd midterm elections, one factor getting very little attention is the way that liberal organizations have failed or betrayed their members, starting with the Democratic Party.

Even a brief look at the Democratic Party provides a reminder that it stood against civil rights from the days of slavery, giving rise to the Republican Party whose first presidential candidate, Abraham Lincoln, who had to preside over a Civil War to end it.

The Democratic Party has managed to serve up some truly awful presidents from Woodrow Wilson to FDR who prolonged the Great Depression with his policies, to Lyndon Baines Johnson whose Vietnam policies filled cemeteries, to Jimmy Carter’s bumbling, to Bill Clinton who used the Oval Office for sexual dalliance, to the current White House resident, Barack Obama, whose diminishing approval ratings are testimony and an indictment of his incompetence.

In a similar fashion the National Association for Colored People has demonstrated in the years since the Civil Rights movement that it is little more than a liberal platform for some of the worst bias to be found, including that expressed against African-Americans. It was quick to denounce Shirley Sherrod, the former head of the Department of Agriculture’s rural development office in Georgia. The organization then claimed it had been “snookered” by a video that purported to show Ms. Sherrod expressing bias, but it had failed to conduct even a cursory investigation to defend her.

Lately the NAACP issued a resolution denouncing the Tea Party movement as biased, claiming that it is rife with “racist extremists.” Its president, Ben Jealous, said “We take issue with the Tea Party’s continued tolerance for bigotry and bigoted statements” but there isn’t a shred of evidence to support such blatant nonsense.

The NAACP has conveniently forgotten that it was a former Republican President, George W. Bush who elevated two African-Americans to the position of Secretary of State, one of whom, Colin Powell, had previously been endorsed as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George H.W. Bush.

Another liberal group, the National Organization of Women, have become famous for failing to defend or support women who have become vocal advocates of conservative issues despite their rise to national recognition as authors, talk show personalities, and as political leaders. The result is a lopsided babble that largely ignores the enormous strides women have made across the political and social spectrum.

Few women running on the Republican ticket running for public office these days have a NOW endorsement. The California chapter has actually endorsed former governor Jerry Brown and is backing Sen. Barbara Boxer for reelection. This reflects most of the NOW chapter endorsements.

It is an extreme irony that one of the most hated women in America today was the first to have become the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Her name alone is enough to incite cross-over votes.

It can be argued that these two national organizations do not reflect the views of either the African-American community or that of women, but both have been around long enough to command attention and to have been thoroughly infiltrated by liberals oblivious to the role conservatives have played in advancing their goals.

We may well see a sea change among their membership, large scale defections, as they confront the reality that Democrats and liberals have long since taken their support for granted.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NPR Fires Juan Williams for Telling the Truth

By Alan Caruba

The headline on the National Public Radio website said, “NPR Ends Williams’ Contract After Muslim Remarks”, but it should have said, “NPR Fires Williams for Telling the Truth.”

I am familiar with Juan Williams as Fox News Channel’s designated liberal. I have often wondered how Williams found time for NPR because he is on Fox morning, noon and night. The other night he was on with the incredibly popular Bill O’Reilly discussing the way the ladies of “The View” had thrown a hissy-fit over Bill’s comment that “Muslims killed Americans” on 9/11.

Well, yes, Muslims had planned it, funded it, and were the perpetrators. Not all Muslims, but all those involved in the terrorist act that involved hijacking four commercial airliners. Muslims have been killing people in London, Madrid, Moscow, Bali, Mumbai, and other places for a very long time when not killing other Muslims in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. In the aftermath of 9/11 some Muslims were dancing in the streets to celebrate the attack on the Great Satan.

So, when Juan Williams said “Look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous”, NPR thought that was “inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”

You do not have to be a NPR news analyst to worry about sharing a plane with self-identified Muslims. In December 2009, nothing but luck saved a plane from being blown to pieces by the Nigerian “underwear bomber” over Detroit. Nothing but luck saved an untold number of lives when another Muslim made a car bomb and parked it in Times Square. The Muslim Fort Hood shooter is still awaiting trial.

Telling the truth while exercising his First Amendment right of free speech was why NPR fired Juan Williams.

It happens that on October 19, Rasmussen Reports published the results of a telephone poll that asked respondents their opinion about political correctness. The conclusion was that “Some people think that government officials too often override the facts and common sense in the name of political correctness, and 74% regard political correctness as a problem in America today.”

The poll found that “57% of adults believe America today has become too politically correct” while 23% said it was not a problem. The Caruba Rule of Political Percentages says there is a hardcore of about 25% of Americans who are too stupid to walk and chew gum at the same time.

It is to Fox’s credit that Juan Williams was their “go-to guy” whenever they needed a liberal opinion on the events and issues of the day. I rarely agreed with anything he said, but I understood his contribution to the discussions because one could always gain an insight to the warped liberal point of view on matters great and small.

Recently in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie let it be known he saw little reason for the state to be funding its own television news channel and it has always struck me as strange that the federal or state governments should be doing this.

Founded in 1970, NPR has always been a propaganda arm of the government and has always been liberal in its news reportage and analysis no matter what party was in power. About 10% of its funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a federally funded organization. The rest comes from local and state governments, government-funded universities, along with member station’s fees, foundation grants, and corporate underwriting.

In 2008, NPR programming reached a record 27.5 million people weekly, according to Arbitron ratings figures. NPR stations reach 32.7 million listeners overall according to Wikipedia.

While it is true that the mainstream media has for decades rendered itself unable to provide reasonably unbiased news coverage, outlets such as C-SPAN, The Wall Street Journal, and Fox News Channel have filled the gap along with a plethora of Internet news and opinion websites for anyone seeking information and analysis.

No doubt Williams will find a permanent home at Fox News Channel, but his firing is a warning to everyone that anything they hear on NPR is filtered through its liberal “editorial standards and practices.”

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Saving America from Ourselves

By Alan Caruba

I receive Social Security. I am enrolled in Medicare. I won’t be getting a cost of living adjustment from the former and the latter has been effectively destroyed by Obamacare. Both are the products of the Great Depression of the 1930s. The nation’s housing bubble that led to the 2008 financial crisis began with legislation passed in 1934!

Born in the course of the Great Depression and benefiting from the extraordinary era of prosperity that followed the end of World War Two in 1945, I voted Democrat right through to Jimmy Carter because my parents were Democrats and I gave it no further thought. I really should have. In 1980 I voted for Ronald Reagan and became a Republican.

After Bill Clinton became president, even my sainted Mother, then in her 80s re-registered as a Republican. In 1994, I cheered the takeover of Congress after forty years of Democrat control by Republicans. Nothing changed. The spending continued. The entitlement programs expanded.

To paraphrase St. Paul, when I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, but when I became a man, I put aside childish things.

Candidly, the times were good and I progressed from being a journalist making very little money to working for a New York State agency that sold bonds to build housing and then to a New Jersey institution of higher learning where I was responsible for its various student recruiting and other publications. Then, like Snow White, I drifted into public relations where my writing skills earned a good living. I’d like to say I am retired, but I cannot.

Despite any number of recessions that occurred in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, the times were good and everyone I knew was making money. I was, however, getting older.

To put this in context, by 1968 when I was already in my 30s, there were 62 lobbyists in Washington, D.C. Today there are 34,000. They outnumber every member of Congress and all of their staffs combined by a ratio of two to one. They are not there to represent the majority of Americans in the middle class and the result is the decline of the real median household income that has stagnated for more than a decade.

Who’s making money these days? Government workers. They belong to the largest union in America.

With the passage of Obamacare, it is now apparent to those Americans who still have a job or a business, along with the growing legion of the unemployed, that voting Democrat can be dangerous to both your health and your wallet.

All this has been on my mind while reading an extraordinary book by Ronald R. Pollina, “Selling Out a Superpower: Where the U.S. economy went wrong and how we can turn it around.”.

We have all been living with a number of myths that Pollina spells out in the initial chapter of his book.

Myth #1: The United States is the preeminent global superpower in economics, political influence, and military dominance, and that is not going to change, certainly in my lifetime or that of my children. Wrong.

Myth #2: Offshoring is simply part of the twenty-first-century globalization and ultimately America will benefit. Wrong.

Myth #3: Sure, America has lost a lot of jobs, but as the economy picks up, our companies will be hiring these people back. It’s temporary—it’s just like the past recessions. Wrong.

Myth #4: Corporate greed is the main reason so many jobs are offshored. Wrong.

Myth #5: China and India may be growing rapidly now, but the American economy is keeping pace with global economic growth. Wrong.

Myth #6: China and India are simply examples of bubble economics in countries with significant social and political problems and therefore will never rise to be threats of the United States’ economic supremacy. Wrong.

The truth is that the United States has been strangling job growth with the over-regulation of business, causing many to set up shop elsewhere.

The truth is the government has deliberately neglected our energy needs while environmentalists sold us fairy tales about “sustainable growth”, “dirty” coal, thwarting our ability to drill for our own oil, mine for coal, or even build new nuclear plants.

The truth is that the government and the rest of us have been on a spending binge based on cheap credit and endless borrowing.

The truth is the nation has been drifting toward socialist “solutions” since the 1930s that have never worked successfully anywhere. That is why the British have hit the wall and the French are in the streets rioting. Famously, socialism has run out of other people's money to give away.

The truth is what the cartoon character, Pogo, said. We have met the enemy and it is us.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

How to Spot a Phony D.C. Rally

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Standing Firm Against a Hurricane of Lies

By Alan Caruba

It takes a substantial amount of courage to stand against the lies about global warming, carbon dioxide’s (CO2) role in climate change, and whether humans are causing unusual weather events, but Dr. William Gray has been doing that ever since the global warming hoax was unleashed on the world in the 1980s.

In January 2010, after having been a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) for more than fifty years, Dr. Gray, a Professor Emeritus at Colorado State University, wrote a stinging denunciation when the society gave its highest award to James Hansen, the NASA official generally credited with getting the global warming hoax rolling in 1988 with testimony before Congress.

“I am appalled at the selection of James Hansen as this year’s recipient of the AMS’s highest award—the Rossby Research Medal. James Hansen has not been trained as a meteorologist. His formal education has been in astronomy. His long records of faulty global climate predictions and alarmist public pronouncements have become increasingly hollow and at odds with reality.”

At an age when most men might be expected to rest on their laurels, Dr. Gray has not shrunk from the battle. Slapping down Hansen, he said, “He cannot explain why there has been no significant global warming over the last ten years and why there has been a weak global cooling between 2001 and 2008.”

What is generally unknown and unseen by the public is that in the world of science there are fierce battles waged within its many cohorts as both sides of an issue lay out their data and submit themselves to the scrutiny of other scientists. These battles often last for decades. Darwin’s theory, though widely accepted by the public, is still being debated with the likelihood that it too will be upended by the study of magnetic reversals.

I am pleased to call Dr. Gray a friend. I first took notice of him for his annual predictions of hurricane activity. I suspect that professional poker players, for whom the odds are weighed hand by hand, would stand in awe of anyone prognosticating on the number of hurricanes that would hit the east coast in any given year.

World Climate Report recently asked, “How much evidence will it take to quiet the claim that hurricanes are increasing in frequency due to global warming?” They found “scant evidence to support a strong link”, something that Dr. Gray has been saying for decades.

In 2006 The Wall Street Journal took notice in a page one article titled, “Hurricane Debate Shatters Civility of Weather Service.” Dr. Gray had been disinvited from being on a panel to discuss the storms, several of whose members were still arguing the idiotic notion that human activity has anything to do with these powerful climate events.

The lesson here is that major science-based organizations such as the AMS, along with government weather service agencies such as NASA, have been deliberately misleading Americans for years.

Dr. Gray has been indefatigable in his resistance to the torrent of misinformation. To those government scientists putting forth the global warming alarmism, Dr. Gray has written that “Rising levels of CO2 are not near the threat these alarmists have portrayed them to be. There has yet to be an honest and broad scientific debate on the basic science of CO2’s influence on global temperature.”

“The global climate models predicting large amounts of global warming for a doubling of CO2 are badly flawed. They should never have been used to establish government climate policy.”

It is climate policy that is driving the Obama administration’s effort to pass the Cap-and-Trade Act, a huge tax on all energy use. It is climate policy that is driving the Environmental Protection Agency’s crude, thuggish effort to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) and when the President speaks of climate change as related to human activity he is lying.

I trust Dr. Gray’s half century of research and analysis. You should, too.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Is the EPA Trying to Murder the USA?

By Alan Caruba

Day after day the news arrives regarding some new announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency that is often so bizarre that it seems a parody of regulation, science, and common sense.

Most people don’t have time to pay attention to the cast of characters setting the agency’s agenda but these days that includes the president’s top environment advisor, Carol Browner, a former EPA director under Bill Clinton, and Lisa Jackson, the current administrator, an acolyte of Browner and, if possible, more obsessed with destroying the nation than her former boss.

Browner is a dedicated Socialist, but Jackson is a bounce-off-the-walls enviro-wacko for whom real science is a great nuisance while pseudo-science is a blunt instrument with which to impose a regime that will destroy the economy and take down the whole nation.

At the heart of the EPA’s latest initiatives is the thoroughly debunked theory of “global warming”; that carbon dioxide (CO2) is “causing” it, and that human beings are producing too much CO2 by using various forms of energy such as coal, oil, and natural gas. All three assertions are utterly and completely false.

As you read this, the Earth’s atmosphere is composed of 76.55% nitrogen, 20.54% oxygen, 0.91% argon, and 0.0389% carbon dioxide. Of the so-called “greenhouse gases”, the largest is water vapor—clouds.

When the EPA recently announced it had lifted the cap on how much ethanol had to be mixed with gasoline to increase the consumption mandates in the 2007 energy bill from 10% to 15%, it set off a firestorm of resistance. At the last count, more than 90 companies and trade associations have filed legal challenges.

The ethanol mandate was and is bogus. When mixed with gasoline, ethanol actually produces more CO2. It reduces the mileage per gallon and, in the process, damages automobile engines because it is corrosive. Made primarily from corn, it drives up the cost of countless food products. Its use is solely dependent on government mandates and subsidies. It is moonshine.

While companies and jobs depart the United States, the government flushes billions down the green toilet subsidizing ethanol, wind and solar energy.

The EPA has been asserting the right to regulate CO2, claiming that the 1970 Clean Air Act permits this. It does not.

When the State of Texas protested, The Wall Street Journal noted that Ms. Jackson was “threatening to punish Texas and other green dissenters with a de facto moratorium on any major energy or construction projects.” The Obama EPA is not run by touchy-feely tree huggers. “Put bluntly,” said the Journal, “this coercion is illegal.”

In an October 10 editorial, the Journal warned, “the EPA decision to strip permitting authority from the states is tantamount to a ban on major construction or building expansion—not merely Texan refineries, but any kind of carbon-heavy utility, industrial production, manufacturing plant or even large office buildings.”

The authority it claims would enable the EPA to shut down every kind of industrial activity or construction project nationwide.

We have witnessed the damage the Obama administration’s moratorium on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has wrought. Despite two court rulings that it was illegal, the administration ignored them and, only when it concluded that the moratorium might cost Democrats votes in the midterm elections, was it lifted.

This is the most anti-energy administration in the nation’s history and it poses a grave threat to the economy. reported on a June 3 EPA statement, noting that “Tough new rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency restricting greenhouse gas emissions will ‘slow construction nationwide for years’—but will only reduce global temperatures 0.0015 (15 ten-thousandths) of a degree Celsius in the next century.”

Mother Nature is already reducing worldwide temperatures as the result of a natural cooling cycle that began around 1998. We are more than a decade into a cycle that some meteorologists fear could become a new Little Ice Age.

A GOP minority report on the EPA’s greenhouse gas emission reduction proposals estimated than more than 800,000 jobs would be put at risk with no evidence of any environmental benefit.

In January, the EPA proposed lowering the ozone national ambient air quality standards from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to between 60 and 70 ppb. A study by the Manufacturer’s Alliance/MAPI declared that the EPA’s proposed revision of the “primary” (health based) standard would have “devastating economic impacts.”

The study estimated the new ozone standard would impose compliance costs of $1.013 trillion between 2020 and 2030 with a resulting reduction of GDP of $687 billion by 2020. They estimate 7.3 million jobs would be lost by 2020.

Ozone and carbon dioxide levels, and even levels of airborne dust are the Trojan horse the EPA is using to wreak havoc on an already fragile economy and rising levels of unemployment.

If the EPA is permitted to have its way, in ten years the economy will have been effectively destroyed. This all-encompassing federal agency gives daily evidence of trying to murder the United States of America.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

The Slow Death of the Environmental Movement

By Alan Caruba

“Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.”—Dave Forman, Founder of Earth First!

“If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels”. —Prince Phillip, World Wildlife Fund

If you want to understand how utterly soulless and nihilistic environmentalism is than you need only pay attention to what they say. (Click here for more such quotes)

My friend, Joseph A. Olson, PE, recently wrote of “Climate Science’s Worst Week in History” in which he noted a series of events such as the UK’s Royal Society’s step back from its former support of global warming.

This was followed by a Washington Post opinion editorial by one of its perpetrators, Michael Mann of Penn State University, pleading for a Democrat victory in the midterm elections so he could avoid being investigated by Congress.

That same week Dr. Hal Lewis, a renowned physicist, resigned from the American Physical Society, rebuking it for having been subverted to serve the global warming hoax.

Having observed the movement for decades, I think we are seeing a growing awareness that environmentalism is fear-driven, based on many false claims, a threat to the U.S. economy, fundamental freedoms, and humanity in general.

The environmental movement has its roots in what was formerly called conservation. Its great champion was Teddy Roosevelt and it was led by men like John Muir (1838-1914), a naturalist who advocated setting aside places like the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas.

The objective was not only to preserve such areas, but to permit future generations to visit, enjoy, and be inspired by them. In creating national forests, it was understood they were to be managed in a fashion that yielded timber while providing opportunities for hunting, fishing, hiking and camping.

Muir founded the Sierra Club, one of the nation’s largest environmental organizations. Today there are so many environmental organizations and groups that you need a directory to sort them out. These groups, however, are now far more political than their original intent.

They are ministries of misinformation, disinformation, and outright scare mongering.

The movement as we know it today got a boost with the publication in 1962 of Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring.” It was an anti-pesticide diatribe whose claims have long since been disproved, but it set in motion a tsunami of fears regarding all chemicals and, beyond that, concerns about all kinds of manufacturing and technology; indeed anything involving energy resources.

Within eight years of the book’s publication President Nixon initiated the Environmental Protection Agency that has since metatisized into a rogue government agency intent on controlling all aspects of life in America. The EPA invents most of the science it cites and has an authoritarian contempt for the fundamental principles of science, the truth, and the process of legislating and regulating as set forth in the Constitution.

The scope of environmentalism is manifest in the United Nations Environmental Program of which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the source of the global warming hoax, has been the most visible of late.

We are witnessing, if not the death of environmentalism, at least its growing marginalization. The early signs are there to be seen. It will take a lot of time to rid ourselves of its excesses and idiocy because much of academia, the judiciary, the media, some churches, and our schools have been hijacked by the environmental movement.

Like socialism/communism, a political movement closely aligned with environmentalism, environmentalism not only does not work, but imposes restrictions that run contrary to economic growth, health, and fundamental freedoms. Its solutions are as often as not are the cause of mass death as in the case of the banning of DDT.

Ultimately, environmentalism is opposed to all the technologies that protect, enhance and extend life for everyone on planet Earth.

This is why we see, time and again, environmental opposition to anything that might ensure a steady, dependable source of electricity, the power that maintains everything upon which a modern society depends.

This explains why environmental organizations like Friends of the Earth are leading campaigns against the use of coal to generate electricity and other forms of power generation.

Environmentalists oppose oil and its derivative, perhaps one of the greatest inventions of the modern era, plastic.

It is why they advocate turning food, corn primarily, into an inefficient fuel called ethanol that can damage car engines. The diversion of massive amounts of corn has only served to drive up food costs.

It is why they advocate mass transportation and do all they can to impose new costs on the manufacture and use of automobiles.

It is why they advocate wind and solar power as viable sources of energy when neither would even exist without huge government subsidies. They are touted as a source of mythical “green jobs”, but Americans want real jobs and wonder why so few factories have been built here since the 1970s.

It has been environmentalists that foisted mandatory recycling programs that have proven as great a waste in time, labor and energy as the benefits they were purported to provide.

Was it a worthy goal to clean the nation’s air and water? Yes, without question, but by almost any standard one can name, that goal has been achieved. When the EPA announced recently that it was going to regulate dust, you had to know that it’s being run by crazies. The East Coast of America receives a lot of dust blown in from Africa!

The death of environmentalism began with the greatest hoax ever perpetrated in the history of modern man, global warming. It has taken decades for it to be exposed and its demise, along with other environmental “solutions” put forth are reaching a point of widespread public rejection.

That is a very good thing because at the very heart of environmentalism is the intent to reduce the human population of the Earth. It is human “consumption” that environmentalists hate whether it is the food you eat or the energy you use in your daily life.

It will take a generation or two or three to rid ourselves of the chains environmentalism has imposed on us and the economy, but it will happen. It took some seventy years for the former Soviet Union to ultimately implode.

Just as communism killed millions, so too has environmentalism. Both still exist in various places and various forms, but they will fail. Perhaps not in my lifetime or yours, but if we remain vigilant, if we resist, they too will die a deserved death.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Is Obama Just a Moron?

By Alan Caruba

How many recall the eight years of George W. Bush’s two terms in office during which he was constantly derided as being too dumb to be president? He was deemed “a frat boy” and yet Bush had graduated from Yale University and went onto to secure a master’s degree from Harvard Business School. When his grades were compared to Sen. John Kerry during his campaign for reelection, it turned out he had higher scores.

We can’t compare Barack Obama’s grades to Bush or anyone else because they, along with his birth certificate, and indicators of his scholastic achievements have been hidden from public review.

This is not, however, a defense of Bush. This is about a question that millions of Americans are beginning to ask. Is Obama just a moron?

When I use the term, it should be noted that we have had presidents in the past who had impressive scholastic records, but who still turned out to be dumber than your average pea-picker and ridge-runner.

Woodrow Wilson took office after a distinguished career in academia and had been the governor of New Jersey. It was Wilson who embraced the income tax and who turned out to be astonishingly naïve about international affairs despite having helped the allies win World War One. Jimmy Carter, on paper, was no dummy. A graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, he had been governor of Georgia, but as president he was a dismal failure.

In early 2009, I wrote a commentary, “Putting a Child in Charge”, suggesting that having a young president—he was 47 at the time—be in charge of the greatest economic and military power in the world might not be a good idea. I noted that Obama’s resume was unusually thin in terms of any real achievement. His main claim was that he had been a community organizer in Chicago. Politically he was best known as a state senator for voting “present” much of the time and he had barely spent any time in the U.S. Senate before beginning to run for president.

It’s not like he didn’t signal what he actually thought. “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times…and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.” Huh? When did we ever care what other nations thought about our driving, eating, or the setting on our thermostats?

And Michelle was scary, too. “Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual—uninvolved, uninformed.”

Not that far into his first twenty months in office, the independent Tea Party movement erupted all over the nation and it wasn’t because hundreds of thousands of Americans were uninvolved or uninformed. The problem was that a million of them had earlier journeyed to Washington, D.C. to protest against passage of the disastrous Obamacare “reforms” only to be dismissed by the White House as “wrong.”

Americans took notice of all the tax cheats and various loonies nominated to be in Obama’s cabinet, many having to withdraw from consideration, one who became Secretary of Treasury, and dozens who went on to become “czars” without any vetting from Congress.

So far, the guidance offered by his initial choices as economic advisers has driven up the deficit to historic highs and done nothing to reduce unemployment. So, as Michelle says, Obama will require you to work…just as soon as he figures out where real jobs come from.

The President just admitted that he was unaware there were no “shovel ready” projects for a huge infusion of government funding and yet he used that phrase over and over again while stumping for his failed “stimulus” program. Even the mayor of a small city could have told him that, but Obama had never run so much as a lemonade stand until being elected President.

At this point, Obama has spent more time playing golf in just under two years in office than Bush spent during his entire eight years. He does so mostly on Sundays and was noticeably missing from any church attendance until people began to think he was a Muslim.

As the midterms approached, key members of his administration have headed to the exit doors including his aforementioned economic advisors, a national security advisor, and his chief of staff. The man credited with getting him elected, David Axelrod, will quit soon to help shape his campaign for reelection if, that is, Democrats are stupid enough to nominate him again.

Famously, Americans early on realized that Obama could not deliver a speech without having Teleprompters and, when called upon to speak without them, became a mass of stuttering, sputtering, sentence-splitting incoherence.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Obama demonstrated an ability to insult whole nations while, at the same time, apologizing to the world for America’s exceptionalism and achievements.

He sent back a bust of Churchill to the British consulate and his gift to then Prime Minister Gordon Brown was a box of 25 DVDs, all in a format that would not work in the UK. He gave the Queen an iPod preloaded with 40 show tunes.

Since being elected he has insulted Wall Street, insurance companies, physicians, the president of France, Las Vegas, the Postal Service, Nancy Reagan, and lately the U.S. Chamber of Commerce!

Mostly, though, he has insulted the intelligence of millions of Americans, many of whom will be going to the polls on November 2nd to let him know they think he is a moron and among the worst, if not the worst, president to have ever held that office.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cartoon Round Up

Do We Need a Huge Military?

By Alan Caruba

In a recessionary era that promises to last longer than usual it is a good idea to reexamine our national priorities and needs. Ever since the end of World War Two, sixty-five years ago, more than two generations, America has militarily been a superpower.

Despite that, it came as a rude shock to have been forced out of Vietnam in the 1970s and to have found ourselves in a lengthy occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan in this decade. With regard to these current conflicts, it is worth noting that, while we maintain a large military presence with a considerable arsenal of weapons, vehicles, and personnel, the enemy operates with quite a bit less while wearing out U.S. public support at the same time.

The question today is do we need a huge military?

Benjamin Friedman and Christopher Preble, both Cato Institute scholars, address this question in a policy analysis titled “Budgetary Savings from Military Restraint.” While I believe the U.S. should maintain a strong military, I have long harbored the concern that the U.S. military is too large for our actual needs.

America entered a period of “empire” following World War II, expanding our military to involve bases throughout a world threatened primarily by the former Soviet Union that was seeking to expand communism. The threat was real and it was met in Korea. Our military strength deterred offensive missiles in Cuba. It was successfully challenged in Vietnam. It played a NATO role in Serbia to quell the violence there.

It can be argued that our huge presence in Europe deterred Soviet ambitions and protected Japan and Taiwan against Red Chinese ambitions, but present global realities are such that European nations and South Korea should be playing a greater role in defending themselves, given their economic strength.

The Middle East will likely be the scene of conflict for many years to come, but it does not pose a direct threat to the homeland and our presence there is more likely to exacerbate anti-U.S. views than reduce them. I have argued for military withdrawal from Afghanistan and, while we shall likely have to maintain a military force in Iraq for many years to come, the real problem posed by Iran is its quest for nuclear weapons rather than an invasion of other nations in the region. This is evidenced in its use of proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas

The Cato scholars argue that present U.S. military strategy should not include “the occupation of failing states and indefinite commitments to defend healthy ones.” The history of past empires amply demonstrates that their populations grew weary of this policy and that it often sapped their strength until failure set in.

“With fewer missions, the military can shrink its force structure—reducing personnel, the weapons and vehicles procured for them, and operational costs. The resulting force would be more elite, less strained, and far less expensive. By avoiding needless military conflict and protecting our prosperity, these changes would make Americans more secure.” The Cato scholars project cuts that would total more than $1.2 trillion over ten years.

“The United States does not need to spend $700 billion a year—nearly half of global military spending—to preserve its security.” Long ago, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against the “military-industrial complex” and there isn’t a politician since then has not argued against the shutting down of a military installation in their state while the procurement of new weapons systems has frequently been supported on the basis that it will generate more jobs.

We have to begin to move away from such thinking, the product of the last world war, smaller wars since then and unfounded fears of invasion or attack. 9/11 was a terrorist attack by a small, stateless enemy and must be seen as such.

Degrading the jihadist capabilities can be and is being accomplished at far less cost than maintaining large military forces in the Middle East. As the Cato scholars note, “Contrary to conventional wisdom, counterterrorism does not require much military spending.”

Among the arguments put forth for high military spending is that the U.S. military primacy underlies global security, but the Cato scholars note that “During the Cold War, Japan, Western Europe and South Korea grew wealthy enough to defend themselves” and that “the threats to global trade today are quite limited.”

“The United States confuses what it wants from its military, which is global primacy or hegemony, with what it needs, which is safety. Our leaders tend to exaggerate the capabilities of the enemies we have and invent new enemies by defining traditional foreign troubles—geopolitical competition among states and instability within them, for example—as pressing threats to our security.”

There will always be threats to our security. No one suggests otherwise, but the failure to defend our southern border may be seen in retrospect as having been a far greater threat to our security than anything occurring elsewhere, farther from our homeland.

The Middle East promises to remain unstable for a very long time to come, but we have seen that a huge investment in lengthy occupations may not yield any more real security than smaller, counterterrorism strategies.

Even with the cuts proposed the U.S. can project more military power than any other nation and it is time to ask ourselves if new technologies have not in fact given us the opportunity to reduce a massive Navy, Air Force, and Army to achieve national security in a new world that has seen the end of the Soviet Union, the economic rise of China and India, among others, and the need to address our own present economic problems.

© Alan Caruba, 2010