Monday, January 31, 2011

Obama has a Very Bad Day

By Alan Caruba

“Jan 31, 3:10 PM (ET) - PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge in Florida says the Obama administration's health overhaul is unconstitutional, siding with 26 states that had sued to block it. U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson on Monday accepted without trial the states' argument that the new law violates people's rights by forcing them to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties.

Attorneys for the administration had argued that the states did not have standing to challenge the law and that the case should be dismissed. The case is likely to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Two other federal judges have upheld the insurance requirement, but a federal judge in Virginia also ruled the insurance requirement unconstitutional.”

See? The system works. That is to say, the one set up by the U.S. Constitution. You remember the U.S. Constitution, right?

And, well, when 26 States all say that a law passed by Congress and signed by the President is unconstitutional, the chances are it is.

When you combine that with the House of Representatives’ call for its repeal, even Democrat Senators (particularly those facing reelection in 2012) are going to think twice about voting against repeal when it gets to the Senate floor.

President Obama is just two years into his first and last term, looking more and more like Jimmy Carter every day, courtesy of the mobs in the streets of Cairo.

For two years he threw trillions of OUR dollars at “stimulus” legislation to generate jobs and failed. Now the most central piece of legislation for him, former Speaker Pelosi, and Harry Reid has been ruled unconstitutional.

There is no way Obama can breath life into that horrid overhaul of Medicare that pulled trillions out of it while adding millions more Americans to it. No where in the Constitution does it say that the government can require you to buy insurance, a hamburger, or even a lottery ticket.

Moreover, as various entities examined Obamacare, it became increasingly clear that it was a monstrosity filled with mandates that would end up killing people who didn’t have months to wait around for an operation or waiting to see the increasingly fewer physicians it would force to leave the profession for lack of adequate compensation.

It is now clear to everyone that Obama was and is totally unsuited and unprepared to be President. Now watch the issue of his real place of birth move to the center of the stage.

The U.S. can survive a “President Biden”, but Obama should never have been let anywhere near the Oval Office.

Not a good day for the Democratic Party. A really awful day for Barack Hussein Obama.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

US Middle East Policies

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Waiting and Watching Egypt

By Alan Caruba

Today we watch events unfold in far off places often in real time. What we lack, however, is context. Most Americans and, I suspect, others in Western nations are frequently at a loss when it comes to knowing anything about the culture and history, past and recent, of nations in the Middle East, Africa, or Asia.

What we do know about the Middle East is that, since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran along with the rise of al Qaeda and other jihadist organizations, things have not gone well for American and Western interests.

How different everything might have been if U.S. troops had occupied Tehran in 1979 and demanded the return of our diplomats after they had been taken hostage.

After World War One, what was once the Ottoman Empire that ruled the Middle East and areas of the Maghreb in northern Africa, the French and the British got out their maps at the Versailles conference to literally draw new lines on it and create new nations that were, in fact, colonies. They included Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and a strip of territory called the Palestinian mandate. The chief prize at stake was oil.

After World War Two was concluded many of the former British and French colonies, including India, and much of Africa declared their independence. The Saudi Royal family had already thrown in its lot with America. In Egypt, the Suez Canal, opened in 1869, was jointly owned by the British and French. The British called the shots there through its royal family.

The Egyptian defeat in the 1948 war in response to the establishment of Israel stirred discontent among its military leadership. Gamal Abed Al Nasser ultimately emerged as Egypt’s leader after a July 1952 bloodless coup against King Farouk and the royal family. In 1956 Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal.

Here’s what it gets very instructive. In 1956 the British and French, with Israeli involvement, sent troops to seize the Suez Canal. That operation was quashed by President Dwight Eisenhower who made it known that the United States would not support it. The era of colonization was over.

What had been occurring, however, was an era of pent-up anger throughout the Middle East focused on the establishment of Israel and resentment of the former colonial powers. The British had earlier installed a royal family in Iraq. A new component was opposition to the dictators like Hussein who emerged to run Iraq. Another example is the fact that first the British and then the Americans had controlled Iran’s oil through its royal family. Other royal families continue to control mideast oil.

Ironically, it took George W. Bush to rid Iraq of three decades of despotic rule by Saddam Hussein. However, this has to be balanced against the fact that the U.S. has also supported the authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. It was, however, Egypt, as well as Jordan, who made peace with Israel.

Arab military defeats gave way to support for the so-called Palestinians as pawns in the war against Israel. The main support of the Palestinian "refugees" is the United Nations, sixty-three years after 1948 and subsequent wars to destroy Israel. Iran has funded two Palestinian terrorist organizations, Hezbollah and Hamas.

At the heart of the turmoil in the Middle East is a movement to restore Islam to its former glory when it literally knocked on the doors of Europe. The jihadists such as Osama bin Laden dream of a worldwide Islamic caliphate. As in the early spread of Islam, it would be achieved through war, but the tactic employed would be terrorism and the fact of Islam’s expanding population worldwide.

An irony of the Islamist movement is its opposition to the monarchies ruling Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, all of whom have proven to be good allies to the United States at the same time they have funded the spread of Islam. In Egypt, under Mubarak, the jihadists known as the Muslim Brotherhood were ruthlessly suppressed. The Saudis actually exiled bin Laden.

What the world has witnessed has proven to be very bad news for the West. The 1979 Iranian revolution has given us Mamoud Ahmadinejad and a regime plotting through proxies to control Lebanon via Hezbollah and Gaza via Hamas, while it plots to control Iraq and eyes the Gulf States as well. Its closest ally these days is Syria. It has long sought to become a nuclear power. Its proclaimed goal is to destroy Israel.

Democracy has not turned out to be much help in the Middle East. Rigged elections in Egypt kept Mubarak in power for three decades. Saddam Hussein used terror and the Baath Party to achieve and hold on to power. Elections were rigged in Afghanistan. Pakistan has been mainly ruled by its military.

Lebanon was a democracy and now its prime minister comes from the ranks of Hezbollah. Turkey has had a long run of real democracy, but only because its military ensured that Islamists did not take over.

Americans have a lot at stake and, of growing concern to many, a President, Barack Hussein Obama, whose first television interview was with Al Arabia, who bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, and whose first global lengthy outing was a tour of the Middle East to demonstrate how friendly he was to their cause.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Bookviews - February Edition Posted

For followers of this blog who love to read, the February edition of my monthly report on new non-fiction and fiction titles, Bookviews, has been posted.

It is filled with news of some excellent books on science, history, health and wellness, books for younger readers, and notice taken of some interesting and entertaining new novels.

Share news of this with friends and family, any one of whom is likely to find just the right book about something of interest to them.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Israel Holds Its Breath

By Alan Caruba

After more than three thousand years of varying calamities, Jews have perfected survival against the odds. There is a joke they tell about “Jewish Zen”:

“Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.”

Right now, Israel and those who support the Jewish State are holding their breath, watching events in Egypt. What is happening is not inconsequential, given that Egypt made peace with Israel in 1979 after a series of wars in which it had been soundly defeated.

When the flamboyant Gamal Abed Al Nasser died, Anwar al-Sadat became Egypt’s president and, together with Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, they turned a corner toward peace. The treaty was greeted with angry demonstrations throughout the Arab world. Sadat, the peacemaker, was assassinated by Muslim zealots.

At that point Hosni Mubarak became Egypt’s president and he has held the position for three decades as the head of what is essentially a one party system. There have been a half dozen assassination attempts on his life. He is 83 years old. Like most Arab nations and other third world nations, he ran an authoritarian regime.

The peace deal included the return of the Sinai desert to Egypt by Israel. Under former Prime Minister Arial Sharon, Israelis who had lived in the Gaza strip were forced to leave and it was turned over to the Palestine Authority in a “land-for-peace” swap. The peaceloving Palestinians turned Gaza into a launch site for thousands of rockets into Israel.

Today, Egypt shares a border with Gaza which features an unknown number of tunnels used to smuggle in weapons and goods. Gaza is run by Hamas, a terrorist Palestinian organization that drove the PA out at gunpoint.

So the fate of Egypt is of importance to Israel. To Israel’s north, another terrorist group, Hezbollah, has taken over the government of Lebanon without firing a shot. Christians, Druze and Marists, along with others in Lebanon have once again lost control over their nation, formerly peacefully governed by a constitutional coalition of Christians and Muslims.

None of this bodes well for Israel as it looks around at Middle Eastern and northern African nations in which governments are being overthrown for being noxious oppressors.

Of great importance to Israel at this time is the question of what action the United States will or will not take regarding the current turmoil. Since the Egyptian uprising appears to be a genuine people’s rebellion, the question is who ends up with the reins of power there? My bet is on the military.

Meanwhile, however, yet another United Nations resolution aimed at Israel like a guided missile is making its way through the Security Council and, at this point, only the U.S. can shoot it down with a veto.

The UN resolution declares that any construction in the West Bank by Israel is illegal, even if it is in its capitol, Jerusalem.

No American administration has been able to broker peace between Israel and the so-called Palestinians, the oldest existing group of “refugees” in the world.

Following the end of a failed war against the then new state of Israel, the Arab population that fled became the sole object and purpose of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). No other refugee group in the world enjoys this status.

There is a Palestinian problem because there is a United Nations problem.

The United Nations is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of its Middle Eastern and Islamic members.

What was to be a UN emergency response in May 1950, UNWRA has cost American taxpayers billions since then. Today, UNRWA continues to operate in both the Palestinian Authority-ruled West Bank and the Hamas-ruled Gaza, taken from the PA in June 2007. As noted in a recent article by Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, in 2007 UNRWA employed more than 29,000, all but 200 of whom were Palestinians. Its “facilities and personnel have been tied to numerous terrorist attacks on Israel.”

Sixty years of stalled and failed peace talks, as well as terror campaigns against Israel, have deligitimized Palestinian claims.

Following Israel’s operation Cast Lead in December 2008 to stop Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket attacks, the Obama administration promised $400 million for Gaza and $600 million for the West Bank.

Though not confirmed, the rumor-mill in Washington is saying that the Obama administration will not veto the latest in an endless succession of anti-Israel resolutions.

If true, President Obama would become the first U.S. President to not defend Israel’s sovereignty.

If true, it would signal to the entire Middle East and the world that America is abandoning the only true democracy in the region and its longtime ally.

The United Nations was founded in 1945 after World War Two. It has since become a cesspool of corruption and an international cancer determined to become a one-world government. The time is long overdue for the U.S. to stop funding it and, indeed, to withdraw from it.

If Obama does not veto the Security Council resolution, the U.S. will pay for that decision for decades to come. Israel will be in ever more certain peril.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Losing Egypt

By Alan Caruba

Those of us around at the time of the 1979 Iranian student revolution that deposed the shah are having strong feelings of déjà vu because that uprising was swiftly co-opted by Ayatollah Khomeini who hated the Great Satan, America, as much as he hated the Little Satan, Israel.

The U.S. lost a major ally in the Middle East. The Shah may have been a bastard, but he was our bastard. The CIA had put him on the Peacock Throne.

The uprising in Egypt, if taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood, will severely endanger American interests that have largely been coasting along in the belief that Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak would engineer a smooth transition of power to his son. This was the scenario in Syria when its dictator, Hafiz al-Assad, passed away.

That scenario just went out the window. Given the depth of opposition to Mubarak, it is unlikely power would pass to his son, Jamal who, with his wife and daughter have fled to Great Britain. Moreover, since Mubarak has no vice president, there is a major power vacuum.

The fate of the Suez Canal is the biggest geopolitical concern at this point. A lot of oil transits through it in much the same way it does through the Strait of Harmuz. Years of growing dependency on Middle East oil while our own vast reserves were locked up and neglected will demonstrate why the policies of several administrations have been not just short-sighted, but incredibly stupid.

As big a pain as Saddam Hussein was, I always believed that he was overthrown as much because of his control of Iraqi oil as for any other reason. The U.S. backed his war on Iran until it fizzled after eight years. When he invaded Kuwait, we pushed him back into Iraq. After 9/11 it is likely that the calculation was made that Iraq and the Middle East would be better off without him. His overthrow might also been seen as an object lesson to others in the region of what happens when Uncle Sam is unhappy.

Mubarak has been “our man” in Egypt since he took over after the assassination in 1981 of Anwar Sadat who had been killed because he made peace overtures to Israel. Up to then, Egypt had been repeatedly defeated, especially in the Six Day War. After thirty years of dictatorship Mubarak is hated by most Egyptians for all the usual reasons.

To understand the current unrest in Egypt and elsewhere, it is necessary to understand that most of the population of the Middle East and northern Africa’s Maghreb are young people. They are fed up with the oppression of their governments, with unemployment, with inflation, with the region’s endemic and historic corruption, and its lack of political freedom.

They rioted in Lebanon against Syrian oppression after the assassination of their prime minister. They rioted recently against Hezbollah control of Lebanon. Within the past weeks, there have been riots in Tunisia, in Yemen, and now Egypt. It is a contagion.

We are running out of friends in the Middle East. For all of the talk of supporting freedom in the Middle East, the U.S. has usually backed its despots. Given our dependency on Middle East oil, we have had very little choice. That’s what happens when you don’t allow drilling in Alaska’s ANWR, anywhere off our coastlines or domestically where billions of barrels are estimated to exist.

Now, however, we have a President who is VERY different from any that came before him going all the way back to Truman and Eisenhower.

A neophyte when it comes to foreign affairs, no matter what nation is involved, Obama has demonstrated extraordinarily bad instincts and judgment. He has regarded the United States as just one nation among others. He has apologized for the sixty years of relative peace the U.S. has provided as global sheriff. He has been eager to “reach out” to Middle Eastern nations. The result is that Obama has appeared weak to everyone.

He failed to speak out strongly in June 2009 when ordinary Iranians filled Tehran’s streets to protest the despicable and detested ayatollahs that rigged its election in favor of Mamoud Ahmadinejad. He lost a major opportunity while saying at the time that he did not want to “meddle” in Iran’s affairs.

Although he increased combat strength and supported Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai, the results there have been a predictable failure for a regime that lacks popular support.

Ironically, the only actual and natural ally the U.S. has in the Middle East, Israel, has been beaten about with Obama’s absurd demands that it not construct new housing in its own capitol, Jerusalem.

In the first two years of Obama’s presidency, it has become obvious to everyone, friend and foe alike, that he is anti-Israel. Perhaps he was trying to signal some kind of accommodation with Iran? Or maybe he just doesn’t like a Jewish presence in the Islamic Middle East?

That is why the rumor that the U.S. will not veto yet another anti-Israel resolution in the UN Security Council worries a lot of people. Failure to do so would make Obama the first U.S. President ever to abandon Israel in the UN.

Throughout the Middle East, people risking their lives for freedom know that if the U.S. abandons Israel, it will abandon them.

That is why, also, there can be no accommodation with Iran. Every other nation in the Middle East knows this. Hezbollah and Hamas are both terrorist organizations and both are funded and directed by Iran. It is the single greatest threat to peace in the Middle East. Syria is Iran’s closest ally and agent.

By contrast, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, all monarchies, all protected by the U.S., fear Iran.

No Middle Eastern nation is safe so long as radical Shia Islam is directed from Tehran and operates with impunity in Yemen and in Pakistan.

No nation in the world is safe if Iran acquires nuclear weapons.

If Egypt is lost to the Muslim Brotherhood as the result of the current insurrection and rebellion, the implications for the U.S. and the world would be a major game change.

A lot of nations who found it fashionable to oppose and criticize the U.S. as a big military bully are going to be looking to it to avoid an ugly, expensive, and dangerous future.

On Friday, the White House released a statement that was made in Platitude Heaven: reported that “President Obama called for Egypt's government to respect the rights of its people. ‘The people of Egypt have rights that are universal,’ he said.”

“Calling for Egyptian authorities to respect citizen’s right to speech and protest, he said, ‘suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.’ The president also urged the people of Egypt to refrain from violent protest. Obama spoke with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for 30 minutes earlier Friday.”

The problem, of course, is that we have a President who is intellectually, emotionally, philosophically, and in all other ways not up to this crisis.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Cartoon Round Up

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Long Winter of 2010-2011

By Alan Caruba

For New Yorkers and those in my part of New Jersey across the river, snow has fallen eight times since December 14, an average of once every five days, 56.1 inches in Central Park as of Jan 27th, and people are, shall we say, taking notice?

Along with the snow come power outages, disrupted bus schedules, air travel delays, commuting by car becomes an auto body repair business bonanza, schools shut their doors, and some people die from weather-related accidents or just from trying to shovel the snow from the driveway.

Having battled the “global warming” hoax since it was first perpetrated in the late 1980s, I have had the good fortune to make friends with many of the world’s top meteorologists and climatologists who joined in the long effort to educate people to the fact that there never was a rapid rise in the planet’s overall temperatures.

Even so, some mainstream media news outlets have continued to file stories incredulously blaming the winter snow storms on “global warming.” The hoax for too many media folk has long since become a religion in which blind faith replaces the objective fact obvious to everyone. It is cold. There is snow. Lots of it.

Indeed, the Earth has been in a cooling cycle since around 1998 as verified by meteorological satellite and other data. Piers Corbyn, an astrophysicist and leading forecaster, said “We’re now headed for a Maunder minimum of very low solar activity. The globe will be much cooler until about 2035, so there will be a lot more of these cold winters in Europe and the USA.”

Considering how the climatologists and meteorologists of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been telling everyone for decades of a coming warming, why should we believe Corbyn and others predicting decades of cold weather? Corbyn studies solar cycles and they determine how warm or cold the Earth is.

It’s the Sun, Stupid

Corbyn’s astonishing record of accuracy has put his native England’s meteorological service to shame for deliberately misleading the British to believe the “global warming” hoax. Not given to vague talk, Corbyn recently said, “The claim that 2010 is the second warmest year on record is delusional, irrelevant and disingenuous. Warmist (warm is cold) explanations for extreme events are as useless as saying ‘Wet days cause rain.’”

It is useful to keep in mind that U.S. agencies such as NASA and NOAA have been issuing similar politically correct and meteorologically incorrect “global warming” claims for years.

Consider weather events just since the beginning of the year.

For the first time since 1945, the maximum daytime temperature in North Korea has remained below zero for nearly a month. In neighboring China, the snowfall in northwest China was accompanied by extreme cold and a snowfall that flattened or damaged 100,000 homes. All around the world there have been similar reports, including sunny Italy that set new cold records, -48.3 degrees on January 19.

In the United States, Minnesota shattered its cold records on January 21 reaching an astonishing -46 degrees. In Florida, eight new record lows were set by January 17 and there was snow in every State of the lower 48. And spring will not debut until March 21!

It’s not like this is a new weather phenomenon. As any meteorologist will tell you, the Earth has gone through numerous warming and cooling cycles. In its 4.5 billion years, scientists estimate there have been at least seventeen full-blown Great Ice Ages. In near past history, the last Little Ice Age is well documented, having begun around 1300 and not ended until 1850. Whatever warming occurred since then, however, has amounted to just over one degree, but that was enough!

Reaching its peak in the 17th century, in England the Thames River froze over. The Little Ice Age is credited with bringing down the French monarchy and ruining Napoleon’s subsequent Russia campaign. In America, the tiny army of George Washington weathered a harsh winter at Valley Forge.

As in previous cooling cycles, it was low solar activity that determined the temperature, not carbon dioxide or other so-called greenhouse gases.

People’s lives depend on our government’s ability to measure and forecast the weather. A government that continues to tell people that “global warming” is real and then throws billions of money on “research” to prove it, while issuing utterly false claims, must be forced to acknowledge reality. The same applies to the energy policies on which everyone depends for electricity, a reliable supply of heating oil, and other elements of the infrastructure.

The lies must end. The end of the cooling cycle is nowhere in sight.

Editor’s Note: To follow cold weather events, visit For instruments with which forecast weather, visit

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Demonizing Bisphenol-A: The BPA File, Part One

By Alan Caruba

In July 2010 I wrote a commentary about Bisphenol-A, more commonly called BPA. It is a chemical that has been in wide, safe use for over 50 years, but has come under a horrendous and unrelenting attack by a variety of specious environmental and consumer groups.

Out of curiosity mostly, I initiated a Google Alert earlier this month to inform me whenever BPA was mentioned in a news story on the Web. Within three weeks I received 20 alerts, almost one a day, and each contained notifications on 15 – 25 different article references. That’s just nuts!

Why are Americans being bombarded in the space of a single month with more than 400 articles in magazines, newspapers, and on the Internet that are designed to frighten them into thinking that a good, safe thing is a bad thing?

It piqued my curiosity and prompted me to dig deeper. It seems that finding out who is behind these attacks on BPA, none of which has any credible science to support their claims, is proving to be a real detective game.

The result is that I have decided to follow the BPA story on a periodic basis in order to track and report how this classic scare campaign is maintained and spread. My research and writings will appear in “The BPA File”, a series that will ultimately be published on the website of The National Anxiety Center. It will appear monthly and elsewhere in places where readers have grown accustomed to seeing my writings.

I founded The National Anxiety Center in 1990 as a clearinghouse for information about just such scare campaigns and this fresh examination of BPA will be published alongside previous works including, “The Subversion of Education in America” and “The Enemies of Meat,” as well as the archive of commentaries written before I began my daily blog, “Warning Signs.”

The reason for this new series is that we have already seen any number of beneficial chemicals and products targeted in this fashion, often to be driven from the marketplace by class action lawsuits or banned by federal agencies and states.

Classic examples range from Alar and DDT to saccharine, all of which came under withering criticism from questionable sources using junk science, yet all of which have been proved over time to be perfectly safe and harmless when properly used. The same is happening today with BPA.

When the American Council on Science and Health, a consumer advocate group, listed “The Top Ten Unfounded Health Scares of 2010”, number one on its list was BPA. The ACSH wrote, “Bisphenol-A has been in use for over five decades in the manufacturing of certain life-saving medical devices as well as in baby and water bottles, dental devices, eyeglass lenses, DVDs and CDs and other electronics.”

BPA also plays an important role in maintaining a healthy food supply. “In addition,” said the ACSH, “it (BPA) has been used to coat the inside of nearly all metal food cans to protect consumers against deadly diseases like botulism.” If activists are successful in their pressure campaigns to ban BPA, my fear is that less-tested and less-safe alternatives will be forced upon unsuspecting consumers.

Here’s a simple question. If any of the charges against BPA are true, why then – in more than 50 year’s time! – has there been no direct connection drawn between BPA and the disease conditions claimed by anti-chemical activists? Answer: because none has ever been established through reliable scientific testing.

Human beings are chemical-processing machines. That’s what our bodies do all day, every day. We live longer, healthier lives precisely because of the discovery and use of chemicals, many of which exist solely to enhance our health and well-being.

Ultimately, as any chemist, pharmacist, or physician will tell you, “The poison is in the dose.” It is the amount of exposure and the route of exposure that determines whether something is harmful or not. Perhaps the best example of this ancient axiom is water. Too much and you can drown in it. Too little and you will suffer dehydration.

The same holds true for other chemicals, many of which are found in nature. Most crops produce their own pesticides to protect against natural predators and the human race has been ingesting trace elements of these chemicals since the dawn of humanity, along with the fruits and vegetables we know to be healthy elements of our diet. The amounts, however, are so miniscule – parts per billion – that they pose no threat.

This exact pattern exists with BPA as well; the so-called ‘endocrine disruptor’ we’re so breathlessly warned about in BPA is identical to a chemical found in soy products like tofu and soy sauce, soy milk and other related products. Strangely, we’re not hearing panicked cries to banish vegetarian food, Chinese carry-out and alternative dairy products for the lactose-intolerant from American society.

So, with Part One of The BPA File we shall begin an investigative journey that will, I promise, astonish you with the brazenness of a global campaign of lies intended to actually endanger your life by denying you the benefits of this particular chemical.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Sitting Together

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Horrid Ms. Browner

By Alan Caruba

The announced departure of Carol Browner as President Obama’s climate “czar” is very good news for America, given her long record of contempt for the truth regarding “global warming” and a range of other Environmental Protection Agency initiatives when she served as former President Clinton’s director of the EPA.

The decision to leave could have been motivated to put some distance between herself and the White House to afford the President some political cover.

Whatever reason will be put forth for her leaving, the real reason is her justified concern that she will be summoned before a congressional committee to explain why, for example, she deliberately misled Americans during the BP oil spill, going on national television to say that most of the oil was gone. She cited a White House commission created to investigate the spill, implying that the scientist’s report had confirmed the need for a moratorium on oil drilling in the Gulf when, in fact, they had not supported it.

Browner has been a dedicated socialist, serving as a Commissioner of the Socialist International, an umbrella group for 170 “social democratic, socialist, and labor parties” in 55 nations. According to its “organizing document”, the SI cites capitalism as the cause of “devastating crisis”, “mass unemployment”, “imperialist expansion” and “colonial exploitation” worldwide. This is straight out of the Communist Manifesto.

When her role with SI was revealed, its website scrubbed her photo and evidence of her commission membership. No doubt several of Obama’s “czars” have shared similar views of capitalism. One, Van Jones, was forced to resign as the "Green Jobs Czar" when it was revealed he was a communist.

Obama’s election was, in effect, a socialist takeover of the executive branch of the U.S. government.

Browner’s dedication to the Big Lie of “global warming” goes back to her days when she served as then-Senator Al Gore’s legislative director from 1988 to 1988. Browner’s devotion to environmentalism resulted in her being named Florida’s Secretary of Environmental Regulation from 1991 to 1993. After the 1992 presidential election, she served as a transition director for Vice President-elect Gore.

Global warming is the assertion that the Earth is rapidly warming as the result of the buildup of “greenhouse gases”, most particularly carbon dioxide.

The “theory” is now totally discredited, but continues as justification for a variety of policies such as the administration’s emphasis on wind and solar energy, attacks on the coal and oil industries, and efforts that would drive up the cost of electricity to business, industry, and all consumers.

Browner is on record saying that global warming is “the greatest challenge ever faced” despite revelations in 2009 that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had rigged the computer model's global temperature records to advance the fraud.

Global warming is the basis for the Cap-and-Trade legislation that was stalled in the Senate during the first half of Obama’s term. Since then, the EPA under Lisa Jackson, a Browner acolyte, has asserted that it intends to regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gases. The EPA has no such authority under the Clean Air Act. Such regulations would have a devastating affect on the nation’s economy.

In December 1992, President-elect Bill Clinton named Browner as his choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency and she was confirmed by the Senate on January 21, 1993. She would become the longest-serving EPA director.

Despite a J.D. degree from the University of Florida College of Law in 1979, Browner has frequently shown a contempt for the law. In 1995, she used her position at the EPA to lobby more than a hundred grassroots environmental groups to oppose the Republican-led Congress’s regulatory initiatives to curb the EPA. In doing so, she violated the Anti-Lobbying Act. The Browner-led EPA was strongly rebuked by a bipartisan subcommittee of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.

On her last day as EPA Director, Browner ordered a computer technician to delete all her computer files despite a federal judge’s order requiring the agency to preserve those files. It was later learned that three other high-ranking EPA officials had also violated the judge’s order. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth held the EPA in contempt of Congress in 2001.

During secret negotiations with auto industry executives on behalf of the Obama administration, Browner directed them “to put nothing in writing” as she orchestrated an agreement to increase federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards. Federal law requires officials to preserve documents concerning significant policy decisions.

In these and countless other unknown ways, Carol Browner has used the reins of power as EPA Director and later as President Obama’s climate advisor to assert EPA and government control over every aspect of the lives of Americans, limiting their choices, and in the process harming the nation’s economy.

Until the nation is released from the grip of such environmental/socialist zealots, its future remains in jeopardy.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Obama Prepares for 2nd Term

Monday, January 24, 2011

The True State of the Economy

By Alan Caruba

The mainstream media will fall all over itself to put a good face on the President’s State of the Union speech. Time was when Presidents simply sent a written message to the Congress (Article II, Section 3) to be read in chambers, but we must now suffer through an hour and a half of madcap Democrat applause and frozen Republican silence.

Great television, it isn’t. The worst part, even before the speech, is that everyone knows it will be filled with boldfaced lies about “investments”, i.e., more spending, and other fictions. Thank goodness that all spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives (Article I, Section 7). Since Republicans now control the house those “investments” are not likely to be approved or authorized.

In recent days,, has posted excellent articles that provide the cold hard numbers regarding the first two years of the Obama administration and past four years of Democrat rule. A sampling tells the truth.

The prices of selected commodities, all of which translate to what you pay at the gas pump or in the supermarket, have all risen in the past two years.

#Crude Oil, European Brent (barrel) was selling for $43.49 in January 2009. It now sells for $99.02, an increase of 127.7%

#Corn, No. 2 yellow was selling for $3.56 a bushel in January 2009. It now sells for $6.33, an increase of 60.5%. Corn is an important indicator because much of it, by government mandate, must be turned into a gasoline additive called ethanol. The result is that the cost of food is increased as corn which is widely used to feed livestock and in countless other ways in the food chain is diverted to make fuel.

#Sugar, cane, raw, world price per pound was $13.37 in January 2009. It now sells for $35.39, an increase of 164%,

# Unemployment, non-farm, overall was at 7.6% and is now at 9.4%, an increase of 23.7%. The number of unemployed in January 2009 was 11,616.000 and has since risen to 14,485,000, an increase of 24.7% despite the promise of “shovel ready” and “Green” jobs. The number of people on food stamps increased 35.1%. The number of people receiving unemployment benefits increased 22.2%

# The national debt in trillions was $10.627 in January 2009 and now stands at $14.052, an increase of 32.2%.

Do you see a pattern here?

By December 2010, more than fifty percent of Americans said they were worse off than they were two years earlier when President Obama took office. The Bloomberg National Poll showed that two-thirds of Americans believed the nation was headed in the wrong direction.

None of this is surprising, given that the nation is struggling to recover from the longest recession since the Great Depression. There is no indication that Obama can, will, or even wants to correct the current recession. Recessions are cyclical and most presidents have encountered one while in office.

No amount of speeches, State of the Union or otherwise, will improve the economy if the past policies of the Obama administration continue. The nation has suffered unemployment at more than 9% for the twentieth month in a row as of January. That is a post-World War II record!

The Obama administration has done nothing useful to turn the recession around. Instead it has wasted billions bailing out General Motors to save the auto union, followed by an idiotic “Cash for Clunkers” program. At the same time, it has insisted that GM turn out $41,000 electric cars while raising the mandate for ethanol levels in gasoline, thus reducing the mileage per gallon while increasing its cost to consumers.

The housing market, brought to its knees by two horrid government entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is still in the basement. The government had to seize both of them and is billions in debt as a result. “Social justice” was the excuse given for the government’s intervention in the mortgage loan marketplace instead of leaving it to the normal prudence of lending institutions.

Instead of focusing on ways to encourage the growth of small businesses, the administration spent its time and energy on passing Obamacare, taking trillions out of Medicare while at the same time adding more people to its rolls. This is the Obama definition of “saving” Medicare. More than half of the States have joined a suit to abrogate Obamacare as unconstitutional.

Obama’s is an utterly failed administration. In an effort to be reelected, Obama will apply a Clintonian approach, appearing to move to the middle, be more fiscally prudent, et cetera, but this is one leopard that will not change his spots. He is a committed Marxist and one who gives every indication of deliberately crashing the economy. In that respect, he is succeeding.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Advice to the POTUS about the SOTU

By Alan Caruba

Some of you will have more important things to do on Tuesday evening than to listen to President Barack Hussein Obama’s second State of the Union, commonly referred to as the SOTU and, of course, he is the POTUS.

Is there an acronym for B-O-R-I-N-G and P-R-E-D-I-C-T-A-B-L-E?

Here’s some free advice for the POTUS. The highlight of your first SOTU was the way you insulted the members of the Supreme Court seated in their robes right in front of you. Way to go, Barack!

A big time Harvard Law School grad like you surely knows gobs more about the law than they do and, don’t forget, you taught a course on the Constitution as an adjunct professor or some such position. At the time, you concluded that the Constitution was a “negative” instrument of government because it wouldn’t let the Congress or you go hog-wild and pass any law you wanted. As we all know, the Constitution is filled with too many phrases that begin “Congress shall make no law…” plus all that checks-and-balances stuff.

When you had a Democrat majority, you showed America what you wanted to do. You, crazy Nancy Pelosi, and the ever-cheerful Harry Reid, rammed Obamacare through even after a million people showed up to say don’t do it. Were the voters grateful? Hell, no! They voted out a ton of those Democrats, replaced them with Republicans, and those new members of the House just voted to repeal your beloved bill.

Well, after two years of waiting for those “shovel ready” and “Green” jobs to show up while you were creating a Marxist worker’s paradise, it’s clear that the SOTU will have to be all about J-O-B-S, with an emphasis on the last two letters.

Most of the genius economists who advised you in the first two years have since fled back to academia and even Rahm has left for the blessed streets of Chicago. So now it’s time to talk about J-O-B-S, with an emphasis on the last two letters.

Your own resume is a bit thin as regards anything most people would regard as a job. Remember when “community organizer” was considered a joke? It still is. Only no one is laughing because they are all out looking for J-O-B-S.

We all know you have to toss in some catchy phrases about foreign affairs, but other than blaming Israel for all the problems in the Middle East including flatulence and sand, no one cares about the rest of the world very much. They’re mostly trying to hold onto or get a J-O-B.

Word is you will also speak about the need for more spending. This is a really bad idea because you and the Democrats have spent us into virtual insolvency at this point and Americans really, really, really hate this.

Just stick to your script from those glorious campaign days in 2008. Remind everyone that everything wrong in the world is the fault of the unexceptional and arrogant U.S.A. Remind everyone that it is all Bush’s fault. Remind everyone that you cannot get out of Iraq or Afghanistan fast enough. Mention the troops. Everyone loves the troops.

It is essential to throw in some reference to global warming, to electric cars, to wind and solar energy, and to take a moment to remind everyone how horrid Big Oil and Big Coal are. That’s pretty much been your energy policy anyway.

As for the business climate in America, it will probably be a good idea not to say bad things about Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Wall Street, or all the other engines of the economy that often employ people who are looking for J-O-B-S.

Mention “civility” and “public discourse” because they score well in focus groups. Also mention “bipartisanship” because it does too and, remember, in two years you will be looking for a J-O-B, so try to fake some humility.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Hating Infidels 24/7

By Alan Caruba

The Holocaust of the last century is remembered for the mass murder of Europe’s Jewish population, an estimated six million who perished. In total, an estimated eleven to seventeen million Europeans, Jews and Christians, died in the Nazi concentration and death camps or were murdered outright in their homelands.

Records were lost or didn’t list religion, but the lesser known story of the Holocaust was the death of millions of Christians, three million of whom were Poles, predominantly Catholics, killed by the Nazis for being Poles. They have a special place in Jewish history because many Poles, risking immediate execution if caught, were among the “righteous Gentiles” who were rescuers of Jews.

I cite this because there is a new Holocaust abroad in the world and it is directed at Christians, particularly in the Middle East and throughout Africa, wherever Islam is the dominant religion. Nor is this is a new phenomenon; Christians were widely persecuted under the Ottomans (Turks) when their empire encompassed much of the Middle East.

It is clearly manifesting itself again and to far too little notice.

Let it be said, too, that Islam is an equal opportunity enemy of all other faiths as was seen in the 2008 attack in Mumbai, India, that included India’s tiny Bene Israel Jewish community. The conflict between Islam and India’s Hindus goes back centuries and resulted in the creation of Pakistan as a separate Muslim state when India gained its independence.

Why has there been so little consistent coverage of the on-going attack on Christians? This is especially curious insofar as it is estimated that there are more than two billion Christians worldwide, about a third of the global population. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that they are the victims, not the perpetrators of this horror.

Today thousands of Iraqi Christians are fleeing to the comparative safety of the Kurdish area and other countries. Indeed, many Americans are unaware that much of the U.S. Arab population is, in fact, Christian, not Muslim.

In mid-December, The Telegraph, a London daily, reported that “some 1,000 families, roughly 6,000 people, have arrived in the northern Kurdish areas from Baghdad, Mosul, and Nineveh” according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. “Several thousand have crossed into Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.”

Egypt is home to some twelve million Copts, otherwise known as the Coptic Orthodox Church. They have been in Egypt since 54 A.D. when St. Mark, a North African Jew, one of seventy apostles of the early church brought Christianity to that ancient land. The invasion of Muslims in 643 A.D created the inevitable adversity. On New Year’s Eve, there was a terrorist attack on the Coptic Church in Alexandria that killed 21 parishioners.

Copts have been routinely targeted for all manner of abuses and, unsurprisingly, Egypt is the epicenter for anti-Semitism in the Middle East. Officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, it has been ruled by President Hosni Mubarack since 1981. By contrast, the U.S. has had six presidents since then.

Boutros Boutros-Ghalli, a Copt and former secretary-general of the U.N., is president of the National Council of Human Rights in Cairo. In a Jan 21 article in the Wall Street Journal he cited Egypt as “a model of religious tolerance in the region” and noted that “thousands of Muslims gathered around churches across the country (on Jan 6, the eve of the Coptic Christmas) to act as human shields, protecting their Christian neighbors during their Mass.”

The exodus of Christians from the Middle East and incidents in African nations where an estimated 40% of the population are Christians speaks to the persecution that has spread everywhere before and since the rise of the Islamic Revolution, sparked by events in Iran in 1979. This has since led to the creation of Hezbollah and Hamas, two Iranian proxies. Al Qaeda, created to expel the Russians from Afghanistan, has been the tip of the Islamist sword, perpetrating 9/11 and other attacks worldwide.

The persecution historically directed against Judaism is now commonplace in its more lethal manifestations against Christians. Since the Old Testament is part of the Christian liturgy, an attack on Jews is an attack on Christians and vice-versa.

The post-war rise of secularism in Europe, along with demographic shifts in which large numbers of Muslims have taken up residence in European nations is having its affect on both Christian and Jewish communities there.

In America, the denigration of Christianity it is less visible and is not by definition persecution. A majority Christian nation, America has been experiencing a rise in efforts to diminish the acknowledgement of Christianity’s role in the nation’s history and by efforts to limit Christian symbols, prayers, and even the celebration of Christmas in public institutions and places.

Slowly, American, European and Christians worldwide are beginning to realize that they are locked in a religious war. It is a war that Christianity must engage. The silence of church leaders is no longer an option. It is a war between the 7th century and the 21st century.

It is a misnomer to call it a “war on terror.” Terror is a tactic, but this is a war against Islam because Islam has been at war with all other faiths since its inception.

In New York City, when Muslims seek to build a mosque within steps of Ground Zero, they are simply exalting the atrocity of 9/11. It begs the question why its confessed perpetrator, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, has not, ten years later, been brought to trial.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Strangulation by Regulation

By Alan Caruba

On Tuesday, January 18, I had the opportunity to participate in a conference call initiated by the Office of Management and Budget to roll out President Obama’s executive order regarding the revision of the federal government’s massive regulatory morass.

On the same day, the Wall Street Journal had published President Obama’s commentary “Toward a 21st-Century Regulatory System” in which, at one point, noting that the FDA had found saccharin to be safe, he lauded the Environmental Protection Agency for eliminating its ruling that saccharin was a dangerous chemical.

Steven Milloy of Junk noted that, while the Food and Drug Administration “considers carbon dioxide to be safe for human consumption in soft drinks, yet the EPA is regulating it as a threat to the public welfare under the Clean Air Act. How about rollin’ that one back?” The EPA has, in its short history, generated more regulations than any other comparable government agency. The EPA is not about science. It’s about power over every aspect of our lives.

EPA regulations regarding carbon dioxide will impose crushing financial burdens on any and all use of electricity and is utterly devoid of any scientific justification. The EPA’s justification is that CO2 causes global warming—which it does not—because there is NO global warming.

The conference call featured OMB Director Jack Lew and the president’s regulatory “czar” Cass Sunstein who has been described as a liberal activist judge who believes free speech needs to be limited for the "common good" and has ruled against personal freedoms including private gun ownership.

Both kept repeating the “talking points” for the executive order, emphasizing “opportunities for public participation and public comment" and “to make sure that regulations are driven by real science.”

This latter attribute has been sorely missing among the many Obama appointees such as his science “czar” John Holdren, his environmental “czar” Carol Browner, and his choice to head the Energy Department, is a true believer in global warming. Some of the opinions expressed by these appointees have bordered on lunacy.

The other meme repeated throughout the conference call was that of “jobs.” In the run-up to the 2012 elections, Obama will say “jobs” a million times despite or because of the obvious fact that the nation is at Depression-level rates for unemployment.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute that closely tracks the impact of federal regulations on business and industry in America was not taken in by the executive order or the rhetoric surrounding it. “This executive order is hardly a war on red tape, and no affected businesses or consumers are going to be able to sue anybody to force compliance—it’s just an ‘order’ to agencies to behave.”

The CEI noted that “Both balancing safety against economic growth and requiring a review of existing rules are features of President Clinton’s EO 12866, which Obama reaffirmed while repealing Bush’s EOs 13258 and 13422.”

CEI noted that “The number of rules in the pipeline at agencies has surged in the past year, from 4,041 at the end of 2009 to 4,225 now, as will be detailed in CEI’s upcoming ‘Ten Thousand Commandments’ report. ‘Major’ rules, those expected to cost over $100 million annually, have experienced an even greater surge.”

When one considers that Obamacare constituted a massive expansion of regulation and that the House has just voted to repeal it, Obama’s executive order looks like window-dressing to hide the fact that this administration, thus far, has engaged in piling on regulations that the public has, in poll after poll, rejected.

This executive order is as empty as all of Obama’s other many promises.

© Alan Caruba, 20011

Obamacare: Voters will Speak in 2012

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Celebrating Reagan

By Alan Caruba

This year marks the centennial of Ronald Reagan’s birth on February 6, 1911, but I want to celebrate the anniversaries of his first and second inauguration, January 20, 1981 and January 21, 1985. Just as Reagan transitioned from being a liberal and a Democrat, his presidency did the same for me.

What remains a mystery to me is how America could rocket from the success of the Reagan presidency and that of George H.W. Bush, Reagan's Vice President, to the depths of Bill Clinton’s scandals.

For those with short memories, Americans followed Reagan/Bush with a president who engaged in a tawdry encounter with a White House intern, who lied under oath, was disbarred, but whose personal popularity and a cynical Congress allowed him to escape impeachment.

Reagan was elected in part as a rejection of the weak presidency of his predecessor, Jimmy Carter, who until the election of Barack Obama, has been regarded as the worst president since the end of World War Two.

Unlike Obama who has never lost an opportunity to denigrate America, Reagan never lost an opportunity to lift up our spirits and to celebrate the nation. He said, “Whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears; to your confidence, rather than your doubts.”

“My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way. What I’d really like is to go down in history as the President who made Americans believe in themselves again.”

In his first inaugural speech, Reagan said, “It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams.”

The contrast between the Reagan presidency and that of the current occupant of the office is vast. Reagan understood the American can-do spirit. He celebrated a culture in which striving for wealth was understood to be a worthy goal. Obama believes being wealthy is a sign of exploiting others and of greed. He made it clear during the campaign that he wanted to be President in order to distribute the wealth of individual working Americans.

That’s straight out of the Communist Manifesto and, apparently, too many were simply not listening, dazzled by the notion of electing the first Black President.

In his first election, Reagan won by a significant majority of the popular vote, 44 million to Carter’s 36 million, despite a third party candidate, John Anderson, who won 6 million votes. He swept the electoral vote, 489 to 49, bringing with him 33 Republican Representatives and 11 Senators. Under Reagan, Republican control of the Senate returned for the first time since 1945.

Obama’s first and hopefully last term has already recorded a historic turnover of power in the House to Republicans and a diminishing of Democrat power in the Senate in response to his policies.

The conservative movement in America rose from the ashes of Barry Goldwater’s defeat in 1964 to Lyndon Johnson. In retrospect, it was the same torrent of liberal legislation under LBJ and the expansion of the war in Vietnam that deeply offended Americans. Elected to end the war in Vietnam, Richard M. Nixon would disgrace himself with the Watergate scandal.

To date, Obama’s presidency marks the most dramatic and traumatic lurch toward naked socialism since the days of Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

It was the liberal legislation rammed through Congress by Sen. Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi that led to the rise of the Tea Party movement and a rejection of Obama’s agenda. The new Congress knows it is charged with repealing or defunding Obamacare, a vast expansion of Medicare and Medicaid. Both represent the socialist agenda of the Democrat Party that has brought the nation to the brink of insolvency.

The most casual look back over the years since the end of the Truman administration shows Americans lurching back and forth between scandals and weakness, between the leadership of Eisenhower and Reagan, to the current President who has increased the national debt more than all the previous presidents combined.

Americans, however, never truly abandoned their belief in an ever-growing federal government as the provider of all their needs. Indeed, even under Reagan, the federal government grew in size.

We arrive at the Reagan centennial as a nation burdened by an intrusive government, a history of entitlement programs dating back to FDR, massive civil service unions, and too much spending that has left the nation facing the largest debt in its history. We might as well have been drunk for the last eight decades.

“Any government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take everything you have!" warned Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States (1801-1809).

Too many generations of Americans have not paid heed to that fundamental truth, the essence of conservatism. The time to reverse threats to our Constitution and to the future as a nation is now.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Unrepentant Commies

By Alan Caruba

I have known a few Communists in my time. The worst of them are the unrepentant ones, still aglow from the 1960s and 70s when the college campuses and streets were filled with protesters of every description. Others have unhappy memories of the FBI keeping track of them. The best of them had an epiphany at some point in their lives and realized that they truly were, as Lenin called them, “useful idiots.”

I have a tenuous link with one of them, Mark Rudd, because he grew up in the town where I lived most of my life and even attended the high school from which I had graduated ten years earlier. Maplewood, New Jersey had been, in my time, a solidly Republican community, a bedroom town for New York executives who caught the train every morning for the commute.

That began to change imperceptivity as young Democrats began to move in during the Kennedy years and thereafter. In time they gained political control and many of my generation, thanks to ever rising property taxes, began to move to Florida or, in my case, one town over to a new apartment complex.

Once years ago while I was in the bank in Maplewood, I ran into Mark Rudd. We exchanged a few pleasantries, but nothing memorable. By then he was no longer a fugitive from the FBI for having been one of the leaders of the infamous Weather Underground, a group that included Barack Obama’s longtime friend and associate, Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dorhn.

Though he didn’t directly participate, Rudd knew of a Weather Underground plot to plant bombs at an officer’s club at Fort Dix in 1970 to protest the Vietnam War. When the bombs instead went off in the New York townhouse, killing several of his friends, Rudd concluded that dying senselessly while planning to kill others for a “righteous” cause was not the way he wanted to end up.

Just ask any of the Vietnamese who were lucky enough to escape and to come to America after the fall of Saigon how they feel about his righteous cause. To this day they embrace the veterans who fought there and the nation that took them in and granted them its precious citizenship.

Rudd, however, is an unrepentant communist. His friend, Bill Ayers, has referred to himself as “A communist with a small ‘c’” as if that makes a difference. It doesn’t.

The shooting in Tucson roused Rudd to pen an opinion published in the Jan. 16 Washington Post. It was titled “An ex-Weather Underground radical on the Tucson shootings and political violence.” He recalled that, in 1970 when he was 22 years old, he knew of the plot “and to my eternal shame, I didn’t try to stop it.” Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

“I considered myself an agent of necessity in a political revolution”, wrote Rudd and then added that, even if Jared Loughner was insane, Rudd was sure “he convinced himself that he was doing what needed to be done.”

This is Rudd’s great insight. It is a conclusion that only someone on the farthest reaches of the Left could arrive. It is the conclusion of someone who had decided to devote himself to the nihilistic, atheistic, and totalitarian dogma of the Left.

“As the Weather Underground believed in the absolute necessity of bombs to address actual moral grievances such as the Vietnam War and racism,” wrote Rudd, “Loughner might have believed in the absolute necessity of a Glock to answer his imagined moral grievances.”

For Rudd it was not hard to come up with “moral grievances” when he was in his twenties and his “guerilla hero” was Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, a notorious killer of Fidel Castro’s political opponents. There was nothing heroic about Guevara. He was a psychopath for whom the Cuban communist revolution was just an excuse to indulge his murderous fantasies.

There are somewhere around eighty to ninety million Americans who own guns without coming to the conclusion they have a moral right to use them to kill for any other reason than self-defense.

After the Tucson shooting, the local citizens could not get to the gun stores fast enough to buy guns for their own protection. After Barack Obama was elected, many Americans decided they needed a gun.

Rudd is like many former youthful revolutionary wannabes of the 1970’s with fantasies of changing America to become a new worker’s paradise. These days, decades later, he is married and the father of two children. An article on his website says he is a registered Democrat, but usually votes for the Greens.

After surrendering to the FBI in 1977, he faced only misdemeanor charges. He was fined $2,000 and spent two years on probation. His mother famously asked, “How could you do this to me?”

In 2006-2008, Rudd was a leader of the Movement for a Democratic Society, a network based on his days in the Students for a Democratic Society. Rudd is still a communist along with Ayers, Dohrn, and Jeff Jones, a former Obama “czar” who resigned when people found out.

In 2008, three MDS members, Tom Hayden, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Bill Fletcher, Jr., founded Progressives for Obama, which Rudd endorsed.

The sad part of this is that the Washington Post thought his commentary was worth publishing.

He repeated the calumny against Sarah Palin that she rightly deemed “a blood libel.” Moronically, Rudd concluded that though Loughner was “the product of a different era and may have been motivated only by his madness” his anticipated incarceration will give him “a long time to consider the logic of his alleged actions.”

Insanity defies logic. That’s why it’s called insanity!

Rudd has had over forty years to consider the logic of his commitment to communism and has not arrived at a conclusion that he was ever wrong or that communism is a failed system that exists only through coercion and terror.

He and his friends from the 1970s surely took pleasure in the election of President Obama who was mentored in his youth by Frank Marshall Davis, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party U.S.A.

The spontaneous Tea Party movement devoted to the Constitution and the repeal of Obamacare must be a mystery to Rudd.

As his generation passes from the scene, one can only hope that a new generation of young Americans, passing through a period comparable to the Great Depression do not embrace the communism that many of that earlier era thought was the answer to capitalism.

It wasn’t then. It isn’t now. Liberty, the reason for the American Revolution, is the answer and always will be.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Africa, the Awful Continent

By Alan Caruba

As long as I can remember, for seventy-plus years I have seen photos of sick and starving African children. Now that Africa is home to seventy percent of the world’s cases of AIDS that image applies as well to too many of its adult population. As far as I can tell, it is an awful continent.

That is a vast generalization, of course, but I suspect that a lot of Africans would agree. In 2005, Martin Meredith’s book, “The Fate of Africa”, was published. Its subtitle was “From the hopes of freedom to the heart of despair: A history of 50 years of independence.” It is as definitive as any book I have read about Africa and it is a horror story.

“Since independence,” Meredith wrote, “Africa has received more foreign aid than any other region of the world. More than $300 billion of Western aid has been sunk into Africa, but with little discernible result. Aid fatigue has become a permanent condition.”

I was reminded of this while reading a briefing paper by Greg Mills, the director of the Brenthurst Foundation in Johannesburg, South Africa. Titled “Why is Africa Poor”, it was published by the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty & Prosperity.

While America and Europe struggle with economic problems of their own making, the general poverty of Africa defies the imagination. “Africa is not poor because its people do not work hard,” says Mills, “but because their productivity is too low. African states have resisted western innovations of large-scale farming, so too many Africans survive on subsistence agriculture.

“Nor is Africa poor because of it lacks natural resources,” says Mills. “Compared with Asia, it is a treasure-trove of natural resources from agricultural land and precious metals to wildlife and hydropower. Yet, with few exceptions (Botswana is one), those resources have been used only to enrich elites, spread corrupt practices, and divert development energy and focus.”

It is not a stretch to say that the best thing that happened to Africa was colonialization. It brought measure of development that Africans would never have achieved on their own. Following the end of World War II, the European colonial powers were confronted with indigenous demands for independence and fairly swiftly, if not happily, they abandoned their control of much of the continent from the Maghreb in the Northern tier to South Africa at the tip.

“In a half century of independence, Africa has not realized its potential,” says Mills, warning that Africa’s youth, “a huge source of talent” is widely regarded “as a destabilizing force because it is largely unemployed and uneducated. This is not only a threat to Africa’s security. By 2025, one in four young people worldwide will be from sub-Saharan Africa.”

Africa reeks of corruption by a few, oppression of the many, poverty, and the potential for enormous conflict because its so-called leaders are a horrid bunch of dictators and thieves. Few have shown any interest in improving the lives of those in their nations.

“African leaders have successfully managed, with the help of donors, to externalize their problems, making them the responsibility and fault of others,” says Mills. This condition is the result of “a relative lack of democracy (or to single-party dominance) in Africa.” In other words, socialism.

Not mentioned in his analysis is the role of Islam in much of Africa, a religion devoted to the complete submission of Muslims and resistance to anything that passes for modern governance or advancement. Another factor not discussed is tribalism. It was the cause of a terrible Rwandan genocide.

For this reason, more than a half century after independence arrived, “Getting to Africa is difficult. Moving around Africa is similarly onerous. It would take no donor money to keep borders open around the clock” notes Mills.

One thing is certain. All the money donated to African nations is largely stolen by its elites and the provision of aid for education and health exists only when donor nations and non-governmental organizations exercise close control over it.

The rot that exists in Africa in human terms, in the failure to modernize, in the vile corruption of a few, will persist and, fifty years hence, there will likely be more books and briefing papers that reflect those being written today.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Warning Signs now has 550 Followers

I am delighted tonote that Warning Signs now has 550 "Followers"; folks who regularly visit. I am sure that Hollywood stars, television personalities and others have their following, but those who affiliate with this blog do so because they know they will find carefully researched, fully documented opinions on the events, trends and personalities that affect our lives. And they know they can comment, adding their own viewpoint and additional information.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Warning Signs Celebrates Over 400,000 Page Views!

Who the Hell is Reince Priebus?

By Alan Caruba

Okay, we have had two years of the token black man as the chairman of the Republican National Committee and it’s goodbye Michael Steele. Thanks for whatever, but the party’s broke and still has to raise a ton of cash for the 2012 elections. Bring in the white guy, Reince Priebus.

Reince Priebus? Who the hell is Reince Priebus? Well, for one thing he is the new RNC chairman. A former GOP leader in Wisconsin where the citizens were so totally fed up with the Democrats they voted in a score of Republicans. Priebus could and did take credit for it. Some say it was largely the Tea Party movement in Wisconsin that was responsible, but a win is a win.

Inside the Beltway Priebus is referred to as a “nuts and bolts” guy, another way of saying his job is to raise the money the RNC needs. Given that the Democrat candidate in 2012 will be Barack Hussein Obama that is not likely to be a problem.

I just sent the Republican National Committee my annual $25 contribution and my reward to be to get a call every two weeks for the rest of the year from the RNC asking for more. Believe it or not, I actually stop being unbelievably polite after the seventh or eighth call. No, really.

Of course, it is hardly my contribution that matters at this point. The real question is whether Wall Street will embrace the Republican Party and start backing whoever emerges as the GOP presidential candidate, along with the others.

As far as Wall Street is concerned it’s all about “access” to whoever might win and, aside from disliking Obama even more than he dislikes them, Wall Street has examined the tea (party) leaves and concluded Obama is, as the kids say, so over.

Beyond the money crowd there’s the business crowd and they have zero reason to back Obama unless they are solar panel and wind turbine manufacturers. Corporate America, with the exception of General Electric, is just sick of Obama and all the uncertainty he has created for them.

Obama and the Democrats have only two constituencies on which they can depend in 2012. One is the unions and the other is Afro-Americans. The Dems have a solid lock on the 25% to 30% of Americans who are so liberal they wish Obama, in addition to being black, was gay, a cross-dresser, trans-gendered, and a card-carrying member of the Communist Party of the USA.

Back to Priebus; in addition to having to raise a boatload of cash for the GOP, he has to worry about who gets selected to be its 2012 presidential candidate. His job is to remain neutral, but I’m betting he’s hoping it’s not the Great Straddler, Mitt Romney, capable of bestriding both sides of any issue.

The other reoccurring nightmare for Priebus is Sarah Palin. The Momma Grizzly says the right things for meat-eating, gun-shooting, fish-clubbing Republicans most of the time, but she would never get elected President.

Americans have tried electing a “novelty” with Obama and now they want a nice, old white man, but not too old as in John McCain. McCain spent so much time “crossing the aisle” they never knew where to seat him during a State of the Union speech.

There are, at this point, just way too many Republicans who want to be President and we shall have to wait for one of them to catch fire and ignite Republican passions.

In the end, it will be INDEPENDENTS who will defeat Obama in 2012 and elect, well, someone-anyone else.

I suppose, at this point, it doesn’t matter who Reince Priebus is unless he turns out to be as prone to making goofy public gaffs as the departing Michael Steele. If he does, all bets are off.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Great 'Climate Change' Taxpayer Rip-Off of 2011

By Alan Caruba

Unless I am seriously mistaken or misinformed, the rate of unemployment in the U.S. remains high and the foreclosure rate on homes is approaching the level of the Depression years. Two major bond rating companies, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s just warned that, if the federal government doesn’t stop spending and borrowing, America’s Triple-A highest ranking will be down-graded.

Along with all the other things in the federal budget wish list for 2011 are millions to be spent on climate change.

It helps to understand how obscene this is if you pause to consider (1) there is not one damn thing anyone can do about climate change, (2) climate change has been researched and studied since the late 1980s, enough to fill an entire wing of the Congressional Library to hold all the reports, and (3) the only climate change Americans really need to know about is what the weather will be tomorrow.

With a tip of the hat to and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) report on “research development, fiscal year 2011”, let me share just a few of the ways the Obama administration intends to squander your money.

The magic number is $2,481,000,000 and it represents specific amounts devoted to "climate change" research or other programs requested for the 2011 budgets by an alphabet soup of federal agencies that include the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, Department of Energy (DOE), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of the Interior (DOI), and the Department of Agriculture (DOA).

The figures cited all come from chapter 15 of the AAAS report and you can access it via

NOAA’s total budget request is for $5.6 billion, an increase of 17%. It intends to devote $437 million for climate research funding, an increase of $77 million over last year.

Over at the National Science Foundation (NSF), its budget of $7.4 billion (that’s a lot of science!) includes a request for $480 million for Atmospheric and Earth Sciences, $765.5 million for NSF’s Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability program and $19 million for a joint program with DOE “to promote education in clean energy research. An additional $10 million would fund “Climate Change Education” in the nation’s schools. It’s not education, it’s indoctrination.

The Department of Energy which currently is projecting that permits for deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico won’t be forthcoming until, maybe, June. DOE seems oblivious to the fact that the price of oil is set to hit $100 a barrel and higher costs will hit everyone driving anything using gasoline or diesel fuel. Fuel oil prices will rise and any business that uses oil or anything made with oil will be forced to raise its prices. In short, everything.

DOE, however, is in no hurry and, of course, the Obama administration is dead set against ANWR or off-shore exploration and extraction of the BILLIONS of barrels of crude oil projected to exist.

However, DOE is set to receive $28.4 billion in 2011 and that includes $4.6 billion for research and development in its Office of Science and $2.4 billion for energy research and development. Its Office of Biological and Environmental Research is devoted to atmospheric science, including “climate modeling”, which would be allocated $627 million. Last time I checked, oil, coal, and natural gas were not found in the “atmosphere”, but rather were extracted from deep within the Earth.

The entire global warming hoax was and is based on “climate modeling”, all of which consistently found that the Earth was warming at an alarming rate. Except that the Earth is NOT warming. It has been cooling since 1998. And DOE intends to waste $627 million on more modeling. It is worth noting that the most sophisticated models of the National Weather Bureau still cannot predict with any confidence what the weather—not the climate—will be next week.

The Environmental Protection Agency, gearing up to regulate all utilities that produce carbon dioxide and all other industries that do the same, has zero authorization to do so under the Clean Air Act. It is CO2 that is designated by the warmists as the chief culprit for the global warming that is NOT happening.

Despite this, EPA has requested $169 million “to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”, with $43.5 million in new funding for “regulatory efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” through the Clean Air Act. And it wants $22 million for its Global Change Research Program. It is time to shut down this rogue agency before it totally destroys the economy.

Even the Department of Agriculture wants $159 million for “climate change research”, an increase of 42% and $179 million for renewable energy, to “help farmers.” Farmers are heavy users of fossil fuels to operate the machinery needed to till, plant, and harvest crops. They need reliable energy, not "renewable" energy.

The Recovery Act of 2009 has managed to blow more than $600 million on climate change research and billions on greenhouse gas mitigation.

This is just the tip of the ‘climate change’ rip-off in terms of billions wasted or soon to be wasted on “research” that can only be deemed an obscene diversion of taxpayer money that will not benefit a single taxpayer, generate any new jobs except for those in government agencies, and further bankrupt a bankrupted nation about to have its credit rating reduced.

The “scientists”, “regulators”, and “administrators” feasting off this federal largess should be handed a shovel to earn a living on one of those “shovel ready” projects we were told about.

Beyond that, if Congress was really intent on cutting back on spending, they could begin by defunding or shutting down the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and all the other federal grifters with their snouts rooting around in the climate change trough.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

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