Thursday, May 31, 2012
I received a fund raising letter from the Democratic National Committee this week urging me to join and to support President Obama.
How desperate does the DNC have to be to be sending letters to registered Republicans?
The letter included a separate message from Obama and it is instructive as much for what it doesn’t say as what it does. “These are challenging times for all of us who care about reclaiming the middle class security that’s been lost over the past decade, so everyone in this country gets a fair shake and has a chance to get ahead.”
“Over the past decade…” That would include George Bush’s two terms and Bush had no where near the levels of unemployment Obama has. In fairness, the financial crisis did not hit until September 2008 at the end of Bush’s second term. Still, we elect presidents to solve such problems, not contribute to them or spend four years blaming everyone and everything ELSE.
Obama’s stimulus actually cost jobs including his takeover of General Motor and Chrysler, as well as his veto of the Keystone XL pipeline. When you add his war on the coal industry, that includes the mining jobs lost and the shutdown of coal-fired plants.
Like everything else that Obama says or writes, it is deceptive. What follows is an appeal to American values that Obama does not share, given his heavy support of the union movement. “You and I share a vision of a big, compassionate, bold America, where we are all in it together and look out for one another. An America where hard work is rewarded and responsibility pays off—so everybody, if they work hard, if they take care of their responsibilities, if they look after their families, can get their piece of the American dream.”
I seem to recall that George W. Bush ran as a “compassionate conservative”, but Obama’s idea of compassion involved putting as many Americans on the dole as possible. Nearly half of all Americans today are receiving government aid and, in the stagnant economy he has produced, they need it. As for working hard, you need jobs for that and millions have given up looking because there aren’t enough jobs.
“The next 7 months are going to be tough, not just for me but for Democrats up and down the ballot who refuse to accept the idea that we can just cut our way to prosperity at the expense of the middle class, our children and seniors.” Most Americans understand by now that you cannot spend your way to prosperity, that piling up massive debt while failing to reform “entitlement” programs and cutting taxes just means more debt.
As for the next 7 months being tough, Democrat candidates who supported Obamacare and other legislation are losing out in the primaries to those who opposed it. In the polls, Romney is tied with Obama when people compare the two men and, when it comes to who they will trust with the economy, Romney wins.
As for the Democratic National Committee, they worry that “Our get-out-the-vote efforts will be especially critical this year, due to the Republican Party’s extensive efforts to suppress the ability of Americans to register and vote.” Oh, you mean like providing proof that you actually live in the district where you want to register or vote? That you are a citizen and are here legally? That’s what Democrats call suppression.
The biggest fear that Republicans and independents have these days is that Democrats will use Chicago-style tactics to steal the election. One need only think back to the way the 2000 election outcome had to go all the way to the Supreme Court. That time we came within a hair’s breath of having Al Gore as president.
How and why the DNC sent me a membership and fund raising letter is a mystery to me or maybe it’s not so mysterious. Maybe it is a sign of how desperate they are?
© Alan Caruba
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
|EPA headquarters in Washington, DC|
By Alan Caruba
Sometimes a small incident says volumes about a large government agency. In this case the Environmental Protection Agency.
Around 1.45 PM on May 23, Ashville, North Carolina resident Larry Keller was in the midst of an international call which he had to cut short in order to answer his front door. He found two armed agents of the EPA who were accompanied by an Ashville Police officer.
According to a May 24 news story in the Ashville Tribune, a weekly newspaper to which I am a contributing columnist, the agents had blocked his and his neighbor’s driveways with their cars. They had driven all the way from Raleigh to confront him.
What had he done? The unannounced visit had been occasioned by news that Dr. Al Armendariz, a regional EPA administrator whose 2010 lecture had been videotaped and been released by the office of Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) on April 25th. In the lecture, Dr. Amendariz had said that the agency’s “general philosophy” was to “crucify” oil and gas producers.
He compared the agency’s “philosophy of enforcement” to the way, as a Wall Street Journal editorial reported, “Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. “They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them, And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. The point is to ‘make examples’ of alleged lawbreakers.”
The case in point had been Range Resources, a driller who had been exonerated of charges of water pollution as the result of fracking. As the Wall Street Journal noted, the reference to executions “raise(d) questions not only about” not only Dr. Arnendariz’s comments “but the EPA’s larger impartiality and judgment.”
Keller, who describes himself as “a bit of a political activist” had emailed the EPA Director of External Affairs, Dr. David Gray, saying “Hello Mr. Gray. Do you have Mr. Armendariz’s contact information so we can say hello?”
That was enough to dispatch two armed agents to his front door. He was told by one agent that “…my choice of words in the email could be interpreted in many ways.” They did not identify themselves, but asked if he had ever been arrested. He responded swiftly that he had not. When he asked for a copy of his email, they refused to provide it because “the case was still under investigation.”
His wife arrived home and the agents did not want a witness so “They left in a big hurry.”
The Ashville Tribune by Catherine Hunter quoted Keller who described their attitude as "accusatory" reporting that he compared "their tactics to those of Nazi Germany SS methods.”
Keller contacted the agent’s supervisor, Michael Hill, and was told that the incident with Dr. Armendariz “had prompted so many emails and calls that authorities in Washington, DC ordered an investigation.”
Keller’s email inquiry to contact Dr. Armendariz was treated as a threat when it clearly was not. Since when is trying to contact an EPA administrator a crime?
“I want the world to know,” said Keller, “the government is reaching into the privacy of our homes and computers. I’ve never been so offended by the power of government in my life.”
Do we really want an EPA that uses such tactics against a citizen who has merely indicated an interest in contacting one of their administrators to comment on what he had said during a lecture?
Do we really want an EPA whose working “philosophy” regarding the oil and gas industry is to “crucify” it in order to regulate it and, as we know, is trying to thwart drilling, as well as to end the coal industry that provides an energy resource that produces one half of all the electricity in the nation?
It is, as noted, just one small incident, but it reflects the way the EPA functions in a presumably free society. Over the years I have read of many incidents in which the EPA has asserted powers to impede the most innocent actions of citizens and it is long past the time when this agency is reined in by Congress.
The only option at this point is to rid the nation of the Obama administration, crack down on the EPA, and rid us of the threat it poses in its efforts to deny entire industries from providing the energy the nation requires and attacks our agricultural and ranching communities for practices that reflect its normal operation.
As they used to advertise horror films, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” An EPA that operates on the basis of intimidating its chosen enemies and that seeks to intimidate citizens inquiring about it, is reason enough to be afraid.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
By Alan Caruba
Billions of words have been written about Barack Hussein Obama. He has written two “memoirs.” You could fill a library shelf with the books that have been written about him, few of them flattering. He has given thousands of speeches and interviews over the past three years he’s been in office.
After three years in which the financial crisis he “inherited” but for which he campaigned very hard, his solutions have proven to be failures on a massive, multi-billion-dollar scale. His war on energy has slowed the access to the sources of energy needed to provide the electricity to powers the nation and the fuel that keeps its cars, trucks and other means of transportation on the road, on the rail, and in the air. It has diverted millions to “green” energy alternatives fraught with bankruptcies.
A recent Fox News program hosted by Sean Hannity, bringing together influential authors and columnists, concluded that the mainstream media, the leading daily newspapers and the network news channels, not only failed to vet his life story and his qualifications to be president in 2008, but have provided cover while presently attacking the presumptive Republican candidate who will contest him in the November elections.
The media bias is palpable and thanks to watchdog organizations like the Media Research Center on full display. Increasingly, commentators have begun to describe Obama in psychological terms ranging from pathological narcissist to megalomaniac. The evidence is there for anyone who cares to examine it.
When Obama gave his nomination acceptance speech on June 3, 2008, he said that “generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care of the sick and good jobs for the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.”
“The rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”? The grandiosity of such a claim should have been a warning of the godlike powers he attributes to himself.
His November 5, 2008 acceptance speech after he won the election was filled with the word “change” in ways that should have been a warning too. “Change has come to America” he said. Always the quintessential political animal, Obama was already looking ahead to the 2012 elections. “The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or one term…”
So far as Obama was concerned, his election marked a whole new epoch in the history of the nation and the world. “It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were…Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot having a thriving Wall Street while Main Stream suffers”; shades of the coming Occupy Wall Street movement, all too conveniently emerging in the months leading up to the national party conventions.
During the campaign Obama said “We are the people we have been waiting for.” He might as well have said, I am the man you have been waiting for because in Grant Park he said, “This is our moment. This is our time—to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace.”
The only truly hopeful future for America will be the defeat of Obama on November 6. While some believe he will win the election only two presidents over the last 31 years were not given a second term, Jimmy Carter and George Bush, Sr. In both cases it was the state of the economy that ended their term in office.
Today, unemployment is at historic highs. Homeowners seeking to sell their homes are looking at falling prices, down from just the previous five years. The stock markets have swung back and forth and the S&P 500 rate is lower today than twelve years ago. The nation’s credit rating was reduced for the first time in its history. The net worth of median households has declined by nearly fifty percent since 2003.
Obama added five trillion dollars to the national debt, more than the combined debt since Washington held office, and a threat to the nation’s solvency.
And the search for the real biography, the real facts about Barack Hussein Obama continues. Was he, as his literary biography said, born in Kenya? Why does he have a Social Security number issued in Connecticut, a state where he was never employed? Was Bill Ayers, a former 60s radical, just “a guy who lived in the same neighborhood” or the man who hosted his first political fund-raising effort? Was Reverend Jeremiah Wright a preacher whose black liberation theology someone who was a close family friend or someone whose sermons he never heard or recalled?
Questions, questions, questions. For all the billion of words, for all the books and speeches, the only thing we truly know about Obama is that his presidency has been wracked with failure that reaches down and entraps every American from new college graduate to retiree.
The answer is to turn him out of office in November. That is the only hope and change that Americans can achieve at this point in time.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
Monday, May 28, 2012
By Alan Caruba
One need only compare the statements of diplomats and world leaders against the reality of what is occurring on the ground in Syria. Its dictator, Basher al-Assad, the son of the former dictator, has been killing thousands of Syrians since the insurrection began on May 15, 2011.
Similar to the protests against the Mubarack regime in Egypt, the initial spark was a Facebook campaign to rally protesters in what has since been called the Arab Spring. The Egyptian military did not attack those gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, but the Syrian military, loyal to Assad, has been ruthless in their efforts to keep him in power.
A recent attack on Houla, a group of villages northwest of the Syrian city of Homs, killed ninety people with a deliberate emphasis on killing children in the villages; reportedly 32 were among the dead.
Consider now the response of United Nations officials and spokespersons for nations looking on. The UN’s Kofi Annan called it a “flagrant violation of international law” while the head of the UN mission of military observers in Syria called the killing “indiscriminate and unforgivable.” The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said, “The government of Syria (must) immediately cease the use of heavy weapons in population centers.”
The uselessness of the United Nations can be found in these statements that substitute words for action.
Britain’s foreign secretary, William Hague, called it an “appalling crime” and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said “The United States will work with the international community to intensify our pressure on Assad and his cronies, whose rule by murder and fear must come to an end.”
Middle East observers advise that matters be allowed to run their course, predicting that Arab nations may intervene to remove Assad.
Supported by his minority clan, the Alawites, Hafez al-Assad seized control of Syria in 1970 and held it for three decades until his death 2000. Power was immediately transferred to Bashar. Neither father, nor son, is about to relinquish power, let alone pay any attention to the UN or Western nations.
Assad 2.0 is the quintessential Arab dictator. Until the U.S. intervened in 2003, Saddam Hussein had been the poster boy for brutality killing Iraqi Kurds and anyone else that opposed him.
The U.S. had no problem with Saddam’s eight-year war with Iran because Iran had been the declared enemy of the U.S. since 1979. Invading Kuwait was a serious miscalculation by Saddam for a host of oil-related reasons. A U.S.-led force drove him back across the border in 1991 and, in 2003, returned to depose him.
Assad has some powerful friends, not the least of which is Iran. As former UN Ambassador, John Bolton, pointed out in a recent commentary, “Tehran has long treated Syria as a satellite, part of its regional arc of influence that includes terrorist Hezbollah, now politically and militarily dominant in Lebanon. It is prepared to shed considerable Syrian blood to save Assad.”
Assad has other international friends, China and Russia, who have been backing Iran for a long time, allowing its nuclear program to go forward. Perhaps, in a region where Israel, Pakistan, and India have nuclear weapons, they see it as some kind of balance of power thing.
Ambassador Bolton was sharply critical of President Obama’s reluctance to directly confront Syria, attributing it to the futility and failure of his diplomatic efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear program via UN sanctions.
Obama has no intention of sending U.S. troops to end the Assad regime as Bush43 did to Saddam in Iraq. Realistically, Americans do not want to engage in yet another Middle East war. NATO was used to shield U.S. involvement during the short Libyan uprising that drove Gadhafi from power. Both U.S. and NATO forces have been exiting Afghanistan and Iraq.
All bets are off if Israel decides to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. As recently as Sunday, May 27, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta indirectly confirmed recent remarks by the Ambassador to Israel, saying that the U.S. is “ready from a military perspective’’ to stop Iran from making a nuclear weapon if international pressure fails.
Every forty years or so, Arabs trade one dictator for another. I suspect that Assad like his father will survive despite all the expressions of outrage from the UN and others.
One need only cast an eye on Egypt’s recent election to see how futile it is to expect any real change in the Middle East. The Egyptians will either end up with the Muslim Brotherhood imposing the horrid Sharia law or with Mubarack’s former prime minister, a military ruler.
We have to get passed the notion that elections in the Middle East mean the same thing as in the West. They are a charade. The grip of Islam and the ancient animosities between Muslims dictates their outcome.
Beyond elections is the brute force that Arabs apply to each other because they are not real nations, but rather places where brutal, coercive regimes impose order on violent, hostile tribes and religious communities, Shiite and Sunni, that would otherwise kill one another when not attacking the remnants of Christians who live among them.
Syria’s cities and streets will run red with blood until the insurrection is put down. Nobody, not the UN, not neighboring states, not the West will come to the rescue of its people.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Having spent most of my life in the last century and the rest in the new one, it affords me the opportunity to look back at the blunders, the slaughters, and the triumphs of a considerable period of time.
I often wonder why people like scary movies when all they have to do is read the daily newspaper or tune into the news on radio and television—what little there is of it after the mainstream media gets through ignoring what it deems insignificant or contrary to their beliefs.
Huge challenges to the U.S. Constitution should be the big news of the day, but the MSM reduce them to chatter about an Obamacare utopia in which everyone receives medical care for virtually nothing—paid for with high taxes by ‘other’ people—or that the right to be free of governmental assaults on your personal religious beliefs is really about the right to have unprotected sex.
This past week we were treated to a President who seems to think he can tell any lie, even one as grossly out of synch with a reality Americans see around themselves every day, and people will believe it. Even the White House press corps has been roused from their torpor to dispute the latest whopper.
Some moron, writing for MarketWatch, absurdly said “There has been no huge increase in spending under the current President, despite what you hear.” This is akin to “who do you believe? Me or your lying eyes?”
Suffice to say, Obama added $4 trillion to the national debt in just three year’s time. Not since the end of World War Two has the U.S. spent more than 23.5% of its Gross Domestic Product. Obama has exceeded that every year he’s been in office. The national debt exceeds the total annual GDP.
For really childlike idiocy though, one need only cast their eyes in the direction of Europe. Despite the glaring example of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Europeans cling to their belief that a socialist economy is the answer to what Wall Street Journal columnist, Bret Stephens, described as the “economic stagnation, policy paralysis, and national bankruptcy on the continental scale we are witnessing today."
There is hope for America. According to the most recent Rasmussen polls, fully 64% of likely U.S. voters “prefer a government with fewer services and lower taxes” over the European model of more services and higher taxes.
Despite the financial chaos occurring within the European Union, voters in France and Germany are shunning “austerity” in favor of candidates from the Left. Need it be said that President Obama is pumping for more stimulus spending? Need it be said you cannot spend your way out of debt?
A Global Economic Slowdown
What is the result of all this “party now--pay later” fun and frolic? People who have to grapple with reality are making the kinds of decisions that are resulting in a global economic slowdown. Those who purchase things like computers, machinery, and aircraft—long lasting goods—are reducing their spending. Even the hard-charging Chinese, the world’s second largest economy, have gone through seven decreases in their manufacturing index.
A lot of what is occurring is normal and sensible caution being exercised as nations watch to see if the EU can solve its financial crisis. A lot of it stems from the 2008 U.S. financial crisis and the last four years in which the economy has barely budged in terms of any growth.
If the general public loses confidence in its banking system, the economy will truly falter. As it is, polling suggests that many Americans believe the government will default on its obligations, the bulk of which are based on European-style “entitlement” programs, Social Security and Medicare. Neither is sustainable in their present form.
From the U.S. to Europe, Asia to South America, the global economic outlook has not been this bad since the days of the Great Depression which was also a global phenomenon.
It is as if we are all living in a giant playpen and the problem is that too many nations—including our own—have too many people who prefer to remain infants, taken care of from birth to death.
It’s called Communism or Socialism and it has never worked, not in the last century, nor in this one.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
Thursday, May 24, 2012
I herewith call for a boycott of DC Comics. I draw the line when it comes to gay superheroes.
DC Comics co-publisher, Dan DiDio recently announced that the sexual orientation of an existing superhero would not be changed from heterosexual to homosexual, but that they were “about to introduce a previously existing DC character who was previously straight” as “one of our most prominent gay characters.” This is pure doubletalk.
There is no reason to alter the sexual orientation of any one of DC’s superheroes. For the record, they include Superman, Wonderwoman, Batman and Robin, Supergirl, Batgirl, Aquaman, Cyborg, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Shazam, the Flash, and Plastic Man.
For my part, I always liked the fact that Superman had the hots for Lois Lane, but harbored some concerns about the relationship of Batman and Robin. I am told that Batwoman made her comic book comeback as a lesbian in 2006. I confess I know little about the other characters because, of course, as a child I spent my time reading Aristotle and Tolstoy. (Not!)
I don’t want a gay superhero of either gender. Deliberately making one of them homosexual serves no purpose other than to spread the gay message that altering all of society to suit their preference for their own sex is okay. It never was. It never will be.
I regard changing our perception of one of the superheroes as a slap in the face of everyone who grew up enjoying their adventures and a form of gay indoctrination for a new, younger generation.
Superman stands for “truth, justice, and the American way.” If he’s gay, then the American way has strayed so far from decency and common sense that it portends the death of our unique political and social experiment. That applies to all the rest of the DC characters as well.
Shame on the rest of us who stand idly by while the President of the United States casually dismisses the ancient and essential element of society—marriage—and the spiritual blessing bestowed on the union of one man and one woman as irrelevant.
Wikipedia, “As of April 2011, approximately 3.5% of American adults identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, while 0.3% are transgender—approximately 11.7 million Americans.” There was a time gays were “in the closet” and being homosexual was best kept private. Now gays parade in the streets, demand their “rights”, and seem to be everywhere in the public culture and media. For a mere 3.5% of the population, they make a lot of noise.
Barack Obama has endorsed same-sex marriage and Mitt Romney does not. This is a major fork in the road for the nation’s voters that want to retain some semblance of sanity.
I concluded long ago that gays have about as much choice over their sexual orientation as being born right or left-handed. I just wish they would not insist that all of society change in order to accept their behavior as “normal.” Normal it’s not.
I do not want homosexuals harmed or harassed. I want them to be ignored. That’s hard to do with relentless campaigns to highlight “bullying” as if only gays were its target or passing out literature in the schools that would make me blush.
This is, simply put, the subversion of a society that began as the result of deeply held religious beliefs that included the sanctity of marriage. It is insidious. It should be resisted.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
In June 2010, the arrest of ten members of a Russian spy ring barely caused a ripple of public consternation. One of them, a beautiful redhead, Anna Chapman, aroused some interest, but in the end they were all sent back to the Russian Federation, perhaps in an exchange agreement or just to rid the U.S. of a diplomatic headache.
Spying has always played an essential role in the history of war and statecraft. George Washington set up an intelligence gathering operation that contributed greatly to winning the Revolution.
Recently, during a “60 Minutes” interview, Henry A. (Hank) Crumpton, a former high ranking officer of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) made news saying, “If you look at the threat that is imposed upon our nation every day, some of the major nation states—China in particular—(have) very sophisticated intelligence operations, very aggressive operations against the U.S.”
“I would hazard to guess there are more foreign intelligence officers inside the U.S., working against U.S. interests now than even at the height of the Cold War,” said Crumpton.
Except for media coverage of his assessment, there was little public response. There was far more coverage when President Obama wanted to bring to trial the CIA operatives who interrogated al Qaeda terrorists. The irony of his early antipathy to the agency is the fact that the CIA’s meticulous and relentless efforts gave him the opportunity to order the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
The forthcoming across the board “sequestrations” of government spending, from the Department of Defense, to the FBI, and no doubt the CIA and NSA, pose a greater threat than anything our enemies could devise.
It is the failure of Congress to address the budget, the debt and deficit, but it is also the failure to understand that the role of intelligence literally protects the lives of Americans at home and abroad every day.
The highest levels of the U.S. government had long before been penetrated by the Russians. The Venona transcripts of communications between Russian agents and their handlers, now unclassified, revealed this. Some of Roosevelt’s top advisors were sympathetic to Soviet Union. This carried over into the Truman administration, particularly in its State Department.
Toward the end of the war when Truman confided to Stalin that the U.S. had a powerful new weapon, the atomic bomb, Stalin already knew of it thanks to spies like the Rosenbergs and others. The U.S. Communist Party answered to Moscow and when Sen. Joseph McCarthy sought to shine a light on the nation’s vulnerabilities, his name became synonymous with slanders of the far right and its efforts to expose America’s enemies.
The need for vastly expanded intelligence gathering services and the capacity to covertly act on the information they gather worries some people, but the CIA does not function inside the U.S. The National Security Agency, however, is charged with SIGNENT, the gathering of all forms of communications inside and out to identify and deter enemies. Together, they are a formidable defense. By contrast, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is primarily about law enforcement, though it does liaison with the CIA.
The “wall” that existed between the various agencies before 9/11 has now been removed and in December 2004 President G.W. Bush signed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, restructuring the relationships for better coordination. It has its critics, as does the Patriot Act.
Crumpton, who served for some forty years with the CIA and retired as its National Resources Director, earlier gained recognition for the key role he and other CIA operatives played in killing and driving out al Qaeda and the Taliban from Afghanistan following 9/11. He tells the story of that mission in his new book, “The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA’s Clandestine Service.”
Crumpton first applied to join the CIA at the age of ten! It took two more tries before he was accepted, the second being a walk-in to a CIA office in Rosslyn, Virginia, in his early twenties. His life with the agency has led him to conclude that, “As a nation, our collective ignorance of intelligence has undermined not only our intelligence capabilities, but ultimately the policy makers and citizens served.”
Secrecy is the DNA of the CIA and its occasional public failures such as the Bay of Pigs debacle get far more attention than its daily successes. The CIA shuns the media and does not rush to get in front of the cameras to beat its chest and trumpet its activities. It is not the FBI and it is not the Oval Office. It is a supplier to government and military “consumers” of the information it secures through clandestine methods. It does not set policy, but rather assists policy makers who do.
To understand the CIA better, I recommend Crumpton’s book. From his unique positions within the agency, he is an equal opportunity critic of the administrations he has served. A lot of what he reveals will make people in high places, past and present, unhappy, but this retired spy has served his nation well and continues to do so.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
By Alan Caruba
The slang for being lied to is “Someone’s been blowing smoke up your skirt”, but when it comes to the multi-billion dollar job the wind power industry has perpetrated here and in European nations, “blowing wind” more than fits the massive deception about renewable energy.
As William Sullivan pointed out in an April commentary on AmericanThinker.com, the U.S. has squandered $90 billion in subsidies to the wind and solar power industry via 2009’s American Recovery and Investment Act, otherwise known as Obama’s “stimulus” that we were promised would increase employment and jump-start the economy. It did neither. This is not particularly surprising when you consider that we have a president who actually advocated using algae (pond scum) as a form of energy.
How bad was the “stimulus”? Sullivan noted that, “in the first year of this green stimulus, an estimated 79% went to foreign nations” including an Australian firm, Babcock & Brown, “that went bankrupt just two months after the passage of the stimulus bill.” Add to the list of bankruptcies, the solar power companies, Solyndra and Beacon Power Corp here in the U.S.
The whole alternative power industry scam, like the proposed Cap-and-Trade program to require the sale and trade of “carbon credits” has been based on the environmental movement’s global warming hoax in combination with its constant efforts to destroy traditional providers of electricity generation such as coal. Along with oil and natural gas, groups like Friends of the Earth (FOE) oppose anything that might contribute to keeping the lights on and your gas tank filled.
On May 5, FOE was telling its members to support Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Socialist, and Congressman Keith Ellison’s End Polluter Welfare Act, “sweeping legislation that would go further than any bill we have ever seen to eliminate subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.” Not only do oil companies employ more people and pay higher taxes than wind and solar companies, but their profit margins are well below other industries such as pharmaceutical manufacturers.
England and several European nations bet heavily on wind power and as recently as mid-May, the Telegraph, a UK daily, reported that household bills in England will rise by 25% to pay for wind farms and other forms of renewable energy.
The John Muir Trust funded research by Stuart Young Consulting that analyzed electricity generated by UK wind farms between November 2008 to December 2010.
The study found that wind generation was below 20% of the capacity (the ability to generate electricity) more than half the time and below 10% of capacity over one third of the time. It concluded that “the probability of very low wind output coinciding with peak electricity demand is slight.” This applies to all wind farms no matter where they are.
Here in the U.S. we continue to be betrayed by members of Congress in the pocket of the wind power industry. Two of them, Steve King and Dave Reichert, both Republicans, recently held a press conference to urge the extension of the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) for renewable energy which is scheduled to end in January. Created in 1992, PTC is worth $1.2 billion for wind production that actually increases the electricity bill of consumers in states that mandate renewable energy. By contrast, oil and gas companies pay some $26 billion a year in federal and state corporate income taxes.
If PTC is extended, it will be proof enough that Republican members of Congress are as corrupt as Democrat colleagues.
Keep in mind, the primary pitch for wind and solar power is that it helps prevent global warming, but there is no global warming. The Earth has been in a cooling cycle since 1998. To add injury to insult, traditional energy suppliers using coal and natural gas must be maintained fulltime to provide electricity whenever wind and solar power falls below its promise to generate electricity, something they do all the time.
In England, Spain, Germany and other nations, wind power subsidies have only served to drive up the price of electricity for everyone from families to factories, hospitals and schools, offices and shops.
Here in the U.S. when not slaughtering half a million birds of every description, as well as bats, both wind and solar require huge amounts of land and miles of transmission lines because both are sited far from cities.
There is literally no rational or economic reason for renewable energy. It, like global warming, is a huge scam that benefits a handful of people whose crony capitalism has enriched them while leaving consumers with rising costs for electricity. And all this is going on while the Environmental Protection Agency is generating regulations designed to destroy the coal industry that provides half of all the electricity generated in the U.S.
It is time to end the subsidies and loan guarantees based on borrowed money and the taxes paid by Americans who have been betrayed and continue to be deceived by wealthy environmental organizations and by politicians who need to be turned out of office.
Ultimately, they are the perpetrators of policies that are impoverishing Americans and putting the security of the nation at risk.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
I have always been an optimist. And, I hope, a realist. Of late though, I have been entertaining some pessimist thoughts about the future of America. This runs contrary to one of the enduring attributes of Americans because, like me, they too are optimists.
The great value of national elections is that the issues affecting everyone’s future get discussed. The election of 2008 was an alarming indication of the power of the mainstream media to bamboozle voters. Aided by McCain’s near total lack of charisma or even energy, the media’s wholesale devotion to getting a completely unknown and unvetted Barack Obama elected was and is scary.
One reason for optimism is the way the current campaign to reelect Barack Hussein Obama is struggling to distract voters from the worst record of incompetence of any modern president since Jimmy Carter.
As Obama campaigns non-stop around the nation he never mentions Obamacare, the failed “stimulus” of 2009, or the outrage of the Fast and Furious program to run guns to drug cartels in Mexico. I would put money on the Supreme Court declaring Obamacare unconstitutional. And, with that, goodbye Obama. Feeling a bit more optimistic now?
The problems Americans face today have been put in place by successive Congresses over decades and the blame falls equally on both Democrats and Republicans. Too much socialism!
The 2008 crisis of the housing mortgage and the banking meltdown is the result of government sponsored agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that own half of all the mortgage loans made. There is no reason why the government should be in the mortgage business that for most of the nation’s history was the providence of the banking industry. It was the “bundled” mortgage “assets” that seduced many banking institutions to purchase them.
The nation’s tax system is shot through with special breaks to various elements of the nation’s economy and includes the highest corporate tax of any nation on earth. It requires legions of lobbyists to maintain the special favors and it ignores the lower corporate tax rates that have made other nations more competitive than ours in the global marketplace.
The problem with America is not that it has millionaires and billionaires, but that it does not have more of them. They and other wealthy Americans pay the bulk of all income taxes while some forty percent of Americans pay nothing. That level of inequality is criminal. So is the tax system. It must be reformed as it threatens to make criminals of all who must deal with it.
The failure to reform Social Security and Medicare is yet another problem threatening the economy as a smaller workforce is required to pay for a growing aged population. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 64% of voters would prefer a government with fewer services and lower taxes. The findings are consistent with findings since 2006. Just 25% want more services.
The hollowing out of the nation’s military power is a major concern because a strong military is vital for the defense of the nation and, by extension, peace in the world.
Ours has a geriatric fleet of fighter and transport airplanes and a naval fleet that hasn’t been so small since the end of World War II. Our missile system is growing moldy in its silos. Our Army, Marines, National Guard and Reserves are worn out from constant rotations in and out the Middle Eastern conflicts in a world where asymmetrical warfare is the order of the day, not massed armies.
Our society is suffering from the erosion of the most fundamental tradition—marriage. The Obama administration announced it will not enforce the Defense of Marriage Act and the President’s endorsement of same-sex marriage is abhorrent.
Popular culture has degraded to films that are either cartoons or based on characters from comic books. Movies made for adults are becoming a vanishing genre. The nightly fare of situation comedies is filled with characters for whom casual sex is the norm. The nation remains a mecca for drugs at the same time our southern border remains superficially protected while drug cartels fill the streets of Mexico with the beheaded bodies of their rivals.
Our educational system has been so debased by the teacher’s unions since the 1960s that it is commonplace to learn that our children continue to lag behind all other nations in the fundamental knowledge of reading, writing, science, history and all other fields of knowledge on which a successful nation depends.
The nation’s unions are bankrupting states with their excessive demands for salaries, health care options, and pensions. They must be curbed and we are witnessing states like New Jersey and Wisconsin that have begun to reduce this drain on public treasuries.
Lastly, the programs advanced by wealthy environmental organizations such as Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club, and others have imposed a vast matrix of laws and regulations that are putting at risk our ability to conduct any business enterprise. The Greens are successfully denying Americans access to reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas and have been seeking to erode property rights, the keystone of capitalism.
Specifically, it is a Congress and a federal government that spends more than it takes in, borrowing 40 cents of every dollar spent. That is unsustainable.
At this point I have identified a few good reasons for pessimism, but there is cause for optimism. Despite all the slurs hurled at it, the Tea Party movement that emerged to protest and to repeal Obamacare now has the active or tacit support of millions of Americans.
It will take decades to undo the damage that has been done, but it can be done and there are clear indications that most Americans have had enough of big government, big spending, and big borrowing.
We have just five months and a few weeks until November 6, Election Day. Turn out the usurper. Turn out the cowards in Congress who do not support Paul Ryan’s reforms. Be optimistic!
© Alan Caruba, 2012
Sunday, May 20, 2012
By Alan Caruba
On May 20, Sunday, much of the United States was treated to an annular solar eclipse when the Moon gets directly between the Earth and the Sun. There is another interaction with the sun, however, that holds the potential for tremendous harm and solar scientists are warning we could be in for one as a cycle of such flares is peaking.
The Sun gives off solar flares all the time, but they rarely are noticed or impact the Earth because our atmosphere serves as a kind of cocoon—the magnetosphere—that deflects these bursts of electromagnetic energy.
A large flare is ten times the amount of energy released by a volcanic eruption, something along the lines of millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time, but is less than one-tenth of the total energy emitted by the Sun every second.
As Robert W. Felix, author of “Not by Fire, but by Ice”, says, “Our magnetic field is one of the best described and least understood wonders of the universe.” What is known is that the Earth has been through a series of magnetic reversals and they line up with mass extinctions of life. What is known is that interglacial periods are about 11,500 years long and we are at the end of such a period. Felix has been warning that the Earth is on the cusp of a new Ice Age.
Everything on earth, its plant and animal life, is directly affected by the Sun and we are most aware of it with the passing of the seasons from warm summers to cold winters. The rest of the time we just check the weather report to learn whether it is going to be a rainy or sunny day.
The Sun has been in a minimum cycle of activity, measured by the number of sunspots (magnetic storms) as it cycles in and out of minimum to maximum activity approximately every eleven years. Thus, in 1998 the Earth entered a cooling cycle despite all the apocalyptic claims of global warming. The last mini-ice age lasted from 1350 to 1850 affecting Europe and North America..
For the record, carbon dioxide has nothing whatever to do with warming the Earth. Any rise or fall of CO2 shows up after a change in the Earth’s climate. You have been lied to by the United Nations Environmental Program and every charlatan making such claims.
The last recorded major flare that got everyone’s attention was in 1859, noticed by telegraph operators who reported sparks flying out of their machines and by the vast auroras seen by many. It’s called the Carrington Event, named for a British astronomer, Richard Carrington, who is credited as being the first to realize the link between the Sun’s activities and geomagnetic disturbances on Earth.
A similar solar storm this time around could be truly apocalyptic. It could affect part of the nation’s electrical grid. It is expected sometime this year or next when the Sun will hit a peak eruption period.
The most recent disruption was in March 1989 when it knocked out five major electricity transmission lines in Quebec and, two minutes later, the entire Canadian province was in darkness. It damaged electrical equipment as far south as New Jersey and people in Texas and Florida witnessed displays of the aurora borealis, normally something seen only in the northern climes of the Earth.
If the Earth is hit with a major flare for some there will be no weather reports to check. There will be no lights, television, cell phones or computers to turn on because there will be no electricity. The most optimistic prediction is blackouts in some areas, but it is believed that they would last only hours or days. Companies involved in the transmission of electricity are scrambling to figure out how large the impact could be.
Replacing damaged transformers would not be easy. They weigh hundreds of tons each and they aren’t sitting around in warehouses to be hauled out and hooked up.
As if the affect on the transmission system wouldn’t be bad enough, a major solar storm would also play havoc with global positioning systems (GPS) that are in cell phones, airplanes, and automobiles. It would likely have an adverse affect on all the commercial satellites circling the Earth.
It doesn’t take a Jules Verne to imagine what life without electricity would be like even for a few days or weeks. Credit cards would be useless, no gasoline pumps would function, the communications we take for granted would be unavailable, and, in general, normal life would grind to a halt.
If you think your electrical bill is high keep in mind that the Environmental Protection Agency is trying to put the coal industry out of business and that means some fifty percent of all the electricity generated with cheap, abundant coal would cease to be an energy source. Everywhere that people have been forced to pay for solar and wind power they have seen their bill skyrocket.
The oil every modern society depends upon to function is suffering a similar fate in America, currently importing sixty percent of its oil despite sitting atop enough oil to render us independent of all other suppliers. In addition to gasoline and diesel, oil is a component of thousands of other products and uses, not the least of which is everything plastic.
Ancient civilizations used to worship the Sun. If and when it sends a major solar storm our way, we will all be praying that the lights go on again.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
Saturday, May 19, 2012
By Alan Caruba
In 1959, during an interview with the late Mike Wallace, Ayn Rand, the author of “Atlas Shrugged”, said “A free market will not break down. All depressions are caused by government interference and the cure that is always offered is more of the same poisons that caused the disaster.”
After the stock market crashed on October 29, 1929, the government’s solution to the crisis was to raise the top tax rate from 25% to 63%. Successively this was increased to 79% and then to 94%, effectively choking off capital formation, investment, and the incentive to start new businesses.
Not until World War Two broke out in Europe in 1939 and threatened the security of the United States and its allies did Franklin D. Roosevelt reverse his failed policies that had stretched out the Depression, turning to private enterprise to build the airplanes, tanks, and guns that would be needed to defeat the Axis powers and, in 1941, the Empire of Japan. Capitalism saved America.
America suffered a little known shock to its economy on September 15, 2008, just a month and a half shy of Election Day, when around 11 AM the Federal Reserve noted a tremendous draw down of money market accounts in the nation to the tune of $550 billion dollars in just over an hour or so. The decision was made to close the accounts. Had they not done that, the Reserve estimated that by 2 PM the entire economy of the nation would have collapsed. Within 24 hours, the world economy would have followed.
The financial crisis this triggered was put off by letting the investment house of Lehman Brothers fail and by getting Congress to agree to a $700 billion program to bail out other investment firms and the insurance firm, AIG. Simply put, without a banking system, you do not have an economy.
Americans are in for another shock to the system on January 1, 2013 when nearly a half trillion in higher taxes will become the law of the land. Taxmageddon would be the largest tax hike in the history of the nation.
The taxes pose such a threat to the anemic “recovery” the economy is said to be having that a think tank called the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has been urging the CEOs of corporations and financial institutions to meet with members of Congress to bring pressure to resolve the gridlock that has brought the nation to the precipice of yet another financial crisis.
How bad is the prospect of January 1, 2013? A May 11th Heritage Foundation analysis listed the following:
# Income tax rates shoot up,
# the child credit rate is cut in half,
# the marriage penalty roars back to life,
# the capital gains tax rate goes up,
# the dividend tax rate soars,
# the payroll tax rate jumps two percentage points,
# the death tax is restored to its punitive past,
# the Alternative Minimum Tax relief expires, and
# a uniquely pernicious additional payroll tax hike from Obamacare takes effect unless the Supreme Court strikes down the law as unconstitutional.
These tax hikes are a combination of expiring tax cuts, particularly the Bush era cuts that President Obama decried, along with newer taxes he advocated. To put it another way, in 2011 Americans had to work 111 days to earn enough money to pay for federal, state and local taxes before they could begin to pay all their other expenses. Unless “Taxmageddon” is repealed, it will take eleven more days in 2012.
The Obama administration ignored the deficit-reduction findings and recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles commission it initiated to address the nation’s financial problems. It imposed Obamacare which will control one sixth of the nation’s economy and which is replete with all kinds of more tax provisions.
Congress put together a “super committee” to address the government’s enormous spending, the threats to the Social Security and Medicare programs, and to recommend tax reforms. It failed and, instead, imposed an across the board “sequestration” program of spending cuts so dangerous to the national security that even Obama’s Secretary of Defense called it catastrophic.
The hope now is that, after the November election, in the interim period before the next President is sworn into office and a new Congress convenes, the increases in taxes can be avoided. That is what the CEOs are belatedly pushing for.
Suffice to say, until power was returned to the Republicans in the House in 2010, a Tea Party movement success, Congress had been on a spending spree and, of course, every measure the House has been forth since then has been spurned by the Democrats, particularly in the Democrat-controlled Senate which has set a record for not producing a budget for the past three years.
Unless voters return power in the Senate to Republicans and defeat President Obama’s reelection, life in America is going to worsen and the nation faces another round of credit rating reductions that will affect its ability to borrow to meet its current debt obligations.
A great nation will have been reduced to pauper status by a profligate Congress whose only “solution” has been to raise the debt ceiling.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
By Alan Caruba
Saturday, May 19th is Armed Forces Day.
I was eight years old when World War II ended. After that I lived through 46 years of the Cold War era until the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. For a while, from February 5, 1960 until April 6, 1962, I proudly wore the uniform of the U.S. Army. It never occurred to me or everyone else of my generation that the nation did not need a powerful military capability.
As the ancient Romans put it, “Si via pacem, para bellum.” If you want peace, plan for war. Time has not altered that wisdom.
What has bothered me, though, is that World War Two is the last war in which Congress actually “declared war” as required by the Constitution. Article One, Section 8 exclusively grants the power “to declare war” to Congress. The Founding Fathers, well versed in history, were wary of allowing one man, the chief executive, to take a nation into war. They weren’t too keen on standing armies either.
Times have changed. Rachel Maddow, the host of her MSNBC show since 2008, has a doctorate in politics from Oxford and a bachelor’s in public policy from Stanford. She is very liberal. I am very conservative. She has written a hell of a good book about the state of the U.S. military and how we got to this point since the debacle of Vietnam. She is equally hard on all the presidents from Lyndon Johnson to the current occupant of the White House.
In 1961 the former Supreme Allied Commander and later President, Dwight Eisenhower, warned against the “military-industrial complex” saying “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
He was prescient because the meshing of military needs, industry, and a vastly expanded national security mandate from the end of WWII and particularly since 9/11 has turned America into a super power with a military that presidents have been inclined to use whether Congress wanted to or not.
The adage that wars are easy to get into and hard to get out of has never been more true than during my lifetime. The fact that real threats to peace existed is also true. The record, however, is a mixed one.
The invasion by North Korea, a Stalinist puppet, had to be thrown back and was. A 1953 truce exists to this day. Coming so soon after WWII, neither Truman nor Eisenhower wanted a war that would escalate into one with Communist China, but neither did they want Communism to spread in this fashion.
Maddow has little good to say of Lyndon Johnson’s decision to take the nation into what was a civil war between North and South Vietnam. There was no declaration of war; only a congressional resolution. LBJ “tried to find a war on the cheap,” said a key intelligence advisor, George W. Carver, “and tried to fight a war without acknowledging that he was fighting a war.”
To avoid public opposition, he did not call up the Reserves or Guard. Instead thousands of young men were sucked into the conflict via the Draft. Over 58,000 would return home in a box. Begun in 1955 with military “advisors” and ending in 1975, it became the most unpopular war in U.S. history. It would also alter the way future presidents would go to war, usually with little more than a thin authorization by Congress despite the cost of treasure, men and material.
In 1973, Congress passed legislation to enforce the Constitutional barrier to a president’s unilateral decision to go to war. They passed the War Powers Resolution requiring a president to petition Congress for the authority to do so within thirty days; if not granted, the operation had to cease in sixty days. President Nixon vetoed it. Congress overrode his veto with votes to spare.
Ronald Reagan’s ill-conceived “Iran-Contra” effort to arm anti-Communist insurgents in Nicaragua was an effort to circumvent Congress’s expressed wish to avoid getting involved in a Latin America that Reagan feared would fall under the influence of Castro’s Cuba. Likewise, the operation against the island of Grenada would have been comical if it had not been so absurd.
The Cold War would end while George H.W. Bush was in office and it is well nigh impossible for anyone born since then to understand how, for decades, all Americans accepted and understood that the Soviets posed a significant threat or might invade Europe given the opportunity. It was reason enough to expand the military many times over.
And now we are told that a war on global terrorism is necessary, but terrorism is a tactic, a new threat that replaces the Cold War. This time the enemy doesn’t have a standing army and isn’t even a nation state. The problem that exists is that radical Islamic elements will take over a nation state, such as was the case of Iran. These days Egypt comes to mind. Islam is less a religion than a battle plan for conquest.
Despite the success of George H.W. Bush’s invasion to rid Kuwait of Saddam Hussein’s aggression, his son, George W., following the invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11, elected to invade Iraq on the quite specious claim that it was chockablock with weapons of mass destruction. None were found, but Saddam was sent to the gallows.
It is a truism that it is impossible to build democratic institutions at the point of a gun. People, even if they welcome liberation, want the liberating army to go home. Instead presidents and the military have tended to stick around for “nation building.” It is not a military function.
We have former General David Patreaus (now Director of the CIA) to thank for Field Manual 3-24 on counterinsurgency. The manual says “To confine soldiers to purely military functions while urgent and vital tasks have to be done, and nobody else is available to undertake them, would be senseless. The soldier must then be prepared to become…a social worker, a civil engineer, a schoolteacher, a nurse, and Boy Scout.”
I disagree. The military has one task—to break things and kill the enemy until such time that it no longer wants to fight. Turning the U.S. military into a combination of war machine and social service provider defies common sense and the history of wars.
Changes in the present threats posed by Islamic terror groups are such that a massed land army and other forces may not be as efficient as an expanded covert action by Special Forces in concert with CIA and other security personnel. This proved successful in Afghanistan, but it also required aerial bombardment to drive al Qaeda out. The same held true for the action in the Balkans to end Serbian genocides.
While I liked much of what Ms. Maddow wrote, I thought her conclusions were generally wrong. Like all liberals, she is inclined to ignore a real threat until it is almost too late, nor is she much into the deterrence factor of military strength.
I fear, though, that Ms. Maddow is right about the "distance" that exists between our current military, Guard and Reserves, constantly rotated in and out of battle, and the civilian population that hears little about the conflict after the first few days or weeks. At home there is no sharing of the pain of war, no sense of mobilization, and little awareness of it as it drags on.
Just as President Eisenhower warned, Ms. Maddow confirms that “as the national security state has metastasized, decisions to use force have become painless and slick, almost automatic. The disincentives to war deliberately built into our American system of government—particularly the citizen-soldier, and leaving the power to declare war with Congress instead of the president—we’ve worked around them.” On that we agree.
This is a trend that needs fixing.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012
By Alan Caruba
What is it with the “warmists”, Al Gore and his clones who keep insisting the Earth is warming, that too much carbon dioxide (CO2) will be the death of us, and that we have to immediately stop burning “fossil fuels” if we are to save the planet? They are the most relentless liars on the face of the planet.
They want us to cover the surface of the U.S. with solar panels and the mountains with wind turbines to generate the energy needed for everything we do. These Green energy alternatives are so wonderful they are producing a mere three percent of our current needs, require government subsidies and loan guarantees to exist, and tend not to be all that great when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.
So why are we still hearing from this discredited and disgraced bunch of charlatans and buffoons? In early May, The New York Times published “Game Over for the Climate” by a major offender of the truth, Dr. James Hansen, who for some reason is still the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), despite having pocketed big bucks beyond his humble government salary. In 2007 he split a million dollar Dan Davis Prize with someone else and in 2001, received a $250,000 Heinz Award. Former GISS employees want him fired.
As debased as The Times is, in 2006 the American Association for the Advancement of Science selected Hansen to receive their Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility. I cite this as a warning that even a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper and formerly respected science organization have long since gone over to the dark side when it comes to global warming. Nothing they have to say on the subject should be regarded as more than pure propaganda.
Suffice to say that Dr. Hansen’s opinion article cited every global warming lie we have been hearing since 1988 when he first gained famed testifying before a congressional committee that we were doomed. In his Times article, he predicted that the “semi-permanent drought” would turn the Midwest into “a dust bowl.” Like every other global warming prediction (that hasn’t come true) this will happen “over the next several decades.” Time enough for Dr. Hansen to pick up a few more awards and fatten his bank account.
The face of the global warming hoax, Al Gore, will not shut up. He made news in August 2011 when he totally lost it while speaking at the Aspen Institute. Anyone, noted climatologists, meteorologists, and mere science writers like myself were the target of his rant for actually citing things such as the fact that the Earth has been in a natural COOLING cycle since 1998 and other inconvenient facts about the climate.
“And some of the exact same people” said Gore, frothing at the mouth, “I can go down a list of their names—are involved in this. And so what do they do? They pay pseudo-scientists to pretend to be scientists to put out the message. ‘This climate thing, it’s nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn’t trap heat. It may be volcanoes’ Bullshit! ‘It may be sun spots.’ Bullshit! ‘It’s not getting warmer.’ Bullshit!”
The climate is not cooperating. The Church of Global Warming is crumbling around them. People are making fun of them. Parents are objecting to their scaring children with their lies. People actually want to warm their homes in winter and cool them in the summer. Meanwhile, using the global warming lies, the Environmental Protection Agency is trying to shut down the entire U.S. coal mining industry and attacking “fracking” to access natural gas. The Department of the Interior has virtually shut down all oil drilling on federal land and offshore. How crazed is all this?
One of their number, Dr. Peter Gleick, formerly of the American Geophysical Union’s Task Force on Scientific Ethics—the irony is too delicious—perpetrated a fraud against The Heartland Institute earlier this year, pretending to be a member of its board in order to secure a list of its donors and allegedly authoring a memo about a scheme to invade the nation’s schoolrooms with a program to dispute global warming. After confessing to the former, he resigned from the task force. An FBI probe is underway to determine if he broke any laws. Heartland has dubbed it “Fakegate.”
The Institute, by the way, is sponsoring its 7th annual conference on climate change, May 21-23, in Chicago, immediately following the NATO conference that will be held in the windy city where it is headquartered. Its theme this year is “Real Science, Real Choices.” Among the speakers will be Czech President Vaclav Klaus, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, vice chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, and two former NASA astronauts.
The lesson we can draw from the last few decades is that the entire environmental movement, of which the global warming hoax is one part, is an extension of what Dr. Robert Zubin, a Senior Fellow with the Center for Security Policy, addressed in his new book, “Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalism, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism.”
Antihumanism has been around a long time. As Dr. Zubin points out, it has taken the form of “Darwinism, eugenics, German militarism, Nazism, xenophobia, the population control movement, environmentalism, technophobia, and most recently, the incredibly demented climatophobic movement, which seeks to justify mass human sacrifice for the purpose of weather control.”
Al Gore, James Hansen, and even President Obama’s science advisor, John Holdren, are card-carrying members of this cult. In 1971 Holdren co-authored “Global Ecology” with Paul Ehrlich, famed for his 1968 book, “The Population Bomb.” They wrote “when a population of organisms grows in a finite environment, sooner or later, it will encounter a resource limit. This phenomenon, described by ecologists as reaching the ‘carrying capacity’ of the environment, applies to bacteria on a culture dish, to fruit flies in a jar of agar, and to buffalo on a prairie. It must also apply to man on this finite planet.”
So you need to understand that you are no better than a fruit fly and you need to die in order to avoid depleting the planet’s supply of food and its energy resources.
God knows I would like to ignore or—better still—never have to hear from these climate Nazis, but that is not going to happen so long as The New York Times, the United Nations, and a host of others keep repeating their lethal lies.
© Alan Caruba. 2012
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
By Alan Caruba
Bluntly said, the full weight of Tea Party members, their family members and co-workers who go to the polls in November will end Obama’s reign of terror.
I think that 2012 will be known as the year the Tea Party movement changed the future of America away from its entrenched socialist drift to a renewal of the founding principles of the nation. The movement is composed, quite simply, of patriots.
In 2009 neither of the authors had any idea they would be leading a revolution. Martin was a mother of two who was cleaning houses to make ends meet. Meckler was a northern California attorney. They would end up starting one of the largest grassroots organizations in America. You can visit its site at http://www.teapartypatriots.org/.
It began with protests against President Obama’s “stimulus”, signed into law on February 17, 2009. The next day, CNBC’s Rick Santelli angrily called for tea party to protest what we now know was little more than a political slush fund and an a historic failure that did not reduce unemployment or jump-start the economy. It simply added to the trillions in debt Obama would heap upon this and future generations.
When Rush Limbaugh took note of Santelli, he said, “This is the pulse of revolution, starting today!” The Tea Party movement began the next day.
As Meckler and Martin say in their book, “We were angry at politicians from both parties who had abandoned any pretense of responsibility and spent not only all the money we would earn in our lives, but all the money our children and grandchildren would earn in their lives.”
The Tea Party movement could have become a third party, but it didn’t. The combined wisdom of its leaders and members realized that the way to change the government at all levels was to elect people who were in agreement with its core principles of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets.
Initially, the Tea Party movement grew from two people to 1.2 million in two months. On April 15, 2009, they turned out for 850 Tea Party events around the nation. Today the authors estimate that 20 million Americans identify themselves as Tea Party patriots. There are more than 3,300 affiliated state and local Tea Party groups. My commentaries, for example, appear on http://www.teapartynation.com/ and I am told on other similar sites.
These people are focused! They understand that the only way to change the government is to change who gets to serve in it. They demonstrated that in November 2010 when the movement returned power in the House of Representatives to the Republican Party. “We’ve seen that the greatest threat to our economic success today comes not from abroad, but from our elected officials. And it is through changing the behavior of those elected officials—and making sure that those whose behavior doesn’t change don’t stay in their jobs—that the Tea Party movement plans to exercise its influence.”
Initially the movement was attacked by the Democrat power structure in 2009 that derided it as “Astroturf” and composed of racists and crazies, but having turned the tide for the Republican Party in 2010, its biggest detractors were the inside-the-beltway GOP establishment who felt threatened.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal on October 22, 2010, Peggy Noonan rebuked them saying, “The tea party saved the Republican Party. In a broad sense, the tea party rescued it from being the fat, unhappy, querulous creature it had become, a party that didn’t remember anymore why it existed, or what its historical purpose was.” She praised the movement for not choosing the third party route.
The movement has been non-partisan, though it has tended to support Republican candidates that it believes reflect its values. It defeated Senator Bob Bennett of Utah in the GOP senate primary on May 8, 2010 and other incumbents have felt the tea party sting for failing to rein in the spending to which they had become accustomed.
We don’t hear much from the Obama campaign about the Tea Party movement, but its power must surely concern them. On March 16, 2010 more than a million showed up in Washington to protest against the passage of Obamacare and returned in March 2012 to rally for its repeal. Not since the days of the Civil Rights movement and Vietnam War protests has Washington seen such crowds.
There is an army of people in America who have concluded that the enemy is the government and are determined, senator-by-senator, representative-by-representative, to reshape the federal government and to do so at the state and local level as well. It’s already been happening in primaries around the nation as Tea Party candidates challenge and defeat their opponents.
That’s very bad news for Barack Hussein Obama and very good news for America.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
Endangered Species Act.
The Mother Jones reporter asked if there was a connection between the rattlesnake and the Tea Party use of the famed "Don't Tread on Me" flag from the days of the Revolution. I shot that down!
Well, a reporter at Business Week picked up on the Mother Jones article and quoted yours truly in his own.
This is why I continue to ask for donations because Warning Signs is getting noticed in the mainstream media and I do a fair amount of radio interviews as well. It gets the conservative message out there and God knows it's hard to break through the liberal blather served up as news.
The articles are brief and fun to read:
Monday, May 14, 2012
By Alan Caruba
I have a novel idea. Let’s just let the Middle East stew in its own Islamic juices. Along with the Maghreb, the northern tier nations of Africa, down into Nigeria, wherever you find an Islamic regime, you find millions of very unhappy people.
I am not the only one who feels that way, a Monday, May 14 Rasmussen Reports poll found that 63% “believe there is a conflict in the world today between Western civilization and Islamic nations, but most also think the United States should leave the Islamic world alone.”
Will the Muslims ever practice tolerance or accept peace with the West or anywhere else for that matter? No, never. The Koran—which Obama always refer to as the “holy Koran”—is replete with directives to fight for “Allah’s cause” (Koran: 9.88), to “fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them” (Koran: 9:5) and twenty other calls to war and murder. There is a reason why their weapon of choice is a Muslim man or woman who is willing to kill themselves in order to kill you.
It is just my opinion, but I believe the present “war on global terrorism” will best be fought covertly with a well-funded, covert intelligence and a counter-terrorism program, not by a massed army followed by a decade of “nation building.”
In the recent past, people throughout the Middle East forced out Tunisia’s despot, killed Libya’s despot, removed Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak from office, and are fighting and dying to get rid of Syria’s despot, Bashar Assad. Both Yemen and Somalia are basket cases with tribal warfare the order of the day. Even the Iranians have demonstrated their unhappiness, taking away Amadinejad’s majority in their parliament. He recently abandoned his usual bellicose talk of wiping Israel off the map.
You cannot point to a single Islamic nation from Morocco to Bahrain that has not had demonstrations intended to pressure their monarchs into granting greater freedom and what we would call democratic reform. As long as Sharia law is in the mix, that’s not a likely outcome.
It took just over seventy years from 1917 to 1991 to bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union, but Islam’s grip on the Middle East goes back to the seventh century. The region is not going to change any time soon and those in power, like Assad, are going to be ruthless in their means to retain it.
The only reason that Saddam Hussein is not in control of Iraq is because the United States and its allies invaded in 2003 and brought his brutal regime to an end. Thank you, George W. Bush, but we should have left right after accomplishing that. Americans are tired of lengthy, inconclusive wars. We have been understandably unhappy with all the conflicts since Vietnam.
Afghanistan has been invaded many times since the days of Alexander the Great and the results have always been a disaster for those who did. Next door is Pakistan which like so many nations in the Middle East has never done anything but take our military and economic aid, and betray us at every opportunity. Egypt’s new leaders are getting ready to throw us overboard.
What I propose is a simplification of a complicated problem and there are few simple answers in a world looking at economic meltdown if debt problems are not resolved. When you toss in a roiling Middle East, it just gets messier.
To begin, let’s stop going to war in the Middle East. We invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. A short, intense bombing mission temporarily drove al Qaeda from its haven and it found a new one in Pakistan, including a safe home for bin Laden. We deposed Saddam Hussein, a major troublemaker in the region, and should have come home. We have little to show for the lives sacrificed and the money spent in both ventures. Billions have been squandered in both nations.
Israel is the only legitimately Western nation in the region, a true democracy. It is America’s greatest ally there. It shares invaluable intelligence at the highest levels of our government. It is a major trading partner with the U.S. Most of the technology Americans use in communications and in our military contains Israeli developed components. All the large U.S. technology companies have research centers in Israel. It also has a very large army and is quite capable of defending itself, but an umbrella of protection should exist because it is strategically important to our own security and Europe’s.
As for the Palestinians, they are a diplomatic sideshow propped up by the United Nations, self-proclaimed permanent victims. It tells you everything you need to know about the Palestinians that they are the oldest existing “refugee” group in the world! Israel has done what any sane nation would do. It built a huge wall to keep them penned up in Gaza, controls the West Bank, and maintains a strong defense on their northern borders with Lebanon and Syria.
Unless the Israelis conclude they must attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, it’s my opinion they will acquire nuclear parity. Despite their bellicosity, the Iranian leadership prefers to use the Palestinians and other Arabs as proxy fighters. Even with nuclear parity they live in a neighborhood where everyone else has nukes; China, Russia, Pakistan, and India have nukes and, of course, Israel.. The U.S. could deliver a nuke with ease.
That said, nuclear war is so insane that even the Pakistanis and Indians backed away from using them despite having fought several conventional wars.
The last time Iran was in a war, it was with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq from 1980 to 1988 and it turned out very badly for them. They lost over a million men and it was fought to a stalemate. That memory is still very much alive in the minds of Iranians.
Islam is not one big happy family. It is sharply divided between the Sunnis, the majority, and the Shiites. It will be generations before the Muslims ever manage to live with each other in the Middle East without the prospect of these two groups killing one other with regularity.
Why do Muslims hate the West? Despite the fact that there are more than a billion Muslims in the world, they believe they are under attack. Defending Islam is their number one concern. They also believe they must impose an Islamic caliphate on the entire world
At this point in time, the U.S. has other priorities. Or should have.
Our military needs a rest and more muscle in the forms of new ships, new airplanes, and the R&D needed to fight future wars. The U.S. needs to solve its economic problems. We have a huge debt and deficit to reduce. We have millions of Americans out of work. We have others who are losing their homes. We have a failed educational system to fix, roads to repave and bridges to maintain.
We can still park our navy off the coast of the Persian Gulf. We can still maintain bases in the Middle East in places like Bahrain and Kuwait. It’s called readiness.
However, it must also be said that, within a decade’s time, by developing our own vast energy reserves, we could cut our dependency on Middle East oil and leave the Middle East to its own fate.
© Alan Caruba, 2012