Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Obama's Assault on U.S. Energy

By Alan Caruba

For the second time in two days, hundreds of millions of people across India have been plunged into darkness when its electrical grids collapsed. This is a warning of what could occur here in America.

“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” -- Barack Obama

In a war one of the first targets are the power plants in order to deny the energy a nation requires to function. Obama declared war on coal during the 2008 campaign and few were paying attention. In 1985 coal accounted for 57 percent of all power generated in the U.S. By 2011, it was down to 42 percent.

A July 28 Daily Caller headline reported that a “Record number of coal-fired generators to be shut down in 2012.” Based on an analysis of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the article noted that “coal plant operators are planning to retire 175 coal-fired generators, or 8.5 percent of the total coal-fired capacity in the United States.”

“A record-high 57 generators will shut down in 2012, representing 9 gigawatts of electrical capacity, according to the EIA. In 2015, nearly 10 gigawatts of capacity from 6l coal-fired generators will be retired…the scope of this new planned shutdown is unprecedented.”

“The coal-fired capacity expected to be retired over the next fire years is more than four times greater than retirements performed during the preceding five-year period.”

For those thinking that all those wind turbines and solar farms will make up the difference, it’s worth noting they provide less than three percent of the nation’s electricity and each must be backed up by a traditional—reliable—power plant.

Virtually of them are located far from urban centers and require lengthy, expensive power lines to feed the grid and yet last week the Interior Department announced it will set aside 285,000 acres in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah for solar projects! How many multi-million dollar failed Solyndra’s will it take to stop this rape?

In March 2011 the Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report noting that the combined energy resources of the nation are the largest on Earth. They eclipse Saudi Arabia (3rd), China (4th), and Canada 6th) combined. Not included in the report are America’s shale oil and natural gas deposits.

Sen. Inhofe (R-OK), a ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said at the time that “The Obama administration has made a conscious policy choice to raise energy prices, accomplished in good measure by restricting access to domestic energy supplies.” If a foreign nation was doing this to America, we would be at war with them.

The CRS report noted that America’s reserves of coal are unsurpassed, accounting for more than twenty-eight percent of the world’s coal. It estimated that U.S. recoverable coal reserves were around 262 billion tons. Insofar as the U.S. consumers 1.2 billion tons of coal a year, that represents several centuries of coal use.

And, of course, coal is not the only energy source that has been under attack by the Obama administration. The CRS report estimated there are 163 billion barrels of oil that the U.S. can access, enough to replace oil imports from the Persian Gulf for more than fifty years.

One of the reasons that coal plants are being retired is the emergence of a huge domestic reserve of natural gas estimated to be around 2,047 trillion cubic feet in 2009. That would keep the lights on for a century.

The Obama administration energy policy has been appalling. It invested—and lost—billions in green energy companies and green jobs. Its stimulus package is estimated to have cost $335,000 per job “saved” or created.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu has been an unmitigated disaster. Before his nomination he said, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” And we all know how well that has worked for Europe whose Union is foundering on the brink of collapse. The Environmental Protection Agency is the other blunt instrument of destruction of the nation’s energy providers.

The Obama administration has consistently insisted that “greenhouse gas emissions”, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) had to be reduced to offset global warming, but there is NO global warming and CO2 plays NO role in climate change. When the administration tried to push cap-and-trade legislation through based on this hoax, Obama said that, under the proposal, “energy prices would necessarily skyrocket.” Does that sound like someone trying to crash the economy? Yes, it does.

Between an oil drilling moratorium—twice declared by the courts to be illegal—and the stalling of the Keystone XL pipeline (which would generate thousands of jobs while costing the U.S. taxpayer nothing!), the war on oil was pursued while the administration offered Brazil billions in U.S. taxpayer money in loan guarantees to build their oil production capacity.

Enormous oil reserves in Alaska and offshore are still unavailable to American use. In addition, crude oil production on federal and Indian lands decreased 13 percent from 739 million barrels in fiscal year 2010 to 645 million barrels in fiscal year 2011. Offshore production on federal lands fell by 17 percent in fiscal year 2011 and is down 40 percent compared to ten years ago.

Four more years of an Obama administration would be—just in terms of energy—a disaster for the nation. The President and his minions are weakening a nation that sits atop some of the world’s greatest energy reserves. This must end soon or the consequences are unimaginable.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Chick-Fil-A Distraction

Democrats Toss the Gays a Bone

By Alan Caruba

It’s official or, well, semi-official. The Washington Blade which identifies itself as “America’s leading gay news source” reported on Monday, July 30, that the Democratic Party platform had approved the language of “pro-LGBT positions” to be included in the party’s platform.

LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender for those of you who do not breathlessly follow the demands of this rather special group of voters. Apparently not satisfied in May when DC Comics announced that the sexual orientation of one of their superheroes would henceforth be homosexual, this latest breakthrough is surely being hailed in gay bars and salons from coast to coast.

The platform is still in a draft phase, but reportedly will include a plank approving same-sex marriage and rejecting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Obama administration let it be known that it would not defend DOMA despite the fact that it is federal law. And, of course, Obama came out for same-sex marriage in May.

For those unfamiliar with DOMA, it was signed into law by President Clinton on September 21, 1996 after passing both houses of Congress with large majorities. Ah, for the good old days when Democrats actually supported marriage between a man and a woman.

Marc Solomon, the national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, was one of the witnesses testifying in favor of the “marriage equality” plank. How much marriage equality can the nation handle? There are people who are extremely fond of their pets. Will tree huggers insist on the right to marry an oak or a redwood? The variations are endless.

Solomon is quoted in The Blade saying, “As I testified to the Committee on Friday, the Democratic Party has a noble history of fighting for the human and civil rights of all Americans.”

Whoa! Solomon apparently is unaware that it was a Republican Party President named Lincoln who issued the Emancipation Proclamation or that the opposition to slavery was a major component of the Civil War. For a century after their defeat the former Confederate states not only fashioned the system of Jim Crow laws, but were the steadfast opponents of civil rights legislation right on through to the 1960s. Maybe they don’t teach U.S. history to gay boys and girls in our schools anymore?

A Huffington Post article reported that “The Democratic National Committee had hesitated to push for same-sex marriage as a platform plank as recently as this March, with LGBT sources telling The Huffington Post that they were getting pushback from party officials.”

Aside from the hideous economic, energy and foreign policies of the Obama administration, does anyone—including deluded liberal Democrats—think that including a plank favoring same-sex marriage and opposing the Defense of Marriage Act is going to produce enough votes to retain the Senate and the White House, let alone win back the House?

According to Wikipedia, “As of April 2011, approximately 3.5% of American adults identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, while 0.3% or transgender—approximately 11.7 million Americans.”

So, to lock in those LGBT votes, the Democratic Party will include their plank. Or not. The final text of the party platform will not be voted on until the convention in September, though the close-to-final draft will be presented to the full platform committee in Detroit from August 10 to 12.

I do hope the plank becomes part of the platform if for no other reason that it is guaranteed to offend the millions of Americans who believe in the institution of marriage, are sick of Barack Obama, and are tired of the non-stop gay propaganda to justify homosexuality as a “normal” lifestyle in a world populated by billions of happy heterosexuals.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Drugs, Billions, and Mexico

By Alan Caruba

Mexico has always been seen as somewhat entertaining in American culture. In films from the midpoint of the last century, Mexicans were either buffoonish, but evil cutthroats or amusing sidekicks. For years Mexico was a vacation destination for Americans. Not any more.

Today and in a growing crescendo for many years, Mexico is a place whose leading exports are drugs and oil. And, if the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry hadn’t blown the lid off an Obama administration’s program to “walk” guns into Mexico, specifically for the use of drug cartels, they would likely still be crossing the border in the most inept and criminally stupid plan—“Fast and Furious”—to blame American gun stores for the rising tide of murders there.

In a June article for Businessinsider.com, Michael Kelley reported that “The sting operation led to the sale of over 2,500 firearms, of which fewer than 700 were recovered as of October 31, 2011, and has not led to the arrest of any high-level cartel figures targeted in the operation.”

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, has authored “The Fire Next Door: Mexico’s Drug Violence and the Danger to America.” It will be published officially in October, so you are likely reading about it first here. The Cato Institute is a Libertarian think tank, a public policy foundation in Washington, D.C., funded primarily by some 15,000 individuals.

Carpenter’s book is a damning indictment of both Mexican and American policies regarding drugs. “The global trade in illegal drugs is conservatively estimated at more than $300 billion per year, and Mexico’s share is something in excess of $30 billion.”

Carpenter warns that “The deteriorating security conditions in Mexico, and the risk that the frightening violence there could become a routine feature of life in American communities as the cartels flex their muscles north of the border, makes it urgent that leaders of both countries reconsider their approach to the crisis.”

Let it be said that no one on either side of the border comes away with clean hands regarding this threat. If Americans are bothered by the flow of illegal aliens, many of whom are Mexicans seeking to escape the horrors of the cartel wars, the prospect of those wars occurring in the cities of America will really get their attention. The Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center estimates that cartels operated in 1,286 U.S. cities in 2009 and 2010. It is more than five times the number reported in 2008.

Up to now there have been fairly isolated cases such as Brian Terry’s murder and the murder of Arizona rancher, Robert Krentz in March 2010. Rarely mentioned is the murder of Jaime Zapata, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.

When you put together “Fast and Furious” together with the Obama administration’s efforts to thwart and punish Arizona for passing laws to grant wider powers to its law enforcement authorities, the pattern that immerges is one of indifference for the safety of Arizonans and all others in the border and all other states.

When you add in the refusal of the Obama Department of Justice to make documents subpoenaed by a Congressional committee investigating “Fast and Furious” available and the subsequent indictment of Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress, as well as the declaration of executive privilege, you are witnessing a level of governmental criminality that rivals Watergate.

The Mexican response has been to return the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to power. It governed Mexico for decades and was widely seen as corrupt. It did, however, have “a de facto policy of (relatively) peaceful coexistence with the cartels.” For Mexicans that is a better alternative than the current bloodshed.

Carpenter says “There are approximately a dozen drug trafficking organizations that are significant players in Mexico. And several of them—especially the Sinoloa cartel, the Tijuana cartel, the Juarez cartel, and the Zetas—control major swaths of territory. But it is an ever-shifting competitive environment.” With $30 to $39 billion at stake, that is understandable.

There have been many estimates of the cartel’s death tolls in Mexico. Carpenter cites between 47,000 and 51,000 lives, noting that since President Felipe Calderon decided in December 2006 to wage a military-led offensive to crush the cartels, the increasing trend is ominous. Compare this with the 15,000 dead in Syria’s year old civil war and it is obvious that there is a war south of our border and one that is not getting much attention in the nation’s media or at the highest levels of the current administration.

While observers continue to say that Mexico is not yet a failed state, the prospect is out there and America shares a 2,000 mile border with it.

Carpenter suggests that America has to consider the legalization of drugs as a significant way of reducing the enormous income they represent to the cartels.

Vincente Fox Quesada, the president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, in a forward to Carpenter’s book, says “The fear that legalization would lead to an explosion of drug use seems unfounded. Portugal’s experience with its bold drug policy reforms over the past decade indicates that drug use might actually decline once prohibition is ended.”

So, perhaps the time has come for America to reform its drug laws. If it reduces the obscene amount of money the cartels earn, it’s worth it.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The "Worst President Ever"

By Alan Caruba

You have to know how poorly Barack Hussein Obama has performed in office when the phrase the "worst President ever” has already become a cliché.

Obama’s first term is frequently compared to the devastation of Jimmy Carter’s first and only term. It left Carter a rejected, embittered man, frequently critical of those who succeeded him.

What did President Reagan do to create an economic boom in the wake of Carter’s sorry record?

Peter Ferrara, the Director of Entitlement and Budget Policy for The Heartland Institute, who served in the Reagan White House Office of Policy Development, writing in 2008 cited Reagan’s (1) tax cuts to restore incentives for economic growth, (2) spending reductions, including a $31 billion cut in spending in 1981, close to 5% of the federal budget, (3) an anti-inflation monetary policy restraining money supply growth, (4) deregulation that by 2008 had saved consumers an estimated $100 billion in lower prices, and (5) free trade in the form of worldwide agreements to reduce tariff taxes.

Citing tax cuts, Ferrara noted that “Reagan was not the first or last to adopt sweeping tax cuts to boost the economy. It has happened four, perhaps five, times in the last century, with virtually the same results every time.”

Obama has never stopped talking about raising taxes and his signature legislation, Obamacare, had more than twenty increases in taxes embedded—hidden—in the more than 2,000 pages that former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi famously said had to be passed in order “to find out what is in it.”

In contrast to Reagan, Obama has spent his years in office blaming George W. Bush and even the Clinton years for the economy he “inherited”, but which more accurately stated, was an economy he campaigned to fix, promising hope and change.

In 2005, Dr. Hans F. Sennholz, the chairman of the department of economics at Grove City College, wrote an analysis of “The Economics of Jimmy Carter” noting that Carter was “unaware of the inexorable economic principles that direct and determine economic life.”

Carter, Sennholz wrote, was unaware that, “Consumers determine not only the prices of consumer goods but also those of the factors of production, that is, land, labor, and capital. They determine and pay the wages of every worker” noting also that “Carter never tires of expounding his displeasure and irritability about the income and wealth of many capitalists and about government policies that seem to favor the rich.” Who does that sound like today?

In January of this year, looking back over the first three years of Obama economic policies, an Indiana University study noted that 46 million Americans are living below the poverty line—up 27% since the start of the recession dated back to 2006.

The report stated that “The Great Recession has left behind the largest number of long-term unemployed people since records were first kept in 1948. More than four million Americans report that they have been unemployed for more than twelve months.”

For those who still think Obama can be reelected, it is worth noting that the most severely affected states are Florida, Nevada, and Arizona which have been badly hit by the housing foreclosure crisis, and Michigan and Ohio that have seen the collapse of traditional manufacturing. These are all key states Obama would need to win.

On July 27, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. economic growth had slowed to 1.5 percent annual rate in the second quarter as consumer spending weakened. “The growth estimate Friday from the government suggested that the U.S. economy could be at risk of stalling three years after the recession ended.” While the official unemployment rate is 8.2 percent, it is widely believed to be above 10 percent.

“No president since Franklin D. Roosevelt, in the depths of the Great Depression, has been reelected when the unemployment rate exceeded 8 percent,” said the Associated Press report. “Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush were ousted when unemployment was well below 8 percent.”

At this point, the Obama campaign, unable to run on his economic record, has devoted itself to depicting Mitt Romney as a rapacious capitalist who grew wealthy investing in companies, a felon who continued to run Bain Capital after leaving to save the Salt lake City Olympics (a job for which he took no pay), and for failing to release his tax returns going back many years. Not mentioned is the fact that Obama is a multi-millionaire or his total lack of experience in the private sector.

Repeating all the errors of the Carter years and exacerbating the 2008 financial crisis by spending billions in taxpayer funds on failed “stimulus” programs, Obama compounded the crisis by waging war on the nation’s energy sector, wasting more billions on "clean energy", and using executive orders to circumvent immigration and welfare laws on the books.

The result has been the highest levels of federal deficit and debt in the history of the nation. He has, indeed, exceeded the damage Jimmy Carter inflicted during his only term in office. He is, indeed, the worst President ever.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

1.7 Million Warning Signs Page Views!

That’s the total thus far as July comes to an end. Warning Signs began at the very end of 2007 and steadily acquired an audience of visitors, mainly from the U.S., but also from around the world. The blog now averages about 100,000 visits a month and appears to be gaining momentum.

A January 2, 2010 commentary, “The Make-Believe Life of Barack Obama”, has had a strange life of its own. Misappropriated by someone who replaced my byline with the name “Eddie Sessions”, he also falsely claimed the commentary had been published in The Wall Street Journal. Snopes.com confirmed that I am the author in response to many inquiries. It is being widely disseminated via email.

All this is very flattering, of course, but it also a reminder of the need for a donation to the blog because, as you might imagine, it requires a lot of research and time to produce six commentaries a week. And this must be done while searching for editorial assignments which, in this economy, are either scarce or pay so little as to be a waste of effort.

As this is being written, the blog is just short of 800 “members”, faithful readers and they too are highly valued. The popularity of the blog also contributes to the popularity of my Facebook page where I post notices of each new commentary and other items I find newsworthy. A Twitter account provides daily updates as well.

What I hear most often is that Warning Signs provides a point of view and information that is not readily available on the Net though I should add that my commentaries are also widely re-posted on many leading news and opinion websites and blogs. I have been, for example, a daily contributor to http://www.canadafreepress.com/ for many years.

So, yes, I am delighted to report 1.7 million page views and I expect it will not be that long before we cross the line for two million.

Thank you, all!
Alan Caruba

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Quadrennial Sportsgasm

By Alan Caruba

This is for all the boys and girls, men and women, for whom sports plays little or no role in their lives. As a lad the only sports in which I engaged were those required by “gym class” which for me involved trying to avoid any activity that displayed my lack of interest and ineptitude.

At some point I developed an interest in billiards—pool shooting to be precise. I liked the whole hand-eye coordination thing, the sharp crack of the cue ball and the satisfying thump when the target ball fell into the pocket. I also enjoyed time spent at a local shooting range. Again it was the hand-eye coordination thing and the explosive sound of the gun or rifle firing off a round. Neither of these sports involved breaking a sweat.

I have never watched a complete baseball game on television, let alone ever been to a ballpark. When a student at the University of Miami, I attended a couple of the football games, but as an adult, televised football became a succession of long commercial breaks and short bursts of the game actually being played. I have never watched basketball. I do enjoy boxing and it is the only sport I will watch on television.

Suffice to say, the Olympic Games every four years are largely lost on me. NBC is promising to air 3,500 live hours of programming so sports enthusiasts can literally overdose on them though, presumably, they will select those sports of particular interest and watch them. They will also be watching 3,500 hours of non-stop commercials and everything you ever wanted to know—or not—about each contestant.

For anyone who engages in a favorite sport, I know it is good for you. It promotes both physical and mental health.

Olympic contestants, however, take their sport of choice to a level most people may admire for the discipline and hard work involved, but would never think to do themselves. For the more than two weeks of the contests, the games offer a look at feats of athleticism that are impressive and often astonishing.

The winners receive a gold medal, get their picture on a box of Wheaties, do advertising endorsements, and can sometimes get a gig on television providing commentary. The rest fade into obscurity.

For those who will be watching, let me say I am happy for the participants. I just won’t be watching most of them. I am not even likely to last long during the opening ceremonies with its succession of national teams marching in and around the arena. In the end, it is all just show business, glitzy and filled with symbolic displays of flags, music and dance.

It strikes me, too, that for all the talk of the collegiality of the games, they were hosted by the Nazis in 1936 and then cancelled because they started World War Two. In 1972 Palestinian terrorists killed members of the Israeli team for whom, once again, there will not be a moment of silence in their memory and in 1980 Jimmy Carter would not allow the U.S. team to participate when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.

Allegedly the games transcend politics, but they tend to be more about “bringing home the gold” than world peace.

Mostly, I just want to offer some reassurance to all of you who did not much care for “gym class”, team sports, or any sport enough to spend the exorbitant price to attend in person and maybe buy a hotdog or some snack for ten times its cost anywhere else.

If sports are not at the center of your life you are not alone. Indeed, I suspect there are lots of us who will be content to get the highlights from the sports reporters on the 10 o’clock news. As if we cared.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Middle East Horror Show

By Alan Caruba

As of Wednesday the news out of the Middle East is that naval fleets in the Mediterranean and armed forces from Russian, Western and Arab nations were, according to Debka File, “piling up on Syrian borders.”

The Russians are aligned with Syria which also has Iranian support as a satellite state intent on keeping Bashar al-Assad in charge. In the UN, the Chinese, too, have vetoed measures to contain the Syrian leadership. The Obama administration has rather belatedly discovered how useless the UN is.

It is yet another Middle East horror show as the greater and lesser powers struggle to contain it.

There’s always a price to pay for making bad choices. The cliché is that we learn from our mistakes, but as often as not we forget them and repeat them. I got to thinking about this as I watched the murderous mess occurring in Syria, the natural extension of the popular movements that overthrew despots in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt; movements fostered by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Lest anyone assume we are watching democracy in action, a yearning of the Muslim masses to achieve the freedoms Americans and others in the West enjoy, it would be well to take into consideration the general culture of the Arab world and to understand that “Muslim democracy” is as great an oxymoron as “Capitalist communism.”

Nothing about Islam suggests democracy and only Turkey managed to install democratic governance by virtue of maintaining a secular state—backed by the military—that kept Islam separate from government. Ironically, the Baathist—Socialist—Parties in Iraq under Saddam Hussein and in Syria under the Assad family, father and son, did the same thing.

In Egypt under the control of a succession of military dictators from Nasser to Mubarack, all dealt with the militant Muslim Brotherhood by jailing its leaders and making it unsafe to be too Islamist.

Lebanon was considered the jewel of the Mediterranean and enjoyed years of peaceful government by creating a coalition between its Christian and Muslim populations. Then the Palestinians came along to initiate civil wars. Syria, that always coveted Lebanon, sent troops to “maintain the peace” until the Lebanese rose up in a peaceful revolt and forced them out.

What was left, however, was the Palestinian Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy that remains in control in Lebanon. Now the big question is whether the chemical arsenal that Saddam parked in Syria will be used against Israel or against the Syrians trying to drive out the ruling Assad-Alawite clan.

The two times that Americans chose an extremely liberal President, Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s and Barack Obama in 2008, they made a hash of Middle Eastern policy. Carter abandoned the Shah of Iran. Obama famously bowed to the Saudi king, and has belatedly expressed support for the Iranians who fill the streets of Tehran to protest the dictatorship of the ayatollahs. In a similar fashion he was late to the party regarding events in Libya, Egypt, and now Syria.

Contrast this with George H.W. Bush who put together a coalition to force Saddam out of Kuwait in 1990 and his son, George W. Bush, who did the same to overthrow him in 2003 following a swift response to 9/11 when he rendered as much punishment as possible to al Qaeda in Afghanistan. In both cases, their instincts were good, but Bush43 made the mistake of staying on.

The result in Afghanistan and Iraq was a predictable Arab-Muslim response that continues to play out to present times as Sunnis and Shiites do their best to kill one another in order control oil wealth and other income streams. These are largely tribal wars using Islam as their justification though they also demonstrate al Qaeda’s intention to exploit the conflicts in its own interest. In Iraq today, the bombs are still going off, most recently killing more than a hundred victims.

President Obama has proved to be pro-Muslim and extremely risk-averse. He campaigned against both wars in Afghanistan and Iraq because, it must be said, most Americans wanted their troops out of these places and with good cause. Killing bin Laden was a no-brainer, albeit risky. He quickly claimed all the credit for nearly a decade’s effort of his predecessor to find him though he made no mention of it.

The Wall Street Journal in an editorial, “Obama’s Syrian Education”, noted that “It only took 17 months, and multiple Russian and Chinese vetoes, but the Obama administration has finally concluded that the United Nations has failed on Syria.”

The UN is a legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and World War Two. It was fashioned largely by the communists in his and Truman’s administration. There has been little peace in the world since it was established and it has been a huge failure in too many ways to enumerate. It is a cesspool of corruption and the epicenter of the effort to impose a global government.

Obama’s economic policies, largely based on dispensing taxpayer’s money to unions, campaign fund bundlers, and ignoring any steps to address unemployment and other ills, are sufficient reason to throw him out of office in November. His foreign policies have been a disastrous succession of missteps regarding Russia, China, the Middle East, and everywhere else.

The larger war being fought these days is the Islamic assault on the West and it is not likely to end until the military strength of the U.S. is used with precision to punish Iran, the main exporter of terrorism. Or Israel will be forced to take action.

Nations, like individuals, do what they can to avoid conflict. It is costly in treasure and lives, but if history is any guide, it is also necessary, whether it is preemptive or in response to aggression. We have a President who has been Muslim-friendly all of his life—if not in fact a Muslim—and that bodes ill, especially for Israel, our only democratic ally in the Middle East, and for the outcome of the present Syrian civil war.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Watching the Greens Kill Australia

By Alan Caruba

Fortunately for America, President Obama’s effort to impose a cap-and-trade law on carbon dioxide emission failed in a Democrat controlled Congress that saw how disastrous its impact would have been in a time of economic distress.

It would have imposed higher costs on everything involving the use of energy and would have done so on the basis of the all the lies about global warming, greenhouse gases, and Obama’s anti-energy policies. Using the Environmental Protection Agency, he has been bludgeoning the coal industry and, via the Department of the Interior, thwarting the exploration and extraction of oil on all of the vast land holdings of the federal government.

As I have often noted, there hasn’t been any planetary warming since 1998 when Earth began a normal cycle of cooling and carbon dioxide plays no role whatever in either warming or cooling. It is a mere 0.038 percent of the atmosphere.

For several years now I have been watching the destruction of the Australian economy by its elected leaders. David Archibold, a climate scientist and energy analyst based in Perth is a visiting fellow of the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. where he teaches a course in strategic energy policy. On July 1, he gave a speech at an anti-carbon tax rally in Sydney.

“There is no doubt that we are ruled by evil men and evil women who are fully aware of the damage they are doing to our economy, and to the warp and weft of our society, and who seem to be in a manic rush to do as much damage as possible in the time left to them,” Archibold told those attending the rally. Sadly, they already knew the truth of this.

An Australia friend of mine recently wrote to say “the Australian carbon dioxide tax—or as our lying government calls it ‘price on carbon’—came into effect on July 1, 2012. Already our electricity prices have risen by up to 20%, refrigerant gas gone up 300%. Landfill and tip fees have increased by 30%, food is up. The tax has been imposed on EVERY item we buy in some form or other”, adding that “I wouldn’t be surprised if you get a similar tax if Obama wins in November. We are slowly destroying our economy.”

A word about refrigerant gases; these are required for your home and car air conditioning, your refrigerator, and for a stand alone freezer. Most food items, liquid or solid—particularly meats, poultry and fish—require refrigerated transport. The Australian carbon tax adds thousands of dollars to these costs of operation and affects everyone.

The Greens, whether as part of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or as groups in various nations, have done everything they can to thwart energy use, to replace oil, coal and natural gas with the useless, costly “renewable energies” of wind, solar, and biofuels. Humans, they insist, are destroying the Earth, but it is the Greens who are destroy Australia these days.

Australia is a case history of what happens when Greens and those in power join hands to use the instrument of government to destroy a successful nation. As Sam Fielding recently reported in an article on AmericanThinker.com, Australia went from a thriving economy under former Prime Minister John Howard who served from 1996 to 2007, only to elect Kevin Rudd’s left-wing Labor Party in 2007. By 2009 “a six year run of budget surpluses gave way to the largest deficits in modern (Australian) politics. His deputy was Julia Gillard who challenged him and won election, promised that “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.”

If this reminds you of all the promises President Obama made prior to taking office and plunging the U.S. into $17 trillion of debt, it is exactly the kind of duplicity that has ruined Australia when Gillard engineered the controversial tax.

Obama visited Australia in November 2011 and expressed support for the carbon tax saying, “I think that’s good for the world…I actually think, over the long term, it’s good for our economics as well, because it is my strong belief that industries, utilities, individual consumers—we’re all going to have to adapt how we use energy and how we think about carbon.”

As is the case of the IPCC,  many of Australia’s scientists were corrupted. Archibold said, “As a scientist, what saddens me is that most of our scientific institutions have failed in their duty to serve and protect the Australian people” referring to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, government bureaus, and the universities—“these have all failed us and sold their souls for a handful of silver.”

“The notion of global warming,” said Archibold, “was concocted to provide a cloak of scientific respectability for a massive socialist redistribution of wealth.” If that sounds like what is happening in America today, you’re right.

My Australian friend also took note of a mining tax that has been imposed, not unlike Obama’s attacks on the U.S. mining industry. America sits atop enough coal to provide electricity for hundreds of years to come, but it is being systematically destroyed. “Australia is in a world of hurt and all so unnecessary. See what socialist, radical, green, lefty governments bring us?”

Yes, look at Australia and see what lies ahead if Obama is given four more years to complete his destruction of America.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ethanol and Corn: The Power of a Really Bad Idea

By Alan Caruba

It took some eighty years for Communism to fail in the former Soviet Union. Along the way, millions were sent to gulags and millions more died from starvation and World War Two added to the death tolls. Spreading Communism like a religion, it had similar results in China and everywhere it has been adopted.

It takes a long time to rid the world of a really bad idea and, in the latter part of the last century, environmentalism sprung up like a weed to overwhelm the common sense of people with its mix of lies and hatred for humanity.

What does this have to do with the price of corn? A lot.

Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), an ethanol mandate exists that requires refiners to blend this moonshine with gasoline for the alleged purpose of reducing the emissions that driving a car produces. We are told it contributes to cleaner air and the effects of global warming—which is not occurring.

What it actually does is ruin your car’s engine because it is highly corrosive and it reduces the mileage you would get if it was not part of the gasoline blend. It also ensures that the growers of corn have a government mandated requirement that it be purchased. It is a farm lobby bonanza.

As Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute points out about the RFS, “No matter how much of the U.S. corn crop is ruined by drought, no matter how high corn prices et, no matter how many people in developing countries are imperiled, the RFS requires that billions of bushels of corn be used to fuel cars rather than feed livestock and people. This is crazy.”

What most people, being city folk, don’t realize is how great a role corn plays in the nation’s economy, its export generates, and the astonishing list of uses to which it is put other than as a vital food for livestock—beef, pork and poultry—and consumed in hundreds of ways by people.

Corn is used in bakery products, baby foods, brewed beverages (bourbon, beer, ale), carbonated beverages, cheese spreads and foods, cereals, condiments, chewing gun, prepared mixes (pancakes, waffle, biscuit, cake flour, puddings), gravies and sauces, canned soups, coffee “creamers”, frosting and icings, in instant coffee, marshmallows, sweetened ice tea, most snack foods….I could go on, but the list is long, very long.

The Wall Street Journal, on July 19, reported that corn and soybean prices leapt to records on rising fears that the searing Midwest drought is further eroding the size of the coming harvests for two of America’s most important crops…The drought now covers more than half of the continental U.S. and covers a wider stretch of the country than in any drought since 1956, according to the U.S. government.”

And, even so, the Journal reported that “U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the situation wasn’t bad enough to warrant a reduction in government mandates for how much ethanol—typically made from corn—is blended into gasoline.” As for as Vilsack is concerned the RFS mandate must be enforced.

Marlo Lewis asks “Why as a matter of law should ethanol producers get first dibs on the U.S. corn crop?”

“What should their interest legally trump that of every other industry and consumer affected by corn prices?”

“Why should they have a legal privilege to jump to the front of the line ahead of meat, poultry, and dairy producers, or those who export grain to hunger-stricken countries?”

If we got rid of the ethanol mandate tomorrow our cars would last longer and drive farther. Since they are on our roads and streets anyway, does anyone really believe that air quality would be significant affected?

So ethanol, like communism and environmentalism, is yet one more very bad idea that is backed by the power of government mandates that benefit its growers, but does little else of any value for consumers.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Potential Olympic Bloodbath

By Alan Caruba

A foretaste of what is likely to occur in London when the Olympic games open on Friday, July 27, occurred on July 20 when a Muslim youth shouting in Arabic, “God is great”, attempted to seize the Olympic torch as it was being carried through Maidstone toward Redhill.

I was reminded of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich when members of the Israeli team were targeted and killed by Islamists. Then I thought of other terrorist attacks in London and in Manchester in the recent past.

Wikipedia offers some sobering information about Islam and England. There were more than 1,500 mosques in England as of 2007. Muslims have been part of the English population as early as 1707 and today it is the second largest religion in the country. As of 2011 the Muslim population was estimated to be 2.869 million. It is the fastest growing religion in the UK.

“A 2009 survey of the attitudes of British Muslims found 77% said they identified ‘very strongly’ with the UK, compared to 50% of the general public. However, only 7% of Muslims think of themselves as British first, with 81% thinking of themselves as Muslim first.”

“40% of British Muslims want Sharia in the UK and 28% of British Muslims want Britain to be an Islamic state. A survey of young British Muslims revealed that there has been a significant rise in Islamic fundamentalism amongst the younger generation. 36% of 16-24 year olds believe if a Muslim converts to another religion they should be punished by death, compared to 19% of 55+ old Muslims; 13% of 16-24 year olds admire organizations like al Qaeda compared to 3% of 55+ year olds.”

“58% of British Muslims support the arrest and prosecution of anyone who insults Islam.”

The majority of Muslims live in England and Wales according to a 2001 census. In 2001, it was reported that the UK has around 100,000 converts to Islam with 66% of them being women.”

The opening day ceremonies will be further disrupted by planned strikes by transportation unions and the main access to the venue will be via subway, a prime target for bombs. The British have mobilized elements of their armed forces to provide security, but it is my view that, like most acts of terrorism, it will be virtually impossible to deter bombings and other mayhem.

The 2012 Olympic Games hold the prospect of becoming a bloodbath for participants and attendees.

The ability of Islam to transform otherwise “sane” Muslims into killers is well established. Islam was spread by terrorism and it remains its primary choice 1,400 years after it was invented by Muhammad. Its Koran and the Hadith commentaries amply document his use of assassination and raids on Arabian tribes, including mass murder.

The large Muslim UK population, the radicalization of its youth, as well as the potential for an influx of terrorists coming into London for the purpose of attacking participants, attendees, and the general public portends an ugly outcome. British authorities have been busy picking up suspected homegrown Islamists in order to sequester them during the games.

Simply stated, Islamists have no regard for the ordinary rules of civilization and regard all “infidels” as targets for the advancement of Islam. As the census results demonstrate, many English Muslims want the nation to adopt Sharia and given Islam’s track record, the games present an unparallel opportunity to display their penchant for terrorism.

It says a lot of Islam that the sites of the Olympic Games since 1972 have become an armed camp.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lethal Narcissism

By Alan Caruba

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders describes narcissism as a personality disorder that “revolves around a pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and sense of entitlement.”

We all need a bit of narcissism that maintains our self-esteem and a positive outlook on life. Performing artists and sports figures, for example, need it to exert themselves to achieve in their fields of endeavor. Political figures, of course, also need a bit to advance and defend their point of view. It plays a role in providing leadership.

The problem is that it is often difficult to spot narcissism when it becomes a pathological disorder. In the case of the cult that Jim Jones fostered, it ended with the suicide of some nine hundred of his followers who gave a poisoned drink to their children and then took it themselves. History is filled with examples of men whose disorder led to the deaths of countless people to satisfy their delusions about themselves.

Some of the criteria of a narcissistic personality include:

1. Feels grandiose and self-important; exaggerates their achievements.

2. Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequaled brilliance, etc.

3. Is firmly convinced he or she is unique and can only be understood by other high-status people.

4. Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation.

5. Feels entitled and demands automatic and full compliance with their expectations.

6. Uses others to achieve his or her own ends.

7. Is devoid of empathy and is unable to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others.

8. Is constantly envious of others; believes they feel that way about him.

9. Is arrogant, has haughty behaviors or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted.

This description is taken from the American Psychiatric Association (1994) manual cited above. It is based as well on the writings of Dr, Sam Vaknin, an authority on narcissism and author of “Malignant Self-Love.” A key point Dr. Vaknin makes is that the narcissist is NOT self-aware; he lies to others and to himself, and he is “master of disguise.”

At this point, you are probably thinking that I am describing Barack Hussein Obama, but in fact I am quoting from Ali Sina’s book, “Understanding Muhammad and Muslims.” Sina is one of the world’s leading authorities on both and through his writings and website at http://www.faithfreedom.org/, has made it his mission to encourage Muslims to understand how Islam warps their normal human values of love, tolerance, and life itself.

It is bad enough to contemplate the damage President Obama has done in just under four years as President, but I believe that the world is on the edge of an Islamic Armageddon because the fundamental teachings of Islam permit otherwise sane people to do insane things.

It was insane to fly passenger jets into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 to kill nearly three thousand people to advance the global domination of Islam. Before and since, the West and elsewhere around the world, there has been a non-stop succession of terrorist acts for this purpose. On an individual basis there have been hundreds of thousands of acts of murder and terror carried out by Muslims.

Sina writes, “Islam advanced with terror. Muslims are convinced that terror and deception will eventually make them victorious. They have an example in their prophet. His successes are their inspiration. They will not relent unless they are crushed.”

“The Islamic world is sick,” says Sina. “It would be shortsighted to deny that the cause of this sickness is Islam. Almost every crime, every abuse and inhumanity perpetrated by Muslims is inspired by the examples set by Muhammad and justified through his words and deeds.”

The great genocides of the past and as recently as World War Two’s Holocaust that killed six to seven million European Jews and a comparable number of others were carried out by the pathological narcissist Hitler, whose acts were rivaled by Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung.

As world leaders seek reasons to hope that the Iranians will cease their quest of nuclear weapons, the ayatollahs have in mind a worldwide; cataclysmic genocide in order to bring about the return of the Shiite Twelfth Imam.

If it sounds crazy, it is.

Muslims hate Judaism and Christianity, as well as all other religions. Killing the “infidel”, the unbeliever, is deeply embedded and justified in Islam.

The Israelis know this better than most and for this reason they will likely risk everything to end the threat of a nuclear Iran. They have acted twice to destroy nuclear reactors in Iraq and in Syria. If they are successful, they will have saved mankind.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cartoon Round Up

Murder Most Foul

By Alan Caruba

As this is being written it is early Friday morning as the news media saturates us with what I call the “Five Known Facts Syndrome”, repeating the details of the Colorado movie theatre murders reported to have taken the lives of twelve victims with some fifty who have been injured.

We have a selective response to such news, a mixture of grief and anger that such events occur and focused on the fact it has happened here in the United States. That is only natural, but it also ignores the murders occurring throughout the world, whether it is the killing of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria earlier this week or the ongoing slaughter of an estimated 17,000 Syrians by yet another Middle East dictator.

Meanwhile Iran moves relentlessly toward the development of nuclear weapons that, if allowed to be built, will murder millions—first targeting Israel and then most certainly America. All the supposed “diplomacy” and “sanctions” in the world will not deter this predictable outcome.

Whether a movie theatre in Colorado or the attack on an entire nation, it speaks to the madness that exists worldwide, emanating in the Middle East, but which we have seen in Madrid, London, Bali, U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, and culminating in New York and Washington, D.C. on 9/11.

The President is scheduled to speak to the nation before Noon today and is not likely to make mention of the Fort Hood murders on November 5, 2009, but is very likely to call for more stringent gun control legislation at the same time the United Nations has fashioned an international treaty to disarm the world’s citizens and leave them even more vulnerable to tyranny.

The history of “civilization” is the history of warfare and terror. It is the history of individual assassinations that trigger wars or grandiose dreams of continental and worldwide domination.

The most dangerous creatures on Earth are humans and murder occurs daily whether it is an Islamic “honor killing” or the murder of a store clerk during a robbery for a few dollars. In Chicago these days the rate of murders rivals the deaths in Afghanistan. In hard times, the murder rate increases with the levels of desperation. The drug wars are a contributing factor in our nation’s cities.

We live in a nation that has jettisoned much of the moral guidelines that distinguished our society, our culture, abandoning the simple act of a morning prayer in the nation’s schools, the definition of marriage, and culminating in a federal government that sanctioned the “walking” of guns to provision the Mexican drug cartels as a ruse to blame the sale of guns to Americans whose right is established by the Second Amendment.

The result thus far of “Operation Fast and Furious” has been an Attorney General held in contempt of Congress and afforded the protection of “executive privilege” by order of the President of the United States.

Meanwhile, ordinary citizens must submit to humiliating “pat downs” in order to board an airplane while the same government fails to identify an illegal alien running a flight school that trained other illegals to do the same thing that culminated in the 9/11 attack.

The deaths of innocent movie-goers is tragic and dramatic, but the murder of a nation’s economy and the dreams of its citizens to get a college degree without going into debt, hold a job, own a home, run a business, or have a secure retirement, pales in comparison.

The perpetrators of this national murder hold high office, are entrusted to act in our best interest, but instead will exploit this latest tragedy, will slander a political opponent as a “felon”, and will continue their relentless destruction of America.

The international institution, the United Nations, will continue to turn a blind eye to the murder of Western civilization.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Short World Tour

By Alan Caruba

The news of the world is on any given day is usually quite awful. Some days are worse than others and that seems to be the case of late.

On Thursday a Rasmussen Reports poll said that 62% of likely U.S. voters believe that economic growth is far more important than Obama’s socialist blather about “fairness.” Typically, 30% favored the latter.

There’s been a steady trickle of bad news for Americans wondering if we will ever see an economic recovery. The nation can recover, but only if we change presidents in November. The U.S. is headed straight over the cliff on January 1, 2013 if Congress does not take action to avoid the implementation of billions in tax increases and, for that matter, the repeal of Obamacare.

An automatic sequestration of funding will particularly hit defense, leaving its budget some 30% smaller in ten years. As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted on Thursday, “The U.S. would be left with the smallest Navy since World War I, the smallest ground forces in 70 years, and at just over 2.5% of GDP, the smallest defense budget since Pearl Harbor.” That spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Let’s look beyond our shores.

I suspect that Europe is a long way from solving its financial crisis. The European Union has held more than seventeen summits in recent times and not one of them has “solved” the problem inherent in the Euro or the natural tendency of sovereign nations to look out for their own interests at the expense of others. Expecting the EU to overcome centuries of warfare, distrust, and mutual disdain, is not likely to have a happy outcome.

Back in October 2011, I shared my doubts about the EU, citing a book by Dr. Johan Van Overtveldt, “The End of the Euro”, subtitled “The uneasy future of the European Union.”

Overtveldt identified the central weakness of the European Union. “History teaches us that, in particular, the lack of real political union is a major barrier to the durability of a monetary union and its single currency.” The problem of the EU and the euro “is the loss of an independent monetary policy” because what works for Germany does not necessarily work for France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and the other EU members.”

Why something as obvious as this did not occur or did not deter the creation of the EU is one of those mysteries that must be left to future historians. Suffice to say, Germany is the EU’s strongest economy and, after Europe’s central banks get tired of moving billions around between them, the Germans will want to return to the deutschmark even if it takes a short term hit.

The Middle East is providing the usual barbaric blood and gore these days in Syria. Every one of its neighbors is praying that Bashar al-Assad, the second generation dictator there, will be killed ala Libya’s late Moammar Gadhafi so Syrians can patch together a government.

Egypt has held elections and a Muslim Brotherhood candidate is now its president, but the real power there is still held by the military and Mohamed Tantawi, its commander in chief. What we’re watching is political drama, not political reality.

Iraq has been experiencing the return of horrific bombings which are the usual Sunni versus Shiite discord.

On Wednesday the Iranians reminded us of their fanatical hatred of Jews, bombing a tourist bus in Bulgaria filled with young Israelis on holiday. They were swiftly identified as the perpetrators by Israel’s Prime Minister whose nation is literally surrounded by enemies. Israel’s (and America’s) biggest threat is a nuclear Iran and one is inclined to believe that the Israelis will never permit this to occur.

South America is a mixture of some nations such as Brazil doing well. Unfortunately Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez apparently will not die from cancer. Mexico is a virtual narco-state and conduit for drugs into the U.S. Mexicans just voted for the return of a political party noted for its history of corruption and its willingness to look the other way in exchange for less drug cartel violence.

Africa never seems to change for the better. For all the billions in foreign aid and charity that has been pumped into African nations over decades, they continue to fester in one fashion or another. There is so little good to be said of Africa that it rarely makes news.

Asia does not appear to pose any problems for the U.S. at present except for the huge amount of U.S. treasury notes held by China. President Obama is making noise on the campaign trail about China, but the U.S. is a wholly owned subsidiary. With a billion and a half people, China has its own problems. Meanwhile South Korea and Japan seem to be doing well enough. North Korea remains a disgrace to mankind.

Australia just had a “carbon tax” imposed on it by its government despite widespread opposition. It will ruin its economy and the lives of its citizens.

That’s a short world tour and I would suggest that if you have in mind taking a vacation this summer, you should consider the many wonders of America or Canada as opposed to the horrors of most other places.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

At War with Iran

By Alan Caruba

“State TV said President Assad's brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, and Gen Dawoud Rajha, the defence minister were victims of a blast during a high level security meeting. The Interior minister was also injured. Gen Shawkat was the deputy defense minister and was among the most feared figures in Assad's inner circle. He is married to Assad's elder sister, Bushra.” – The Telegraph (UK) July 18, 2012

The best thing now for Syria would be a dead Bashar al-Assad and events are pointing toward that conclusion. The world has been watching the slaughter of Syrians by their own government as Bashar follows in his father’s footsteps.

Events dubbed the “Arab Spring” have forced dictators out of Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, but left behind nations that are likely not much improved over their previous governments. Middle Eastern states are essentially groups of warring tribes and are divided by the schism between Sunnis and Shiites.

The motivation for these uprisings is the widespread poverty throughout the Middle East and the fact that much of the population is quite young. It is a volatile combination.

At this point, Bashar al-Assad and the minority Alawite tribe that supports him are concentrated on simply surviving. It is a civil war not unlike Libya’s. The earlier uprisings have inspired people to rid themselves of their dictators, but there has been no evidence that their replacements are in a mood to do anything but establish new governments to control the oil wealth that sustains much of the region.

For now, using the covert skills of the CIA, the U.S. is providing arms to the Syrian rebels while the Saudis are picking up the costs. Recall that the U.S. provided similar assistance to the mujahadin who forced the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. That conflict included the creation of al Qaeda and their appreciation was demonstrated on 9/11.

At this point, other than guarding their border with Syria, the Israelis are concentrated on the threat that a nuclear Iran poses. They are not alone, but the question remains whether the Obama administration would support an attack on Iran. Obama’s animosity toward Israel could require them to wait in the hope of a new president by 2013.

The Israelis have a track record. In the past, when they felt their survival was on the line they destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor in the 1981 and a Syrian one in 2007. They have defeated their Arab neighbors in several wars since their founding in 1948.

Technically the U.S. has been at war with Iran since 1979 when the Islamic revolution there included taking 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days. They were released when Reagan took the oath of office in 1981.

Iran has been the largest exporter of terrorism in the world since then. The ayatollahs have not ceased their quest for nuclear weapons capability and reportedly are closing in on the final stages. Meanwhile, they have developed missiles that could reach Israel, Europe, and even the U.S. Iran is this generation’s equivalent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

No matter what the outcome is in Syria, the Iranian leaders will at some point use nuclear weapons, most likely in an attack on Israel because their hatred of the Jewish State is irrational and because of their bizarre belief that they must bring about a global conflagration in order to secure the return of a mythical Twelfth Imam who will usher in a world under the domination of Islam.

Despite the inevitability of a nuclear war no one directing the affairs of this nation and others really wants to face the truth of this or, at least, discuss it in public. It explains, though, why the U.S. has moved a fleet of warships in and near the Strait of Hormuz, the chokepoint of the Persian Gulf and is building other military assets in the Gulf States.

How much of a military remains after the automatic sequester of Defense Department funding depends on the forthcoming election and the capacity of Congress to do anything sensible.

For now there are wars and rumors of war, and the world remains a huge insane asylum.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Mother of All Hoaxes

By Alan Caruba

There was a brief flurry of stories in the media at the beginning of what has become a historic summer of hot weather across the U.S. that global warming was to blame. They faded swiftly because the public has concluded that global warming is the mother of all hoaxes, because we are in the midst of a failing economy and the political campaigns that will decide if the nation literally lives or dies.

This has not stopped the Public Broadcast System’s News Hour from airing a new series “on how climate change in the Pacific Northwest is affecting the region’s Native American Indian tribes—flooding their reservations and threatening the region’s salmon fisheries.” Climate change is shorthand for global warming.

While the nation’s media continues to propagate the hoax, what hope is there for the TRUTH?

Significantly “the NewsHour’s year-long Coping with Climate Change series is funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.” The nation’s leading foundations have been funding the global warming hoax for decades and continue to do so.

So one more article about the deception and duplicity of global warming may seem superfluous and it would be if the U.S. Air Force wasn’t spending $59 per gallon of “green biofuel” and the U.S. Navy wasn’t doing the same for its Great Green Fleet. The justification for this is the utterly false assertion that “alternatives” are needed in the event we can’t produce or import petroleum.

The U.S. is floating on an ocean of oil, but for now it can only be extracted from lands owned privately because the Obama administration has done everything in its power to restrict access to it on federally owned lands and, of course, the billions of barrels locked up off-shore.

In exactly the same way that the Obama administration has presided over the loss of billions in subsidies and loan guarantees for the solar panel companies or the ridiculous costs of wind power industry compared to a single coal-burning plant, at the heart of it all has been the claim the global warming is caused by “greenhouse gas” emissions, carbon dioxide, that imperil the Earth.

Recently, my friend Joseph L. Bast, the president of The Heartland Institute, wrote an article, “IPCC Admits Its Past Reports Were Junk”, posted on AmericanThinker.com.

It struck me that very few people even know that IPCC is the acronym for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Few people know that the entire global warming hoax was generated by the IPCC, let alone know what it is.

Most people associate global warming with Al Gore who has been among its most prominent advocates, warning that “the Earth has a fever” and that we were doomed if we didn’t stop generating carbon dioxide. Gore and his collaborators wanted to sell “carbon credits” in exchanges around the world and for a while he greatly enriched himself.

In Australia, the government has imposed a tax on carbon dioxide which it likely to destroy its manufacturing base along with the extraction of coal and other minerals.

Here in the U.S. the Environmental Protection Agency continues to assert that carbon dioxide must be regulated as a “pollutant” under the Clean Air Act and, if successful, will likewise destroy what is left of our manufacturing base and all other industries that generate or use energy to function.

And the man in the street remains completely clueless about the impending ruin of the nation based on the reports of the IPCC which the Inter-Academy Council (IAC), a group created by the world’s science academies to provide advice to international bodies, has long since concluded were utterly false and baseless.

On June 27, the IPCC issued a statement saying it had completed the process of implementation of the recommendations that an August 2010 IAC analysis had made after examining who was contributing to their reports, who was reviewing their content (the same people!), and the astonishing, utterly false, claim of “a consensus” that global warming was happening.

As Bast points out, “It means that all of the ‘endorsements’ of the climate consensus made by the world’s national academies of science—which invariably refer to the reports of the IPCC as their scientific basis—were based on false or unreliable data and therefore should be disregarded or revised.”

“It means that the EPA’s ‘endangerment finding’—with its claim that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and threat to human health—was wrong and should be overturned.”

It is a terrible thing to live in a nation governed by falsehoods, spending the public wealth on useless technologies, living under the tyranny of government departments and agencies pursuing those lies for their own agendas and political masters.

Unless the harm perpetrated in the name of global warming is reversed, we shall all remain the victims of the United Nations IPCC, the EPA, and all other entities seeking to control every aspect of our lives.

The poles are not melting, the glaciers are growing, the oceans rise mere millimeters over centuries, and right now planet Earth is cooling.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

How the World Really Works

By Alan Caruba

“Americans are ignorant of the lessons of history and that’s why their country is going down the tubes. The lesson of economic history is clear: there is no flat playing field in the world and there never has been. There are rich nations and poor nations. There are winners and losers.”

So much for Thomas Friedman’s beloved myth that “the world is flat” thanks to advances in communication and patently useless technologies such as wind and solar power, biofuels like ethanol, and other costly, wasteful nonsense.

What matters is whether the cost of the electricity to power our televisions, our computers, and everything else is affordable, whether the cost of gasoline doesn’t bankrupt a family’s budget, and whether everyone in that family who can work can find a job. Nations will the greatest amount of energy are the most successful nations.

Martin Sieff is the Chief Global Analyst for The Globalist Research Center, a former United Press International Managing Editor for International Affairs, and widely published where it counts, such as The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the National Review. It is his quote with which I began this commentary and it is his new book, “That Should Still Be Us: How Thomas Friedman’s Flat World Myths are Keeping Us Flat on Our Backs” from which I took the quote.

With the caveat that Sieff has drunk lightly the global warming/climate change Kool-Aid, this is one of the most extraordinary clear-headed, fact-filled books about the real world you will read in a very long time. In every other respect, its pages hold nothing back while sharing his deep insights to the real world and the way it really works.

One of the pleasures of reading Sieff’s book is that he spares no one, either on the Left or the Right, Republican or Democrat, when it comes to describing the policies that have reduced the United States of America to a debtor nation, in hock to China, and getting poorer at the rate of two million dollars a minute. We are already borrowing forty cents of every dollar we spend, importing two thirds of the oil we use, and have millions of Americans out of work thanks to trade policies that removed most of the trade protections of our manufacturing base that date back to Lincoln through to Kennedy.

Seiff explains why the U.S. Steel, auto and textile industries have been destroyed by the failure to protect them against nations like China and India who have adopted our former policies and use them against us. Instead we have swallowed the myths that high-tech innovations will energize an economy that grew wealthy producing things of real value, emphasizing real quality, and holding onto a skilled workforce.

At the heart of Seiff’s analysis is a fact that few Americans consider when they ponder why America is in economic decline. When I was born over seventy years ago there were an estimated two billion people in the world. Today there are seven billion. They all expect to be fed daily, all yearn for a middle class lifestyle, and want the freedoms that America’s wealth was able to preserve and protect.

By contrast, China’s authoritarian system that permits few freedoms has embarked on providing something else, jobs and the energy to power their creation and maintenance. It is why China is building a new coal-fired plant to generate electricity at a rate of one a month while here in the U.S., we have an administration that is deliberately and openly bankrupting our coal industry and seeking to shut down coal-powered plants. How idiotic is that? The Obama administration will not even allow the Canadian Keystone XL oil pipeline to be built even though it would create 20,000 jobs and not cost the U.S. taxpayer a single cent!

Under successive presidents since Lyndon Johnson, the U.S. has engaged in one failed war after another in the name of exporting our democracy around the world, but ineffective democracies fail and open the door for authoritarian regimes. Maybe we need to stop joining every international organization from the United Nations to the World Trade Organization and then sit by idly as other nations, including our allies, eat our lunch?

In the wake of the disaster of the Obama administration—the epitome of socialism—Americans are beginning to learn what their grandparents and their grandparent’s parents knew all along.

Big Government is the enemy of free enterprise, a free market in which to compete, an educational system overseen by localities and states, and the provision of its most important service, a defense against enemies that might want to attack us and the protection of America’s borders from the hordes pouring across illegally, using all our public services, filling our jails when they aren’t taking jobs that natural born and naturalized citizens need and want.

If you read no other book this year, read “That Should Still be Us”, and then vote for people that will restore the policies that created a great nation that is coming perilously close to collapse.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pondering the Obama Enigma

By Alan Caruba

On January 2, 2010, I posted a commentary to my blog, “Obama’s Make-Believe Life.” Someone picked it up, slapped the phony name of Eddie Sessions on it, and then alleged that it has been published in The Wall Street Journal. That commentary has literally gone around the world several times on the Internet. Hardly a day goes by that I do not receive an email asking to confirm if I wrote it or the Journal published it.

Like everyone else, since the 2008 campaign and the years since Barack Hussein Obama took the oath of office in 2009 I have tried to figure out “the truth” about him. Who is he? What does he stand for? What are his guiding principles and values? Where is he taking the nation?

On June 9th, addressing an audience at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said, “You cannot lead by being a mystery. You cannot lead by being an enigma. You cannot lead by being aloof.”

Many books have been published about Obama and I have read quite a few. With the exception of his two memoirs, those who delved deeply into the known facts of his life did not like what they found.

In the years since he assumed office, many Americans have come to the same conclusion, often as the result of having been victimized by policies that have exacerbated the harm done to the economy after the financial industry incurred a meltdown; itself a victim of federal government’s housing agencies and banking policies.

Instead of stepping back from the precipice, government under the Obama administration engineered the takeover of one sixth of the economy with the passage of Obamacare, acquired a major interest in two leading automobile companies, invested and lost billions in “clean energy” companies, and via the Environmental Protection Agency has asserted virtual control over manufacturing and other sectors by falsely claiming that carbon dioxide is a “pollutant” that must be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

While this was occurring the amount of debt incurred has reached historical heights, now somewhere near $17 trillion dollars, actually exceeding the value of the Gross Domestic Product, the amount of money earned by American industry and other business enterprises.

Barack Hussein Obama remains an enigma. Since my 2010 commentary I have written others that concluded that he is “a moron” and “a Communist.” I know these are harsh judgments, but not being a psychiatrist, I have been reluctant to venture into psychological areas. Instead I have concluded that he is one of those over-educated fools that is devoid of an understanding of history and of common sense and that his biography clearly demonstrates an affinity with Communism in terms of his upbringing and choice of associates.

There are other unsavory aspects to Obama’s life, not the least of which is his two decade association with a racist and anti-Semite, Rev. Jeremiah Wright and others of his ilk. Never forget Rev. Wright’s condemnation of America as the cause, not the victim of 9/11, when he said “God damn America:, absolving Islam of any blame.

At this point, four months out from the election, I was stunned to read that Obama believes his “biggest mistake” was to concentrate too much on policy and not enough “to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times.”

Few Presidents come to mind who have been as divisive as Obama and there is no evidence beyond his vague, unfilled promise of “hope and change” that he has inspired anyone. He has “told a story” to Americans unceasingly in every venue possible.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was reelected three times precisely because he conveyed “a story” to voters of the era of the Great Depression that kept them believing he knew how to solve its problems. Instead, like Obama, he expanded what was always intended to be a limited federal government into a monolith. Obama has expanded it.

What I found most striking, however, was Obama’s belief that his vaunted talent for delivering a speech had failed him. He confessed to CBS News’s Charlie Rose that not only had he failed to “explain”, but also to “inspire.”

Like everything else about Obama, this struck me as a calculated lie. I don’t think he or his spokespersons have ever told the voters the truth. If his confession is to be taken on face value, he also has not grasped that Americans have been rejecting his “solutions” to all the problems he blamed on George W. Bush because those solutions were an anathema to them.

Between blaming Bush and all previous Presidents, events in other parts of the world, and his concentration on “policy”, Obama appears to be ignorant of the fact that his policies have failed—more than forty months of unemployment—and the rejection of his “signature” piece of legislation that will massively increase taxation. Add to this his failure to understand that there are two other branches of government with whom he was expected to work, indeed to compromise, and to obey!

Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of his confession is the fact this he has been the most visible and vocal President in modern history, forever on the stump, forever seeking the spotlight, and always, always, always talking about “me” and “I”.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Real Obama

Rich Liberal Hypocrites!

By Alan Caruba

I don’t know about you, but I am sick of all the Democratic mud-slinging at Mitt Romney because he is rich. The level of hypocrisy tells me that Obama and his trolls are so bereft of anything to offer the voters that they insult them with this class warfare garbage about “millionaires and billionaires.”

President Obama, according to a May 15, 2012 USA Today news article, “is a wealthy man with assets of as much as $10 million. Moreover, “he has a hefty stake in JP Morgan Chase, the megabank…with an account worth between 500,000 and $1 million.”

Romney is rich. If he is elected, the Forbes list of the ten richest U.S. Presidents noted that in 2010 he reported adjusted gross income of $22 million of which $8 million was interest and dividends.” The January 24, 2012 Forbes article by William P. Barrett said that “implies assets in the range of $200 million to $250 million.”

Romney, however, “would not be tops in presidential wealth. At the top of the list, in adjusted terms, George Washington was one of the wealthiest men in the nation when he became president. Mount Vernon plantation grew to 6,500 acres and Washington was a canny businessman, distilling booze, and even raising mules.

In 2010 dollars, Democrats who held the presidency in the last century included John F. Kennedy whose net worth was $1 billion. Jacqueline Kennedy was an oil heiress and his father was one of the wealthiest men in America. Almost all of JFK’s wealth income and property came from a trust shared with other family members.

Clinton’s wealth is estimated at $38 million. Twenty years of public service did not make him a rich man, but since leaving office, books and speaking fees earned him big bucks.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was worth $60 million, mostly acquired through inheritance and marriage. He spent most of his adult life in public service and his mother controlled the purse strings.

Lyndon Baines Johnson made a lot of money as a politician. He would accumulate 1,500 acres in Blanco County, Texas, and he and his wife owned a radio and television station in Austin. His net worth was estimated at $98 million.

In 2011, you couldn’t swing a dead cat in Congress without hitting a multi-millionaire, many of them Democrats. John Kerry who ran against George Bush has a net worth of $193.07 million, much of it the result of marrying rich wives. Jay Rockefeller whose very name suggests wealth has $81.63 million. The California ladies, Diane Feinstein comes in at $55.07 million and Nancy Pelosi is worth $35.20 million.

The Daily Caller.com recently reported that Rep. Pelosi’s 2011 financial disclosure statement included between $1 million and $5 million earned from partnership income with Matthews International Capitol Management, a firm that invests exclusively in Asia where much U.S. outsourcing occurs.

Among the Republicans, Rep. Michael McCaul has assets of $294.21 million, much of it is held by his wife, Linda McCaul, the daughter of Clear Channel Communications CEO and founder, Lowry Mays. Rep. Darrell Issa, who earned his wealth in the private sector, is worth $220.40, and, from a celebrated New Jersey family, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen is worth $20.35 million. Neither of the Bush’s, father and son, made it into the top, most wealthy Presidents.

Suffice to say if you weren’t already wealthy when you got elected to Congress, the odds are you will accumulate wealth while there.

Obama’s salary as President is $400,000 a year; he has a $150,000 expense account and a $100,000 tax-free travel account, along with a $20,000 entertainment budget. Not big money compared to the CEOs of major corporations and banking institutions, but the taxpayers pick up the tab for a lot of extras that go with the job.

If the economy will decide Obama’s fate in November, then a lot of voters, Republicans, Democrats, and independents are going to be thinking about the past 40-plus months of 8.2% unemployment, billions wasted on “clean energy” companies that have gone bankrupt sticking taxpayers with the losses, the national debt of $17 trillion that robs the future from the next generation and the one after that, and the largest tax increase in history--$494 billion in one year—that will hit on January 1, 2013. I don’t even want to think of the costs of Obamacare.

Caterwauling about how wealthy Mitt Romney is and telling lies about his career at Bain Capital may fool some people, but most know where their financial problems came from and have no doubt it has been Barack Hussein Obama’s appalling mismanagement of the nation’s economy.

Being rich in America never kept anyone from being elected President. Obama and many of his Democratic Party colleagues are the wealthiest hypocrites in public office.

© Alan Caruba, 2012