Monday, December 31, 2007

Can America Retain Its Power?

By Alan Caruba

This is when “pundits” and assorted “experts” make their predictions about the year ahead. I will spare you that.

There is no way to make predictions because the future is always a great unknown and events always overtake everyone, followed by recriminations that demand to know “Why didn’t they anticipate that?” or “Why were they so unprepared?”

Accidents are called “accidents” because few anticipate or plan for such events. The levees of New Orleans are an example.

The weather, day to day, anywhere on the face of the Earth is unpredictable because it is subject to so many factors over which no one has any “control”. The weather is the result of immense forces at work such as sunspot (magnetic storms) activity, the shift of tectonic plates, vast underwater volcanoes erupting unseen and unknown. And, of course, a massive volcanic explosion in 2008 would transform the weather for years as the result of all the dust it would spew into the atmosphere.

In the same way that the greatest meteorologists in the world cannot explain why clouds do what they do from minute to minute, we could all use a long rest from the idiots who claim to know what the climate is or will be at any time.

As to unknown human events in the world, the only predictable thing is that there will be conflict somewhere. Man is the “killer ape” that says it abhors war and cannot seem to resist its strange appeal.

The result is that we will focus our attention for however long on the Middle East as it deals with its problem of death-dealing, death-loving, and death-seeking lunatics for whom Islam is a convenient excuse to seek political power over others.

The big question on everyone’s mind is whether and when Iran will acquire nuclear weapon status. The answer is yes. At some point Iran will demonstrate that it has these weapons, joining Pakistan, India, and Israel in their region of the world, as well as its neighbor, China. The Bomb makes these nations feel safe, but its use would turn any one of them into a parking lot.

I often talk about “the tyranny of demography” which is a fancy way of saying that population, the sheer numbers of people, determines policies and actions. In 2008, the United States of America will add a new immigrant—legal and illegal—every thirty seconds. The Census Bureau says our total population will increase by one person every 13 seconds. As of January 1, the total U.S. population will be 303,146,284, a 0.9 percent increase since last New Year’s Day.

Frankly, that is too many people in a nation whose bridges are failing, whose roads need repair, whose electrical “grid” is a product of the 1950s, and which resolutely resists the construction of any new sources of electrical power, either coal-fired or nuclear. That is idiocy.

The failure to stem the flow of illegal immigrants across our southern border is an ugly problem that, if ignored, will continue to contribute to a lot of ugly problems that already exist and which the elites that run our government want to ignore. Someone has to pick up the cost of educating their children. Someone has to pick up the health care costs of tending to them. Someone has to pay for their incarceration if they commit crimes.

That someone is you, the U.S. taxpayer. These problems are causing hospitals to close, filling our jails, and contributing to a failed educational system.

Any candidate who promises to build a big wall on the southern border and to put U.S. soldiers on our side to ensure that no more illegals come across will be elected. It would also do wonders to ending the corruption and control of the Mexican drug cartels.

Where would we find those soldiers? We have some 30,000 guarding the South Korean border since the 1950s. Bring them home. We have some 79,000 in Europe. Bring them home. These nations have been getting a free ride on our dollar for two full generations.

It is the U.S. dollar that keeps the United Nations afloat. We have one vote in the General Assembly. So does Togo. We have a veto power on the Security Council. So do the other members, most of whom are leftovers from the nations that won World War Two. China is a member because China has more than a billion people, but India with a comparable population is not.

The United Nations needs to be allowed to fail. It has evolved into a poisonous conglomeration of regional cliques that engage in horrible insults to humanity as a whole. It can and would be replaced.

The first action following the demise of the UN would be to create a U.S.-led alliance of democratic nations. Nations failing to respect the rules would be frozen out of world trade and aid. An example? North Korea needs to be shut down, not negotiated with. Then make a list of African nations that require the same action. Then add to the list others that haven’t gotten the message yet.

The invasion of Iraq was a message to the world that dictators who are real threat regionally will be deposed, even if the U.S. has to spend a great deal of treasure and blood to do it. Historians will look back kindly on George W. Bush for taking this action. It immediately convinced Libya’s dictator to give up his nuclear program. It put Iran on notice. Et cetera.

What is most needed in 2008? Patience. Events in the world are not movies or television shows. They require time and consensus to evolve.

Most people in the world will trade a measure of freedom for stability, but humans inherently want freedom, so we can expect to see them in the streets as in the case of the Buddhist monks of Myanmar. As in the defeat of Hugo Chavez’s dictatorial aspirations in Venezuela. As in unexpected changes that will likely occur in Cuba when Fidel dies.

The United States needs to be far more cunning in our use of statecraft and spycraft. We need to negotiate our way to a better world and, where that is impossible, we need to use all the arts of espionage and infiltration to undermine and overthrow bad governments.

The Chinese probably have enough spies in the U.S. to populate a small city. In a generation, more Chinese will speak English than all the people in the English-speaking world today. If they can take the time to achieve hegemony, we can take the same time to retain it.

We will not achieve this if our schools continue to graduate illiterates and young people who haven’t a clue about our nation’s history, our governmental system, and the values that have made us Number One since the end of WWII. We will not achieve this if we keep electing people to Congress who spend money faster than it can be printed or pass bills banning the incandescent light bulb—which Congress has just done.

Stupid people deserve what they get and we are allowing too much stupidity to govern us and determine policies essential to our future. On that note, I shall rest.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

News By and For Idiots

By Alan Caruba

One of the great pleasures of life used to be reading the Sunday edition of newspapers, crammed with all kinds of information in thick sections subsidized by advertising. Well, newspaper circulation and advertising revenue has been falling fairly steadily and my guess is because (1) advertisers count heads and (2) the quality of the news being offered is so dreadful.

In the famed Sunday news supplement, Parade, in a section misnamed as "Intelligence Report"(r) the lead story on Dec. 30, 2007 about the "environment" was "The Dirty Side of Domestic Fuel" based on some report by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The NRDC exists to insure that Americans can never benefit from our natural resources whether they are oil, natural gas, coal and other mined minerals, forest products, whatever!

The "intelligence" of the mercifully short piece as that horrid people continue to drill for oil and gas in the United States and that "Extracting oil and gas is known to release toxic chemicals, including mercury, benzene, and arsenic, and harmful chemicals are routinely injected underground to boost output." Wells are exempt from some clean air and water regulations because the process is inherently messy. Crude oil is messy, but if new sources of the stuff isn't found we just end up having to import it from foreign producers. The story ends with the usual stuff about somebody who got ill because they lived close to wells. It makes no effort to make a direct connection between their illness and the well, just that they lived near it. If that person came from a family that had a history of illness, we shall never know.

Ultimately, we're informed that, "The NRDC is calling for the government to tighten its regulation of gas drilling and for the industry to adopt pollution-reducing practicies." Surprise, surprise. The answer for everything as far as Greens are concerned is more government regulation. And, of course, everything is a source of pollution.

Another story in the Sunday news that bore out that observation is one that appeared initially in the Los Angeles Times. The title: "Cremation: A Hazard to the Living?" The story was about a Colorado funeral home that has run into a truly idiotic situation whereby health officials want it to either install an expensive filter in the crematory's smokestack or extract the teeth of the deceased before cremation. Why? Because some loony is worried that there might be mercury emissions from the dental fillings of corpses.

Mind you, these people with those fillings never experienced a moment's problem from the infinitely small amount of mercury in their fillings, but once dead we are expected to believe that everyone downwind from the crematory is at dire risk. Wisely, the EPA does not regulate crematories.

So, in addition to be hectored your entire life about some horrible "environmental" threat, some Greens think that you shouldn't even be allowed to be cremated with a full set of choppers!

This is news by idiots intended to be read by idiots who lack the sense to understand that drilling for oil and gas is the only way to insure you will have enough of it to drive your car or heat your home.

This is news that says that absolutely nothing about your life and death cannot and should not be controlled and regulated based on the "precautionary principle" that anything, just anything, that might possibly be harmful should be banned or sufficiently regulated to drive up its cost to everyone.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Try to Find an Anti-War March

By Alan Caruba

Have you noticed that there just aren't any anti-war marches occurring lately?

Afghanistan and Iraq are just not Vietnam. The reason given for Vietnam was that we were still engaged in a long Cold War and we didn't want that "domino" to fall to international communism. A generation later we have an embassy there.

The Middle East is a very different kettle of fish. The motivation there is Islam, a religion whose holy book is more a battle plan with the promise of a hot ticket to paradise if you die in war. Islam divides up the world between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb. There's Islam with its umma or community and all the rest outside of it is a world of "war" until it too is subsumed.

Of course, there are surely lots of Iraqis, Iranians, Afghanis, and other Muslim folks in the region who do not want war, but they are not the ones with guns, bombs, and the willingness to use them. That makes them "victims", no matter who kills them.

Here at home, the anti-war folks can't seem to get a good march going because, I think, most Americans have come to the conclusion that the U.S.A. is going to be in the Middle East for a long time, hopefully providing some kind of containment of conflict, but if that is not possible, killing whole bunches of people until they weary of dying in large numbers or sue for peace to avoid it.

Even the Iraqis seem to be making progress toward divvying up the oil revenue and letting every man sit peacefully beneath his olive tree. That is a major achievement in any Arab society. The Palestinians, by contrast, are busy making war on one another in order to get the biggest share of all the free money from the U.S., the European Union, and anyone else stupid enough to fund them.

As Americans watch the Middle East get even more shaky than it has been since the end of World War II, they are going to be looking at political candidates who, like George W. Bush, know how to kick some butt. Turning the other cheek is not going to be on their minds or their agenda.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Bhutto Mysteries

By Alan Caruba

By now there have been at least three different stories regarding the assassination, the last being the official government version that she bumped her head on some part of the van and that was what really killed here. Now, that is so absurd that only the chairman of the Committee to Re-Elect Pervez Musharraf is going to believe it. It was either a bullet, a bomb or a combination of both.

Who killed her? Well, the Islamo-fascists in Pakistan have been saying they wanted her dead for a long time and there was a recent previous effort when one of their bombs killed 140 or so people when she returned to her native land. When jihadists say they killed her, I am inclined to believe them.

The real mystery will always be Benazir Bhutto who seemed driven to clear the name of her father who was executed by one of the long line of dictators that ran the nation. He had been prime minister. She had been, too. Twice. Both times charges of corruption were leveled against here--generally believed to be false--and the second time she had to get out of Dodge to avoid being thrown in jail. She had already spent a few years in a Pakistani jail and leaving made a lot of sense. She was later cleared.

Why, though, return? Why as a Harvard and Oxford educated woman would she submit to an arranged marriage because it was "the Muslim thing to do"? Why return when she had three children that would surely be left motherless? Why do so when Pakistan is home to some of the most rabid jihadists to be found anywhere?

I wonder, too, about the full role in this tragedy that the U.S. may have played? Reportedly the State Department put a lot of pressure on Musharraf to let her return and run for office. Was the U.S. picking up the tab for her return and campaign? Did State think Bhutto would crack down on the Islamo-crazies more than Musharraf? We will never know.

Bhutto will remain in many ways a mystery, but now it is time for reality and fable to mix. She will became a lessor diety than Gandhi, but she is right up there in that pantheon.

That's the problem of being saintly. It tends to get you killed.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Looking into the 2008 Crystal Ball

By Alan Caruba

Between the day after Christmas and January 1st of 2008 is a good time to get one’s affairs in order.

I visited the bank today to get some help because the bank statements and daily report via the Internet kept telling me I had more money than my own calculations told me. It turns out the bank was right and that’s a pretty good way to begin the year. Said the bank officer, “Just begin with what our balance says is in your account and go from there.”

I stepped on the scale this morning and discovered what I already knew. I am at least ten pounds overweight and that’s a modest assessment. I blame it all on family members who, every Christmas, send me FOOD. I should, of course, blame it on myself for eating all of it.

I am reading an interesting new book by an economist who specializes in health-related trends and his thesis is that America’s strong economy is a major factor explaining why so many adults and young people, children, are FAT. Not only has the supply of prepared and packaged food items increased, thanks to modern technology, but we have had the money with which to buy it. Put the two factors together and it adds up to a lot of fat Americans, but it doesn’t stop there. The Chinese and Indians are getting fat too. That’s what a strong economy will do to you.

I am no economist, but I think 2008 is going to be a difficult one for the U.S. economy and may well have repercussions worldwide. Despite a recent bailout of several major banking houses to the tune of some $33 billion, the losses from the mortgage failures are estimated at close to $100 billion. Here’s another factor worth noting. The bailout came from foreign nations that purchased interests in those banks.

They bought in with money that has been flowing out of America at an alarming rate. I read somewhere the U.S. borrows a billion a day just to keep afloat.

A worsening economy, if it occurs, will be a major factor in the 2008 elections. People who follow these things suggest it could produce a Democrat Party landslide no matter who is running for office. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Republican Party is on the ropes. A lot of Republicans want to punish the party for the spending spree it went on for the last eight years, betraying conservative values, and others are just very unhappy with George W. Bush. Will Republicans rally around the party’s choice? No one knows at this point.

Will consumers keep the economy going in 2008? Not if they get nervous about the future and, in an election year, that’s what happens. Decisions are delayed. Investments of all kinds are put off. Spending tightens up.

If voters decide they want to “return” to the 1990’s of the Clinton years, they are in for a nasty surprise. It’s not the 1990’s. It’s more like the post 9/11 first decade of the 2000’s and there’s no robust economy to inherit from Ronald Reagan’s tenure. Taking a page from the FDR years, the Democrats will want to create more programs to help everyone and that just means a larger government. Given the government’s balance sheet, it probably doesn’t matter who gets into office. Taxes will likely have to rise and if that occurs at the same time the economy begins to tank it is going to get very ugly.

There’s a reason why a million Mexicans cross the border. The Mexican economy stinks. It’s the old story of a handful of people who own everything and have all the money. At least in America, there are jobs, but there will be fewer jobs for Mexicans if Americans begin to need them as badly as they do. Americans will insist ever louder that immigration laws be enforced. The present estimate is that one in every five Mexican citizens is currently living in America.

All of us Depression Babies and kids who grew up during World War II and can remember rationing are looking at 2008 and wondering if it could happen again, i.e., wondering if the economy could tank and whether we and our weak sister NATO allies can keep the lid on the Middle East.

One thing’s for sure; wars always begin as a surprise. No one really thinks that will occur.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Prince of Peace Vs the Prophet of War

By Alan Caruba

In the most general terms, there are about two billion people in the world who will celebrate Christmas in some fashion or other. That leaves four billion who subscribe to some other deity or to none at all.

There is some confusion over Islam because it says it respects the Jewish prophets and Jesus, but the reality is that Islam has always striven to replace anything Jewish, Christian, Hindu or Buddhist wherever it is the dominant religion.

The world was appalled in 2001 when the Taliban blew up a 2,000 year old statue of Buddha carved into a mountain wall in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, but expresses little concern that the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem is built directly over the Temple Mount, a place sacred to Jews. In April 2002, Palestinian terrorists retreated to the Church of the Nativity in Jerusalem knowing the Israelis would not attack them there. They defiled this most Christian of holy places.

The utter contempt Muslims show for Judaism and Christianity seems to elude a lot of people who, while turning the other cheek, find Muslims seeking to impose their sharia law on them and elbowing them out of the way as, for example, in England where many British have abandoned their churches only to see them replaced as mosques. The Church of England has devolved into a grotesquery in which its leaders make light of the most fundamental beliefs of Christianity.

If anyone doesn’t believe that there is a war of religions occurring, they are not paying attention.

You won’t find many Christian preachers speaking ill of Islam from their pulpits on the birthday of their savior, Jesus, but there is little doubt that too many Muslims will hear a different view of Jesus spoken in their mosques. It will mock the New Testament because the Koran mocks the New Testament.

The trendy rise of atheism cannot go unnoticed either, but atheists will not go unscathed should they find themselves in a Muslim-dominated society one morning. If Muslims think ill of “unbelievers”, atheists will be at the head of the line for a forced conversion or a far worse fate. Next in line will come the Jews whom Muslims are taught to hate from birth. The few Christians left will become “dhimmi” or very second-rate citizens. This is their fate throughout the Middle East where many now have fled for their lives.

If this seems a harsh look at Islam and its more than a billion followers, perhaps it is time to consider a world in which they become the dominant religion. They want to be the only religion around and some feel justified to achieve that with suicide bombers and even by flying commercial jets into buildings to kill 3,000 Americans.

On Christmas day, as churches fill and carols are sung about the “Prince of Peace”, it would be well to remember that ancient Roman dictum, “Si vis pacem, para bellum”; If you want peace, plan for war.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Explaining Islam to Muslims and Others

By Alan Caruba

I received an email today from "an Arab and a Muslim" who had read a 2001 commentary of mine, "Islam Versus the World"

"You are a bigot and misusing the freedom of America. People like you are so detrimental to the American interests."

The email arrived while I was contemplating blogging about the latest Islamic obscenity, a suicide bombing in Sherpo, Pakistan--in a mosque where Muslims had gathered for worship--that was at the home of the former interior minister in northwestern Pakistan. It killed at least 50 people inside the mosque.

Something is very wrong with any religion whose followers believe it is okay to (1) commit suicide and (2) kill a lot of innocent people at the same time. (3) In a place of prayer.

Many Muslims believe that Islam is under attack, but they seldom see how Islam is at war with the rest of the world, including as often as not, fellow Muslims.

The email ended by telling me I was "a bag of hate and hatred." Assuming that English was not the first language of the "Arab and Muslim" who sent it, I thought he did a good job in expressing himself, but was overlooking a few things.

The article was written shortly after 9/11 when a number of "Arabs and Muslims" killed over 3,000 Americans and people wanted to know who these people are, what they believe, and why they would attack a nation that was not at war with them. Indeed, America had expended considerable treasure and blood defending Arabs and/or Muslims in places like Kosovo and Kuwait. We had even assisted bin Laden and the Afghans in ridding that nation of the Soviet military occupation. Then we had to go back and rid it of the Taliban whom fellow Muslims seem to hate a great deal.

I can understand it when anyone gets angry reading a serious rebuke to their religion and especially one that requires one to face Mecca five times a day to pray. However, this same religion essentially says it's okay to kill "unbelievers" and has provided ample examples of killing those whom one might reasonably consider to be believers...particularly if they are praying in a mosque.

Islam is in great need of a Reformation not unlike that which the Christian Church underwent. Until it reforms itself it will remain locked into a seventh century mentality that will continue to hold Muslims back from having a decent relationship with the rest of mankind.

Friday, December 21, 2007

My 2008 Wish List

By Alan Caruba

With 2008 just around the corner, I am sure all of us have a wish list, even if it is not a formal one. And what good would that do anyway? Wishes are nice, but reality is usually just a big slap in the face. On the other hand, most of us would maneuver better through life if we could just get a better grip on reality.

Here, in no particular order:

1. Once all the primaries and the election is over, I never want to hear another thing about Hillary Clinton. Or Bill Clinton. Or Chelsea Clinton. (This will not happen.)

2. I do not want to hear or read anything more about "Global Warming" because (a) it is not happening and (b) we are all poised at the tail end of an 11,500 year interglacial period that will begin a new Ice Age. Any day now!

3. I wish that aliens from outer space would swoop down and carry Al Gore away. He has got to be one of the most vile men on the face of the Earth. And he's crazy to boot. The man wants to eliminate the internal combustion engine!

4. I wish that Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, (D-NV) would be ordered to remove every incondescent light bulb in his home and office, and never be allowed to purchase or use one again under penalty of confinement. This moron is bragging about how the Democrat "energy bill" will ban them by 2020. That's right, your Big Stupid Government has just passed a law to eliminate one of Thomas Edison's most famed and fabulous inventions!

5. I wish that radio would begin to play music to which I can actually listen without thinking of cats fighting or riot police breaking into a crack house.

6. I wish there was a law that all the slutty little Hollywood actresses who cannot remember to put on underwear, stay sober, avoid drugs, or practice safe sex would be subject to exile to Pony, Montana for a period not less than three years, nor longer than five. The men in the surrounding area would be ever so grateful.

7. I wish that public officials would stop referring to Islam as "a religion of peace." The Koran is a battle plan, not a holy book.

8. I wish that someone, anyone, would capture Osama bin Laden. And his pal Zawahiri. And the rest of that motley crew of killers who can't wait to blow themselves up in the name of Allah.

9. I wish any member of Congress who voted for the mandate to increase production and use of Ethanol would be forced to drink a gallon of it.

10. I wish all our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (and around the world) would be home for Christmas next year, but this too will not happen because right now, somewhere, someone is planning another terror attack or a full-scale war on the greatest nation on the face of the Earth, the United States of America!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Between God and a Hard Place

By Alan Caruba

Politics in America must seem baffling to those unaccustomed to the bloodletting we call our campaigns.

It is, however, a special burden these days for the nation’s atheists during this season of joy and backstabbing. Not only must they wake each day to Christmas carols with their “glory to the new born king” message, but, if they are Republicans, they must also try to sort out for whom to vote amidst more Bible thumping than one could get in a good old “Come to Jesus” tent revival.

I happen to know one such atheist and the poor thing is just bouncing off the walls. To listen to her, it was bad enough she has had to live the passed seven years with a President whose favorite “philosopher” is Christ Jesus, but now she has some choices to make as the forces of darkness descend in the form of Hillary Clinton or some bi-racial guy with a Muslim name, Obama, who goes to a church in Chicago.

Meanwhile, she is looking at GOP contenders that include a Baptist preacher and former Governor (of Arkansas for the love of God!), a Mormon former Governor from Taxachusetts, an Arizona Senator whose political fortunes more resemble one of those carnival rides that yank you up and drop you down at dizzying speeds, and the rest who remind some people of those tiny cars in the circus from which a dozen clowns spill forth.

So let’s have a moment of silent prayer for all the bewildered Republican atheists because surely they are between God and a hard place these days.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Greens Hate Mankind

By Alan Caruba

Anyone who has followed the environmental movement for as long as I have knows that, at its core, there is a profound hatred for the human race.

Combine this with an equally intense desire to control every aspect of everyone's lives on planet Earth and you have a very dangerous movement, funded by foundations whose wealth was built by industrialists who must be spinning in their graves.

The movement is home to a wide variety of “intellectuals” whose vanity is their excuse for some of the most immoral and inhumane recommendations made daily. Their followers are largely gullible people with an extraordinary capacity to ignore reality.

Excellent examples of Green insanity are found in a December 19th article in the Herald Sun, Melbourne, Australia, by Andrew Bolt. He collected some “original tips of many experts on how to slash the gases they say are killing the planet.”

Among the twenty citations was Greenpeace co-founder, Paul Watson’s advice that the Earth’s population has to be reduced “to fewer than one billion.” Presumably, given this group’s opposition to pesticides, one easy way is to keep the ban on DDT that has accounted for the needless deaths of millions from malaria.

Bolt took note of Prof. Barry Walters of the University of Western Australia who expressed the opinion that families with more than two children should be charged a carbon tax "on their little gas emitters." Going further, Toni Vernelli of PETA, the animal rights group, says she took steps to avoid having a child because she felt “It would have been immoral to give birth to a child that I felt strongly would only be a burden to the world.” Nor is she alone. Dr. John Reid, a former Swinburne University academic recommending putting “something in the water, a virus that would be specific to the human reproductive system, and would make a substantial proportion of the population unfertile.”

If any of this reminds you of the Nazi view that some life was “unworthy of life” and, acting on this belief, set up death camps to kill Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, communists, unionists, and anyone who disagreed with them for any reason. They had begun by killing the mentally ill and retarded among them until ordinary Germans protested.

Little wonder Pope Benedict XVI recently warned against the scare-mongering behind global warming. He said that it is vital that the international community base its policies on science rather than the dogma of the environmental movement.

I cited these few examples because environmentalism is, at its heart, anti-human and virtually all of its goals are designed to reduce human life by, among other proposals, denying electricity where there is none, the banning of pesticides to reduce insect and rodent predation of crops and food, attacking the use of genetically modified seeds to increase crops that are made resistant to drought or insects, or which contain Vitamin A to reduce blindness. Greens have even opposed the flush toilet.

Instead they work to shut down industries, to deny access to the mining of minerals necessary to the modern world, to make access to oil or natural gas impossible or too costly, and would even eliminate the use of incandescent lightbulbs. Al Gore, the most odious of these vile people has written that the world should rid itself of the internal combustion engine!

The next time you hear an environmentalist sound off, remember they hate mankind. For this alone they represent a threat as big or bigger than the current crop of Islamic crazies.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Funding the Fatah Rat Hole

By Alan Caruba

Probably the worst investment in modern times has been the billions pumped into the funding of Fatah, one of the two entities competing for control of the Palestinian Authority. The other is Hamas which is identified as a terrorist organization, but Fatah was founded by the father of modern terrorism, Yasser Arafat.

In a recent commentary, Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, noted that the Congressional Research Service calculated that the European Union gave $815 million (US) to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 2006. The United States sent $469 million. When other donors are included, the PA garnered about $1.5 billion.

In October, President Bush requested a $410 million supplement above the $77 million already sent to the PA. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice launched a “U.S.-Palestinian Public Private Partnership” in early December whose purpose is to “reach young Palestinians directly” so as to prepare them “for responsibilities of citizenship and leadership”, blah, blah, blah.

In July, Mortimer B. Zuckerman, Editor-in-Chief of U.S. News & World Report, noted that, “The brutal Hamas coup is the first Islamic takeover of an Arab country in the past 25 years and the first in that period by military putsch.” Palestine, however, is not a country. Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah and former right-hand man to Arafat, fled Gaza and set up headquarters in Ramallah in the West Bank. Please make your checks directly to him as the PA exists only in the fevered imaginations of diplomats like Condi Rice.

Zuckerman noted at the time that, “The trouble is that Fatah is a broken reed. It lost elections in Gaza because of rampant financial corruption, abuse of power, mismanagement, and weak leadership.” Yes, well, when the winning party runs you out of town at the point of a gun, I guess you could say that Fatah was a weak representative of the Palestinian people, but then it was never really about the Palestinian people. It was about Yasser Arafat’s ability to bilk Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S. out of money that was then transferred in the millions to his Swiss bank accounts. His widow lives in luxury in Paris.

In fact, Hamas did not have to expend much effort to control Gaza because, as Zuckerman pointed out, “The Fatah leadership of the Gaza armed forces fled weeks and months before the battle—including the commander, the deputy commanders, and 30 lower-level commanders.” Fatah, it should be noted, has a terrorist arm called al-Aqsa that takes credit for the many suicide bombings and other murders in Israel over the years.

Giving money to Fatah is obscene. What is the difference between Fatah and Hamas? Both are devoted to driving the Israelis into the sea and seizing control of Israel despite having no rights to a land that was a nation-state in 1312 B.C., fully 2,000 years before the invention of Islam.

The Arab claim is based on having conquered “Palestine” in 635 A.D., but the real irony is that Palestine is a name selected by the Roman Emperor Hadrian who, in 135 A.D. had crushed a Jewish revolt. His aim was to erase the name “Israel” from the history books. The new name was taken from one of Israel’s ancient enemies, the Philistines. Hadrian is no more. The Roman Empire is no more. And what’s left are the empty claims by people who, like the Philistines, have been repeatedly defeated by the Israelis.

More than a million Arabs are full citizens of Israel and nobody is being asked to send them millions.

At what point will the leaders of the U.S., the European Union, and Middle Eastern states wise up and stop throwing money down the rat hole called the Palestinian Authority?

Monday, December 17, 2007

An Avalanche of Nonsense

By Alan Caruba

I have to remind myself that I may well be in the minority whenever I protest the lies and nonsense that assail me daily regarding “global warming” or just about anything that issues forth, flatulently, from the United Nations.

An Agence France Press story on Monday is a splendid example. Some moronic scribe labored to produce “Global warming may soon see Santa don shorts.” It began with the assertion that Europe’s far north was “already feeling the effects of global warming” and proceeded from there with the usual assurance that “global warming” is actually happening.

This is such a commonplace journalistic device and deception as to drive better-informed people crazy. However, on where I found the story, more than thirty seriously annoyed people weighed in with their comments and all of them derided the fatuous piece of idiocy. In fact, some of Europe’s glaciers have been growing and a quick check of recent winters will reveal the continent has had some major cold spells.

Similarly, the International Herald Tribune, owned I believe by The New York Times, spewed forth a story, “Global food supply is dwindling rapidly, UN agency warns.” Having just gone through two weeks of stories out of Bali, filled with dire predictions that we’re all just toast, thanks to the latest vacation-cum-conference on global warming, it totally escapes me why anyone believes anything this bloated, corrupt, and ineffectual international excuse for bad information, bad ideas, and bad performance has to say on any subject.

A teacher of mine long ago said that, “No nation is more than two weeks away from a revolution if it runs out of food.” There’s some truth to that. The French Revolution that devolved into a bloodbath began when the price of bread and other staples rose to a point that it emboldened the peasants to go looking for the king and his family with a view to beheading them. The reason for the problem was that Europe (and North America) was in the grip of a mini-ice age that had begun around 1300 and would not abate until around 1850.

But! The UN says we are in the midst of a “global warming” and from this one might conclude that the growing season for crops is longer and therefore more productive. Silly you. Applying any kind of logic to “global warming” is a fool’s game.

The price of basic food crops is going up. Why? Because geniuses like those in our Congress keep mandating that useless fuel additives such as ethanol drain off vast quantities of corn for its production. Elsewhere in the effort to insure crop failure, everything that could be done to thwart the introduction of genetically modified crops—crops that are resistant to drought or various forms of predation—has been one of the environmental movement’s rallying cries for a very long time.

It’s all part of the avalanche of nonsense the citizens of the world must suffer thanks to those who, in their hearts, would prefer to return the earth to penguins, polar bears, pandas, and weeds.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The News from Wonderland

By Alan Caruba

Reading a newspaper these days is not unlike Alice’s visit to Wonderland where not much made any sense.

Take, for example, the December 16th, Sunday edition of the Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest circulation newspaper. The lead story on page one was an Associated Press report about an agreement reached in Bali that will provide a “new framework for tackling global warming, one that for the first time calls on both the industrialized world and rapidly developing nations to commit themselves to measurable verifiable steps.”

They might as well commit themselves to a global insane asylum because there is no global warming and reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) will have zero effect on the climate of the earth. The atmosphere consists of 0.038% carbon dioxide. By any measurement, that’s not much.

The reason for the United Nations Bali conference was that the 1997 Kyoto Protocol is going to expire soon and, to absolutely no one’s surprise, it was a total failure. None of the industrialized nations of Europe met their agreed upon carbon dioxide limits and two nations that cannot build power stations fast enough to meet their growing energy news, China and India, were exempt. The U.S. refused to participate. A unanimous Senate resolution cited “harm to the nation’s economy.”

I frequently wonder if the editors who put together a newspaper every day actually read it.

The Sunday edition had a story on page 19 whose headline read “Second Storm Barrels Across U.S.” This Associated Press story noted that “Snow fell from the Plains across the Midwest yesterday, accumulating as much as a foot in places, as the second wintry storm in a week barreled through on its way to New England.”

With no small irony, it noted that, “Tens of thousands of people still had no electricity since the first storm slammed Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri earlier in the week.” We are living in a nation where it is becoming increasingly difficult to build any power station fueled by coal (responsible for over 50% of all electricity in the nation). Kansas and Texas have both rejected these facilities in recent months. Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth continues to lobby and protest the building of any nuclear powered utilities. I am pretty sure those thousands of Americans who have lost power really miss it.

In the Star-Ledger’s “Perspective” section devoted to editorials, opinions and such, the lead story, taking up a width of three columns, is titled “CO2: Is the Answer to Air Quality in the Ocean?” I will not waste your time reading the blather about finding ways to increase the world’s ocean’s ability to absorb CO2 because that’s what the oceans already do and presumably have done ever since there was CO2.

You will not find any mention in today’s newspaper that there is absolutely, positively no evidence that the earth is warming. By “warming” I mean doing something unnatural by way of five or ten degrees. What has been occurring since around 1850, the year the last mini-ice age ended, is a perfectly natural warming to the tune of about one degree Fahrenheit.

There is something very wrong with newspapers that relentlessly print so-called “science” that doesn’t jibe with what is happening in the real world. Sooner or later their circulation, like that of The New York Times, begins to slide because folks figure out that they can get the truth elsewhere.

I like the Star-Ledger, but I find myself mostly checking the obituary pages. I am reasonably confident that when they say someone’s dead, they probably are.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Infamous in Berlin, but in Very Good Company

By Alan Caruba

Here's a brief news note. The December 12 edition of Berliner Zeitung carried a story about the "deniers of climate change" and among the luminaries named was none other than your humble servant.

Thanks to Google's translation service, I was able to read the article in English. Apparently my "followers" believe that the IPCC and other's claims are "unproven." Well, the reporter got that right, but I have great doubts that I have any "followers." I am not leading any kind of organized campaign, but am merely someone commenting on "global warming", the lies that support it, and the consequences should the world be duped into accepting the "solutions" being offered.

The news report goes on to criticize "more than 30 press releases, all in the same tone" being issued presumably by horrible people who, like me, who are more fond of facts than wild claims that the Earth is in immediate danger. The daily deluge of "Green" propaganda received no comparable notice.

Lord Christopher Monckton, a British Member of Parliament and outspoken critic of "global warming", is cited in the article and I am frankly pleased to be named in such distinguished company.

On December 13, more than 100 prominent scientists signed a letter to the United Nations that said, in essence, attempting to control the Earth's climate was, in their words, "ultimately futile."

"It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages."

It's flattering, I suppose, that some reporter in Germany considers me to be the leader of the pack, but the truth is I am a very minor player, albeit an obviously well-read and vocal one.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Saying No to Energy

By Alan Caruba

While thousands of people in the Midwest pray that their power is restored in order to survive the freezing weather, it took less than 24 hours for the environmentalists of New Jersey to raise their voices against a proposed offshore natural gas terminal.

The Newark, NJ-based Star-Ledger, largest daily in the State, put the story on the front page of its December 12 edition. Exxon Mobil announced it was prepared to invest a billion dollars to provide a new source of fuel, i.e., power and energy, to a region according to the newspaper, “where rising demand and scare supplies have led to spikes in heating and electric bills.”

“New Jersey’s state and federal legislators,” said a December 13 editorial in the Asbury Park Press, “should let the energy company know in no uncertain terms that our offshore is off limits.” The headline on the editorial read, “Say ‘no thanks’ to ExxonMobil.” Need it be said that the editorial offered no alternative answer to the region’s energy needs?

Various environmental organization spokespeople were immediately heard from. “Here’s another bad actor that wants to bring fossil fuels, pollution and industrial development to our cleaner, healthier ocean. Who’s next, Darth Vader”,” said Cynthia A. Zipf of Clean Ocean Action.” I suspect that Ms. Zipf is unaware of the vast numbers of undersea volcanoes that exist, all of which spew all manner of “pollution” into the oceans of the world. Then, too, untapped, existing oil reserves leak crude oil.

Andrew Mencinsky, executive director of Surfers’ Environmental Alliance, called the project “an ecological disaster waiting to happen—one that could be triggered by an accident or a terrorist attack.”

Yes, right. Terrible things could happen, might happen, or may happen. In fact, accidents do happen. While acting with reasonable caution, we don’t live our lives based on what the Greens call “the precautionary principle”, the belief that any possibility of a problem is sufficient reason to not proceed with any project. Were that the case we would never get behind the wheel of our car because auto accidents kill about 40,000 Americans every year.

Once passed the usual environmental scare-mongering, the Star-Ledger article reported that, “Industry experts note during the past 40 years, LNG (liquid natural gas) ships have delivered more than 45,000 cargoes worldwide without a tank failure.”

The facility that Exxon Mobil proposes to build would be so far out in the Atlantic it would not be seen from the shore. Contrast this with various proposed wind farms that would not only destroy the view of the ocean, but also provide infinitely less actual power and energy than the natural gas facility would. Environmentally, wind farms are bird Cuisinarts, killing them by the thousands every year.

The irony of the initial environmental protests is that, as the Star-Ledger article noted, liquid natural gas, “is viewed by many, including some environmentalists, as a cleaner and potentially cheaper alternative for generating electricity.”

Since the legislators that represent New Jersey in Congress are all Greener than Green, we can pretty much assume that they will oppose the LNG terminal. They are on record as not wanting any exploration of their part of the continental shelf to discover and extract any oil or natural gas. What they think the growing population of the northeast and the nation will use for energy or where we will get it remains one of those great mysteries, but be assured one or all of them will demand that the U.S. become “energy independent.”

If the Exxon Mobil project is approved, a Rutgers University study, undertaken by the Blaustein School of Planning and Public Policy, concludes that it would generate about $3 billion in economic activity over the course of its lifetime.

A state that boasts the highest property taxes, one of the highest sales taxes, and more people leaving than arriving or staying, probably shouldn’t be taking advice on billion-dollar investments from environmentalists and newspaper editorial writers.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Combining Hypocrisy and Absurdity

By Alan Caruba

Just how much hypocrisy will it take for people around the world to conclude that global warming is a massive fraud?

I was thinking of this as I read a December 12 Associated Press article, “Storm of Ice Cripples Much of Midwest.” Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma declared states of emergency and at least 23 deaths were attributed to this massive weather event. But it’s winter, I hear you say. Every winter there’s always snow and ice. Yes, there is.

The weather is measured in days, weeks, and the calculations that determine averages for a year. Climate is measured in hundreds and thousands of years. There are known cycles to climate and there are the occasional anomalies such as the mini ice age that occurred between 1300 and 1850. Or the odd lack of sunspot (magnetic storms) activity occurring of late.

So, while people in the nation’s midsection cope with freezing weather, some 10,000 other people are enjoying the warmth of Bali, using modern transportation to get there, depending on the air conditioning to keep them cool in luxury hotels, dining out on their all-expense-paid accounts in between issuing dire predictions that the poles are melting and all life on earth is in peril.

Flying in from Oslo after receiving his Nobel Peace Prize, Al Gore will no doubt repeat and repeat and repeat his warnings, urging the representatives of nations to extend the UN Kyoto Climate Control Protocol and sign up to reduce a very minor (0.038%) carbon dioxide, greenhouse gas in the earth’s atmosphere. The way they are expected to do this is to reduce energy use.

The people in the Midwest without energy are rediscovering the value of energy. It keeps their homes warm. It powers all the electrical items on which they have come to depend. If it was safe to get on the road, it powers their automobiles and trucks. Reducing energy there or anywhere it is used to enhance life in the 21st century might seem odd, if not obscene, to them.

Al Gore’s home uses enough energy to keep twenty of the homes of his less wealthy neighbors going all year long. While 600,000 homes and businesses in Oklahoma are without electricity, he travels by private jet and he is driven around in big limousines. Some might call his lifestyle hypocritical. And they would be right.

Daily the media is saturated with all manner of “news” about global warming. Everything is now blamed for causing it. Divorce is said to be bad for the environment because it creates two households from one. The alleged “obesity epidemic” is part of the problem say public health “experts.” If we all just walked more or used a bike we would reduce “emissions.” They neglect, however, the two pounds of carbon dioxide we exhale every day.

So both absurdity and hypocrisy are linked by the assertion that the earth is dramatically warming or will at some point; perhaps five years, fifteen years, or fifty years. This from people who cannot predict what the local weather will be in five days.

The local weather in the Midwest is cold and freezing. In a few days a big snowstorm will hit the northeast. Why? Because it’s winter.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Courage to Do Nothing

By Alan Caruba

“Climate change is a non problem,” says Lord Christopher Monckton, a UK climate researcher. “The right answer to a non problem is to have the courage to do nothing.”

Of course, the 10,000 participants and observers at the United Nations conference on climate change are not there to “do nothing”, if you discount the handful of skeptics who are there to rip back the curtain to reveal what a complete fraud is occurring.

The United Nations is not a stranger to fraud. The Iraq Oil for Food fraud helped enrich a number of its officials. Its indifference to genocides and human rights offenses is well established, but its love of treaties in which to increase its power over sovereign nations is also well documented.

The global warming “crisis” has been created and pushed forward by the United Nations in the form of its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change whose various reports are replete with deception. Dr. Vincent Gray of New Zealand, an expert reviewer of every single draft of the IPCC reports, going back to its inception in 1990, says, “There is no evidence that carbon dioxide increases are having any effect whatsoever on the climate. It fails not only from the data, but it fails in the statistics, and the mathematics.”

On December 10, former Vice President Al Gore accepted a Nobel Prize for PEACE along with the IPCC. A panel of politicians, not scientists, awarded the prize. Moreover, what does the climate have to do with peace, unless perhaps one recalls that it was the Mini-Ice Age that drove Napoleon’s troops from Russia in defeat or that America’s Valley Force during the Revolution were also subject to conditions that caused even the Thames in London to freeze?

The Mini-Ice Age lasted from 1300 to around 1850. The earth has been warming ever since. It has nothing to do with human beings and everything to do with the Sun and other natural factors that determine the earth’s climate.

The charlatans behind the latest UN conference are not there to “do nothing.” They are there to impose limits on energy use that will have horrendous implications for any nation foolish enough to accept them.

The Kyoto Protocol needs to be allowed to expire. The world needs to do nothing about climate change because the human race can do nothing about climate change. Because the amount of carbon dioxide has nothing to do with climate change in that it follows a warming cycle, not precedes it. It changes nothing. It responds to change.

How difficult is that to understand?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Is the Democrat Party Just for Girls?

By Alan Caruba

The Republican Party benefitted from the decision of a large number of white men to leave the Democrat Party. They didn't like policies that threatened gun ownership, that put an end to some men's sports teams at colleges, or a party that kept offering candidates like Dukakis or McGovern whose pacifism seemed to lack manly virtues of courage and grit.

Gore had to hire a consultant to tell him what colors and fashions would make him look manly and, in the end, that silly, endless kiss before his acceptance speech at the Democrat convention, embarrassed everyone watching.

Today, the total feminization of the Democrat Party finds its fulfillment in Hillary Clinton, the first woman to truly have a shot at the party's nomination. Her qualification? She is the wife of a former President.

Giving her a run for her money is Barack Hussein Obama, the Senator from Illinois. Why does it come as no surprise that one of the most famous women in America, Oprah Winfrey, would not only endorse him (a first such political action for her) but pull in a huge crowd at an Iowa caucus on a day when the temperature dipped to about 11 degrees above zero?

It's just my perception, but there is a very soft, somewhat feminine quality to B. Obama. It isn't anything you can point to and identify with clarity. Yes, he's married and yes he has two daughters. I am not suggesting he's gay. I am saying he doesn't come across as particularly strong.

It's more a matter of style or, to some extent, being too stylish, too fashion-conscious. Even his rhetoric, though polished, is a tad too restrained as if he would never really get mad at anyone because he is so emphathetic.

To put it another way, if you had to choose someone to share your foxhole in a battle, you'd want a McCain, a Guiliani, a Thompson. Even Romney gives off a very masculine vibe, despite his movie-star looks.

Which makes us wonder how many white men would pull the lever for B. Obama and my guess is not many. And Hillary will only get the "wuss" vote from that demographic.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Pearl Harbor Then and Now

By Alan Caruba

On December 7, 1941, I was four years old, but no one born in the years of World War II grew up without memories, conscious and unconscious, of that great conflict. It affects the way you look at the world, how you regard history, how you examine global threats to peace.

The United States was caught flat-footed. Most of the population was opposed to participation in the European war that had begun in 1939 when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. The peace that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain thought he had negotiated with Adolf Hitler proved to be a dangerous delusion and England was literally fighting for its life.

Everything turned around for Americans on the day the Japanese Empire attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in much the fashion that September 11, 2001 changed the worldview of many Americans.

My earliest memories of the war were trains that were filled with young men in uniform. My Mother’s parents lived in Long Branch, NJ and nearby Fort Dix was where many inductees received their training and processing. Under Mother’s watchful eye I would stroll the aisle of the passenger car and talk with soldiers, many of whom would never return. As a child I had no idea what danger lurked for them or the nation.

By 1945, at war’s end, I was eight years old and fully aware of the war. In school children contributed pennies and nickels to the nation’s drive to fund the conflict. Adults bought “war bonds” and the entire nation was on a war footing, focused on defeating the Axis in Europe and the Japanese in the Pacific and Asia.

Five years later the U.S. was dispatching troops to Korea to thwart an attack from the Soviet puppet in the North. When Red China joined the conflict, the end became a stalemate, a truce that remains to this day, but our action would produce a South Korea that is a vibrant capitalist economy while leaving the North to starve its people in order to maintain a million-man military. It would, in time, become a nuclear power.

Today, we live in no less dangerous a world, but an America that never entered a war without being first attacked is operating under a policy set forth by a President who believes in pre-emption and has positioned the nation as the policeman of the world. This is not a good formula for peace. A more patient approach such as the more than 45 years we patiently worked to bring about the fall of the Soviet Union suggests that strength, held in reserve, works better.

While proxy wars, most notably in Vietnam, were fought, a global conflict was avoided. That is perhaps the lesson of Pearl Harbor. Today, America with its great military power, but significantly smaller fighting force, needs to practice patience, use all the arts of diplomacy, and resist the urge to use our military until every other option has been exhausted or an actual attack is imminent or—God forbid—occurs.

There is little point to criticizing the second invasion of Iraq because it is a fait accompli. Only history will determine whether it was the right thing to do. It may well have been, but today’s children will not know the answer to that for another 50 years.

What we do know is that totalitarian forces and dictators exist in a world that is greatly changed from 1941. It is one in which many new democracies have emerged, many new nations have joined the world community, and all are now threatened by a resurgent, radical Islam.

Beyond that threat, there’s the United Nations, an international institution bent on imposing control of the world through the Big Lie of “global warming”, a false crisis designed to divert attention from a matrix of treaties that cede national sovereignty to a group of corrupt bureaucrats with little care for the genocides that have occurred on its watch and which engages in the most blatant intolerance when it suits their purposes.

It is folly to let the memory of December 7, 1941 fade. A new generation has experienced a new sneak attack and, six years later, its lessons have yet to have been learned. We excel at waging short decisive wars, but we are faced with the ultimate weapon of the weak, terrorism. We need patience to undermine its motivation and use.

The American Empire dreamed of in the minds of some faces the same challenges that former empires encountered. A study of history suggests we need to mix our power with humility along with the resolve to resist and defeat evil. We have done this in the past.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

UN Creates a Climate of Crisis

By Alan Caruba

The United Nations conference being held in Bali is designed to create and/or maintain a climate of crisis based on the Big Lie that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions must be limited in order to save their earth from "global warming."

Yesterday, December 5, as two inches of snow fell on Washington, D.C., the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee debated legislation sponsored by Sens. John Warner (R-VA) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) that would impose limits on "greenhouse gas" emissions.

There was a reason why, in 1997, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to reject the UN Kyoto Protocol on Climate Control. It was to avoid harm to the U.S. economy and neither the Clinton, nor the Bush Administrations have taken steps to impose limits. The proposed legislation would cost, by some estimates, $4 trillion to $6 trillion over the next forty years if passed.

Over and over, in just the same way the Big Lie of Global Warming is being put forward, critics like myself must repeat the basic science of the earth's atmosphere, noting the very small role of CO2--a mere 0.038% as compared to nitrogen and oxygen. We must remind people that CO2 is essential to the growth of all forms of earth's vegetation, but most especially the food crops that feed animals, including ourselves. Without CO2 all life on earth dies.

At the heart of the environmental movement is a deep hatred of the human race. Many advocates of "Deep Ecology" believe that humans are a "cancer" on the earth.

The United Nations, possibly the most corrupt international institute to ever exist, is at the heart of the effort to deceive the peoples of the world that a climate crisis exists. While it turns a blind eye to the genocide in Darfur and the threat of fanatical Islam, they would impose limits on energy use that would deter any economic growth in undeveloped nations and restrict it in industrialized ones--exempting both China and India that have a combined population of two billion of the earth's six billion people.

This is both absurd and criminal.

Speak out or watch your children and grandchildren fall victim to this program of global genocide.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The CIA Screws Bush...Again!

By Alan Caruba

If you want to understand what's going on with the latest National Intelligence Estimate, first read "Sabotage: America's Enemies Within the CIA" by Rowan Scarborough (Regnery Publishing).

"The intelligence community, sometimes anonymously, sometimes not, would make allegations of Bush Administration wrongdoing. The charges were leaked to the press. Months later, the Senate Intelligence Committee or another body would find no evidence to back up the leaks. But by then, the damage to the public's perception of the war had been done."(P. 95)

Who damaged the CIA? Under President Clinton, "He shrank the CIA's analytical and operations branches by at least 30 percent. Stations in Latin America and Asia closed or downsized. Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, had only three CIA officers by the mid-1990s. The entire roster of case officers was reduced from 1,600 to 1,200, and there were only 400 collection management officers at American embassies to turn reports from case officers into cables back to Langley." (P. 114)

Is Iran a nuclear threat? "A nuclear-armed Iran, with its long-range ballistic missiles and fanatical leaders, could lead to a Middle East Armageddon. If the Iranian regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was true to its word and tried to eliminate Israel, it would mean nuclear war. Classified DIA documents I obtained showed that Israel maintained an arsenal of eighty-two nuclear warheads." (P. 177)

So, excuse me, but it seems, given the CIA's record of trying to undermine the credibility of the Bush Administration since it took office, that the release of the latest ESTIMATE looks suspiciously like yet another CIA end-run to embarrass Bush.

Since the public will never be permitted to see the facts on which the estimate is based, there is no way to determine if the analysis is valid or not. One thing we know, they were out to lunch when 9/11 occurred. Meanwhile, the Israelis, whose intelligence capabilities are among the world's most highly regarded, are convinced the Iranians are working toward building nuclear weapons.

The CIA's track record to date appears to be alarmingly poor when it comes to fundamental tasks such as finding out where Osama bin Laden is. Around CIA headquarters the joke was "Osama Been Forgotten."

"By the winter of 2003, the CIA's PR war on Bush had broadened. A group of current and former intelligence officers formed an anti-Bush organization called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity." (P. 100)

An effort by Bush to put the place right by appointing Porter Goss as its director failed when a gaggle of CIA insiders made life for him and his aides so miserable he resigned within a fairly short time.

So I'm thinking this whole affair, giddily reported by a mainstream media that delights in making Bush look like a liar, a fool, or both, smells of dirty politics CIA-style.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Greens Want One Less Hanuka Candle

'Green Hanukkia' campaign sparks ire
Dec. 4, 2007

In a campaign that has spread like wildfire across the Internet, a group of Israeli environmentalists is encouraging Jews around the world to light at least one less candle this Hanukka to help the environment.

The founders of the Green Hanukkia campaign found that every candle that burns completely produces 15 grams of carbon dioxide. If an estimated one million Israeli households light for eight days, they said, it would do significant damage to the atmosphere.

It never ceases to amaze me. I have a friend, John Brignell, whose website, NumberWatch, has a page devoted to all the things attributed to global warming. There are easily more than 600 or so, but every single day the Greens come forth with one more totally idiotic thing everyone should or should not do to avoid global warming.

They can stop now. There is NO global warming beyond the perfectly natural warming that has been occurring since the end of the last mini-ice age around 1850. Nor is there any dramatic increase in the so-called temperature of the earth.

Telling Jews not to light all the candles to celebrate Hanuka is the same kind of insulting hogwash that afflicts Christians who are abused for putting out some Christmas lights.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Where to Get "Eco-Malled"

By Alan Caruba

In case you haven’t yet figured out that environmentalism is just one vast scheme to part you from your money either directly or with government subsidies for "eco-friendly" nonsense like ethanol in your gasoline, I give you

For those with weak stomachs, read no further. “With the distressing state of the environment on people’s minds this year, they are thinking more than ever about the environmental impact of their gift choices.”

Raise your hand if (1) the environment is distressing to you or (2) if you give a rat’s patoot about the environmental impact of the gifts you intend to give?

The 14-year old Eco Mall is just a marketing scheme and one that, like most environmental schemes, uses guilt and fear to get you to part with your money. “The news is filled with stories that link our consumer habits and the products we buy with our health and the health of the planet.”

I cannot think of a single occasion I or anyone I know was worried about the "health of the planet" when picking out a product of any description. This kind of supposed awareness that every single product we purchase has anything to do with the planet’s welfare is borderline insane. The planet is billions of years old. Will buying an eco-product really make any difference?

“2007 may be the year when the awareness of all things ‘green’ really hits the mainstream.” Well, if you’re running an operation called the Eco Mall, I suppose you surely hope people will fall for the foolishness of paying more for the privilege of being greener than thou. This is the same marketing ploy used to sell obscenely priced “organic” food.

The Eco Mall has more than 60 shopping categories filled with items by “socially responsible manufacturers and distributors.” Give me a break! Just how stupid am I supposed to be to care whether an item is produced by a “socially responsible manufacturer”? As opposed to what?

When it comes to imports from China, can I really know if the manufacturer is using slave labor? Odds are he's paying far less than an American competitor. Much of the manufacturing that used to be done in America has been shipped overseas. The result is cheap prices in Wal-Mart and fewer "sustainably" paying jobs for Americans and our growing population of illegal aliens.

Apparently “socially responsible” just means higher cost to the consumer. As for all those companies advertising on television to demonstrate their environmental credentials, do not be fooled. BP Oil, for example, has a remarkably poor safety record regarding their facilities and earlier this year replaced their very Green CEO in favor of managing the company to produce something called a profit.

But if you are still idiotic enough to buy at the Eco Mall, you can purchase “organic” cotton clothing, coffee or chocolates. The suggestion is that anything not made of cotton is not organic, i.e. natural, but what about wool from sheep? Silk from silk worms? As for synthetic materials, they are probably some of the most wonderful inventions of the past century. Coffee and chocolate start out as something grown in the earth. That means that all coffee and chocolate is organic. If you think that pesticides and herbicides are not used to protect such valuable crops, you might as well move to Mars.

You can buy “natural body care” products at the Eco Mall. Do you have any idea what chemicals are in soap? Get real! There are all manner of soaps from the strictly practical to the exotically perfumed, but all are organic because all use chemicals and materials that begin life as something on or in the Earth or made from animal fats and such.

“Going green is such a rewarding journey” says the Eco Mall news release, but mostly if you are the Eco Mall, selling over-priced products to people dumb enough to buy into the whole Green message of moral superiority.

Don’t get Green-malled. Get smart!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Corpse of Annapolis and the Endless War

By Alan Caruba

Following the latest American effort to get the parties to the conflict over the right of Israel to exist to discuss a peaceful resolution, there is the usual post-mortem. The quest is a corpse because there is no intent nor desire on the part of the Muslims of the Middle East to accept the existance of a "Jewish entity" in their midst.

Chief among their demands is the Palestinian "right of return" that mocks the Jewish right to return to a land in which they had a 3,500 year claim of ownership and settlement. The fact that a Jewish State currently has a million Arab citizens suggests a tolerance that exists no where else in the Middle East.

That said, Israel is so small and so militarily vulnerable that giving away any land won in war is suicidal. I think former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon withdrew from Gaza because, as a former general, he knew that the Jews there could and would be overrun at some point and likely slaughtered. The continued warfare waged from Gaza reflects a fanatical resolve to continue the seige of Israel.

The Jews in Israel face their physical destruction every day and Islam's holy book demands it. This is the theological and existential problem that faces the Jews and, by extension, the civilized world. This is the threat that a nuclear-armed Iran evokes.

By their very existence, Jews are a "problem" for both the late-comers, the Muslims, a religion that began around 700CE and for Christianity that preaches Jesus as the fulfillment of prophesy. Because the Old Testament (Torah) is part of Christian theology they are theologically more related, connected, descended from Judaism, but Islam is not. It is a wholly pagan religion that exists as an excuse for plunder and conquest. Its most holy object is a "black rock" in Mecca.

The return to Israel, Zionism, was a nationalist, i.e. political, movement that began as a reflection and response to the extensive anti-Semitism throughout Europe and Russia in the 1800s. The trigger was the Drefus case in France. In Russia, pogroms that killed Jews were a common event. The Nazi death camps were simply the ultimate example of that anti-Semitism.
So naturally the survivers of the Holocaust did not want to return to their homelands if they could go somewhere, anywhere, else. By then, the Zionists had established a presense in Palestine, the British mandate after WWI, and even the British government was on record saying the Jews had a right to a homeland.

After WWII the civilized world recoiled from the Nazi "Final Solution" and in fits and starts facilitated the establishment of a sovereign Israel. It occurred in 1948 with the blessing of the United Nations.

The Arab/Muslim response was to immediately attack. Successive efforts were defeated. Yasser Arafat introduced terrorism as a means to defeat the Israelis.

That was then. This is now. If the Muslims are permitted to destroy Israel and kill all the Jews, they will simply set their eyes and minds to doing the same in Europe. The next field of battle would be Spain. And since they already have millions of their co-religionists in Europe, it won't be that hard.

Either Muslims are forced to reform to the point of giving up jihad--the conquest of the world--as a legitimate goal or the 21st century will be one of endless war.