Monday, March 31, 2008

Al Gore's Last Gasp?

By Alan Caruba

I admit it is daunting to know one is up against people who have millions of dollars to spend on the global warming hoax and, as Al Gore announced, are ready to spend $300 million in a three-year campaign to convince politicians to impose all manner of legislation that will ultimately ruin our economy and destroy a lifestyle we take for granted.

Among that lifestyle is the freedom from the worry that we will run out of food. If you don’t believe me, Google for stories about shortages of rice, wheat, soy, and other staples. You will discover that governments, particularly in Asia and the Middle East are scrambling to impose bans on the export of locally grown crops and elsewhere governments are seeking to cash in by heavily taxing exports.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has lowest supply of wheat in decades. Bakers have marched on Washington, D.C., to get Congress to pay attention. We could see a worldwide cascade of failure regarding the distribution, import and export, of food crops, beef, and all other food commodities.

Part of the problem is the diversion of crops to make ethanol---a global warming mandate to reduce so-called greenhouse gas emissions---and the other part is what some journalists are calling freaky weather. Only it isn't freaky. It is a reflection of the slow, but steady cooling the Earth is undergoing.

But Al Gore and his fellow schemers are going to spend millions to get the United States Congress to impose all kinds of legislation to tax “pollution”, create a cap-and-trade exchange for credits on carbon dioxide, i.e., greenhouse gas, emissions. The government has already put in place a ban on the future purchase of incandescent light bulbs, requires cars to conform to mileage standards per gallon of gasoline, and requires billions of gallons of ethanol be produced as a gas additive. To do that, corn is being burned for fuel instead of eaten!

Al Gore says he's on a mission to “Save the Earth” or maybe he's really out to reduce its population because he thinks they’re polluting and consuming too much. He's putting together $300 million because, to him, that isn’t too much to create a man-made famine and impose all manner of other restrictions on every aspect of our lives.

The entire global warming hoax, run out of the United Nations, is a criminal enterprise and Al Gore may be remembered as a man who managed to starve more people to death than Stalin and Mao combined.

No doubt Gore’s campaign will be welcomed by the brain-dead and ignorant, but it needs to be fought as a threat to mankind in general and the United States in particular.

If the global warming hoax can be defeated, the Earth and all that dwells upon it will be the winners. Let’s hope this campaign is Al Gore’s last gasp effort to do more harm than all the despots of the past combined.

My guess is that the global warming hoax is going to be buried under blizzards of snow the likes of which have never been seen in the memory of man. The Earth is cooling, not warming.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Weekend Musings

By Alan Caruba

The April 7 edition of Business Week takes notice of a new Harris Interactive poll that asked 1,304 U.S. adults to name the most influential role models for today’s youth. Of the role models, 31% said entertainers were the most influential and 19% said athletes were. Presumably, the other 50% were spread out among a variety of others such as teachers, family, et cetera.

When asked if they could name a scientist, only 11% of the adults could come up with Stephen Hawking, the physicist, and there is a strong likelihood it is because he appeared as a character in an episode of The Simpsons. Three out of four adults admitted they don’t have a good understanding of science.

BW thinks there might be a correlation between this ignorance of scientists and the reason why U.S. high school students rank 16th out of 30 nations on standardized science exams.

I think it’s because this generation of adults are the product of the same schools their children are attending. With a dumbed-down curriculum, it should come as no surprise they have little knowledge and probably less interest in science than their kids. It also explains why they are so easily duped to believe the discredited “science” offered to justify the global warming hoax.

Operating on the assumption that, since the media is full of stories and mentions of global warming it must be real, they are easily duped and, of course, so are their children.

The Brits Lose Their Stiff Upper Lip

I have friends in England and like reading Melanie Phillips’ blog. She writes for The Spectator and is both brilliant and ruthless in her examination of how utterly servile her fellow Londoners and Brits have become in the Nanny State called Great Britain. This is particularly true in the many ways they are yielding to the incessant demands of their large Muslim community.

Just about every aspect of their lives is determined by some government program and demand. The latest is London Mayor Ken Livingston, known as Ken the Red, who has a plan to charge drivers of what are deemed to be the most polluting cars $50 a day to enter the capital. He is expected to be reelected on May 1st. This, in itself, demonstrates how spineless Londoners have become since their glory days of standing up to the Nazi bombardment. There is already a congestion charge for vehicles that emit more than 225 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Livingston would triple the current charge of $16 charge per day. (Consider too that New York's Mayor Bloomberg and others are advocating a similar charge.)

It’s worthwhile reminding ourselves that CO2 is a very minor element of the Earth’s atmosphere and is essential to the growth of all vegetation. British drivers are being robbed and intimidated at the same time.

The Air as the Enemy

The March 31 edition of Business Week noted “The Elusive Cost of Cutting Emissions.” Proving that the Brits aren't the only morons paying for the nonsense of so-called greenhouse gas emissions (CO2).

“In mid-March an analysis by the National Association of Manufacturers found that the U.S. would lose more than $631 billion in gross domestic product in 2030 if Congress enacted the leading bill” on cleaning the air apparently to the point where anything airborne is judged to be a threat to all life. “If Congress enacted the bill, electricity and gasoline prices would double according to NAM’s figures. Naturally the Environmental Protection Agency had to respond, saying that gross domestic product would suffer to the tune of only $250 billion.

Pause now and think about this. Both NAM and EPA are talking about “billions” in losses to the economy if the new clean air legislation becomes law. Can this nation afford such losses? I think not.

Running Out of Food

With everyone correctly obsessed about rising food prices and a few people actually making the connection between the government’s requirement that billions of gallons of ethanol be made from corn and soy, you’d think the obvious impact would cause somebody in the U.S. government to try to reverse this catastrophe. But no.

Given the ceaseless twaddle about “climate change”, you’d think someone would take some time to learn about the role weather plays when it comes to farming. The fact is America’s wheat stocks are at their lowest ebb since before World War II. The price of soybeans is way up and, as Roy Roberson of the Southeast Farm Press recently reported, “One bad production year could mean disaster for the agriculture infrastructure of the U.S.” or to put it another way, we’re one drought away from some seriously hungry and angry voters.

In Asia, they’re running out rice. Considering it is the main staple of their diet, this is yet another cause for folks in charge of governments there to worry.

If the winters get colder and longer—as I think they will—the weather and its impact on agriculture around the world is going to cause food riots sooner or later. This stuff isn’t made in a factory. Wheat, soy, rice, and other grains have to grow out of the ground somewhere.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Join the Revolution

By Alan Caruba

Something is very wrong when the government can take 20% or more of your net earnings and penalize you for not having sent enough anticipated income to them. That’s what has happened to me. It is very American to complain about taxes. The Revolution was fought about taxation without representation.

I suspect, looking at the way Congress does what it wants without much concern for the wishes of voters, that we could probably have a pretty good revolution again if we put our minds to it.

If you think sending a few hundred dollars to every taxpayer, the equivalent of maybe a week’s groceries and gas bills, is lame and stupid, well, join the revolution.

If you are angry that the government will not shut down the southern border, has two border patrol guards in jail for shooting an admitted drug trafficker, and just pardoned another, well, join the revolution.

If you are angry that you may be forced by law to purchase health insurance you cannot afford or may not want, well, join the revolution.

If you are still angry about 9/11 and want to hear that Osama bin Laden has been brought to justice, well, join the revolution.

If you are angry that you have to buy gasoline that, in terms of its mileage, is watered down with a bogus additive called ethanol, well, join the revolution.

If you are angry about paying nearly $4.00 for a gallon of gasoline when the government will not permit drilling in less than one percent of ANWR, well, join the revolution.

If you are sick of hearing about a bogus “global warming”, well, join the revolution.

If you think it’s not the government’s job to “save endangered species”, well, join the revolution. (Find that, please, in the Constitution!)

If you think it is neither the government’s job, nor right, to decide how much water your toilet can have in its flush tank, well, join the revolution.

If you think it is stupid and unconstitutional to ban the purchase of an incandescent light bulb, well, join the revolution.

If you are angry about a national educational system that is totally in the grip and control of the National Education Association, a union, well, join the revolution.

If you’re tired of hearing about “reparations” for slavery when a Civil War was fought to end it and the Constitution changed to forbid it, well, join the revolution.

If you don’t want to carry around a National I.D. card everywhere you go because it is a form of government control over when and where you travel, as well as a host of other private matters, well, join the revolution.

If you are angry about the endless revelations of elected officials caught having consorted with whores, admitting to former drug use, or using their office to enrich themselves and friends, well, join the revolution.

If you think both political parties could have picked a better candidate out of the phone book, well, join the revolution.

If you can no longer tell the difference between the Democrat and Republican Parties, well, join the revolution.

I could make the list longer and you probably could add to it as well, but the point is that the voters seem increasingly irrelevant anymore.

If we just exist to have our pockets picked for some Congress critters’ favorite pork project, then maybe we need a revolution? Or maybe we just need to vote all the villains out of office and find some replacements too scared of us to do anything other than what we tell’m.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cold North Pole. Cold South Pole.

By Alan Caruba

I was suspicious when the Department of the Interior announced it was considering the listing of polar bears as an “endangered species”, particularly since the designation has nothing to do with the current, thriving population, but a computer model projection that in fifty years they might be endangered. Since polar bears have been around for hundreds of thousands of years, the notion they might suddenly go missing in fifty years is questionable.

The fact is polar bears operate in waters around Alaska where geologists believe there are major reserves of undiscovered oil and natural gas. As you may recall, Alaska is also a place where there are vast known reserves of oil in the ANWR area. The refuge is huge. Only the 1.5 million acre or 8% on the northern coast of ANWR is being considered for development. The remaining 17.5 million acres or 92% of ANWR will remain permanently closed to any kind of development. If oil is discovered, less than 2000 acres of the over 1.5 million acres of the Coastal Plain would be affected. That's less than half of one percent of ANWR that would be affected by production activity.

So my suspicions were aroused when I received a March 26 news release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration saying that NOAA’s Fisheries Service had accepted a petition from “a California environmental group seeking protection under the Endangered Species Act for an ice seal called the ‘ribbon seal’ that inhabits Alaska’s Bering Sea.”

If this goes forward, then the bearded, spotted, and ringed seals will also be considered for protection. What they need is protection against the polar bears because they are all considered a three-course meal by any one of the 22,000 roaming around that area.

It is now blatantly clear, if it has not been to date, that the Endangered Species Act exists to provide Greens a vehicle by which they can keep Americans from having access to the oil that would reduce to some extent our much vaunted dependence on oil from the Middle East. That would seem a good thing to most people, but not to the enemies of any and all forms of energy—particularly energy on which the U.S. depends to maintain and rebuild a shaky economy.

These listings are not a coincidence. They are a deliberate attack on the security and economy of the nation. Somewhere in the Bush Administration, the word has gone out that it is okay to consider taking action that will harm the United States of America and its longterm energy needs.

From the Great North to the great south, Antarctica, the media has been making a big deal of the potential calving of the Wilkins Ice Shelf. It is cited as yet another example that global warming is happening and we’re all going to die unless we stop driving, shut down all the utilities and manufacturing plants in America, begin to live in tents and cook our meals over an open fire.
A fact that is inconveniently ignored by the media is that the vast majority of Antarctica is in a decades-long cold spell. It has been cooling since around 1979. Indeed, the majority of Antarctic and the Southern Ocean is accumulating ice, not losing it. So, if the Wilkins Ice Shelf should experience any loss, it would run counter to the trend there.

Joseph D’Aleo, executive director of the International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project, points out that, “In reality, the Wilkins Ice Shelf and all the former shelves that collapsed are small and most near the Antarctic peninsula which sticks well out from Antarctica into the currents and winds of the South Atlantic.” It lies over a tectonically active region with surface and subsurface active volcanic activity. If Wilkins breaks up, it will eventually do what other ice masses do. It will refreeze.

The media, besotted and enthralled by the global warming lies, continues to inaccurately report the truth of events like the Wilkins shelf because they just don’t care about the truth any more. They, like their fellow Greens, have an agenda and if that means telling big fat lies by leaving out key elements of a story, that’s okay by them.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Green April Fools

By Alan Caruba

The thing most people don’t “get” is that the environmental movement is relentless in the spreading of its lies. It never stops and it takes all forms of action, all intended to indoctrinate a younger generation and advance its agenda with an older one.

Take, for example, the plans for April Fool’s Day by the Energy Action Coalition, Rising Tide Network, and Rainforest Action Network. They have come together to sponsor “Fossil Fools Day.”

It is described as “an international day of protest focused on climate change and energy issues.” You may have noticed by now that the Greens only rarely refer to “global warming” any more. The reason for this is the way it is becoming increasingly difficult to convince anyone the Earth is warming when it is subjected to huge blizzards like those that occurred in China or the snow that fell in parts of South America where it hasn’t happened for decades.

The “Fossil Fuels”event will include not only bike rides and “green job rallies”, but “protests and civil disobedience at power plants, energy companies, urban sprawl developers, Bank of America mass account closures," and presumably a host of things that go beyond free speech and will likely involve vandalism or worse.

These events are planned for “over 100 locations throughout the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.”

You need to seriously contemplate what is being protested here: electricity, housing and office developments, and transportation fuels among other horrors of modern civilization. In other words, everything a modern society needs to provide for the welfare of its population and its economy.

Take away energy resources and these Fossil Fools protesters are quite literally in the dark. Take away oil, natural gas, and coal, and we are all back to an era when the only fuel was wood!

The news release I received said the reason for Fossil Fools Day was that, “Leading climate scientists warn that dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions must begin immediately to avoid catastrophic climate shifts…”

Is this message getting a little “old” for you?

It is for lots of people, even if they are unaware that the main culprit that environmentalists keep citing among greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide. CO2 represents 0.038% of the Earth’s atmosphere. It has next to nothing to do with the climate. As for scientists, several hundred got together in New York in early March to hold a two-day conference debunking the global warming lies.

The Fossil Fuel protesters might was well complain about the Sun, clouds, oceans, or volcanic activity which the real drivers of the Earth’s climate. They won’t, of course, because to do so would make them look completely idiotic.

So the climate change/global warming propaganda campaign goes on. The victims are a new generation too young to know the truth and the rest of us who must continue to point out what these Green barbarians are doing to advance this greatest of modern hoaxes.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Does History Repeat Itself?

By Alan Caruba

For those who do not believe that history repeats itself, I give you the words of a U.S. Senator who died in 2001. At the end of selections from the original text I will reveal who spoke them and the year in which he spoke them.

“The Democratic Party has abandoned the people…It has repudiated the Constitution of the United States. It is leading the evolution of our nation to a socialist dictatorship.

“The Democratic Party has forsaken the people to become the party of minority groups, power-hungry union leaders, political bosses, and big businessmen looking for government contracts and favors…

“The Democratic Party has invaded the private lives of the people by using the powers of government for coercion and intimidation of individuals.

“The Democratic Party has rammed through Congress unconstitutional, impractical, unworkable, and oppressive legislation which invades inalienable personal and property rights of the individual…

“The Democratic Party has established and pursued for our government a no-win foreign policy of weakness, indecision, accommodation, and appeasement.

“The Democratic Party has demonstrated a callous disregard for sound fiscal policies and practices.

“The Democratic Party has encouraged, supported, and protected the Supreme Court in a reign of judicial tyranny, and in the Court’s efforts to wipe out local self-government, effect law enforcement, internal security, the rights of the people and the states, and even the structure of the State governments…

“The party of our fathers is dead…If the American people permit the Democrat Party to return to power, freedom as we have known it in this country is doomed, and individuals will be destined to lives of regulation, control, coercion, intimidation, and subservience to a power elite who shall rule from Washington…

The year was 1964. Lyndon B. Johnson had replaced the assassinated President, John F. Kennedy, and the war in Vietnam was raging. The Republicans would nominate Barry Goldwater as their candidate for President. After a landslide victory, Johnson would serve through 1969, but, mired in the Vietnam War, would forego running for a second full term. His Vice President, Hubert Humphrey, would run for the office, but be defeated by Richard M. Nixon.

The Senator who spoke in 1964 was Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. He and his fellow “Dixiecrats” had fought the Civil Rights Act until JFK’s death and the Civil Rights movement, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., succeeded in his wake.

Forty-four years later, Sen. Barack Obama, an Afro-American, is likely to be the Democrat Party’s nominee unless the super-delegates take it away and give it to Sen. Hillary Clinton. Obama is acknowledged to be the most politically liberal of candidates since Humphrey’s day.

The Democrat Party wants to take over the health care industry in America, imposing yet another entitlement program, not unlike the bankrupt Social Security and Medicare.

The Democrat Party wants to withdraw from Iraq and abandon it to the mercies of Iran and other Islamists.

The Democrat Party is a driving force behind all manner of legislation and regulation based on environmental goals and a belief in global warming, a scientifically discredited hoax.

Strom Thurmond threw his support to Barry Goldwater who was decisively defeated in 1964. Thurmond had switched parties and become a Republican. The South would follow suit. A segregationist, much earlier in his life Thurmond had fathered an illegitimate black daughter. The nation each left behind has since embraced conservative principles even if the White House and Congress have ignored them.

Does history repeat itself? Yes, it does, but often in ways no one can predict.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bin Laden Sounds Off Again

By Alan Caruba

On the fifth anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, Osama bin Laden was sounding off again from whatever cave he’s in. More likely he is staying at the Tehran Motel Six, surrounded by family, bodyguards, and Iranian keepers.

He was calling for—what else—a holy war to liberate the Palestinian lands, otherwise known as the nation of Israel. The very notion of a successful democracy in the midst of Middle Eastern dictatorships and monarchies drives him and his followers’ crazy. Turns out, Israel is full of Jews!

So bin Laden, famed founder of al Qaeda, brother to the Taliban, and perpetrator of 9/11, was urging the Palestinians to ignore political parties such as Fatah and Hamas “mired in trickery of the blasphemous democracy” and to rely on armed might. Democracy bad. Theocracy good.

It is probably impolite of me to point out that every time Arab nations attacked Israel, they got their heads handed to them. Egypt sued for peace and is no longer an official enemy, along with Jordan.

Israel has occupied Lebanon on and off thanks to the Palestinians in its midst who kept provoking conflict, thus leading to large parts of Beirut being reduced to rubble, along with sundry other death and destruction. For fifteen years, from 1975 to 1990, Palestinians provided a civil war in Lebanon that rendered the place uninhabitable.

After a brief difference of opinion between Fatah, an arm of the late, unlamented Yassir Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization, and Hamas, a wholly owned operation of Iran and Syria, as is Hezbollah, a shootout between the two resulted in Hamas being in charge of Gaza. Yes, Hamas had been democratically elected to power in Gaza on its platform of killing every Jew.

Having sent more over 4,000 rockets into Israel since being granted “land for peace” by the Israelis who voluntarily and unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, the Palestinians are amazed and appalled that the Israelis respond by blowing up those using the rockets, standing near those using the rockets, or distantly related to those using the rockets.

Bin Laden also called on all good Arabs to “help in support of their mujahedeen brothers in Iraq, which is the greatest opportunity and the biggest task.” Considering that Sunni tribes have turned against al Qaeda and that martyrdom is the primary "opportunity" being offered, there’s a strong likelihood that Iraqis have figured out al Qaeda is not their friend.

As the geniuses in the CIA opined, it appears that bin laden was seeking to merge the Palestinian cause into the wider al Qaeda struggle. Or maybe he’s just running out of martyrs? When your life sucks as badly as it does for most Palestinians, it’s an option.

In Israel, the foreign ministry spokesman told the Associated Press that Israel does not comment on bin Laden’s statements. This is very intelligent in lieu of how idiotic the man sounds these days.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Campaigns. I'm Bored. Are You?

By Alan Caruba

Let's have a show of hands to see if you are as BORED with the political campaigns as I am.

I am BORED with Obama versus Hillary and I am happy for the hiatus McCain has given us by going to the Middle East to appear "presidential", even if he doesn't seem to know the difference between al Qaeda, Shias, Sunnis, Iranians, or Little Green Men from Mars.

So naturally I want to know if (a) everybody else is, (b) some of you are, or (c) you're consciously trying to avoid paying any attention to the campaign to avoid becoming bored with it.

Option (c) takes in the fact that McCain has the GOP nomination and says that there is no way numerically that Hillary can get the Democrat nomination. Unless...the superdelegates take it from Obama and give it to her. My theory is that they will.

People keep telling me that the Democrats aren't that stupid, but I keep telling them to look at their two candidates for the nomination. And, yes, they are that stupid.

Of course, this doesn't let the GOP off the hook. Out of a cast of candidates that were often baffling in their opacity, trying hard to ignore the debacles of the Bush Administration or blathering away insanely like Ron Paul.

Does it strike anyone as a strange coincidence that Mitt Romney bit the dust with his speech on being a Morman and Barack Obama has made everyone nervous with his supposedly brilliant speech about why he was not paying any attention in church for the past 20 years?

Race, religion, gender. Everybody tip-toeing around trying to ignore the obvious divisions in our society, being oh so politically correct, and in November it will be the votes of WHITE MALES that will decide who the next president will be.

Denver hasn't raised enough millions thus far for the Democrat Convention, though the GOP seems ontrack. The Democrat convention will be too much fun to ignore as they implode. The GOP will be a pathetic spectacle in which everyone tries to pretend McCain doesn't want open borders for illegal aliens, doesn't believe that global warming is the biggest threat to the planet, and, like Bush, has no idea where Osama bin Laden is these days.

So cast your vote. Bored? Or Not?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Do You Want Higher Gas Taxes?

By Alan Caruba

My friends at the National Center for Public Policy Research have just released the results of new nationwide survey. They asked people if they were willing to pay higher taxes on gasoline in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Before I give you the response they received, let us understand that the primary greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), has virtually nothing to do with climate change. It is a tiny 0.038% of the entire atmosphere and scientists tell us that any increase or decrease in this minuscule amount always follows climate change. Thus, it plays no role in either increasing the warming or cooling of the Earth.

I know you have been told otherwise, but the people telling you this are lying. Al Gore is lying. Members of Congress are lying. Candidates for president are lying. And a President who tells you that Americans are “addicted” to oil is lying. You cannot be addicted to something that is required for the functioning of the entire economy.

The Center’s poll found that just 18% of Americans were willing to pay 50 cents or more in additional taxes per gallon of gas for the stated purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. Representative John Dingell (D-MI), the chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has called for a 50 cent per gallon increase in the gas tax.

It is a fact of governance that once a new or increased tax is imposed, it never goes away. Politicians always find ways to spend the money and, in the United States, very little of it has found its way to the maintenance of our highway and bridge infrastructure. There’s not much drama in telling constituents that you’re repaving a stretch of highway or fixing a bridge in need of repair.

The environmentalists, along with the politicians in their pocket, i.e., the Democrat Party and some bewildered Republicans, keep telling us we are in imminent danger of global warming, but drivers who encountered this winter’s often record-setting snowfall nationwide might reasonably and rationally conclude that is hogwash. The frost line has been steadily moving southward and is now somewhere beyond Tallahassee.

As the Center points out, “According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, transportation accounts for 33% of the U.S.’s man-made carbon dioxide emissions.” About 20% of all emissions result from burning gasoline in personal automobiles. Some of the rest comes from those awful plants that generate electricity. Don’t want to drive? Don’t want electricity?

By framing any increase in terms of conservation or a threat to the environment, American drivers are being set up by the plunderers in Washington, DC. Picking the pockets of American drivers with an increased gasoline tax is very tempting, but the reason given is without any scientific merit or defense. No one is going to drive less.

In Europe, where they pay $4 and $5 per gallon of gas in taxes, they are still driving around despite these prices.

Americans understandably do not want to spend more for gasoline. The world does not lack for oil, but America lacks sufficient refining capacity for our needs. We are actually importing gasoline.

A new refinery would cost at least cost a billion dollars and take five years to come online. The government doesn’t build refineries. Oil companies do and how encouraged do you think they feel when one of the candidates for president openly says she wants to take away their profits?

We are way behind the curve on this because environmentalists have created a matrix of EPA laws and regulations that make it extremely difficult to build a refinery.

At the same time, the same Congress that would want to raise gasoline taxes has banned the discovery and extraction of the oil reserves we possess in places like ANWR or off the U.S. continental shelf. If “Big Oil” had real influence with Congress, this would not be the case, but it does not.

If the public has anything to say about it—and Congress has long since stopped paying any attention to voters—Congressman Dingell’s proposal to raise gasoline taxes would be dead-on-arrival.

As the Center’s vice president, David A. Ridenour, says, the question isn’t whether Americans want action on global warming, but whether they are willing to pay for it.
The real question Americans are beginning to ask is whether global warming is happening. It isn’t. The only warming is perfectly natural, a bare one degree Fahrenheit since about 1850 when a 500-year mini-ice age ended.

Americans have been told they have to spend money recycling everything they use and throw away when all it does is needlessly add to the cost of waste management. They’ve been told that our national forests are disappearing when we still have 70% of those that existed when the Pilgrims arrived. They’ve been told they can and should save all manner of species when the natural order of things is that species go extinct.

Wilson Policy Research conducted the poll February 24-26. For results, visit the Center at and download the pdf. The Center is a non-partisan, non-profit educational foundation established in 1982. It supports commonsense, market-based solutions to environmental problems.

The problem is that there is precious little commonsense when it comes to the environment. The EPA isn’t even permitted to consider the cost of many of its mandates when it imposes some new insane standard for “cleaning” the air or water. It considers rain puddles to be “wetlands.”

Almost nothing about the claims and demands of environmentalists make sense, unless you look behind the curtain and discover that most of them involve destroying the U.S. economy and the principle of private property.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Democrat Party Questions

By Alan Caruba

Did the Democrats actually think they could field a black man and a white woman competing to be their party’s candidate for president and not run into a whirlwind of race and gender issues?

Were they really that naïve that these factors would not determine the outcome of the primary race and, depending on who wins, the elections in November?

Did they think they could tell their Florida and Michigan state committees that their delegates would not, could not be seated for holding their elections earlier than the party rules decreed?

Just how much control can be exerted over the super-delegates, all professional politicians very much concerned for their own careers, each dependent to some degree for Democrat success at the polls?

A political party must pay close attention to public opinion and to trends. Didn’t anyone notice that the Iraq war, i.e., occupation, had slipped to the inside pages of the daily newspaper? Did they notice that the economy was heading for the dumper and, with it, the rapt attention of every voter?

So why are both their candidates offering up yet another expensive government bureaucracy in the form of universal health coverage? Is the Democrat Party unaware that Social Security and Medicare are in deep financial trouble?

Since the 2006 elections gave the Democrat Party the majority in Congress, what has been accomplished? Nothing. The Senate’s Harry Reid has publicly said the war in Iraq has been “lost” and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi hasn’t been able to get any legislation of consequence passed, having squandered months trying to pass legislation to bring all the troops home by last Wednesday or so.

Disorganized, out of step with events, unable to make sense of the daily newspaper, inattentive to the nation’s financial woes except to throw $150 billion at them in the vain hope people will be pacified with a few hundred dollars each, and offering up the same pathetic agenda of the 1940s, one begins to think someone should put this sad old donkey out of its misery.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Black Statistics

By Alan Caruba

The speech Barack Obama gave on the subject of race in America has received all kinds of congratulatory statements. I saw news reports showing Obama on a stage full of American flags behind him and, perhaps cynically, thought that this is what every politician does in moments of crisis. Get out the flags!

Since I cannot address any of the points he made, let me refer you to the National Urban League’s annual State of Black America report, issued in April 2007.

“Empowering black men to reach their full potential is the most serious economic and civil rights challenge we face today,” said Marc H. Morial, the Urban League president, adding that is necessary, not just for blacks, but for the entire American family.

Here’s what the Urban League had to say in 2007.

African-American men are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as white males while earning 74% as much per year. Unemployment for black men was 9.5 percent, as compared to 4 percent for white men.

Black men are nearly seven times more likely to be incarcerated, with average jail sentences about ten months longer than those of their white counterparts.

Black males between 15 and 34 are nine times more likely than whites to be killed by firearms.

Black males are nearly eight times more likely than whites to suffer from AIDS.

After attending elementary school, blacks “begin to fall behind on standardized tests.” (President Bush’s heralded No Child Left Behind). The Urban League reported that in fourth grade blacks perform at a level of 87 percent of whites. By the time they reach twelfth grade, their scores are at 74 percent of whites.

By high school blacks are more likely to drop out—15 percent, as compared with 12 percent for whites.

There’s no point laying out more statistics because none of this should come as any surprise to anyone in the black community and are understood by whites as a kind of cultural contagion, a pathology that defeats black males and presumably their female counterparts.

This nation went through a Civil War in the 1860s that cost hundreds of thousands of lives in order to keep the southern states from succeeding and whose great moral cause was to end slavery. After the war the states passed the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution to insure that slavery would never again exist in America and that blacks would be granted the rights of all citizens.

In the 1960s, a century after the Civil War, yet another struggle was waged to end the indignities of segregation, Jim Crow laws, and other impediments to blacks. President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law.

Here we are nearly fifty years since those days and a black man, Barack Obama, is competing to be the nominee of the Democrat Party against yet another historical breakthrough, a white woman, the first to be taken seriously as a contender for that high office.

I would suggest that whites in America have thoroughly reformed themselves, though often because of the laws that broke the back of institutional racism. They have cheered the ascendancy of many blacks to positions of honor in this nation.

I would suggest, however, that there is a deep, frequently unspoken sadness and even anger among whites that the statistics cited by the Urban League in 2007 represent a black population that, in general, has failed to live up to the opportunity that America has provided, opportunity that people died to provide.

I know the exceptions to this and I count them to be as dear as my own family, but they are the exceptions.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Utilities Hide Behind the Climate Change Mirage

By Alan Caruba

Like a mirage in the desert, climate change—the term that has replaced global warming—looks real, but disappears in shimmering rays when approached.

Of course there’s climate change. The Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Its history is about climate change. Such changes occur over centuries. They are not the stuff of the myths about “global warming” with tales of glaciers melting, oceans rising, and other melodramatic events that are not happening now and not likely to happen.

Most certainly, global warming does not cause the onset of an Ice Age as one recent Hollywood film depicted. That requires a suspension of logic that only the extremely stupid can achieve.

The Earth has warmed about one degree Fahrenheit since the last mini-ice age ended in 1850. That’s a natural warming. There is nothing dramatic about it, nor is it the result of human activity. The forces that drive weather are far too vast and powerful, and we see this demonstrated all the time.

Why then has my local utility advertised, asking the question, “What is Driving Up Electricity Prices?” and answering the question by saying that the nation needs to pay greater attention to “combating climate change” by reducing “emissions from power plants”?

Simple, known science tells us that carbon dioxide, the most famous of the “greenhouse gases”, represents barely 0.038 percent of the atmosphere. It doesn’t cause change and scientists have demonstrated that any changes in the amount of CO2 come well after major climate change events such as ice ages.

What drives up the cost of electricity is the failure to use the centuries’ worth of abundant coal that exists in the United States, some of which is off limits thanks to former President Clinton declaring its location in Utah to be a national historical site.

What drives up the cost of electricity is the refusal to allow liquid natural gas storage facilities to built in order to have access to this other source of power generation. Famously, the resistance to the building of nuclear generation facilities is also causing prices to rise.

The utility’s advertisement does make one thing clear, stating that, “the cost of producing electricity has gone up dramatically.” For that you can thank environmental organizations like Friends of the Earth and others who continue to do everything they can to thwart the building of new power facilities or access to the oil and gas reserves that exist in the U.S.

This is not a problem about climate change. This is a supply and demand problem. This is about requiring utilities to spend billions to lower emissions that, in fact, have no impact whatever on climate.

Worse, not only have utilities bought into the global warming/climate change myths, the media continues to repeat all the scientifically discredited claims.

There’s the truth and there’s the billions that will be sucked out of the pockets of American consumers by utilities using the climate change mirage to hide the fact that ample natural gas and coal exists to produce electricity or that nuclear is clearly the way to go in the future.

No matter what the advertisements and corporate statements say, climate change is something that occurs over centuries and is something over which no nation, nor all the nations of the world, has any control. History has taught us this over and over again.

As for global warming, we are emerging out of a record-breaking and record-setting cold winter that hit, not only the northern hemisphere, but reached down into South America and South Africa.

So, who do you believe? The utilities? The environmentalists? The government? Or the simple evidence of recent massive blizzards, rapidly growing glaciers, increased polar ice shelves, and snow where snow has not fallen in a very long time?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Predictions for the Hell of It

By Alan Caruba

Everybody makes predictions. They’re fun. Or they’re scary. They are based on fact or fantasy. I usually avoid making them, but every so often I just can’t resist. Here are a few.

1. John McCain will be elected to be the next President. It won’t even be close.

2. The Democrat Party convention will take the nomination from Barack Obama and hand it to Hillary Clinton via the super-delegates, almost all of whom will have concluded that a Black man cannot win and that Hillary is the “brand” in which the party is too heavily invested at this point to abandon. (Bill Clinton is the only Democrat to have been elected President since Jimmy Carter.)

3. By this time next year experts on solar radiation and the continued global cooling trend will bury the global warming hoax under a lot of snow. More people will learn that solar activity, i.e., radiation, has stayed flat for yet another year.

4. At least one major daily newspaper will fold as a print operation and try to continue exclusively on the Internet.

5. A major shortfall in domestic wheat and flour, due primarily to increased exports, will send prices of all bakery products soaring by this time next year. The cost of meat and poultry will continue to rise as well due to a growing ethanol debacle.

6. Oil will reach $120.00 per barrel and the price of an ounce of gold will reach $1,250.00 by the end of the year.

7. American cities and towns will begin to experience rolling brownouts and blackouts due to insufficient electricity generation capacity in five years or less. The problem will first occur in the summer months.

8. The current Recession will be a slow process (thanks to the strength of exports) and take a longer time than usual for a turnaround and recovery. Expect it to continue through 2009.

9. The Al Qaeda of 2001 will, by 2010, have been for all intents and purposes destroyed, existing only as spin-off, self-declared terror cells using the name.

10. It will be revealed that Osama bin Laden was given sanctuary in Iran and has been there for several years.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sex Has a Price

By Alan Caruba

There is often a price to pay for sex and I am not talking about the dollars former Governor Elliot Spitzer spent or even his downfall, which everyone keeps saying is a tragedy. It’s not. It’s the judgment society should correctly require of a public servant whose private life does not conform to moral standards.

If you want to spend time with whores, don’t run for public office. It’s not a tragedy. It’s arrogance, hubris, and your bad judgment. When caught, it’s a problem for family and friends.

Talking about moral standards almost seems out-of-date. Other than clergy, who discusses such things any more? The talking heads and chattering class on television seemed more concerned with who would replace Spitzer and whether his downfall would affect Hillary’s campaign.

Still, moral standards do exist and many have been codified into laws intended to protect us from ourselves and others. It is still wrong to lie, cheat, and steal.

It is still wrong to be a whore or one’s customer.

I was thinking about this because the Spitzer meltdown and a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, with exquisite timing, occurred the same week. The CDC released a study that revealed that about one in four teenage American girls has a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

For every four girls existing the local high school every day one of them has human papillomavirus, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, or genital herpes. And those were just the STDs the study examined.

Statistically, the study adds up to more than three million teenage girls nationwide. Only about half the girls in the study admitted to having sex and some of them defined it only as intercourse though oral sex can spread disease as well. The study found that 40% of those who admitted to having sex had an STD. The CDC report is probably just the top of a very big iceberg.

In the Nineties, thanks to Bill Clinton, a generation of parents had to explain to their children what oral sex was. Apparently, permitting the school to instruct pubescent young ladies in the arts of oral, anal, and vaginal sex, has helped to spread the word.

I had already graduated university by the time the sex, drugs, and rock’n roll generation arrived along with the hippie scene, the beatnik poets, and various icons of that era let it be known that “free love” was okay.

Only there is no such thing as “free” love or sex. It always comes with a price.

That, apparently, is not being taught in schools that often seem to be teeming with women teachers eager to seduce their male students or male teachers who find their female students irresistible.

One way or the other, the young woman who serviced Elliot Spitzer had learned that free love was for suckers. Barely in her twenties, she had absorbed the message of MTV, the tabloid television shows like Entertainment Tonight reporting on yet another pregnant, but unmarried actress or the “reality” shows that pit young women against each other to snag a hunky bachelor.

This is how societies eventually come to ruin. By the time the barbarians are at the gate, it’s too late.

The next time you hear someone sneer at the evangelical Christians and others who want to home-school their children or send them to a parochial school or yeshiva; who make sure they attend Sunday school, church or synagogue with the family, you can be pretty sure their girls are not the one out of the four teenagers with a STD.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Electing Generals

By Alan Caruba

There was a time in U.S. history when being a general was a big help in being elected President.

It started, of course, with General George Washington, our first President. A number of men skilled in the development of government followed, but by 1828 Andrew Jackson, famed for his victory in the Battle of New Orleans, was elected. William Henry Harrison who put down a Shawnee uprising at Tippecanoe was elected, only to be succeeded by John Tyler when he died barely a month after taking office. Zachary Taylor fought in the war of 1812.

Although Lincoln was never a general and had opposed the annexation of Mexico, he would forever find a place in our history for winning the Civil War after he found the right general to lead it. That general, Ulysses S. Grant would become the 18th President. James Garfield, best recalled for having been assassinated, had been a general in the Civil War. Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President, had also been a Civil War general.

Theodore Roosevelt owed his presidency in part to his famed charge up San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War and to the assassination of William McKinley whom he replaced.

A long period ensued when America elected a number of fairly colorless Presidents, such as Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover. Franklin Delano Roosevelt arrived at the presidency having been Secretary of the Navy as part of his portfolio and is honored for having guided the nation through World War II. On his death, a former artillary major in World War I, Harry Truman, assumed the office. He is famed for the decision to drop two atom bombs on Japan to end the conflict in the Pacific. He was also in office during the Korean conflict which ended in a stalemate.

The most famous former general in the modern era was Dwight David Eisenhower, our 34th President. He was succeeded by John F. Kennedy who gained fame from having commanded a patrol torpedo boat in WWII. Lyndon Baines Johnson also had served in the Navy, but is best remembered now for having misled the nation into the Vietnam War which is generally regarded as a disastrous defeat. It forced him to forego a second term in office.

We can probably credit LBJ for the way the nation changed its attitude toward the waging of war. Americans became increasingly disenchanted with military adventures. By contrast, however, Jimmy Carter, an Annapolis graduate, lost reelection for, among his many failures, not taking or even threatening serious action after our diplomats were taken hostage when the Iranian revolution occurred in 1979.

Ronald Reagan served in the Air Force making training films during World War II and, though not a military hero of great rank, he is largely credited with bringing down the Soviet Union, a process than began with the Truman administration and the long Cold War. His Vice President, George Herbert Walker Bush had been a fighter pilot in World War II and would become our 41st President. He oversaw the first invasion of Iraq after it had invaded Kuwait, but once the thrill of that victory was over, a man who openly detested the military, William Jefferson Clinton, defeated him.

Clinton reflected the anti-war movement of the 1960s and 70s. A noted draft-dodger, his aversion to the use of the military except in the most desultory way is widely seen as the trigger for 9/11. The Islamist fanatics had concluded America no longer had the will to engage in war. They were wrong.

It was 9/11 that thrust George Walker Bush, the 43rd President, in the role of a wartime Commander-in-Chief. His only military experience was as a pilot in the Texas National Guard, but he did not see combat. He responded to 9/11 with an attack on the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan. He then convinced the nation that Iraq represented a threat that required a renewed conflict. That war continues and is generally unpopular, as much for the fact that there is no end in sight, as for the way it differs from all previous wars when armies in uniform faced one another. It does not fit the template of previous wars.

This brings us to the candidates from whom Americans must choose to take office on January 20, 2009. John McCain, the presumptive Republican candidate is a genuine war hero, having been a prisoner of war during the Vietnam conflict where he served as a Navy pilot. That is a strong credential for many veterans of the wars of the modern era.

Conversely, Sen. Barack Obama’s Democrat Party candidacy rests almost entirely on his opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He has never served in the military. He is the liberal’s liberal. Struggling against his lead is Sen. Hillary Clinton whose primary claim to office is that she was the wife of the 42nd President, perhaps one of the most absurd credentials for that high office ever offered to the voters!

There are no former generals on the political horizon to lead the nation and Americans have soured on war as what Clauswitz called an extension of diplomacy “by other means.”

War bad, surrender good, seems to be the prevailing philosophy. It is a very dangerous one.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

America's Bakers March on Washington

By Alan Caruba

On March 12, the American Baking Association, representing 85% of the total baking industry, will lead a “Band of Bakers March on Washington.” Representatives from more than 50% of the nation’s largest baking companies will call on Congress to correct the policies it has created over the years that have led to soaring food and oil prices.

Not since the days of the Depression when World War I veterans marched on Washington to get their overdue benefits have we seen such an event. At stake is the ability of all Americans to afford to put food on the table.

Everyone knows that food prices have increased along with oil prices, but few people know that it is government policies that have brought the nation to a point where we are facing a wheat shortage.

Despite record-breaking wheat prices, the devaluation of the U.S. dollar has made the import of wheat extremely attractive to foreign nations. Wheat exports are up more than 60% over last year. The result is creating a very tight supply situation at home and that, in turn, is driving up the cost of flour and wheat to American consumers.

The owner of a local pizzeria recently lamented to me about the cost of this staple of American fast food. From the flour to make the crust to the cost of the cheese, prices are requiring him to charge more and more. Now multiply his problem by every food product producer that uses wheat, starting with bread.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the price of a bushel of wheat went from $4.71 in February 2007 to $10.40 this year. That’s a 220% increase. Your pasta dishes will cost more too. Made from durum wheat, prices went from $5.16 per bushel to $16.40 by February 2008, a 317% increase. The nation’s supply of rye is exhausted and bakers are importing it from Germany and the Netherlands.

Around the world, global demand for wheat is outpacing global production. The bakers will demand a policy that balances domestic supplies of wheat with export demands. They will call for a “rethink” of ethanol policies involving corn because wheat farmers, seeing the price of corn rise, are tempted to plant corn, rather than wheat.

Ethanol is the single greatest scam perpetrated on Americans in modern memory. It literally burns food to provide a gasoline additive that drives up the cost of a gallon while reducing its mileage. The consumer is robbed in two ways at the pump. The energy bill recently passed by Congress increased the amount of ethanol to be used.

The bakers want the USDA to take some acres out of the Conservation Reserve Program, one that pays farmers to leave idle some 35 million acres at a time when they are needed for the production of wheat to meet domestic needs.

When it comes to food and oil prices, Americans are looking at a perfect storm created by those in Congress who keep telling us that global warming is the threat, when the real threat is the bankrupting of American consumers with policies totally unconnected to real science.

We have arrived at this point thanks to the alarmism of the environmental movement, led by people like Al Gore, and perpetrated in Congress by the global warming cabal that includes Pelosi, Reid, Boxer, Lieberman, Warner, and even McCain.

The likelihood is that the nation’s bakers are going to be joined by many more marchers in the weeks and months to come if this economic horror story is not put right.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Two Weeks Away from a Revolution

By Alan Caruba

A history professor of mine once said that, “No nation is more than two weeks away from a revolution if it cannot provide food to its citizens.”

During the mini-ice age between 1300 and 1850, the weather was so awful that it killed off food crops and, in particular, wheat, a staple of the diet of the poor in France and elsewhere. Lack of bread was enough to trigger the French Revolution and the end of the monarchy. Ironically, it put Napoleon in power and it was the same mini-ice age that decimated his troops when he invaded Russia. Most froze to death on the trek back to La Belle France.

The word in America these days is that food prices are soaring with increases at double-digit rates. There are two places where people notice a rise in costs. One is food. The other is at the gas pump. The average household spends three times as much for food as for gasoline. It accounts for 13 percent of household spending as compared with about 4 percent for gas.

Pay no attention to the folks telling you that Big Oil is making unconscionable profits. ExxonMobil’s profits, despite its earnings, have remained around 10 percent for years. It’s a very expensive business, finding, extracting, refining, and transporting oil and gas.

The price of oil is being bid up beyond all reason by the speculators in the commodities markets. It has nothing to do with the availability of oil. The oil producing countries that control over 70 percent of the known reserves are telling you the truth when they say there’s enough. If you were them, would you go out of your way to drive the price down? I didn’t think so.

The other component of high food prices is also related to the pain at the pump. It’s ethanol, a gasoline additive made primarily from corn and soy. The government passed a law that it must be part of every gallon of gas you buy in order to reduce so-called greenhouse gas emissions in order to save the Earth from global warming.

Only there isn’t any global warming except for the one degree Fahrenheit the Earth has warmed since the end of the last mini-ice age. No dramatically rising ocean levels. No massive melting of glaciers and ice shelves. In fact, if you’ve been paying any attention to the news lately, the United States and the rest of the world have been encountering some horrendous blizzards. There’s been more snow in more places than in the memory of many people.

When the government creates a subsidized market, farmers take note. Even wheat farmers decide to plant corn instead. That means less wheat and that increases the cost of bread and other wheat products. Since the corn is being burned for fuel instead of used as food, that drives of the cost of some 3,000 uses that are derived from corn.

Oil has hit $107 per barrel. Food prices have jumped from 25 to 40 percent. All of this is the result of artificial actions that have nothing to do with supply and demand, and everything to do with greedy Wall Street behavior (now there’s a surprise) and astonishingly stupid legislative policies based on bad and false science.

Americans are being screwed by their own government. It’s being led by a President who insists we are “addicted” to oil and a Congress that will not permit the exploration or extraction of the oil we have, so we have to import most of it.

It is a Congress whose leadership such as Rep. Pelosi, Sen. Reid, Sen. Lieberman, and others keep lying about global warming. Sen. Hillary Clinton wants to seize oil company profits and spend it in some fashion, presumably not to find any new oil. Sen. McCain is a global warming believer, too. All of these people are a danger to the future of this nation and there doesn’t appear to be a damn thing we can do about it.

Thanks to them, life for Americans is going to get more expensive.

One wonders when the revolution will begin?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Invisible Obama

By Alan Caruba

I sat down for dinner in front of the television and turned on C-SPAN. Shelby Steele, the author of “Bound Man: Why We are Excited About Obama and Why He Can’t Win” was speaking to a group gathered in a Berkeley, California bookstore.

First things first—Steele is the Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He specializes in the study of race relations, multiculturalism, and affirmative action. He is Black, so he speaks, academically and authoritatively, of the ways both Blacks and Whites perceive Barack Obama.

I am a White man of some seven decades who, if I have learned anything in my life, it is to not trust politicians from either party.

Since I have to vote, I do what I assume other people do. I vote against the person I do not want to win. I will, for example, vote for John McCain, not because I don’t think he is a disaster, but because he is, hopefully, not as great a disaster as whomever the Democrats select as their candidate.

I say “whomever” even though, at this point, Obama appears to have enough delegate votes no matter how many more primaries Hillary Clinton wins. So, let’s assume he will be. Why does Steele think he won’t win?

Steele points out that, like all politicians, Obama must be a “bargainer” to obtain our vote. He must provide just enough information for us to posit our hopes in him, but not so much that we may have reservations about him. Steele speaks of the necessity that Obama keep his real opinions and plans “invisible” to the voters.

This is where Obama, to date, has been most skillful. He offers “change” and “hope”, but he does not define what kind of change or what he specifically hopes. He offers Whites, who live with some guilt about America’s racially divided past, an opportunity to feel good at last and to confirm their good will by voting for him. In this regard, he has been astonishingly successful in states with predominately White populations.

The obvious fact, however, is that Obama is far from alone. Whites have abetted Black voters by electing any number of Black candidates to high office. The other obvious fact is that the Civil Rights movement was successful and is now something for historians to write about and as fodder for documentaries. That was then. This is now.

If a significant portion of Black Americans have not moved up in society since the enactment of the Civil Rights Bill and the dropping of barriers to their achievement, that is something they must address and so far progress has been slow.

Steele thinks that Blacks are going to take a longer, more critical view of Obama and, when the campaign moves into a one-on-one stage prior to the national elections in November, Obama—the bargainer—is going to have an increasingly difficult time retaining support. Indeed, it can be argued that Hillary’s Clinton’s recent wins in Ohio and Texas speak to that eventuality.

I have thought for a while now that there are too many “unknowns” about Obama. Let’s get passed the cosmetics. He is a good-looking, articulate, intelligent young man with a wife who, until her recent gaff about being proud of being an American “for the first time”, can deliver a good stump speech too.

His speeches, though, are remarkably devoid of substance and, being a politician, have their predictable promises. The problem with his health care plan is that it is warmed-over socialism that the nation, already beset with entitlement plans it cannot afford, would only add to our problems while destroying the health care system.

There’s a problem, too, with his twenty year’s of attendance at an Afro-centric church whose minister holds some views that some people might call racist. Even putting that aside (which voters will not do) Obama’s voting record is manifestly liberal. He has not “crossed over the aisle” to seek or demonstrate a non-partisan resolution to political issues. He opposed, for example, the confirmation of Supreme Court Judges Roberts and Alito, two distinguished jurists.

Given his meteoric rise in the party, the odds are that Obama is not ready for prime time, let alone any time in the Oval Office. The cynic in me wonders who has been pulling the strings and opening the doors for him?

So, I think Shelby Steele is right. I think everyone got excited about Obama and, come Election Day, they are going to have some very big second thoughts. I think this will apply as well to Hillary Clinton if, by some machination short of Obama’s assassination, she is the candidate.

So far, with the exception of Bill Clinton, the Democrats have given us McGovern, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry. If ever a political party had a death wish, it’s them.

Friday, March 7, 2008

More Dead Jews

By Alan Caruba

Here are their names:

Yohai Livshitz, 18
Neria Cohen, 15
Yonatan Yizhak Eldar, 16
Yanadav Haim Hirschfeld, 19
Segev Peniel Avihail, 15
Avraham David Moses, 16
Ro’I Roth, 18
Maharta Taruno, 26

All dead. All murdered in a Jerusalem yeshiva on March 6th.

A thousand years before the birth of Mohammad there was a Jerusalem and a Jewish homeland, but Islam demands and Islam celebrates the death of Jews and all other non-believers, including its own apostates.

The only alternative is to be a “dhimmi”, a second-rate citizen subject to the abuses of arrogant Muslims.

They celebrated the murders in Gaza by, of course, shooting off guns.

Gaza, which the Israelis abandoned to the Palestinians in the hope they might take the land and make a nation for themselves. On one side, the Egyptians built a wall to keep the Palestinians out. On the other side, the Israelis built a wall to keep the Palestinians in.

That’s what you do with a deranged and homicidal population.

Hamas took credit for the murders and then retracted it. Hamas or Hezbollah, it doesn’t matter. They are both Palestinian. Fatah, also Palestinian, grown fat stealing the aid sent by the EU and even the U.S. is no longer a factor despite the pretence of securing “peace” with or through them.

What can be said of a people who celebrate the murder of children?

What can be said of a people who send their own children to die as suicide bombers?

How can such people lay claim to anything the world recognizes as moral behavior?

Islam is a belief devoted only to death; a Paradise for its endless martyrs, and a Hell for Muslims who do not totally surrender their lives to it and, of course, for the unbelievers.

What did those Jewish youth do to justify their murder? Nothing. They were killed for the same reason Jews were slaughtered in the millions in my own lifetime—for the crime of being Jewish.

People say that the problems in the Middle East would go away if there was no Israel, but where were the survivors of the Nazi death camps to go? Where were the Russian “Refuzniks” to find sanctuary?

If other peoples can have a homeland, why must Jews alone be denied theirs?

The problems of the Middle East are the problems anyone in any previous century, coming in contact with Muslims, would have easily described, and which England and Europe in this century are encountering.

The problem is Islam, was Islam, will be Islam.

Let us no longer hear talk of a “peace process” between Israel and its enemies.

The Palestinian cancer, alive and well in Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza, to name just a few places it infects, must either burn itself out or be destroyed for the threat it is.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Who Needs Farmers?

By Alan Caruba

In a bygone era, New Jersey was so famous for its farms that it was nicknamed “The Garden State.” Today, Governor Jon Corzine is in charge. He is a zillionaire who first bought the job of Senator and, grown bored with that, bought his current position by virtue of being able to outspend any Republican opponent no matter how qualified.

Gov. Corzine has purposed, among a number of other ideas that have seriously annoyed taxpayers, that the State Department of Agriculture be eliminated as a way to reduce the obscene debt that has accrued from a succession of previous governors who could not see their way to actually taking an axe to an annually bloated budget.

Apparently the Governor has no idea the role that agriculture plays in New Jersey. That’s not surprising because, other than believing the sun rises and sets on the civil service unions, he doesn’t seem to know much about the State.

For example, New Jersey currently is home to 9,800 farms, comprising some 790,000 acres. In a State where open space is a valuable commodity, that’s 17% of the State’s landmass or 50% of the remaining open space. Fully 1,646 farms have joined a Farmland Protection program to insure that whole State doesn’t get paved over and turned into a parking lot.

Before you think that farming in New Jersey is a quaint leftover from the past, it’s worth noting that agriculture contributes $924 million in cash receipts to the State’s economy. When you add in a food and agricultural industry involving processing, retail sales, and the 60,000 jobs involved, you’re talking about a significant piece of the economy.

Still, despite the fact that the Department of Agriculture, a vital state agency that represents farming and ranching interests, only represents $10 million of an appalling $33.5 billion total State budget, Gov. Corzine wants to “save” that money, perhaps to transfer it to one of the State’s decaying urban centers that seem to suck up all the spare money while small towns and suburbs that vote Republican never seem to get anything but a few scraps.

The State government employs a total of over 68,000 people. That’s a lot of people to service just over 8 million citizens, many of whom are packing up and leaving thanks to some of the highest property taxes, sales taxes, and income taxes in the nation. They are moving, well, anywhere else except maybe Connecticut or California. The Department of Agriculture employs just 245 people or 0.004 percent of the total number of civil servants.

But, seriously, who needs a Department of Agriculture anyway? Unless, of course, you want to keep the animals safe from all manner of infectious diseases that seem to make it halfway around the globe in no time flat these days. Love Mad Cow Disease? Avian Bird Influenza? Mad about the Gypsy Moth or Asian Longhorned Beetle? The NJDA keeps a watchful eye out for threats to our food supply.

Getting rid of the Department of Agriculture might be noticed by the 144,742 school kids that receive nutritious breakfasts and lunches or the 27,382 students provided with milk every day.

The NJDA is involved in a lot of programs that don’t hit the front pages, but are vital for the welfare of children, the less fortunate who visit soup kitchens and pantries where surplus federal food is distributed. Then there’s the conservation of soil and water resources and protecting farmland from development while, at the same time, expanding export markets for fresh and processed products. The Department also promotes New Jersey’s fishing industry.

The recent largest recall of beef products by Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company of Chino, California, is being overseen by, guess who? The State Department of Agriculture, working with the U.S.D.A.

Farm state governors understandably have a far better grasp of the role of agriculture, not just in their own states, but nationally. Agriculture is a major contributor to the nation’s economy, even if it has been distorted of late with an idiotic Congressional mandate to turn corn and soy into ethanol, thus requiring that we actually burn a huge portion of our food supply for no good reason.

It is not too much to expect New Jersey’s Governor to grasp the important role that agriculture plays in a state better known for its shore, its sports teams, and the now departed Miss America contest. What we need is some fiscal sanity. What we got was a succession of governors who borrowed and borrowed and borrowed. Now we have one who wants to financially penalize everyone who hasn’t left already.

So, while you’re at it, Governor Corzine, why do we need that dopey “Garden State” moniker? Why not something like the “Tolls On Every Highway State”? Or just the “I Don’t Have a Clue how to Run a State, State?”

Editorial Note: My thanks to William V. Griffin, president of the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture, for the statistical data cited above.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Media Destruction Machine at Work

By Alan Caruba

It was entirely predictable and, as such, a perfect example of the way the mainstream media, wedded to the bad science and false pronouncements of the global warming crowd would attack the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change.

The Conference, held in New York March 2-4, and sponsored by the Heartland Institute, attracted some 500 people from around the world to listen to climatologists, meteorologists, economists, policy makers, and others with impeccable credentials. They were brought together by their disdain for the global warming hoax, based largely on the false claims of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These in turn are spread by people like Al Gore along with scores of environmental organizations.

The global warming hoax has been maintained by virtually all elements of the mainstream media (MSM). An event like the conference therefore, from their point of view had to be discredited.

Perhaps the most committed to the hoax is The New York Times. Since the early 1980s it has published some of the most astonishingly idiotic articles about global warming including the claim that the North Pole was melting.

The latest in a line of Times reporters on the subject is Andrew C. Revkin. He began his March 4 article, “Cool View of Science at Meeting on Warming”, by writing that, “Several hundred people sat in a fifth-floor ballroom at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square on Monday eating pasta and trying hard to prove that they had unraveled the established science showing that humans are warming the world in potentially disruptive ways.”

This is not journalism. This is opinion. It belongs on the opinion pages, not in the news section. Moreover, the suggestion that the speakers and attendees were “trying hard” suggests that it took anything more than a review of actual climate data to dispute the claim that the Earth has warmed dramatically and is likely to warm more. Even Meteorology 101 students know that the Earth has warmed barely one degree Fahrenheit since the end of the last mini-ice age in 1850. This is a quite natural warming and hardly attributable to human factors.

Thereafter Revkin larded his report with the kind of qualifiers intended to discredit anyone named. The famed climatologist, Patrick J. Michaels, was identified as having “a paid position at the antiregulatory Cato Institute…” Presumably, everyone attending the conference had a paid position of some sort or they could have ill-afforded to be there.

The conference sponsor, the Heartland Institute, was identified as “a Chicago group whose antiregulatory philosophy has long been embraced by, and financially supported by, various industries and conservative donors.”

Apparently, having a dim view of the economy-killing matrix of regulations is a bad thing. This kind of funding identification is never applied to Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and the countless other environmental groups, some of whom have been the beneficiaries of numerous corporations. The March 3 issue of Business Week reported that, “ten of the largest U.S. corporations and four environmental groups joined forces last January to lobby for federal regulations to restrict greenhouse-gas emissions.”

These restrictions would be the result of legislation before Congress to impose a cap-and-trade scheme that would, in effect, permit emissions to continue under the umbrella of buying and selling “credits” to do so. This will enrich many industries with these bogus credits to sell.

Revkin made sure that readers lined up on the side of the IPCC reports, noting that, “The latest reports, published last year and embraced by all major nations and scientific academies, concluded that the most warming since 1950 has been caused by humans and that centuries of rising temperatures and seas and ecological disruption lay ahead if emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide were not curbed.” This is hogwash!

The IPCC reports have been protested by many of the people at the conference, some of whom are IPCC contributors whose data has been repeatedly ignored. The reports have had to be continually revised and are an object of scorn in the scientific community for their deliberate deceptions and distortions of fact. Revkin will never tell you that.

With some 500 people available to interview, Revkin ended his article by quoting “a campaigner from Greenpeace (who) sought out reporters.” I, on the other hand, had no problem talking with real scientists during the event.

Not to be left out of the effort to mock the conference, Juliet Eilperin wrote an article for the Washington Post in which she identified the Heartland Institute as a “free-market think tank funded by energy and health-care corporations as well as conservative foundations and individuals” as if this was some kind of bad thing. She described the event saying, “The meeting represented a sort of global warming doppelganger conference, where everything was reversed.”

Well, yes! This was the first international conference to confront the deluge of lies about global warming. Rather than interview an actual climatologist, Eilperin chose to quote Frank O’Donnell “who heads the watchdog group, Clean Air Watch,” who said that the conference looked to him “like the climate equivalent of Custer’s last stand. They seem to have tried to find every last skeptic on Earth and put them in one hotel off Broadway.”

Contrast this with the fawning MSM coverage of last year’s United Nation’s Bali conference to breath life into Kyoto Protocols that require nations to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Never mind that carbon dioxide constitutes a mere 0.038 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere and follows climate changes as opposed to the claim that it precedes change.

CNN ‘s coverage was even worse if that is possible. Miles O’Brien, its chief environmental correspondence, equated all of the distinguished scientists attending and participating as comparable to people who continued to believe the earth was flat after Christopher Columbus’s voyage. Suffice it to say he mocked leading skeptics that included Patrick J. Michaels, Lord Christopher Monckton, Fred Singer, Dennis Avery, and others whose writings in scientific journals have yet to have been disproved.

The founder of the Weather Channel, John Coleman, told the audience at the conference that the channel has become nothing more than an outlet for global warming alarmism. He openly called global warming a fraud.

Lord Monckton took an optimistic view that events such as the conference will eventually contribute to the truth replacing that “scare” of global warming. The odds are that Lord Monckton is right.

Increasingly, one can sense that the public around the world has grown weary of the idiotic claims of an unprecedented increase in heat resulting from human activities. The average hurricane makes human activity look quite puny. A volcanic eruption makes us all tremble. An earthquake makes buildings and bridges fall down.

A theory about warming to which the expansion of glaciers and major blizzards are attributed is so suspect that anyone can see through it.

For my part, I found that both the experts and others in attendance were a cheerful lot. The mood was upbeat and optimistic. What remains now is to defeat some truly horrid legislation making its way through Congress that would wreck the nation’s economy even more than the present calamities.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

An Extraordinary Event

By Alan Caruba

For two days, March 2-4 in New York, I and about five hundred other people attended the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change, including some of the world’s leading authorities on climatology, meteorology, economics, energy, and other fields of knowledge.

It was an extraordinary event, held in New York and sponsored by the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based think tank that has been among those leading the effort to educate and inform the public about the mountain of lies that have led them to believe that the Earth is experiencing a huge increase in heat, a "global warming", that is allegedly the direct result of human activities, primarily from the use of energy that includes coal, natural gas, and oil.

The conference message is simplicity itself: There is no “consensus” on global warming. The science is not “settled.” Indeed, this conference marks a highpoint in the effort to rescue the planet from people who regard their fellow human beings as a cancer afflicting the Earth.

This hoax, generated out of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, actually included some IPCC members who have labored long and hard to dispute the IPCC reports on the basis of real science, not the spurious claims based largely on flawed and even deliberately false computer models.

In breakfasts, luncheons, and dinners, some of these now-famed global warming “dissenters” and “deniers” presented talks complete with power-point presentations filled with statistics and charts that disputed the alleged facts of the IPCC. These presentations were then augmented by a series of panels on paleoclimatology, climatology, the impacts of the global warming hoax, its affect on the economics of both developed and developing nations, and how it twists the politics of our nation and others.

What made this event so extraordinary was that it is, to my knowledge, the first time since the global warming hoax was perpetrated back in the 1980s (it had been preceded by a campaign in the 1970s asserting—correctly—that we are closer to the next ice age) that such a gathering has occurred. It has taken three decades to bring together these experts and the reason why is fairly simple.

The forces behind the global warming hoax, the environmental organizations, have been heavily funded by foundations and, as in the United States, by billions of government dollars directed to research on the climate. These groups have garnered more money from membership and the sales of all manner of books, publications, DVDs and other items. Still others have made their money by suing the government and having their legal fees reimbursed along with any other rewards.

The “stars” of the conference were men with impeccable credentials, but largely unknown to the general public because the media has been enthralled with the global warming hoaxers, either deliberately or by virtue of being disinterested in the actual science involved. Too many have failed their commitment to journalism’s high standards and they have failed a public that depends on them to explain these complex issues. By March 4, The Washington Post published a "hit job" on the Conference depicting its speakers and attendees as "flat Earth" loonies.

For decades, the headlines have heralded all manner of crisis to the point of absurdity whereby now blizzards are attributed to warming tends. This passed year has seen significant and unusual blizzard conditions worldwide and this too, the public has been told, results from a dramatic warming that is not occurring.

For me, there was the particular pleasure of actually meeting many of those who have been on the front lines of disputing the hoax, but our work is far from finished.

Much damage is being done to America by legislation based on the global warming lies, particularly as regards their impact on the provision of the energy this nation requires to be competitive in the global marketplace and to sustain our lifestyle. Our political candidates all subscribe to the global warming hoax. The leaders in the Senate and House all advocate it as well.

The result is legislation that forces the nation to literally burn its food crops—notably corn—in order to turn it into an efficient fuel additive, ethanol. This in turn is forcing up the cost of food. It is legislation that does not permit for the exploration and extraction of energy reserves such as oil and natural gas along 85% of our nation’s continental shelf, nor in Alaska where billions of barrels of oil remain untapped. It is legislation that grants huge subsidies—a form of hidden tax—to wind and solar energy, the two most inefficient and unreliable forms of energy. It is legislation that bans the future use of incandescent light bulbs.

In short, America is gripped by a form of life-threatening insanity perpetrated by the Greens and legislated by politicians who haven’t a clue about the ways they are wrecking our economy in the name of global warming.

So this extraordinary conference, drawing men and women from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, China, the United Kingdom and Europe, may well be the last best hope to turn away from a future that will be marked by the undermining of America’s and Europe’s economies.