Friday, May 30, 2008

Al Qaeda Kills Itself...with Some Help from the USA

By Alan Caruba

An article in the Washington Post reports that the Central Intelligence Agency believes that al Qaeda has been, for the most part, defeated.

Forgive me for not celebrating quite yet because, if memory serves me right, the trillion dollars we spend annually on intelligence gathering has not always produced the most sterling results.

Wasn’t this the same agency that provided “evidence” of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Isn’t this the same agency that leaks politically sensitive information to the press to undermine administrations with which it is at odds? Isn’t this the same agency that ate up and spit out Porter Goss when he was sent there to get it under control for such misbehavior? Isn’t this the former employer of Valerie Plame whose husband, Joe Wilson, attacked the decision to invade Iraq?

Et cetera!

This is not to suggest that having a CIA isn’t a good idea in a dangerous world, but the agency has in recent years become too involved in domestic politics, thus leading me to believe that its most recent announcement about al Qaeda, while good news, may also have a subtext.

I, frankly, would be happier if the CIA returned to destabilizing unfriendly governments. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez comes to mind or Iran’s Mamoud Amadinejad, but we’re told that the CIA doesn’t do that any more. It is useful to remember they were both elected to office. The ruin that such people inevitably cause is usually sufficient to bring about their overthrow at some point. The lesson is that it takes time, but Americans are an impatient lot.

The likelihood that al Qaeda is in big trouble is attributable to its policy of killing as many fellow Muslims as possible in order to make way for a new caliphate with Osama bin Laden as the new mahdi. He is reportedly in charge of a small hut in Waziristan somewhere in the northwestern frontier region of Afghanistan, an area whose local chamber of commerce has failed miserably to turn into a tourist destination.

Several times in the past Islam has gone forth to bring the blessings of Muhammad to the world with its armies. It was repulsed in Europe, the seat of Western Civilization, Now it depends on a handful of faithful whose job is to blow up themselves and others to achieve this. This latter technique has not gone unnoticed in the Middle East, as well as in places like Madrid, London, and Bali. Surely paradise is running out of virgins by now.

When al Qaeda destroyed the Twin Towers and attacked the Pentagon on 9/11, the Bush administration sent some CIA folk, along with some military, to chase them and the Taliban out of Afghanistan with some success. Since we were in the vicinity, the decision was made to topple Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, a dictator. Libya's dictator took note, gave up its nuclear program, and has been less of a problem of late.

History is experienced by those who live it day to day and the loss of military personnel is always painful, the waste of money is always predictable. Wars of transformation are always messy. However, the CIA is quite accurate in saying that al Qaeda in Iraq has been defeated. Its methods managed to achieve the impossible, the cooperation of Sunnis and Shias with one another.

In much the same way Truman’s decision to drive the North Koreans back beyond the 38th parallel has long since been vindicated by a thriving, democratic South Korea, I suspect that in fifty years or so Americans will look back at the Iraq invasion and occupation as a success as well. Like Truman, Bush will leave office with the lowest popularity ratings, but being President isn’t always about being popular. It is about being right.

The CIA has probably been wrong as many times as it has been right. A fresh batch of spies and analysts has largely replaced the old guard. I hope and believe it is right about al Qaeda.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cap & Trade: A Non-Solution to a Non-Problem

By Alan Caruba

A desperate push is underway to enact the Climate Security Act sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CN) and Sen. John Warner (R-VA). It would impose cap-and-trade mandates on anything that generates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and that pretty much includes everything involving energy use, including backyard barbequing.

Just what “climate security” is remains a mystery. It suggests that humans actually have something to do with the climate and only idiots believe that. If that were true, there would be no tornadoes tearing up the mid-west or hurricanes threatening the east coast. There would be no droughts, no blizzards, and other weather phenomena.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the most virulent environmental organizations, famed for finding ways to impede any kind of development nationwide, whether it’s housing for a growing population, ranching and farming to feed it, or anything industrial that might provide jobs, is sponsoring a May 29 briefing for “America’s editorial board members and op-ed page editors, via a conference via phone.

You can expect newspapers to publish a raft of editorials and op-eds praising legislation based on the notion that CO2 must be reduced to stop global warming.

The problem for the environmentalists is that the Earth is now a decade into a cooling cycle that even U.S. government agencies such as NOAA acknowledge. The other problem is that CO2 represents about 0.038 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere which is comprised mostly of water vapor. So there is no global warming and the role of CO2 is negligible. Earlier this month there was news of some 31,000 scientists from around the world who have signed a petition debunking the global warming hoax. More than 9,000 of them were PhDs.

Among those participating in the NRDC conference call will be Sen, John Kerry of Massachusetts whose resume makes no reference to any knowledge of meteorology or climatology.

The Senate would be better off to pay some attention to the estimates of the costs involved in establishing a program to reduce “greenhouse gases.” A study by the Heritage Foundation predicts the following:

# The impact on the economy would be horrendous. Heritage estimates that cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) losses of at least $1.7 trillion that could reach $4.8 trillion by 2030 (in inflation-adjusted 2006 dollars).

# Single-year GDP losses of at least $155 billion that could exceed $500 billion (in inflation-adjusted 2006 dollars).

# Annual job losses that would exceed 500,000 before 2030 and could exceed a million.

# The annual cost of emission permits to energy users to cost at least $100 billion by 2020.

# The average household will pay $467 more each year for its natural gas and electricity (in inflation-adjusted 2006 dollars). That means that the average household will spend an additional $8,870 to purchase energy over the period 2012 to 2030.

It’s worth noting that a similar bill in 2005 was defeated by a vote of 60-38, an even larger margin that an earlier 2003 vote.

Cap-and-trade legislation is a non-solution to a non-problem and this vote will take place at a time when most of the public has wisely concluded that global warming, except for Al Gore’s fulminations about the coming end of the world, is just so much hot air. Such carbon credits, however, would likely make him and his fellow conspirators very wealthy through the creation of exchanges for their sale and trade.

What makes this legislation so utterly wicked, inane and insane is that it would wreck what is left of our already injured economy, trying to pull itself together after the mortgage loan debacle of our financial institutions, and facing the rising costs of oil whose full effects have yet to be felt as they ripple through the economy.

The fact that environmental organizations would try to get such legislation imposed tells you everything you need to know about their true agenda regarding America.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Would You Hire This Man?

By Alan Caruba

It’s not likely that former Bush press secretary, Scott McClellan, is going to find any work in Washington, D.C. in the wake of his “tell all” book about his years in the White House job.

People tend to forget that his predecessor, Ari Fleischer, wrote a book about the same job and came away with a more positive impression of his co-workers. The reason that Fleischer’s book did not attract the kind of attention that McClellan’s is getting is that Fleischer did not throw the left-leaning press corps any raw meat by asserting the utter evil of the Bush administration.

McClellan is your typical disgruntled former employee, a backstabber that has to make everyone around him look bad in order to cover up his own incompetence. He better hope enough Bush-haters and knee-jerk liberals buy his book because it may be a while before a good job offer comes along.

It’s likely McClellan was fired and for good reason. I recall watching the Pillsbury Doughboy during his daily press briefings and, as a former journalist, I recall thinking he was way out his league with the sharks in that room. I even began to think they were going easy on him for fear that he might burst into tears or wet his pants.

You may recall who replaced him. It was Tony Snow. Snow arrived on the job with impeccable journalism credentials and was both respected and liked by his colleagues, albeit adversaries, despite their quest for an answer to some question that fit their particular agendas.

On MSNBC’s nightly “Hard Ball”, David Gregory, one of the most aggressive reporters in the White House press room during the tenure of Fleischer, McClellan, and Snow, lamented that in the run-up to the second Iraq war he and his colleagues did not do enough to dispute the justifications being made for it by the White House. In hindsight, Gregory said the press corps was “manipulated.”

This is a major cop-out, not unlike McClellan’s assertion that he was not in the loop inside the White House. In hindsight, not telling McClellan anything he would later blab all over town to make himself look good was probably a good idea. As it is, his recollections of what occurred are significantly out of synch with others who served at the same time.

There is no question that the White House orchestrated its case for going to war, just as there is no question that Rumsfeld made one horrendously bad decision after another until Bush could finally push him out of his job as Secretary of Defense. I cannot wait to read his memoirs! His press conferences were love fests and, for a time, Rumsfeld was being touted as the nation’s sexiest senior citizen.

Scott McClellan is going to be one very brief asterisk when the history of the Bush administration is written. I’m betting he will end up in some Texas public relations firm writing news releases about the opening of a new boutique in Dallas.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

An Empty Suit

By Alan Caruba

Day after day and hour after hour the pundits on the cable news channels and elsewhere keep telling me that Sen. Obama has the nomination sewed up and should be printing new business cards that say, “President of the United States.” Meanwhile, Sen. Clinton keeps digging herself a deeper hole in a seemingly hopeless effort to seize the nomination from this Illinois upstart.

The whole purpose of a campaign is to let the voters take the measure of the candidates and get to know them. They are grueling affairs that test the physical and mental ability of the candidates to meet the great challenge of the presidency. They should be. It’s a job of such immense responsibility that only someone with a grasp of history and an iron will should occupy the Oval Office.

Despite all the hours of analysis, the speeches, the campaign strategists, the fund raising, the instant responses back and forth, I have concluded that (1) Obama will ultimately be the Democrat Party candidate and (2) he will lose to the utter amazement of those who think they know more about politics than the American people.

I was reminded of Harry Truman who ran for the presidency after having had to take over when Franklin D. Roosevelt died. When he ran on his own, no one thought he had a chance against Tom Dewey, the Republican candidate. No one except the voters who gave him a resounding victory. By the time he left office, Truman’s popularity rating was as low as that of the current holder of the job, but history would be his vindication.

Truman had set in motion the machinery to wage the Cold War against the Soviets, had saved Europe from their domination with the Marshall Plan and the Berlin Airlift. He fought the Korean War to a stalemate that saved South Korea without setting off a third world war. He desegregated the armed forces.

No one would have guessed Truman would have been capable of turning in such an excellent job, even if it often was not appreciated at the time. Somehow, though, the American people had the collective wisdom to take his measure and elect him.

I don’t think either of the Democrat candidates can even stand in Truman’s shadow.

Sen. Obama is an empty suit. He’s too slick, too packaged, and far too vague when it comes to offering a vision of the future that does not contain the seeds of appeasement, defeat, and withdrawal from the big stage of history. Sen. Clinton is just too obsessed with power to be trusted with it.

That leaves the Republican candidate, John McCain. I can guarantee you one thing. In November 2008 Republicans will not stay home on Election Day. They may not love John McCain, but they love their nation too much to take any chances about the future.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Price to Be Paid

By Alan Caruba

I’m betting that, by the end of 2008, Americans will have adjusted to gasoline that costs $4 or more per gallon. We won’t like it, but we will accept it as the price one pays to live in a world that is filled with oil, but one where it resides mostly in nations unfriendly to our welfare and ambitions, as well as in difficult places such as the ocean depths.

Europe which has no such oil reserves save those in the North Sea off of England has long since paid large sums of money for the gasoline it requires, importing much of it from Russia, a nation that oil and natural gas has helped sustain through seventy years of horrid history under Soviet communist domination and now in the new version of czarist control by Vladimir Putin and his friends.

Russia, like so many other oil-rich nations, however, has demonstrated that political control of oil is a recipe for mismanagement and corruption. Ironically, it is the Saudis and the Gulf states that have invested more wisely in their vast oil and natural gas industries, planning ahead to transform themselves into financial centers and even tourist destinations. The African oil nations remain despotisms wracked with internal mutinies and factions. In South America, it runs the gamut from Venezuala's declining capabilities to Brazil's massive new discoveries.

Meanwhile, Americans are finally coming to the realization that they have permitted those who prefer to keep Alaska and our offshore areas “pristine” bastions devoted to creatures such as caribou, polar bears, and loons that could care less whether we are forced to pay exorbitant amounts of money to fuel our cars, keep our trucks on the road, and heat our homes.

These same folks, environmentalists and those who hate America’s success, have no problem proposing that massive wind “farms” be erected in those same offshore areas where one can watch them try to generate a mere pittance worth of electricity if only the wind will keep blowing. It doesn’t keep blowing all the time no matter where these monstrosities are located. Wind power is one of the most idiotic forms of energy and exists only because of massive subsidies and government mandates. They must be backed up by those wonderful old-fashioned coal-fired plants or, God willing, by the construction of more nuclear ones.

In the May issue of Energy Tribune, editors Michael J. Economides and Robert Bryce devote its pages to Alaska and other places around the world that are going to be more and more in the news as the price of oil and natural gas continues to rise. This is because investors, watching the value of the U.S. dollar decline, are putting their money into commodities futures. In an article by Ron Oligney, the author recalls that, “Almost as soon as the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System construction was complete and oil began to flow in 1977, the talk around our dinner table and across Alaska turned to the next great pipeline project—the Trans-Alaskan Gasline System.” Today, thirty years later, it has not been built.

I suspect that Alaska is going to emerge as a major political issue in the months and years ahead. Unfortunately for the voters, all three candidates have drunk deeply of the environmental Kool-Aid and the two Democrats have voiced deep antipathy to the only thing that will provide any measure of national energy security, Big Oil. It costs billions to drill for oil, to transport it via pipelines, to refine it, and to make it available to people who need to drive to work.

Americans need Big Oil's enterprise and their investor dividends, but Congress insists on thwarting every effort they must make, every dollar they must risk, and every job they provide, by making them the enemy. If you want to see what a real enemy looks like head south and take a look at Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

Congress, seeking to divert attention from its decades-long, appallingly stupid energy policies, prefers to drag Big Oil's executives before its committees, demanding that they abandon the capitalist notion of making a profit and, in the case of Rep. Maxine Waters, threatening to nationalize them. This is what communists and others do.

As Robert Bryce says, “America has never quite known what to do with Alaska. For many, the state—far from the lower 48, cold, and largely unpopulated—is more a notion than a place. That may help explain why oil and gas development in Alaska carries so much political baggage."

The Bush administration has just declared the polar bear, currently a thriving population, as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act, claiming that a computer model of global warming in fifty to a hundred years will be bad for them. This ignores the cooling cycle the Earth has been in since 1998. This puts Alaska's oil and gas reserves in its vast offshore areas off-limits to any exploration and extraction.

Billions of barrels exist beneath the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and offshore. Americans are going to want to get at it. They are going to become more and more vocal about it as the price of gasoline increases and they will be years away from getting any once the drilling begins.

Alaska is preparing to sue the U.S. government for depriving Americans of the riches Congress refuses to access in as little as 2,000 acres of the Refuges’ 19.5 million acres.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, in places like India and China, the demand for oil is growing as their economies grow. China cannot build coal-fired electricity generation plants fast enough to keep pace with its billion-plus population and India is planning an ambitious program of nuclear plants for its billion-plus population.

In the United States, we make it as difficult as possible to build a single new plant.

It’s a new era of prosperity and America, so accustomed to being the wealthiest place on Earth, is going to have to make some changes—and soon—if it wants to be a player. It needs to scrap its idiotic ethanol program. It needs to open up its offshore areas to exploration and extraction. It needs to drill in ANWR.

There is a price to pay for being stupid. We are all going to pay it until Congress and whoever occupies the White House next January begins to listen to the rest of us.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

By Alan Caruba

Anyone who has ever worn the uniform of his nation feels differently about Memorial Day than those who have not had that privilege. There is a bond between soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen.

Whether we fought on the battlefield or just protected the nation during the Cold War, we took an oath, not dissimilar from that which the President takes, to protect and preserve the Constitution.

The great lesson of history is that democracy must be defended because it has many enemies. While it has spread to many parts of the world, vast populations still live under tyranny in Africa, in China, in Russia, in the Middle East, and elsewhere.

Sometimes I think the entire argument over the war in Iraq is one over whether this nation has the courage to defend and extend democracy. As unpopular as President Bush is and probably deserves to be, he is still right that the expansion of democracy is the best way to undermine the forces of evil that would enslave populations and would do harm to our nation.

It is much easier to do that harm these days. A single nuclear device could destroy an entire city. A biological weapon could sicken and kill thousands.

When a person like Mamoud Amadinejad openly calls for the destruction of the “Great Satan”, America, and the “Little Satan”, Israel, we need to take him at his word. It is not so much the millions of Iranians we need fear as the handful of despots who rule them through fear and intimidation.

Memorial Day is about courage.

If we lack the courage to defend our nation, even if that requires we send our best young men and women to fight on the other side of the globe, we will lose our nation here at home. If we lack the courage to fight for our beliefs, our values, we shall surely lose them to a conquering enemy, either within or beyond our shores.

We honor the courage of those from Valley Forge to Gettysburg, from Normandy to Iwo Jima, and now to Baghdad and Kabul, who fought and sometimes gave their lives for the freedoms we too often take too lightly.

It takes courage to be free. It takes none to be a slave.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Why Being "Green" Has Put America in the Red

By Alan Caruba

What I cannot understand is why so many people cannot figure out where the blame ultimately belongs when it comes to the high price of oil these days.

Who has been talking about how horrid Americans are with regard to the consumption of energy?

Who has been advocating for years that Americans use mass transportation more?

Who has urged that polar bears be declared “threatened” in order to close off any exploration, discovery, and extraction of oil and natural gas from Alaska’s north and northwestern coasts?

Who has lobbied against opening up even 1% of the immense Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge where a massive amount of oil is known to exist?

Why have Florida’s Governors consistently resisted permission for American oil companies to drill offshore to secure oil when the Chinese are already engaged in similar efforts off of Cuba, a mere 90 miles away?

Who is forever denouncing “fossil fuels” or “dirty” energy?

Who has protested the building of nuclear and coal-fired plants to generate electricity for a growing American population?

Who is responsible for a vast matrix of “environmental” regulations that has made the building of new oil refineries prohibitively expensive?

And who has gone along with all this for decades?

The first answer is the nation’s environmental organizations.

The second answer is Congress.

Dragging a bunch of oil company executives in front of Congress and demanding to know why they won’t sell oil they have to buy in the global marketplace for a high price—the price is set by mercantile exchanges, not oil companies—and then will not sell it at a low price defies common sense.

These oil executives are representatives of investor-owned oil companies, not the nationalized companies that own 77% of the Earth’s known oil reserves. If they don’t make a profit, their investors will feel it and the vast bulk of those investors are Americans with mutual funds or Americans whose pensions depend on those profits.

But no one seems the slightest bit upset with the Sierra Club that wants Congress to pass a “Global Warming Wildlife Survival Act” even though there is no global warming. The Sierra Club is still saying that “climate change is decimating many species” as if there has never been any prior climate change in the 4.5 billion years of the Earth’s existence or that 95% of all the species that ever lived on the Earth are now extinct.

Every time you hear the word “Green” you need to keep in mind what you’re paying at the gas pump and why that word signals the increased cost of everything to which it is applied.

All those “Green” corporations can afford to be “Green” because they are passing the cost of their products and services along to you.

All those “alternative” energy sources like wind and solar power are in business because of government subsidies and increased charges from your energy company. Without that funding, the 1% of unreliable electricity they provide would not be worth spit.

So prepare to pay more for everything because everything in America gets delivered by trucks.

Be prepared to pay more for food because fertilizers are made in part from natural gas, a by-product of oil extraction. Be prepared to pay more as corn and soy is diverted into ethanol production, a fuel that provides less mileage than gasoline and requires as much power to produce while all the time polluting the air.

The unholy speculation that is driving up the current price of a barrel of oil is most certainly contributing to the current crisis, but this “bubble” will eventually burst.

The environmental juggernaut, however, has no intention of going away and it, more than any other, is the reason our economy, the value of the dollar, and our ability to access our own oil is in deep, deep trouble.

One can only hope that Americans will eventually not want to be “Green” any more as the truth of the harm environmental organizations have done sinks in. That thought may occur when a trip to visit grandma and grandpa becomes too expensive.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hollywood Rewrites History...Again

By Alan Caruba

The movie, “Recount”, arrives at a time when the Democrat Party is trying to determine whether the “popular” vote in its primaries takes precedent over the actual number of delegates, whether “pledged” or “super delegates” whose only allegiance is to (1) retaining their power in Congress and the Party and (2) actually trying to win the national election in November.

There is enough written about the 2000 election results in Florida to suggest that, had the Supreme Court not intervened and stopped the vote count, Al Gore would have won by the slimmest of margins, but that ignores the way the Gore campaign successfully got the absentee military votes that would have unquestionably put Bush over the top disqualified from consideration.

In short, Florida, where apparently the voters in Palm Beach County were retarded, remains a great historic muddle. In 2000 it became a battle ground between two evils, the Republican and Democrat parties.

In the end, George W. Bush won the election, became President, and, because of 9/11, transformed his presidency into a military conflict in Afghanistan and extended it into Iraq. The reason why there is so little news current coverage of events in Iraq is that some real measure of political stability has arrived and because no one in the mainstream media wants to report that Iran has been engaged in war with the U.S. and Iraqi troops there. That war was unofficially declared in 1979 when they took our diplomats hostage and held them for 444 days. Al Qaeda has since been reduced to the ravings of Osama bin Laden.

The reason why the cost of a barrel of oil has skyrocketed is because no one knows how long the de facto Iran-U.S. conflict will continue and whether it will erupt into a full-scale war involving our having to bomb and/or invade Iran to put an end to its nuclear ambitions and its endless intrusive efforts to impose its hegemony over the entire region.

It may be “a tiny country” as Barack Obama says, but it has been a very troublesome one for a very long time.

Meanwhile, despite Hollywood’s effort to convince Americans how much better off they would have been had Al Gore been elected, it would be useful to consider that he stands revealed as one of the greatest liars on the face of the Earth, thanks to his megalomania about global warming.

On Monday, May 19, the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, led by Dr. Arthur Robinson, held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to announce that its petition rejecting Al Gore’s and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change lies, had been signed by 31,000 scientists from around the world. A total of 9,201 of the signers were PhDs and the rest held university degrees in science.

That is an impressive group of “deniers” and they are joined now by millions of people who understand that “global warming” is a hoax. Indeed, since 1998, all the meteorological data indicates that the Earth has entered a period of cooling. The oceans are cooling. Glaciers are growing. Winter blizzards are more intense. You don’t need a degree to know that global warming isn’t happening.

The movie, “Recount”, is propaganda, not history. Its stars and others involved in its production will swear that it is fact-based, but the fact is that, since 2001, and his reelection in 2004, George W. Bush has been the President of the United States.

The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2008, notes that, “The Nov. 2000 presidential election was one of the closest in history. While Bush came out behind in the popular vote—by about 540,000 out of more than 100 million cast—the electoral vote total hinged on the outcome in Florida where official totals, challenged by Democrats, gave him a razor-thin lead.” The Supreme Court decision—a merciful end to the election—ceded Florida’s 25 electoral votes to Bush.

A mark of maturity is that an individual or a nation ultimately comes to acknowledge reality and acts upon facts, not emotions.

There is the Hollywood version of history and then there is reality. The two rarely coincide.

One is tempted to consider what the passed eight years would have been like had Al Gore had been elected President.

His response to 9/11 might well have been to blame America for having angered al Qaeda in some fashion. One imagines a large mosque being built on Ground Zero in order to get Middle Eastern Muslims to like us more.

By now, based on his view that the internal combustion engine is a threat to humanity, it is likely that most voters would be on bicycles or horseback. All national parks would be off limits to Americans to protect the flora and fauna. There would be rolling blackouts due to a ban on the building of any nuclear or coal-fired plants to generate electricity. Every species known to man and God would have been declared endangered. And you would have to flush your toilet at least five times to achieve the results that preceded his election to office.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What will Hillary Do?

By Alan Caruba

There’s an old saying that, if you owe the bank $10,000, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank $10,000,000, you own the bank. Reportedly, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is in debt to the tune of $31 million dollars.

I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it wouldn’t surprise me. What it means is that a lot of people who took part in her campaign are going to get stiffed whether they catered an event or provided music, made campaign buttons, or any one of the many things people get hired to do. My guess is that the radio and television stations that ran her ads got paid up front.

So the question, “What will Hillary do?” is easily answered. Anything she wants to. She can take her quest for the nomination straight on through to the Denver convention. She can concede at some point before then, but that seems rather pointless, so I believe her when she says she will stay in the race.

I recently saw a photo of Hillary speaking with husband Bill behind her and he did not look like a happy camper. If she wins, he will be even unhappier because the spotlight will not be on him.

There is already speculation that Hillary wants to be on the Supreme Court, but the real action is in the Senate or the White House. There are no lobbyists around to fatten a campaign chest for Supreme Court justices. And Hillary is going to need all the money she can get to clear some of that campaign debt.

So the answer to me is obvious. She says she will stay in the primary race and she will.

In Denver, the most craven breed of homo sapiens, politicians, will have to decide whether to kiss off the election with a black candidate or have any chance at all with a woman.

Me? I’m still betting on the skirt.

How Much Change Could Obama Achieve?

By Alan Caruba

Since “change” is Sen. Obama’s main theme, it’s worth asking and considering how much change he could really achieve as President?

As the authors of “The Genius of America”, a book about the U.S. Constitution point out, “Americans don’t know their own government anymore. They don’t know their own history.” They issue a strong warning against any changes to the founding document, despite its capacity to be amended.

The fact that the amendment process is designed to be very difficult tells you that the Founding Fathers intended it to be that way and for good reason. Since the ratification of the Bill of Rights, approximately ten thousand amendments have been proposed, but only seventeen have been adopted.

“American’s current frustration and anger with their government is sapping their commitment to the principles that have made the country work,” wrote Eric Lane and Michael Oreskes, the former a professor of law at Hofstra University and the latter an executive editor of the International Herald Tribune, formerly a national political correspondent for The New York Times.

“Most of all, we should remind each other that compromise is a show of strength, not weakness.” Politically, Sen. McCain is all about compromise frequently reaching across the aisle to join Democrats. Sen. Obama has voted the straight Democrat Party line.

If Americans are unhappy with Washington these days, they have created the problem by being so politically divided between the extreme Left and Right. Congress reflects this division.

The notion that Sen. Obama, if elected, can change this is an illusion, although a Democrat sweep in November would alter that equation and leave the nation open to a major shift to the Left.

Support for presidents ebb and flow swiftly. After the first Iraq war to drive Saddam’s army out of Kuwait, former President George H.W. Bush enjoyed some of highest popularity ratings any president had enjoyed in decades. That did not prevent him from being defeated by Bill Clinton. The current President Bush now has some of the lowest popularity ratings in the history of the presidency despite the enormous popularity of his response to 9/11 in Afghanistan, his tax cuts, and the initial support for the second war in Iraq.

Promising change and achieving it is a challenge as wide as the great oceans of the world. The fact is Washington, DC has a system in place in which the many lobbying firms, corporate government representatives, trade associations, influential think tanks, and others play an extraordinary role in the formulation of every piece of legislation put forth for consideration and in the outcome of the votes concerning them.

Public opinion plays a role only when there is a massive response as in the case of the last effort to provide amnesty to the millions of illegal aliens among us. A similar bill is before Congress as this is written.

The public and conservatives in particular may have concluded that the federal government is too large, too unwieldy, too inept to respond to the nation’s problems, but there is almost no way that the size of the government will be reduced barring a severe downturn in the nation’s economy or some cataclysmic event.

Indeed, it was the Depression that led to the expansion of the government under the four successive administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but it must also be recalled that the American electorate approved many of the changes such as Social Security, minimum wages, the right to organize, banking oversight, supervision of the sale of foods and pharmaceuticals.

Big government, in this respect, is not necessarily bad government, but for the first 140 years of American history, the federal government played a small role in the lives of Americans.

How likely would a Senator who hasn’t even gotten through one term be able to make any substantive changes? The answer is very unlikely for all his rhetoric and promises.

If elected, Sen. Obama will determine U.S. foreign policy. This has always been the strongest role of the presidency. He could veto legislation as part of the checks and balances built into the Constitution. He could respond to an attack on America as Commander-in-Chief. Beyond that, he would have the power of persuasion and, if the public began to doubt his judgment that could rapidly dissipate.

The outcome of the 2008 national election will really depend on how much change Americans will tolerate in times when the economy is perceived to be in trouble, when the situation in Iraq appears to be stabilizing, when they remain concerned over illegal immigration, a failed education system, and other issues.

Despite the legacy of the Bush administration, a majority—no matter how slim—of Americans may decide to keep the nation politically deadlocked in the Congress and elect a man whom they perceive to be an older, wiser, more tested politician.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Going Nuts in Waziristan

By Alan Caruba

Okay, so let’s pretend you were one of the sons of one of the wealthiest families in Saudi Arabia. You were guaranteed a good job. You had a couple of wives. The problem was that you just didn’t feel fulfilled. You weren’t a member of the royal family of Saud, so you could never be king. You probably would not become president of the family business no matter how hard you worked or prayed. So, there you are, stuck with a couple of million, a family, and a lot of time on your hands.

What would you do? You’d leave all that behind and go to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet army! You would show everyone how brilliant you were and create an organization called al Qaeda. Then, after the war was successful, having nothing better to do, you would organize and fund a plan to destroy the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

You almost pulled it off, too, except for those Americans that fought your hand-picked terrorists…er, jihadists and brought down the fourth plane in a Pennsylvania field. No one was more surprised than you when both towers fell. The Pentagon suffered damage, but was repaired. A lot of people died, but they were mostly infidels.

What followed was the failed uprising in Iraq because your guy there managed to kill enough Iraqis to piss them off and turn them against al Qaeda. Someone snitched on him and he got blown to hell. Your other efforts to demonstrate your piety and love of Islam only seemed to turn more people against you.

So, here you are, going slowly nuts in some god forsaken wilderness in Waziristan on the northwest border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. No high definition television. No air conditioning. Everything is just one damned mountain after another. The nearest pizza parlor is a couple of hundred miles away.

Worse yet, none of the leaders of the Arab nations like you and the Iranians don’t either.

What is there left to do? You can send audio messages via al Jazeera. Your best buddy, Ayman al-Zawahri has been doing the same, but who cares what he says, eh? You’re Osama bin Laden, Mr. Islam Big Shot.

So that’s what Osama has been doing. First to denounce the 60th anniversary of Israel and again, last Sunday, to denounce Arab leaders for doing nothing to help the poor Palestinians who haven’t gotten the message that the Israelis have won every war waged against them and maybe peace is not such a bad idea.

“They have decided that peace with the Zionists is their strategic option, so damn their decision.”

Not satisfied with just getting the Arab leaders angry with him, Osama also found time to denounce the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, who is busy trying to take over Lebanon instead of attacking Israel. No word yet on his opinion of Hamas, but we can be pretty sure he thinks they haven’t had enough casualties to prove their bona fides.

It’s a sure sign that the end of the Palestinian resistance is near when Osama bin Laden picks up the cause. He’s the kind of guy that wants to run to the front of the parade.

So far Osama bin Laden has been run out of Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Afghanistan, and everywhere else in the region other than Waziristan, a place where starting a fire involves rubbing two sticks together and bathroom facilities are a hole in the ground behind a big rock.

You’ve got your face on T-shirts and you can get media coverage any time you open your yap and talk about anything on your mind, but your mind is slowly waving bye-bye to you.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Greens Will Leave us Cold and Hungry

By Alan Caruba

There is always a point in time when reality steps up to remind everyone that bad ideas come with a price to pay. The long history of environmental bad ideas are now beginning to cause food riots around the world with its campaign for biofuels and against the energy that powers great economies and feeds the world.

On May 14, Earthworks, one of the many environmental organizations zealously trying to leave America and the rest of the world cold and hungry released the text of a letter its attorney, Bruce Baizel, wrote to Red Cavaney, the president of the American Petroleum Institute.

It called upon API to “stop its multi-million dollar, multi-year self-promotion campaign aimed at polishing its image during a time of record high energy prices.” Earthworks told API it should take the money devoted to its PR campaign and invest it in “clean energy alternatives.”

The alternatives are solar and wind energy, industries that exist primarily because of the subsidies granted to it in the form of a hidden tax paid by everyone who is dependent on coal, natural gas, and oil. Take away the subsidies and these alternative forms of energy would fade away, as much for their inability to significantly contribute to the nation’s energy needs, as for the way they requires vast tracks of land to exist. Together, they represent barely one percent of our current energy needs.

Earthworks is about to initiate its own “No Dirty Energy” campaign “to alert the public to the climate, ecosystem and community risks associated with mining and burning the world’s dirtiest fuel sources…”

Labeling coal and oil “dirty” is pure PR and ignores the fact that coal, a cheap and abundant energy sources, provides just over fifty percent of America’s electricity, an energy without which the entire nation would cease to function. It ignores the way the Green’s campaign against oil has for four decades thwarted the right of American’s to access and use its national oil and natural gas reserves yet to be found and extracted from 85% of our coastlines or the well-known fact that billions of barrels of oil remain untapped in ANWR.

Take away these energy sources and you cripple that nation’s agricultural community that requires power to till the land, fertilizers to insure greater crop yield, the ability to feed the livestock to feed a nation, and the means to deliver food from the field to the table.

Even the global warming-obsessed New York Times has recently editorialized in favor of ending subsidies to the ethanol industry, but the real answer is to end the massive biofuel—ethanol—industry that is entirely the creation of a Congress that is just beginning to realize that its massive mandates for this fuel additive is partially to blame for the imbalance in the worldwide agricultural marketplace, affecting grains other than corn.

The American Petroleum Institute is engaged in a costly campaign to educate the public to the role that oil plays in the maintenance of the nation’s economy. The vast majority of the oil in the world is controlled by nations, many of whom would love to see America fail so that they could expand their control over captive populations in Africa, Asia, Russia, and elsewhere.

Only the United States and a few Western, industrialized nations stand against the expansion of communism and militant Islam. Europe is almost entirely dependent on the importation of oil and natural gas. The United States has restricted access to its own reserves of these energy sources. We spend billions of dollars to insure that the sea lanes that deliver these resources to ourselves and the rest of the world remain open. We have invested blood and treasure to liberate Iraq, a nation that sits atop one of the world’s great reserves of oil. We protect Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states from the hegemonic ambitions of Iran.

But Earthworks wants API to be silent about these harsh realities while nations like Venezuela and Russia literally steal the assets and abrogate agreements with the handful of investor-owned oil companies that are capable of exploring and discovering these vital sources of energy.

The Greens who want to reduce the Earth’s population and its consumption of food and energy are silent about the anticipated increase in worldwide population to an estimated eight billion, up from today’s 6.4 billion, by 2050. We will need twice as much food and feed to avoid massive famines that will make today’s food riots seem tame by then. Instead, they insist on turning corn, soy, and other food crops into ethanol. They insist on “clean” energy sources that are totally inadequate to meet our present and future needs.

If we permit Earthworks and the other environmental organizations to succeed, we will be—as we already are—their victims, guaranteed to suffer famines and the loss of the energy we need to be the beacon of freedom to the world.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

When Older is Better

By Alan Caruba

Just how funny you thought John McCain was during his appearance on “Saturday Night Live” probably depends on how old you are. I thought he was very funny, but then I am only one year younger than he. To the presumably younger audience, being old or older often seems to be a handicap of sorts.

“I ask you, what should we be looking for in our next president?” asked McCain, answering, “Certainly someone who is very, very, very old.” Well, let me tell you that 70 or, in his case, 71, is the new 50. People today are routinely living into their 80s and beyond. Just check the obituary pages for confirmation of that.

More importantly, being 71 doesn’t mean your outlook, your enthusiasm, your desire to be involved in the life and future of your nation diminishes. For many, it increases.

“I have the courage, the wisdom, the experience and, most importantly, the oldness necessary,” said McCain. “The oldness it takes to protect America, to honor her, love her and tell her about what cute things the cat did.”

In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan conclusively demonstrated that being an older American was no detriment to being president and that it was the key in many cases to having the experience and wisdom to bring about the changes necessary to improve life in America. His economic policies are credited with the super-charged economy that would come to fruition during Clinton’s two terms in office.

Indeed, Americans were dissatisfied enough in 1994 to turn control over the Congress to the Republicans. Unfortunately, they began to act like Democrats and find themselves in the dog house these days.

McCain’s age is a definite advantage over his much younger, likely opponent Sen. Barack Obama. The reason for this should be obvious. McCain has seen more of America’s recent history than Obama, has lived through it, has survived the great trial of being a prisoner of war in Vietnam, has most certainly served longer in the Senate, and knows his way around the halls of Congress.

By all accounts, McCain is a very vigorous 71 and anyone who can maintain the grueling schedule of campaigning as he has done has to be in excellent health. I, for one, usually need to take a short nap in the afternoon to re-charge my batteries. We’re told that Reagan took naps as well. They were a secret weapon of Winston Churchill during World War II.

Age brings with it another secret weapon. If you have weathered the many challenges that life can throw at you, age teaches you to be more patient, more realistic about what can and cannot be achieved.

McCain comes from a family that served the nation in its military. They swore to protect the Constitution and they swore to do with their lives. They know what it is to take an oath of duty to their nation and to remain true to it even under the most difficult of circumstances.

I may disagree with many of McCain’s views, but there is something very comforting in knowing that, as president, he has been truly tested and that he has come through it with his sense of humor intact.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Marriage, California Style

By Alan Caruba

Oh, those wacky California judges!

In the same way you cannot abrogate gravity or the law of thermodynamics, you cannot totally ignore the central core of all societies, the role of marriage and family.

This not a screed about homosexuality. I am not a child. I know that some people are born wired to be sexually attracted to their own, not the opposite sex. I have known many homosexuals in my life and most of them have not appeared to be that happy with the hand they were dealt.

I even was pleased when various laws were changed to remove the onus of criminality from something over which homosexuals have no choice except to hope they will find a measure of acceptance among their family and friends.

I do not, however, believe that the law should sanction gay marriage. Domestic unions that extend equal protection, yes, but marriage, no.

Marriage, for the sake of society, must be between a man and a woman. It is about procreation. It is about the maintenance of family and that means the care of children.

Lesbians, of course, can have children. They can raise children, but they do so without a male figure in the household; something called a father. California judges may argue that there are many single mothers raising children, but that child has a father somewhere that society and the law says has an obligation to provide support.

Little girls need fathers. Little boys need fathers. Providing them with two mothers or two fathers dilutes the necessity of the fundamental family unit, one mother and one father.

I am told that polls show that some sixty percent or more Californians oppose gay marriage, but when courts feel free to ignore public opinion, particularly when it is rooted in history that goes back beyond even early civilizations, you end up with bad decisions.

I do not know, nor care, what legal justification the California court found for extending the right of marriage to homosexuals, but there is simply no justification. That truth is based on millennia in which the bond between a man and woman has been sanctified by nature, religion, law, practice, and common sense.

It is the reason the traditional marriage ceremony has always begun with the question, “Do you take this woman?” and “Do you take this man?”

Legalizing marriage between homosexuals is just one step away from legalizing polygamy and other practices that undermine society. It discredits marriage still further in a society that already has a divorce rate somewhere in the area of fifty percent. It weakens an already weak society that is filled with children deprived of the security of parents, a mother and father, whose mutual focus is their welfare and their future.

Ordinary people understand this. Why can’t the courts of California?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Extreme Planet Events

By Alan Caruba

A massive earthquake hits China.

A massive cyclone hits Myanmar.

A tsunami in the Indian Ocean devastates parts of Indonesia.

A category 5 hurricane hits New Orleans.

A long-dormant volcano in Chile suddenly erupts.

Tornado activity across Midwest America destroys homes and other structures.

Scientists have been studying extreme weather and seismic events for a long time and, since they occur with frequency, some are considered cyclical, if not always predictable. Can we connect these recent events and come to any conclusion? Or are they simply random?

Despite Al Gore’s readiness to blame everything on global warming, an initial look at these events reveals nothing predictive.

However, enough scientists worldwide have come forward to debunk the global warming hoax to begin thinking seriously about a very predictable planetary event, the next ice age. Humanity and the planet are at the end of an interglacial period of some 11,500 years, the general time frame of such periods. These cycles have been going on for millions of years.

We are very lucky that our earliest ancestors, the Cro-Magnons who lived in the Paleolithic era survived their icy conditions. The Neanderthals, their contemporaries, did not.

The most recent cold spell, known as the “Little Ice Age”, lasted from 1400 to 1850. It primarily affected the northern hemisphere

What we know for sure is that humans are not responsible for the climate, nor do we have any affect on the weather from day to day. Sacrificing virgins, performing rain dances, and other rituals have no affect.

You can therefore ignore those claiming that anthropogenic (human) “forcing” of climate is due to the generation of carbon dioxide (CO2) from our use of energy resources such as coal, natural gas and oil. Things like swamps and all the other animals on Earth produce tons of carbon dioxide and methane, and have for millions of years and during the Jurassic era, there were far higher levels of CO2.

In the short term, the volcano in Chile is putting out so much smoke, soot, and other chemicals that it could briefly change the climate of South America just from the cloud cover it generates. The eruption in the Philippines of Mount Pinatubo, June 1991, had a similar effect and it was felt around the world for several years.

Even without the recent eruption, however, meteorologists will tell you that South America like the rest of the planet has gotten colder in the passed decade. So have the oceans that retain and release 80% to 90% of the earth’s heat.

The environmentalists keep blathering away about our individual “carbon footprint”, but carbon dioxide is a very minor part of the Earth’s atmosphere (0.038%). The human race, along with all other creatures on Earth, can only react to changes in the climate.

Only the massive lies told about carbon dioxide continue to convince people to believe the global warming hoax. Unfortunately, two of those people are Senators Obama and McCain.

These events have nothing to do with human activity and everything to do with changes in the Sun’s activity. The bad news is that the Sun has become inactive in recent years, a change seen in the lack of sunspots, magnetic storms on its surface. That is almost always a precursor to a new ice age. Whether it would be long term or short is probably impossible to predict.

The history and even the mythologies humans have created to explain weather and other events demonstrate that they have been occurring for a very long time. The story of Noah’s ark is just one of them.

Today, if you want to know when and where they are occurring, you can visit, a site that report on current and previous events.

The movement of tectonic plates that just occurred in China, a resurgent volcano in Chile, and turbulent weather events like the cyclone that hit Myanmar or the tsunami that earlier hit Indonesia are dramatic, but it is unlikely that they are connected in any way except that they occur on the turbulent planet we share.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bush Puts Alaskan Oil Out of Reach!

By Alan Caruba

While President Bush is meeting with his Saudi masters to discuss oil prices, you can be sure that one of the things he will tell them is that he met their demand to insure that the potentially vast oil and natural gas reserves off the coast of Alaska, the realm of the polar bear, have now successfully been put off limits to any exploration, extraction, and delivery to the citizens of the United States.

The announcement Wednesday, May 14, by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne that the department has decided to list the polar bear as “threatened” was yet another way of insuring that America must remain dependent on Saudi oil, along with the oil we purchase from other nations who are sucking U.S. dollars out of U.S. pockets at rates never seen before in history.

The three page justification issued by the Department of the Interior simply shouts how utterly debased this decision is. It claims it was based “on the best available science which shows that loss of sea ice threatens and will likely continue to threaten polar bear habitat.” This government whose meteorological service cannot accurately predict what next week’s weather will be now wants us to believe it can predict the amount of sea ice off Alaska ten, twenty, thirty or more years from now.

That’s how stupid they think you are!

To add to the absurdity of this decision, Secretary Kempthorne says, “this listing will not stop global climate change or prevent any sea ice from melting.” Notice he does not say global warming! He uses the new Green terminology of climate change, something that has been going on now for 4.5 billion years!

Bluntly put, the President and his administration has betrayed every American at a time when the need for access to our national reserves of oil and natural gas is uppermost in the minds of Americans concerned about our increasing dependence on foreign nations, some of which are unfriendly to our national interests and policies, while others are regarded as unstable providers of oil.

To put it another way, they just broke open the champagne bottles in Russia, in Venezuela, in Nigeria, and, in Islamic nations they are toasting each other with whatever they drink to celebrate victory over the infidels.

The administration’s claim that the Endangered Species Act—one of the worst, failed pieces of legislation ever imposed on Americans—had to be enforced because polar bears are imperiled by global warming ranks as obscene, an immoral offense to the truth.

James M. Taylor, a Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy at the Heartland Institute, responded to the announcement saying, “The only plausible basis for ruling polar bears as threatened is blind faith in alarmist computer models that have been no more accurate than Chicken Little’s claim that the sky is falling.”

There is no global warming and the administration knows this. The federal government’s own meteorological services are on record that the natural warming that had occurred since 1850 ended in 1998 when satellite data and other temperature measurements clearly indicate a cooling trend has begun.

Writing in November 2007, I noted the following:

The environmentalists seeking to put the polar bears on the Endangered Species list conveniently overlook a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) noting there are some 22,000 polar bears in 20 distinct populations worldwide. H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, noted in a 2006 commentary published by The Washington Times that, “Only two bear populations—accounting for about 16.4 percent of the total—are decreasing, and they are in areas where air temperatures have actually fallen, such as the Baffin Bay region.

“By contrast, another two populations—about 13.6 percent of the total number—are growing and they are living in areas where air temperatures have risen, near the Bering Strait and Chukchi Sea”, i.e., just off the coast of Alaska!

The World Wildlife Fund study found the ten populations—comprising about 45.4 percent of the total—are stable, and the status of the remaining six is unknown. As Burnett points out, “These bears have survived for thousands of years, during both colder and warmer periods, and their populations are by and large in good shape. Polar bears may face many threats, but global warming is not primary among them.

As you watch the cost of gasoline, heating oil, food and just about everything else that depends on oil for production or transportation continue to rise and impact your life, remember that it was environmentalists that started this ball rolling and the Bush administration that put it in motion.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

When Candidates are Dangerously Wrong

By Alan Caruba

Americans have painted themselves into the corner on energy and the two presumptive candidates for President are ready to finish off the nation with the worst possible “solutions.”

Sen. Barack Obama is talking of “windfall profits” taxes on the oil companies, thus threatening to take away the money they need to invest in exploration, extraction, refining and delivery of the gas and oil we need to fuel our cars and trucks, and heat our homes.

It takes up to ten years between finding a new reserve of oil and actually delivering it. It’s been nearly four decades since any oil company has built a new refinery because the United States has made it too expensive to do so thanks to lawsuits and a maze of environmental laws. As for exploring for oil in the U.S. or off-shore, would you spend millions doing that if you knew the government wouldn't let you drill or extract it?

Like Sen. McCain, Sen. Obama believes in global warming even though the planet stopped its long, completely natural warming in 1998. The Earth is cooling, but please don’t let that get in the way of either candidate proposing “solutions” to address a drastic warming that is not happening.

Sen. John McCain says that global warming in undeniable even though literally hundreds of scientists worldwide say it isn’t happening. In March I attended a conference on climate change sponsored by the Heartland Institute. It attracted over 500 meteorologists, climatologists, economists, and other very smart people from around the world who sat through two days of presentations and seminars all jammed with information confirming that there is no global warming, if you interpret this to mean a massive rise in the temperature of the planet.

Sen. McCain, however, is worried about “carbon fuel emissions” at a time when the cost of those carbon fuels, gasoline in particular, is going through the ceiling thanks, not to a lack of supply, but the speculators in the world’s commodity exchanges.

It is moronic to worry about carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) when this gas, vital to the growth of every piece of vegetation and all life on Earth, constitutes a mere 0.038% of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Look up at the sky above you. It’s about 95% water vapor. You know, water as in hydrogen and oxygen molecules. You drink it. You wash in it. You swim in it. There are large bodies of it called oceans. Those oceans which normally retain and release 80-90% of the Earth’s heat are now cooling!

So neither one of the candidates has a grasp of economics or science and we are about to elect one of them the next President of the United States of America!

Meanwhile, The New York Times on May 11 published an editorial, “Rethinking Ethanol” in which the geniuses who write such things have concluded that maybe diverting food products like corn into a fuel product that provides less mileage per gallon, costs more to produce than gasoline, and adds its own pollution to the air, is probably not a good idea. Their solution? End the tax subsidy that goes to ethanol producers.

According to The New York Times, “The other reason is a spate of studies suggesting that some biofuels—corn ethanol in particular—could accelerate global warming.” You have to be a special kind of idiot to (1) advocate a Congressional mandate for billions of gallons of ethanol as a gasoline additive and (2) continue to maintain that global warming is occurring.

The New York Times has been lying about global warming since the 1980s. The good news is that it is laying off large numbers of its reporters and editors. Its circulation has been sinking like a stone and maybe someday it will be sold on street corners as a single broadsheet hawked by boys shivering in the snow while shouting, “Read all about it! No more global warming!”

If you get the feeling that the United States is heading over the cliff for failing to anticipate and encourage its energy industries, for codifying in law requirements to deal with a non-existent problem, and for refusing to reverse course, you’re right.

There is a price for being an idiot. Think about that the next time you fill up your gas tank.

President Urges Mid-East Peace. Forgetaboutit!

By Alan Caruba

“President Pushes for Mid-East Peace” was the lead story in the Monday edition of my local daily and I suspect others around the nation.

You could have opened a newspaper on any day since the 1919 Versailles Treaty and found a similar headline. The real question is why.

The first reason is that the culture of the Middle East is Arab and Arabs do not trust one another. They have a saying among themselves, “I against my brother. My brother and I against our cousins,” and so on. Arabs are raised in a family context that pits one family against another and in a tribal context that pits one tribe and sect against another. They are hard-wired for conflict, but mostly for an inability to collaborate and cooperate.

This mindset is so foreign to Americans who create new organizations at the drop of a hat to address common issues and concerns that it is literally incomprehensible.

When you layer in the contempt that the majority Sunni sect of Muslims have for the Shia sect, you have the reason why blowing up each other’s mosques is perfectly acceptable to them and, by extension, burning Christian churches is as well. The Middle East is a sinkhole of intolerance and one in which violence in the name of Islam is sanctioned.

The President was in Israel to attend the ceremonies to celebrate the 60 years that nation has been in existence. It has suffered seven wars and a long standing Intifada or resistance movement. When not fighting the Israelis, the late Yassir Arafat’s Fatah finds itself under attack from Hamas.

Those called Palestinians have been in existence since the founding of Israel. Many have failed to peacefully integrate into the many Arab nations that surround Israel. Often they were not permitted to do so. An exception to this is Jordan which is composed primarily of Arabs who either lived in the former disputed territories or who were members of the Hashemite tribe led by the monarchal family of the Husseins.

In 1917 the British Balfour Declaration announced its approval of a Jewish homeland.

After World War I when the Middle East was carved up between England and France from the dead body of the Ottoman Empire, the British were given a mandate to help establish a Jewish National Home in an area designated as Palestine. The land allocated to the Jews—early Zionists—those already there or expected to migrate was considerably larger than the 1967 borders Arabs keep insisting the Israelis “return” to.

In fact, in 1920-21 Winston Churchill was instrumental in giving away three-quarters of the British mandate over the area to create Trans-Jordan for the Hashemites, an Arab tribe who had fought with them to expel the Turks (Ottomans) that had controlled much of the Middle East for centuries. That’s how Lawrence of Arabia gained fame as the British emissary. The Hashemites had lost out to the Saudis for control of that vast peninsula.

The British turned a blind eye to the Arab terrorism aimed at the early Zionist migration to their holy land. Later, those Jews seeking escape from Europe as the Nazis gained power often had few other places to go.

At no time did a Palestinian nation or state exist. Those Arabs living in the area considered themselves as residing in southern Syria and, after Jordan was created, as Jordanians.

Even after the Holocaust, the British tried to thwart the influx of Jewish survivors. The movie, “Exodus”, tells the story of efforts to force their departure so that progress toward the establishment of a Jewish state could progress. The Israelis would endure to date seven wars to destroy them.

The notion that there has been peace in the area is simply wrong.

No American president from the days of Woodrow Wilson to the present has ever been able to bring peace or enforce it in the Middle East. Today, our troops are in Iraq to defend the new state emerging from the former dictatorship as well as protecting the Gulf States against any aggression from Iran. Without our presence, it is likely that the entire Middle East would be in flames.

Pan-Arabism, advocated by Egypt’s Nasser, lies in the ruins of comparable attempts to unite the Middle East. Lebanon is again in turmoil, threatened with yet another civil war. The Turks keep an eye on northern Iraq’s Kurds, positioning troops on its border. Kuwait only exists due to an earlier U.S. military intervention.

So President George W. Bush can urge peace all he wants and whoever the next president will be can do the same. It’s not going to happen.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Obama and the Jewish Vote

By Alan Caruba

Assuming that Sen. Obama is the Democrat nominee, it is going to be very interesting to watch the Jewish vote in the forthcoming national elections.

As Richard Baehr noted recently in a commentary on American, it “has got Jewish Democrat activists worried” and well it should. The notion of a Jew—any Jew—voting for someone named Barack Hussein Obama approaches the realm of fantasy.

The notion that all American Jews are Zionists is a fantasy as well. Whether significantly or merely nominally committed to the survival of Israel, it is well known in the U.S. Jewish community that it is Republicans who are the strongest support for Israel while many Democrats tilt, like Jimmy Carter, toward sympathy and even support for the Palestinians.

Jews know that it is the large evangelical community, a mainstay of the Republican Party that is Israel’s most staunch supporters, alongside of the Jewish community. While the economy, illegal immigration, and Iraq are likely to be the major issues of the 2008 elections, the theological alignment of both evangelical Christians and Jews should not be discounted. They share some important values.

American Jews have been polled and surveyed for a long time. Their political history is well known. I have many friends who ask, “Why are Jews so liberal?” A look at the way Jews have voted reveals that, “The Democrats’ 50 point win over Bush with Kerry is now but a 29 point lead for Obama over McCain (61-23 with 7% undecided.). Baehr points out that a state like Florida with approximately 400,000 Jewish voters in presidential election years represents a net shift of about 85,000 voters.

Recall now, the thin, but decisive margin that gave Bush his first-time victory. These days, McCain is ahead in virtually every poll in Florida.

Obama’s problem is compounded by his statements that he would meet with someone like Mamoud Amadinejad, the president of Iran, a nation that threatens the very existence of Israel. His view that America must meet with its enemies is not borne out by history that has many examples of the failure of such policies, though the long, patient negotiations with the former Soviet Union can be cited in its favor. The open hatred of Israel throughout the Middle East and elsewhere suggests this is a failed approach in these times.

His affiliation with a Chicago church led by a pastor whose views on Jews are not likely to be friendly is another concern of the Jewish community. That pastor, too, is a longtime admirer and friend of Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Black Muslim movement, a fact that does not go unnoticed in the Jewish community.

Jews and others will take note that Obama was sent initially to an Indonesian madrassa in his formative years and even when attending a Catholic school in Jakarta, he was identified as a Muslim. In a careful examination of Obama’s early years, Daniel Pipes, a Mideast scholar, cited not just his birth as a Muslim, but the fact that he and his family were perceived and understood to be Muslims. Pipes noted, “But if he was born and raised a Muslim and is now hiding that fact, this points to a major deceit, a fundamental misrepresentation about himself that has profound implications about his character and his suitability as president.”

The fact that Sen. McCain has a long record of support for the U.S.-Israeli relationship, plus his greater experience, will also play a large role in the way the American Jewish community will vote in November. At least nine key states with significant Jewish populations will determine the outcome of the 2008 elections.

Jews have a long history of identifying with American ideals. They have been in America ever since their arrival in New Amsterdam and their right to settle here was supported by the Dutch West India Company. From Washington to Lincoln, they found support in a nation that is based in part on the separation of church and state. Until the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jews voted overwhelmingly Republican. Their long association with progressive ideas led to the change in their affiliation to the Democrat Party.

Today, however, they are no longer the guaranteed 90% Democrat vote. It is closer to 75% to 60% depending on the candidate. Their voting clout, too, is in decline as can be seen in states such as New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, and California. They constitute around 4% of voters.

The rise of anti-Semitism around the world will be on their minds in November and events in the Middle East will play a role in how they vote. When they step into the voting booth, most will hesitate to vote for Barack Hussein Obama no matter what their party affiliation may be.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Palestinians are Destroying Lebanon. Again!

By Alan Caruba

The difficulties encountered by the nations of the Middle East to integrate the so-called Palestinians, a group of Arab refugees that did not exist when Israel came into existence, have their origins in the first attack on the new nation of Israel in 1948.

They were told by the invading Arab nations to abandon their homes and farms with the assurance that they would be restored once the Israelis were defeated. Sixty years later Israel is thriving and succeeding generations of the largest and oldest refugee group in the world continues to wreak havoc on Israel and neighboring nations.

The Palestinians have become a human pestilence. Wherever they gather in sufficient numbers their only export is death. When not at war with the Israelis, they make war among themselves.

That’s why the May 9th headline, “Hezbollah overruns west Beirut as Lebanon on brink”, is a reminder of how the Palestinians living in Lebanon continue to repay the hospitality of their host nation by seeking to overthrow it. Indeed, earlier when they attempted to overthrow the monarchy of Jordan, the father of the present king drove out large numbers of Palestinians who then fled to Lebanon.

This is not to say that Lebanon, though a nation with a history as old as Israel’s, had not been a political patchwork quilt since its modern reincarnation following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. Lebanon was ceded to France along with Syria, while the British took control of Iraq, Jordan, and the protectorate of Palestine. The protectorate was understood to precede the founding of a Jewish state. The Arab states were pure invention for colonial purposes.

Lebanon, launched on September 1, 1920, joined together a population of Christian Maronites, a Muslim sect called the Druze, and Sunni Muslims. In 1943 a National Pact would establish a government of sorts that would have a Christian as president, a Sunni Muslim as prime minister, and a Shia Muslim as speaker of its Assembly.

As Sandra Mackey, author of “Mirror of the Arab World”, put it, “The whole elaborate system worked because the Lebanese, largely a product of Arab culture, possessed no clear sense of institutions.”

As Muslims gained in population, swelled by the Palestinians fleeing Jordan, the delicate political balance that had brought modernity and prosperity to Lebanon fell apart. From 1975 to 1990, the nation remained in a state of civil war.

Why the “pearl of the east” did not completely disappear as a nation is a mystery. Why it engaged in a civil war for fifteen years is not. The answer lies in the Palestinian inability to live in peace with any host nation. They are a cancer in the body politic of the Middle East.

Mackay writes, “The Lebanese civil war had proved neither heroic nor redemptive. Nor had the terrible bloodshed enabled the Lebanese state to establish its integrity. Nor had it advanced the process of transforming a fragile state into an authentic nation.”

Neither the Syrians who have always coveted Lebanon and occupied it militarily for a decade after the civil war, nor the Palestinians in the form of Hezbollah, an Iranian satanic spawn, want to permit a free, democratic, and independent Lebanon.

Those that keep telling Israel it must make peace with the Palestinians need to take a look at what is occurring in Lebanon again.

No doubt the Israeli army will return again in response to yet another attack by Palestinians from Lebanon. The world will send up a hue and cry about the horrid Israelis forced to defend themselves. Wiser heads will be rooting for them.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Charisma Kid

By Alan Caruba

If you Google “Obama” and “charisma”, you will find an ample number of links to newspapers and other outlets that reference Sen. Barack Obama’s charisma. To be candid, it’s lost on me, but I have been around long enough and read enough history to know that charisma is a two-edged sword for those who have it and those who are swayed by it.

The very act of being human is to be flawed in some respect. What I notice most about Obama is his hesitancy. Listen to how he responds to questions.

On the stump he speaks with remarkable power. I don’t think I have heard anyone like him since the late Martin Luther King, Jr. who I personally heard when he spoke on the campus of Drew University in New Jersey and who I had the unique pleasure of meeting. Dr. King had charisma. It translates as meaning touched by grace, having spiritual power, a gift or power.

Indeed, many people have charisma based on some special talent. In interviews, though, Obama picks his words with extreme care. Compare this, as I did watching Sen. John McCain sparring with Jon Stewart of the Daily Show the other evening. McCain is as relaxed and as quick-witted as any candidate I’ve seen since the days of the youthful JFK. Obama has been on the show, too, but there is just something very calculated about what he says and how he says it.

Indeed, that is a characteristic that is identifiable on or off the stomp. There is no doubt that he knows what to say and can deliver it powerfully, but it is the calculation behind it that worries me. Hillary Clinton, by contrast, is so blatant she just came out and said she should be the nominee because she can get the white vote. Well, yes, she can! And, no, he can’t.

History, too, has some lessons to be learned about charisma. Some very unsavory people had it and most of them could deliver one heck of a speech. Crowds cheering, women swooning, men enraptured by the fantasy of power or change or whatever snake oil is being poured.

In the purest terms possible, the Constitution grants most of the real power to Congress. The President has the veto and what Teddy Roosevelt called the bully pulpit, but he doesn’t fashion legislation, he responds to it. Beyond that he is the Commander-in-Chief and he gets to select Supreme Court nominees. Even then, Congress can reject them and has.

I am far less swayed by so-called charisma than most. It probably comes from my days as a working journalist. That’s why those who cover politicians and/or candidates rapidly grow skeptical and even weary of the rhetoric, and begin to ask a lot of questions that annoy their quarry. Experienced politicians learn how to parry questions or just ignore them.

Obama has briefly gotten by his relationships with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and ex-Weatherman Bill Ayers at this point, but both will come back to haunt him. What may yet trip him up, however, is his thin record of experience and his voting record. The latter has done in candidates with far more to offer.

In the end, voters take character into consideration and, once the glow of charisma has passed, other than those who will robotically vote Democrat, a lot of Americans, including Democrats, are going to pause and ask themselves if charisma is enough in these challenging times?

Let me answer that question. It isn’t.

Join the Fun at the "Twisted Report"

For some time now I have been imploring my old friend, Ron Marr, to begin to blog. The former editor of The Troutwrapper, one of the funniest publications ever printed, is one of America's great satirists. Unfortunately, it's hard to make a living writing satire (or anything else!) these days, so he's making some excellent guitars and other string instruments.

I give my guarantee that you will thoroughly enjoy his posts, but mostly if you lean to the conservative side of politics and especially if you are country born and bred. Ron lives in a cabin with his two dogs perched above a creek in Missouri which, to some, is their idea of heaven. The view is wonderful and he has ten acres of America that's all his own.

I think his guitar site is called He told me how he choose that name, but I have forgotten why. He's not blind. He's not a doughboy (a WWI term for an American soldier), but he is one very funny guy and if you need a laugh, visit the Twisted Report at

There's a link off to the right of this blog where various sites are listed so you can click on it to visit Ron any time you need to cut through the blather and clutter of the mainstream media.

I will be posting there on occasion, if only to vent in ways I cannot here at Warning Signs. Yes, there is a dark and vicious side to my otherwise sweet and sunny personality. You will not want to miss out on it.

The Race is Now About "Race"

By Alan Caruba

It doesn’t matter how many times Sen. Barack Obama or any politician in America says that the national race for the presidency is not about race. It will be about race.

This nation has a long history of elections in which the issue of race was at the core of who would win or lose, dating back to the beginning of the Republican Party when Abraham Lincoln ran on a platform of not expanding slavery into new states. He did not run to abolish slavery although it was clearly abhorrent to him. As we know, a Civil War ensued during which slavery was the core moral issue, surrounded by many economic ones and, for the South, dominated by that of state’s rights.

In my lifetime, Gov. George Wallace, running for the presidency was severely injured in an attempted assassination. Earlier, Sen. Strom Thurmond had broken with the Democrat Party to run independently as a Dixiecrat. After President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, he correctly predicted the South would become a Republican domain.

So let’s not kid ourselves here. With the likelihood that Sen. Obama will be the Democrat nominee for the presidency, the election is going to split, as it has often throughout the primaries, along White, Black, and Hispanic lines. To date, Sen. Obama has garnered easily 90% of the Black vote as might be expected and nearly 50% of the Hispanic vote.

It is likely that the 40% of the White vote from within the Democrat Party is attributable to a large turnout of younger voters who did not experience the turmoil of the 1960s civil rights movement and who are entranced by Sen. Obama’s rhetorical skills.

There is no doubt that he is a powerful speaker, but as others have pointed out before me, he speaks in platitudes and vague thoughts about “change” and the “future.” His political record is that of a far-Left liberal and his personal associations with men like Rev. Jeremiah Wright and former Weatherman Bill Ayers cannot and will not be lightly dismissed in a national election.

In a national election, a significant portion of White Democrats is going to desert Sen. Obama, crossing over to a safer candidate, the center-right Sen. John McCain. It may be a close election as has been the pattern of the past, but as President Bush proved in his first election, a win is a win, no matter how narrow.

The withdrawal of troops from Iraq has already begun. Some will and must remain to protect Iraq against an unpredictable Iran. The economy will be a major issue, but it continues to demonstrate how resilient it is and any improvement will favor Sen. McCain.

In the end, the election will be won and lost on the issue of race. Saying it won’t doesn’t change that immutable American reality.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Economy is Anyone's Guess

By Alan Caruba

In my youth I was a professional magician earning money entertaining at birthday parties and even adult events. I learned a profound lesson. People like to be fooled. They will pay you money to fool them. They will applaud you at the end of your act.

I must confess, as the son of a Certified Public Accountant who thought the stock market was a fool’s game, I was always leery of investing in stocks. The few times I tried, I lost money. It began to dawn on me that no one really knows what a stock will do. A bit of bad news and its value drops like a stone. Or euphoria sends it upward like a fever.

There are the traditional stocks, thought to be safe, but tell that to the people who invested in General Motors, once the greatest manufacturer of automobiles in the world. It recently announced a $3 billion loss and, would you believe it, the stock price went up on that “good news” because the loss wasn’t as bad as investors thought it would be!

Being a writer by trade doesn’t necessarily lead to big bucks. Out of the few who make it to the bestseller lists with a novel or hot new diet book, there are literally thousands whose books went out into the world and ended up in landfills. In my time, the average writer of books was lucky to earn about $5,000 when published. I actually did earn that with a novel that was so vile I pray nightly that all of the copies have long since been incinerated.

Who anticipated the Great Depression? Few I suspect. Who made it worse? The government. Now, in an era of globalization and investing via the Internet, money can move in and out of various financial institutions and nations so fast there is no way to predict anything.

Is everybody from Hong Kong to London to New York and all points in between happy this morning? It’s mostly a matter of emotion as the sun sets on one side of the planet and rises on the other. It’s a million judgments being made every hour by people with a gambler’s nerve, perhaps some small bit of the knowledge of what is occurring, and a few dollars to spare. It’s about hope. It's about magic.

It was a shock, though, to discover that the great titans of Wall Street had gambled on subprime mortgage loans, bundling them in the amounts that ultimately cost some of their banks and investment houses billions. It was a shock to discover that Bear Stearns, the fifth largest investment bank on Wall Street, was at the brink of bankruptcy at the moment the Federal Reserve stepped in to extend a $30 billion line of credit to J.P. Morgan to snap it up.

The heads of Merrill Lynch and the Citigroup were fired for bad judgment. If they didn’t know what was going on, why should you or I? This brings us to the new or surviving titans who are assuring everyone that we are just about out of the subprime mortgage mess. Warren Buffett says we’re moving out of the mess caused by bad lending practices and worse borrowing ones.

Tell me, how many times in the past few years did you see a DiTech commercial on the air? Or one for Countrywide Home Loans? Ordinary people with no more idea of what it meant to borrow huge amounts of money than a Barbi doll just picked up the phone and received funds. It was magic!

The CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, says, “We’re getting to the point where people are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.” Which people? The ones with whom he has lunch at the Four Seasons?

The amazing thing about the financial meltdown is that people are getting back into the game as swiftly as they are. Investors seem to be less risk averse now than just a few months ago. It’s about hope. It’s about magic!

Americans may be the most optimistic people on the face of the Earth. Our economy is going through the equivalent of shock treatment as fuel and food prices rise. Big box retail outlets like Home Depot are shutting down a number of their stores and we are in the midst of an endless political campaign between two socialists from the Democrat Party and a Republican who's a tad liberal, but not enough to scare too many people.

America has been poorly managed for several decades. Congress hasn’t put the wheels in motion to tap our own vast natural resources. It has conjured up more entitlement programs than we can afford. It has printed “stimulus” checks and is sending them to millions of taxpayers, hoping the money will swiftly make its way back into the economy.

None of this makes me feel that good. It’s more like some slight-of-hand magic trick than smart, prudent economics.

What no one is talking about is a looming pension meltdown lurking on the horizon in which the federal government has a big stake and upon which the lives of many retirees depend.

What no one can predict is another 9/11 or an expanding war in the Middle East.

I have a cousin who is a vice president with a big investment house. He never offers me any advice, even when I ask him. He’s been in the business a long time. Maybe that’s why we get along so well?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Numbers Game and a Losing One

By Alan Caruba

In 2006, Mark Steyn made a big splash with his book, “America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It”, in which he said that, “much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive the twenty-first century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most European countries.”

The subject of the book was the science of demographics, tracking and predicting the growth and loss of various elements of the planet’s population. It’s all about the mathematics of birth rates, migratory shifts of people moving about the Earth in search of jobs, freedom, et cetera.

If you have no real experience with political freedom, however, it is hard to know how to maintain it, particularly since it requires free speech, a free press, and other infrastructure.

For those who read the book, it stirred up a lot of discussion, but that has since receded. We are blessed or afflicted—depending on your point of view—with short memories and, for the vast bulk of the population, very little knowledge or even a sense of history. None of this, however, slows the inexorable arithmetic of birth and death among the world’s six billion-plus population.

Let me provide such one example. We all know about the September 11, 2001 attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, but did you know that on September 11, 1683 a Muslim army was decisively defeated near Vienna? That battle saved Europe.

For Americans, Europe is a nice place to visit. It is the “old country” for many people whose grandparents and parents migrated from there in search of a better life here for themselves and their descendents. America was still a young nation in the 1800s when millions flooded in, mostly at the invitation of those in need of their labor. By the end of World War II, America emerged intact and as a great power. By the 1990s when the Soviet Union collapsed, it was declared a superpower.

Most Americans have no memory of the Depression of the 1930s. Those born after World War II, the “Boomer” generation, are now beginning to retire. The only memories of America anyone has today is of a nation triumphant, albeit one that engaged in two wars, Korea and Vietnam, that turned out poorly at the time, but a look at a thriving South Korea today suggest it was worth it and Vietnam now is eager to do business with us.

Wars in the Middle East stir memories of those previous ones and, being quite different in nature, tend to make most Americans eager to just leave. We are not facing a massed army. Instead, we are killing the enemies of progress and freedom a few at a time. It’s tedious work, but necessary, and we have few friends to help us.

What does this have to do with demographics? The answer is that Muslims from the Middle East, the northern nations of Africa known as the Maghreb, and immigrants in general from Asia and Africa have been pouring into Europe to replace the dwindling native populations, providing labor. It is a migration comparable to our own but this group of immigrants either does not want to integrate with the European culture or are not invited to. They are building mosques or taking over abandoned churches.

Meanwhile, a flow of Mexicans and others from nations south of us is reconquering America while our nation’s leaders look the other way. Why? No one seems to know.

As Patrick J. Buchanan notes in a recent column, “In 1950, whites were 28 percent of the world population and Africans 9 percent. In 2060, the ratio will remain the same. But the colors will be reversed.”

No one is suggesting that whites are genetically superior to other races, but they have a history of cultural and technological development with which few can compare. My guess is that the Chinese will pick up where we leave off, when we leave off, as we will surely do if our economic and political system is subsumed in a population that is indifferent to what made it different.

Pax Romana is no more. Pax Americana could be looking at the end as well if the numbers continue. As Buchanan put it, “The Caucasian race is going the way of the Mohicans.”

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Just Saying NO!

By Alan Caruba

Don Young, (R-Alaska) ranking member of the Committee on Natural Resources sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to members of both parties of the House to remind them that, as energy prices rise steadily, “Congress is doing nothing to ease the pain at the pump.”

As Rep. Young put it, up to now the policy has been to:

Say NO to ANWR’s 30-year, one million barrels a day supply of American oil.

So NO to an estimated two trillion barrels of American shale oil.

Say NO to clean-burning natural gas.

Say NO to clean coal.

So NO to energy exploration in the 85% of the United States’ outer continental shelf.

Say NO to more energy exploration in the Intermountain West.

Say NO to more hydropower energy.

Say NO to more nuclear energy.

Say NO to any form of energy that will provide meaningful relief from record high energy prices.

Say NO to 90% of the energy that fuels America’s economy.

In truth, Congress has done nothing for four decades and that’s how far behind we are if they were to actually do something tomorrow.

You can’t drill for oil, lay pipelines, refine and transport crude oil overnight. The whole process takes years to build the infrastructure.

For reasons beyond my understanding, both Democrat and Republican Congresses have utterly failed and/or refused to either understand or do anything.

That makes Americans their victims. That means everyone who drives a car or truck is being penalized for stupidity, incompetence, and a situation that has put us at the mercy of nations, some of whom do not like us very much.

Worse, if one just looked at the Alaskan National Wilderness Refuge, the one that environmentalists want to keep in its “pristine” purity for the sake of some caribou and other critters, what is really at stake is 2,000 acres out of 19.6 million!

What’s more, Democrats and environmentalists want to lock up an additional 27.8 billion barrels in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea! That’s why the Bush administration’s Department of Interior is being pressured to declare polar bears “endangered” when every expert on that population says they’re not.

At $120.00 a barrel, we will send $500 billion to foreign governments and hostile dictators in 2008 alone.

At $120.00 a barrel, opening up ANWR would generate $183.5 billion in income tax and royalty revenue that would flow to the federal government over the 30-year lifetime of the field.

If I could tell you why the Democrats oppose this, I would. I do know that Hillary Clinton is talking about confiscating “windfall” profits from the oil companies. Never mind that, for several years, they weren't make that much and what they're making now helps them gear up to meet our energy needs. I can't think of a worse way to discourage them from building new refineries and doing the hugely expensive exploration we need.

This is, in so many ways, so sinister one might reasonably conclude that the Democrat Party—that hasn’t had a new idea since the 1940s—is deliberately acting to harm us all.
That’s something to think about when you step into the voting booth in November.