Sunday, May 31, 2009

Paddling Furiously Against a Tide of Climate Lies

By Alan Caruba

The whole notion of “global warming”, a dramatic increase in the overall temperature of the Earth, always struck me as the most absurd nonsense.

I knew enough about climate trends to know that they are subject to cycles ranging from a full-fledged ice age to the interglacial period of the past 11,000 or more years. I confess I have no idea how early hominids survived the last ice age unless most were in the warmer climes of Africa and Asia, but those in North America and Europe surely faced enormous odds.

The way the “global warming” advocates claimed daily that everything, just everything, was the result or proof of this enormous hoax always seemed to me sufficient proof that (a) they had no idea what they were talking about, (b) they were making lots of money telling these lies, or (c) had climbed on the “global warming” wagon in order to enhance their careers in some fashion.

A small group of climatologists and meteorologists waged war on the lies and they did so for a very long time. Global warming is the invention of the United Nations which launched it with the formation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1988 via its Environment Program in association with its World Meteorological Organization.

Al Gore climbed on board around 1992 with his farcical book, “Earth in the Balance” in which he advocated an end to the internal combustion engine among other absurd ideas. Apparently, stupidity is no obstacle to receiving a Nobel Peace Prize as he did in 2007, sharing it with the IPCC.

One non-profit, free market think tank, The Heartland Institute, took up the challenge of debunking “global warming” despite the animus of the mainstream media and various environmental organizations that exist for no other purpose than to smear those courageous enough to challenge the hoax. The Institute is headquartered in Chicago and led by Joe Bast.

In 2008, it sponsored for the first International Conference on Climate Change, a two-day marathon of seminars led by some of the world’s leading authorities on climate, all of whom offerred scientific papers demonstrating that the IPCC and others had simply fabricated the “evidence” for “global warming.” I attended and I did so again in March of this year for the second Conference. Those newspapers and other media that covered the event devoted most of their time trying to make it look like a gathering of screwballs.

By then, however, the public had long grown weary of the many “solutions” to “global warming”, the primary one of which involved the UN Kyoto Protocol that demanded that industrial nations like America, the United Kingdom and European nations all severely limit the use of energy on the grounds that “greenhouse gas” emissions such as carbon dioxide, were causing “global warming.” The great lie of the Protocol is demonstrated in the way it exempts China, India and third world nations from participating. The other lie is that C02 plays any role in climate change. It doesn’t.

People all over the world had begun to notice that, since 1998, the world had grown cooler and, in fact, it has been in a cooling cycle. Snow fell in desert kingdoms where it never had been seen before. Glaciers were expanding along with the ice in both the Arctic and Antartcic. Polling organizations in the United States began to report that Americans increasingly felt that “global warming” wasn’t happening despite the torrent of desperate propaganda to prop up this vast deception.

On June 2nd in Washington, D.C., The Heartland Institute is sponsoring another international conference because it knows that “global warming” is being used to impose a huge tax on Americans in the form of the “Cap-and-Trade” 900-plus-page bill just voted out of a House committee. This bill requires the same limits on energy use as the UN Kyoto Protocol.

In 1997 the U.S. Senate voted unanimously against signing on to this villainous treaty, but now we have a Congress and White House controlled by Democrats who, like Al Gore, continue to lie to Americans about “global warming.”

Prepare to read and hear it slandered by the craven “journalists” who continue to report that a warming that is not happening is happening.

Among those participating will be Harrison Schmitt, PhD, a former U.S. Senator and NASA astronaut. The indominable S. Fred Singer, PhD, president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project will speak as will Willie Soon, PhD, an astrophysicist with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Courageous men like Richard S. Lindzen, PhD, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Patrick Michaels, PhD, a senior fellow on Environmental Studies with the Cato Institute, will speak as well as Roy W. Spencer, PhD, the Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama, Huntsville.

This is not a full account of the distinguished speakers, but it is absolutely necessary that those in Congress hear what they have to say regarding the “global warming” hoax. If they do not, the continued destruction of our nation’s economy will continue apace and more millions in our nation’s schools will continue to be taught lies about the Earth’s climate.

It costs lots of money to underwrite the costs of these conferences and, if you have some to spare, you should donate at and become a member and supporter of this brave think tank.

In the interest of full disclosure, Heartland has in the past provided me with a small grant to continue my own work on behalf of my clearinghouse for information about “scare campaigns”, The National Anxiety Center. We too are dependent on donations to continue our work. If you know anyone who can provide a grant let them know about the Center.

We are all at a critical moment in the history of the greatest hoax of the modern era, masterminded by the United Nations and designed to do as much harm as possible to freedom-loving, industrialized nations like America.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Stupefying America

By Alan Caruba

If you have a suspicion that many of your fellow Americans are too stupid to trust with the great affairs of this nation, you might just be right, but you might not know why.

Take a look at the choices television offers. Do you ever wonder why shows featuring stupid people or animated characters are so popular? I cite The Simpsons, Family Guy, Two and a Half Men, My Name is Earl, et al. Why do we enjoy laughing at stupid people? Does it make us feel smarter?

Does the shallowness of so much that passes for entertainment or even passing itself off as educational actually reflect the lives of those watching? The answer is probably yes and they didn’t get that way by accident. The education system of America has been deliberately fashioned to create a docile, easily controlled population. And that means YOU.

There is a book available that explains why “Every single school day in America, 7,000 students drop out, some confused, some angry, but all are brave…What does it say to us that a million and a quarter young people a year don’t want to be in classrooms, don’t want to be there so much they’re willing to endure scorn, insult, and constant discrimination as the price of escape?”

The book is John Taylor Gatto’s “Weapons of Mass Instruction: A School Teacher’s Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling.” ($24.95, New Society Publishers).

“The rigid stupidities of forced schooling, its linear logics, its bell curves, its buzzers and tests and multiple humiliations, its resort to magical spells, fills me with rage these days as an old man,” wrote Gatto, a former acclaimed teacher of the year.

Today’s (and for several generations yesterday’s) schools are factories of boredom. They don’t exist to educate, but to produce students who will obey rules, dutifully move from class to class when the bell rings, and accept nonsense like “fuzzy math” and “global warming.” The No Child Left Behind Act of 2009 includes $500 million for the teaching of ‘Environmental Literacy’ when real literacy rates—the ability to read—have been dropping like a stone in water for decades. They are a national disgrace.

Why can’t our schools teach reading or arithmetic skills when even pre-school toddlers can learn these things if given the opportunity? Why are we spending $10,000 per student, per year, to produce such poor results? Why would anyone willingly spend their youth cooped up in classrooms when they could be out in the “real world” learning real skills of their own choosing, learning from open sources of information?

And why wouldn’t they flee schools where life is dangerous? Since last September, 20 Chicago Public School students have been killed, 18 by gunfire. Last year, 24 of the more than 30 students killed were shot to death. Nationally, homicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 24 in 2004. Elsewhere in the nation bullying is widespread. School in America is too often a very unpleasant experience dominated by boredom.

The American school system as we know it today was imported from Germany in the 1850s. As America’s industrial base boomed in the years following the end of the Civil War, the need was for millions of immigrants to do the often difficult manual work involved in making steel, building railroads, and manufacturing the first automobiles and countless other inventions that burst on the scene. Industrialists, men like Rockefeller and Carnegie, decided that compulsory education was the best way to produce not just a functional work force, but people conditioned to purchase the bounty of new goods.

The bible of the compulsory educational system was Benjamin Bloom’s two-volume “Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.” Gatto describes him as “an academic madman” in whose system “children would be forced to learn ‘proper’ thoughts, feelings, and actions, while ‘improper’ attitudes from home were ‘remediated.’” In other words, schools were to be laboratories of social change designed to serve business and industry.

This has led to schools where students are literally drugged if they show any vitality or curiosity. The more docile are simply on a treadmill, so much human sausage to be processed. Indeed, why should we wonder why drug addiction is such a massive social problem in an America filled with people who were either trained to be cogs in some faceless corporation or told early in life they were failures?

Since you no doubt passed through this process, it may in retrospect become more clear why schools as often fail to educate the students entrusted to them, than not. The excuses for this are many, but the most popular is that less privileged students in urban centers are virtually doomed to failure from birth. This is not true. Given the opportunity to learn in charter or parochial schools, they do as well or better.

The best of our students today are home-schooled. They win the spelling and geography bees. Some of the nation’s great leaders of the past never attended school. They include George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. They self-schooled themselves with great success and they did it early in life, often before they reached their teens.

In modern times, the secrets of the Human Genome Map were cracked by a surfer named Craig Venter and a born-again Christian home-schooler named Frances Collins. Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines and other ventures dropped out of high school. The examples of those who self-schooled themselves to success are numerous and put the lie to the jails, often with on-site police, that we call modern schools.

Our nation’s schools have been failing generations of Americans, particularly since around the 1960s and, despite no mention in the Constitution, education is now totally controlled by the federal government and by the powerful teachers union, the American Education Association.

It is truly no laughing matter when Jay Leno asks simple questions of people in the streets to reveal time and again how little actual knowledge they possess. They are the products of our school system.

The United States is falling behind many other nations in educating its citizens.

Tellingly, China takes schooling and learning seriously. Its students all learn English, knowing they may become part of their nation’s international legion, likely to be the next great world power. While China builds coal-fired plants for energy and locks in deals for oil, our government calls coal “dirty” and refuses to permit exploration of our vast offshore continental shelf for oil and natural gas.

It takes a special kind of stupidity to deny one’s own nation the energy it requires to grow, to force corporations to move overseas, to take control of industries such as banking and automobile manufacturing without having the slightest idea how to run them.

It’s the stupidity that is the result of a nationwide school system that prolongs childhood while making learning an unpleasant chore.

To learn more, read my four part series:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Are There Too Many Books?

By Alan Caruba

I am back from walking the many aisles of Book Expo in the cavernous New York City Jacob Javits Exposition Center. For a charter member of the National Book Critics Circle and longtime—very longtime—editor of, a monthly report on the best in new fiction and non-fiction, Book Expo is the annual equivalent of the hajj to Mecca.

It is filled with booths and the booths are filled with books. Eager publicists, sales people, and even editors can’t wait to show you their latest “titles.” In the book world, all new books are “titles.” In some booths, famous authors sign copies. In others, authors who have achieved a smaller measure of fame or eager to be famous have their new books as well.

There are several genres of books that I try to avoid. I am deeply skeptical of all manner of books that involve any form of “enlightenment” beyond what one can find in the family Bible, Old and New Testament. Books that recommend you meditate while burning incense or candles, sit cross-legged in the middle of the room, et cetera, don’t work for me. Prayer? Pray where you are, any time you need to, which in these times is often.

One is reminded of the way there is no end to cookbooks and, alternatively, books on how to diet. Travel books seem to thrive. Self-improvement and home-improvement books abound. Books on various aspects of health and medicine do well. There are novels, novels, novels.

By mid-morning, the aisles are jammed with people. Book Expo draws bibliophiles and those from the far-flung community of people who make their living selling books. It was quickly becoming difficult to navigate the aisles and I am reminded once again why I receive anywhere from three to five books every day but Sunday. That’s easily a one hundred or more books a month. I have heard estimates of 200,000 new books a year and I have no reason to dispute the figure.

I love to read. My favorite topics are history, politics, biographies, and books on current events. I read almost no fiction nor do I read all of the seventy or so books that are recommended in my monthly Internet site. I read enough of each to make a judgment as to their content, their organization, their documentation, and attention to general literary standards. used to attract some 60,000 to 80,000 visits a month, but it is down to half that these days. The book industry is feeling the contraction of the economy too and the book sections that used to grace newspapers like The Washington Post and others are swiftly becoming a thing of the past.

On the first day of Book Expo, however, you would not know that. The place is thronged and, after a transit of its many aisles, the presentation of every kind of book on every kind of subject, one is comforted in knowing that the book industry is soldering on, forever in pursuit of the next bestseller. In our society, authors still have prestige, no matter what they have written.

Indeed, one measure of success in America is to have written a book. Many of our former Presidents wrote memoirs. Ulysses S. Grant wrote his in order to leave some money for his family because he was pretty much broke by the end of his life. When Harry S. Truman went home to Independence, Missouri, all he had to his name was his WWI army pension and the family farm which he was forced to sell. These days, books by former Presidents like Clinton generate big bucks. President Obama, unable to find a more important topic, wrote two memoirs before he even made it into the U.S. Senate.

There is even a vast industry for those who want to self-publish rather than run the gauntlet of getting a publisher to take it on. Writing a really good book requires talent. It requires dedication. Personal vanity is a very bad reason to write a book.

The curmudgeon in me wants to say there are too many books being published these days. The short answer is yes. I can’t say that, though. The reason is that, among the hundred or more books that I receive monthly, I inevitably find several of great merit. They often provide a blazing insight into the minds of people whom I need to understand or events and personalities that left their mark on human history. There are books that explain the science of the Earth and beyond to me.

Books have largely made me the man I am today. Show me someone who does not read books and I will show you someone lost in the fog of propaganda, manipulation, and the lies that pass for the news of the day. Books can tell you who you are, what you believe, and why. They always leave you changed in some fashion.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Torture? Who Are They Kidding?

By Alan Caruba

I come from a generation that, for 44 years, fought the Cold War with the former Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991. Occasionally that war got hot in places like Korea, Vietnam, and tiny Grenada. Over a succession of Presidents from Truman to Reagan, all maintained the Cold War until its successful conclusion.

Too many Americans think that we have only been fighting the Islamo-fascists since 9/11, but they have short memories. We have been in conflict with them since 1979 when the Iranian revolution seized American diplomats and held them hostage for 444 days until the inauguration of Ronald Reagan.

In 1982, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut was bombed by Muslim terrorists. In one incident after another Americans were repeatedly targeted. In 1985, the Italian cruise ship was seized and a 69-year-old American was shot and thrown overboard. In 1986, a West Berlin discotheque frequented by U.S. servicemen was bombed under orders of the Libyan dictator. One American died. In 1991 the U.S. went to war with Iraq after it had invaded Kuwait.

In 1993, on Clinton’s watch, the World Trade Center was bombed. That same year 18 American troops were killed in Somalia and one was dragged through the streets of Mogadishu as Muslims cheered. In 1995, five Americans were killed and 30 wounded by a car bomb in Saudi Arabia. In June 1996, a U.S. Air Force housing complex in Saudi Arabia was bombed. On August 7, 1998, U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed.

During the Clinton years the response was no response to these acts except for a lot of talk and, in the case of the first Twin Towers bombing it was treated as a local criminal act, not an act of war.

On September 11, 2001, the second attempt to destroy the Twin Towers was successful. Among the terrorists were 19 Saudis. More than 3,000 Americans died. George W. Bush was President and, by September 29, a poll reported in USA Today revealed that the “Public stands firmly behind war.” Approval for the action taken in Afghanistan stood at 92%.

Flash forward to today when we have a President in office who won largely by campaigning against the war in Iraq and refusing to admit publicly that the “surge” had proven successful. Once in office, he would authorize a similar surge in Afghanistan, declaring it the new front in the war on terrorism even though it was obvious that Pakistan was where it was being waged by the Taliban.

His opponent in the 2008 campaign was John McCain, a former Navy pilot who had been the “guest” of the Vietnamese for some five years, enduring torture that left him unable to raise his arms above his head. He, however, joins the Democrats in condemning torture. Medal of Honor winner, Col. Bud Day, was a prisoner at the same time suffering torture from 1967 to 1973 that I would not repeat here because it was so severe. He says, “Our President and those fools around him who keep bad mouthing our great country are a disgrace to the United States.”

The Democrats have made much of “waterboarding”, a procedure that many U.S. military endure as part of their training to resist “aggressive” interrogation if captured. It doesn’t kill and it doesn’t leave those receiving it permanently injured. It is unpleasant and, when it is necessary to extract information that will protect the lives of thousands of Americans, it works. That much is public record.

Adding to the waterboarding debate is the new factor of the Speaker of the House’s assertion that the Central Intelligence Agency “lies” to Congress “all the time.” The real question is who is lying; Rep. Nancy Pelosi, third in line for the presidency should both the President and Vice Present be killed, or the CIA?

The refusal to recognize who really engages in torture and barbaric acts has been one of constant denial by the Democrats and the White House. When President Obama takes the high moral ground it does not change the fact that the terrorists routinely engage in beheading their captives. This barbarism was dramatically demonstrated when Wall Street reporter, Daniel Pearl, suffered that fate and there is nary a word about the thirty years of butchery in which Saddam Hussein engaged while dictator of Iraq.

We are at war, not only with state-sponsored torture and butchery by non-state actors such as al Qaeda and the Taliban, Hamas and Hezbollah, but with a culture of cruelty that goes back centuries in the Arab world.

It is a culture that routinely stones to death women accused of adultery and excuses “honor killings” of women that are innocent only of refusing to be married off to men not of their choice or seeking escape from men who beat them. It beheads people deemed “infidels” or those said to have broken Sharia law.

The catalog of Arab Muslim depraved acts includes killing those at prayer in mosques and, of course, the campaign of terror unleashed against Israel called the “Intifada.” It has continued to this day with thousands of rockets fired into Israel by the very people with whom the present administration insists the Israelis make “peace” by giving up more of their land.

As recently as a week ago, four American Muslims were arrested for allegedly planning to kill Jews at prayer in two New York synagogues and shooting down a U.S. aircraft.

The willful refusal to admit that the United States and the West is at war stands in stark contrast to the Cold War.

The debate over so-called “torture” in Guantanamo or anywhere else is a smokescreen to distract Americans from the real enemy and the very long war that must be waged against them lest they bring weapons of mass destruction to our shores and kill millions of Americans.

The “mess” that President Obama blames his predecessor for kept this nation safe from attack for his two terms in office. Obama's first term began with a deep bow to a Saudi Arabian prince.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How NOT to Defend America

By Alan Caruba

Does anyone believe that we don’t live in an increasingly dangerous world; one in which nuclear weapons are proliferating and worldwide Islamic terrorism threatens our nation and others?

The first months of the Obama administration bode ill for the safety of the United States. Calling on the United Nations to rebuke North Korea for what North Korea has always done, fire off missiles and test atomic bombs, is as useless a response as could be imagined. Consider this approach in light of the administration’s cuts to a much-needed missile defense system for the homeland.

Organizing a serious inspection system of every ship entering or leaving North Korean waters would go much further to reducing its ability to ship its weapons to others with bad intentions. Is it an act of war? Is routinely using U.S. national holidays to demonstrate its belligerence a signal of their intentions? They have already said they do not intend to abide by the 1953 armistice agreement.

What has been Iran’s response to President Obama’s extended hand of friendship? They have sent their warships into international waters, although it can be argued they want to protect the oil tankers on which their economy depends. They have tested new longer range missiles, making it clear they can now target Israel and others in the region. They continue to work on developing nuclear weapons.

In a recent commentary, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., president of the Center for Security Policy, warns that the Obama administration has dispatched a diplomat to Russia to negotiate a new bilateral treaty to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with the possibility of reducing by as much as a third of what is left of our arsenal of nuclear weapons. You can bet the Kremlin is delighted with this prospect.

In another move, Gaffney warned that the Obama administration wants to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty that was rejected by a majority of the Senate a decade ago. The treaty would permanently prohibit the U.S. from underground nuclear testing. Good news for North Korea, Iran and every other nation that wants to threaten us.

At the same time, while babbling endlessly about “energy independence”, we live in a nation that sits atop vast reserves of coal and oil. Since the 1970s, however, successive administrations have taken steps to ensure that we can neither mine, nor drill for any of it.

Not a single new oil refinery has been built in the U.S. since those years when the oil industry had windfall profits taxes imposed and other measures that deterred the prospect of domestic exploration and development.

We have a President who is on record opposing the building of any new coal-fired plants to provide for our growing need for more electricity and has rescinded any exploration for oil or natural gas reserves along our vast continental shelf.

Thanks to the environmental organizations the United States has allowed ideology to trump common sense regarding our energy needs and the arms agreements the Obama administration is pursuing would leave us unable to fulfill our obligations to the many nations that depend upon our nuclear umbrella to protect them.

The Obama administration has a Transportation Secretary who wants the government to “coerce” everyone to abandon automobiles in favor of mass transit and bicycles.

We have an Energy Secretary who says the answer to a non-existent global warming is to paint the roofs of all buildings white to reflect the Sun’s radiation.

The administration has a science advisor who wants to shoot soot or something else into the atmosphere for the same purpose.

We have an Environmental Protection Agency Director and an environmental advisor to the President who believe that carbon dioxide is a “pollutant” instead of a gas that is vital to all life on Earth.

We have a Congress that is contemplating a ludicrous Cap-and-Trade bill that would impose a tax on the emission of carbon dioxide on all energy producers and users for the purpose of deterring global warming at a time when the Earth is now ten years into a cooling cycle. It would destroy an already fragile economy.

As General Motors and Chrysler ready themselves for bankruptcy and huge downsizing measures, the Obama administration has imposed a new standard for gasoline use in automobiles that will require that they be smaller and more dangerous. Nor is there any indication that Americans want to purchase or drive such models.

A recent Rasmussen telephone survey revealed that 75% said that finding new sources of energy to reduce our dependence on imported sources of energy should be the goal of our government.

And, finally, we have a President who has rather casually said that the nation has run out of money.

Does any of this suggest that Congress and the White House have abandoned anything that resembles common sense? Has the unconstitutional looting of the national treasury done anything other than to debase and devalue the dollar? Are we less safe now that we no longer have the robust national security policy of the past eight years?

The Obama administration, in concert with Congress, is seeking to disarm the nation at the very time we need to expand our military capabilities. The same administration is seeking to impose “global warming” mandates and restrictions that threaten our economy.

Ideology, whether it is about the environment or about national security, endangers our nation at every turn.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The World's Most Pointless Negotiations

By Alan Caruba

With yet another meeting between the Prime Minister of Israel and the President of the United States, we are witnessing the world’s oldest and most pointless negotiations, the call for a Palestinian State.

As Dan Greenfield, a freelance commentator, recently pointed out, “For 17 years, Israel, America, and just about every interested party has tried to build a Palestinian state”, noting quite accurately that such a state has existed since the founding of Jordan.

Israel was supposed to be much larger when its borders were originally planned, but Winston Churchill insisted that the Hashemites, a Saudi breakaway clan, be given a big chunk of the land from Great Britain’s Palestine Mandate, a result of the Versailles Treaty after World War I.

It was this treaty that literally divided up the former Ottoman Empire into various colonies of England and France. Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and modern day Lebanon are literally geographic inventions of this treaty. Jordan exists due to the protection and support provided by both Israel and America.

The British who, via the Balfour Letter asserted that a homeland for the Jews was their policy, betrayed the early Zionists seeking a modern homeland in Israel, their ancient homeland, when it carved out a large section of their Palestinian Mandate to be ceded to Jordan.

Following the initial war in 1947 when Arab nations attacked Israel and again in 1967, a vast “refugee” problem occurred following promises by those same Arab nations that local Arabs could return to claim all of Israel.

A permanent refugee population was created by United Nations intervention that set up UNRWA, a unique and separate agency devoted entirely to maintaining the so-called Palestinians. In place since 1950, these permanently displaced people have been funded by UNRWA and through the “charity” provided by Arab nations that have used them as pawns.

The Palestinians are now the world’s oldest “refugees.” Even when Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, they have never been able to create anything resembling a nation state capable of establishing a viable economy. Instead, they turned the territory into a platform for constant attacks on Israel.

There never was a Palestinian state or anything even approximating a state. It was and is a fiction. There is no historic Palestinian people, no Arab king of the Palestinians, nothing that defines them as anything other than Arabs who, in the years leading up to Israel’s founding regarded themselves largely as residents of southern Syria or Jordan.

At no time since have the alleged representatives, Yassir Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Authority and subsequently the warring factions of Fatah and Hamas, has any offer of land for peace been accepted, despite major efforts by the United States to mediate a solution.

If the United Nations was to close UNRWA, the so-called Palestinians would have to be absorbed into the existing Arab states of the Middle East, but the United Nations has proven the most hostile global institution to such a solution and to the existence of Israel.

As the years have passed, Iran’s Islamic Revolution has metastasized into a threat to Israel and the entire Middle East in its quest for nuclear weapons and regional hegemony. The Arab states fear Iran more than they do Israel and with good reason.

Israel, of course, must determine when it will destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities and no amount of pressure from the United States will deter that decision. It either takes action or will be subjected to a nuclear attack. Recent polls indicate that slightly more than half of all Israelis now favor an immediate attack.

The Obama administration’s outreach to Iran is either naïve or a deliberate effort to accede to Iran’s intentions.

All negotiations regarding a Palestinian state are a farce played out on the world stage because the parties to them know full well the Palestinians, led by two warring factions, never had and never will agree to anything other than the destruction of Israel.

The Israelis know this. It’s time for the rest of the world to acknowledge it and to abandon the United Nations program in order to force the Palestinians to integrate themselves into the many Middle Eastern nations that exist to absorb them.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Nuke'm, Danno!

By Alan Caruba

The popular TV series, “Hawaii Five-O”, made the line, “Book’m, Danno”, famous as a signoff. The world has surely arrived at a point when we need to say, “Nuke’m” to nations like North Korea and Iran. There simply is no alternative.

Well, not exactly. There is an alternative and it involves North Korea selling a small nuclear weapon to some Islamofascist to smuggle into the United States and destroy one or more of our cities and millions of our citizens.

The memory of the recent slaughter of 3,000 of our countrymen is already fading swiftly.

Soon enough, Iran will be making their own such devices and, since the United States has been their “Great Satan” for the past three decades, they too may choose this option. It is more likely they will fulfill their mission to bring about the return of the Twelfth Imam, a mythical Islamic Shiite figure, by plunging the world into a nuclear holocaust.

Perhaps it will begin with a nuclear attack on Israel, though Israel’s history suggests they will not let that happen. Having risen like the phoenix from the ashes of the Holocaust they will not permit such evil.

All this is occurring at a time when we have a pacifist in the White House who is just too eager to “extend the olive branch” to Iran and to scold North Korean instead of marshaling the world’s nations to impose sanctions that will bring its government to ruin.

A nation has to get lucky in its choice of leaders in times like these and the United States is the most unlucky of nations to have fallen into the hands of Barack Obama and his Democrat toadies in a Congress led by two of the greatest ignoramuses to have held the offices of Senate Majority Leader and Speaker of the House.

“History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap,” said Ronald Reagan, noting too that “If history teaches anything, it teaches self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly.”

It is folly to think Iran is not working night and day to make its own nuclear weapons and it is folly to think they will not use them.

It is folly to think that North Korea can be contained and can be restrained from continuing to make nuclear weapons and the missiles to carry them because the latest test of an atomic device and firing of missiles was North Korea’s way of advertising its wares for sale.

North Korea has been described as China’s dagger, a rogue nation presumably under its control, to keep the United States tied up in South Korea since the truce in 1953 that left a permanent state of war between the two halves of that vast peninsula. North Korea threatens both South Korea and Japan, American allies. If it were not so useful, China could crush it in the course of a week’s time.

What we do know is that, most recently, North Korea was assisting Syria in the construction of a nuclear facility until Israel turned it into a parking lot. North Korea is a global arms merchant that will sell to anyone with the cash to buy their deadly merchandise.

Not all the pretenses of the United Nations have any useful impact on North Korea, nor has the UN been of any use in the Middle East that just packed its human rights council with representatives of the worst despots on earth. The United States funds a quarter of its budget.

It is doubtful that President Obama has a clue regarding the history of the past half century, the reason the Korean War was fought, the reformation of China from a crazed Maoist third-rate nation into one that has embraced capitalism in all but name. It is doubtful, too, that the lessons of World War II, the appeasement of the Nazi regime, the butchery and plundering undertaken by the 20th century imperialist Japanese Empire has penetrated his mind.

Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford understood the threat. Neither Presidents Carter, nor Clinton did. President Reagan did, along with Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

For President Obama who along with Clinton never wore a military uniform, any attack on the United States is the fault of the United States. He is utterly devoted to the belief that common ground can be found with Islamic fanatics whose goal is a global caliphate.

The United States is seen by many around the world these days as a wounded giant, a failing economic power. As such our enemies will see these times as perfect for an attack. We have replaced a President who warned the world that America would launch a preemptive attack if threatened with a President whose first instinct is to apologize for America’s past policies and actions.

Having just celebrated Memorial Day to honor the men and women who gave their lives to protect history’s most unique experiment in self-government, in freedom, and in liberty, we have arrived at a point in time when all the signs point to the loss of our nation to those devoted to our destruction.

We are a nation that will not defend our southern border against the wholesale invasion of millions of illegal aliens, bleeding us of billions to provide healthcare, to educate their children, to live with the crime they bring to our streets. The President has stopped the building of a fence to slow that tide and proposes to close the detention center of its most rabid Islamic enemies.

We shall either summon the courage to act in our defense or we shall be a chapter in the book written by our enemies, describing how we hesitated…and lost.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day: The Blackbird and You

By Alan Caruba

It’s about one of the most remarkable airplanes ever produced by this nation, a spy plane that kept an eye on a lot of evil people in bad places. It was known as the Blackbird and was built to replace the U-2 in which Gary Powers was shot down over Soviet Russia in 1960.

It was built to fly three miles higher and a heck of a lot faster, but it was also built to be able to take a photo of the license plate on Nikita Khrushchev’s car or Fidel Castro lighting a cigar.

They only made forty of these remarkable airplanes. Only 93 pilots would ever fly the aircraft throughout the quarter century it served during the Cold War.

Affectionately the crew called it the “sled”. In 1986, the Blackbird flew over Libya when its dictator challenged the United States and it accelerated away from two missiles fired at it so fast the pilot and fellow crew member crossed the Mediterranean Sea and were just south of Sicily in mere moments. They had to turn around to be refueled over Gibraltar.

The last of the Blackbirds sits in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space museum in Washington, D.C. In its last trip there, the Blackbird broke four speed records from Los Angeles to its final place of honor.

I tell you this on Memorial Day so you will remember, not just the fallen who gave their lives for America or those who served until honorable discharge, but so that you will remember our men and women in uniform who are presently in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in other places, on board ships of war to protect the world’s sea lanes or flying over a dangerous world.

I want you to look at those old men in their veteran’s hats and remember, too, that they once were young and that they stood watch during the Cold War or braved and survived the hell of war so that you did not have to experience it on your street, in your town or city.

To be candid, I have no use for those pukes who are forever prattling about peace in a world that is armed to the teeth because it is full of evil and/or crazed people for whom the dignity of man and the whole reason for America, liberty, means nothing.

I chafe at hearing those who speak ill of those who put their lives on line to preserve for ourselves and to extend freedom where it never existed. Iraq is one such place. It borders Iran where they hang people for the crime of being human.

On this Memorial Day, only the discipline and sense of honor that military duty imbues will secure the Commander-in-Chief a salute. He has not earned it. He does not deserve it. All his instincts are opposed to the things for which this nation stands. He found it hard to put his hand over his heart or wear a flag pin in his lapel when he was campaigning.

But I will salute everyone else who ever put on the uniform of his or her nation, marine, soldier, airman, sailor, coast guard. And I will say a prayer for those no longer with us on this Memorial Day.

There’s a short film you can watch at

When Government Goes Insane

By Alan Caruba

I have this theory that every so often governments go insane. Usually they have someone who is already demented heading up the government, but it takes a majority of the elected body to enact crazy laws and it takes the government apparatchiks to engineer the systemic failures, the wars, and the crazed rush off the cliff.

The election of 2008 is a splendid example of this. The majority of voters elected a man with the thinnest possible resume for the job of President. Indeed, the man has refused to release his birth records to reassure voters he met the minimum, Constitutional standards for the job. The man, however, was a skilled orator, able to give voice to the TelePrompter speeches written for him by master manipulators.

Promising “change”, promising a government free of “lobbyists”, promising “transparency”, and generally promising a new dawn of enlightened government, Barack Obama and his majority in Congress arrived on January 20, 2009 and promptly began to bankrupt the nation, deprive Americans of access to its vast energy resources, and seek to impose an insane law predicated on the belief that carbon dioxide, vital to all life on Earth, was a “pollutant” that had to be reduced and, of course, heavily taxed.

Capping all this madness was a naïve effort to establish improved relations with the spawning ground for terrorism around the world, the Middle East. He is determined to change the fanaticism that have spawned Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, the Taliban, and decades of Islamofascist terrorism from Bali to London, Manhattan and Madrid, to Mumbai.

And it has taken barely four months to get to this point.

In the President’s own words during a C-Span interview, “We’re out of money.”

A recent Cato Institute Tax & Budget Bulletin by Chris Edwards, its director of tax policy studies, spells it out.

“Federal spending is growing by leaps and bounds,” wrote Edwards. “The budget hit $3.9 trillion this year, double the level of spending just eight years ago.”

“The government is also increasing the scope of its activities, intervening in many areas that used to be left to state and local governments, businesses, charities, and individuals.”

To clarify what is occurring, it is necessary to know that the U.S. Constitution expressly forbids the government from bailing out individuals or private industry. Such bailouts violate the Equal Protection doctrine that forbids the government from selecting who shall receive the bailout and who shall not.

Moreover, it violates the General Welfare clause because such bailouts benefit a small group and not the general public. Finally, it violates that Due Process Clause because it interferes with contracts that have already been entered into and, lastly, they turn the public treasury into a public trough.

This new administration, however, has given the union virtual ownership of Chrysler and is likely to do the same with General Motors if the courts do not intervene. The losers are those who lent money to them under contractual terms that put them first in line to be compensated, but who have been left out in the cold along with their fiduciary responsibilities to their investors.

“In recent years,” wrote Edwards, “the range of federal control over society has widened as politicians of both parties have supported nationalizing many formerly state, local, and private activities.” This has led States in particular to spend well beyond the taxes they collected because they counted on the federal redistribution of funds to make up the difference. In the process, they gave up control over their education, healthcare, and transportation systems to name a few.

Edwards cited the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, a 2,205-page official compilation of all federal aid or subsidy programs, including grants, loans, insurance, scholarships, and other types of benefits.

“There has been a large increase in the number of agricultural programs due to bloated farm bills passed in 2002 and 2008. There have also been large increases in the number of homeland security and justice programs, which subsidize local activities such as firefighting and policing. While those are important activities,” said Edwards, “it would be more efficient if they were funded locally because Congress often steers such funds to projects of dubious quality and little national security relevance.”

The Founding Fathers fashioned a central, federal government with specific limitations on what it could or could not do. Most of these have been violated since the last century’s increasing governmental intrusion and acquisition of centralized power.

“It is very sad that a nation founded on individualism and limited government,” wrote Edwards, “has more people than ever suckling at the federal subsidy teat.”

“President Barack Obama has proposed a wide range of new subsidies in energy, health care, and other areas. If enacted, they would take America further away from the individual reliance, voluntary charity, and entrepreneurialism that made it so prosperous in the first place.”

We should not be living in an America where the unions own the corporations, where the banks are not free to determine their own prudent loan principles, where local schools are governed from Washington, D.C., where the kind and size of automobile you drive is decided upon by politicians and bureaucrats, and where we are denied the energy we need based on false accusations about “dirty” fuels that are, in fact, the life’s blood of the economy.

Much of what the government is doing and proposing to do is patently insane. It is most surely unconstitutional.

Visit the official site of the July 4th “Tea Parties” that will be held to protest what is being done to our nation at

Friday, May 22, 2009

Islamic Anti-Semitism is a Very Old Story

By Alan Caruba

There is, in fact, nothing new in the recent arrest of four American-born Muslims seeking to kill Jews in their houses of worship, two synagogues in New York City.

The killing of Jews goes back to the early years of Islam when the Jews of the Qurayzah tribe, one of a few that had settled in Arabia, refused to accept Mohammed’s claim to be the prophet of a new religion called Islam.

By that time, after Islam was initiated in 622 A.D., Judaism had been around over two thousand years and the story of their own prophets had become a history that the emerging religion of Christianity incorporated as well, along with its own saints and martyrs

In true seventh century fashion, Mohammed ordered that all seven hundred men of the Jewish tribe be put to death and their women and children sold as slaves. (Hadith Book 019, Number 4364) Killing Jews entered the Koran and Islamic lore as a wholly
acceptable thing to do. Though Jews have lived in Arab nations for centuries, they have done so always at the sufferance of the ruling powers and with no hope of protection.

When Israel announced its founding in 1948, thousands of Jews throughout the Middle East were forced to flee to the new nation for their lives. In the years leading up to its independence, attacks on Jewish settlers were commonplace.

In America, Jews have been the victims of attacks by jihadists, radical Islamists, going back to the late 1970s. In March 1977 Hanafi Muslims seized three buildings in Washington, D.C., including the headquarters of the B’nai B’rith. They held hostages for 39 hours. There was one death as a result.

In November 1990, El Sayyid Nosair assassinated Rabbi Meir Kahane in a New York hotel. In March 1994, Rashid Baz, a Palestinian immigrant, opened fire on a van carrying orthodox Jewish boys crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, killing one of them.

In 1997, another Palestinian, Ali Hasan Abu Kamal, shot at seven tourists visiting the top of the Empire State building, killing one and wounding another. His suicide note said that U.S. was using Israel against the Palestinians.

The 9/11 Islamic terrorists killed not only Jews in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, but co-religionists and, of course, many Christians. With the exception of the Muslims they killed, the others were all infidels, unbelievers, and their death is prescribed in the Koran. “When ye encounter the infidels,” Mohammed said, “strike off their heads till ye have made a great slaughter of them.”

Muslims deny the truth of both Jewish and Christian doctrines, nor are they apparently reluctant to kill other Muslims when they gather for prayer in their mosques.

There are other incidents, but they all represent the hatred many Muslims feel toward Jews even if they have never met one. More than sixty years of attacks on Israel tells you everything you need to know about how Middle Eastern Muslims feel about Jews. The entire region is suffused in anti-Semitism, they breathe it like the air.

So the news of the arrests of four criminals, all of whom had converted to Islam while in prison, will now be added to the scoreboard that all American Jews carry around in the back of their mind.

It is ironic that Barack Hussein Obama garnered so much of the Jewish vote to become President. This is a man who wants to close down “Gitmo” and put its terrorist detainees in American prisons where they presumably will be able to infect other prisoners with the same cancerous hatred that motivated the thwarted wannabe jihadists.

At this point, not only will no state will accept the Guantanamo detainees, but no other nation wants them either. One out of seven of those released to date has returned to the occupation of Islamic terrorist.

This latest batch of holy warriors for Islam was not taken on the field of battle in Iraq or Afghanistan. They were born here.

A word to the wise for all those who think America is to blame for terrorist acts; they are authorized by the Koran.

A tip of the hat to Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum for his catalog of attacks on American Jews in recent times.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

USA on the Precipice of Destruction

By Alan Caruba

Watching the debate of the Waxman-Markey “Cap-and-Trade” bill that would impose limits on “greenhouse gas” emissions, allegedly to deter “global warming” one Congressman, reading from the script in front of him, said that there is no further debate on whether “global warming” is real and that “a consensus” of scientists concur. He lied.

Everything about “global warming” is a lie and has been since the United Nations created the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to provide the basis for the destruction of the world’s great, industrialized nations while exempting developing nations such as China and India from its mandates.

On my desk is a Global Warming Petition signed by 31,478 American Scientists. It says “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

“Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmosphere carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

Along with other data I picked up in March while attending The Heartland Institute’s second International Conference on Climate Change is a summary for policymakers titled “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate.” Published by the Institute, it is the work of the Science and Environmental Policy Project. On June 2, the Institute will sponsor another comparable conference in Washington, D.C.

The national media will do its best to either ignore or disparage the science that will be presented by some of the nation’s leading climatologists and meteorologists. They have betrayed Americans for decades with their slavish repetition of environmental lies, their glorification of Earth Day, all things “Green”, and their attacks on so-called deniers and skeptics.

America needs all of its 330 million people to be skeptics. It needs them to shake off the lies about “global warming” and demand by calls, letters, faxes, and emails that Congress steps back from the entirety of this foul piece of legislation and to vote against it.

The United States of America is on the precipice of its own destruction and it will be the work of the Democrat members of Congress, the White House, and the work since the 1970s of all those self-anointed and self-proclaimed “environmentalists” who seek to destroy our economy.

“Cap-and-Trade” is a dagger at the heart of America. It will raise the cost of electricity, gasoline, and all forms of energy vital to the economy of the nation. It will enrich the federal government at the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. It is a form of taxation that will impact everything we purchase.

It is to the credit of the Republican Party that its members in Congress are waging a battle to deter this piece of legislation from becoming law. As one Republican Senator noted last evening, “Carbon dioxide is what we exhale, every one of us.” How difficult is it for anyone to understand that CO2 is not a threat and never was?

The threat is the hidden political agenda, socialist in its attempt to control the entire landmass of the nation, to lock away our vast natural energy resources, and to impose laws that will impoverish the present and future generations of America.

The despots of the world are watching and waiting for our destruction. They will celebrate in their palaces. They need not fire a single missile.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Burying the Dead

By Alan Caruba

I attended the funeral of a boyhood friend today. It lasted fifteen minutes and included a minister who did not know him and two nephews in their twenties that remembered him best as a good card player. They recalled no memorable advice because, as one put it, he didn’t speak much.

He died after ten years of struggling with the cancer that finally killed him; about half of the time his nephews knew him. They mostly recalled his quiet courage and lack of complaint.

He had to be in his early seventies. After our school years he went off to college and became an accountant with a large corporation. He married and we exchanged the usual birthday and Christmas cards as well as the occasional email.

Barely capable of anything one would call a conversation he passed through and out of this world hardly making a ripple. There were approximately twenty people for the service. His family members came entirely from his wife’s side. Both his parents had died when he was a young man and there were no siblings and no children.

The nation is full of people like my friend. They don’t break laws. They probably don’t attend church much or at all. They don’t engage in office politics, content to come in and just do their job. They don’t envy others and their level of self-esteem is sufficient to get them through life without jealousy.

We were both born in the late 1930s. To put this in perspective, we grew up without seeing television until our teen years. We were born before polio shots and penicillin, before frozen foods, contact lenses, or the “pill.” There were no credit cards. In the summer there was no air conditioning except at the local movie house. When we were born clothes were washed by hand and hung out on lines to dry. Most of the things we used were not disposable.

For most of our lives it was understood that marriage was between a man and a woman. Women stayed home and raised the children. There was no need, nor necessity, for a second wage earner. People did not live together before getting married and being a single mother was considered bad judgment, bad luck, and a bad choice. Abortions were against the law until 1973.

By the time of his death, life expectancy for men was 78 years who, when we were born, were lucky to live to their 50s or 60s. By 2002 approximately 6,000 people died every day. It came to 2,403,351 people of all ages that year for all reasons and death by firearms was the least likely cause behind auto accidents, influenza and pneumonia, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and septicemia.

Most Americans die from heart disease. Cancer is the next big killer. These two account for some sixty percent of all deaths. By comparison, all the other causes are in the single digits.

People of our generation grew up thinking that, if we went to collage, worked hard, saved our money, bought a home, and perhaps invested wisely, we could expect to retire in our 60s and to live another twenty or more years. Both my parents lived into their 90s.

In that halcyon world in which my friend and I spent our youth, older people were treated with respect. We were excited to reach driving age at 17 and to be able to legally drink at age 21. These were rites of passage as was, for the sons and daughters of the middle class, an affordable college education.

We did not burn our draft cards, nor lay siege to the dean’s office, nor quit to go do drugs in San Francisco. We liked both Sinatra and Elvis and thought the Beatles had funny haircuts. We did not join the Weatherman or conclude that our nation was corrupt or that capitalism had to be destroyed. We loved the Fourth of July and understood the meaning of Memorial Day.

Our combined efforts sent men to walk on the surface of the Moon, helped bring about a civil rights movement that ensured equality before the law to America’s blacks. Along with our parents we ultimately defeated the totalitarian dreams of the Soviet Union and, having fought World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, we helped build the greatest economy and military the world had ever known.

My friend, lying in his casket, free at last of the ravages of cancer, could rightly say he had been a part of that. He didn’t do it by getting his name in the paper, being on radio and television, leading protest marches, running for public office, and any of the other things that attract attention. He didn’t want attention. He wanted to go to work, enjoy being part of the family into which he married, and by voting each Election Day.

He was neither leader, nor follower. He was just a man who understood there are both spoken and unspoken rules to living life productively, properly, and without being a bother to anyone. In the end, he was barely able to fill all the chairs in the tiny funeral home chapel. His obituary was a total of one paragraph. He wouldn’t have minded that at all.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Government is Bad for Business

By Alan Caruba

Why would the leaders of U.S. auto companies, two of whom are facing bankruptcy, gather around the President as he signed legislation requiring higher mileage per gallon when surely each knew that there is a finite amount of energy to be secured from a single gallon of gasoline?

They knew, too, they would have to build smaller, lighter, deadlier cars for anyone driving or who is a passenger in them; if, indeed, anyone will want to buy them or will be able to afford to buy them because their cost will increase with this new useless, senseless government mandate.

To meet a 35.5-mile-per-gallon standard by 2016 they might as well make cars out of papier-mâché. The new standards are yet another environmental delusion that the laws of thermodynamics can be replaced by ideology. Approximately 40,000 Americans die on the highways every year. Watch that number increase as the new standards kick in.

You and every other American is being taken for a fool because those who conjure up the stupidity these standards represent know you were never taught enough in school to understand what a fraud is being perpetrated against you.

This is why they can get away with airy references to “green jobs”, “clean energy”, and the greatest absurdity, an “energy independent” America that currently is forced to import much of its energy because U.S.-based natural resources have been put off-limits by the U.S. government.

Over the course of my long career as a public relations counselor, one lesson in particular has been learned. In general, people who run businesses run scared. When under attack their first instinct is to lay low and their next instinct is make any changes foisted upon them, even if they are based on bad science or lack common sense.

There’s a reason why you see television ads talking about the need for “all forms” of energy. They are the way energy providers are attempting to stem the tide of anti-energy rhetoric pouring out of the White House and Congress, while educating the public to the reality of how and where the energy they use is actually produced.

No coal? Half the electricity we use is generated by coal. No oil? All the gasoline is refined from oil, along with all the plastics we use. No natural gas? It heats millions of homes. Nuclear? It is good for twenty percent of our electricity.

Usually businesses and agricultural interests band together in trade associations to fight against injurious legislation. Washington, D.C. is home to a legion of government relations executives and agencies whose job is to spot trouble early and to convince legislators to avoid signing onto bad legislation or to modify it before it becomes the law. Without them, Americans would be suffering even more due to the idiotic legislation that is generated daily in Congress.

While the natural conflict of competition is the air corporate executives breathe, any conflict involving the U.S. government is necessarily buffered by lawyers, government relations specialists, and public relations professionals whose job it is to present the side of the argument the mainstream media generally ignores or distorts.

Corporate executives are not cowards. They do battle every day to increase their company’s profit margin, to protect its reputation among investors and with financial institutions, and to fund research and innovation. They also work hard to hire the best people and to keep them motivated and happy. That’s what bonuses are about and countless other programs corporations provide their employees. It’s good for business!

Congress, whenever it wants to intimidate some element of the business community, will drag them to Washington and then grill them mercilessly for the purpose of making them look evil. It is always a charade. Behind closed doors these same politicians can be found imploring the same corporations to give them campaign money.

In these times corporations have much to fear. Americans have elected a President who regards business and industry as the exploitation of workers, forgetting that they benefit employees, vendors, investors, pension funds, healthcare programs, and of course consumers.

Obama distrusts hedge funds and others who have made loans to businesses. He feels empowered to order the resignation of executives, alter the composition of corporate boards, and abrogate fundamental contract law. This is a man who has never so much as run a local Dairy Queen franchise!

It is useful to remember that virtually all of the recessions and the Great Depression were brought about, not by corporations and small businesses, but by government interference, usually involving exports and imports, but also by giving support to unions that, as often as not, saddled businesses with demands that slowed production and drained profits needed for growth.
It was not the financial community that came up with the notion of giving sub-prime mortgage loans to people who would, under normal banking practices, not qualify. That was a government idea. The fact that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ended up owning half of all the mortgages was a government idea.

Bailouts to banks, insurance companies, and auto companies were government ideas, but not constitutional ones. So far, the evidence suggests they were bad ideas.

Capitalism is a high risk venture. That’s what it’s supposed to be. Most start-up companies fail fairly quickly, but some grow and prosper. They expand and hire more people.

By contrast, all of us would benefit from a smaller, less intrusive government.

When corporations must deal with the government they are understandable wary and sometimes even fearful. They have reason to be.

Monday, May 18, 2009

President Orwell

By Alan Caruba

I listened to President Obama’s speech at Notre Dame and there is no denying this is one of the most gifted orators of our times.

Given a carefully crafted speech, Obama can deliver a spellbinding performance; one that sounds so good during its performance that you have to read the text to fully grasp how completely Orwellian it is.

It was George Orwell who gave us the phrase “Double Speak” in his famous novel, “1984”, an allegory of totalitarian dictatorship and a warning against the threat of Communism embodied in the then Soviet Union. The Russians and the people in the captive Soviet satellite nations all knew they were being lied to by the leadership and their media.

The glow is beginning to dim around President Obama. It hasn’t taken long because of an intense flow of legislation and appointments, virtually all of which has been dubious, if not directly harmful to the nation’s economy and security.

That said, he was warmly greeted by the many students and others attending the commencement at Notre Dame. It wasn’t merely that he is President, but that the students in that audience were simply too young, too naïve, too unschooled in the history of our nation and the world to recognize a great deceiver like Obama.

Obama’s ability to impose crushing outlays of billions from the public treasury and then warn against the dangers of those same actions was captured recently in a Bloomberg News article that began, “President Barack Obama, calling current deficit spending ‘unsustainable’, warned of skyrocketing interest rates for consumers if the U.S. continues to finance government by borrowing from other countries.”

In his first hundred days, with the complicity of the Congress, President Obama has saddled more debt on U.S. citizens than all of the combined Presidents that preceded him. The debt we’ve had has always been sustained by borrowing from other nations; in more recent years, China and Japan.

It is utterly and completely duplicitous to create such debt and than warn against it.

It is illegal by the terms of the U.S. Constitution to tap into public funds, the U.S. treasury, to give billions in bailouts to private industry and to financial firms such as banks and insurance companies.

It is a crime to dismiss the sanctity of contract law by turning over ownership of an automobile company to the union that brought it to ruin and to ignore the legal rights of those who loaned billions to it under terms guaranteeing they would be the first to be repaid in the event of bankruptcy.

It is the worst folly to claim that rich people, no matter how one defines “rich”, do not have a right to the money they have earned.

President Orwell…er, President Obama is engaging in the familiar and wicked practice of class warfare, the essence of socialism and communism. It seeks to divide Americans from each other and to play on the worst emotions of envy, ignoring the abundance of opportunity our society and economic system has always offered everyone.

The ultimate goal is to impoverish every one. To destroy or drive out leading industries in America, to deny the growth of the energy industries and sources needed to power America.

In January, President Obama said, “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity prices would necessarily skyrocket. . . . Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, natural gas—you name it—whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”

So, beyond the soothing calls to be open to opposing points of view lies the implacable agenda of President Obama and his administration to do terrible harm to the United States of America.

It is Orwellian. It is pure evil.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our Nobel Prize Moron

By Alan Caruba

I know you’re thinking the title refers to Al Gore, but no, it belongs to Paul Krugman, an economist best known as a New York Times columnist, and winner in 2008 of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science. He is widely regarded as an expert in international economics and has very impressive curriculum vitae. By all the standards of our times, the man is a genius.

Anyone who has worked for an institution of higher learning as I once did soon loses his awe of PhDs. Their expertise is usually very narrow. The intellectual hot house which they share also includes immense pressure to demonstrate through research and publication that they are productive. There is a herd mentality and some vicious politics that goes on as well.

Krugman may know about economics, otherwise known as the “dismal science” because I suspect the capacity to be very wrong is equal to or greater than the chance of getting things right. Most certainly, his May 15 column, based on a trip to China demonstrated he knows nothing about meteorology, climatology, the science of the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Nobel Prize winner demonstrated what a moron he is when he strayed into the usual discredited blather associated with “global warming.” He spouts the nonsense about greenhouse gas emissions like some Red Guard reading from Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book.

“The scientific consensus on prospect for global warming,” wrote Klugman, “has become much more pessimistic over the last few years.” Firstly, the Greens have been predicting global warming since the 1980s, always concluding it was due to arrive ten, fifteen, twenty or fifty years from now. This is usually a good indicator of how flawed and false such predictions actually are.

Second, there is no such thing as a scientific “consensus” about global warming, unless you include the growing consensus that it is a huge scam designed to further a hidden agenda to destroy the economies of industrialized nations.

In March I attended the 2nd annual Climate Change Conference sponsored by The Heartland Institute. It was wall-to-wall seminars by climatologists and others demonstrating why carbon dioxide in particular plays no role whatever in determining the Earth’s climate trends and never did.

But for Klugman, like Al Gore, facts are of no value when writing about global warming. “Indeed, the latest projects from reputable climate scientists border on the apocalyptic. Why? Because the rate at which greenhouse gas emissions are rising is matching or exceeding the worst-case scenarios.”

Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Since carbon dioxide, a gas as vital as oxygen to all life on earth, plays no role in climate change, this assertion is just a regurgitation of Al Gore’s boldfaced lies. As to worst-case scenarios, that is the stock-in-trade of the Greens who conjured up the global warming hoax. It is based entirely on flawed and deceptive computer models.

The Earth has been cooling for the past ten years and, given the low activity of the Sun, the primary determinant of the Earth’s climate and temperature, solar scientists and others are predicting we could be on the cusp of a new little ice age or worse---a full-scale ice age that will render civilization’s short rise moot as nations find themselves buried under miles of ice for the next 100,000 years until the next interglacial period. It is, quite simply, colder everywhere.

Krugman’s main criticism of China, where he had visited prior to writing his column, was that “In January, China announced that it plans to continue its reliance on coal as its main energy source and that to feed its economic growth it will increase coal production 30 percent by 2015.” Good for China! I wish that the United States would permit, nay encourage, coal-fired plants to provide the electricity we will need by 2015 and beyond.

The opposite, however, is happening in the United States which has elected a President who’s on record saying he’d prefer to “bankrupt” any company that dared to build a coal-fired plant. Meanwhile, coal is the source of just over 50 percent of all the electricity we currently use!

If the U.S. continues to refuse to permit more coal-fired plants and continues to delay the building of more nuclear plants, we will not have the energy the economy needs to grow and Americans will begin to experience blackouts and brownouts like the banana republic we shall surely become.

Krugman was annoyed that the Chinese, more than a billion of them, seem to believe they have as much right to a lifestyle similar to ours, most of which was built on the availability of cheap energy and remains dependent on its affordability. If Congress passes the insane “cap and trade” emissions legislation, it will crash the nation’s economy. And they know it!

“The burden should fall,” wrote Krugman, “on those foreign consumers instead, that shoppers who buy Chinese products should pay a ‘carbon tariff’ that reflects the emissions associated with these goods’ production.” So, instead of benefiting from affordable Chinese exports, Americans should pay more for something—global warming—that is not happening and punish China and themselves in the process.

It just gets worse from that point on as Krugman writes that, “Sooner than most people think, countries that refuse to limit their greenhouse gas emissions will face sanctions, probably in the form of taxes on their exports.”

Great! That’s just what we need with China, a trade war!

If this is the best a Nobel Prize winning economist has to offer then the process of destroying our economy is already under way. Lesser mortals will instantly identify his remedies as idiotic.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The War on Our Southern Border

By Alan Caruba

Among the latest news out of Mexico was the discovery of four U.S. citizens found in a van, strangled, beaten and stabbed in the border city of Tijuana. The victims, ages 19 to 21, were two men and two women from San Diego and Chula Vista areas.

In 2008, 6,292 Mexicans were killed in the drug wars between the drug cartels. In the first eight weeks of 2009, there were already a thousand casualties, some of them beheaded. By way of comparison, in six years of war in Iraq, this exceeds U.S. losses by more than three thousand.

In mid-March, however, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, third in the line of succession to lead the nation, told a crowd of legal and illegal Hispanics that enforcement of federal or even local laws regarding immigration is “un-American.” She called the illegal aliens in the audience, “very, very patriotic.”

No, Madame Speaker, the patriotic, indeed the constitutionally responsible thing to do is to enforce the laws of the nation. You even took an oath of office to do so.

It is an open secret in Washington, D.C., that Obama and his fellow Democrat travelers in Congress want to push through an amnesty in order to increase the number of voters likely to support Democrats in coming elections. Congress has a short memory and no doubt has conveniently forgotten the firestorm of protest that erupted when the Bush administration attempted the same thing.

President Obama’s proposed budget cancels plans to extend the border fence along the U.S.-Mexican border beyond the 670 miles already completed or planned. That leaves 1,277 miles open. In addition, the budget would end payments to states and communities to cover the cost of jailing illegal immigrants.

Sooner or later, some innocent American bystanders in downtown Tucson or any other American city are going to get caught in a hail of bullets as Mexican narco gangs exchange fire in a territorial dispute. Then Americans will demand action. You may recall that was the feeling right after 9/11 in 2001.

When I say “territorial dispute” I am referring to the network of American cities in which these gangs are currently operating. In April 2008, the Justice Department reported that Mexican drug cartels represent “the largest threat to both citizens and law enforcement agencies in this country and now have gang members in nearly 200 U.S. cities.”

Obama’s response to this was a promise to reduce gun sales that end up across the border and I believe him because we are already witnessing efforts to take away everyone’s guns. While calling for tougher border security, Obama so far is doing nothing beyond the management of a U.S.-Mexico agreement forged during the Bush administration.

Meanwhile, his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is saying stupid things to blame America for the chaos of Mexico, claiming that American “is at least as responsible as Mexico for the violent drug wars…” No, we are not responsible for Mexico’s endemic corruption and its failure to crack down on the drug cartels many years ago.

Forgive me if I have little confidence in any real action being taken by Obama’s new director of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. When she was Governor of Arizona, she called out the National Guard to back up the Border Patrol, but essentially had them man desks. It was a serious waste of man power by all accounts. Currently she is calling for more motion sensors and aerial surveillance to spot those entering the nation illegally. That’s just a bad joke.

If the U.S. wants to avoid an all-out border war with the narco cartels, it needs to put up one very high fence along the 1,947 miles we share.

I have even less confidence in the Mexican government to deal with the narco gangs. It isn’t like they’re not trying. Meeting with George Bush in 2007, the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, asked for help to fight the gangs and to his credit, he has been making a serious effort, deploying thousands of police and military, but at a terrific cost to their lives. It is, in the very truest sense of the word, a war.

Mexico’s drug war is closing in on becoming Obama’s “Iraq”; a war not so much of choice as one that is integral to our national security.

This is not an exaggeration. In December, Four-Star general (ret.) Barry McCaffrey and former national drug czar said that Mexico is on the verge of becoming a narco-state. An Adjunct Professor of International Affairs at West Point, McCaffrey released a report that predicted Mexico will be in control of the narco gangs within a decade. “Chronic drug consumption in Mexico has doubled since 2002 as has cocaine use, while U.S. cocaine consumption has dropped by 70% in the past two decades. An estimated 5% of the Mexican population now consumes illegal drugs.”

Fully 90% of all U.S. cocaine use transits through Mexico and it is also a dominant source of methamphetamine production for the U.S. market.

All this is occurring while Speaker Pelosi is encouraging illegal immigration and denouncing enforcement of our laws to prevent it.

All this is occurring as the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has released a report that border gangs were becoming increasingly ruthless, targeting rivals, along with federal, state and local police. Citing a dramatic rise in border violence over the past three years, it called it “an unprecedented surge.”

“Good fences make good neighbors” says the famous Robert Frost poem, Mending Wall, but a vastly increased border patrol and other steps are needed now to ensure the safety of Americans everywhere within the nation. It must be coupled with a renewed and vigorous effort to thwart the influx and to encourage as many of the estimated twelve million illegals living among us to return home.

Editor’s Note: One of the best websites for information about this problem is I recommend you bookmark and visit it to gain the insight and information necessary to demand congressional and White House action.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Systemic Democrat Rot

By Alan Caruba

The systemic rot within the Democrat Party is obvious to anyone other than the 13 million people on Obama’s campaign email list. They are presumably still entranced by the aura of “change and hope” put forth in billowing pink cotton candy clouds by the White House.

The rotting of the political system did not begin with Obama’s election and, so far as the Democrats are concerned, it goes back to the days of the Great Depression and the damage inflicted on the economy by the FDR administration.

We got a more recent look at it during the Lewinski scandal of the Clinton years, but now it has burst upon the political scene again as it is obvious to everyone that the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has been lying about her knowledge and acceptance of “enhanced interrogations.” Calls from any House Democrat that she should step down or be removed are muted or non-existent.

Her other political shenanigans to increase her husband’s wealth by exempting one of his major investments from regulations imposed on others is yet another example. The demands, too, for a virtual fleet of airplanes to ferry her and others back and forth is obscene.

The wheels of government are firmly in the hands of Democrat legislators with besmirched records, questionable friends and associates, and as often as not, liars of the first order. One need only look at the President who came out of the “Chicago machine” and his previous associations with a convicted real estate developer, an anti-American preacher, a former Weatherman, and others of that ilk. This is a President who will not release his birth certificate, nor any other records attesting to his competence and right to hold office.

In the House, Congressman Barney Frank who plays a crucial role in determining the way the bailouts and stimulus money are spent first gained fame when he publicly admitted his homosexuality six years after he had been elected in 1981. In 1991, he received an official reprimand for reflecting “discredit upon the House” as the result of his relationship with a male prostitute who ran a prostitution ring from Frank’s home. Frank said he knew nothing of this illicit enterprise.

Six members of the House recently traveled to Castro’s Cuba to explore how restrictions between the United States and that communist dictatorship could be lifted. They were Emanuel Clever, Marcia L. Fudge, Barbara Lee, Laura Richardson, Bobby Rush, and Mel Watt. All six are leadership member within the 2009 Congressional Black Caucus founded by one-time card carrying member of the Communist Party USA, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. of Michigan. The Caucus has 42 members of whom 30 are also members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

With the assent of the Democrat controlled Congress, the White House has moved swiftly to acquire control of banks and the auto industry, is attempting to take the Census from the Department of Commerce where it has always been, and has approved the grant of several million to ACORN, a community activist organization now under indictment in several venues.

Meanwhile Americans are awakening to the fact that this is the most anti-business President since FDR who sought control over all business and agricultural activity in the nation, thus prolonging the Great Depression ten years until the advent of World War II.

Add to this that it is the most anti-energy administration ever!

None of this bodes well for the future and security of the nation. Little wonder an explosion of protest in the form of “Tea Parties” occurred within months after the inauguration in January of this year.

With major daily newspapers and news organization in meltdown, only the Internet is providing the news we need to protect against the Obama administration machinations that have foisted a greater national debt than all previous administrations combined and now promises to raise taxes on virtually everything in sight in the midst of a recession verging on a depression.

One can only hope that a public under the pressure of a failing economy will take notice of these events and be moved to further protest. They may, however, be too busy just trying to hold onto their homes and put groceries on the table.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What's the Rush, Obama?

By Alan Caruba

At first I thought it was just my imagination, but three prime time press conferences in three months, several overseas events, and the seemingly daily announcement that new billions would be spent on stimulus packages, bailouts and new programs has become a dizzying onslaught.

The Obama administration is, in so many ways, the culmination of efforts dating back to the middle of the last century to render Americans so docile, so illiterate, so prepared to blame themselves, that a really big push is on to ram through programs that would be the fulfillment of liberal dreams for decades.

The emergence of “Tea Parties” and other expressions of widespread protest must have taken Obama and the intellectual dunces around him by surprise. The opposition to gay marriage, the continued resistance to abortion-on-demand, and other social issues suggest that Americans are not as dumbed-down as liberals had hoped. They especially pay attention when told their taxes will rise and more taxes will be imposed on everything they purchase.

As the cost of a First Class postage stamp becomes forty-four cents and the cost of a pack of cigarettes apparently will be the equivalent of a porterhouse steak, life in Obama’s America is going to become prohibitively expensive. Consumers are already beginning to hold back on purchases of all kinds. If Obama’s secret agenda is to crash the economy, he’s succeeding.

Then there is the legislation in the pipeline. The Waxman-Markey bill would introduce a cap-and-trade program to tax the emission of CO2, carbon dioxide, the other most vital gas for all life on the planet. It would drive up the cost of any and all energy use. Since energy is the single most vital resource for a thriving economy, one wonders why the White House and Democrats would want to support and advance such madness.

There’s a bill in the Senate that would give full control over all the waters of the United States to the federal government and the States be damned. Every drop of water would be regulated and that’s bad news for farmers who depend on water to raise their crops because it could be turned off for many of them on the whim of some bureaucrat. And, of course, fewer crops mean higher food costs. Everybody else who drinks or uses water should be equally alarmed.

The worst of it at the present time is the push, the rush to institute a government controlled health system under the guise of ensuring that everyone can get access to medical care. Well, ask any hospital anywhere whether they ever turn away anyone. They are forbidden by federal law from doing so. In some States, the influx of illegal aliens forced some hospitals to close their emergency rooms or just go out of business entirely.

Americans rejected the government takeover of our healthcare system during the Clinton administration and, hopefully, they will tell their elected representatives to do so again.

The takeover of auto companies has some people nervous and the takeover of the entire banking system, those with or without TARP money, is making even more people nervous.

Apparently it is not enough that the banking system is among the most heavily regulated in the nation, being able to actually run all the banks is the aim of this administration that has made it known it wants to set levels of compensation for all bank officers, bailed out or not.

What Did She Know and When Did She Know It?

Then we have the inevitable missteps that usually have a political cost. When Republican Trent Lott was Senate Majority Leader he had some kind words for the aging Strom Thurman and the firestorm that resulted got him swiftly booted from that job. Contrast that with the fact that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been caught in a huge lie. There are, however, no calls within the Democrat Party for her to step down. Meanwhile, she continues to tell lies about “clean energy” and “energy independence.”

Likewise, in what would otherwise be deemed a treasonous statement during a time of war, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who declared the conflict in Iraq “lost”, remains in office.

And why are the Democrats still fighting against an Iraq War that is essentially over? Obama won in part by virtue of his opposition to the war, yet his administration’s justification for everything it’s doing is to blame the Bush administration.

During a recent commencement speech, Obama actually embraced the fact that he has far less experience and credentials for the Presidency than his predecessors. He likes the on-the-job training that accompanies being President because every day is a new, exciting learning experience.

He has learned, for example, that releasing memos that suggest we spent much of the last eight years torturing terrorists may not have been a good idea. He has stepped back from the release of comparable photos, most of which are reportedly quite benign.

Never mind that the terrorists we’re fighting routinely cut off people’s heads or blow up fellow Muslims while they are at prayer in mosques. Never mind that all wars have involved torture to some extent to save lives.

All this and more is giving lots of people pause. His fervent supporters appear to be having buyer’s remorse as the details of what “change” he has in mind for them begin to emerge.

Everyone is beginning to ask, “What’s the rush?”

The answer is that, unless this Democrat Congress can push through some of these truly horrid pieces of legislation and unless the White House can “transform” America through fear and intimidation, they may suffer significant losses in the midterm elections that are less than a year and a half away.