Thursday, December 30, 2010

Some of My Favorite Billboards

The following billboards began to pop up shortly after it became obvious to most people that Obama was some kind of terrible mistake that a majority of the voters made in 2008. This being America, they began to express themselves in many ways from town hall meetings to mass marches on Washington, D.C., to some wonderful billboards.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pfc Bradley Manning, A Warning Writ Large

By Alan Caruba

“All warfare is based on deception. There is no place where espionage is not used. Offer the enemy bait to lure him.” --Sun-Tzu (--400 B.C.)

His cherubic face can be found on the many articles about an audacious assault on the military and diplomatic security of the nation. Liberals have adopted Private First Class Bradley Manning as their hero because he is gay and he despises America, two things about which they care deeply.

In a chat log published in June by Wired News, Manning “bragged to Adrian Lamo, the hacker who turned him in, that he was going to unleash ‘worldwide anarchy in CVS (comma separated value) format.’”

For Manning the thrill came from contemplating that “Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public,” adding “Everywhere there’s a US post, there’s a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed.”

Manning’s infamy goes back to a story in the July 27, 2010 Wall Street Journal that reported “Military investigators are checking computers used by Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst charged this month with leaking classified information, to see if he is the source of thousands of military documents published Sunday by WikiLeaks.”

According to Lamo, there is not any doubt as to the source of the data provided to WikiLeaks. Manning bragged about it to him. “No one suspected a thing,” said Manning, adding, “Kind of sad.”

What’s sad is that it will take months, perhaps years, before Manning is brought before a military tribunal and likely sentenced to life imprisonment instead of being put before a firing squad.

We are, after all, talking about one of the most massive acts of espionage against the United States in the modern era. Those defending Manning appear to be completely blind to that and, indeed, are accusing the U.S. of “torturing” Manning by keeping him in solitary confinement while he awaits courts martial.

Manning had been arrested in May on suspicion of leaking a video of a U.S. helicopter attack. Based in Iraq, he rapidly became the main suspect for the WikiLeak data dump.

Openly gay, despite the then-existing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that allowed him to remain in the Army, Manning had experienced rejection by a homosexual lover, declaring on his Facebook page that he was “livid” after being “lectured by ex-boyfriend.”

When you’re twenty-two years old, astonishingly immature, and “frustrated with people and society at large”, does that give you permission to betray your nation?

At about the same age, I was working in G-2 Army intelligence in a minor capacity. It never occurred to me to hand over secret documents to enemies of the nation. How many other young men over the years have been given this level of trust by their nation? A lot!

It took, however, just one Bradley Manning to think the rules of conduct, let alone his oath of service, could and should be set aside as a balm for his hurt feelings because his boyfriend dumped him.

This is why the armed forces resisted Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell when it was first foisted on them. From long experience, both military and civilian intelligence personnel knew and understood that homosexuals were particularly vulnerable to blackmail and, even as attitudes changed toward the gay and lesbian population, their emotional stability remained open to question.

It is why today’s frontline Marines in combat do not want to rely on homosexuals in their units, but the military has become so politically correct over the years that even an unstable Muslim Army major was allowed to serve until he killed thirteen servicemen and women at Fort Hood.

Military service is very different from civilian life. It has a different code of honor that dates back to the days of Sun-Tzu.

In a time when the U.S. military is engaged in a war with Islam-fascism and the world is seeking to counter it on every continent, the ancient admonitions about espionage and warfare are still true. There is no one more dangerous to our nation’s survival than a traitor.

Bradley Manning is every warning against permitting gays and lesbians to serve in the military writ large.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nullification in 2011!

By Alan Caruba

The great issue of our times is the same great issue of the 1830s. The question is whether Congress can pass legislation or the President issue executive orders that are not authorized by or consistent with the Constitution?

The federal government is a republic composed of separate and sovereign republics.

What recourse do the States have individually and in combination when the central government acts in a fashion that is contrary to the limits and enumerated powers of the Constitution?

The answer, other than an appeal to the courts, is nullification. This term is defined as the assertion that States can and should refuse to enforce unconstitutional federal laws.

This is no trifling matter.

In the past two years since the advent of the Obama administration, the federal government has seized control of one sixth of the nation’s economy, asserting control over the provision of healthcare.

It seized control of General Motors and Chrysler auto manufacturers, arbitrarily casting aside the rightful expectations of their bondholders and other creditors.

It has imposed absurd and invasive demands on air travelers.

It is considering a United Nations treaty that would render the Second Amendment null and void.

It has sued Arizona for enacting an immigration law that mirrors its own.

It is attempting through the FCC to assert control over the Internet.

In the 1860s the issue of state’s rights led to the Civil War.

One hundred and fifty years ago, on December 22, 1860, the State of South Carolina declared its independence and seceded from the Union. It did not arrive at this decision overnight. In fact, on December 10, 1832, President Andrew Jackson issued a proclamation to South Carolina disputing its right to nullify a federal law.

A South Carolina convention had declared that the tariff acts of 1828 and 1832 “are unauthorized by the Constitution of the United States and violate the true meaning and intent thereof and are null, void, and no law, nor binding upon this State.”

Subsequent to Jackson’s proclamation, Congress passed the Force Act that authorized the use of military force against any State that resisted the tariff acts. A compromise engineered by Henry Clay resulted in the tariff of 1833, designed to reduce southern objections. South Carolina ended its nullification effort, but by 1861 it would no longer bend to the mandates of the federal government.

Contrary to some historical reinterpretation, the Civil War was all about State’s rights. Though President Lincoln opposed slavery, he did not introduce the issue into the conflict until after the awful slaughter on the battlefields that led to the Emancipation Proclamation. It came three years after the war had begun and was intended to introduce a moral dimension to the conflict. Slaves, however, were only freed in the Confederate southern States.

There are many issues worthy of nullification these days.

At the top of the current list is Obamacare and the fact that some twenty States have filed suit against its enforcement clearly demonstrates (1) an intense rejection of it and (2) the willingness of States to use the judicial system to seek relief.

Beyond that, we have entire federal agencies that have no legitimate basis in the Constitution.

The Department of Education should be abolished. The Constitution makes no mention of education as a federal concern. It was and should be up to the States and local communities to oversee general education. Part of the controversy raging these days concerns teacher’s union contracts that are contributing to the bankruptcy of many States.

The Department of Energy, created by executive order, should be abolished. States should have the right to determine how their natural resources should be either protected or utilized. Requiring states to use so-called alternative (wind and solar) energy is seriously wrong.

Likewise, the Environmental Protection Agency, also created by executive order, has so exceeded its original mandate that it has become a lethal threat to the economy and the welfare of all Americans.

Nullification should be utilized to rid us of these and other federal entities that overstep their mission, threatening the Bill of Rights and other constitutional limitations and freedoms.

To learn more about the nullification movement, visit the Nullify Now website and the website of the Tenth Amendment Foundation.

This nation has been heading toward nullification since the 1930s when many of the Constitution’s restrictions of federal power were cast aside. This has brought the nation to the brink of financial collapse. To save it, nullification may be required.

Editor’s note: To learn more about this topic, Tom Woods has written “Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 2lst Century.”

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

The "One" Returns

By Alan Caruba

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Occasionally, when I am watching or listening to Barack Hussein Obama, I am reminded of the poem, “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Shelley was an English romantic poet who hung out with Lord Byron and John Keats, all authentic literary giants. Shelley died at age 30 from drowning. Bryon contracted a fever, dying in Greece at the age of 36. Poor Keats died at age 26. All were dead by 1824. Rediscovered by later generations, they gained immortality.

“Ozymandias” is a poem about a life of over-weaning pride that ends poorly and forgotten. Obama has the first part down. After all, he wrote two memoirs about his life and deep thoughts before he was elected to be the junior U.S. Senator from Illinois in 2004.

By 2007 Obama hit the presidential campaign trail and ended Hillary (and Bill) Clinton’s dreams of returning to the White House. He gave her a consolation prize. He then defeated yet another lame Republican candidate simply by showing up, being younger, and being able to read a TelePrompter better.

What Obama’s campaign is now remembered for is Rev. Jeremiah Wright, telling Joe the Plumber he wanted to redistribute everyone’s wealth, and for throwing his grandma under the bus.

From a very young age, Obama believed he would become President. It might better be called a fixation or obsession.

Obama only met his birth father once in 1971 at age ten, but here again this idea of fixation plays a role. In reality his father was a bigamist (he had a wife or two back in Kenya when he married Obama’s momma), a drunk (he died behind the wheel while soused), and fancied a political career in Kenya that never materialized. One of Obama’s two memoirs was titled “Dreams From My Father.” Yeah, sure.

After Obama Senior, his mother married an Indonesian who adopted their son. His formative years were spent there until his mother divorced again and shipped Barack to Hawaii to be raised by his white grandparents. Progressives, they were friends with Frank Marshall Davis, a communist, one of Obama’s many very left wing influences and associates over the years.

I think that, early on, Obama decided to become the communist messiah to America, but like all communists, he kept that part of his political philosophy a secret from the voters, while dropping hints of it in his memoirs.

When Obama returns from his vacation in Hawaii, he is going to face the toughest two years of his life. Not since 1946 have the voters turned so deliberately on a Democrat president. In 2010 they voted in a Republican majority to the House and narrowed the Democrat margin in the Senate.

Obama called it “a shellacking” but it is better described as a rejection.

Other presidents in the modern era lost their party’s majorities in Congress. Clinton comes to mind and, of course, George W. Bush. Obama’s loss was more than just political, it was personal.

Beyond Congress Obama will have to deal with a vibrant, energized movement, the Tea Party that intends to ensure the Republicans trim government spending and turn back the policy gains Obama put in place with Obamacare at the top of the list.

As far as the rest of the world’s movers and shakers are concerned, Obama is little more than a charming cocktail party guest with little to offer than small talk and leftist bromides.

Only one thing is certain. Obama will be running for re-election the minute he returns to Washington, but he is going to need more than his former vacuous “hope and change” motto and there is small chance of that. In a very real way, the nation has already moved beyond him.

When I see Obama these days, I think of Jimmy Carter, a pathetic former president soundly rejected by the voters, the “author” of endless, largely unread books, and grateful that anyone takes notice of him.

When you see Jimmy Carter today, you’re looking at Barack Obama in fifteen or twenty years.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Where's Al Gore and his Nobel Prize?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Blizzard of Lies in The New York Times

By Alan Caruba

“Bundle Up. It’s Global Warming” – December 26, 2010, New York Times opinion article by Judah Cohen.

It’s Orwellian when cold is declared warmth. It’s deceitful and insulting when it occurs in the midst of a huge blizzard shutting down much of the northeast.

I would not even trust the date on the front page of The New York Times because the newspaper long ago lost touch with reality, with sanity, and, one can only assume, readers fleeing to other sources for the news.

When the oft-called “newspaper of record” chooses a day on which Mother Nature is demonstrating what tons of snow and chill air can do to a huge swath of the nation’s northeast with effects reaching Tallahassee, they are either trying to see just how stupid their readers are or doubling down on the global warming hoax they have disseminated since Jim Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute declared we’re all doomed back in 1988.

If you want a lesson in Orwell’s “doublethink”, the ability to hold two contradictory thoughts or ideas at the same time, you need only read the first line of Cohen’s article: “The earth continues to get warmer, yet it’s feeling a lot colder outside.” In other words, who are you going to believe? Me? Or your lying eyes?

Judah Cohen is identified as “the director of seasonal forecasting at an atmospheric and environmental research firm.” No further details are offered such as the name of the firm or Cohen’s academic credentials. Is he a meteorologist? If so, he is one of the worst I have ever encountered.

It happens that I know quite a few meteorologists and climate scientists. One of them is Joseph D’Aleo, an American Meteorological Society Fellow, and editor of a science-based Internet site, Ice Cap. Suffice to say, D’Aleo has been one of a hardy band of skeptics that have countered the global warming hoax with hard science, frequently dissecting the bogus “science” put forth by government agencies including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and other such sources.

In an article titled “Why We Need a New Global Data Set”, D’Aleo wrote the following:

“As I showed in the first analysis, the long term global temperature trends in their data bases have been shown by numerous peer review papers to be exaggerated by 30% to 50% and in some cases much more by issues such as uncorrected urbanization (urban heat island), land use changes, bad siting, bad instrumentation, and ocean measurement techniques that changed over time.”

“NOAA made matters worse by removing the satellite ocean temperature measurement which provide more complete coverage and was not subject to the local issues except near the coastlines and islands.”

‘The result has been the absurd and bogus claims by NOAA and the alarmists that we are in the warmest decade in 100 or even a 1000 years or more and our oceans are warmest ever.”

While Cohen is parroting the World Meteorological Organization’s latest claim that “2010 will probably be among the three warmest years on record, and 2001 through 2010 the warmest decade on record” in England, the Daily Mail was reporting on December 5 that “Britain, just as it was last winter and the winter before, was deep in the grip of a cold snap, which has seen some temperatures plummet to minus 20C, and that here 2010 has been the coolest year since 1996.”

This parallels the weather occurring now in the U.S. where new low temperature records are being set while cities like Columbia, S.C., had its first significant Christmas snow since weather records were first kept in 1887!

Suffice to say that Cohen’s article repeats the usual blather about melting Artic sea ice while waiting until the very end to admit that “the Eastern United States, North Europe and East Asia have experienced extraordinary snowy and cold winters since the turn of the century.”

A word to all who did not study meteorology; the World Meteorological Organization, a creature of the United Nations is also the mother ship of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The IPCC, responsible for the Kyoto Protocols that called for limits on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, was totally discredited in 2009 when the exchange of thousands of emails revealed its chief perpetrators of the global warming hoax were manipulating the climate data it reported.

To trust the WMO or IPCC at this point in time is futile and dangerous. To trust the garbage coming out of NOAA, GISS and other government entities purporting to predict the climate is also to trust the Environmental Protection Agency that will announce in January 2011 its plans to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, claiming they are “causing” a global warming that is not happening.

Americans are being deliberately misled by rogue government agencies with no scientific justification for their continued existence.

As for The New York Times, it is unfit to line the bottom of a canary’s birdcage.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Editor's Note: Over at editor Joseph D'Aleo added the following to the post of the above commentary. I appreciate his clarification:

"Judah is a meteorologist and a very bright one. He unfortunately works for a company that depends on government funding for modelling and research. They mistakenly trust the temperature data. Judah also has for years confused cause and effect, claiming the snow in Siberia was the cause of the cold weather when it really is the result of the pattern that causes the cold weather. Since snow starts there early, it is a an early indicator of what might be ahead. He should look at sun and ocean cycles for an even early indicator. He also mistakenly claims that ocean warmth drives the climate models when really models don’t handle ocean cycles well at all, can’t reproduce El Nino and La Nina nor the multidecadal cycles. Modelers have tuned the models to have greenhouse forcing drive the climate - both oceans and land."

Not Everyone Loves Snow!

Making Predictions for 2011

By Alan Caruba

In ancient times a soothsayer could make a good living divining the meaning of chicken bones and shiny pebbles. The modern version is usually some journalist who, looking back over his shoulder, decides he can predict the future. These are often the same people who fail to predict the outcome of elections, sports team rankings, and, of course, the weather.

Who, for example, could have predicted that, in November 2009, the world would be treated to thousands of emails between a handful of utterly deceitful “climate scientists” who were rigging the data in computer models to ensure that everyone remained scared to death of “global warming”?

The result was the breakdown of the 2009 United Nations Conference of Parties 15 climate conference in Copenhagen. This year a COP 16 in Cancun tossed out any pretence about “global warming” and went straight for a scheme to get wealthy nations to transfer trillions to mostly corrupt ones.

History frequently turns on unanticipated events. The attack on Pearl Harbor is a classic example. The assassination of John F. Kennedy is another. For the present generation of Americans, the decade began with 9/11 and is ending with the collapse of the housing mortgage market that began in late 2008, They have marked this first decade of the new millennium as having altered everything that came before it.

One result was the election of a totally unknown and undistinguished junior Senator from Illinois named Barack Hussein Obama. What also followed was the one-party control by the Democratic Party of both houses of Congress with its failed “stimulus” bills, Obamacare, and efforts to extend amnesty to illegal immigrants. The result was the most massive transfer of political power since the late 1940s to the Republican Party.

The President “owns” the unemployment problem in America. He “owns” the outcome of a war in Afghanistan that has been going on since 2001. He “owns” a Democrat Congress that was held in utter contempt by the majority of Americans. He promised change and got it. His political party and its policies are once again in decline.

So, what I am saying is that anyone who says they can predict what will happen in 2011 is just blowing smoke. Get out the chicken bones and shiny pebbles.

What do we know as we anticipate the beginning of 2011? We know that this winter, which began well before the solstice on December 21st, has been brutal thus far just about everywhere in the northern hemisphere. This winter and future ones are going to be longer and far more harsh than anyone living today has ever witnessed. Europe is experiencing the coldest winter in a hundred years. We will likely see records broken throughout the U.S.

The Earth is well into a Maunder Minimum, a dramatic diminution of solar output. When the Sun grows quiet, the Earth gets cold. It did this between 1300 and 1850. We could be looking at hundreds of years in which crops will be affected, reducing food for more than six billion people with whom we share the planet. That’s a recipe for riots and wars.

There is no way of knowing how long the Islamic Revolution will last. With a history based entirely on conquest and domination, the present fever and fervor may take quite a while to sink back into a dank resentment of everything modern, everything that has to do with individual freedom. When your whole understanding of the world is contained in a single “holy” book deemed the word of Allah, there are few options for reform.

We cannot know how long it will take America to work its way out of its economic problems, mostly based on literally insane spending, borrowing, and the over-regulation of everything.

The world is beginning to make plans for a failed America. Our credit rating may drop. How long we can just print money to buy our own debt is anyone’s guess. It’s like moving one’s debt between credit cards. The debt, however, does not go away and the spending (and the waste) never stops.

The Russians and Chinese are already using their own currencies to finance their trade deals, not the U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, in Europe, nations including Great Britain, Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal, are on the razor’s edge of financial collapse. Too much socialism. Too little realism.

A former British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, was asked what he feared most. “Events”, he said, “events.”

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Only 364 Shopping Days Left Until Christmas 2011

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Parsing the (Very) Bad News

By Alan Caruba

The dictionary says “parse” means to break down into component parts of speech with an analysis of the form, function, and syntactical relationship of each part. The Caruba definition means to take all manner of bits of information and try to make sense of any of it, in part or in whole.

Part of the problem is that there are so many “experts” in the world, PhDs which often translates to “piled higher and deeper.” The lesser degrees are often lacking as well. A college education today is obscenely expensive and, as many employers will tell you, of dubious value when it comes to the mastery of skills that were formerly acquired by the sixth grade.

A recent issue of Bloomberg Businessweek was devoted to the year in review and perhaps the most astonishing statistical data it offered was the way Americans are “stuck in the middle” when it comes to opinions on all the major issue which the nation must address, half are for and half are against. Whether it’s gun ownership, doctor-assisted suicide, how to deal with illegal immigrants, government control of healthcare, or whether President Obama is doing a good job, one is led to believe that we are totally divided pro and con.

The key phrase here is “led to believe” because the data was largely drawn from Gallup surveys, the Pew Research Center, the National Journal, and other sources. As much as I regard Gallup, Rasmussen, Zogby and other gatherers of today’s instant “truth”, I remain skeptical of all these polls. Opinion is fickle, subject to the economy, one’s religion, race, age, gender, political values, and yesterday’s events.

Most certainly, taking at face value anything “the government” has to say on any topic is the height of folly. It exists as the instrument of anyone and any political party that holds the reins of power. As such it disgorges masses of “information” that is intended to herd the public in directions that will ensure they remain in power while, at the same time, often engaging in the most appalling abuses of power, including neglect of duty.

History is testimony to the most egregious errors of judgment by presidents and congresses that arrived with their biases and ideologies intact. We want to know what principles a president adheres to. Some like Reagan believed in America’s greatness, its exceptional place and role. Others like Obama arrived with their views carefully hidden behind meaningless phrases such as “hope and change.” Obama’s first executive order was to deny access to his entire life’s paper trail of documents.

My first profession was that of journalist and from that I developed a lifelong search for factual information, historic and current, with which to make sense of events. Even when I segued into public relations, I insisted that it be fact-based, i.e. the truth!

I collect the “news” all the time and maintain vast files of data that go back years. On my desk today are stacks of items culled from all manner of sources, most of which I regard as reliable, but The New York Times is high on my list of the greatest collection of liars and fools since the glory days of Pravda, the state-controlled Soviet newspaper.

A recent Times editorial was titled “Comeback Against Malaria” citing “insecticide-treated bed nets” to protect people from mosquitoes that transmit the disease. No where does it mention the way the Environmental Protection Agency, ignoring the science, banned DDT, effective December 31, 1972, and thus condemned millions to an early, unnecessary death. If African and other nations plagued by this mosquito-borne disease could begin to spray DDT, it would drastically reduce malaria worldwide. The Times will not tell you that.

Another news item reports that Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security Secretary, has announced that her department is creating “a new task force to battle the effects of climate change on domestic security operation.” This is just one example of the Obama administration’s insane devotion to the totally debunked hoax of “global warming”, now renamed “climate change.” Suffice it to say it has nothing to do with homeland security and is beyond the reach of any government on planet Earth.

Piers Corbyn of Weather Action, a London-based, independent forecasting firm, has proven infinitely more accurate than the British government’s debased weather agency. He is predicting extreme weather for December 25-31 in Britain. Much of the weather forecasts of the U.S. government are corrupted by computer models that use manipulated “global warming” data from government agencies such as NOAA and NASA. Thank God for weather satellites.

Much of the data collected worldwide is from weather stations either positioned on “heat islands” known as cities or simply non-existent. The best computers in the world cannot include data on clouds, a major indicator, because even meteorologists have no idea why they do what they do, changing from moment to moment. Similarly, it is still virtually impossible to predict earthquakes or when volcanoes will erupt.

The government consistently refuses to tell the public that the Earth has been in a natural cooling cycle since the late 1990s. Winters for decade to come will be harsher and longer. Crops will fail. Food prices will rise. The latest “compromise” that extended income tax rates also wasted billions on corn-based ethanol production mandates that even environmental organizations now oppose.

The latest Census reports that the U.S. population is up an astonishing 27 million in just ten years! Immigration, legal and illegal, accounted for three-quarters of that growth. This growth is exceeded by only two other decades in the entire history of the nation! Either we change our immigration policies, reducing this flood of humanity, and lock down our southern border or you won’t be able to recognize America in the space of a few decades.

So, parsing the news remains critical if we are to understand or make sense of anything happening in the U.S. and around the globe. One thing seems clear, like all empires based on economic and military strength, power is moving elsewhere after a half century since the end of World War II that positioned the U.S. as a “superpower.”

The nation has wasted its potential on “entitlement” programs that are trillions of dollars in debt into the foreseeable future. The national debt is owned by our grandchildren!

The government is in the process of locking up its vast natural resources from use by its own citizens. It is seizing vast tracks of the nation’s landmass. It is restricting all new offshore oil exploration and extraction, and will force coal-fired power plants to close despite the fact that coal provides half of all the electricity generated nationwide.

U.S. currency is being systematically devalued because the government failed its oversight of the financial marketplace and its central bank, the Federal Reserve.

Because the government was permitted to intrude in the housing market in the name of “social justice”, it is in a state of complete collapse.

The same will occur to our healthcare system if Obamacare is permitted to move ahead.

The news is bad. We have precious little time to reverse the process.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Saturday Night is Bath Night

Cartoon Round Up

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my "followers" and visitors to this blog. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vimeo: Take a Wild Flight Over a Winter Wonderland

Winterwonderland from RiSCyD : TeamBlackSheep on Vimeo.

Obama's Good News is Bad News

By Alan Caruba

Watching President Obama turn his bad news into good news at his press conference and then reading the mainstream media turn facts upside down and inside out was, at best, bizarre.

The bad news, of course, is that since 2009 when he took office everything he has done to reverse the unemployment numbers has been a failure. The so-called Stimulus Act was nothing more than a Democrat pork-filled waste that only served to increase our insane national debt.

The Cash-For-Clunkers program had only short-term results and removed cars that lower-income citizens might have been able to purchase as previous-owned cars from the auto marketplace. The government seizure of General Motors and Chrysler has kept auto union workers on the job with the same contracts that led to the company's initial failure.

Both the President’s and Congress’s approval rating are, respectively, either in decline or setting new low records. In November, the voters took away the Democrat’s control of the House and narrowed it significantly in the Senate.

As Donald Lambro noted in the December 22nd edition of The Washington Times, “The dominant liberal media culture has spun the last days of the Democrat’s lame-duck Congress into an unbroken string of legislative victories for President Obama.”

What victories?

After ignoring the extension of President Bush’s tax cuts for two years and trying to exclude “the wealthy” from them while also trying to pass another 2,000-plus page “porkulus” bill that was withdrawn, the President brayed about “bipartisan cooperation” that was nothing more than a stinging defeat for his quest to bankrupt the nation still further.

President Obama has not shown the slightest indication of partisanship since he took office, replying to any Republican recommendations by saying “We won.” After a massive march on Washington to protest Obamacare, he staged a lengthy conference with Republicans that put his disdain and contempt for them on full display, including a slap-down of former GOP presidental candidate, John McCain.

The passage of Obamacare was a legislative abomination involving bribes and arm-twisting that succeeded only because of a Democrat majority in Congress. The immediate administration response to it was to issue “waivers” to avoid a healthcare insurance catastrophe.

The lame duck session was nothing more than a desperate effort to achieve for Democrats what they had either ignored or failed to get during the execrable full session of the 111th Congress.

Crowing about the passage of the “Start” treaty with Russia ignored the fact that both signatories to the treaty can withdraw at any time that circumstances require it. Looks good on paper, but it is essentially meaningless in an era where North Korea has nukes, Pakistan has nukes, and Iran is desperately attempting to make its own nukes. It does little to ward off the potential use of nuclear weapons at some point and limits U.S. defensive measures.

“The one thing I hope people have seen during this lame duck,” said Obama is “I am persistent” and that, my friends, is the really bad news.

Obama still intends, if possible, to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, nor shows any indication of doing much to protect our wide-open southern border with Mexico. Who gets the blame for that in Obama-Speak? Correctly, Americans who purchase drugs and, incorrectly, the entirely legal sale of guns for self-defense. Indeed, those sales have soared since he was elected President due to well-funded fears that he regards the Constitution as consisting of “negative” limitations on the government.

Coming in 2011 will be an Obama sanctioned effort by the Environmental Protection Agency to do an end-run around the Constitution to impose an utterly false regulation of carbon dioxide emissions in the name of a global warming that has been exposed as a hoax and fraud. It would kill what is left of the economy.

Meanwhile, Obama has stopped any exploration or extraction of oil offshore of U.S. coasts and, of course, in the Gulf of Mexico. He has maintained a war on coal mining since day one in office despite the fact that it provides 50% of U.S. electricity needs.

So what part of the President’s “season of progress” is real?

Moody’s the bond rating service is hinting it may downgrade U.S. securities. The Federal Reserve is printing money with which to buy the debt. The jobless rate continues at the same rate it has been for the past two years. Home foreclosures continue apace. Some twenty U.S. States have filed court cases to stop Obamacare from being enforced.

Up is down. Black is white. This is how the bad news of the first half of Obama’s first and only term in office is spun by a compliant liberal news media while the majority of Americans have largely rejected the stuttering, hesitant babbling of the worst President in the history of the nation.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

The FCC Versus the Internet

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The First Amendment Blues

By Alan Caruba

“Congress shall make no law, respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” - First Amendment, U.S. Constitution

What part of the First Amendment does the Federal Communication Commission, led by Chairman Julius Genachowski, and three of its five appointed commissioners, not understand?

If the Internet is not about free speech, then nothing is.

For the record, the two Republican commissioners voted against “Net Neutrality”, an expansion of the FCC’s original 1934 mission to regulate radio. In May, more than 300 members of Congress, including 56 Democrats, contacted the FCC to urge that it stop pursuing Internet regulation.

Need it be said that President Obama made it known that he supports “net neutrality” as “an important step in preventing abuses and continuing to advance the Internet as an engine of productivity growth and innovation.” Blah, blah, blah.

Dictators hate any form of mass communication they cannot control. Consider the news in early December that Venezuelan dictator, Hugo Chavez, was defending plans for a law that would, according to the Washington Post, “impose broadcast-type regulations on the Internet, saying Sunday that his government should protect citizens against online crimes.”

In Venezuela, criticizing Hugo Chavez, who has just been granted power to rule by decree, will no doubt be considered an Internet crime. Chavez thinks Obama is the best thing that ever happened to America and so does Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

Even a small step toward the regulation of the Internet is a very big step toward curbing free speech and free access to information of all kinds, good, bad or just plain evil. In America citizens are expected to sort out lies and make their own judgments. That’s why a million of them showed up in Washington, D.C. in March to demand Obamacare be rejected.

Nor is this to suggest that there aren’t plenty of laws that exist to protect consumers. The FCC decision, as one of its members, Robert M. McDowell, noted recently, ignores the fact that “the Obama Justice Department and the European Commission both decided this year that net-neutrality might deter investment in next-generation Internet technology and infrastructure.”

In the same fashion that the lame duck session of Congress has been used by largely defeated Democrats to push through legislation that had been either long delayed for political purposes, such as a budget for the government or Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, the Democrat-controlled FCC has used the week leading up to Christmas to push through a measure that is universally condemned.

“The rules the FCC will impose are unenforceable without Congressional approval—as a federal court made clear in April,” notes Bruce Walker, managing editor of The Heartland Institute’s InfoTech & Telecom News. ”The FCC has now only prolonged the regulatory uncertainty its net neutrality threats originally created. This will negatively impact jobs and investment in the Internet industry.”

This is not the end of this abomination, but it is a loud signal and indication of the way the leftist administration of President Obama has striven to harm the economy, imposing huge debt, grasping control of the healthcare sector, the financial sector, major auto manufacturers, the insurance industry, and now the power of the Internet to inform Americans against its tyranny.

The November midterm election results rejected those efforts and, no doubt, a House controlled by Republicans and a weakened control by Democrats of the Senate, will seek to obviate these treacherous attempts to destroy the economy.

It is, however, the FCC’s attack on free speech and freedom of the press via the Internet that tells Americans everything they need to know about President Obama and his lackeys.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

World's Largest Army?

Here's a news item from the editor of The Tribune, a weekly newspaper published in North Carolina.

The World's Largest Army. America's Hunters?

The state of Wisconsin has gone an entire deer hunting season without someone getting killed. That's great. There were over 600,000 hunters. Allow me to restate that number. Over the last two months, the eighth largest army in the world -- more men under arms than Iran ; more than France and Germany combined -- deployed to the woods of a single American state to help keep the deer menace at bay. But that pales in comparison to the 750,000 who are in the woods of Pennsylvania this week. Michigan 's 700,000 hunters have now returned home. Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia  and it is literally the case that the hunters of those four states alone would comprise the largest army in the world. America will forever be safe from foreign invasion of troops with that kind of home-grown firepower.

Hunting - it's not just a way to fill the freezer. It's a matter of national security!

No Peace for the Prince of Peace...Or Anyone Else

By Alan Caruba

As Christians around the world prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, an apostle of love, the other two monotheistic religions view from the sidelines.

While Christians have nothing to fear from the tiny minority of Diaspora Jews and those in Israel, a very real threat exists from Islam.

Islam holds Christianity and Judaism in contempt, but because these two faiths have, as any Muslim will tell you, “a book”, they are spared an even worse judgment of Hinduism or Buddhism which do not have a central text around which their faiths revolve.

In this decade, in March 2001, the world witnessed the destruction of two ancient Buddhist statues, 114 feet high, carved out of a mountain at Bamiyan, Afghanistan. It signaled a new stage in an ancient war. It took place six months before the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on 9/11.

The statue's destruction was ordered by the fanatical fundamentalist Taliban. How fanatic? They told the Shiite Muslim residents of Bamiyan that they could either convert to Sunni Islam or they would have to leave their homes. To those who fled, the destruction was an evil and repugnant act. The outcry worldwide was unanimous.

After 9/11, the American response was a military operation to drive the Taliban and al Qaeda out of Afghanistan. Afghanistan is ancient, invaded many times over the centuries, and its people still cling to their tribal ways. As in all guerrilla wars, the land belongs to the people who live there and foreign occupations won’t change much.

For Christians and Jews, the struggle against Islam has defined the last nearly 1,400 of the two thousand years that are measured from the birth of Jesus and establishment of Christianity.

Had Islam not been driven from Spain and stopped outside Vienna, there would have been no Europe, no Renaissance, no Enlightenment, and most surely no Western civilization. Christians and Jews would have been dhimmi, second class citizens in their own lands, forced to pay taxes and show their obedience to Muslim overlords.

Following 9/11, the invasion by America and forces from allied nations in Afghanistan and later Iraq are reflections of the Crusades sent to reclaim Jerusalem and Muslims know it. That it was occasioned by their own actions is immaterial to them. If Iran is ultimately attacked to destroy its nuclear facilities, it will claim it is the victim, not the aggressor.

The same need to destroy the Buddha statues in Bamiyan was the same need to build Al Aqsa, a huge mosque over the holiest place in Jerusalem for Jews, the Dome of the Rock sits atop the spot attributed to where God intervened to stay Abraham’s sacrifice of his son, Isaac. It was to signal an end to human sacrifice, to idolatry.

The same drive to conquest led to the proposal to build a mosque within sight of Ground Zero in New York, a triumphalism that ignores the feeling of Americans that the martyrdom of those who died there at the hands of Muslim terrorists imbues the site with a sacred memory. The contempt the mosque represents is palpable.

I think Americans sense that an ancient war, a religious war, continues in their time, but are loath to believe it even as we fight a hot war in Afghanistan or reduce our troop strength in Iraq. As a fighting force, we may not fully leave the Middle East for a very long time because, put simply, we dare not.

After clinging to a belief in tolerance, Europeans are stirring from their reluctance to confront Islam and beginning to draw lines between themselves and the many Muslims who moved there to find work, but who never assimilated as French, as German, as Dutch, as Swedish or as British. Europeans have slowly come to realize they have an enemy in their midst.

It is why travelers fear to board airlines at this time of year.

It is why British authorities just arrested jihadists planning attacks during the Christmas holiday.

It is why Christmas mass has been abandoned in Iraq this year because of countless assassinations of Christians. Many are now fleeing that nation.

It is why the U.S. Attorney General has warned that Americans “have to be prepared for bad news” if Muslim terrorists, domestic or foreign, are successful.

It is why Americans still wait to bring a U.S. major to trial for killing thirteen soldiers at Fort Hood.

It is why we detain jihadists in Guantanamo.

It is why Palestinians have spurned any overture of peace with the Israelis.

As Christians celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, they and others, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, know there will be no peace so long as Islam makes war on all other faiths, not in the name of God, the universal Creator, but of a former Meccan moon deity named Allah.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Editor's Note: To see and hear the message of Islam, view this short video:

Video: A Day at the Beach in Tel Aviv

Full screen:

Monday, December 20, 2010

How to Ruin Christmas

By Alan Caruba

Christmas has become an ideological battleground over the past decade or so, maybe longer. In the school where I graduated into the real world in 1955, we all happily sang Christmas carols together, Jew and Gentile alike, but that has long since been forbidden.

Christmas is being deliberately ruined by a handful of morons in the name of diversity or even tolerance, but who’s being intolerant when all manner of celebrations no longer can be enjoyed for fear of “offending” Muslims? I saw a report about one gentleman who for years dressed up as Santa and brought candies to a children’s center. Thanks to a single complaint by a Somali couple, he was told to stay home this year.

Of the Arabs in America, fully two thirds are Christians. The Muslim population is even smaller than the Jewish population and today’s Jews are so assimilated that most celebrate a non-religious Christmas along with the rest of the population. Some even have a “Chanuka bush” and you don’t hear them complaining about Christmas.

Meanwhile, in cities around the world, in nations that are predominantly Buddhist or some other faith, you will find Christmas decorations happily hung to join in the fun that began with a decision of the early Christian church to identify December 25th as the birthday of Jesus in order to more effectively compete with the birthday of Mithras, a widely regarded pagan god whose birth was celebrated on that date.

“Mithraism radiated from India where there is evidence of its practice from 1400 B.C. Mitra was part of the Hindu pantheon and Mithra was, perhaps, a minor Zoroastrian deity, the god of the airy light between heaven and earth. He was also said to have been a military general in Chinese mythology.”

For the same reason the early church tried to deflect the Roman Empire from harming its followers, many of whom paid with their lives. The New Testament blames the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus even while making it perfectly clear it was the Romans under Pontius Pilot who rendered the verdict, nor does it fudge the fact that Jesus was Jewish.

Crucifixion was a common Roman punishment. Fortunately for Christianity, Constantine converted to the faith in 312 A.D., assuring its survival as the dominant faith of his widespread Mediterranean empire.

The award for having the least understanding of Christmas must go this year to the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates. It erected a 43-foot tall, faux fir Christmas tree in its atrium and adorned it with $11 million worth of 131 “ornaments” that included gold, diamond and sapphire jewelry. Granted that the hotel has many infidels as guests, but this ostentatious display of wealth has nothing to do with the Christmas spirit.

Christmas is also a time when various special interest groups try to co-opt the holiday, often egregiously distorting it such as the National Wildlife Federation’s “Santa Goes Green.” This appalling piece of nonsense asks if Rudolph’s nose requires “some outside source of energy” and compares him to a hybrid car! Others stand ready to harangue you to recycle while People for an Ethical Treatment of Animals wants you to become a vegan! These groups are shameless.

I am all for gift-giving, but Christmas has become a massive marketing and advertising campaign in which the “reason for the season” is generally lost amidst the bargain sales and discounts. The same applies to those people who compete to put a million Christmas lights on their homes to demonstrate, I suppose, that they can.

Because I am an old curmudgeon I am thoroughly tired of the same handful of Christmas movies that the various television channels run over and over again each year. Granted that the older ones from the 1940s are charming and many of a more recent vintage are too vile to be seen by children. It’s probably best to stick with “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

I will have to content myself with memories of the excitement I recall as a child, rushing down the stairs on Christmas morning to see what gifts Santa left. That was fun! The best memories I have are of the Christmas breads and cakes my Mother would bake as gifts for the neighbors on the tiny street we shared. It was my job to bring them around and I fondly recall those people, all long gone, who welcomed me into their homes.

These days I pray that Christians gathered in their churches in the Middle East and elsewhere will not be subjected to terrorist attacks for being Christians. I worry that Al Qaeda is planning another Christmas attack on a commercial jet filled with travelers hoping to get home in time to celebrate with their families.

The jihadists really know how to ruin Christmas for everyone.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Winter Solstice

By Alan Caruba

On December 22, 1554 AD, someone took note of a celestial phenomenon during which a full lunar eclipse occurred. It will occur again on Tuesday, the day that marks the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Today’s astronomers will tell you it is just a coincidence and, indeed, that is all it is.

1554 had not been a good year for Lady Jane Gray who was beheaded after having spent just nine days as queen of England. The Privy Council had someone else in mind for the job. There were the usual battles in England and France where such skirmishes were what passed for politics in that era, but it was not otherwise a particularly memorable year.

For centuries, however, men had been paying close attention to the skies. In Ireland, there is a huge circular stone structure estimated to be 5,000 years old. On solstice, a single shaft of sunlight reaches deep into its central chamber at dawn. It predates the pyramids and Stonehenge, the latter of which was constructed to mark the winter and summer solstices.

Solstice celebrations clearly go back thousands of years in mankind’s history. The Neolithic peoples around the world, from about 10,000 to 3,000 BC, were the first farmers and, as a result, knowledge of the seasons and the cycles of harvest was critical.

The Moon that appeared to diminish and disappear only to reappear was of great interest as it proved an excellent way of marking time. It was, however, the solstice that was regarded as the day on which the Sun was reborn. Rebirth is a common theme in myths dating far back in history.

An excellent telling of the solstice story can be found here. “Ironically, the Earth is actually nearer to the Sun in January than it is in June—by three million miles. The Earth leans slightly on its axis like a spinning top frozen in one off-kilter position. Astronomers have even pinpointed the price angle of the tilt. It is 23 degrees and 27 minutes off the perpendicular to the plane of orbit.”

Clearly, someone was paying attention in ancient times because hundreds of megalithic structures have been found throughout Europe, each oriented to the solstices and the equinoxes. Sacred sites have been found in the Americas, Asia, Indonesia, and the Middle East.

In time, both Christmas and Hanukkah would be incorporated into the winter solstice, but the event was widely celebrated well before these holidays even existed and it was regarded as a time of magic. For the ancient Romans, of course, it was a time of feasting and, reportedly, debauchery, but just about any time of the year seemed to signal “party!” for them.

What lesson can we draw from the solstice of 2010? It is, I think, that the Earth is very old, 4.5 billion years old in fact, and what passes for human civilization is rather new by comparison. For a very long time, men peered into the sky and marveled at the Sun, Moon and stars. In time they began to make some sense of the cyclical change of seasons and apply it to agriculture and other activities.

Now consider the timeline. In 1554 someone recorded the lunar eclipse that occurred on the winter solstice, but it was not until October 1608, over fifty years later, that a device called a telescope was unveiled in the Netherlands. It made Jacob Metius of Alkmaar a tidy sum of money, but it was the genius, Galileo, who would grasp the power of the telescope. He made his first one in June or July 1609.

As this winter solstice dawns, the United States of America, the greatest pioneer of outer space, no longer has a vehicle to continue manned exploration. The Russians, with whom we were locked in conflict throughout the Cold War, now provide our astronauts a ride to the Space Station. There is something profoundly wrong about that.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Busybodies, Nags and Control Freaks

By Alan Caruba

Not long ago I saw a television documentary on the rise of the Third Reich in Germany. I have, in addition, read any number of books on the period of the 1920s and 30s. The lesson it teaches is that the Nazis did not suddenly arise, take control, and impose a totalitarian government on Germans. It was a matter of slow progress until October 29, 1929 when the U.S. stock market crashed.

The effect was worldwide. In Europe where nations were still trying to revive from the devastating impact of World War One, it created havoc similar to the Great Depression that gripped America for a decade.

In the wake of the 1919 Versailles Treaty, a defeated Germany had been hit with huge reparations. The Weimar Republic was struggling to return the nation to some degree of stability.

The destabilization of the worldwide financial system created the chaos needed for Adolf Hitler and the National Socialists to gain seats in the government and when Hitler was named Chancellor it opened the door to total control.

Thousands of communists were rounded up and put in concentration camps, thus eliminating the main political challenge. Ordinary Germans realized that anyone could be arrested and detained without any recourse to the law.

Hitler then turned his attention to the Jews of Germany, a minor part of the population, many of whom had lived there for generations. Scapegoating the Jews played into the anti-Semitism that had existed for centuries in Germany and provided an “enemy”, an alleged reason for the nation’s travails.

I was thinking about this with regard to the way Hugo Chavez managed to take over Venezuela, a major oil producer, step by step until recently when that nation’s supine congress gave him the right to rule by dictate. Ever since he took over and began to nationalize everything, Venezuela has been on a downward path economically and socially. The same thing happened after Fidel Castro took over Cuba in 1959.

Dictators are the ultimate control freaks, nags and busybodies.

In countries where Islam is both the state and the primary religion, people can be whipped, stoned to death, jailed, tortured, and executed for religion-based reasons. One must always demonstrate support for the state and the faith or run terrible risks, but unlike Communism, religion is the all-consuming factor.

Largely unreported, the ethnic cleansing of Christians continues apace in the Middle East, hardly differing from the fate of its Jews. There are few Jews in those nations where many had lived for generations because, with the founding of Israel in 1948, thousands were forced to flee for their lives. Many Arab Christians and Persian Bahaists, joined them. Thousands sought sanctuary there along with the survivors of the Holocaust, but Israel would have to fight several wars of defense. For more than sixty years, no effort to find peace with the Palestinians has yielded any positive response.

What does this have to do with America?

Well, it seems to me that the first two years of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid administration has given most Americans a taste of what it is to live in a nation where the central government is run by people who do not give a damn for public opinion or the Constitution.

It took barely a year for Americans to come together in a Tea Party movement to oppose Obamacare. That hideous piece of legislation interposes the government between all Americans and their physicians, inflicting a bureaucratic nightmare that, if permitted to exist, will surely kill Americans denied timely care.

The members of the Tea Party are not just Republicans, not just Democrats, and not just independents. They are quintessentially Americans that swiftly concluded that a serious mistake was made when Obama was elected. On the anniversary of the original tea party, Sen. Reid was forced to make a humiliating retreat, dropping the $1.1 trillion "budget" bill intended to shackle the newly elected members of Congress and to impose still more debt and control over Americans.

The Obama administration is shot through with control freaks, nags and busybodies, not the least of whom is the First Lady, Michelle Obama. On the signing of a bill giving the governmental control over food in the nation’s schools she said that obesity is “not just an economic threat, it’s a national security threat as well.” That is just absurd. It is a feeble excuse to interpose the federal government between parents and the schools to which they are compelled to send their children.

“We cannot leave it up to the parents,” said Michelle Obama. Not surprisingly, a Rasmussen Reports poll revealed that 75% of those asked did not agree with the First Lady.

Hardly a day goes by when some member of the Obama administration doesn’t say or do something absurd. In mid-December, the U.S. Surgeon-General, Regina Benjamin, said “there is no risk-free level of exposure to tobacco smoke.”

She claimed that even occasional smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke “causes immediate damage to your body that can lead to serious illness or death.” That is not based in any valid analysis and it ignores the rising levels of life expectancy in America. It is just another piece of the hysterical anti-tobacco agenda of busybodies who have no right to tell anyone whether they should smoke or not.

The most dangerous thing Americans do every day is to get behind the wheel or be a passenger in an automobile. Auto accidents annually kill 40,000 or more.

Recently, at the Cancun, Mexico conference of global warming charlatans, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, said that “climate change is one of the greatest threats facing our planet” as if human beings had anything to say or do about it. He might was well have said that the United Nations must begin to control the Sun, the oceans, and the clouds.

Finally, after being banned by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1980, the agency decided that saccharin, a sweetener substitute for sugar, was neither toxic nor a cancer-causing agent, a fact determined in the late 1990s by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The EPA routinely bans chemicals claiming they could cause cancer, ignoring the fact that too much exposure to any chemical, including salt or sugar, is unwise.

These and a thousand other examples are reasons to distrust the Obama administration in particular and the federal government in general. As it continues to grasp more and more power over lifestyle decisions that belong to individuals, it threatens the very reason America was founded.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Perfect Christmas Gift for Men!

Here's the URL:

Did the Global Warming Hoax Die in Cancun?

By Alan Caruba

If you want to know the core beliefs of those who gathered in Cancun, Mexico, for yet another Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conference, you need look no further than the way one of its days began with a prayer to Ixchel, a Mayan Moon goddess.

The global warmists are essentially pagans for whom the worship of Gaia, an Earth goddess of Greek origin, symbolizes their rejection of the Judeo-Christian values embraced by Western civilization.

It is, by now, a cliché to call environmentalism a religion, but that does not reduce the truth of this observation. For people of faith, however, it did not go unnoticed that the previous conference in Copenhagen closed amidst a huge blizzard that hit that city, nor that President Obama and the American contingent attending the conference had to depart early in order to avoid being unable to return to Washington, D.C. due to a blizzard that closed that city.

In Cancun, as negotiators from nearly 200 countries met to save the Earth from an utterly false “warming”, the seaside Mexican city’s temperatures plunged to a 100-year record low of 54 degrees Fahrenheit!

Amidst the sybaritic parties attended by the delegates, the Cancun conference hammered out demands for further reductions in the so-called greenhouse gases said to threaten the Earth with a huge warming, but Japan where the original Kyoto Protocols for such reductions were initiated opted out and it is worth noting that both India and China had always been exempted from them along with “developing” nations.

In reality, the IPCC conference was the charade designed to engineer a massive transfer of wealth from industrialized nations to those, as often as not, ruled by a variety of despots and authoritarian, corrupt governments that have failed to keep pace with the West for whom the use of “fossil fuels” has marked their economic ascendancy.

Behind the calls for energy reduction is an unspoken and inhuman desire by environmentalists to greatly reduce the world’s population by starving it of the energy it requires to prosper and survive. Along with many coal-fired plants, in both India and China plans are proceeding to introduce increased nuclear energy to benefit their populations of more than a billion each.

In stark contrast, under the Obama administration, the coal and oil industries have found themselves under attack, including a moratorium on all further exploration and extraction of oil in the Gulf of Mexico and off the east and west coasts. Plans for more nuclear production of electricity have been stymied as well.

The original Kyoto Protocols were unanimously rejected by the U.S. Senate in 1997.and in more recent years support for wind and solar production that only exists due to government subsidies and mandates is disappearing in nations that originally signed onto the limits on greenhouse gas emissions. In the U.S. both represent less than three percent of electricity generation.

The Earth has been cooling since 1998 when a new, entirely natural cooling cycle began. The last such cycle of note occurred between 1300 and 1850 and is known as the Little Ice Age. Predictions for the current cycle suggest it too may last several decades or longer.

As for carbon dioxide emissions, there is no evidence they influence the Earth’s overall temperatures. Indeed, carbon dioxide is vital to the growth of all vegetation, crops and forests, and thus to all life on the planet. Nor is there any evidence to support the absurd claim that human beings are causing the Earth to warm. For that you need only look to the low level of sunspots, magnetic storms, of the Sun.

There was no science of any merit to be heard or seen at the Cancun conference, only the massive body of lies generated by the United Nation’s IPCC. In November 2009, just prior to the last conference, the world learned of the machinations of a handful of rogue climate scientists to foist deliberately falsified IPCC “proof” of global warming.

There never was a “consensus” of scientists to support the global warming fraud. What is left is the spectacle of United Nations delegates seeking to impose its control over the world’s sovereign nations through the most audacious scheme ever perpetrated in the name of science.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Merry Christmas from Harry Reid

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Any Fool Can Understand the Commerce Clause

By Alan Caruba

I am not a lawyer. I never wanted to be a lawyer. I have some friends who are lawyers and I forgive them and occasionally have to employ them. America, at the federal, state, and local level generates so many laws that the system requires a legion of lawyers to deal with them. The result is a general lack of respect for all laws short of the Ten Commandments.

The U.S. Constitution, in effect since June 21, 1788 when New Hampshire became the ninth State to ratify it, is a remarkable document, not the least for being the oldest functioning constitution of any nation at this point in time. What I like best about it is that anyone can read and understand it.

Until the progressive era in the U.S. that began in the 1900s and went bonkers in the 1930s, the Constitution underwent a number of judicial interpretations that largely affirmed the intentions of the Founding Fathers who wrote it. This was made easier by the existence of the Federalist Papers, letters and writings by the Framers, who clarified its various elements.

The Constitution was not foisted on Americans. It was, after the collapse of the Articles of Confederation, widely discussed and debated. With the addition of the Bill of Rights, all the original States signed onto it. There have been only 27 Amendments because, wisely the Framers contrived to make the process as difficult as possible. They also fashioned an instrument of governance intended to slow down the entire legislative process.

Americans understand that passing 2,000-plus page bills that have not been read or attempting to pass such bills hurriedly during the “lame duck” session of Congress, many of whose members have been voted out of office, is an obscenity, an offense to the intent of the Constitution.

Anyone reading Article One, Section 8, understands it enumerates a number of powers allocated solely to the Federal government such as the coining of money, declaring war, and such. It was always understood that the federal government is limited to the exercise of the Constitution's enumerated powers.

One of those powers is “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes…” That is the commerce clause.

The meaning of commerce was limited to “trade and exchange” of goods and transportation for this purpose. The purpose was to make “regular” such activity; to provide laws to ensure that business would be conducted properly between the States or with foreign nations to everyone’s mutual benefit.

What the commerce clause does not authorize is the right of the federal government to compel a citizen to involuntarily purchase anything.

The “linchpin” of Obamacare is the requirement that everyone must purchase health insurance or to suffer a financial penalty for failing to do so, but the federal government has restricted the free purchase of health insurance across State lines, thus inhibiting competition that would allow for lower rates. There is a touch of schizophrenia in this.

As Judge Henry Hudson recently ruled in the case of Virginia v. Sebelius, on December 13, “Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market. In doing so, enactment of the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision (the individual mandate) exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article 1.”

“The Minimum Essential Coverage Provision is neither within the letter, nor the spirit of the Constitution.”

That should be the end of the issue and the end of Obamacare, but as the late Justice Rehnquist noted in one decision, “it is illuminating for purposes of reflections, if not for argument, to note that one of the greatest fictions of our federal system is that the Congress exercises only those powers delegated to it, while the remainder are reserved to the States or to the people.”

The growth of the powers Congress has arrogated to itself is the singular greatest threat to freedom and liberty in America. This is why so many individual States have joined in the several cases brought against Obamacare.

Failing a common sense ruling on this case by the Supreme Court, the States have but one option left and that is nullification. They can, individually and together, pass laws to restrict the implementation of Obamacare.

Meanwhile, the incoming 2011 Congress can and should do everything in its power to defund and otherwise thwart this assault on liberty.

In 2012, Americans can rid themselves of the current usurper of the office of the presidency, a man whose first executive order, #13489, issued on January 21, 2009, was directed at hiding all essential documentation of his legitimacy.

© Alan Caruba, 2010