Thursday, March 31, 2011

Morons Who Hate Oil

By Alan Caruba

It may seem harsh to call people who actively spread lies about oil “morons”, but that assumes they do so out of ignorance as opposed to those who do so for some crazed “environmental” reason that is so out of touch with reality it invites scorn.

A case in point is a new book by Steve Hallett with John Wright, “Life Without Oil: Why We Must Shift to a New Energy Future” ($25.00, Prometheus Books). Suffice to say that Hallett is an associate professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Purdue University while Wright is “a journalist specializing in energy and environmental issues” who is the Latin America news editor for Energy News Today. Wright’s previous book was “The Obama Haters.”

How does Hallet get from botany to a supposed expertise on oil, an energy source more associated with geology? As for Mr. Wright, there is a strong possibility that he is a liberal and an environmentalist, and therefore beyond all hope when it comes to things called FACTS.

The prologue of their book is nauseating in that it regurgitates every environmental lie including “global warming”, a hoax that was revealed in November 2009 to have been the invention of colluding “scientists” working for the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change. Suffice to say their leaked emails demonstrated their panic when the Earth, beginning in 1998, began to cool.

“We seem to have quite a few problems,” wrote the authors. “Global climate change, peak oil, overpopulation, collapsing fisheries, desertification, wealth inequity, species extinctions, freshwater shortages, hapless governments, deforestation, disease epidemics, and agricultural failures top the list.”

Okay, scratch “global climate change” because the climate has been changing for 4.5 billion years on planet Earth, moving between ice ages and warmer periods well known to climatologists and meteorologists. The rest is mostly bogus, but what caught my eye was “wealth inequity” which is not an “environmental” problem, but is the keystone of a document called The Communist Manifesto.

Here’s another gem from their book. “We don’t know exactly when our fossil fuels will run out, but we can predict it to within a few decades. By the end of this century, our oil and natural gas supplies will be virtually nonexistent, and limited coal supplies will be restricted to only a handful of countries.”

Whoa! Does anyone recall how the all those “experts” on global warming kept predicting it was coming in thirty years, fifty years, by the year 3,000? This is the same scam being perpetrated by these two morons. And who is to blame for this coming disaster? “We are to blame.” That’s right, the horrid human race is to blame for this, just as it is for everything else environmentalists want to ban.

There is no denying that we horrible human beings have been using oil now for a while now, primarily since around the 1850s, ever since we discovered its marvelous properties, the energy stored in its molecules, and its extraordinary ability to be part of more than 6,000 products.

A single 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline and the rest is used in the manufacture of motor oil, diesel fuel, floor wax, asphalt, transparent tape, deodorant, dyes, rubber cement, water pipes, aspirin, toothbrushes, heart valves, bandages, and the other 6,000 things we use in some fashion or other. Suffice to say that all plastic begins as oil.

Are we running out of oil? No. Let me repeat. No. There is no such thing as “peak oil” because every time someone has made the prediction that we are using up all the oil, we find some more. This not to say the Obama administration will let oil companies drill for it in America. Not only do we pay less for domestic oil as opposed to importing it, but we have so much domestic oil we wouldn’t have to import it.

There are, for example, 40 billion barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico and estimates of approximately 14 billion barrels off the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts. In the Bakken shale beneath North Dakota, in just the western third of the State it is estimated that there are more than 500 billion barrels that can be extracted.

According to the US Geological Survey and the Minerals Management Service at the Department of Interior that regulates America’s on and off-shore oil reserves, they estimate that America holds more than 21 billion barrels of “proven” conventional oil reserves. Add to this the estimated 100 billion barrels of oil reserves in the postage stamp-sized proposed drilling area of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.

According to the Congressional Research Service, America’s combined energy resources, oil, coal, and natural gas, are the largest on Earth!

It is insane that Americans will be paying $4, $5 or more for a gallon of gasoline and it is insane to believe environmentalists when they tell you the Earth is running out of oil “by the end of this century.”

It is a kindness to call environmentalists “morons.” They are deliberately lying to everyone, using a massive, international propaganda machine, because in the end they want what Karl Marx and Barack Obama want, a redistribution of your money to other people.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Big BPA Lie - The BPA File, Part Three

By Alan Caruba

When I began this series about bisphenol-A, BPA, I instituted a Google Alert for Internet posts that mentioned it. From January through March it generated a report each day filled with notifications of newspaper, magazine, and Internet posts all denouncing BPA as a hazardous chemical that threatened the health of everyone from infants to adults.

More than one thousand posts were reported. Virtually all spread false information.

Such things do not happen by accident. They are the result of a concerted effort to defame BPA and they are indicative of a massive public relations effort. Serendipitously, on March 2nd the National Review published an article by Jon Entire, “Don’t Rush to Ban Chemicals” that revealed how public opinion is manipulated by the use of dubious “scientific studies” and the way most people, unschooled in science, do not realize that “one part per billion” of any substance poses no risk at all.

Entine cited a survey that found that “Canadians on average have about one part per billion of BPA in their urine, while Americans have twice that amount” noting that this “is not just meaningless, let alone news by any definition, but is part of the massive public relations campaign to get BPA banned”

“Labeling a chemical ‘toxic’ or a ‘contaminant’ is meaningless,” said Entine. “Toxicity is a question of degree; exposure is different from effect. Apples, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, citrus fruits, mushrooms, turnips, and many more foods contain occurring chemicals that are toxic—they cause cancer at large lifelong doses in laboratory rodents. Tofu is more estrogenic than BPA.”

Anyone who wants to learn the truth about BPA is advised to visit, the website of Steve Milloy who has gained a solid reputation for debunking so-called “science based” fear campaigns. His data on BPA reveals that “there is no scientific evidence that BPA:

• Has ever harmed anyone despite 50 years of use;

• Acts as an endocrine disruptor; and

• Has any health effects at low doses;

Furthermore, the data debunks some of the most oft-cited and false claims about BPA.

• BPA is not carcinogenic or mutagenic;

• BPA does not adversely affect reproduction or development at any realistic dose;

• BPA is efficiently “metabolized” and rapidly excreted after oral exposure

So where does the worldwide anti-BPA public relations campaign originate?

The answer to that has to be by inference, but many trace it to Fenton Communications whose founder, David Fenton, has left-wing associations and affiliations dating all the way back to the domestic terror group, the Weatherman, for whom he was a photographer.

In a lengthy profile on, one learns that in 1982, he established Fenton Communications, specializing in advancing the agendas of “left-wing groups.” “One of Fenton’s most widely publicized achievements was his 1989 attack against the producers of Alar, a preservative (used on apples) that he erroneously characterized as carcinogenic.” The cost to American apple growers and distributors was catastrophic. It was deceptive.

The anti-BPA scare campaign is patterned on the anti-Alar campaign and a further link is found in the fact that two of Fenton’s longtime clients, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Working Group are leaders in the anti-BPA campaign. Moreover, BornFree, a company that specializes in products that do not contain BPA, is also a Fenton client.

In the book, “The Fear Profiteers”, Fenton Communications was identified as having “played a key role in a growing number of health scare campaigns.” At the time the book was published, Fenton was linked to “scares about Alar and apples, swordfish, leaky breast implants, and a front group (a favorite PR ploy) Health Care Without Harm that put forth lies about the alleged, but unproven danger of phthalates; chemicals used to make plastic flexible products for IV bags, nipples, and children’s toys.

Suffice to say Fenton Communications is opposed to anything that has to do with plastic, no matter how useful and safe the product may be. BPA has been in use for over fifty years to line the insides of metal and plastic food containers, protecting against spoilage. More than 6,000 studies have been made over the years and none have demonstrated any hazard.

“If you have been scared about food or pesticides in the last ten years,” said ‘The Fear Profiteers’, “chances are Fenton Communications played a key role in provoking that fear. The fears just don’t ever stop. But they all have one thing in common—a lack of evidence and abundance of deceit.”

The anti-BPA propaganda that has been put in motion is multiplied by the countless journalists who simply repeat the lies, accounting for some of the most meretricious misinformation on a daily basis. This in turn is multiplied by the seemingly endless blogs and alleged “health” websites that repeat and repeat it, primarily targeting expectant and new mothers. Another favorite target are men who are told BPA affects their sex drive.

The problem for everyone, everywhere in the world, occurs when governments or entities such as the European Union ban the use of BPA despite overwhelming evidence of its safe use. That puts everyone at risk for the food-related illnesses that occur when containers no longer have the protection that BPA provides.

Editor’s note: You can read The BPA File – Part One here and The BPA File – Part Two here.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Liberals I Loathe

By Alan Caruba

Politics is not patty cake. While one hopes that civility will prevail, it is often hard to achieve this standard when confronted by people who don’t hesitate to lie, say rude things, and make lots of money while pretending to give a damn about “the workers” and, of course, ”the children.”

The Bible says the poor will always be with us, acknowledging that, from very early times there were always folks who had the bad luck of being born to poor people, paid no attention in school, were always late to work, and had acquired some very bad habits and attitudes.

I, on the other hand, have always felt compelled to earn a living. It is the only way I can afford my cigars, steaks, cakes and cookies, and other indulgences such as the rent and the car.

I tell you this because, among the current crop of liberals in the limelight, are quite a few I just loathe. This is not a proper attitude for someone raised to find something good in everyone and to be charitable enough to forgive as many sins as possible, short of telling lies, stealing, and flat out murder.

So, here is a short list of liberals who make my skin crawl every time they show up on the TV screen.

Bill Maher. We all know someone like this guy. He is the wiseguy with a quick quip for any situation who thinks he is super smart and super cool when he is, in reality, a moron with a bad attitude and a mouth to go with it.

Michael Moore. Were it not for a mass media largely in the hands of liberals, this tub of lard would be making training films for classes in mine safety and raising ferrets. He’s made a lot of money criticizing corporations for making a lot of money. When you look up “hypocrite” in the dictionary, you will find his picture.

Barney Frank. This member of Congress is as unsavory as they come. I remember him best for defending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the housing market bubble was just about to burst.

John Kerry & John Edwards. Who remembers that these two ran, respectively, for president and vice president? Kerry has married wealth to enjoy a lifestyle most people have to work for. He defamed his fellow soldiers in Vietnam and has not stopped lying about everything else since then. As for John Edwards, even skunks go out of their way to avoid him.

Nancy Pelosi. Her legacy is that she forced Obamacare through a Democrat-controlled House and, with Harry Reid in the Senate, producing a piece of legislation that has more than half the U.S. States in full rebellion against it. Not surprisingly, a judge has found that it is unconstitutional.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Give him kudos for building a major media organization, but pity the poor New Yorkers who must live with a man who thinks he has a right to tell them what to eat, tell them to stop smoking, and who at one time suggested putting windmills on skyscrapers to generate energy. A typical liberal, he knows just exactly how you should live your life and will happily pass a law to ensure that you do.

MSNBC. Keith Olbermann has fled into the arms of Al Gore’s “Current”, but where did they find that bloated bombast, Ed Schultz, the very “butch” Rachel Maddow, and Chris Matthews whose “man crush” on Barack Obama is a public embarrassment? How can MSNBC executives justify their lack of viewers and accept their paychecks? Oh wait, I forgot. They’re liberals!

Helen Thomas. She’s gone now after all those years being hailed as the doyen of the White House press gallery reporters. Just how obvious was it that she hated all Republican presidents and gave the Democrats a pass? How big a secret was it that she hated Jews, too?

The New York Times. I stopped reading this rag years ago, but occasionally visit to reinforce my conviction that one has to be dumber than your average armadillo to write for it. Are you listening Paul Krugman, Tom Friedman, et al?

As noted, this is a very short list of the legion of liberals who strut and fret their hour upon the stage, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. (Hat tip to William Shakespeare, late bard of Avon.)

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Education of Barack Obama

By Alan Caruba

Just over two years ago when Barack Obama was sworn into office, he might have needed help to find Libya on the map and Muammar Gadhafi was just another Middle Eastern despot.

Despite a whirlwind tour of the Middle East, I doubt he had any idea that the Maghreb of north African nations, from Tunisia to Egypt, or that Syria, Jordan, Yemen and Bahrain would be in varying states of turmoil, but neither did anyone else. He had little to say during the protests against Iran’s mullahs.

The last thing Obama wanted was to be a “war President.”

Even in his address to the nation regarding the U.S. intervention in Libya, he could not resist chiding his predecessor. “To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq,” he said without naming George W. Bush, his favorite fall-back position for blame. Then he added that the war in Iraq has lasted eight years, cost thousands of lives, and a trillion dollars. The one in Vietnam lasted almost as long and was just as costly.

Unmentioned was his decision to not only remain in Afghanistan where the U.S. has been since 2001, but he increased our troop strength—just as former President Bush did with the “surge” that turned things around in Iraq. The result of Obama’s decision has been to keep al Qaeda on the run and a continuing effort to degrade the Taliban. Unsaid is the fact that guerrilla wars are generally long, drawn-out, and often inconclusive.

The conduct of war is the job the Constitution assigns to the President by also authorizing him to be the Commander-in-Chief. Obama, the community organizer, is uncomfortable with this responsibility, but he put those skills to use to pull together a coalition, get a U.N. resolution, and let loose the dogs of war, if only from the skies.

What he failed to do was consult with the Congress and either ask for or get a resolution of support. He’s supposed to do that, but the former university lecturer on the Constitution either forgot that or decided to ignore it. That, however, is a very bad precedent.

“I refused to wait for images of slaughter and mass graves,” he said and, frankly, I believe him. He drew on the lessons of former President Clinton’s difficulty to get the U.S. involved in stopping the ethnic cleansing in Serbia and Bosnia.

The reluctant war President, however, took pains to tell Americans that “The U.S. will play a supportive role” in Libya’s liberation and only the seriously uninformed could believe that tall tale. There is no military action in Libya without the U.S., now and into the unknown future.

In almost an aside, Obama spoke of Iran, “where change is fiercely oppressed.” He hasn’t had much to say of Iran and this suggests he wanted to send some kind of message to the ayatollahs that he was keeping an eye on them as he should. They are gearing up to make events infinitely worse in the Middle East.

What Obama has discovered—and should have known—is that America has been the world’s policeman since the end of World War II way back in 1945. It’s the reason that former President Truman ordered U.S. troops into the field when North Korea attacked South Korea. It’s the reason Americans happily elected a former five-star general, Ike Eisenhower, to guide the nation when he promised “I will go to Korea” to personally inspect the demilitarized zone.

“We should not be afraid to act,” said Obama regarding the various unpleasant choices we have before us and those that are sure to come and then he emphasized “collective action”, falling back into his favorite role as an organizer, rather than a warrior.

In truth, Obama is not a warrior. Unlike many prior presidents he never wore the uniform of his nation and he clearly finds war distasteful, a distraction from imposing domestic change on Americans who have proven resistant and who are likely to send him home to Chicago in 2012.

“We welcome the fact that history is on the move in the Middle East,” the President said. Somehow I doubt that. For decades this nation has been more than happy with the status quo in the Middle East so long as the oil flowed. Those days are over.

It was a decent enough speech that touched on all the key points. Gadhafi is a despot. He threatened his people. Our interests and values are at stake. All the things one would expect him to say, but none of the fire, the “bring’m on” swagger we have missed since 9/11. Like him or not, George W. Bush made us feel safe. Obama makes us feel tentative.

America has real enemies and, frankly, I want them to be very afraid of us. They were once, but when even a cockroach like Gadhafi thinks we won’t or can’t kill him, I want his head on a pike for all the rest of the world to see.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Protests, Riots, and Insurrections

By Alan Caruba

I’ve been thinking a lot about protests, riots and insurrections lately because they seem to be happening all over the Middle East and even in London.

In London, an estimated half million Brits turned out in the streets to protest government cuts in services, paying little heed to (a) how heavily they are taxed for them and (b) how they have all but bankrupted the nation. Though the protest was at times raucous thanks to local anarchists, it should be noted that the local constabulary did not shoot anyone.

Contrast that with the streets of Yemen, Syria and even little Bahrain where protests have generated a number of deaths as the main means of “crowd control.” This is also the way protests in Iran have been dealt with, along with imprisonment, torture, and all the other arts of despotism.

In Libya, an insurrection against four decades of despotic rule by Col, Gadhafi has dragged in the U.S., the U.N., NATO, and, briefly, the Arab League into the dispute. Given that Gadhafi had made it clear he intended to kill as many Libyans as necessary to retain his grip on the nation, there was no way this could be ignored.

By contrast, when a huge crowd gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo the military did not roll out the tanks. After a few futile efforts to disperse the protesters, President Mubarak was eased out of the office he had held since 1981 and sent packing. All things considered it was a bloodless coup. The Egyptians just held an election to decide some changes to their constitution.

Other contrasts come to mind, most notably, the 1989 massacre that took place at night in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square when protesters, mostly young Chinese, gathered to seek more freedom, more justice, and more democracy. It did not happen. While outwardly prosperous, China remains the classic Communist state.

One of the biggest gatherings in the U.S. capitol involved an estimated million people who came out in March 2010 to protest against the passage of Obamacare. It was an extraordinary turnout and one that the mainstream media tried to depict as unruly and impolite, but it was nothing less than astonishing that so many people could gather in one place without any disruptive behavior. David Axelrod, an advisor to Obama at the time, gave the White House response. “They’re wrong.”

When Obamacare was passed, the Tea Party that had organized the protest just grew like Jack’s beanstalk and, by November 2010, lots of Democrats who had voted for it found themselves cast out of the House, along with some in the Senate. Americans know how to protest, how to organize, and how to vote out liberals.

The differences between American, British, and Middle Eastern protests are quite evident. In the former two, you show up, speeches are given, and everyone goes home. In the latter, you show up and the regime in charge is likely to shoot you.

In America it was the Boston massacre that literally kicked off the Revolution against England in general and the king in particular. British troops, feeling threatened, fired on a relatively small group of protesters and, as they say, the rest is history.

The history of what is occurring in the Middle East is playing out in its cities and, while the region is not famous for democratic reform, the U.S. intervention in Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein may well be seen in retrospect as the trigger for all the insurrections occurring throughout the region. Before the Marines and infantry showed up, you could only vote for Saddam.

The trigger incident in Tunisia occurred when a street merchant, harassed by the local police, set himself on fire, but it really doesn’t matter what the trigger is because it is the far larger resentment of the populations in the nations of the Middle East that has finally been ignited.

The other largely unreported factor is the deep schism between Shias and Sunnis. It expresses itself in different ways in different nations. Sunnis are the majority or control the affairs of most nations except Iran.

The old regimes are being challenged. If you are a monarch the last thing you want to see are other monarchs being dethroned. If you are a despot, you can be replaced.

What will come of it? Is it good or bad for the United States and the West? Will the Muslim Brotherhood and/or al Qaeda take advantage and somehow secure power?

Questions, questions, questions!

And no one knows the answer.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Obama Prepares for Speech on Libya

Barack tries out the magic ruby slippers that will enable him to escape the "kinetic military action" occurring in Libya while explaining to everyone why it is not a WAR and is really being conducted by a combination of NATO and the United Nations. Go for it, Barack, I cannot wait to hear this one.

h/t to

Against All Energy Anywhere

By Alan Caruba

One of the great afflictions of the environmentalists—Greens—everywhere is a profound lack of understanding of the role that energy plays in whether a nation prospers or just limps along, barely keeping the lights on.

A classic case is the communist paradise of North Korea that is almost completely dark at night while just across the 38th parallel, South Korea is ablaze with light, energy, and a thriving economy.

Dedicated Greens don’t really like any kind of energy whether it is nuclear, provided by burning coal, from natural gas, oil or from hydropower. They think that wind power is trouble-free and cost effective when it is neither. They feel the same way about solar power. Both are deemed acceptable because they don’t “emit” anything. This viewpoint is not merely naïve, it is profoundly stupid.

Before we go further, let’s examine the basic facts of U.S. power, give or take a percentage point or two, coal provides over 50% of electrical power. Nuclear provides around 20%, natural gas is just over 20%, hydroelectric is close to 7%, and so-called “renewables” like wind and solar are credited with about 3%. Petroleum generated electricity is 1% and “other sources”, whatever they may be, come in at around 0.3%.

These are figures from 2009 and, suffice to say, are subject to change, but not much.

Friends of the Earth, an international Green organization, (FOE) is no friend to humanity. Hardcore Greens think Earth’s problems would be solved if human beings were not part of its ecology.

Following the Japan earthquake, FOE sent an email to its members and fellow travelers saying, “We must learn from this disaster. Tell your members of Congress that nuclear power should not be part of our energy future.” Ironically, FOE is very unhappy with President Obama and his administration which has been very inclined toward nuclear energy.

The Sierra Club, another ultra-Green organization, put out a newsletter reminding its members that it is “unequivocally opposed to nuclear energy” and has been “for more than three decades.” The same newsletter warned that “politicians who owe their primary allegiance to the fossil-fuel industry (coal, natural gas, and oil) are quick to promote domestic drilling and deregulation, as if that would make the gauge on the gas pump start to run backward.” In point of fact, it would. U.S. domestic oil is always cheaper than imported oil.

The Sierra Club just conjured up a petition “to tell the Obama administration to protect the Arctic Refuge” because “We cannot allow these oil companies to destroy the pristine wilderness of the Arctic Refuge.” Every time you hear the words “pristine wilderness” think of a place no human would ever want to live, let alone visit. And no one is really addressing the economic devastation the Obama administration has visited on the Gulf States because of its refusal to allow oil drilling to resume.

FOE recently was fulminating against the use of coal to light up the homes, businesses and streets of South Africa and was equally unhappy about the effort to install a pipeline from Canada to the U.S. to transmit oil derived from its tar sands. A lot of our “imported” oil comes from Canada. That’s because it has been government policy for decades to make it difficult, if not impossible, to drill, extract, and refine oil here in America.

The March 21-27 edition of Bloomberg Business Week has an article by Brendan Greeley that is a good analysis titled “Facing Up to Nuclear Risk.” When nuclear plants have been built as many safety factors as possible have been built into them, but it is impossible to calculate the impact of an earthquake. The U.S. has its own tectonic fault lines, all well known, but the fact remains nuclear plants have been built near or on them.

“David Okrent, who advised the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on reactor safety for 20 years, points out that reactors are designed for only a set of defined events. ‘The early nuclear reactors weren’t designed for tornadoes,’ he says, ‘until one came along in Arkansas, and then we thought, ‘we gotta design for tornadoes.’ It’s not easy to be all-knowing.”

Were it not for Green propaganda, the U.S. would not be wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on idiotic wind and solar farms that are utterly dependent on government subsidies and mandates that require utilities to use the pitifully small amounts of electricity they produce.

The same can be said of the equally idiotic regulatory mandates for ethanol that drive up the cost of every gallon of gas pumped while, at the same time, reducing the mileage and damaging to your car’s engine. Even Al Gore thinks ethanol is a bad idea.

Ironically, more people have died from wind turbines than nuclear plants. In 2008, there were 41 recorded deaths. The carnage on birds and bats is rarely mentioned by the media. Despite all the blather about Three Mile Island not one person has died from radiation since nuclear plants were first introduced.

It is surely worth noting that coal-burning plants in a nation that is the Saudi Arabia of coal do not have meltdowns causing radiation that can make large areas uninhabitable. That “smoke” you see coming from the smokestacks of such plants is steam. Water vapor. Clouds are made of water vapor.

If we were really serious about safety and the provision of more electrical power, the U.S. would be building a hell of a lot more coal-burning plants right now and into the future.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

More Gruel, Please

It’s not that we need a bit more in our bowl of gruel like Oliver Twist, but we could use your financial support to help pay the costs of computer maintenance and the related costs in time and labor to undertake the research required to keep you informed on a daily basis.

The world, as you know, is a very complex place with all manner of influences occurring everywhere all the time. Visitors to this blog, as well as our regular “followers”, routinely note how a particular commentary clarified or supported their view of events and personalities.

So, please note the “Donate” button and then decide what “Warning Signs” is worth to you because, in truth, nothing including our daily commentaries is free.

A lot of modest donations can go a long way around here.

Alan Caruba
Warning Signs

Cartoon Round Up

Friday, March 25, 2011

Obama, The Great Prevaricator

By Alan Caruba

“President Obama told congressional leaders there are no plans to use the U.S. military to assassinate Libyan strongman Muammar Gadhafi — despite the administration’s policy of seeking regime change in the North African country — according to sources familiar with a Friday White House Situation Room briefing.”
-- March 25, 2011,

Translation: Obama has already given orders to have Gadhafi assassinated.

It’s taken two years, the first in which he was everywhere all the time on television, but it took Americans who weren’t besotted by his dazzling smile, his haute couture, and “no drama, Obama” style, very little time to figure out that whatever Barack Hussein Obama says, you can count on his meaning the opposite and doing the opposite.

No previous administration has been so devoted to twisting the language like a pretzel to avoid saying what he means or does. It’s not a “war” in Libya; it’s a “kinetic military action.” There are no Islamic terrorists and there aren’t dozens, if not hundreds of illegal aliens crossing the Mexico border every day. And, after announcing that his administration was lifting the ban on offshore drilling, it has issued a grand total of one and that was to restart an existing platform.

After identifying Afghanistan as the “real” war in the Middle East and decrying the Iraq war all through his campaign, Obama took weeks to decide what to do there and finally did what Bush had done in Iraq. He increased the number of troops.

I am not a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or any other professional judge of what makes anyone tick, but I know a liar when I hear and see one day after day, week after week, and year after year.

This is a President who devoted virtually the entire first year of his term to forcing a Democrat controlled Congress to pass The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, a massive assault on the nation’s health industry. It was accomplished even after a million people journeyed to Washington, D.C. to protest it.

When it was passed, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what was in it.” What was in it was more than two thousand pages of regulations creating countless new government entities, driving up the cost of health insurance, and a hideous piece of legislation that generated a deluge of requests for waivers from its draconian destruction of this essential element of the economy.

Twenty-eight States have refused to recognize Obamacare as law. A judge in Florida has deemed it unconstitutional. And it was a lie from start to finish.

This is a President whose first State of the Union speech draw derisive laughter from the assembled Congress when he referred to climate change, the code words for global warming.

This is a President who is pushing for high-speed rail in a nation whose citizens either fly where they want to go or drive where they want to go. The federally run Amtrak has never had a profitable year in its entire history.

This is a President who is pushing for electric cars when there is a perfectly functioning system for cars that use gasoline and the first ones off the assembly line cost so much and go so few miles as to be an instant joke.

By the end of his first term, “It’s Bush’s fault” became another joke and by the end of his second year, Obama had adopted most of his predecessor’s earlier decisions including Guantanamo and military trials despite his stated goal to shut it down.

The original bailout, TARP, came at the end of Bush’s term in response to the financial crisis that occurred just before the 2008 election. Obama has followed that with still more deficit spending to the point where everyone in America has an $80,000 piece of the debt he created.

There is no need to list the endless lies any more. All except his mainstream media shills and the hardcore liberal fools know he lies and does so all the time.

This should it come as a surprise for a man whose entire life is a construction of lies including the birth certificate he refuses to produce.

All hail Obama! The Great Prevaricator!

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Sudden Surfeit of Bullies

By Alan Caruba

Have you noticed how the subject of “school bullies” or “bullying” is suddenly in the news? These things don’t happen spontaneously.

For most of my life I have earned my living in public relations and one learns a few things about the way the public is herded toward certain assumptions and actions when enough money and effort is made to influence their judgment.

In early March, in concert with the White House, the National Education Association, a union, not a benevolent “association” of teachers, released “a new survey on bullying” that found, not surprisingly, that teachers “and education support professions” were in desperate need of “additional training on when and how to intervene in bullying situations.”

If the raucous crowds of teachers and other public sector union members who gathered in Wisconsin’s state house and outside of New Jersey’s in Trenton are any indication, the NEA knows a lot about bullying and hardly needs any instruction on how to deal with it.

“Our members,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, “know that bullying is a significant problem” and, naturally, they need “more training” to deal with it. These are people who presumably passed through four years of college education in order to become teachers and, if the NEA is to be believed, they simply did not receive enough training to deal with school bullies.

This is so absurd one hardly knows how to address it. The NEA produced statistics that “82 percent of school employees report they have witnessed bullying two or more times in the last month.” This does not strike me as an epidemic of bullying.

“98 percent believe it is their job to intervene when they see bullying happening in their school.” Well, duh! What are they being paid for?

Unless I am just too old or too terribly out of touch, bullying has been going on since the days of the one-room schoolhouse. The delicate psyches of school children, whether they are the bullies or the bullied, manage to survive. At one time or another, the masses of children condemned to government schools have all had to deal with this.

Why is this bullying issue being ginned up? In an age of the Internet with its FaceBook, MySpace, and YouTube ability to turn any bullying incident into a worldwide event, we are simply more aware of them. We are aware, too, that some few children whose parents were unaware or inattentive commit suicide.

Many children are the typical targets of bullies, male and female, because they are having gender identification problems, are fat, are white, are black, are not on any sports teams, are serious students getting good grades, or are simply available to be bullied. Surely every school has its cliché of bullies.

Blogger Hans Bader recently took note of the fact that the Obama administration sent a letter to school officials “that undermines both free speech and due process.” Bader noted that “a political appointee in the Education Department sent a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter to the nation’s school boards claiming that many forms of homophobia and bullying violate federal laws against sexual harassment and discrimination, but those laws only ban discrimination based on sex or race—not bullying in general.”

“The letter from the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights, Russlyn Ali, defined ‘harassment’ so broadly,” noted Bader, “as to reach both speech protected by the First Amendment, and conduct the Supreme Court says does not legally qualify as harassment.”

Why is the White House and the Department of Education reaching all the way down into your local school is push for greater acceptance of homosexuality in particular and government intervention in general for an element of school life as old as education in America?

Is there any parent or citizen that is not aware of how poor the quality of education is in America these days? Is there anyone who has passed through grades K-thru-12 who doesn’t understand that bullying has always been a problem; that teachers and school administrators routinely intervene to deal with individual cases? That no “additional training” is required for this?

In a new book coming in May, “Lockdown High: When the Schoolhouse Becomes a Jailhouse”, author Annette Fuentes makes a case for the way too many schools treat students as potential jailbirds, requiring them to pass through metal detectors, and be subject to intrusive searchers, or suspended for alleged infractions of idiotic “zero tolerance” policies.

Following the Columbine High School tragedy, Fuentes noted that the “public’s perception of school violence and youth behavior was seriously out of whack with reality,” adding that “Failing schools breed failing students and place them at risk of falling into the juvenile justice system, especially as policing and the practices of that system increasingly make their way into the schoolhouse.”

How crazy is it when a five-year-old is arrested for bringing a butter knife to school or a teenage girl is suspended for bringing Midol for her menstrual cramps? Why are six-year-old strip-searched in a classroom when a few dollars goes missing from the teacher’s desk? These incidents are too often a part of school life for today’s students trying to learn anything in a hostile environment.

“Hysteria, not clear-eyed analysis, has colored the public’s understanding and, regrettably, tainted media coverage of school violence,” writes Fuentes. “The climate of fear has created ripe conditions for imposing unprecedented restrictions on young people’s rights, dignity, and educational freedoms.”

So, it follows naturally that the NEA and the White House are busy of late creating a campaign that will underwrite the wasting of millions on “additional training” to deal with an overheated and deliberate campaign to make Americans think that schools are rife with bullying when it is nothing more than one of the most common problems when masses of young people are “educated” in schools that more closely resemble minimum security prisons than places of learning.

© Alan Caruba

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A World in Disarray

By Alan Caruba

It almost makes one wistful for the Cold War when the world was neatly divided between the United States and its allies against what Ronald Reagan called “the evil empire”, the Soviet Union and its satellite nations.

Trying to bring about a League of Nations after World War One virtually killed President Woodrow Wilson who suffered a massive stroke, but liberals have always been entranced with the notion that an international organization would bring an end to war. Until, that is, World War Two.

As WWII was winding down, Franklin Delano Roosevelt set to creating the United Nations and, following his death, it came into being on June 26, 1945. The preamble to its charter says:

“We the people of the united nations determined

to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and

to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and

to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and

to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,”

Yada, yada, yada!

The United Nations has devolved into a cesspool of evil and irrelevance. I cannot think of a single war, large or small, nor any genocides, it has managed to stop. There were a couple of military conflicts in which it was an active participant, mostly in the form of telling the United States to “go get’m!” and “don’t forget to wear our blue helmets.”

If there has been a force for freedom in the world, it has been the might and power of the United States of America.

Until now.

Now our President says, “No U.S. troops will be in Libya.” This administration is desperately looking for some other nation to take the lead on Libya.

Let me be clear. I have not been a fan of spending our treasure and blood for the people of the Middle East. I am not a fan of war, but I know that war is the only way that most international conflicts get settled for good or ill.

The last President, George W. Bush, put together a coalition and invaded Iraq because, well, because he really did not like Saddam Hussein who, incidentally, had been invading his neighbors since the 1980s. His father had previously done the same to drive him out of Kuwait in the first Gulf War.

If there ever was a coalition regarding Libya, it was made of sugar candy because Germany and France had serious second thoughts after a week. No fly zones, it seems, cost a lot of money to maintain and most Western nations are broke, including our own.

The Arab League that called for a no-fly zone over Libya ran away even sooner. Arabs, who have shown an unparalleled talent for killing one another, lack the stomach for anything that involves mounting a real war to stop one of their own from killing the unfortunate citizens of his satrapy.

As it is, alphabetically from Bahrain to Syria to Yemen, despots throughout the Middle East are busy right now putting down their own internal insurrections. In the late 1990s Osama bin Laden gained a lot of attention by calling for the downfall of all the monarchies and despots throughout the region and the implementation of sharia law in anticipation of a global caliphate. The Saudis exiled him as they thought this was a really bad idea despite being the protectors of Islam’s two holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

At the same time we are witnessing a remnant of the Cold War, NATO, that does not seem to be functioning all that well, nor the European Union that was formed to be an enconomic bloc and clearly not one with any kind of a military component or sense of mission.

What the world needs is decisive leadership, but instead it has the Hamlet of the White House, Barack Hussein Obama, whose initial tour of the Middle East has, in retrospect, turned out to be one that caused its despots to conclude he was a wuss, a naif, a moron.

Who’s in charge of Operation Free Libya? No one knows!

The result is a world in disarray because the one nation every other nation thought it could count upon, for better or worse, is led by the Vacationer-in-Chief, a man who thinks that merely “saying the right thing” is the same as “doing the right thing.”

The situation in Libya will not likely turn out well, nor the growing opposition in Syria. No one knows what the outcome in Egypt will be, but everyone is pleased the crowds in downtown Cairo have gone home.

Meanwhile, Hamas is gearing up to cause trouble in Israel, waging its usual Made-in-Palestine terrorism based on the Yassir Arafat Guide to Always Saying No.

It is my profound hope the Israelis will strike back very hard, but it is also my profound belief that the UN Security Council will hastily meet to pass another resolution against Israel taking any measures of self defense.

This is how really big wars break out because no one at this point wants to fight the small ones.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Beauty Beyond Compare, Elizabeth Taylor

By Alan Caruba

I can recall, even in 1944, sitting in the cavernous theatre in my hometown, watching “National Velvet” and thinking that Elizabeth Taylor was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. As I grew older I continued to think of her in terms of her stunning beauty, only gradually realizing that she was also an excellent actress.

She was rather fearless, taking on roles whose characters had all the human flaws of character, but who were never boring. She could be forgiven everything for being so beautiful.

Her seven marriages, twice to Richard Burton, had a tragic quality as she seemed to be on an endless search for true love. Being larger than life seemed to be a curse.

Along the way we tended to forget she had four children, ten grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. How could a goddess be a mother and grandmother? But she was and a good friend to many fellow performers.

In Hollywood where beautiful women were its stock-in-trade, Taylor endured and triumphed.

For those of her generation like myself, her death comes as a reminder of our own mortality, but her film career ensures she will live on beyond mere life.

Few actresses of her era will be recalled in a similar fashion, despite their own body of work. There were those as talented, as prolific, but none as memorable for nothing less than a face that every camera loved.

One thinks of the iconic Marilyn Monroe, but her quality was one of pure sensuality that obscured her talent whereas Taylor brought not just heat, but a seriousness to her roles that demanded that you pay attention to Maggie in “A Cat On a Hot Tin Roof” and her role in "Raintree County."

I think my generation was fortunate to have shared its life with Elizabeth Taylor and with films of real substance such as “A Place in the Sun”, “Butterfield 8”, and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

The characters she brought to life on the screen were not cartoons, but flesh and blood women. They will live on as we pay tribute to the real flesh and blood Elizabeth Taylor.

© Alan Caruba

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Top 10 Rejected Obama Mission Names

Apparently the White House tossed out a number of perfectly good names before arriving at “Operation Odyssey Dawn”:

10.Operation Nine Months In The Senate Didn’t Prepare Me For This

9. Operation Organizing for Libya

8. Operation Double Standard

7. Operation FINE! I’ll Do Something

6. Operation Enduring Narcissism

5. Operation So That’s What the Red Button Does

4. Operation France Backed Me Into A Corner

3. Operation Start Without Me

2. Operation Unlike Bush Wars This One Is Justified Because Hey Look A Squirrel

1. Operation Aimless Fury

Source: Found on the Web, author unknown

Teeny, Tiny Wars

By Alan Caruba

On the same day that the U.S. had blown up a building on Gadaffi’s compound in Tripoli, the news out of Iraq was as follows:

Baghdad (3/21/2011) – Aswat al-Iraq: Iraqi Prime Minster Nouri al-Maliki considered on Monday Iraq as one of the most stable countries in the region. Addressing a gathering attending the third agricultural week in Baghdad, the premier said, “Iraq became one of the most stable countries in the region after a period of violence and divisions.” He urged ministers to speed up solving all problems and improving services to Iraqis. Demonstrations sweep a number of Arab countries, mainly Libya, Syria and Yemen, calling for toppling regimes and achieving political reforms.


How ironic is it that a war that many Americans now regard as a mistake is, from the Iraqi point of view, one that has led to an era of stability?

Military observers and historians regard wars differently than civilians. The terms they use are “high intensity” and “low intensity.” As Sean Linnane, editor of the Stormbringer blog notes, “In the eight years of Iraq, we lost just as many people as we lost in a single day at Normandy. By the same standards, Vietnam was a low-intensity conflict. We lost just under fifty thousand over ten years, whereas we lost that many in three years in Korea and in three days at Gettysburg.”

Linnane explains how the technology of modern war has changed the way it must be understood. “An infantryman with a shoulder-fired weapon negates a 55-ton tank.” Such weaponry allowed Stone Age mujahideen in Afghanistan to defeat the Soviet Union.

“While at the same time,” Linnane correctly points out, “the amplifying effect of the modern media allow tiny symbolic conflicts to gain great meaning.”

I am beginning to think that any action or no action that President Obama took would have satisfied anyone because we Americans feel it is our constitutional right to criticize the President and it is!

Obama has been getting a crash course in foreign affairs for two years. Before taking office, he was your average intellectual airhead, full of theories and Marxist dialectics, and having no clue what the job required. By contrast, George W. Bush had grown up around the office his whole life and, if you recall, his father had actually been President.

Surrounded by political advisers, generals from the Pentagon, so-called national security people, State Department folks from Foggy Bottom, and other interested, partisan parties, Obama has had to learn how to become “the decider” like Bush43. For Obama who has basically voted “present” in public life, that has neither been easy nor welcome.

What Obama discovered was that, if he just did what Bush had done for the eight previous years, it would probably be the wisest course of action. So Guantanamo is still open for business and Obama even increased U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The withdrawal schedule for Iraq was already in place when he arrived in the Oval Office, so he cannot take credit for that.

There’s a really good reason for pulling our troops out of both Afghanistan and Iraq and, if possible, sooner rather than later. A lot of them have been rotated in and out of both locations so many times they are just bone tired and thoroughly disgusted with the people for whom they have been trying to provide a shot at freedom, democracy, or whatever passes for life without some dictator or Islamic fanatic trying to kill them.

In a very real way, both Bush’s set in motion the Middle East tumult by demonstrating that dictators can, indeed, be overthrown. The Arab street may say it hates America, but it looks to it to come swooping in to defend and save them.

For many years to come, the whole of the Muslim countries stretching across northern Africa and the Middle East are going to be a working definition of bedlam. To name a few, in addition to the recent demands for less repression in Egypt and Tunisia, plus the present unpleasantness in Libya, the following nations are seeing similar popular discontent—Bahrain, Yemen, the Sudan, and Somalia.

In trouble to a greater or lesser degree, there’s Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Morocco, Pakistan, and the hate-filled denizens of the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Poor Lebanon has labored under the fist of Syria and now Hezbollah.

By comparison, Israel is an island of peace as is Qatar, and, dare we say it, IRAQ!

All of which means a succession of teeny, tiny wars over the years ahead, some of which the U.S. will choose to engage to a larger or small extent. We will not let any ill befall Saudi Arabia because it has a lot of O-I-L. Other oil states will likewise get varying levels of protection. Gadaffi was denied this because of his history of crimes against the U.S.

Americans will, as they always have, hate having to engage in any of these predictable conflicts, but we shall, even if it means that this president and future ones will have to do a two-step around the Constitution and War Powers Act. The dirty secret in Washington, D.C. is that no Congress since World War Two (1941) has actually declared war because they are essentially political cowards who don’t want the blame if anything goes wrong as in Vietnam.

If the U.S. wasn’t totally broke and totally unwilling to cut taxes and spending, we might actually be able to afford some greater effort to help keep the world safe, but for now, we shall have to stick to Tomahawk missiles and other such devices to inform our enemies that we want them dead.

Did I mention that Iraq is stable? No war going on there? A democratic regime in power? I can hear George W. Bush laughing all the way from Houston.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

China is NOT the Future

By Alan Caruba

Last year I read a book, “China’s Megatrends: The 8 Pillars of a New Society” by John and Doris Naisbitt and was so entranced I completely neglected my normal skepticism and missed all the signals that what I was reading was essentially propaganda.

I wonder now how I could have missed this after reading just the first page in which the authors said, “the constancy of the Communist Party has worked not against but for the well-being of the Chinese people. Long-term strategic planning could be carried out without the distractions and disruptions of elections that characterize western democracies.”

Oh, wow! This line from the second paragraph of the book says everything you want to know about its justification of a completely authoritarian system whose brief history has put millions of Chinese in their graves, invaded and occupies Tibet, and is most famous for the slaughter in Tiananmen Square where mostly young Chinese were expressing a desire for real democracy.

The other clue about John Naisbitt is that he is “currently a professor at both Nankai University and Tianjin University of Finance and Economics. His wife has been a professor at Yunnan University and now directs the Naisbitt China Institute in Tianjin. Did I really expect to read a book that was anything but pro-China in every respect?

A new book provides a far different perspective. Troy Parfitt is a Canadian who has lived for years in South Korea and in Taiwan as a teacher of English. He has previously written “Notes on the Other China”, but his new book is titled, “Why China Will Never Rule the World: Travels in the Two Chinas” ($20.95, Western Hemisphere Press, New Brunswick, Canada, softcover). It is, for all intents and purposes, a travelogue of a three-month odyssey the former Taiwan-based author took throughout 17 provinces of China until he could no longer stand being in the Middle Kingdom.

Parfitt is his own man and one with an eye for detail and a talent for describing his journey in ways that do not ignore some obvious and ugly truths about the real China, not the tourist China, and most certainly not the China created by media myths.

He has the added benefit of having actually studied the history of China, past and modern, to the point where the book’s “select bibliography” runs to nearly 70 titles. As much as he made a point of visiting the places a tourist is expected to visit, because he spoke Chinese he was able to speak with the locals along the way in ways most tourists cannot. He was not taken in by the “exotic” aspects of China because he had spent enough time in Asia to have lost any naiveté.

Thus, Parfitt, looking for a description, concludes that China is “the epitome of George Orwell’s most famous novel. It is ‘Nineteen-Eighty Four with Chinese characteristics.”

Orwell’s book is about an authoritarian future ruled by Big Brother where truth is what the state says it is. It is a world inhabited by “proles” who are not encouraged to have any thoughts other than those approved by the state. It is, in short, Communism.

“China’s great rise is a great illusion,” says Parfitt. “Modernization in Chinese society is little more than window-dressing, the welding of superficial constructs—Pepsi signs, department stores, state-of-the-art production methods—onto an antique mindset. To say that China is rising is exceedingly vague. To say that it is already great or slated for greatness is a mindless mantra at best and a cheap marketing ploy at worst.”

One is brought up short when told that “China’s economic advances are certainly impressive, although it’s important to remember that foreign companies are responsible for roughly 60 percent of all Chinese exports and 85 percent of all high-tech exports.” (Emphasis added)

And then Parfitt adds, “Politically, culturally, socially, and historically, China has practically nothing to offer the Western world…or any other non-Confucian country or culture.”

“China does not even meet the definition of a developed state,” notes Parfitt. “As of 2009, it was listed on the United Nations Human Development Index as being in the 92nd spot.”

“Chinese culture remains locked in a self-replicating state of chaos, myopia, inefficiency, intolerance, violence, and irrationality. It is, in a word, backward,” says Parfitt. “China may be embracing Western trends and technology, but so what? It’s been doing that for more than a century. Culturally, and psychologically, it remains anchored to the distant past.”

For my part, I have long thought that a nation with 1.3 billion people is not likely to function well under the best of circumstances, even with the most enlightened leadership. If you want to see a country that has real potential to emerge in a leadership position among nations, look instead to India which had the great good fortune of being a British colony long enough to adopt its best qualities.

If the U.S. ever gets around to reducing its hideous debt and, in particular, reducing the amount of it owned by China, we may also begin to treat China more realistically. In the meantime, let’s not romanticize China.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Libya, a Jolly Short War

By Alan Caruba

There’s nothing like a war to either make or break a President. There’s a reason the writers of the Constitution also made the President the Commander-in-Chief because war needs a centralized authority to direct the military. A goodly number of the nation’s presidents were former leaders in war, starting with General George Washington, progressing forward to General Ike Eisenhower.

Few nations have the record of its people being extraordinarily resistant to engaging in combat unless provoked than America. Woodrow Wilson was elected with the slogan “He kept us out of the war” and then, after the Germans had the bad judgment to sink the ocean liner Lusitania, America sent “Black Jack” Pershing to put a finish to World War One.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, having made a thorough botch of the Great Depression, was propelled into war by the attack on Pearl Harbor. Until then, Americans wanted nothing to do with another “European war” or the one being waged in Asia. FDR had the good luck to be guided by Gen. George C. Marshall.

Time and time again, U.S. Presidents have had to engage in war and almost always under circumstances that involved a large part of the population being opposed to it. There is something about “modern” wars that means we end up staying on far too long after we’ve dropped the bombs, let lose the artillery, and sent in the Marines and infantry.

Like the Romans of old, Americans do not like protracted wars and, worse, they tend to weaken a nation or an empire. The irony for the Romans is that, as often as not, they were invited by the host nation to keep the peace. Indeed, that’s how the term “Pax Romana” came about. And just as often the locals got tired of the Romans and revolted against them.

It is common knowledge that it’s easy to get into a war, but hard to end one. We are in Afghanistan, not because we started a war with Osama bin Laden, but because he had declared war against the U.S. in 1996, tried to blow up the Twin Towers in 1993, and then waited until 2001 to do it again. George Bush’s response was to bomb the hell out of Tora Bora in Afghanistan and, initially, to drive the Taliban out of there.

Then, on the theory that democracy could be exported to Iraq and because Saddam Hussein was going to make trouble so long as he drew breath, Bush junior decided to invade, perhaps having drawn the lesson from Bush senior’s decision to leave Saddam in power after the first Gulf War, one he later regretted.

In Afghanistan, “mission creep” set in and Bush stayed on. Now President Obama has stayed on. The United States of America has been an occupying force in Afghanistan longer than the former Soviet Union. That does not suggest a good outcome to me because one of the taunts of the Pashtun tribal members is “You have the watches, but we have the time.”

So let it be said, Obama has probably made the one and only really good decision of his presidency. He has made it clear that no American troops will be among the “boots on the ground” when it comes to ridding Libya of Gaddafi. At a time when the U.S. military is in Afghanistan and Iraq, albeit with timetables to leave, we can quite literally ill afford a third war in the Middle East.

If we have to defend the Saudi oil fields—which we may have to do—the Saudis can afford to pick up the bill and had better be handed one. Meanwhile, their military are busy helping put down protests in nearby Bahrain. The prospect that there will be all manner of protests throughout the Arab region of the world is now guaranteed.

The one in Egypt ended remarkably well with a bare minimum of dead Egyptians. The Tunisian overthrow of its dictator went swiftly and smoothly. Dare I remind the reader that both nations were led by men who were U.S. allies? Things are a tad shaky for another longtime ally, King Abdullah of Jordan, who has the evil Syrians as neighbors and a huge Palestinian population.

Flying well under the radar of U.S. media, on March 15, Israeli commandos intercepted a ship from the Turkish port of Mercin that was headed to Egypt’s Alexandria, loaded with weapons for Hamas in the Gaza. The ship had initially departed from Syria en route to a stop at a Turkish port. Turkey used to be an ally of Israel. (See YouTube IDF video) Formerly Egypt would never have allowed Hamas to get weapons. Also under-reported were the estimated fifty rockets fired into Israel from Gaza on March 19. The Israelis responded with a quick, lethal air strike.

You don’t have to be a CIA analyst to conclude the weapons were all made in Iran or at least transferred from there initially. Or that Israel will face another war at some point. If they nuke targets in Iran, it should be over fairly quickly, but they will still be facing Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south.

Like the Romans, the U.S. needs to extricate itself as much as possible from the Middle East unless its vital interests are threatened there. By which I mean, unless we have to defend Iraq’s, Saudi Arabia’s, Bahrain’s, Kuwait’s, and the United Arab Emirates’ oil fields. Defending the region’s only Western democracy, Israel, is also a good idea.

For the same reason that President Obama elected to let the British and French take the lead in Libya, we have ample firepower from the skies and from offshore naval forces to do much of the damage that may be required in what is likely to be a jolly good, but limited military operation in Libya and likely future conflicts.

There isn’t a single military figure among any of the potential candidates in the next election. What we need in the years immediately ahead may well be a President Petraeus.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Obama, As Red as It Gets

By Alan Caruba

Isn’t it about time that the mainstream media and all others begin to examine the record and conclude that a Communist holds the reins of power in the White House?

Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, it is often believed that Communism died with it. Not so, Communism is alive and well in China, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela.

From the days of Harry Truman who discovered that Franklin Roosevelt had given the Soviets Eastern Europe at the WWII Yalta Conference, American presidents have steadfastly done what they believed was required to keep Communism “contained.”; some more successfully than others.

The Communist Manifesto is well worth reading. Among its planks is the abolition of private property and a government that owns or controls much of the U.S. landmass is antithetical to this keystone of capitalism.

The Manifesto calls for “a heavy progressive or graduated income tax." It calls for the centralization of credit in the hands of the state. We have a “Federal Reserve” that is a national bank.

It calls for “centralization of the means of communications and transportation.” We have a Federal Communications Commission. There’s more and you can read about it here.

America has never had a Communist President until now.

While others have written how obvious it is that Obama is a “Socialist”, I think this is a matter of caution in a society that has not seriously used the word “Communist” since the 1950s when entities like the House Un-American Activities Committee actively investigated and exposed how many existed in the government, the unions, and Hollywood.

It’s not like Barack Hussein Obama has come out and said, “Yes, I’m a Communist”, but you don’t have to have a PhD in Political Science to connect the dots. The process is made murky by the way Obama has deliberately covered his tracks wherever he could, while dropping broad hints.

Obama is the classic “red diaper” baby, the result of a union between his mother, Stanley Dunham and Barack Obama Sr., memorialized in “Dreams of My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.” However, Jerome Corsi, the author of “Obama Nation” notes that “we are told by Obama outright…that much of the autobiography is not factually true, at least not as written.” Indeed, much of what Obama has had to write or say of his life is fiction of one sort or another.

His father abandoned his mother, returning to Africa “to live the life of a chronic alcoholic.” He was also “a man of the left.” Obama’s mother remarried and took him off to Indonesia, but other than developing a fondness of Islam, not much is known of that period. A second divorce put Obama in the care of his grandparents in Hawaii and it was there where his most formative development occurred.

In his excellent book, “Dupes”, historian Dr. Paul Kengor traces the role of the former Soviet Union and the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) as it developed both spies and “fellow travelers” devoted to turning the U.S. toward Communism.

Towards its end the book traces the most important influences in the life of President Obama. The conclusion that he is a Communist is unavoidable.

Obama’s grandparents were devoted to socialism, raising their daughter in schools known for it, even attending a church that reflected it. They were close friends with Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the CPUSA and an Afro-American. Dr. Kengor noted that, during the 1970s, the period of Obama’s adolescence, “His impact is profound because he mentored a young man who made it all the way to the White House.”

Among the hints Obama drops in “Dreams of My Father” was a reference to his college years “hanging out with Marxist professors”, attending “socialist conferences”, and discussing “neocolonialism.” Dr. Kengor quotes Dr. John Drew, a contemporary of Obama at Occidental College for whom Obama was “as a fellow Marxist” and said of the President, “Obama was already an ardent Marxist when I met (him) in the fall of 1980.”

After graduating from Columbia University, long a hotbed of a Leftist faculty and students indoctrinated with a liberal political philosophy, and later Harvard Law School, Obama moved to Chicago where he became close friends with former far-Left Weatherman terrorists of the 1960s, Bill Ayers and his wife Benardine Dohrn. His first venture into politics took place in a fund-raiser in their home. Obama attended a Black Liberation church in Chicago led by Rev. Jeremiah Wright who rarely had a good word for America. Ayers calls himself “a communist with a small ‘c’.”

Among those chosen to be in his administration was Van Jones, “an avowed communist” named as Obama’s “green jobs czar.” When exposed, he resigned. Another figure of the far Left was Jeff Jones whose consulting firm, the Apollo Alliance, “helped write President Obama’s budget-bursting $800 billion ‘stimulus’ bill passed by Congress shortly into the Obama presidency.”

For those still in denial, consider an article by Stanislav Mishin that appeared in Pravda, the Russian newspaper that was formerly one of the main organs of the Soviet Union. “It must be said that like the breaking of a great dam, the American descent into Marxism is happening with breathtaking speed, against the backdrop of a passive, hapless sheep”, much of which he attributed to “the election of Barack Obama.”

That was written before the spontaneous explosion of the quintessentially American Tea Party movement. Since then we have seen the dramatic reversal of power in Congress that occurred as the result of the November 2010 elections.

The harm and damage done by our first Communist President will take years to repair, but Americans have wakened to

• the socialist menace of the nation’s public sector unions,

• the centralization of education in the federal government,

• the threat of the Environmental Protection Agency’s assertion of control over America’s energy sector,

• the refusal of the Interior Department to grant drilling permits,

• the devaluation of the U.S. dollar by the Federal Reserve,

• and the incremental efforts of an anti-American government to undermine defense, national security, our economy, and our worldwide reputation as a defender of freedom.

Winston Churchill, the former British Prime Minister who led that nation through World War II and coined the term “Iron Curtain”, said of Communism, “it is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

© Alan Caruba, 2011

The Best Cure for Radiation

From the Telegraph, London

Red wine 'can protect against radiation'

Impending nuclear attack? Then scientists may soon recommend that it is best you start drinking heavily and not just because you may be facing oblivion.

By Richard Alleyne 3:01PM BST 23 Sep 2008

According to the latest research, red wine - along with its many other claimed benefits - may also protect you from radiation exposure.

A team at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have discovered that resveratrol, the natural anti-oxidant found in red wine, can protect cells from the damage caused by radiation.

In experiments on mice the scientists found that when combined with the chemical acetyl and administered before radiation exposure it protected the cells and helped prevent death.

The results, to be presented to the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, could lead to drugs to counteract poisoning in the wake of a nuclear emergency or attack.

"New, small molecules with radioprotective capacity will be required for treatment in case of radiation spills or even as countermeasures against radiological terrorism," said Dr Joel Greenberger of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the university.

"Small molecules which can be easily stored, transported and administered are optimal for this, and so far acetylated resveratrol fits these requirements well.

"Currently there are no drugs on the market that protect against or counteract radiation exposure."

The study was overseen by Pitt's Center for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiation, which is dedicated to finding radiation protecters that can be administered in the event of a large-scale radiological or nuclear emergency.

The current research is not connected to advice given to workers cleaning up Chernobyl who were told to drink half a glass of vodka after every two hours of exposure to radiation.

h/t to

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Give the Peace Prize Back, Barack

By Alan Caruba

As the Middle East begets one insurrection after another against the oppression that has been endemic to the region for centuries and as Japan faces the worst nuclear energy disaster since Chernobyl, the President of America and Commander-in-Chief is Absent Without a Leave (AWOL).

Barack Hussein Obama is the first President of the United States who received a Nobel Peace Prize just for showing up. It is a mark of how debased this once prestigious international prize has become. He should give it up.

In the past, the Peace Prize went to Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 for negotiating an end to a Russian-Japanese conflict and to Woodrow Wilson in 1919 for his efforts to create the League of Nations. Its value began to fall off the cliff when it was given to Jimmy Carter in 2002 and Obama in 2009. In between, it was awarded to former Vice President Al Gore and the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change in 2007.

It is an ancient axiom that power is lost when power is not exercised. Osama bin Laden seriously misread the U.S. when he referred to it as “a weak horse”, an Arab way of saying it could be attacked with impunity. George W. Bush responded by bombing the hell out of Tora Bora in Afghanistan and then by invading Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein. Bin Laden has been in hiding ever since and his top lieutenants keep getting whacked.

Obama’s approach to foreign affairs has been to misunderstand and denigrate the role of America in a dangerous world. Daniel Henninger of The Wall Street Journal calls it “The Collapse of Internationalism” because the failure to lead has demonstrated the uselessness of the United Nations, its Security Council, NATO, the European Union, and the Arab League when it comes to facing down a psychopathic despot like Libya’s Quadaffi and, of course, the same was true regarding Saddam Hussein.

This is how big wars occur.

Recent history bears out the failure to take action against Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia, against Adolf Hitler prior to his invasion of Poland, to anticipate the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, and now the inevitable acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran.

This is what happens when an administration’s policy makers are all “intellectuals” who have spun out hypothetical views of the world that have no relationship to history or present realities.

This is what happens when, despite our present financial woes, the most powerful nation on Earth has reduced its naval and air power, and asks its military to engage in nation-building while fighting our enemies. What is needed are entirely separate, highly trained units devoted to that task.

This is what happens when “foreign policy” involves wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on the United Nations and billions more in so-called “foreign aid” to nations that do not like us, nor support us in times of crisis and need.

Libya, said Henninger, “was a test case, and what we have seen is that a world in which the U.S. doesn’t unmistakably lead is a world that spins its wheel, and eventually the wheels start to come off.”

The U.S. is not, as Obama believes, just one more nation among others or that it is not the single most exceptional experiment in democracy and freedom.

Just as Americans must organize to resist and survive Barack Hussein Obama over the next two years, having come to realize how utterly incompetent he is, other nations are wondering what will occur without the leadership the U.S. has always provided in the past, including two world wars, several smaller ones, and the containment of the former Soviet menace.

The presidency is much more than frequent trips to the golf course, predicting the outcome of the NCAA tournament, and an ill-timed visit to Rio. It is a dangerous place filled with people like Quadaffi and others of his ilk.

© Alan Caruba, 2011