Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Obama's Global Incompetence

By Alan Caruba

All Presidents have had to deal with events around the world that seemed to call for a military response, but it was President Eisenhower who laid down the doctrine to avoid what he called “brushfire wars”, outbreaks such as we have seen in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and, in particular, Libya.

Eisenhower had directed the defeat of Germany in World War Two as the Supreme Allied Commander before being urged to run for president. He would serve two terms and was doubtless the right man at the right time in the nascent years of the Cold War.

President Obama seems to lack any kind of a doctrine or plan to deal with a Middle East where many are fed up with its dictators, combined with the realization of how far behind the rest of the world the region is.

It is an irony of history that, after Eisenhower squelched the British, French and Israeli plans to retake the Suez Canal following Nasser’s nationalization in 1956, in rather rapid succession, Nasser died, was replaced by Sadat who was assassinated, and a 28-year-old Mubarack then ruled Egypt until the Maghreb and Middle East exploded with turmoil this year.

Why did Obama feel compelled to say anything? Earlier he was reluctant to support the Iranians protesting the ayatollahs in Tehran, but he rushed to the Tele-Prompter to tell, not ask, Egyptian President Mubarak to step aside.

Curently, the Egyptian decision to open its borders with Gaza and Hamas bodes ill for Israel, but just about everything in the Middle East right now fits that description. And, of course, Obama took the opportunity to launch a verbal attack on our only real ally in the region with an overt mention of “1967 borders”.

The payback was a joint session of Congress in which Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered a speech to which both Democrats and Republicans repeatedly gave standing ovations. It made Obama look lame, but just about everything does these days.

Will there be a surge of democracy in Egypt? No. The military will find a way to retain power, most likely coalescing behind a new president/dictator. After that, large numbers of the Muslim Brotherhood will be jailed and killed until they crawl back into their holes.

In Libya, Obama could have simply let the resistance succeed or fail. There was no compelling reason to demand Gadhafi step aside and the embrace of “humanitarian concerns” rings hollow given events in Syria. So far the only thing that Libya has demonstrated is that NATO is ill prepared to wage a war.

Reports have it that Obama and the Russians have decided Gadhafi must go, but Assad of Syria can stay despite the fact that he is currently killing that nation’s people by the score.

Obama has returned from a European tour in which he exhorted them to give the emerging Arab states billions in aid to facilitate democracy, but Obama does not seem to grasp the fact that the only state in the Middle East that is a real democracy is Israel. The rest are controlled by dominant tribal groups in one fashion or another. They always have been and they always will be.

It has apparently escaped Obama’s notice that neither the U.S., nor any of the European nations have any money to throw at a bunch of unhappy Arabs. The Saudis have lots of money, but they are too concerned about the threat that Iran poses and too smart to get involved in the shifting sands of Middle Eastern power struggles.

The U.S. has a little problem called “a debt ceiling” to resolve so it can continue to borrow money just to pay interest on the money it already has borrowed.

Unlike Eisenhower, Obama is the wrong man at the wrong time. He is poorly advised by a pack of anti-Semites and lacks any experience, military or otherwise, to make decisions about the Middle East. His knowledge of that region’s history appears to come from brief quotes off the back of a cereal box.

In over two years in office, Obama has become a massive embarrassment to America whenever he goes abroad, whether it is to prattle about global warming in Copenhagen or to insult the Queen of England.

The result is a serious deterioration of confidence that America can be relied upon to support allies. In Eastern Europe, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary are creating a regional framework for their mutual defense, fearing that neither NATO, nor the European Union, will be of much use to them if Russia gets frisky.

And you might recall that Obama denied Poland (and Europe) a missile shield, thus sending a signal to Russia that he actually trusted them. Nobody, but nobody, trusts the Russians. And it should be noted that Iran has missles that can hit Europe.

All of this invites trouble in a dangerous world because, more and more, nobody trusts America so long as Obama is in the Oval Office.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Global Warming Charlatans Feel the Heat

By Alan Caruba

The University of Virginia, after vigorously resisting a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request for data related to the emails of Michael Mann, was the subject of a court order to make them available. While global warming is known worldwide for its claim that manmade warming would doom the Earth, the names and machinations behind the fraud are far less well known.

Mann, a climatologist, was part of a relatively small clique of charlatans who, working for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), conjured up all manner of “proof” that the Earth was on dangerous trajectory, heating up. Mann invented the “hockey stick” graph that demonstrated this bit of climate magic.

With Al Gore as the most famous face of global warming, Mann and others lent credibility to the IPCC that called for massive reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from energy use of fossil fuels, primarily oil and coal.

Mann’s problem began when the “hockey stick” graph was debunked and demolished as bogus. All this occurred while Mann was on the faculty of the University of Virginia and while large amounts of research grant money were being received by the University to support Mann and others.

Since 1990, it is estimated that $100 billion of taxpayer’s funding went to support “climate research” by thousands of scientists who, it turned out, were unable to find and certainly not measure any evidence of human influence on global temperature.

The same thing was occurring across the Atlantic in England where the University of East Anglia was home to Mann’s IPCC co-conspirators. On May 25th, the Guardian reported that Nobel Laureate, Sir. Paul Nurse, complained that the British version of FOI was being used to “harass” some climate scientists by requesting data and other research materials.

Given the collusion of both the University of Virginia and of East Anglia, it should come as no surprise that both institutions held their own boards of inquiry and cleared the climate scientists on their staffs of any wrongdoing. That explains why the court had to drag them into demonstrating the probity of their activities.

This is far from a spat between some universities and their scientists, and "skeptics" challenging the global warming fraud. It most certainly is a fraud when global warming claims are used to impose a huge cost to consumers when utilities and other large emitters of carbon dioxide are required by law to utilize “alternative” sources such as wind and solar power or to install multi-million dollar technologies to needlessly reduce CO2 emissions.

Plainly stated, CO2 emissions have zero effect on the weather or the climate.

David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey, who have brought a law suit, American Electric Power v. Connecticut, all the way to the Supreme Court, note that “It is impossible to determine whether emissions by any particular power plant—or U.S. electricity production as a whole—have affected warming trends and, if so, how.” A decision is pending.

The global warming hoax, which at one point involved a scheme to sell “carbon credits” to industry and businesses so they could continue to emit CO2, enriched those selling the credits in both the U.S. and Europe until the global warming hoax began to implode in November 2009. The exchanges selling the credits closed their doors.

It was in November 2009 that a huge cache of emails between Mann and other IPCC scientists was imported to the Internet where it rapidly became clear that they were very worried that the Earth had entered a natural cooling cycle in 1998 and discussed how to pressure scientific journals to not publish the research of skeptics refuting the hoax.

The IPCC continues to propagate global warming lies, only now it is called “climate change.” Any pubic figure that uses the term “climate change” is lying if for no other reason than the climate of the Earth has been and is always in a state of change.

As courts in the U.S. and England continue to require the global warming charlatans and their universities to make known their alleged “scientific research” and email exchanges to further the hoax, a larger question looms. Should not such activity be deemed a deliberate fraud and should not injured parties, including the whole populations of America and England have a standing in court to see that they are punished?

Unanswered is the role that the mass media played in spreading and defending the global warming hoax. On Memorial Day, when we celebrate the sacrifice of fallen heroes to preserve liberty, the Washington Post published a bizarre editorial criticizing “climate skeptics” for using the FOIA to find out why Mann and the University of Virginia received funding while participating in a massive deception. Unmentioned were comparable Greenpeace FOIA efforts against climate skeptics.

It's worth noting that the global warming/climate change fraud is still being perpetrated in American schools from coast to coast.

Already, a number of Republican candidates for the presidency have refuted global warming or an earlier role in advocating it. For too long, politicians have not just been wrong, but often deliberately ignorant of the truth.

Justice may be slow, but it will be served and that is a lesson the entire scientific community should take note. As more revelations occur, even the mainstream media will be unable to protect the global warming/climate change perpetrators or to be their co-conspirators.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

A poem by Henry Reed from World War Two captures the brutal absurdity of war as it depicts a new soldier listening to a field lecture on the various parts of a rifle and compares it to the beauty of the world around him. Unspoken is the need, from time to time, to fight for the freedom to enjoy that beauty.

Naming of Parts
By Henry Reed

Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But today,
Today we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
And today we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers
They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For today we have naming of parts.

Editor's note: Henry Reed was a British poet and we should recall that WWII cemeteries
are filled with our British, Canadian, and Australian allies as well.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

600 More Days of Obama

By Alan Caruba

As of May 30, 2011, America has 600 days more of rule by President Barack Hussein Obama.

He is the 44th President and, while we have had incompetent Presidents in the past, we have never had one determined to destroy the nation. It has taken more than two years for most sentient Americans to grasp this extraordinary threat. He has not solved problems. He has exacerbated them.

Granted the financial crisis began in 2008 as President George W. Bush was finishing his second term, but President Obama—aside from blaming Bush for everything that has occurred on his watch—literally tripled the national debt with dubious and failed “stimulus” programs, plunging the nation into debt that rivals all others in our history.

President Obama had a lot of help in getting elected and will no doubt get it in his effort to secure a second term. The mainstream media has utterly debased itself, sounding more like the state monopolies of fascist nations.

On June 6, 2008, a reporter for the Associated Press wrote an article, “These men are likely targets in an anti-Obama campaign”, naming Rev. Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, the former Weatherman domestic terrorist, among others. One of them, Antoin ‘Tony’ Rezko, an early Obama supporter, was convicted of mail fraud and money laundering the same week the article appeared.

By July 2008, Investor’s Business Daily took note of Obama’s “Stealth Socialism” when he addressed the NAACP using the code words “economic justice” four times to a cheering audience. IBD reported that “‘Economic justice’ simply means punishing the successful and redistributing their wealth by government fiat. It’s a euphemism for socialism.”

In October 2008, the Washington Post’s syndicated columnist, Charles Krauthammer, wrote “I’ll have no truck with the phony case ginned up to rationalize voting for the most liberal and inexperienced presidential nominee in living memory.”

With the election days away in November 2008, Sammy Benoit, posted on American Thinker.com, wrote, “Please take a look at these people allied with the Obama campaign. Some of them are anti-Israel; others are anti-Semitic, and anti-Israel.” He named Samantha Power who had “called for an invasion of Israel to impose a solution to the Palestinian issue.” Obama’s open hostility toward Israel in recent days demonstrates how prescient Benoit was.

Shortly after the election, Howard Kurtz, the Washington Post’s reporter on the media asked “Are the media capable of merchandizing the moment, packaging a president-elect for profit? Yes, we are.” Then he touched on the key role the media had played leading up to Obama’s election and afterward. “We seem to have crossed a cultural line into myth-making.”

“Whew! Are journalists fostering the notion that Obama is invincible, the leader of what the New York Times dubbed ‘Generation O’?” asked Kurtz.

In rapid succession, with some rejections, President Obama filled not only his cabinet posts, but added an astonishing level of advisors, quickly dubbed “czars”, to the White House. Their ranks included the true believers in the global warming hoax including a former Environmental Protection Agency director who had just resigned from a post as commissioner for the Socialist International Commission for a Sustainable World Society. Czars and cabinet members all represented the antithesis of moderation.

Moderation is not a word anyone would apply to the Obama administration. By February 18, 2009, political guru, Karl Rove, pointed out that “Less than 700 hours after taking the oath of office, President Barack Obama signed the largest spending bill in American history.”

His eligibility to hold the office was already an issue by February 2009 and it is not going to go away. Dr. Jerome Corsi’s new book, “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” is a New York Times bestseller, its sale buoyed by widespread and growing concerns that Obama, under the terms set form by the U.S. Constitution, was not and is not eligible. Not only are there questions about his alleged birth certificate, but his Connecticut Social Security number as well.

After “Obamacare” was literally reamed through the House and Senate on a strict party-line vote, the public began to have some serious concerns. The massive assault on Medicare would bring a million people to Washington, D.C., to protest it prior to the vote and would spark the Tea Party movement. By November 2010, control of the House would return to the Republican Party and Democrats had lost members in the Senate.

By early 2011, Wall Street Journal columnist, Daniel Henninger, commented on Obama’s dwindling “likeability gap” citing the passage of time. “Obama.2008 was engaging, patient, open, optimistic, and a self-identified conciliator. Obama.2011 has been something else—testy, petulant, impatient, arrogant and increasingly a divider.”

As voters begin to scan the November 2012 horizon, Henniger wrote “Never forget: That historic 2008 victory came with 52.9% of the total vote and 52% of independent voters. David Axelrod recently noted ‘how small the margin for error is.’”

By April 2011, Gallup reported that “Barack Obama’s approval among the poorest Americans dropped to an all-time low of 48 percent…leaving the president with less-than-majority approval among all income brackets reported in Gallup’s presidential approval surveys.” Rasmussen polling showed the same numbers.

On August 9, 1974, Richard M. Nixon resigned the office of the presidency, the first to do so in the nation’s history. The sordid events dubbed “Watergate” forced his hand. Earlier, Lyndon B. Johnson had told voters he would not run for reelection after his pursuit of the war in Vietnam had turned them against him.

It is not beyond the realm of the possible that Barack Hussein Obama may find himself in increasing difficulty in the remaining 600 days of his first and likely last term in office.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cartoon Round Up


By Alan Caruba

I have this theory about boredom. I think it is the cause of a great deal of mischief in people’s lives and even may underlie why nations go to war. Even the current turmoil throughout the Maghreb and the Middle East may have an element of boredom as people grow tired of their current despots and seek to overthrow them.

In 1984 I created a media spoof called The Boring Institute© and it was tremendously popular. I averaged a thousand radio interviews a year, learning in the process that American cultural figures were well known worldwide. Through films and television, foreigners followed our homegrown personalities and, of course, both provide an escape from boredom.

After 9/11, I put the Institute on hiatus and, not until 2010 did I revive its popular list of “The Most Boring Celebrities of the Year”, but my absence of nearly a decade ensured a limited media response. I had, however, learned a lot about boredom’s impact on our lives.

Peter Toohey is a professor of classics in the Department of Greek and Roman Studies at the University of Calgary. He might be deemed an unlikely author of “Boredom, A Lively History” ($26.00, Yale University Press), but the subject, but the book jacket says he “has long been bemused by boredom”, i.e. “lost in thought” by definition.

The result is an exhaustive study of boredom; an intellectual exercise that ultimately tests the reader’s willingness to explore every novel, every painting, every cultural and historical artifact regarding the subject. This is the nature of intellectuals and not really a criticism of Prof. Toohey who has done a masterful job.

“To my mind, existential boredom is a hotchpotch of a category, and one whose basis is more intellectual than experiential—it is a condition which seems to me to be more read about and discussed than actually experienced. This book will unapologetically give simple boredom an equal billing,” said Prof. Toohey in his preface.

As to what makes something boring, Prof. Toohey says it is “predictability, monotony, and confinement.” This is as good a definition as any, but my interest in boredom has been what results from this universal mind-numbing experience.

Over the many years I maintained the “Institute” I collected all manner of data in order to respond to serious questions about boredom. I probably should have written a book about and am glad that Prof. Toohey has.

Boredom and Social Problems

Criminal behavior provides a frisson of excitement in the same way that gambling does. A great deal of crime is committed by people in their teens and twenties. Desperately bored, it becomes an outlet for their energy and may well account for why communities deliberately sponsor athletic and volunteer activities to soak up that energy.

Boredom lies at the heart of why marriages grow stale and partners cheat on one another and often seek divorce. Sex with the same partner reflects Prof. Toohey’s identification of predictability and, to an extent, confinement. So boredom carries with it some real challenges for any society.

Entertainment media and even news is a major escape mechanism. Those that hold an audience’s attention thrive. Those that don’t fail. I suspect that, in the run-up to the 2012 elections, many will find the endless analysis and speculation boring enough to “turn off” and wait, as many do until the days just prior to the election to make up their mind.

For myself, boredom is your mind demanding to be “fed”, “stimulated”, fulfilled in the same way the body must be fed and for the same reason we explore different foods as opposed to eating the same thing every day. My late Mother taught haute cuisine, gourmet preparation and dining for three decades. She was never bored and neither were those in her classes. Dinner time at the Caruba home was always a treat.

It is an irony and a tragedy of our school system that education has been turned into a dreadful “teach to the test” exercise in boredom when learning new things should at its heart be one of the most exciting things youngsters (and adults) can do. It is the ultimate “food for thought.”

Boredom is such a danger to individuals and societies that we have created all manner of ways to avoid it. Sports, either as a participant or a spectator, are a valuable escape from boredom. Travel is another. All manner of community or business related organizations provide valuable outlets. Politics, a blood sport in America, is another.

Finally, as a longtime book reviewer, I cannot fail to say that reading is absolutely essential to avoid boredom. There are few pleasures that can rival a good book whether it is fiction or non-fiction. They shine a light in the dark and empty places of the mind.

Short periods of boredom are to be expected, but extended boredom is a good definition of depression. When the mind is deprived it turns in on itself and literally punishes an individual for starving it of activity. People do a lot of foolish things to escape boredom and that applies to entire nations as well.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

John Wayne's Birthday

By Alan Caruba

It’s not a national holiday but, for some, it should be. On May 26, 1907 Marion Robert Morrison came into the world in Winterset, Iowa. When he left on June 11, 1979 he was John Wayne, an American icon.

Men of a certain generation or two, fortunate to grow up going to the many movies he made in a long career owe him a great debt.

By his very presence on the silver screen he taught us all what it meant to be a man. Wayne was masculine without having to prove it. He literally embodied the virtues we want in our heroes. As an actor he shared those attributes with the boys who grew up wishing to be like him and the women who no doubt found him attractive.

Though he played many heroic characters, a Marine in World War Two, a Navy Commander, and later a Green Beret in Vietnam, it was his many roles as a cowboy that made many of us yearn to ride a horse and learn to shoot a six-gun and a rifle.

In his last film, “The Shootist”, he played a man who made his living with a gun, now old and dying of cancer. In the film, John Bernard Brooks, a legend in his own time, was asked how it was he got into so many gun fights. He replied, “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people and I require the same from them.” It was as classic a recasting of the Golden Rule as one could ask for and words to live by.

Wayne was one of a handful of Hollywood actors who made no secret of his patriotism and conservative political views. When one considers the endless rewriting of history, past and present, by Hollywood, Wayne was a refreshing alternative.

In a wonderful little book, “The Quotable John Wayne”, author Carol Lea Mueller gathered together many of the things Wayne had to say over the years on a range of topics. Here are a few quotes:

On liberal ideology and its affects on America’s youth, “They work against the natural loyalties and ideals of our kids, filling them with fear and doubt and hate and downgrading patriotism and all our heroes of the past.”

“This new thing of genuflecting to the downtrodden, I don’t go along with that. We ought to go back to praising the kids who get good grades, instead of making excuses for the ones who shoot the neighborhood groceryman.”

“I became a confirmed reader when I was growing up in Glendale and could read before going to school. I’ve loved reading all my life.”

“I’ve had three wives, six children, and six grandchildren, and I still don’t understand women.”

Wayne respected the epoch of the American West being opened for farming and ranching. “The West—the very words go straight to that place of the heart where Americans feel the spirit of pride in their Western heritage—the triumph of personal courage over any obstacle, whether nature or man.”

“Courage is being scared to death—and saddling up anyway.”

He was an exceptionally good actor who said, “I’ve played the kinda man I’d like to have been.” Later he said, “Nobody liked my acting but the public.”

In a long life, a long career in films, John Wayne embodied values that are being eroded on all fronts in today’s America. Whenever we need a reminder of those values, we can watch a John Wayne film.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Homosexual Agenda

By Alan Caruba

People’s concerns about homosexuality are deeply rooted and even reflected in sacred texts. There is no mystery to this. Opposite sexes are understood and expected to be attracted to one another. When this doesn’t occur within a segment of the population, it raises fears about them.

From Adherents.com: “1.51% of the total U.S. population identifies themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, or 4.3 total million Americans. These numbers are based on figures provided by a broad-based coalition of gay rights organizations and homosexual advocacy groups. The primary source cited was the The National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS), published in the book “The Social Organization of Sex: Sexual Practices in the United States” (1994), by Laumann, Gagnon, Michael and Michaels.” (Emphasis added)

(The photo is of a young male attending a Youth Pride Event in Boston)

Those identifying themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual are a remarkably small cohort of the U.S. population. Given the passage of 17 years since the data was published, there is no doubt a few more people who compose the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population are part of this demographic. If one was to take one’s cues from the mass media, one might likely conclude that it is a much larger part of the population. It is certainly much louder.

What concerns the majority heterosexual component of society is the aggressive way the homosexual lifestyle and agenda for same-sex marriage is being advocated. It has become a political and educational issue.

There was a flurry of protests when Kevin Jennings was appointed to an Obama administration position as “safe schools czar” but his role in shaping national policy has been largely forgotten. According to MassResistance.org, Jennings “is a long-time homosexual activist who began his career in Massachusetts, and founded GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network), the national homosexual group that targets children in schools.”

“Jenning’s Department of Education office received $410 million in FY 2011. Among other efforts, last year, Jennings helped introduce Bill 4530 in Congress that would require normalization of homosexuality, transgenderism, cross-dressing, etc., in America’s public schools.”

I am confident in saying that the vast majority of parents of school-age children do not want this to be a part of the curriculum in our nation’s schools and want to deal with issues related to homosexuality in the home according to their religious and other beliefs.

As the Obama administration gears up for the 2012 election, it is shedding people like Jennings who will be an embarrassment and a focal point for drawing attention to the constitutionally questionable “czars” put on the payroll in key roles. Few were vetted by Congress as is the normal process.

Rev. Nancy Wilson, a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, recently said that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) should be repealed. Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, the law defines marriage at the federal level as being the legal union between one man and one woman. It says that no state is required to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state.

Using “human rights” as a cover, these pernicious attacks on the sanctity of marriage continue. It is not a human rights issue. The issue is a society based on the worldwide understanding that marriage is about procreation and any deviation from that, including polygamy, endangers society as a whole.

This has not deterred New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo. On May 23rd, the Wall Street Journal reported that he “is intensifying his push for gay marriage, speaking directly to lawmakers who have left the door open for supporting a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry.”

On May 14th, in Massachusetts, the annual “Youth Pride Day” was held. Its celebration was organized by the Massachusetts Commission for GLBT Youth and other groups who recruited kids who belong to “gay clubs” in that state’s schools.

Coming full circle back to Obama’s “czar”, Mr. Jennings, he was a teacher in Concord, Massachusetts and started “gay straight alliance clubs more than fifteen years ago.” At GLSEN conferences, young people were given “graphic homosexual handouts and paraphernalia.”

There’s tolerance and then there is the deliberate subversion of societal norms that are vital to a healthy society. Jennings and other homosexual advocacy groups represent the latter.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Time to Leave Afghanistan

By Alan Caruba

The Greek philosopher Plato said, “Only the dead know the end of war.” I doubt that in the five thousand years of what we call civilization there has ever been a day when war has not been taking place somewhere on the planet. All wars, in one fashion or another, however, have to come to an end.

The war in Afghanistan has degraded into a distraction from the nation’s desperately deteriorating financial situation. Even worse, it is part of that problem. On January 30, 2009, Bill Bonnor, best known for his newsletter, Dead Reckoning, wrote the following:

“’Bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy’, was what he (Osama bin laden) was up to, he said in a videotape. He even did the math. ‘Every dollar spent by al-Qaeda in attacking the United States has cost Washington $1 million in economic fallout and military spending’, said the report.

“’We, alongside the mujahideen, bled Russian for ten years, [in Afghanistan] until it went bankrupt…So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy.’”

Can anyone deny that bin Laden was right? Can anyone deny that the U.S. under Presidents Bush and Obama has now expended billions in the name of bringing democracy to people who should be responsible for overthrowing their own despots? There was, after all, a time when the U.S. was an ally of bin Laden and even of Saddam Hussein!

On May 9, Rasmussen Reports noted that 56% of those surveyed favored bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan within a year. What do the people know that all the genius strategists in the State Department and Pentagon do not? They know these wars, Iraq included, are a distraction from our real problems.

I do not know how many times over the years since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq I have written that we should withdraw our troops. I have noted how extended military occupations and expeditions have historically always drained and destroyed empires from the Roman to the British and now the present day Pax Americana.

America is now over $14 trillion in debt and yet we keep sending billions to nations like Pakistan and to the United Nations, most of whom must think us stupid beyond belief.

The exception to this was the long Cold War that America fought against the former Soviet Union from the end of World War Two until the collapse of the Berlin Wall and eventual collapse of that Communist nation in 1991. That collapse, however, was facilitated by the decision of the former Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan!

Over the course of the forty-six years the Cold War ground on, the U.S. fought hot wars in Korea and Vietnam. We spent what we had to for a powerful military deterrent. From Truman to Bush41 Presidents remained firm in their determination to resist the Soviet Union.

The war with Islam is different. The asymmetrical war waged against America, Israel, and the West began in earnest after Iran’s Islamic revolution in 1979 and continued through a succession of al Qaeda attacks on U.S. Marines in Beirut, U.S. embassies, the USS Cole, and ultimately 9/11. Israel has had to wage a war of self defense since its first day 63 years ago. Most recently, it resisted Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

Islam has been around since the seventh century A.D. Its initial success saw it sweep across vast regions of the Middle East, Africa, India, up into Spain and to the gates of Europe. The inherent failure of Islam has been its resistance to all Western values that confirm the dignity of the individual, representative government, and the advances of science, literature, and the arts.

Our global opponents, Russia and China among others, are pleased that America must drain its treasury and expend the blood of its children to hold the line against Islam, but it is a short-sighted strategic error because they will find themselves on the frontlines of the war that we have been waging with massive troop deployments. Consider how much more effective drones and special operations have been.

Europe has reluctantly discovered the enemy in their midst. The flood of Muslims it invited as workers because of its failure to ensure a sufficient native population is causing Europeans to grasp at measures to either placate the Muslim population or outlaw some of its practices. The fear is palpable and is why some now refer to it as Eurabia.

NATO nations, rarely credited, have been by our side throughout the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. They are now charged with determining the outcome of the insurgency in Libya, but Britain is making plans for an early withdrawal from Afghanistan for the same reasons outlined above.

It is a very old war. In 732 A.D., Muslims were defeated at Poitiers, France, halting their expansion. In 1492, Christians recaptured Grenada, the last Muslim stronghold in Europe. In 1683 A.D. Muslims were defeated near Vienna. Europe was safe, but that was then and this is now.

It is reason enough for America and European nations to put their financial houses to avoid a collapse that will leave us vulnerable to the most terrible scourge of mankind.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Who Said It? A Fun Quiz

This is a fun quiz. Listed below are 10 direct quotes. You have to guess which American politician said it. Ready? Here we go!

1. "Let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel's."

A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush

2. "I've now been in 57 states I think I have one left to go."

A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush

3. "On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes, and I see many of them in the audience here today."

A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush

4. "What they'll say is, 'Well it costs too much money,' but you know what? It would cost, about. It it it would cost about the same as what we would spend. It. Over the course of 10 years it would cost what it would costs us. (nervous laugh) All right. Okay. We're going to. It. It would cost us about the same as it would cost for about hold on one second. I can't hear myself. But I'm glad you're fired up, though. I'm glad."

A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush

5. "The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system."

A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush

6. "I bowled a 129. It's like - it was like the Special Olympics, or something."

A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush

7. "Of the many responsibilities granted to a president by our Constitution, few are more serious or more consequential than selecting a Supreme Court justice. The members of our highest court are granted life tenure, often serving long after the presidents who appointed them. And they are charged with the vital task of applying principles put to paper more than 20 centuries ago to some of the most difficult questions of our time."

A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush

8. "Everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma, they end up taking up a hospital bed, it costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early and they got some treatment, and a, a breathalyzer, or inhalator, not a breathalyzer. I haven't had much sleep in the last 48 hours."

A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush

9. "It was interesting to see that political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate. There's a lot of I don't know what the term is in Austrian, wheeling and dealing."

A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush

10. "I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future."

A. Barack Obama
B. Dan Quayle
C. Sarah Palin
D. George W. Bush

Sorry. This was a trick quiz. All of the correct answers are the same person. Each of these quotes are directly from President Barack Obama. And now you know why he brings his teleprompter with him everywhere he goes... even when talking to a 6th grade class!!!

He is absolutely clueless...

h/t to the unknown author of this quiz.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Republican Russian Roulette

By Alan Caruba

I have a friend who thinks the ghost of Bob Dole is stalking the Republican Party and Dole isn’t even dead! What he means, of course, is that, at this point, the present batch of candidates are not that inspiring. The Party needs to articulate a distinct, conservative agenda and have the guts to stick with it.

For the record, Dole ran with President Gerald Ford as his vice presidential choice and together they lost to Jimmy Carter in 1976. Later he ran as the GOP candidate for president in 1996 and lost to Bill Clinton.

The latest example of the GOP’s knack for second string candidates is Newt Gingrich.who is a former Speaker of the House. While he was president Bill Clinton ran circles around Newt.

Newt’s most recognizable characteristic is to seek accommodation with opponents of his political views. Instead of staking out a definitive conservation platform, Newt has always been too eager to "get along" with the opposition—shades of John McCain who also lost a campaign to be president.

A patsy, Newt is the smartest kid in the school who no one wants on their team. In essence, he has abandoned Republican issues in his quest for the presidency and forgotten that he is a Republican who is expected to oppose Obamacare, avoid talking nonsense about the environment, and not adopt the rest of the liberal agenda.

Republican voters are hungry for someone who unabashedly opposes the size of the federal government, the billions it borrows and wastes every day, the funding of Planned Parenthood, and comparable issues. They want to build a great big fence on our Southern border. They want us to drill for our own oil.

The flurry of interest that Donald Trump evoked came simply from his willingness to yell at President Obama loud enough to get him to put out another phony birth certificate. Only the hopelessly naïve thought he would actually run.

Conversely, everyone expected Mitt Romney to run, but instead of shedding the millstone of Romneycare, he defended it! It’s a flip of the coin as to who has flip-flopped more on issues, Romney or Obama. Still, if you were a movie director casting the role of president, wouldn’t you pick Romney?

Masseurs Santorum and Pawlenty suffer the Dole/McCain problem. They give all the right, safe answers, but they are not loudly sounding the alarms about four more years of Obama. Ron Paul is trotting out his mixture of good and bizarre notions. If he’s a “serious” candidate, it is only for the lonely Libertarians longing to legalize marijuana and bring Muslim combatants to justice after reading them their Miranda Rights.

Rumor says Michelle Bachmann will get into the race and, having had Sarah Palin on the ticket in the last election, one might think that Republican enthusiasm for a woman candidate might have waned by now. Bachmann’s smart and articulate. She can’t win the White House.

By contrast, a virtual unknown non-politician, Herman Cain, is making a very good initial showing.

Of course, Jon Huntsman, former governor of Utah and ambassador to China, would be every Democrat’s choice as a Republican President if for no other reason than he joined that former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Western Climate Initiative, chasing the illusive global warming and advocating taxes on carbon dioxide emissions. Fortunately for the other candidates, he’s hired John McCain’s former campaign geniuses to craft his campaign. Can you spell l-o-s-e-r?

What Republicans have not noticed is that President Obama has rather neatly fulfilled nearly the entire agenda bequeathed to him by George W. Bush while, at the same time, blaming him for the Recession and everything else.

This isn’t “triangulation.” It is the wholesale absorbing of the other Party’s platform in an era when it is very difficult to tell the two parties apart. Obama is going to have to kill a whole bunch of al Qaeda big shots to keep his poll numbers from falling any further.

If this keeps up Republican political consultants will be praying the economy will be so bad by November 2012 that only crazed Dem-a-robots will vote for Obama, along with the teacher’s and other unions. To them, add 95% of the black vote and 80% of the Hispanics.

If independents decide to stay home, Obama could win. They won't. The Tea Party folk have not gone away.

My bet is that 2012 is like 2010 when the House changed hands. It could just be a total blowout and all the agonizing over the current crop of GOP candidates will seem silly in retrospect.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

There is No Palestine

By Alan Caruba

Despite a very forthright speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Sunday in which the President stated his “unshakeable” support for Israel and cited evidence of it, the greatest obstacle he must overcome with American Jews in particular and the public in general is a growing distrust of anything he says.

When it comes to the Middle East, Palestine, and the long history of Israel as a nation, past and present, President Obama doesn’t seem to “get it.”

Simply stated, there is no Palestine. In an effort to obliterate the nation of Israel, the Roman emperor Hadrian ordered that its name be changed to Palestine, a Greek word for Philistine, but other than this there never was a Palestine nation, nor is there one now.

To be a nation, it has to have been founded and it has to have specific borders. It has to have a capitol, major cities, an economy and currency of its own, and a stable government. It has to be recognized as a nation by other nations. None of these factors exists for the so-called West Bank and Gaza.

If the so-called Palestinians deserve their own state, why not the Kurds of Iraq and Turkey, and many other groups that could be deemed equally deserving?

What is referred to as Palestine is the wholly-owned creation of the United Nations through its UN Relief Works Agency, a strange invention that has existed solely to maintain the Arabs in the two areas mentioned as permanent refugees for generations. Sustained by millions in “relief” after the areas in question were lost in wars perpetrated against and lost to Israel in 1948 and 1967

There is never any mention of the hundreds of thousands of Jews who, over the course of the wars against Israel, became real refugees, forced to flee to Israel from Arab nations. In 1948, 140,000 fled Algeria, 75,000 fled Egypt, 135,000 fled Iraq, and 265,000 fled Morocco, along with others from Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen. They were absorbed by Israel.

The West Bank and Gaza, historically part of Israel, are myths created to regain territory lost in the wars waged against Israel by Jordan and Egypt. In the 1967 war, Jordanians were driven out of Judea/Samaria and out of Jerusalem. The Gaza Strip had been occupied by Egypt. The Golan Heights had originally been ceded to Syria by a British-French agreement and likewise was lost to Syria in war.

The suggestion that Israel “return” to its 1967 borders is ludicrous. Obama might just as well suggest that Texas, the Southwest and California be returned to Mexico. All were prizes of war. All constituted parts of the North American continent settled by British and European immigrants to the New World.

By contrast, Israel became a nation in 1321 BCE, 2,000 years before the rise of Islam. Arabs only began to refer to themselves as Palestinians in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the State of Israel. The only period in which there was Arab control followed the conquest in 635 BCE and it lasted only 22 years. For 3,300 years, Jerusalem had been the Jewish capital. It is mentioned more than 700 times in the Torah, the Jewish Holy Scriptures and not even once in the Koran.

Until recently, the Palestinian Liberation Authority and Hamas were in a state of war with one another, the PLO was the creation of Yassir Arafat and Hamas is the wholly owned creation of Iran, as is Hezbollah. They exist for no other purpose than the annihilation of Israel.

Neither “Palestinian” group has ever accepted any effort to establish a separate state for self-rule, asserting instead that Israel must be destroyed. What has Israel done? It withdrew from its occupation of southern parts of Lebanon, only to be attacked again from there in 2006. It forced Israelis to abandon their homes and businesses in Gaza, ceding the land in an effort to encourage negotiations toward a two-state solution.

There is no Palestine and there never was. The name was imposed by a Roman emperor in retribution for the resistance of Jews against Rome’s control of their land. The name was adopted by Yassir Arafat as the self-proclaimed leader of the Arabs left behind by the wars and living, as is commonly asserted, in “occupied territories.”

Not once has any representative of the so-called Palestinians ever accepted a negotiated path to separate statehood. Instead, the “Palestinians” have sent suicide bombers and rockets into Israel and storm its borders to celebrate the “Nakba”, an Arab word for catastrophe, commemorating the wars waged against and lost to Israel.

The “Palestinians” and Arabs do not want peace. Whatever peace exists between their nations is tenuous at best and the citizens of many of those nations have been in full revolt against the dictators that ran them from Tunisia to Libya to Egypt to Syria to Yemen. The only thing that “unites” them is their irrational hatred of Israel, a hatred shared by many European Union nations and, of course, the United Nations.

In just over 600 days President Obama’s regime will end. He will no doubt link arms with former President Jimmy Carter to become another huge embarrassment to the United States of America.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bogus Sex Scares Used to Ban BPA - The BPA File, Part Five

By Alan Caruba

Over the course of the first four elements of The BPA File, we have documented a massive, global campaign to ban bisphenol-A, BPA, a chemical that has been safely used for more than a half century to protect metal and plastic containers for food and liquid against spoilage and the resulting hazard to health.

Every day, somewhere in the nation and the world, there is a constant repetition of lies regarding BPA They frequently target the fears of mothers of newborn infants, but also allege a wide variety of other health threats including a healthy sex life for men and women.

In the same fashion that the global warming hoax was spread and maintained by a campaign that asserted that everything from frizzy hair to blizzards was the result of a dramatic warming cycle that was either happening or predicted to happen, the effort to ban BPA uses the same technique.

The campaign is pursued by a coalition of environmental and consumer activist groups that depend on such scare campaigns to maintain funding and secure members who can be relied upon to ignore or reject the science that disputes such campaigns.

In May 2011, the Miami Herald published what read like a news release by the Natural Resources Defense Council that asserted “Bisphenal-A associated with obesity, lower sperm counts, and pre-cancerous changes in the body is found in the bodies of 90 percent of Americans. Now a study shows that you can halve your levels of BPA and other chemicals within three days through a change in diet.”

Three distinct “scares” are captured in this news release, all aimed a fears regarding health, but none of them reflect the fact that trace amounts of BPA is routinely excreted and thus poses no threat. It also fails to reveal that the “studies” always involve administering large amounts of BPA to laboratory mice in a fashion that does not reflect actual exposure.

The ultimate target of the anti-BPA campaign is the widespread use of plastic containers of food and liquids, along with its use to line the insides of metal cans for that purpose.

From its earliest origins, environmentalists have sought to ban chemicals in general even though plastic has transformed and enhanced life around the world. In the U.S., the average life expectancy in the last century rose from thirty-seven in 1900 to the current seventy-eight years!

Earlier this year, the German Society of Toxicology released a review of more than five thousand previous studies of BPA exposure that concluded that BPA “exposure represents no noteworthy risk to the health of the human population, including newborns and babies.” Researchers concluded that BPA is neither mutagenic nor likely to be a carcinogen.

This, however, has not deterred the constant repetition of lies asserting that BPA is a health threat, nor a variety of efforts, including proposed State bans on the use of BPA. In April 2011, the Competitive Enterprise Institute released a 14-page report that included three pages of intensely documented notes, that refuted efforts by the Maryland legislature to ban infant formula and baby food packaging that contains more than 0.5 parts per billion (ppb) of BPA.

“In public policy, bad ideas have an unfortunate tendency to spread,” said Dr. Angela Logomasini, PhD. Efforts in Maine, Maryland, and even in Congress to ban BPA portend a host of food-born diseases and even death if such bans continue to be enacted.

The source of these bans is the environmental movement that first came to public notice when they succeeded in getting DDT banned. The result has been a rise in malarial deaths in nations that followed suit and in the swift explosion of the bed bug plague in the U.S.

So vast have been the campaigns against the beneficial chemicals that protect human health that a word was coined to identify the phenomenon—chemophobia. It is an irrational fear of chemicals when, in fact, the human body is a chemical factory, producing chemicals for digestion, hormones, and others, all the while cleaning the body of chemicals it rejects.

Simple common sense suggests that parts-per-billion of any substance cannot possibly pose a risk or threat.

In his book, “The Precautionary Principle: A Critical Appraisal of Environmental Risk Assessment”, published by the Cato Institute, author Indur M. Goklany, wrote “In keeping with its origins of technological skepticism, the precautionary principle has also been increasingly invoked as justification, among other things, for international controls, if not outright bans, on various technologies, which—despite substantial benefits to humanity and, in some cases to certain aspects of the environmental—could worsen other aspects of the environment or public health.”

At the heart of environmentalism is the core belief that humans are endangering the Earth by the use of the remarkable technologies that have been developed in the past century.

That is why, by spreading lies about sperm counts, endocrine disruption, and non-existent threats to infants and adults via plastic and metal containers of food and liquids, the ultimate agenda to reduce the worldwide human population is central to the campaign against the use of BPA.

There are no feasible substitutes for BPA. Banning it will guarantee the people will die.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Armed Forces Day

By Alan Caruba

Saturday, May 21, is Armed Forces Day. Unless you are on active duty, a military family member, or a veteran, I suspect this is one national holiday that slips under the radar of most Americans.

I am a veteran, U.S. Army, Second Infantry Division, Second Engineer Battalion, formerly based in Fort Benning, Georgia. If you have ever served in the military, it is highly unlikely you will ever forget the unit in which you spent the most time. Military life indelibly imprints itself on all who have served.

Like my generation and earlier ones, I was conscripted for service by what was called the “Draft”. It ended in 1973, but young men between 18 and 25 must still register for Selective Service in the event a really big war breaks out. I am sure the voluntary military is sufficient, but it worries me that we are taking a great toll on the young men and women in combat zones serving repeated tours of duty.

To my good fortune, I never saw combat, but I look back on the experience fondly because it taught any number of useful lessons. For many it was their first experience with the need to practice a measure of self-discipline. Orders are issued. You obey them. It is the nature of the military that it takes in boys and teaches them to be men.

You have no doubt noticed I have written that it “teaches them to be men.” I do not much care for the creeping feminization of our military. I don’t much like the inclusion of women in the military except in an ancillary capacity exclusive of battle. I understand times have changed, but that doesn’t mean that human nature has.

I don’t believe the military is a place for homosexuals. Bill Clinton tried to integrate homosexuals in the military and was met with such resistance from “the brass” that he saddled it with the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, an invitation to hypocrisy. Recently there was a report that Navy chaplains had been told to get ready to perform same-sex marriages, but that idiotic idea was swiftly quashed, presumably in the name of morality and common sense.

If I sound like some cranky old man nostalgic for “the old days”, I would remind you that, for me, the old days were the Cold War that included some hot wars fought in Korea and Vietnam. From the days of General MacArthur onward, American presidents and Congress had been told not to fight a war in the Far East.

Likewise, every empire that proposed to fight a war in Afghanistan, from Alexander the Great to the former Soviet Union, got their butts kicked, but in 2001, instead of a short demonstration of why attacking the American homeland is a very bad idea, we turned that operation in a decade of wasted money, material, and personnel.

“Regime change” anywhere should be short and brutal. Leave it to the survivors to form a new government. Iraq turned into a quagmire because we invaded with too few troops to police the nation and because L. Paul Bremer, the presidential envoy, disbanded the Iraqi army, instantly rendering thousands of men unemployed and very unhappy about it. Billions of dollars and thousands of American lives later, we are still in Iraq. Expecting Arabs to behave in a rational fashion is a fool's errand.

Ask anyone in the military, particularly in the officer class, and you will discover that no one likes war less than those who must fight it for the politicians and too many ungrateful civilians at home.

We no longer fight huge land wars like those of World War Two. The conflict in Korea ended in a stalemate and a truce that exists to this day. At the time, no one wanted to go to war with Red China and that was probably the right judgment. Vietnam was essentially a lost war by the French, a colonial power, followed by a civil war between north and south. Inserting ourselves into any civil war is unwise. Vietnam became a meat grinder for more than 53,000 young men who came home in coffins.

On a recent edition of “Sixty Minutes”, outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates described his job as “leading a department that is organized to plan for war but not to fight a war. And so everything that I’ve wanted to do to try and help the men and women in the field I’ve had to do outside the normal Pentagon bureaucracy.”

That department oversees a military that is deployed in 150 countries around the world with more than 369,000 of its1,580,255 active-duty in foreign nations. We still have 53,951 in Germany as a holdover from the Cold War. Some 28,500 are still in Korea and 32,803 in Japan. Simply put, there are real threats still in these locations that must be defended.

We are the world’s policeman. If we do not maintain this role, it will go to hell even faster than its current pace.

All of which brings me full circle to the worthy reason for Armed Forces Day. I have my arguments with some of the policies affecting today’s military, but hopefully they are transitory.

I have no argument with the courage, the patriotism, and the power our armed forces—yes, our men and women—project around the world.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Esquire Magazine Telling Lies

By Alan Caruba

There is often a thin line between so-called "satire" and telling lies. That's what happened when Mark Warren blogged in Esquire's "Politics" online segment the following:

"Breaking: Jerome Corsi's Birther Book Pulled from Shelves!"

Not funny, not true.

It is a deliberate act of disinformation intended to hurt the sales of Corsi's new book, "Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President."

I became aware of it when a link was posted on the May 18 Drudge Report in a fashion that suggested it was an actual news story.

Warren appended an "Update, 12:25 p.m." saying "We committed satire this morning..." Warren may disagree with the facts in Dr. Corsi's book, but he has no right to suggest "it's core premise and reason to exist" was "gutted by the news cycle" when Obama released an alleged long form birth certificate that has been judged a forgery.

Dr. Corsi, a regular contributor on World Net Daily and author of several bestselling non-fiction books, is a public figure and subject to such attacks, but to cloth this one as "satire" ignores its obvious intent when it claimed that World Net Daily's "Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Farah, has announced plans to recall and pulp the entire 200,000 first run printing of the book."

Just when one is recovering from a baseless. liberal, mainstream media attack on some conservative and/or Republican political figure, or someone expressing opposition to Barack Hussein Obama, along comes some new, vicious effort like this one.

I don't expect it to stop. Indeed, I expect it to increase as the Obama reelection campaign picks up speed. It is already telling various reporters and media they are not welcome or will not have access because of news coverage deemed unfavorable. Well, too bad.

As is often said, "The truth hurts", and Dr. Corsi's new book may well end the worst presidency of the modern era since Jimmy Carter's. It could even do so prior to the 2012 elections.

(c) Alan Caruba, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The United States of Stupid

By Alan Caruba

In 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education released a report titled “A Nation at Risk” that documented nationwide failure in American schools. Not much has changed since then and the federal takeover of school curriculums and testing methods has mercilessly continued with the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind and the Obama administration’s Race to the Top.

They are the top-down approaches to learning that have played a large part in the continual “dumbing-down” of American education. Once the province of local school boards, innovative schools, and individual teachers, the education of children has been taken over by Big Government.

Making matters worse, amid the confusion of federally mandated education requirements, state legislatures are now straying beyond their traditional roles to tinker with schools in unprecedented ways.

A recent example of this involves two bills making their way through the North Carolina legislature – House Bill 766 and Senate Bill 479 – which focus on testing in that state’s public schools. While the motive behind these identical bills may seem to be to “improve” testing, the bills serve only to further dumb-down education through legislative micromanagement.

In the case of North Carolina, the bills not only order schools to administer a specific college admissions test to all students in the 11th grade—the ACT—it also mandates “diagnostic tests” for students in grades eight and 10 that will “align” with the ACT.

In effect, the North Carolina legislature is using the force of law to compel classroom teachers to teach to the test rather than providing a solid education.

Since there is a long established, respected alternative---the SAT---it further reduces the element of choice for local boards.

It begs the question, when does a legislative body possess the requisite knowledge to decide which test is in the best interest of students and their education? Isn’t that a pedagogic, not legislative, question?

Even the uninitiated could be forgiven for thinking that this legislation was rigged from the outset and reflects the best bill writing that special interest money can buy, but it gets even worse.

The North Carolina proposal requires that “students who do not pass the tests adopted for eighth grade shall be provided remedial instruction in the ninth grade.” Using legislative fiat to push weak students from eighth to ninth grade and expecting them to learn new material when they don’t know the old material is a sure fire recipe for utter failure.

Common sense says that not all students at all ages learn at the same pace. Some learn faster than others. Some students come from lower income brackets, are raised by single parents or even their grandparents, and face other socio-economic factors that lead to greater obstacles and fewer incentives to study.

Rather than face this simple truth and deal with it through an effective, flexible policy, North Carolina lawmakers would let struggling students sink even further behind as they are pushed to the next grade level with a vague promise of remedial teaching.

The real problem with such top-down, one-size-fits-all legislation is that, once passed in one State, it spreads to others and, of course, it has its origins at the federal level. That makes it attractive to lawmakers beyond the Tar Heel State where politicians are juggling shrinking state budgets and teacher layoffs with their need for popular poll numbers and reelection.

Education has become highly politicized, providing opportunities for special interests to inject themselves into policy debate. This deliberate dumbing down of education and students has afflicted the U.S. since the 1960s. It shows no signs of being reformed.

Former Attorney General, Edwin Meese III, said, “We must always evaluate policy proposals in light of principles like rule of law and the logic of our constitutional system. The Education Department’s sponsoring and funding of national curriculum runs counter to both laws of Congress and the wisdom of the Founders.”

The Founders who wrote the Constitution, knowing that the best education was locally determined and directed education, did not even mention the word “education” in that document. If for no other reason than this, the North Carolina legislature should scrap these education proposals and make a fresh start.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Connecting the Dots

By Alan Caruba

It has long been my habit to collect and update data on all manner of issues and topics. In this era of Google and Bing, that may seem outdated, but it has its uses and, anyway, habits are hard to break.

The result of this is a huge pile of print-outs of articles from a variety of sources I regard as reliable for their information and opinion. Backing up this stack is a small library of books, the result of fifty years of reviewing, on matters old and new. This affords me the opportunity to swiftly and easily write my commentaries.

I suspect the average person depends on a handful of information sources simply because they lack the luxury of time. As skepticism of the mainstream media has grown, it accounts for why a reliable 20%-25% of the population remains fixed in their liberal, generally mistaken, view of issues and events. They are the ones still tuning in Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News or who think that Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show constitutes real news. Try as I may to point out that Stewart’s show is on the Comedy Channel, the numbskulls ignore it.

The reason Osama bin Laden “sleeps with the fishes” is that there are scores of intelligence analysts whose sole job is to connect the dots from a mountain of information that flows into the CIA, the NSA, the Pentagon, the State Department, the FBI, and other government agencies charged with keeping us alive.

The decision to kill bin Laden was a political one, so the likelihood is that his command staff will be killed on a regular basis between now and the 2012 elections. You may recall that a drone tried to take out al Qaeda’s Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen at the same time in a two-fer, but his days are numbered.

Suffice to say, the nation’s affairs and the world’s are incredibly complex, so data collection is an essential way to make any sense of it.

Let me, randomly, provide just a few pieces of information through which I daily sift to construct a view of the shifting landscape of events, personalities, and issues.

While we are constantly told of the Palestinian “refugees” Gerald A. Honigman, reflecting on the May 15 “Nakba” demonstrations against Israel, asked about the fate of “some twelve million native Egyptian Copts—the pre-Arab, non-Arab people of Eqypt whose men frequently get murdered, women raped, churches torched, (and who) live in a constant state of intimidation? When will over thirty million native, pre-Arab, non-Arab Kabyle, Amazigh, and other native, North African people—the ‘Berbers’—get to have their Nakba Day? Or the “35 million stateless people—the Kurds—get their own special day as well.”

The Institute for Energy Research, on May 12, commenting on the calls to take tax subsidies from U.S. oil companies, said, “If the senators proved anything today, it was how out of touch they are with basic economics. Oil companies pay over $30 billion per year to federal, state, and local governments in order to produce energy in the U.S.” Meanwhile, Obama administration illegal moratoriums “have already decreased oil production in the Gulf of Mexico by 360,000 barrels a day.” In a major flip-flop, the president has announced a lease program to open up oil drilling in places that were sacrosanct just days before.

As Congress and the White House squabble over lifting the debt ceiling limit, on April 22nd CNSnews reporrted that “Federal agencies reported improper payments estimated at $125.4 billion in fiscal year 2010, an increase of $16.2 billion from the $109.2 billion estimate in fiscal 2009, the Government Acountability Office said.” Fully 94% of those payments came from “social spending programs, including Medicare and Medicaid.” Maybe making a decent effort to stop wasting money would be a good idea?

On April 18th, Investors Business Daily, reported that “The EPA admits to Congress that it does not take into account the impact of its regulations on employment, the economy or internatinal competitiveness. Neither, apparently, does the White House.” This is a key factor in the loss of manufacturing and other business enterprises, along with the jobs they represent.

On April 1, Stephen Moore, writing in The Wall Street Journal, said, “It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities, combined.”

An editorial in the April 28th Washington Times opined that “President Obama rails against Wall Street to score political points. But when the smoke clears from all the demogoguery, the financial regulations he is publishing will result in fewer loans, more costly credit and individuals facing more risk.”

If converting food crops to fuel seems like madness defined, Elizabeth Rosenthal, writing in the April 6th New York Tmes, reported that “Each year, an ever larger portion of the world’s crops—cassava and corn, sugar and palm oil—is being diverted for biofuels as developed countries pass laws mandating greater use of nonfossel fuels and as emerging powerhouses like China seek new sources of energy to keep their cars and industries running.” Wasting food? That’s the stuff of revolution everywhere.

Just this quick sampling reveals the nation is being run in an astonishingly incompetent and stupid fashion. The government’s repeated use of lies and fear to influence public opinion is dangerous in so many ways. It is fundamentally unAmerican.

It took from the late 1980s to 2009 to put an end to the global warming hoax. One scientist called it thirty wasted, lost years.

The Islamic jihad has been in effect since 632 A.D.

Communism, imposed on Russia in 1917, destroyed generations in the former Soviet Union, in the Peoples Republic of China, and still stunts life for millions today.

Surrendering to malicious religions, economic and environmental theories or wild self-indulgence is bad for individuals, nations, and the world.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

We Elect Politicians, Not Saints

By Alan Caruba

It’s always a good idea at the beginning of the long political marathon that leads to Election Day to remind ourselves that we are electing a politician, not a saint.

It’s also a good idea to keep firmly in mind that everyone we do elect is a human being with all the flaws and failures of judgment and behavior that comes with that dubious distinction.

When he was campaigning, Jimmy Carter made much of his being a born again Christian and having taught bible studies at his church. He turned out to be a dunce at just about everything else. That toothy grin of his was the predecessor of Barack Obama’s famed dazzling smile.

As various Republicans toss their hat in the ring, they will have been subjected to vigorous and sometimes vicious “opposition research” by Obama’s campaign team and, surprise, by those representing their opponents.

It is one of the great mysteries of our time is that none of them have discovered that Ron Paul, the Libertarian, is not in fact from some distant planet instead of Texas. Few candidates advocate nuttier ideas non-stop than Dr. Paul. If you want comic relief, keep an eye on him. On the subject of nutty ideas, Romneycare is one that candidate Mitt Romney keeps defending and will until he likely loses the nomination. Bad ideas are bad ideas not matter whose name is associated with them.

In her Saturday column for The Wall Street Journal, former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan reflected on the continuing popularity of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who keeps being asked if he will run despite constant denials. She even speculated that there might be a draft Christie movement if the other candidates prove to be too boring or inept to defeat Obama.

That’s what makes politics so much fun. It also makes a run for the presidency an expensive effort and one that requires the stamina of an Olympic contestant. Noonan called Christie “normal”, adding that “A lot of people at this point in history think only the abnormal run for president.” And speaking of normal, Herman Cain fits that description and may begin to look very good to voters as time goes along.

Normal or abnormal, the power abrogated to the mainstream press remains intact as too many people rely on what is surely that most biased “reporting” to be found in a presumably free nation. In the tank for any Democrat, readers and viewers will have to look elsewhere for alternative sources of news about Republican candidates.

Having voted since the days of John F. Kennedy, I confess that since my parents were Democrats, I was a Democrat. I paid little attention to the merits of the Democrat candidate, nor any of his promises. I suspect a lot of people vote like that, but as Paul says in First Corinthians, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

I cast my first Republican vote for Ronald Reagan and have not taken any Democrat candidate seriously since. After Reagan I endured eight years of Bill Clinton including his impeachment for lewd behavior in the Oval Office.

Little did I or anyone else know what a complete looney Al Gore, his vice president was.

Al gave his wife, Tipper, a huge, lengthy kiss before accepting the nomination and I am pretty sure even a lot of Democrats were cringing. We dodged a big bullet when George W. Bush defeated him.

But! George W. helped run up the largest deficit in modern times while President and Obama multiplied it to the point of putting the nation in its worst financial crisis since the end of the Civil War.

This is why the economy is going to be the single, over-riding issue of the 2012 elections and why Barack Obama can spend a billion dollars to get reelected, but will be defeated.

Americans do not elect Presidents who preside over inflation, unemployment, housing foreclosures, Obamacare, open borders, and a lifestyle in office that rivals Arab sheiks.

We have to wait until the end of the month to learn if Indiana Governor Mitch Daniel will run. If he does, he will be the most fiscally conservative candidate and Republican primary voters will grow accustomed to his lack of charisma, his dry wit, his abundance of good sense, and record of good governance.

Add Rick Santorum and Tim Pawlenty to the field of those making a serious effort. Forget Sarah Palin who will not run and Donald Trump whose run will end the day “The Apprentice” finishes its present season.

That leaves Newt Gingrich and the aforementioned Ron Paul. They are the circus sideshow before you get to the big tent. I don’t even think Newt is running to be elected. I think he’s running to increase the sales of present and future books, dvds, cds and possibly t-shirts.

As for saints, they are very scarce among politicians. Anyone remember John Kerry’s running mate, John Edwards? Or former Senator John Ensign, Republican from Nevada? Or…or…or…all the rest that embarrassed themselves and everyone who voted for them?

The profession of politics calls for the moral flexibility of a contortionist. Former President Harry Truman said it best, "My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference."

© Alan Caruba, 2011