Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Liar's Tax

By Alan Caruba

The most singular aspect of Obamacare is the way Democrats, from the President on down, consistently lied about the fact that it was a tax. Interviewed by George Stephanopolos on ABC News, September 2009, Obama was asked if he rejected the criticism that it was a tax increase. “I absolutely reject that notion,” was his reply.

No need to quote the others. They all lied. It took the Supreme Court and, in particular, Chief Justice Roberts, to call Obamacare a tax in the process of eliminating the Commerce Clause of the Constitution as a justification for imposing this burden on Americans.

As CNBC’s Larry Kudlow was quick to note, “Twenty new or higher taxes across the board are bad for economic growth, bad for job hiring, bad for investors, and bad for families,” adding that when “you tax something more, you get less of it.”

Most Americans have been repeatedly told that Obamacare would ensure more care for more people, but the fact is, with or without health insurance, Americans receive health care, even if the hospital emergency room is their last resort, even if they are homeless, and even if they have no way to pay for it.

The multi-millionaire former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who told Americans that we would have to wait to know what was in Obamacare until after it was passed, reacted to the Supreme Court decision saying, “Call it what you will.” That is the equivalent of “Let them eat cake”, Marie Antoinette’s famed statement before the enraged citizens of France separated her head from her body.

Obamacare just became the single most important element of the November 6th national elections, followed by the economy. Both stink! Both are the direct result of Obama’s declared intention to “fundamentally transform America.” If he had even a schoolchild’s grasp of American history, he would know that Americans hate taxes. They declared their independence from England over the issue of taxation without representation.

What will emerge in the months between now and the elections is the fact that the Congressional Budget Office has projected that the implementation of Obamacare will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, an increase of $820 billion over the initial estimate when it was first signed into law. A nation already $17 trillion in debt can hardly welcome such news, nor absorb such costs.

For most Americans, though, the realization that Obamacare contains twenty-one new taxes will likely tip the scales in November to the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, who has promised to begin the repeal of the law the first day he takes office. Yes, it is an irony that he introduced Romneycare in Massachusetts when he was Governor there, but that is not going to affect the outcome of the election.

Among the many new taxes buried in the 2000-plus pages of Obamacare, there’s a 2.3% excise tax on U.S. sales of medical devices that observers believe would prove to be a $20 billion blow to an industry that employs an estimated 400,000.

There’s a 3.6% surtax on investment income from capital gains and dividends on those earning more than $250,000.

Obamacare imposes a $50,000 excise tax on charitable hospitals that fail to meet new “community health assessment needs”, whatever they are.

There’s a $2.6 billion-a-year tax on drug companies. A 10% excise tax on indoor tanning salons. An $87 billion hike in Medicare payroll taxes for employees, as well as the self-employed.

Between now and November voters are going to be reminded that Obama promised to fix the economy and then spent the first two years getting Obamacare through Congress. No Republican voted for it and, in 2010, voters replaced some sixty representatives and senators with Republicans.

Obama promised to create jobs. Instead he gave us a multi-billion “stimulus” that utterly failed. He promised to cut the deficit in half. And he promised that Americans could keep their current health insurance plans. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that as many as twenty million will lose theirs.

Lies! Lies! Lies!

In a thoughtful analysis of Obamacare, two senior fellows at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution were joined by the dean of the Columbia Business School who concluded that “In upholding the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court has allowed the President and Congress to put the country’s health policy on a path that will restrict individual choices, stifle innovation and sharply increase health-care costs.”

As that sinks in, the November elections will end the tyranny of Barack Obama and his minions in Congress. If you wonder what will replace it, just ask Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WIS) who has a plan in place to reform Medicare and Medicaid. If you haven’t heard much about it, you can thank the mainstream media and its slavish adoration of the President.

It is a liar’s tax. It is a liar’s penalty. It is a liar’s plan to further bankrupt the nation.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What Just Happened to the Rule of Law?

By Alan Caruba

Following the Obamacare decision, The Heartland Institute’s Maureen Martin, a Senior Fellow for Legal Affairs, said, “Today’s decision will go down in infamy. It marks the moment when we all lost our freedom because the Supreme Court drew a road map to guide those dedicated to imposing a totalitarian, statist government on the American people.”

A Heartland colleague, Peter Ferrara, a member of the bar of the Supreme Court and a Senior Fellow for Entitlement and Budget Policy, said “The Supreme Court of the United States just endorsed the most fundamental dishonesty of our politics today. The President intimidated Chief Justice John Roberts like Hugo Chavez intimidates the Venezuelan Supreme Court. The rule of law is now dead. The American people have only one more chance now to save their country.” Heartland is a non-profit, free market think tank.

A lot of Americans may begin to feel like the Jews who lived in Nazi Germany. On September 15, 1935, the Nazi government passed the Nuremberg laws. They were intended to make life in Germany so unpleasant that it would force them to emigrate. Those who could escaped what would later materialize as the Holocaust, the deliberate extermination of all the Jews of Europe. One of them was Albert Einstein who found sanctuary in the United States.

To give you a taste of what it was like, the Reichstag’s Nuremburg laws prohibited marriage between Jews and Aryan Germans. Intercourse between Jews and “subjects of German or kindred blood” was forbidden. Jews were forbidden to fly the Reich and national flag. It did not take long for Jewish teachers, lawyers, and physicians to be stripped of their right to work.

What does that have to do with Obamacare? Americans who could rely on the political system to moderate and even reduce taxation now know that the December 28, 2012 Supreme Court has ruled that Congress may tax anything, including behavior. Americans no longer are free to determine what they wish to purchase or not. Either they follow the dictate of the federal government or they will be fined.

Obamacare has now transformed the United States into a police state.

Twenty-seven U.S. States joined together to oppose Obamacare and they and the other twenty-three now know that they are no longer separate and sovereign republics, but must yield to the federal government’s demand that they create “exchanges” where health insurance must be purchased.

Arizona has already discovered that the federal government will not permit its law enforcement authorities to participate in protecting its border with Mexico despite the havoc illegal immigration has wreaked on that State. Other States have encountered the same response.

America’s older generation, covered by Medicare, will discover that panels of bureaucrats will determine the extent of the health care they can receive. They will discover as those in England’s health system that the wait to be admitted to a hospital can result in death.

The younger generation will suffer as well. As Paul T. Conway, the president of Generation Opportunity, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that seeks to mobilize young adults who are dissatisfied with the status quo to create a better future for themselves, has said:

“President Obama’s health care law stands as one of the largest tax increases in American history. It will be paid by young Americans whose dreams and plans for the future have already been derailed by failed policies that have denied their access to full-time, meaningful jobs in their chosen career paths.”

“Young Americans,” said Conway, “know they will pay the true costs of President Obama’s legislation—over a trillion dollars more in federal spending, more waste and fraud, increased American debt, and the inability to keep or choose healthcare plans that best suit their needs as individuals.”

Young, old, and all other Americans will wake now to an America that they have not known, nor ever conceived could exist; a nation in which the rule of law no longer is a guarantee of the Constitution’s limits and separation of powers.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

The Liars Have Triumphed

By Alan Caruba

The Supreme Court decision on Obamacare confirmed that lies have triumphed over the Constitution.

It also is a reminder that the Supreme Court is a political entity and a human one. Only the Justices who dissented from the majority decision on Obamacare were willing to take the heat. The majority ruled that the individual mandate under the commerce clause was unconstitutional, but gave Obamacare life as a tax.

It was always a tax, but President Obama repeatedly told Americans that it was not until his administration’s lawyers went before the Supreme Court and admitted and argued that it was a tax. The lawyers on the Court agreed, the majority in effect saying that there is no limit to the ability of Congress to tax Americans.

As reported: On the losing end of a 5-4 decision, Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito said that the entire health care reform law should have been struck down.

They wrote: "The Act before us here exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying non-consenting states all Medicaid funding. These parts of the Act are central to its design and operation, and all the Act's other provisions would not have been enacted without them. In our view it must follow that the entire statute is inoperative."

Obamacare is a blow to state's rights as sovereign republics.

A fellow blogger, writing under the pseudonym of J.D. Longstreet, warned that “The lesson here is -- don't play around with socialism. You cannot win. It kills its host country every time.”

Not since the Civil War and the more recent 9/11 has America faced a darker day. That day killed nearly three thousand Americans. Today, the fate of more than three hundred million Americans has been sealed. This is particular true of older Americans who, if the law is not repealed, will learn to their dismay that they cannot have essential medical care if bureaucrats conclude it is too costly. Others will die waiting to be admitted to hospitals to mitigate cancers and other life threatening diseases.

It is a death sentence for them. It is a death sentence for America.

There is the prospect that Mitt Romney may secure election to office and that the Republican Party may secure control of the Senate as well as the House. Without question Obamacare along with the economy becomes the central issue of the months leading up to Election Day.

Not a single Republican voted for Obamacare 820 days ago.

The House will vote on a full repeal of Barack Obama's health care law during the week of July 9, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Thursday morning. The scheduling of another repeal vote came less than an hour after the Supreme Court upheld the health care mandate.

This is, however, purely symbolic. The bill will not be taken up in the Democrat-controlled Senate. It would be vetoed if sent to Obama.

Too many with whom I have talked believe that the same Americans who elected Obama in 2008 will reelect him in 2012. He lied his way into office then and it is entirely plausible he will do so again.

America will not survive him if he is reelected. He is truly the Manchurian candidate sent to destroy America.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Other Judicial Decision

By Alan Caruba

As this is being written, it is the Wednesday prior to the announcement of the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the fate of Obamacare. If SCOTUS upholds it, it will condemn Americans to having bureaucrats deny medical care to some because of their age and others to die while waiting for it.

By any standard it is a horrendously bad law and one that initiated a huge political movement, the Tea Party, to oppose it. Mitt Romney is campaigning on the promise to repeal it. It was a law passed in the dark of night and it embodies all the worst aspects of Socialism.

There has been another judicial opinion, however, that promises to destroy many aspects of the nation’s economy, from the coal industry to the coal-fired plants that provide about 42% of the nation’s electrical power. It used to be 50%. An successful economy requires and thrives on energy. We are decreasing ours. China is building a new coal-fired plant every month.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia threw out a pro-industry petition that challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s assertion that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a “pollutant” that endangers public health and is a factor in global warming.

It was an 81-page decision, based in part on a 2007 SCOTUS decision that ruled 5-4 that the 1970 Clean Air Act empowered the EPA to regulate C02, even though that was never the original intent of the Act.

It is a ruling that will permit the EPA to continue to wreak havoc on business and industry, large and small, based entirely on the greatest science hoax in history.

As one observer said, “with a sweep of the pen the elite of the American legal system affirms that the Earth’s atmosphere simulates the glass barrier of a greenhouse.” Only the Earth’s atmosphere is composed entirely of gases.

CO2 represents an infinitesimal 0.038% of the atmosphere.

The other atmospheric gases are nitrogen at 78.084%, oxygen at 20.94%, argon at 0.934%, carbon dioxide, and trace elements at 0.002%.

To suggest, as the EPA does, that CO2 poses a public health hazard is to ignore the fact that humans exhale about six pounds of it every day and that it is vital to all vegetation on Earth in the same fashion as oxygen is to all animal life. Does this sound like a hazard to you? Are humans dying because of 0.038% of CO2?

The decision opens the floodgates of EPA regulation to require all manner of technology to abate emissions from thousands of sources of CO2 whether they are a huge factory or a local bakery. Unless Congress asserts its right to properly interpret the Clean Air Act, the decision will further undermine job growth and economy recovery.

The decision is likely to become part of the political campaign leading to the elections. Mitt Romney has declared his opposition to it.

It is worth considering that, among the members of the Supreme Court, Justice Scalia just turned 78, Justice Kennedy will turn 76 later this year, Justice Breyer will be 76 in August, and Justice Ginsburg just turned 81. The next President is likely to choose at least one and possibly more justices to the court.

Suffice to say that the Court of Appeals arrived at their decision by relying on all the lies that buttressed the global warming hoax and made no effort to consider the vast body of scientific literature that demonstrates that CO2 plays no role in climate change and is, as noted, vital to all life on Earth. It was a very stupid decision as was the 2007 SCOTUS decision.

It was, however, a decision that will cause an untold amount of harm to the nation’s economy. Congress, already having failed to act in the years since 2007 to assert its role with regard to the Clean Air Act, must do so soon or the further destruction of the nation will follow as night the day.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

1.6 Million "Warning Signs" Page Views!

Okay, I'm bragging, but this blog just passed 1.6 million page views and the pace is picking up as word of Warning Signs spreads from its members and those who follow it on a daily basis. It took just one month to add a hundred thousand more page views!

A lot of work goes into it, but it truly is a labor of love. There are so many issues to discuss and so many threats to our nation, to our Constitution, and to the individual freedoms we must protect. So Warning Signs will stand sentry and remain on watch to alert our readers.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Follow the Money

By Alan Caruba

When Bob Woodward of The Washington Post was investigating Watergate in the 1970s, he had an informant nicknamed “Deep Throat.” He would later be identified as W. Mark Felt, the second-in-command at the FBI who famously advised him to “Follow the money.”

That is what David Horowitz and Jacob Laskin, the authors of “The New Leviathan”, have done---tracing the way major U.S. foundations, the creations of some of the nation’s most successful business leaders, conservatives all, have been taken over by liberal administrators and whose fortunes have been redirected to fund a vast matrix of organizations, many of whom are radical in nature, to “fundamentally transform” America.

It is the great irony and tragedy that the fortunes of John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, John H. Heinz and David Packard—assets totaling more than $100 billion—have been used to destroy capitalism and the free market while advancing the corrosive goals of environmentalism, the failure to address illegal immigration, the creation of Obamacare, our national security, and even efforts to steal presidential elections from voters.

This funding explains why an unknown U.S. Senator with a totally bogus life story is now the President of the United States. It is why our nation’s educational system has been destroyed by public sector teachers’ unions. It is why the global warming hoax continues to be promoted despite having been exposed. It is why the nation continues to struggle with illegal immigration. It is why Obamacare has been foisted on a nation when the majority rejected it.

The only way to understand how and why this has occurred is to read this extraordinary book whose content has been meticulously research and presented by a true patriot, David Horowitz, the bestselling author of several books in concert with Jacob Laskin, the managing editor of Front Page Magazine.

“With assets of over $100 billion, the largest concentration of money available for political purposes ever amassed, and more than ten times the size of its conservative counterpart,” the authors report on how it has “spawned a secondary network of 501c3 policy think tanks and advocacy groups that number in the thousands, and that, in areas of critical social and political import, can deploy resources that exceed those of their conservative rivals by as much as a hundred to one.”

This is the juggernaut against which conservatives must struggle. Supporting environmental, immigration, and other groups, this matrix of funding is a fifth column within America, working and spending to destroy it.

As the national elections loom in November, the authors note that “J. Christian Adams, an election lawyer who served in the Voting Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, has documented how millions of dollars from leftist foundations have established a permanent infrastructure of left-wing litigators and law firms designed to alter election outcomes through policy advocacy and strategic litigation.” And you wonder why Democrats oppose the “Voter ID” program and the Obama Justice Department has demanded that Florida stop culling its registration records to eliminate dead voters, felons, and ineligible voters.

The role of public service unions, looting the treasuries of the states was seen in the virulent assaults in Wisconsin and, fortunately, the defeat of the recall election against a governor who stood up against them. The authors document how dependent on these unions the President was and is. It explains why Obama filled many cabinet posts with SEIU officials.

In a similar fashion, it explains why billions have been wasted on “clean energy” companies at the same time a war on coal (and oil) has been conducted by the Obama administration. With the wealth our natural resources could create, America’s manufacturing base, if given the protection it needs, could create thousands of new jobs, and could resuscitate the economy if only given the opportunity.

In so many ways the Left is waging a war on the entire nation to undermine its Constitution, its economy and its institutions. “The New Leviathan” documents who is funding this war and why America has a Marxist in the Oval Office.

The vote remains the last recourse to save the nation from the Left.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Egypt's Turmoil

By Alan Caruba

While the evening news showed thousands of Egyptians in Cairo’s Tahrir Square celebrating the election of Muslim Brotherhood-backed Mohammed Morsi, who won by a slim fifty-one percent of the vote, other Egyptians now have good cause to live in fear for their lives, the Copts, a Christian sect that has long been under attack there..

We are not witnessing a great victory for democracy in Egypt. Egypt has never known democracy.

Modern day Egypt dates back back to the days of Farouk the first, the tenth ruler from the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, who succeeded his father in 1936 and was overthrown in a 1952 revolution. In the wake of the revolution, he was replaced by Gamal Abdel Nasser who died in office. Following the assassination of Anwar al-Sadat, Hosni Mubarack, took over in 1981 until being forced from office in 2011.

Under Mubarack, Sadat’s peace treaty with Israel was maintained and the U.S. provided billions in military aid. Since being deposed, Egypt’s economy, such as it was, has been in free fall. Tourism, which used to be a major resource, has dried up.

Though rarely mentioned in news reports, the Egyptian military is still in control. The Morsi election victory is mostly symbolic because the military has issued a decree that empowers it to write a new constitution and pass laws. Earlier they disbanded the elected parliament.

The win for the Muslim Brotherhood is the worst possible news for Egypt because, simply stated, it does not matter what its candidate promises or says. The Brotherhood has been waiting a long time to take over Egypt and its likely first move would be to make the Koran the nation’s “constitution.” The military has no intention of permitting that to occur.

Not one Middle Eastern and North African Muslim-dominated nation functions as an actual democracy with the possible exception of Turkey. Despite “elections” they operate as autocracies and feudal kingdoms.

No doubt Morsi will negotiate with the military to impose some Islamic rules with the intention of returning life in Egypt to the burka and other Islamic strictures

Islam and democracy are entirely incompatible. Islam is more than a religion. It is a political system as well. There is no secular divide between the two. Its concept of justice and law remains rooted in the seventh century. It subjugates all non-Muslims and reduces women to chattel.

There is no denying that life under the generals was no picnic in Egypt. Its human rights record is as appalling as other Middle Eastern nations, but the military kept the lid on the Muslim Brotherhood that has been around for 84 years. Egyptians have no experience with rule by anything other than an autocratic government. In a nation where everyone is shouting “Allah Akbar” and brandishing the Koran as the answer to every issue and question, it is hard to function in the modern world.

This is the clash of civilizations that scholars have spoken and written about.

If Morsi keeps his word about the peace treaty with Israel it will only be because Egypt cannot afford another war and because few, if any, Middle East nations would lend any support. Meanwhile, the Israelis have moved tanks to the border with Egypt.

The whole Middle East is an ugly place these days. Syria is a powder keg. Turkey, a member of NATO—which just had one of its jet fighters shot down by the Syrians is in a foul mood. Jordan’s monarchy is watching with no small amount of fear for its future. Lebanon is little more than a Syrian satellite run by Hezbollah, which in turn is an Iranian proxy. Pakistan has demonstrated it is no friend to America. Iran is everyone’s enemy.

The U.S. billions that propped up the Mubarack regime will be needed to keep the Egyptian military in charge. The reasons include keeping the peace treaty with Israel, cooperation in counter terrorism efforts, protection of transportation through the Suez Canal, and even the need for a possible military operations against Iran.

The Obama administration is pressuring the Egyptian military to turn over power to the Muslim Brotherhood. Thus far, its entire Middle East foreign policy has been a total failure, based on naiveté and bad judgment.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Killing Coal in America

By Alan Caruba

When I was a teenager, I made a lot of money as a magician entertaining at birthday parties and other events. The essence of stage magic is diverting the audience’s attention from what one is actually doing while creating the “illusion” that produces an entertaining surprise.

While the media was focused on stories last week about the House committee decision to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt and the subsequent declaration of executive privilege by the White House to delay the provision of information the committee had been seeking about Operation Fast and Furious for over a year, Americans were being deprived of one of the most affordable and proven sources of electrical power, coal.

In the Senate, on June 20, a resolution to block the imposition of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards for hazardous air pollutant emissions from power plants failed.

The vote was 46 ayes to 53 nays. Among the Republicans who sided with the Democrats to kill the measure were Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and the two Maine Senators, Susan Collins and Olympia Snow, neither of whom is a Republican in anything but name only. Their support of the EPA regulation will cost Americans dearly in jobs and the cost of electricity.

The Utility MACT rule is so bogus, so based on illusionary computer models, so devoid of any real science that it constitutes a brazen act of criminality. It asserts that the health risks from mercury emissions is such that it is necessary to impose a rule that, by its own estimates, implementing it will cost $9.6 billion in 2016.

Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute points out that “in the 22 years since Congress tasked the EPA to study the health risks of mercury, the agency has not identified a single child whose learning or other disabilities can be traced to prenatal mercury exposure.” EPA cited the mercury risk as the “trigger” for the MACT rule.

There is no public health hazard from burning coal to produce electricity, but there is a very real hazard when such plants close down and cease to provide it.

The American Energy Institute notes that “coal’s share of U.S. electricity is expected to fall to below 40 percent this year from 42 percent last year and produce the lowest share since data was collected in 1949. Just five or six years ago, its share of electricity generation was 50 percent.”

The war on coal waged by major environmental organizations, combined with Obama’s hostility to coal is depriving Americans of a cheap, abundant source of energy and, last week, Democrats with the aid of some Republican Senators, just drove the price of electricity to new heights. It will close down plants that can no longer afford the cost of emissions control technology and it will close down some mining operations.

As then-candidate Obama said in 2008, under his proposed cap-and-trade legislation “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket” adding that “So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can…it’s just that it will bankrupt them.”

When Cap-and-Trade legislation, based on the bogus EPA claim that carbon dioxide is a “pollutant” failed the far-Left Center for American Progress pressed Obama to bypass Congress and move the anti-coal, anti-energy agenda forward by manipulating regulatory and executive power.

If there was no other reason to defeat Obama in November and deprive Democrats of control of the Senate, it is what is occurred on Capitol Hill last week while Americans were distracted by efforts to thwart action regarding the “Operation Fast and Furious” scandal.

Distracted, too, by the mounting numbers of unemployed, by the stagnating economy, and by potential and negative news from the European Union and the Middle East, the attack on the nation’s ability to power homes, businesses and industries will only become news when the blackouts begin years down the road.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

America's Fearful Future

By Alan Caruba

It’s a cliché that nations and men repeat the same errors, stumbling into various crisises. The locations may change, but the patterns of history remain.

The world is teetering on a new Great Depression. Democracies are at risk. In the 1930s there were an estimated two billion people worldwide. Today there are seven billion people in the world; the pressures to feed them and meet their other needs have increased exponentially. It strains relations between nations and within them.

In the U.S. the Great Depression began in 1929 and lasted until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 that brought the U.S. into the conflict. World War Two had begun in Europe when Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939 and then invaded France in 1941. In Asia the Empire of Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931, expanding further into China in 1937.

Over eighty years ago the time was ripe for aggression by those with the will to pursue it. At the time it was lacking in the U.S. that had a long tradition of avoiding “foreign entanglements.” The military was hardly prepared. By contrast the U.S. has acted since the end of World War Two as the global policeman protecting the sea lanes and its allies.

What America had, however, was an industrial base that was up to the task of becoming “an arsenal for democracy.” Today our manufacturing base has been hollowed out with much of it outsourced to other nations or harmed by unions, excessive regulation, and trade policies that left them at a disadvantage.

China, by contrast, is largely self-sufficient and has built its energy production sector while our manufacturing base, along with the ability to provide the energy it requires, is being destroyed by Environmental Protection Agency regulations and Interior Department restrictions on new mining and drilling.

I cite this because, in my view if not the official one of economists, the U.S. is in a Depression. Across the Atlantic, Europe is facing the collapse of its political and financial union.

There are huge numbers of unemployed in the U.S. even if there are no soup lines as existed in the 1930s. Much of the middle class has seen some forty percent of its wealth disappear, mostly in the depreciation of the value of their homes. Many are on some form of government dole whether it is food stamps or unemployment compensation The U.S. debt is historic--$15 trillion and climbing--and could prove catastrophic.

The present times mirror earlier ones in which empires trembled and fell. Neither Russia nor China would be unhappy to see the greatest capitalist democracy in the world fall into ruin.

Syria’s internal conflict bears an eerie resemblance to the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939 when that nation fell under fascist control, preceding World War Two. In Syria, the United States, Europe, and their Arab allies are aligned against the dictatorship of Bashar Assad while, on the other side there is Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy that controls Lebanon.

Just as the League of Nations proved incapable of ensuring peace in the run-up to World War Two, so too the United Nations has no such capability today. It is utterly corrupt and has its own agenda to impose itself on the world as a global government.

America has been weakened since the financial crisis of 2008, almost entirely the result of federal government housing programs, the pressure on banks to make bad mortgage loans, and the resulting “bundling” and sale of “toxic assets” that undermined our largest financial institutions.

For the first time in our history, our credit rating has been downgraded. Several large banks have suffered a similar ranking. The Obama administration has exacerbated the banks’ ability to recover by imposing excessive and likely unconstitutional regulation.

National security is at risk as well. These days the U.S. Air Force is flying a fleet of geriatric planes, some of which were manufactured in the 1950s. Our Navy has the fewest number of ships since the end of World War Two. Our Army and Marines are worn out from a decade of non-stop fighting. The President has been determined to reduce our nuclear arsenal.

America entered a new era with a sneak attack on 9/11, the result of the frenzy of Islamists who may well sense that they must either conquer the West or see Islam wither away as a failed system. As various Middle Eastern nations overthrew their dictators, the more moderate, secular factions within them are at risk of being ruled by the most ruthless mullahs who fear the loss of their power over the people.

Financial crisis. Military conflicts. Enemies of democracy. It has the look and feel of the 1930s and 1940s.

America needs to make some essential and rapid changes—making the federal government smaller, revitalizing our military, protecting our borders against massive illegal immigration, reforming “entitlement” programs, eliminating wasteful spending—or we could be living in the last years of its influence and power.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thank You!

A word of thanks to those members and others who have responded to our call for donations to support "Warning Signs."  I know that everyone is asking for donations, so those received this past week are particularly meaningful in the difficult times we share. "Warning Signs" requires extensive research to document and to support the views expressed. It takes time to write, but it is also a labor of love. Donations say that it has been and is worth the effort.

Alan Caruba

Cartoon Round Up

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Why Liberals are Like Zombies

By Alan Caruba

I hope Barack Obama lives to a very old age. I want him to look back at the wreckage of the Democratic Party and the senility of Liberalism that has wreaked such havoc on the world stage. To me, Liberalism is a zombie philosophy, devoid of any connection with reality, but still able to cause great harm.

It is easy and tempting to conclude that the defeat of Liberalism has begun. It was encouraging to see the public service union movement rejected in the recent Wisconsin recall election. I want to believe that Obama has proven to be such a horror as President that people will draw a lesson from it. But there are just too many people who will still vote for him.

Occasionally I read that the ranks of Liberals have continued to thin over the decades. The Reagan presidency in the 1980s gave momentum to the rise of conservatism that had begun in the 1950s, but the politics of the nation no matter whether a Republican was in office or not still reflects Liberal ideas and agendas. The government and the debt continues to grow.

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., founder and editor of The American Spectator, a conservative magazine ranked with The National Review for its influence, has written “The Death of Liberalism” ($19.99, Thomas Nelson). It is blessedly short, written with elegant prose and good humor, and relentless in the way it documents the failures of Liberalism that have brought America to the brink of financial failure as the result of its misbegotten belief in Big Government, unsustainable “entitlement” programs, and its penchant for taxing everything.

Obama is the ultimate culmination of what Tyrrell calls “the Infantile Leftists”, citing the various candidates for the presidency who reflect the immaturity of the 1960’s generation of whom the Occupy Wall Street children are the latest pathetic gasp of what Tyrell regards as a failed political movement. The “Occupiers” tried to grab center stage to demand free everything as if working for a living does not matter. The mainstream media quickly lost interest in their antics along with the rest of the nation.

Tyrrell needed only to point to Al Gore, John Kerry, and John Edwards as the “Infantile Leftists” whom the Democratic Party put forth to lead the nation. Bill Clinton was cited as an example of “sophomoric exhibitionism” along with Hillary Clinton in her bid for the presidency.

Tyrell noted that “in time, Clinton left a legacy of welfare reform, free trade, and balanced budgets—all Republican policies.” The reality is that the Clinton presidency was saved by the 1994 election that returned the power in Congress to the Republican Party. Even then, Clinton’s womanizing got him impeached for the trail of lies he left in its wake. He beat the rap and, in true Liberal fashion, has gone on to be one of Democratic Party’s “elder statesmen.”

“Liberalism may not be dead, but its zombies have not stopped seeking high office. Their antics get ever more amusing…and narcissistic”, says Tyrrell. I must disagree. I find nothing amusing about the crowd running the nation these days.

While both Clintons created false biographies of their lives the penultimate of such autobiographical excess is Barack Obama whom Tyrrell calls “the stealth Socialist.”

Obama’s narcissism is impossible to ignore. He accepts responsibility for nothing that has happened on his watch. It was “George W. Bush’s fault” until that line became a joke, along with his dependence on the ever-present Tele-Prompters. Left to speak on his own every sentence is a long string of ahs and uhms, a stuttering sing-song delivery that is a pale, inadequate imitation of rational thought.

Tyrrell leaves the best for last after reviewing the history of Liberalism and Progressive beliefs, all of which are revealed to be based on a penchant for authoritarianism and totalitarianism that gave birth to Communism, Socialism, and Fascism along the way.

Politically, “For decades they have been losing to conservatism in an obvious but (for them) very troubling way: the numbers.” Citing Gallup, Pew Research Center, and Harris polls, it is clear that the number of Americans who self-identify as conservatives or right-leaning moderates, often called independents, is in the ascendancy. “In polls going back more than three decades, conservatives have almost always outnumbered Liberals significantly.”

Every Liberal program introduced prior to and since World War II in response to the Great Depression and as part of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty”, is now in some stage of failure. Only conservatives can reform them to ensure solvency. In Obama’s first term, he has engineered the near collapse of the nation’s economy and only his defeat will offer an opportunity to draw back from that cliff.

Now, with the exception of the hardcore thirty percent of true believers, one can only hope that Liberalism has been sufficiently destroyed by the feckless hand of Barack Obama. I want him to be around to survey his legacy and to reap the same well-earned derision that, until now, has been Jimmy Carter’s.

I am not, however, ready to declare Liberalism dead. It is more like a zombie to me.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Watergate Redux

By Alan Caruba

So now the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, voting along party lines (23-17), has cited Attorney General Holder for contempt of Congress. If you are old like me, this has such a familiar feel to it. This is Watergate Redux.

It was June 1972—almost exactly forty years ago—when the bungler-burglars from the Nixon White House broke into the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate complex. It was such a clumsy, amateurish crime that they were quickly caught and their connections to the White House made known.

As is the common wisdom, it is the cover-up that is the essence of any political crime and, for Watergate, it was a slow process, best known for the reporting of two Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. They were greatly aided by the second in command at the FBI, W. Mark Felt, who was dubbed “Deep Throat” at the time. In secret he provided the guidance that was invaluable to the two reporters.

Significantly, in terms of the actions of the House Committee, Watergate embroiled Richard Nixon’s Attorney General, John Mitchell, who along with the other perpetrators, went to jail. So, yes, if the AG commits a crime, he gets to do the time. And, of course, the scandal finally forced Nixon to resign.

The Fast and Furious scandal involving a bizarre scheme in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, usually referred to as ATF, actually facilitated the purchase of firearms from Texas gun stores and allowed them to be “walked” into Mexico for the use of drug cartels. Since both American and Mexican officials were saying that all the killing going on was the result of U.S. gun sales, observers tend to conclude the scheme was intended to support efforts to restrict sales in the U.S. or make them more difficult.

In the same way the Nixon White House had no real need to bug the Democratic Party offices, the justification for Fast and Furious was so spectacularly stupid as to defy the imagination, but it went seriously wrong when a U.S. Border Patrol officer, Brian Terry, was murdered, as well as an Immigration and Customers Enforcement agent, Jaime Zapata. The guns found at the scene had been ATF gifts to the cartels.

The contempt citation by the House committee is just the beginning. They have, after all, been trying for nearly a year or more to get the AG and Justice Department to cooperate in their investigation of Fast and Furious.

It is the beginning because Watergate took two years to resolve itself in the convictions of the men who participated and in Nixon’s resignation.

This is why the Fast and Furious scandal is likely to be one more factor in the defeat of Barack Obama in November, but he will be long gone by the time it plays out and, once out of office, the memory of the scandal will fade rather quickly in no small measure to the indifference of the mainstream media that has done its best to ignore the story to this point.

If, indeed, the scandal actually embroils Obama, he is likely to be pardoned in its wake just as Nixon was. Putting former presidents in jail is just too unseemly for the nation’s standing in the world.

Watergate gave the nation Jimmy Carter as voters tried to put as much distance politically between themselves and the Nixon administration. This was the same process at work when an unknown—and apparently unknowable—first term Senator from Illinois was elected in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis that too conveniently broke shortly before the elections.

It’s going to be interesting to see how Mitt Romney deals with this event, what he has to say about Holder and Obama. My bet is that he will say as little as possible. That’s the smart thing.

I wrote about Fast and Furious on my blog in May. If it plays out like Watergate did, I am going to be writing about it for at least another two years.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Earth Summit Babble

By Alan Caruba

Why anyone still believes anything the UN Environmental Program and its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has to say is one of those great imponderable questions. To prepare you for the flood of totally idiotic predictions to which you will be treated during the June 20-21 Earth Summit, here are just a few and I strongly advise you to ignore all of them.

A 550-page preparatory UN report, put together by “600 experts”, the Global Environmental Outlook—intended to soften up global suckers—predicts that Earth’s environmental systems are nearly at “their biophysical limits” thus subjecting the Earth to “irreversible and possibly cataclysmic world changes” and “If humanity does not urgently change its ways” it is doomed.

Notably, the Earth Summit will abandon “global warming” and “climate change” as its main theme and instead focus on “sustainability”, the utterly bogus notion that humans are using up all of the Earth’s resources.

The people most famous for really bad predictions these days are environmentalists. Rachel Carson kicked it off fifty years ago with her book, “Silent Spring”, assuring everyone that all the birds would fall dead out of the sky because of pesticide use. These days they are more likely to be chopped to shreds by wind turbines.

Ever since the early days of environmental hysteria just about every awful scenario cooked up in the fevered brains of the Greens has become front page news. There is method to their madness and it comes down to a simple equation: Scaring People Equals Money and Power.

Environmentalism is all about controlling you while picking your pocket. By any other name it is Socialism or its big brother Communism. It depends on lies backed up by a massive propaganda machine, funded by ultra-wealthy foundations, by governments who support Green programs of all sorts, and by the members of an endless succession of environmental organizations.

For example, you may recall that global warming, a massive heating of the Earth due to carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gas emissions” was predicted to occur twenty, thirty or fifty years hence when the hoax kicked off in the late 1980s. Keep that in mind when the Rio+20 United Nations Earth Summit is held in Rio de Janeiro, the site of the first conference.

Supported by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the so-called “scientists” backed up their claims with all manner of computer models, dubious graphs, and tons of “scientific” papers to convince governments and people that massive changes had to occur—primarily a huge reduction in the use of fossil fuels—or we were all doomed.

Exposed in November 2009 by the “Climategate” release of thousands of emails between the perpetrators, I still find it astonishing that not one single member of this conspiracy has gone to jail. Indeed, in 2007 the IPCC and Al Gore shared a Nobel Peace Prize.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has issued a formal request that all the “researchers” who contributed to the global warming hoax be granted immunity from prosecution. Unbelievable, eh?

Back in 1956, a geologist named M. King Hubbert released the findings of his calculations to let the world know that U.S. oil production would “peak” between 1965 and 1970. It didn’t. What has since slowed oil production in the U.S. has been the refusal of the Obama administration to issue the permits necessary to drill on federal lands and offshore. The world is afloat on an ocean of oil and, in addition, the U.S. is not running out of coal or natural gas.

Similarly, all the population predictions made by Prof. Paul R. Erhlich and his wife in 1968 have proven false as well. A colleague of his, Dr. John Holdren, is the science advisor to the President. One of the central themes of environmentalism is that humanity is to blame for harming the Earth and that there are too many people.

The other theme is that all these people are “consuming” too much of the Earth’s natural resources and should be penned up in cities and kept out of most places on Earth in order to protect its “endangered species”, etc. Meanwhile, as this is being written, huge sections of western states’ forests are going up in flames thanks to Mother Nature setting off fires off with lightning strikes.

Does it surprise anyone that the Earth Summit is calling for a “climate fund” and wants nations to kick in $100 billion? The proposal for the fund called “The Earth We Want” covers an extraordinary range of topics that includes gender equality, woman’s empowerment, and all the usual social justice and environmental clap-trap that is intended to ensnare everyone in a web of laws, regulations, and treaties aimed directly at eliminating the freedoms the West has and that many in other parts of the world want.

There is one good reason to not ignore the Earth Summit. They are telling you just what kind of an Orwellian and totalitarian world they have in mind for you.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Trying to Drag the Middle East into the 21st Century

By Alan Caruba

I am beginning to miss some of the dictators who ruled the Middle East for the past forty years or so.

Even Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was considered useful when, in the 1980s, he kept busy invading Iran. The U.S. didn’t lose any sleep over that, but when he invaded Kuwait, Bush41 concluded Saddam had bigger conquests in mind and put together a coalition to push him back inside his borders.

Bush43 didn’t even need an Iraqi invasion to justify sending another force to find him. Instead he and his neocons conjured up warehouses filled with weapons of mass destruction which were never found. Oops! It’s not reported much, but Iraq, now that the U.S. forces are gone, is back to the bad old days of Sunni-Shiite warfare and is, for all intents and purposes, an Iranian satellite.

One result of the past decade is a lot of Americans who never want to see one of our warriors set foot in the Middle East for a very long time. Lots of luck with that.

The kind of dictators the U.S. and the rest of the world tolerated were the likes of those who kept the lid on Libya, Tunisia, Syria, and especially Egypt. The monarchs in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates continue to hold power.

Diplomatically we didn’t even have a beef with Syria’s father-and-son dictators so long as they didn’t invade Israel. It’s worth recalling that Obama and Hillary Clinton called Bashar Assad “a reformer” when they took over U.S. foreign policy. It is anyone’s guess if the civil war in Syria will turn out well for Assad’s opponents.

Bashar is doing what his father, the previous dictator, did; slaughtering lots of people to discourage the rest. The West, preoccupied with its financial problems, is not inclined to get involved. Russia, China and most importantly, Iran, have made it clear that Bashar is their boy.

Always a major player in Mideast politics, Egypt under Gamal Abdel Nasser Egypt fought three wars with Israel, losing all of them. The famed Six Day in 1967 provided the rest of the region with a good reason not to start another one. After a heart attack killed Nassar, he was followed in office by Anwar El Sadat from 1970 until his assassination in 1981. Hosni Mubarack took over after that.

Sadat signed a peace treaty with Israel, one that has remained in place, but which is imperiled by the rise of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian military are in no hurry to get into another war so, last week, Hosni Mubarack’s supreme court appointees ruled that the current parliament is unconstitutional and that Mubarack’s vice president can stay in office for, well, forever or until he gets assassinated.

The Egyptian military has just granted itself sweeping powers, saying the elections on Sunday are invalid until a permanent constitution is drawn up. The Muslim Brotherhood has declared that its candidate, Mohammed Mursi, won the election.

Despite the “Arab Spring” and the crowds in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, it doesn’t look like they are going to get a government that provides Western-style democratic freedoms. Islam and democracy do not mix. What the Egyptian and Iranian revolutions have in common is the support of many different factions that brought them about, but once Islamists are in power, Sharia law drags a nation back to the seventh century.

With the sole exception of Israel, there is no true democracy in the Middle East.

The wild card is still Iran. Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 Iran has been the poster boy for every awful thing an Islamic nation represents to the rest of the world. Syria has been an Iranian satellite for decades, working closely with the mullah regime. To say that Iran is nervous about losing Assad is an understatement.

Even Turkey has signaled that it would be happier with a predictable Assad dictatorship than an alternative. Turkey was once an exception in the Middle East with a secular government is now firmly in the Islamist grip.

Under pressure from the West regarding its nuclear weapons ambitions, Iran is likely to try to distract attention by creating a conflict with Israel. And Israel knows it even if no one else does.

Iran’s other problem is more fundamental to the ability of the mullahs to retain control and that is the falling price of oil. That was the major factor in the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991.

As the European Union struggles to maintain his financial and political coalition and the U.S. is focusing on the forthcoming national elections, the Middle East is waiting on the outcome of the Syrian civil war and Egypt is back to square one so far as an elected government is concerned.

It has the look of a perfect storm.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

You're Right. All the News is Bad.

By Alan Caruba

It is axiomatic that the news we read and hear is mostly bad. Locally it is about murders and fires and other horrid things happening to other people. There but for the grace of God goes someone else.

As we spread our horizon to the state, it usually involves various levels of debt the governor and legislature are trying to either increase or decrease. These days, governors who decrease the debt are in vogue. Those states with lots of debt and lots of taxes are watching their citizens flee to states that do not pursue stupid public policies. It’s called voting with your feet.

At the federal level, the news is mostly about what Congress—specifically the Democrat controlled Senate—is not doing to reduce the debt. By contrast, the Republican House has sent one bill after another to the Senate to solve the problem. Not an easy task when the U.S. national debt rises by more than $2 million every single minute. Since the day Obama took office, it has risen by more than $5 trillion. He has added more to the debt than the first 41 presidents combined.

In the first twelve days of June, according to a report by ABC News, Obama had attended 21 fundraising events. By June 12th he had attended 163 re-election fundraisers for his campaign and the Democratic Party. This is almost double the number George W. Bush attended in his entire first term (86) and more than any other president in the history of the United States.

A lot of these events involve the millionaires and billionaires that Obama wants to tax. They often pay more than $40,000 for the opportunity to have their photo taken with the worst President in the history of the nation and to perhaps whisper the list of favors they want. Why any one of them actually believe anything he tells them defies explanation.

It is true, however, that the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom ninety percent (90%) combined. According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.

The rest of us common folk are more focused on the monthly rent or mortgage payment. Remember, though, “the private sector is doing just fine” according to the President whose Air Force One costs $180,000 an hour to take him from fundraiser to fundraiser.

Here on the ground, according to a post on the blog, Economic Collapse, the news continues to be grim.

June college and university graduates cannot find work and fully fifty-three percent (53%) under the age of 25 are either unemployed or deemed underemployed in terms of what their diplomas qualify them to do.

Very nearly half (48%) of all Americans are either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty.

The Washington Post reported that a recent report by the Federal Reserve noted that “The Great Recession wiped out nearly two decades of Americans’ wealth…with middle class families bearing the brunt.” Well, duh! “The Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families plunged 39 percent (39%) in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on par with where they were in 1992.”

Now, three and a half years later after he was anointed—oops, inaugurated, according to Obama the economy still is George W. Bush’s fault. The public is not fooled. This is all Obama’s fault now.

Had he done what Ronald Reagan did when he took office in the midst of a recession in 1980, we would already be well out of the present one, but Reagan was a conservative and Obama is a communist. There’s a difference.

Somewhere in Plains, Georgia former President Jimmy Carter is smiling from ear to ear. Obama has managed to make his failed presidency look not-so-bad in comparison. Somewhere in Kennebunkport, Maine, Bush41 is piloting his speedboat at high speed, wondering how Obama can tell so many lies and still have anyone believe him, and somewhere in Houston, the ever-gracious Bush43 is enjoying a private chuckle over Obama’s declining poll numbers.

The news is going to remain bad until November 6, 2012 when the networks reluctantly report that Barack Hussein Obama has been defeated in a landslide to rival all previous elections.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Deliberately Destroying America

By Alan Caruba

It has taken three and a half years into Barack Obama’s presidency for most Americans to realize that he has been deliberately destroying America by driving up the nation’s debt and deficit, reducing privately held wealth, forcing millions onto the public dole, undermining its moral structure, and weakening the nation’s reputation internationally..

His latest lie is that “the private sector is doing just fine”, but the numbers tell the whole story and one can find them on an excellent blog, Economic Collapse, that offers seventy examples:

-- The official U.S. unemployment rate has been above eight percent (8%) for 40 months in a row. Unofficially, it is estimated to be closer to fifteen percent (15%).

-- In 2007, about ten percent (10%) of all unemployed Americans had been out of work for 52 weeks or longer. Today that number is above thirty percent (30%).

-- An astounding forty-nine percent (49%) of all Americans live in a home where at least one member is receiving government benefits.

-- The middle class is shrinking. Ninety-five percent (95%) of the jobs lost during the current recession were middle class jobs.

-- Instead of cutting spending to reduce debt, the Federal Reserve is “monetizing” much of the U.S. debt. It purchased “approximately sixty-one percent (61%) of all government debt issued by the U.S. Treasury in 2011.

-- Perhaps the most frightening statistic cited was a survey that found that sixty-three percent (63%) of Americans “believe that the U.S. economic model is broken.”

It is not broken. The economic model that propelled America into a superpower would continue to provide prosperity if the nation’s “entitlement” programs were reformed, if the obscene government spending and production of regulations were reduced, if government housing finance entitles such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were eliminated, if the federal government’s purchase of the nation’s land mass was ended, if environmental laws without any basis in science were struck from the books, and if government control over the exploration and extracting of its vast energy reserves was greatly reduced.

It’s a tall order and it would require cleaning out a Congress that has imposed unsustainable burdens, including the highest corporate income tax in the world, and a level of taxation that requires those still holding jobs to annually work 107 days to earn enough money to pay local, state, and federal taxes.

If you check out the Progressive Caucus website, you will find nearly seventy members of the House are members and there is one from the Senate, the Socialist Bernie Sanders. In the 1950s they would have correctly been identified as Communists.

When Liberals and liberalism became unpopular, they began using the term Progressives. They are the descendents of every Democrat that voted for the New Deal, the War on Poverty, the creation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the creation of the Departments of Energy, Education, and the Environmental Protection Agency. These are the people who in the early years of the last century imposed the income tax and engineered the creation of the Federal Reserve, a banking cartel that controls the economy.

At this point most conservatives have heard of Saul Alinksy’s 1972 book, “Rules for Radicals”, a guide to bringing about the destruction of the nation’s capitalist economic system and replace it with the kind of government that Barack Obama has tried to impose with the help of the many Communists and liberals in Congress.

Lesser known is the roadmap spelled out in 1988 by Columbia University sociologists, Richard Andrew Cloward and his wife Frances Fox Piven, both members of the Democratic Socialists of America.

The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” advocated a “massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls” in order to sabotage it and bring about "a political and financial crisis." As it turned out, it was the collapse of the housing market that brought about the financial crisis they wanted, but following the Bush administration emergency bail-out of the banking system, the Obama administration with its Democrat-controlled Congress set about imposing historic debt through its $821 billion “stimulus.” Present debt exceeds the entire annual Gross Domestic Product.

It followed that with an unnecessary and wasteful bail-out of General Motors and Chrysler (instead of permitting a normal bankruptcy that would diminish the power of the unions that brought it about), and massive “investments” in failed solar and other alternative energy companies. The EPA was set free to try to impose regulations that would shut down a major portion of the nation’s producers of electricity.

Even though voters returned majority power to Republicans in the House of Representatives in 2010 the trail of destruction has continued and the bills they have passed to end our present financial troubles have been locked up in a Democrat-controlled Senate that has not passed a budget in the last three years.

We are now five months from an election to remove Obama from power and electing conservative lawmakers to office. It’s a start in restoring America to its former prosperity.

© Alan Caruba, 2012


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Thursday, June 14, 2012

The 50th Anniversary of "Silent Spring": A Lethal Legacy

By Alan Caruba

There are books that have doomed millions to death. “Das Capital” by Karl Marx kicked off the worst economic system of the modern era, claiming the lives of millions of Russians and Chinese, along with others in the process.

Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” mobilized Nazi Germany, led to World War Two in Europe, and was responsible for the deliberate killing of six million Jews and another five million Christians in its concentration camps, not counting the millions more in war dead. The Nazi leaders were ardent environmentalists.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson; a book that is credited with giving rise to the environmental movement in general and, in particular, America’s unfounded fears of pesticides, especially DDT.

Eight years would pass between its publication and the first Earth Day in 1970 that mobilized the beginning of the environmental movement by putting government muscle behind it with the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Silent Spring at 50: The False Crises of Rachel Carson” ($25.95, Cato Institute) has a publication date in September, but given the June 20-12 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, it is particularly timely. Its chapters had titles like “Elixirs of Death”, “Needless Havoc”, and “Rivers of Death.” What their content lacked was real science and real facts.

DDT was already famous for protecting human health along with a whole range of agricultural chemicals that protected crops against the depredation of insects, rodents and weeds. The book has rightly been condemned for the deaths—literally millions—that have resulted since the 1972 U.S. ban of DDT by the Environmental Protection Agency. It “was firmly and repeatedly warned by public health officials of the United States, the World Health Organization, and the Pan American Health Organization of disastrous consequences of a DDT ban.”

Even today, the EPA either manufactures or ignores evidence to justify its regulations.

Its inventor, Dr. Paul Muller, received a Nobel Prize in 1948 in recognition of the role DDT played in saving hundreds of thousands of lives of troops fighting the Axis in World War Two and the survivors of the Nazi death camps. It killed the insects that spread Typhus and other diseases. It did so without any evidence of the bogus threat of cancer that Carson advanced.

Nine contributors to “Silent Spring at 50” make a powerful case for the harm Carson’s obsessive fear of what were widely known to be beneficial chemicals. The book is a classic example of bogus science combined with deliberate lies to frighten people. That has always been the modus operendi of the environmental movement.

“Carson would have known of the great public health achievements of DDT and that it was saving lives,” writes Donald R. Roberts and Richard Tren, the authors of one chapter. “Indeed she describes some of the programs in “Silent Spring.” But the bulk of the book is a singular attack on DDT and other insecticides with scarcely any recognition of their actual and potential benefits.”

In the first chapter of “Silent Spring”, titled “A Fable for Tomorrow”, Carson invents a town so poisoned by insecticides that no birds sing there, having all been wiped out. It is pure fiction. Subsequent studies have demonstrated that the die-off she described has never happened. Years of bird counts refute that charge. Indeed, agricultural pesticides had initially been regulated by Congress in 1910 and generations of farmers took care to avoid contaminating their crops for obvious reasons.

The anniversary of the book’s publication is relevant to everyone today, even those born since the DDT ban. The coast-to-coast plague of bedbugs that has occurred in the past decade and continues today could have been eliminated if DDT was still in use. The mainstream media reported the plague, but never mentioned this salient fact, nor the fact that the EPA has just one pesticide registered for use against bedbugs and routinely refused to allow licensed pest control professionals to use it.

Carson kicked off “the precautionary principle” cited by environmental groups and government agencies that, in effect, leaves the public defenseless against the health threats that Mother Nature provides in the form of insects and rodents known to spread disease, or mold-contaminants such as aflatoxin, many times more toxic than the fumigant that was banned to control it.

Malaria, once on the brink of being eliminated, has long since made resurgence since the ban of DDT, although some nations most affected by the disease have received permission to use it.

That is Rachel Carson’s true and lethal legacy.

It is why so much of what the environmental movement advocates, from the United Nations to non-governmental-organizations like Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, the World Wildlife Fund, and dozens of others always seems to end up killing people in the name of saving the Earth.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June 14 is Flag Day

I'm flying mine. Are you?

EPA Threatens to Wreck the Nation's Auto Fleet

By Alan Caruba

One can hardly get through the week without learning of yet another absurd new program by the Environmental Protection Agency. The latest is a five percent increase in the amount of ethanol that must be added to the nation’s supply of gasoline.

In 2010, even Al Gore told a business conference in Athens that his previous support for blending ethanol with gasoline as a Senator from Tennessee was a mistake and based on a political decision concerning the support of farmers in his home state. At the time he spoke, corn ethanol subsidies to farmers represented $7.7 billion.

Ethanol was touted as yet another way to offset “greenhouse gas” emissions and prevent “global warming.” In 2010, ethanol production consumed an estimated 41 percent of the U.S. corn crop and 15 percent of the global corn crop.

The obvious result has been to drive up the cost of all food products that include corn and its derivatives. And there neither was nor is any “global warming”!

Two years later there is still no “global warming”, but the EPA has never been deterred by real science such as the fact that the Earth has been cooling since 1998. E15 is a diabolical mandate that will do widespread damage to autos using it and to the pumping and storage facilities to distribute it. And it is occurring as the market for ethanol is stalling.

It is by any definition, a criminal act by a rogue federal agency.

The Science Committee of the House of Representatives is trying to prevent the implementation of the EPA E15 mandate. This comes after more than 30 years of blending ethanol at a ten percent rate into gasoline; three decades of a blend that actually produces less mileage at the same time the production of ethanol generates the same level of carbon in the atmosphere as burning gasoline without ethanol.

The E115 mandate should trouble anyone with an automobile, motorcycle, outdoor or any equipment that runs on gasoline. Last summer, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WIS) sent the EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, letters from car companies expressing their opposition.

“Ford does not support the introduction of E15 into the marketplace for the legacy fleet…Fuel not approved in the owner’s manual is considered misfueling and any damage resulting from misfueling is not covered by the warranty.” Both Chrysler and Honda sent comparable letters with the latter noting “There appears to be the potential for engine failure.”

E15 will be restricted to autos of the vehicle model year 2001 and later. The Obama administration set a goal “to help fueling station owners install 10,000 blender pumps over the next five years”, but the real question is why would any government even consider doing something that represents millions in damage to automobiles using it?

Additionally, why should Congress continue to provide ethanol subsidies to its producers when the evidence of the passed thirty years use has not only demonstrated that it reduces the mileage that pure gasoline would provide and, more importantly, serves no purpose whatever regarding the non-existent “global warming” that is the sole justification for the blend?

The answer is that the EPA does not care that as many as five million cars in the current fleet could suffer damage and total engine failure which is not covered by their warranties.

The EPA is the Obama administration’s tip of the sword in its war on the use of all fossil fuels for any reason. It has nothing to do with science. It portends to wreak further havoc on drivers and the economy.

What is desperately needed is the complete reform of the EPA before it further threatens the safely, health, and lives of Americans.

© Alan Caruba, 2012