Monday, November 30, 2009
By Alan Caruba
The President is going to address the nation about his plans for Afghanistan and if ever there was an exercise in futility, this is it.
Obama’s spent, we’re told, a goodly amount of time deciding what to do about this “war of necessity”, but he has never really explained why it’s necessary. Presumably it is because the Taliban want to take over Afghanistan. They did that before and, following the 9/11 attack, George Bush decided to kill as many as possible while doing the same to whatever members of al Qaeda were around.
Bush had a fairly simple approach to Afghanistan and it worked in the short term, but everything about the Middle East involves the long term whether you are looking back at history or trying to influence its future.
If you look back, you discover that the former Soviet Union had 100,000 troops there and spent ten years in Afghanistan. Like all occupying powers before them, they lost out to the tribes that function throughout the nation. Covert U.S. assistance expedited their losses, but that help was predicated on the long Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
One day in 1989 they just packed up and went home to Russia. Shortly thereafter the Berlin Wall fell followed by the entire Soviet government in 1991. If you look further back, you will find that the formerly great British Empire achieved little more than getting large numbers of their troops killed there.
Most military and other historians would draw the conclusion that invading and occupying Afghanistan is a really bad idea.
We have been listening to a lot of babble about its importance for eight years, but it was not important enough for the Bush administration to invest much effort. Iraq was far more than a war of necessity. It was a major oil producer, centrally located, and not incidentally, bordered Iran, a nation that has been in a state of belligerency with the United States since 1979. Beyond that, Saddam Hussein threatened any hope of stability in the Middle East.
As far as I can tell, Afghanistan’s major export is opium. The average life expectancy there is age 44 for men and women. The whole place is tribal with the Pashtuns being the largest one. Complaining about “corruption” in Afghanistan’s government or in any other aspect of life there is idiotic. What we call corruption is an ancient, established way of life for the whole of the Middle East.
Having fled from the Sudan, Al Qaeda set up shop there pre-9/11 because it is one of the most inaccessible places on Earth. He is believed to be in one of the frontier areas of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan.
The problem of Afghanistan will not be solved until the problem of Pakistan is solved. And Pakistan does not like Afghanistan, but then Pakistan really hates India and one wonders who it considers a friend. It’s certainly not America, even though we have thrown billions down the Pakistani rat hole and only lately, when the Taliban were a short drive from downtown Islamabad, did the Pakis decide they were a problem.
One has to ask (1) why, after eight years, we haven’t found and killed Osama bin Laden and (2) why, after eight years, we are still militarily engaged there? Are we nation-building? If so, Afghanistan has passed through various stages of nationhood with not much to show for it. The present administration’s governing power extends to the city limits of Kabul.
If we can learn anything from the Soviet Russian experience, what are we doing there? The short answer is that we are getting our troops killed just as we did in Vietnam. NATO generals have openly questioned their nation’s participation. Meanwhile, a war-weary America is now drawing down our troops in Iraq.
President Lyndon Johnson wrestled with the Vietnam quandary in just the same way President Obama has had to do with Afghanistan and both came up with the same bad answer: more troops.
The American Empire is shrinking. The American economy is so bad that it is on life support from China, Japan and other lenders. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is pushing two pieces of legislation, Obamacare and Cap-and-Trade that would destroy the economy
A little bit of humility would be useful at this point, starting with some concentration on how to get Americans back to work and to find ways to keep American industry from leaving for places where the government doesn’t outlaw their products or some obscure specie is not the reason for denying irrigation water to farmers.
It is the habit of empires to never want to be seen abandoning the field of battle and right now we’re told that is in Afghanistan.
Hubris will prevent this President from defying history while, at the same time, shepherding a malevolent program to destroy America through Congress.
Afghanistan is the least of our problems.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
By Alan Caruba
Now that some enterprising and possibly conscience-stricken soul has served up the emails and other data of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, revealing the deliberate efforts to hide the corrupted research that justifies the “global warming” fraud, all the various journalists and alleged climate scientists who have been a party to it are trying desperately to cover up or minimize the scandal.
Others like the U.S. “Climate Czar” Carol Browner have announced their faith in the disputed data, but Browner, who served as EPA Director in the Clinton administration has never shown any interest in honest science and is not likely to have left a paper trail in her present position. No word yet from Obama’s loony “Science Czar”, John Holdren.
The truth is, those closely allied with the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been suppressing the real science, substituting their own corrupted data, and trying to avoid the process of “peer review” by which other scientists, the real ones, can test the data for accuracy and validity.
Thousands of real scientists have signed petitions over the years demanding that global warming claims be submitted to rigorous examination.
The Heartland Institute, a non-profit, free market think tank, spent—-for them-—an enormous amount of money to put on international conferences that brought together top scientists who demonstrated how utterly false the IPCC, CRU and other data was, but the mainstream media simply mocked their effort.
Initially, the culprits at the CRU claimed that their computers had been “hacked”, but many others believe that the data and emails had already been culled by CRU insides for the purpose of removing it from any impending investigation.
In England, its Freedom of Information Act, similar to that in the U.S., had been used to demand the data supporting the global warming theory which, at one point, Phil Jones, the CRU director, claimed had been “lost.” Reportedly, Jones has attracted more than $22 million in grants to the CRU for climate research!
His colleague, Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, became famous for concocting a “hockey stick” graph that depicted a sudden rise in the Earth’s temperature that was later revealed to have been falsified, but these concoctions have been used for decades by the IPCC to claim that global warming is real and on-going.
The prevailing belief now is that the emails and data were already on a disk that a conscience-stricken CRU staffer decided to make available on the Internet for all to see and examine before it too became “lost.”
You can be sure, however, that the global warming journalists whose careers have been based on furthering the fraud will continue to emphasize the “hacking” theory to suggest this “stolen” data lacks merit and those using it, the so-called “skeptics” and “deniers” are still not to be trusted.
In the U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) who has been the lone voice in the Senate debunking “global warming” has called for an investigation. Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank, has already filed three Notices of Intent to File Suit against NASA and its Goddard Institute for Space Studies that, for three years, has refused to provide documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
In the United States, James E. Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute, got the “global warming” hysteria going in the 1980s when he testified before Congress that his research revealed an incipient catastrophe if the U.S. did not significantly reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that he said were causing “global warming.” The result was that NASA has averaged more than $1 billion each year since 1995 for climate research.
Estimates of the amount of money the U.S. has spent on all manner of “research” and related programs peg the figure at $50 billion or more. That’s a lot of money for something that was NOT happening and in 1998 the Earth entered a natural cooling cycle; one in which we’re likely be for two decades more or longer.
All of this is exacerbated by the fact that the President of the United States will briefly attend the forthcoming December UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change being held in Copenhagen. He has made it clear that he believes the false data put forth by the IPCC and wants the U.S. to sign a treaty that would yield U.S. sovereignty to the United Nations.
President Obama has repeatedly said the United States has to reduce its CO2 emissions, the mantra of the global warming liars. It would destroy what's left of our battered, debt-ridden economy.
So a major cover-up will be the objective of the U.S. news media that has pushed “global warming” for years with one scare story after another aimed at energy producers and users.
The battle now is to force the mainstream media to tell the truth about “global warming” and to find out just how many billions of taxpayers dollars have been squandered on junk climate science and policies detrimental to the nation.
As for President Obama, he should just pick up his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, give another florid speech, get on Air Force One, and come home.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
By Alan Caruba
When President Obama delivers a speech on why he is going to send more thousands of U.S. troops and spend more billions on the eight-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, it would be a good idea to better understand why so much of what is reported from the Middle East suffers a great disconnect from the truth.
In 1998, Joris Luyendijk , a Dutch student who had studied Arabic at Cairo University for a year, was offered a job as a Middle East correspondent for a Dutch news agency despite having no experience as a reporter. What followed was his real education about the Middle East and the way it is presented to the West by the news media.
His book about that experience, “People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East” was initially published in the Netherlands in 2006 and has since then it has been translated and published in Hungary, Italy, Denmark and Germany. In October an English edition was published by Soft Skull Press, an imprint of Counterpoint, a Berkeley, California publisher.
Having begun my career as a journalist, I was interested to learn what Luyendijk had taken from his years hopping around the Middle East before and after 9/11 and during the two Iraq wars waged by the U.S. to resolve a problem called Saddam Hussein.
For anyone digesting the news from his morning newspaper or watching it on television, suspecting that it might be biased or wrong, this book that focuses on reporting from the Middle East is a revelation because Luyendijk strives mightily to expose the way the news is manipulated by all the parties involved.
Covering his experiences from 1998 to 2003, the author is refreshingly candid, admitting that, despite his student year in Cairo, he had little or no real understanding of Egypt or the rest of the Middle East.
There is, however, one thing that anyone can understand. The Middle East is composed of dictatorships and the sole purpose of each one is to survive. To do that, their people must be constantly indoctrinated and fearful. That is made possible by rendering them, individually and as a group, powerless. There simply is no such thing as justice or the opportunity to express an opinion in opposition to the leader.
Significantly, those living in the Middle East cannot make an informed judgment of what is occurring around them because they operate two points of view that are very real to them. First is a widely accepted sense of victimhood, and, second, they believe that Israel, ultimately, is manipulating the entire world!
Conversely, Americans who have no contact with the Middle East beyond the headlines and snapshots of bloodshed and warfare are comparably unable to make informed judgments about a people who differ among themselves in many ways.
The Middle East is very different from the West and Luyendijk believes that few in the West are even vaguely aware that those who live there live in a parallel universe; one that functions by the rules of ruthless dictatorships, by tribes, and by a religion that is hostile to all others.
Democracy is not likely to take root in the Middle East and this can be traced to the prevailing religion of the region, Islam. The only reason democracy occurred in Turkey is because the founder of the modern state, Ataturk, isolated Islam from the conduct of governance and that has been backed up by an army that has, thus far, ensured the separation.
The only other democracy in the Middle East is, of course, Israel. Lebanon’s effort has been steadily undermined by Hezbollah, Islamists who are an instrument of Iran.
The news coverage by Western reporters tends not to reflect the fact that Western powers have long supported the gaggle of monarchs and despots in the Middle East, at least until they saw fit to replace them. For this and for its interventions, the people of the Middle East quite naturally see the West as part of the oppression under which they live.
“EVERYONE IS AGAINST US. It’s banged into ordinary Arabs through the media and their education from a very young age, so don’t expect them to be pro-western.”
For a Western journalist, that means having to operate in societies where their reports are closely monitored and where access to events repeatedly reveal how staged they are, whether it’s a mass rally or whether it is those they interview who know that one wrong word can get them imprisoned, tortured, and even killed. The journalists, too, are at risk.
The “truth” in such a place is an impossibility. The “truth” does not exist for those who live in the Middle East and is carefully filtered by the Western news agencies that cover it for people who live thousands of miles away. The task is to report on an enigma.
Citing a group trip to Saddam’s Baghdad arranged by the Cairo Foreign Press Association, Luyendijk says, “It was complete madness. The secret-service minders practically sat on our laps. They’d regularly leave us waiting in lobbies for hours on end without any explanation, and then shove us into taxies for an excursion.”
Though a novice journalist in 1998, Luyendijk quickly “abandoned the idea that you would know what was going on in the world if you followed the news generated by the twenty dictatorships of the region “or reported by the correspondents for Western news agencies.
”There were virtually no reliable and verifiable figures or statistics against which I could I could (report) in a broader perspective.” Information is power and it was controlled by the dictators. The foreign press was and is a pawn in the game.
“When something big happens, the (Western) public wants to know things that the correspondent can’t find out.” The result is a lot of nebulous speculation or regurgitation of previous news.
While those in the West are accustomed to fairly rapid progress, the Middle East defies this because the currents that determine events are rooted in events that may have occurred a hundred or a thousand years earlier.
The hatreds, the lack of trust, the resentments, the rivalry for power, the need to survive, all jostle together in an impenetrable jumble in which one young, Dutch reporter found common human elements, “people like us”, but people whose protests subject them to arrest and execution.
By Alan Caruba
"Warning Signs" now has 200-plus "followers", a diverse group who visit daily or regularly to check out my thoughts on current events, issues, and personalities. This is really an inspiration to work harder, to dig for more facts, and to apply my seven decades of experience and knowledge to the effort of getting at the truth.
Paranthetically, the next post will address the difficulty, if not the impossibility, to get accurate reporting out of the Middle East and, as a result, why it is difficult for those of us in the West to understand what is occurring there.
Thank you to everyone who has signed up.
Friday, November 27, 2009
By Alan Caruba
It's time to free ourselves of the baseless fears generated by the global warming/climate change crowd.
It's time to denounce the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen for its real purpose, a One World Government, run out of the United Nations.
Celebrate the truth that there is no global warming and let's rededicate ourselves to defeat the socialists in the U.S. government seeking to destroy our nation with "healthcare reform" and "cap-and-trade" bills as their highest priority.
You have two Senators and a Congressman from your district. Call them. Write them. Email them. Fax them. Let them know that a vote for either bill will be a vote for whoever opposes them in 2010. Do it NOW.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
By Alan Caruba
As the global warming fraud unravels, it’s a good time to look at the politicians who have been some of the most outspoken advocates, using global warming/climate change to advance “Cap-and-Trade” legislation and other related laws and regulations.
Top of the list is President Barack Obama who has made many references to “climate change” and “global warming” to further this national and international fraud. He’ll pick up his Nobel Peace Prize in December; the same one given to Al Gore and the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change a few years back. Further proof of his mendacity will be his attendance at the UN Climate Change Conference in Denmark.
Speaking on World Environment Day last June, Obama said of global warming, “We’re going to have to make some tough decisions and take concrete actions if we are going to deal with a potentially cataclysmic disaster.” This mirrors years of similar doomsday statements by former Vice President Al Gore.
This is the kind of drivel Americans and others around the world have heard from their supposed “leaders” for far too long.
As we move through the congressional hierarchy, one of the biggest prevaricators about global warming/climate change has been Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-C) and her counterpart in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), manages to wheeze about it from time to time.
Former presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry, (D-MA) has been leading the fight for “Cap-and-Trade” but after much reflection former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) concluded his support of global warming was a mistake.
Sen. Kerry said that failure to pass the Senate version of “Cap-and-Trade” (of greenhouse gas emission credits) would be comparable to another 9/11. He also has blamed tornadoes on global warming. The man is a complete idiot.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has uttered every global warming falsehood and has been joined by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA). All three have played a critical role in advancing the “Cap-and-Trade” bill despite the fact that it is a massive tax on energy use and based on a lie.
Writing for the Huffington Post in October, Sen. Boxer said, “Global Warming is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. Addressing this challenge also represents enormous opportunities for economic recovery and long term prosperity.” Her commentary was titled, “Telling the Whole Story on Global Warming”!
Never mind that global warming has been the excuse environmental groups have used to stop the building of coal-fired plants, nuclear plants, drilling for oil offshore in our continental shelf, et cetera. There’s no economic recovery to be found in so-called “green jobs” and prosperity is a small light at the end of a very long tunnel as the result of the Obama administration’s investments in “renewable energy” and massive increase of our national debt.
Among the other politicians hovering around Cap-and-Trade have been Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.VA), Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont), and Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). Sen. Bingaman is a big fan of “renewable energy” (solar and wind) and proposed a nationwide renewable electricity standard even though it provides barely one percent of all the electricity Americans need and use every day.
Among the nation’s prominent governors, California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger has been vocal about environmental issues, many of which have left Californians trapped by idiotic measures ranging from restrictions on fireplaces in new homes or the purchase of large screen television sets. California’s failure to anticipate its growing need for electricity has left it dependent on importing it from other states.
Meanwhile, over at the Environmental Protection Agency, they are using global warming to justify securing the right to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, claiming that they “cause” a global warming. The expose of the phony “scientific” data behind this massive fraud should, if truth mattered, end this power grab. The ability to regulate CO2 is the ability to control the use of all energy in the nation. That should be stopped!
Alone among his colleagues, Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma (R) has been the one outstanding voice for reason and for truth about global warming. The odds are that history will not give his courageous effort to expose the massive fraud the recognition he deserves. The nation owes him a debt of gratitude.
The lesson we can draw from this is that the next time any U.S. Senator or Representative, let alone the President and any member of his Cabinet, says anything positive about “global warming” or refers to “climate change” to justify some action, they are lying to you.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
By Alan Caruba
The mainstream media have been trying to find Al Gore in order to interview him about the revelations that the research data supporting “global warming” was cooked—pardon the pun.
Here is my exclusive "interview" with him. You will find the source of his quotes at the end of this Q & A.
Q: Is it true that you lost your bid to become president because of the media?
A: I don’t want to leave the impression that the media’s unwillingness to focus on the global environment was the only reason why the issue failed to ignite serious debate during the campaign.
Q: A lot of people thought you have made too much about an environmental crisis. What do you say to them?
A: For me, the environmental crisis is the critical case in point: now, every time I pause to consider whether I have gone too far out on a limb, I look at the new facts that continue to pour in from around the world and conclude that I have not gone nearly far enough.
Q: Do you still maintain that human beings are causing global warming by burning fossil fuels, driving automobiles, and such?
A: One doesn’t have to travel around the world to witness humankind’s assault on the earth. Human civilization is now the dominant cause of change in the global environment. Humankind is now changing the climate of the entire globe to a degree far greater—and faster—than anything that has occurred in human history.
Q: So, despite the fact that it’s been revealed that scientists in England, America and elsewhere; those affiliated with the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, were falsifying their data, do you still believe in global warming?
A: The theory of global warming will not be disproved, and the skeptics are vastly outnumbered by former skeptics who now accept the overwhelming weight of accumulated evidence.
Q: So you’re still convinced, eh?
A: Siberia is one of the regions of the world that seems to be warming most rapidly.
Q: It’s that bad, eh? What role does capitalism play in all this?
A: The partial blindness of our current economic system is the single most powerful force behind what seem to be irrational decisions about the global environment. Modern industrial civilization, as presently organized, is colliding violently with our planet’s ecological system.
Q: That sounds serious, Al. What can we do?
A: The United Nations might consider the idea of establishing a Stewardship Council to deal with matters relating to the global environment.
Q: But, Al, aren’t the Kyoto Protocols based on the data provided by the United Nations Environmental Program and its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change? If the IPCC has been using phony scientific data all these years, maybe it isn’t a good idea to turn the environment of the Earth over to the UN. Well, let me finish up by asking how you feel about automobiles?
A: We now know that their cumulative impact on the global environment is posing a mortal threat to the security of every nation that is more deadly than that of any military enemy we are ever again likely to confront.
Q: Really? What do you propose we do about automobiles?
A: It ought to be possible to establish a coordinated global program to accomplish the strategic goal of completely eliminating the internal combustion engine over, say, a twenty-five year period.
Q: So capitalism is bad. Automobiles are bad. And human civilization is bad. No disrespect Al, but you sound loonier than a spotted owl.
All the quotes attributed to Al Gore were taken directly from his book, “Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit”, published in 1992.
The Earth is in a new, natural cooling cycle that began in 1998.
So far, Al Gore, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and an Oscar for his documentary, has not been available for interviews.
By Alan Caruba
The revelations that scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) doctored the data supporting the global warming claims of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) means that EVERYTHING attributed to or based upon “global warming” is invalid.
It means the Kyoto Climate Protocols that nations agreed to on December 11, 1997 and which entered into force on February 16 2005, and all subsequent agreements based on “global warming” have no validity, scientifically or as the basis for public action by any nation, state, province, city or town.
It means that Al Gore’s pusillanimous “documentary” is a fraud along with just about every other statement uttered by any scientist, academician, or politician claiming that something, anything, should be done to avoid “global warming.”
There is no “global warming”, if by that discredited term, you mean a dramatic increase in the Earth’s temperature, the vast rising of ocean levels, the melting of the polar ice caps, and the thousands of other things attributed to a massive fraud orchestrated by the IPCC and a vast network of scientists and environmental groups that benefited from the billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars they received in grants and other payments for their “research.”
Global warming, allegedly the result of rising levels of “greenhouse gas emissions”, primarily carbon dioxide (C02), underwrites the sale of “carbon credits” that industries, utilities, and other entities purchased for the “right” to use energy and as further revelations about the doctoring and virtual invention of false scientific data become known, it means those sales were a complete fraud.
It was never really a secret. You could have read about in “Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know” and a dozen other books I can put my hand on this very moment. The only thing missing was the proverbial “smoking gun” and the revelations about the CRU now confirms what the “deniers” and “skeptics” kept saying.
It’s worth keeping in mind that in several Northeastern States, utilities were required by law to purchase these worthless carbon credits and spend millions, not on improvements to the electric grid, not on building more capacity to serve their customers, but on what is worthless paper.
Someone needs to go to jail.
The release of thousands of emails and other data, now believed to be the work of a conscience-stricken CRU insider, will as they are examined in detail reveal what has long been known to those actively opposing the “global warming” fraud. As Christopher Horner, the author of “Red Hot Lies”, recently noted, the CRU and its lead scientists refused for years to release the data which they alleged proved that “global warming” was happening.
This data and the periodic reports of the IPCC are the basis for the existence of the IPCC, the Kyoto Protocol, and the “cap-and-trade” legislation awaiting a vote in the U.S. Congress. Horner observed “After running out of excuses, in September CRU’s Phil Jones simply claimed that he had lost the data so, sorry, no one can check it.” Horner called it “implausible beyond comprehension.”
And yet the United States and the representatives of many other nations will gather in Copenhagen in December for yet another UN conference on climate change, the now preferred synonym for “global warming.” Basing any international treaty on climate change or global warming is an utterly deceitful act.
The IPCC conference is based on the original Kyoto Protocol and, since there is no global warming, and since the science supporting it has been revealed to be false and misleading, no action should be taken other to disband the IPCC entirely.
All U.S. laws and regulations based on the so-called “global warming” should be reexamined and exorcised from the Congressional Register and from all state bodies of law. Most certainly, “cap-and-trade” should be withdrawn from further consideration.
Beyond that, school books about the environment must now be reviewed to determine how much of their content is invalid as well.
The undoing of this fraud must begin and begin NOW!
Monday, November 23, 2009
By Alan Caruba
Like a lot of people, I have been pondering why the Obama administration would decide to remove Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, from facing a military tribunal as an enemy combatant to being granted the full rights of an American citizen; something he clearly is not.
It has been increasingly obvious that this administration is dedicated to destroying the nation’s economy by increasing its debt, imposing changes to our healthcare system—one sixth of the nation’s economy, taking ownership in General Motors and AIG, and doing nothing substantive about a rising unemployment rate.
It has done this at an astonishing rate of speed as if it realizes it only has a limited amount of time in which to bring down America.
The only element of the system that Obama has not yet significantly harmed is our system of justice. Americans implicitly believe in our system of justice which is fretted about with all manner of ways to protect the rights of the accused.
However, if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is subjected to a trial, mere blocks from “ground zero” in the city that was attacked as the result of his planning, there are a myriad of ways the administration of justice—real justice—is impossible to achieve.
This is particularly evident in the statements by President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, both of whom are lawyers and both of whom had to know that publicly stating that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be tried, found guilty and executed, immediately poisoned any choice of a fair trial.
“Innocent until proven guilty” is a concept even school children learn. The right to a fair and speedy trail is another. The Khalid Sheikh Mohammed trial has already turned this on its head.
Not only has the President declared him guilty, but has publicly condemned the “torture” that was used to gain a confession and other information we’re told was vital to thwarting still other attacks on the nation.
Thus, Obama has found a way to try our faith in our judicial system. The Attorney General has put the trial in motion and he has done so, without question, because the President has directed that action. This was not some casual decision Holder made while chatting over dinner with his wife!
Whatever ensues, it will raise serious questions whether Khalid Sheikh Mohammed can find “a jury of his peers”, receive adequate defense, and, if it is deemed that Constitutional rights—to which he was and is not eligible to enjoy—set him free, what then to do with him?
It will be the worst kind of “show trial” with the verdict pre-determined in a way that is as un-American as one can get. Even Mafia don John Gotti got off several times before finally being sent to prison.
The irony is that the people of the Middle East do not have any kind of comparable system of justice and, if the state arrests them, they are fortunate to even get a trial before being sent to jail or executed. There simply is no system of “justice” in the Middle East like ours and they have no way of judging ours from their experience and perspective.
In the meantime, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-defendents will become Islamic martyrs.
Obama has made a mockery of our remarkable system of justice by putting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on trial. He has put our faith in the system on trial. He has little use for a Constitution that limits his powers and now seeks to limit our faith in a system that affords every single American extraordinary rights.
But Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is not an American. If it was in his power, he would impose Islamic Sharia law on all of us. Failing that, he tried to kill as many of us as possible.
And, finally, remember that the President has the irrevocable power to pardon him!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
By Alan Caruba
For those of us “skeptics” and “deniers” who have been jumping up and down, pointing at the Sun, and saying, “See, it’s the Sun that determines how warm or cool the Earth is. See it? Up there in the sky?” The truth about some of the scientists behind the global warming hoax has finally arrived.
The hoax has its roots in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an instrument of the United Nations Environmental Program, for whom global warming was the open sesame to achieving a one-world-government by scaring nations into signing a treaty that would control their use of energy, the means of producing it, and require vast billions to be sent to less developed nations in exchange for “emitting” greenhouse gases.
Energy is called “the master resource” because, if you have lots of it, you can call your own shots. If you don’t, you are condemned to live in the dark and keeping people in the dark about the global warming hoax was essential.
For years the IPCC has been controlled by a handful of the worst liars in the world, utterly devoted to taking actual climate data and twisting it to confirm the assertion that the Earth was not only warming dramatically, but that humanity was in peril of rising oceans, melting glaciers and polar ice caps, more hurricanes, the die-off of countless animal species, and every other calamity that could possibly be attributed to “global warming”, including acne.
So, around November 20, when some enterprising individual hacked into the computers of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU), making off with thousands of emails and documents that demonstrate the level of collusion and deception being practiced by its scientists.
It’s a climate hoax expose that some are calling the revelations a “little blue dress” while others are comparing it to the Pentagon Papers. It has also been dubbed “climategate.”
As James Delingpole wrote in the Telegraph, one of England’s leading newspapers, “Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organized resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more” was revealed in the 61 megabites of confidential files released on the Internet for anyone to read.
The conspirators had a visceral hatred for scientists who challenged their phony statistics and climate data, but they also agonized over the difficulties of hiding a long established climate cycle such as the Medieval Warm Period. At one point it was left out of a graph that famously became known as “the hockey stick” because it depicted a ludicrous sudden rise in warming, ignoring the previous natural cycle.
At the heart of the revelations were the intense efforts to ensure that no legitimate scientist, particularly those dissenting from the various IPCC reports, would be allowed to participate in the peer review process. Peer review is an essential element in science as it permits other scientists to examine and test the data being put forth to substantiate a new interpretation or discovery.
The IPCC reports were the basis by which popular media such as National Geographic, Time and Newsweek magazines could spread the lies about a dramatic “global warming”, passing them off to an unsuspecting and scientifically illiterate general public. At the same time, the lies were integrated them into school curriculums and maintained by Hollywood celebrities, politicians and others, duped or deliberately ignorant.
To this day, otherwise legitimate news media outlets continue to trumpet and repeat absolute nonsense about “global warming” like brain-dead parrots.
Now that Hadley CRU and its conspirators have been exposed, there truly is no need to hold a December UN climate change conference in Copenhagen; one in which nations would be required to put limits on “greenhouse gas emissions” even though such gases, primarily carbon dioxide, have nothing to do with altering the Earth’s climate.
And that is why you are going to hear more about “climate change” and far less about “global warming.” Hidden in such discussions, intended to justify legislation and regulation, is that the Earth’s climate has always and will always change.
It is, for example, shameful and deceitful for the EPA to claim carbon dioxide is a “pollutant” that should be regulated. The same applies to “cap-and-trade” legislation with the same purpose.
Billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted on studies of global warming and poured into agencies such as NASA that have lent credence to the global warming hoax.
“The U.S. taxpayer has much exposure here in the joint projects and collaborations which operated in reliance upon what the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit was doing,” says Christopher C. Horner, a longtime global warming skeptic. “There are U.S. taxpayer-funded offices and individuals involved in the machinations addressed in the emails, and in the emails themselves.”
Horner, the author of “Red Hot Lies”, said that the initial revelations “give the appearance of a conspiracy to defraud, by parties working in taxpayer funded agencies collaborating on ways to misrepresent material on which an awful lot of taxpayer money rides.”
The climate, defined as long term trends, and the weather has nothing whatever to do with human activity and suggesting it does reveals the depth of contempt that people like Al Gore and his ilk have for humanity and those fleeced by purchasing “carbon credits” or paying more for electricity when their utility does.
The East Anglia CRU charlatans have been exposed. Most certainly, the United Nations IPCC should be disbanded in disgrace. It belongs in a museum of hoaxes right beside the Piltdown Man and the Loch Ness Monster.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
By Alan Caruba
I never cease to marvel at the environmental alarmists who create one “crisis” after another using wretchedly bad “science” to support their scams. On Tuesday, November 24, the Global Footprint Network is going to “release new data on the Ecological Footprint of 100 nations and humanity as a whole, and the current ledgers are sobering.”
Well, of course, they’re sobering. Everything the Greens announce is sobering because, as you well know, the oceans are rising, the glaciers and polar caps are melting, we’re running out of oil, every animal on Earth is endangered, incandescent light bulbs and global warming will destroy all life on Earth, yada, yada, yada.
“The figures provide a data-driven look at some of the most pressing issues facing humanity, from climate change to equitable distribution of resources.”
Is the “equitable distribution of resources” the same as Barack Obama’s “redistribution of wealth”? Is this shorthand of every liberal’s wet dream, communism? Oh, yeah. Been there, seen it, don’t want any part of it. After giving communism a try for over seventy years, the Soviet Union imploded because it doesn’t work, never has, and never will.
After Chairman Mao Zedong introduced communism to China, his various programs managed to kill off several millions through starvation until his death allowed a revision toward capitalism that initiated the transformation that holds out vastly improved lives for its 1.3 billion citizens.
However, according to the Global Footprint Network, “Humanity now requires the resources it would take almost one and a half planets to sustainably produce, according to figures to be released.”
The Greens have an established pattern. They use bogus computer modeling to conjure up scads of “data” that take years to debunk and dispute. In the meantime, billions are wasted on their schemes.
This new hogwash conveniently debuts just before the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Copenhagen in December. The many delegates will wine and dine their way through tons of champagne, caviar, and other delicacies while trying to convince everyone the Earth is doomed unless virtually all industrial activity is ended
They will warn that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are responsible for “global warming”, but there is NO global warming beyond what the Sun provides and CO2 plays no role whatever in climate change.
The phony “carbon footprint” ignores the fact that carbon compounds form the basis for all known life on Earth!
Their bogus “carbon footprints” ignore the fact that CO2 is vital to life because it is to all vegetation what oxygen is to all animals. It is food! More CO2 is better than less because it would provide for more abundant crop yields, healthier forests, and would reduce the spread of deserts.
The “carbon footprint” and the mountains of phony data built around it provides the Global Footprint Network the ability to announce that “The new numbers also reveal a growing disparity between those countries with the largest Ecological Footprints per capita and those with the smallest.” This is their way of saying that nations that produce more food and more commodities have an unfair advantage over those that do not.
It ignores the fact that “poor” nations are famous for despotism, oppression, and corruption, none of which have anything to do with whether they have abundant resources such as oil, natural gas, and coal. It has everything to do with encouraging class or tribal warfare, religious strife, and all the ills common to humanity.
The key to spotting the Big Green Lie is the word “sustainability.”
Sustainability is a subterfuge for the destruction of property rights, a concept so essential to success in America that it is protected by the Constitution.
Wherever you see the word “sustainability”, you know that the Greens are emphasizing “renewable energy” (solar and wind) which cannot begin to compare with oil, natural gas, and coal. Renewable energy is responsible for a mere one percent of all electricity generated in the United States and reliance upon it will leave people in nations such as Great Britain freezing to death in the dark.
The Greens want to replace hydrocarbon fuels with “biofuels” such as ethanol which diverts real food like corn into a useless form of energy that reduces mileage and actually emits more CO2! The Greens want to pack humanity into crowded cities, forbidding people from living in suburbs filled with trees and lawns. They want to reduce vehicle size and encourage the use of electric vehicles.
There is little evidence that the Earth is running out of oil or other sources of energy. Oil not only provides for transportation, but is the basis for fertilizers and other beneficial chemicals that ensure more crop yield to feed humans and livestock. It has a thousand other uses as well. Coal is so abundant that its use is calculated in centuries.
In short, the Greens want to impose the most stupid and evil standards and restrictions on human life. They would drag humanity back to an age when horses and oxen were the modes of transportation and means of agriculture.
This is the goal of the United Nations Climate Change Conference and its treaty to impose a One World Order with its incumbent oppressive government structure to deprive its victims of privacy, dignity, and initiative. And, as history has repeatedly demonstrated, of life itself.
The “carbon footprint”, along with “global warming”, should be consigned to the dustbin of failed and false economic and schemes known as socialism and communism. They are a synonym for suffering and death.
Friday, November 20, 2009
By Alan Caruba
Other than the complete destruction of the U.S. economy, one sixth of which is generated by the healthcare profession, I cannot see any reason for the bill that Harry Reid is pushing for a Saturday evening vote in the Senate.
It has taken less than a year for the Democrats, led by Barack Obama, to saddle Americans with such enormous debt that your grandchildren will be paying it off. The so-called “bail-outs” have proven to be a bonanza for Wall Street firms on good terms with the Secretary of the Treasury, Tim Geithner, whose mantra is “It’s all Bush’s fault.” The “stimulus” bill has not stimulated anything except lies about “jobs created and saved.”
Rush Limbaugh calls Congress a “Kamakazi Congress” and the “Suicide Bomber Congress” because it is obvious that any Democrat Congressman or woman and any Senator who votes for this atrocious bill, probably without having read it, will be thrown out of office. And should be!
Ignoring all the town hall protests, the tea parties across the nation, and the massive September 12 rally in Washington, D.C. has to come with a penalty, but by then it will be too late for most Americans.
The November 23 edition of Business Week had a cover story by Catherine Arnst titled “Why Wait for Health Reform: Ten Ways to Cut Costs Right Now.” It makes clear that all the so-called reforms contained in the 2,000-plus page bill could be achieved in ways that do not require a monster piece of legislation intended to impose socialized medicine on America.
In brief, here's how to achieve an improved, and more affordable healthcare system:
1. Crack down on fraud and abuse. The amount of fraud in the Medicare system is estimated to cost $125-175 billion every year. Since the system operates as a kind of honor code, the government has been unsuccessful in detecting fraud and abuse. Meanwhile, private insurers such as the Blue Cross & Blue Shield Association report its anti-fraud efforts resulted in a savings of $350 million last year, a 43% increase from 2007.
2. Develop a healthy workforce. Wellness programs pay real dividends for the companies that sponsor them.
3. Coordinate care through family doctors. A patient suffering from one or more chronic diseases may depend on several doctors and “rarely do they communicate with one another.” This results in waste, often due to duplication of treatments. By designating a primary care doctor to organize care with specialists, pharmacists, and physical therapists, sharing medical records electronically, it is estimated that $250 to $325 billion could be saved.
4. Make health a community effort. Campaigns to encourage people to eat better, get more exercise, and other options could greatly reduce health-related costs.
5. Stop infections in hospitals. Every year, 1.7 million patients develop infections while in hospital and 99,000 die as a result. They can be reduced if hospitals put more emphasis on solving the problem.
6. Get patients to take their medicine. Three out of four Americans do not take their medicine as directed. Noncompliance leads to more doctor visits, hospitalizations, and treatments that add an estimated $177 billion a year to the nation’s health-care bill.
7. Discuss options near the end of life. End of life care can be especially costly. When patients and the families are informed they can choose pain management, nursing care, and psychological support, all of which reduce costs.
8. Use insurance to manage chronic disease. In 2009, UnitedHealthcare introduced a Diabetes Health Plan that offers rewards to patients who manage their disease properly. The idea is to contain costs by giving patients financial incentives based on their particular health issues rather than a one-size-fits-all approach…something the proposed healthcare reform will impose on all Americans regardless of their particular health problems.
9. Let well-informed patients decide. Too many Americans think that drastic surgery and other procedures are the only way they can survive a healthcare crisis, but such procedures extend lives or prevent heart attacks in only a tiny minority of especially sick patients. Few really know this. Educating patients can reduce wasted health spending by up to 37%.
10. Apologize to the patient. When hospitals reveal mistakes to patients and their families, investigate the cause, and offer a settlement, it takes the lawyers out of the process. Honesty really is the best policy.
Instead, Congress is getting ready to impose a massive bureaucracy that will be put in charge of healthcare, increasing the nation’s deficit and debt as millions are added to the Medicare ranks and private insurance companies are driven out of business. The loss of freedom will be beyond calculation as Americans must deal with bureaucrats instead of their physicians and other healthcare professionals.
It is the worst possible “reform” imaginable. We’re running out of time to call our Senators, mostly Democrats, and demand they vote NO!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
By Alan Caruba
If the endgame were not so serious, I would confess to enjoying the way the Israelis and much of the rest of the world are getting ready to call the Iranian ayatollah’s bluff as they hope to avoid a military response to their nuclear quest and the threat it represents.
It wouldn’t surprise me that the ayatollahs who have had Iran by the throat since 1979 are beginning to have serious misgivings about embarking on their nuclear mission.
As the Iranian intelligence community watches the comings and goings of their counterparts, it has surely not escaped their notice that two high-ranking teams of American CIA and DIA intelligence officials were conferring with the Israelis this week, shortly after attending a four-nation intelligence summit held in Amman, Jordan. It brought together key players in the U.S., Egyptian, Jordanian, and Israeli clandestine services.
Such cooperation is unprecedented in recent years and it making the Iranians very nervous. Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said of these comings and going, “Iran is a great world power whose strength is unlimited and on whom no other state would dare impose sanctions.” This is straight out of the late Saddam Hussein’s Book of Hilarious Claims.
Then, too, despite extensive economic ties with Russia, the Iranians are so upset with the delayed delivery of a Russian S-300 air defense system they actually went public with their complaints. It was expected in April.
It is a $1 billion contract and one suspects that the Russians have calculated that the Israelis will attack soon enough, so why waste a perfectly good air defense system that can be sold elsewhere? I hope they got paid in advance.
“Don’t Russian strategists realize Iran’s geopolitical importance to their security,” asked Iranian Chief of Staff, Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi. Yes, they do and so do the Chinese with whom the Iranians also have extensive economic ties, but both nations are hardly in a rush to see a nuclear-armed Iran, run by religious fanatics who might decide to threaten them or worse.
Meanwhile, earlier this month the UN International Atomic Energy Agency announced it found “nothing to be worried about” after a quick, first look at a previously secret uranium enrichment site in Iran. Are you worried? Am I worried? Certainly not, after all, Mohammed ElBaradei is a Nobel Peace Prize winner just like President Obama.
It has been reported that the U.S. has delivered a number of “bunker-buster” bombs, MOABs, to the Israelis and they are designed for use against nuclear facilities buried deep in mountains or underground.
All their bravado and boasting has only managed to get the Iranians further isolated and at considerably greater risk. Instead of sinking billions into their nuclear program, they could have been building oil refineries and other infrastructure of value. Instead, they have to import much of their gasoline. This is a definition of stupid.
The Iranians (by which I always mean the leadership, not the people) have managed to sour relations with Europe by jerking them around in an endless series of “negotiations” concerning their nuclear program. It is not lost on Europe that Iranian missile systems permit them to target much of that continent. Ditto Russia. Ditto China. Ditto the entire Middle East.
The immediate target, of course, is Israel and Israel has a history of destroying nuclear reactors in their neighborhood, first in Iraq and more recently in Syria when the combined talents of U.S. and Mossad intelligence revealed where the Syrians were building a secret nuclear facility.
There is a historic irony in this because ancient Iran, Persia, provided a sanctuary to Jews when they were exiled from Israel and facilitated their return. Modern Iran’s leaders have mocked the Holocaust and threatened the Israelis with nuclear annihilation.
All of which is to say that, if I were an ayatollah in Tehran these days, I would be thinking about opening a dry cleaning business just about anywhere else on planet Earth.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
By Alan Caruba
To those who have mostly known the Internet as their source of news, the notion that there is an “information deficit” may seem an odd judgment, but it is one that an old friend and longtime observer of the public relations profession recently made.
What Jack O’Dwyer, publisher and editor of Jack O’Dwyer’s Newsletter and PR Report, doesn’t know about public relations is probably not worth knowing. Ebullient and feisty, Jack has long been the nemesis of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), an organization that has managed to render itself irrelevant to the profession it proposes to represent.
So I pay attention when, in a recent blog, Jack concluded that “What the U.S. is suffering from, besides a trade deficit, is an information deficit. The root of the current financial collapse is secrecy—including ‘dubious assets’ hidden in off-balance-sheet entries.” Not all business news is devoid of insight or even outrage, but too much comes after the fact.
When you tie secrecy to the death throes of newspapers and magazines these days, you get a public that is increasingly distrustful of a government that manufactures false statistics about jobs, extends the protection of the U.S. Constitution to Islamic terrorists seeking to replace it with Sharia law, and is filled with “czars” given power to influence and determine national policy without any accountability to Congress.
You get a mainstream media so in love with Barack Obama that the protests against his administration are mocked and reports fail to address their issues.
Jack’s blog examined the findings of former journalist, Richard Sine, who received a fellowship grant to conduct a study of business journalism. He concluded that journalism schools should “close down” because students might as well study “blacksmithing, bloodletting or steamship design.”
Jack quoted Art Stevens, a former president of the PRSA, who believes that both journalism and PR are in a state of collapse.
As a longtime PR counselor, I concur because PR has long been dependent on a thriving base of newspaper and magazine outlets, in addition to broadcast outlets. As that base erodes, the capacity to inform and influence the public through them declines in tandem.
Add in an economy in freefall due to insane government “stimulus” and “bailout” programs, choking government regulation, the prospect of increased taxation, debt unto the third generation to come, and I can personally attest that the market for PR services has been in serious decline.
Public relations which had its beginnings in the early 1900s had been peopled with former journalists and thus was generally based in journalistic standards of accuracy and the free exchange of information. An early PR practitioner, Ivy Lee, counseled corporate clients to be responsive when the press came calling.
“In today’s strictly controlled environment,” Jack wrote, “PR pros jeopardize their careers by meeting with journalists or even talking to them on the phone.” He placed the blame on corporate lawyers, chief financial officers and even the marketing departments for shutting off the information spigot. Ironically, this applies as well to the five advertising and PR conglomerates as well.
When you put together the secrecy practices, the failures of government oversight, and the inadequacies of business reporters from recent generations of J-school and PR graduates, you end up with a perfect storm that culminates in the sudden collapse of the financial system that no one was monitoring sufficiently to protect the public.
It has largely been left to trade associations, think tanks, and ad hoc groups such as the Tea Party organizers, to make essential information about the conduct of national affairs available. They frequently have been forced to by-pass traditional journalism outlets in order to reach the public via Internet news and opinion sites, blogs, newsletters, and other means.
This explains why traditional journalism outlets continue to report on “global warming”, “greenhouse gas emissions”, and other bogus “science” while the public observes that, wherever they are, the climate is getting colder. This disconnect continues to undermine the diminishing credibility of most mainstream media outlets.
The forthcoming Copenhagan UN climate conference will be reported as “news” instead of being exposed as an effort to use false science to initiate a one-world-government treaty and the creation of a market for bogus “carbon credits.”
This explains, too, why Bernie Madoff was able to fleece investors of billions with his bogus hedge fund until the unraveling of the economy exposed him when neither the Securities Exchange Commission, nor the mainstream business press took notice of his ponzi scheme.
This explains why the mainstream press continues to avoid “offending” Muslims and, like the Obama administration, avoids the fact that a segment of fanatical Islam threatens the world with terrorism to advance its goal of a global caliphate. Destroying the U.S. is the key to their plan.
You are reading this on the Internet. Neither Jack’s, nor mine, nor other experienced, knowledgeable public relations professional’s, nor business reporters’ insights and information is available in a mainstream press that continues to censor the truth.
Editor’s note: For those seeking PR counseling and editorial services, you are invited to visit my website, www.caruba.com.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
By Alan Caruba
As we know from the 2008 campaign, every so often Americans go ga-ga over some politician. A relatively slim majority of the voters were convinced that Barack Obama was the first or second coming of a great new future filled with “change”; all of which has turned out for the worst.
The inexplicable choice of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s vice presidential running mate instantly conferred fame on the now-former Governor of Alaska and brought out all the attack dogs of the media. I was instantly reminded of the Geraldine Ferraro fiasco when Walter Mondale selected her as his running mate in 1984.
At this point, Palin embodies all the discontent of a vast body of Americans who believe that the nation has lost touch with conservative principles of fiscal prudence, a strong national defense, and smaller government.
Since there are currently few Republicans in high office that can be considered front-runners in 2012, Palin gives party loyalists someone in whom they can invest their hope in the short run, if not as a candidate herself, at least as a spokesperson for the values they share.
It was fairly obvious throughout the campaign that Palin was not well-schooled in foreign affairs issues, although her strong suit was clearly energy issues due to her role in Alaska’s oil-rich good fortune. She is perhaps a quick learner and could yet master the myriad of things a national leader has to know in order to demonstrate competence.
Her fairly swift rise to high office in Alaska appears to have been powered by dissatisfaction with corrupt state politicians who had disappointed Alaskans sufficiently to take a chance on a fresh new face and voice. In office, she took on the oil interests and rid the state of wasteful spending. It should be noted, however, that the World Almanac puts Alaska’s population as of 2007 at 683,478 people. Most U.S. cities have larger populations.
I think Tina Fey’s Saturday Nigh Live depiction of Sarah Palin resonated with viewers for both its remarkable physical similarity and its clear suggestion that she too often appeared clueless during the campaign.
That was then and this is now. And now there is the soaring bestseller status of her book and the promotional tour that is intended to sell even more while establishing her as a significant voice for conservatives in general and Republicans in particular.
She is, in many ways, a media phenomenon and that includes most of the media that still abhors her, the remainder that wants to exploit her for ratings and circulation, and the few that want to provide her with a legitimate platform to express her views.
These days, Geraldine Ferraro, a Democrat, is called upon to occasionally comment on matters deemed appropriate for a former vice presidential candidate, a former Congresswoman, and a kind of political freak of nature.
Once the uproar over Palin’s book subsides, this is likely to be her role in life as well; a female Republican office-holder plucked from relative obscurity for whatever reasons John McCain had at the time.
The success of Palin’s book will help pay the enormous legal bills she and her husband faced as the result of malicious suits brought against her, all of which have ended in failure to find any wrongdoing. Her speaking fees will provide her family with a lifestyle that she has earned by being tough enough to meet the extraordinary challenges with which her political and personal life has presented her.
Beyond that, I do not see her reentering the political scene by running for Senator from Alaska, for its Governor again, or any other position, least of all the presidency. I think she will continue to evolve into a spokesperson for values and principles that many Americans share, but which are being eroded by a full scale attack by the Obama administration.
So, let’s all go ga-ga for Sarah for a little while and let’s hope she will eviscerate Barack Obama with the same gusto she hunted moose.
Monday, November 16, 2009
By Alan Caruba
President Obama loves to travel. He cannot wait to descend the steps from Airforce One to the sounds of welcoming bands, honor guards, and awaiting dignitaries. On his whirlwind November 13-19 trip to Asia, however, he is likely to be sternly lectured behind closed doors from Tokyo to Beijing and Seoul. It will come as a surprise to him.
That’s because he will be around grownups who don’t much like the way the United States’ economy is being overseen and directed these days. All that splash and dash that keeps Americans thinking that everything will get better doesn’t work in Asia. Worse yet, Obama will arrive with very little to offer.
Already we have seen him in his usual holier-than-thou mode lecture the Chinese on their need to extend more freedom and be more tolerant; themes that must sound naïve to his hosts who must meet the challenge of providing a better life for more than a billion Chinese.
The most amazing aspect of the story of modern China is the way, following the demise of Chairman Mao, they threw communism overboard, except politically, in favor of capitalism.
In early 2009, observers wondered if the recession that hit the United States and rippled out around the world would also set back China. By October, however, they were marveling that its aggressive stimulus had led to a growth of its GDP by 9% by its third quarter. Meanwhile, other economies, including the U.S., saw their GDP fall.
The Chinese mix caution with risk well. As The Economist noted in October, “Until recently China’s recovery was driven largely by state spending, but thanks to a rebound in construction, private-sector investment rose by 30% in the year to August, double its growth rate in December.”
Unlike the U.S. stimulus that has barely had an impact on our economy, the Chinese stimulus was directed to new infrastructure, especially railways and roads, both of which are expected to improve future productivity, moving people and goods more swiftly around the huge expanse of that nation.
Noteworthy as well has been China’s forward thinking energy program, building coal-fired plants at a brisk pace to extend electricity and, with it the prosperity that comes from affordable energy. By contrast, Obama recently visited and lauded a $150 million Florida solar power array that will only produce electricity for an average of four hours daily.
Most of America’s “shovel ready” projects are still waiting for the first shovel while most of the stimulus money spent to date was a bailout of states to cover Medicare and other federal mandated costs.
My concern is that Obama is probably clueless regarding economic issues and realities. If it doesn’t involve unions, Obama isn’t much interested in the welfare of American industry. He has even less knowledge of agriculture.
When General Motors was bailed out before and after declaring bankruptcy, Obama made sure that it was the unions that were put in charge. Quietly, Chrysler recently announced it would not be manufacturing electric cars. The auto company that refused government assistance, Ford Motors, is thriving.
Someone has probably briefed Obama on the fact that China is both America’s key trading partner and rival. China has been paying a lot of attention to trade of late, signing what Business Week described as “a bewildering variety of free-trade pacts with neighbors.” It is even making nice with Taiwan while talks are underway to liberalize trade terms with South Korea and the Persian Gulf states.
While the U.S. trade deals cover lower tariffs they also tend to incorporate all manner of other objectives such as intellectual property rights, government procurement rules, and even labor and environmental codes. The Chinese focus on more narrow, achievable goals. As Business Week noted, “Most manufactured goods made in Southeast Asia will now enter China duty-free, but goods shipped from the U.S. will still face average duties of 9%.”
Many U.S. manufacturers will decide to set up shop in Southeast Asia in order to have better access to China. Increased exports to China cushioned Japan’s economy as its exports to the U.S. plunged.
So, what is the Obama administration doing to improve the situation at home? It has proposed a healthcare “reform” to take control of one-sixth of the nation’s economy. It has a “cap-and-trade” bill that will impose higher taxes on all energy use. The proposed cap-and-trade bill will make it nearly impossible to sell one’s home without pouring thousands into it in order to meet environmental and energy conservation standards.
The first job for all Americans these days is to survive the Obama administration long enough to rescue the nation from further losses at home and abroad.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
By Alan Caruba
Barack Obama’s deep bow to the emperor of Japan and earlier bow to the Saudi Arabian king is so deeply offensive to America’s history and traditions that it cannot and must not be explained away in any fashion.
The framers of the U.S. Constitution were particularly sensitive to the conditions under which a President could serve or any hint that a privileged, monarchal class might emerge.
“No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States. And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of Congress, accept any present, Emolument, Office or Title, of any kind whatever from any King, Prince, or foreign state.”
It follows that no U.S. President or office holder shall ever bow to a king, prince or foreign state. Obama has done this twice now in less than a year of taking the oath of office. Stated or unstated, the protocol of such matters precludes bowing.
This protocol is reflected in flag etiquette that prohibits it from being “dipped to any person or thing.”
For a man who allegedly taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, it is doubtful that Obama does not know this. It is doubtful that he cares. His first instinct with foreign leaders and foreign nations is to toady to their perceptions in the belief that America will gain their acceptance.
Any leader, however, knows that it is wiser to be feared than loved. It is the reason the U.S. maintains a powerful military. It is well to remember that our present Department of Defense used to be known as the Department of War.
That is why Ovbama’s decision to bring the 9/11 perpetrators to the United States and accord them all the rights of the Constitution in a trial for acts of war is a further abomination. This was not Eric Holder’s decision as Attorney General. This was Barack Obama’s decision, completely in line with his continued obeisance to Middle Eastern and Muslim sensibilities.
It is in line with the recent announcement by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that the Obama administration will push for “immigration reform” which is a euphemism for amnesty to an estimated 14 million illegal aliens. The American public has made it abundantly clear they oppose this.
The majority of Americans oppose healthcare “reform”, a euphemism for a government takeover of one sixth of the nation’s economy and an unholy intrusion into the privileged relationship between doctor and patient. It is socialism.
All Presidents have had to make decisions and take positions that are unpopular with some element of the public. No former President, however, ever increased the national debt more than all the previous presidents combined and did so within months of taking office.
This President simply does not care what Americans want. He does not “represent” Americans and cannot even manage to salute properly when the national anthem is played, though he did stage a photo opportunity to be seen saluting the returning war dead from Afghanistan.
This President may not even be “a natural born citizen” of the United States as required by the Constitution. He may have been born in Kenya. He may have been a citizen of Indonesia as a child and young man. We have no verifiable, authentic records of his early life, even as a college student.
None of his fellow students at Columbia University ever recall knowing him. His records at Occidental College and Harvard University remain sealed from view, as is his alleged Hawaiian certificate of birth there.
Based on his actions since January 20, 2009, he is in my opinion the worst President to ever hold that high office and he may have committed “a high crime or misdemeanor” when he took the oath of office. That is an impeachable offense.
In the meantime, by his actions, he gives every evidence of trying to bring this nation to a state of economic collapse, is deliberately undermining its Constitution, and by giving enemy combatants, terrorists, the stature of U.S. citizens, is encouraging our Islamo-fascist enemies to attack again.
He is an offense to every American and we are on a roller-coaster to a major Constitutional and economic crisis every day he remains in office.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
By Alan Caruba
You will recall that, shortly before the end of the 2008 political campaign, the White House announced a threat to the entire financial system and called on Congress to enact emergency spending powers. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was enacted on October 3, 2008.
Just eighteen days earlier an event occurred that slid under the radar screen of virtually the entire mainstream media. On Thursday, September 15, 2008, at approximately 11 A.M., the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous draw down of money market accounts in the nation, amounting to $550 billion dollars. It occurred within an hour or two. The money was removed electronically.
It has never been made public which accounts were affected, nor where the withdrawn funds were sent. If we knew those facts, we would know who launched an attack on the United States that has been more devastating than any in our history.
Had the Federal Reserve not closed down the accounts involved it is estimated that by 2 P.M. $5.5 trillion would have been withdrawn and the entire economy of the nation would have collapsed. It would have been followed within a day with the collapse of the world’s economy.
What followed was the sub-prime mortgage loan debacle that can be traced to the government’s intervention into the housing loan marketplace via Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They ended up owning fifty percent of all the loans.
Americans were using home ownership as a credit card and government policies were mandating the issuance of bad loans in the name of “social justice.” Home ownership became “a right”, not an aspiration.
Throughout the 1990s, as communities revalued homes, increasing their alleged worth in order to impose higher property taxes, it was only a matter of time before a financial collapse became a reality. Virtually every State was spending beyond its means and increasing property taxes was the preferred choice to make up the difference.
That collapse, however, was initiated by unknown persons at precisely the time Americans were preparing to select a new president. That was not a coincidence.
In the October edition of “Budget & Tax News”, a publication of The Heartland Institute, a non-profit, free market think tank, there was an article by Sandra Fabry, the government affairs manager for Americans for Tax Reform and executive director of the Center for Fiscal accountability, a project of the organization.
The article was titled “61% of National Income Goes to Government.”
“Americans this year had to toil until August 12 to pay for federal, state, and local governments, according to the annual Cost of Government Day report by the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation and Center for Fiscal Accountability.”
“In 2009, the government will consume a whopping 61.34 percent of national income.”
The redistribution of income has reached a point in which 30.36 percent of the money Americans earn is consumed by federal spending. State governments take their percentage as well in income, sales, and other forms of taxation.
It means that Americans worked for 111 days of the year just to pay for the costs of the federal government and federal spending has reached a record 28.5 percent of GDP.
With the passage by the House of the government’s attempted takeover of the nation’s healthcare system and the up-coming cap-and-trade bill, a massive tax on energy use, there is no telling how many more government spending programs, huge redistribution schemes, Americans will be obliged to pay for.
The Obama administration swiftly embarked on an unprecedented spending spree, “bailing out” General Motors and Chrysler, in effect owning AIG, the insurance giant, and giving funds to various banks to “stimulate” loans, i.e. credit, that Americans and their business enterprises depend upon to function.
Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro-Pacific Capital, has long argued that the problems of the American economy were created by excess credit and debt, and that a massive infusion of credit and debt into the economy only exacerbates the problem. He is right.
The “stimulus” has not worked and the billions still unspent by the program should be returned to the American treasury. Taxes should be cut in order to allow Americans to save or spend their own money. Contracts with civil service and teacher’s union should be renegotiated. A vast regulatory revision to remove obstacles to economic growth should be implemented.
Meanwhile the government’s “official” figures say 10.2% of Americans are out of work, but the actual figure is estimated to be closer to 17%. Nothing is being done to facilitate hiring with tax credits and reduced taxation of small businesses, nor are the highest corporate taxes in the world being reduced to encourage domestic investment and growth.
And our present difficulties began on September 15, 2008 in what gives the appearance of a calculated attack that got Barack Obama elected and was immediately followed by all the subsequent efforts to grow the federal government ever larger to make more Americans dependent upon it. The Obama administration has increased the national debt more than all previous presidencies combined.
There is a determined effort under way to undermine the free market capitalist system that made America the greatest economic and military power in the world. Both the White House and the Democrat-controlled Congress are parties to it, but the identities of those who launched that September attack remain hidden.
Editor's Note: To read about the electronic attack, click on
How many more ways can Barack Obama find to disgrace the office of the presidency with his bowing to foreign leaders? Since the day the nation was founded, NO AMERICAN bowed to foreign leaders, their representatives, or their flags. Obama's behavior is an insult to our nation's history and most fundamental values.
Seen above is a bow to the emperor of Japan and a bow to the king of Saudi Arabia.
Someone at the U.S. State Department better send him a memo on proper protocol.
This is a photo of George W. and Laura Bush, seen with the family of one of the Fort Hood soldiers who was shot by a MUSLIM TERRORIST. The Bushes showed up without an entourage. They drove in from their ranch and met with the hospitalized victims.
We have a President who will not say the word "terrorist" and has directed that no one in his administration refer to or say the words, "war on terrorism."
Friday, November 13, 2009
By Alan Caruba
I lived in Florida for some five years between attending the University of Miami and returning after service in the Army for a job I left on news of JFK’s assassination. Some five years ago my older brother, a resident of Boynton Beach, urged me to relocate.
As the exit doors of the Palm Beach Airport slid open, I was hit with a soggy blast of hot air that instantly told me I would not be taking up residence there again.
I returned to New Jersey which shares with Florida, California and ten other States the dubious honor of being on the brink of financial collapse and default. Like others, New Jersey requires that some part of electricity production must came from “renewable” sources such as solar or wind.
Other States have a similar mandate. Utilities have embraced it because the costs are heavily subsidized with taxpayer dollars. It is an enormous waste of money made worse by the unreliable aspects of both plus the need to always have a backup supplier, usually in the form of a coal-fired plant.
To make matters worse, Congress is contemplating a national Renewable Electricity Standard that would require more use of solar and wind energy. The argument for this is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid “global warming.” However, there is no global warming. For the past decade, there’s been a global cooling and it is anticipated to last for several more decades.
Finally, it must be said that there is NO connection whatever between greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and any warming that did naturally occur. Ever.
Thus, a national mandate would just multiply the waste of billions of taxpayer dollars required to subsidize these massively inefficient and unreliable forms of electricity production.
In October there was a flurry of news stories about the largest solar panel plant in the United States, located on 180 acres of land, 80 miles southeast of Tampa. Naturally, President Obama paid a visit to the Desoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center because he is a big booster of renewable energy. He keeps telling everyone that it will generate hundreds, if not thousands, of new “green” jobs.
What the President didn’t say during his visit was that the solar panels and other items were manufactured in nations other than the United States. The solar cells came from the Philippines. The steel mountings were made in Canada. The electric boxes were manufactured in Germany.
The project did generate some 400 temporary jobs, but how many full time jobs will the new Florida installation generate? The total comes to two full-time employees and six part-time groundskeepers who will work one week a month during the rainy season.
And here’s where it just gets totally obscene. The Desoto facilities and two other Florida Power and Light solar facilities will generate enough electricity to power just 3,000 homes of the 4,000,000-plus accounts served by Florida’s largest utility.
Less than 4% of Florida’s energy needs will be met by this $150 million facility. Meanwhile, proposed coal-fired and nuclear plants are fought to a standstill by environmentalists.
And, finally, consider this piece of news. General Electric just announced that it plans to close down its only solar-panel manufacturing facility because if found the price for panels had fallen below production costs! The 82 employees at the Newark, Delaware facility will join the other millions of Americans who are out of work.
America, like Great Britain, is closing in on an era of blackouts because the federal government is doing everything in its power to thwart the building of proven sources of electricity production, coal-fired and nuclear plants. America is the Saudi Arabia of coal, sitting atop enough to provide power for the next three hundred or more years. No new nuclear plants have been built in three decades.
It’s only a matter of time before the Obama administration announces that shoveling snow has been reclassified a “green” job. Jimmy Carter’s famed “misery index” is about to shoot off the charts.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
By Alan Caruba
I received an email from the Sierra Club urging me to sign a petition to declare the polar bear an endangered species.
The Department of the Interior is considering this and it would cover much of the Arctic, including the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean. The Sierra Club is worried because Shell Oil wants to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea, a part of the “critical habitat for the bear.”
So, for anyone who doesn’t think that thwarting all attempts to drill for oil in the Arctic isn’t the real reason to “save” the thriving polar bear population, the answer is that it has nothing to do with polar bears and everything to do with the primary goal of all environmental organization, denying energy sources to Americans and everyone else.
Indeed, the Sierra Club said declaring the polar bear endangered was “necessary to stop harmful activities such as oil drilling.” So I guess it doesn’t get any more plain than that.
The Sierra Club went on to blatantly lie about the status of polar bears, claiming that “survival rates for polar bear cubs are plunging.” It is common knowledge that male polar bears are known to kill cubs, but the survival rates have much more to do with the mother bear’s ability to catch ringed seals.
Ironically, polar bears’ favorite delicacy is the pups of ringed seals. Mother Nature doesn’t much care who wins the survival marathon and the Sierra Club is not calling for an endangered species declaration for ringed seals.
The Sierra Club is lying. The Natural Resources Defense Council is lying. The World Wildlife Fund is lying. They could not care less about polar bears. Their objective is shutting off access to anywhere that has oil or natural gas reserves.
In a July 2006 a report, “Polar Bear Politics: Underestimating the survival capacity of one popular bear” by Jennifer Marohasy, the Director of the Food and Environmental Unit at the Australian based Institute of Public Affairs was published. The estimate of the population is “about 25,000 polar bears existing in 19 relatively discrete populations across Norway, Denmark, Russia, Alaska, Greenland, and Canada.”
“Forty years ago, there were only about 5,000 bears, the worldwide population depressed by hunting.” In the 1970s, nations agreed to restrict hunting, resulting in the growth of the population.
The BIG LIE is that the Arctic is melting because of “global warming.” The Arctic has, in fact, “warmed” over the past two decades and there has been a reduction in sea ice, but there has been no “global warming”, only a natural cycle of warming that followed a Little Ice Age that ended around 1850 after three hundred years.
In fact, in October 2007, NASA announced the results of an in-depth study of Arctic sea ice and concluded what melting had occurred was due “a change in wind patterns” that had “compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream, and then sped its flow out of the Arctic.” Wind patterns, not “global warming.”
The Earth is now into a new cooling cycle that began in 1998 and which meteorologists predict will last for several decades. What they won’t tell you is that they have their fingers crossed that it does not, in fact, signal a new Ice Age. The period between ice ages is about 11,500 years and the Earth is at the end of the interglacial period that has allowed for the rise of human civilization in the past five thousand years or so.
So, the fate of the polar bear is such that they are more likely to survive a new Ice Age than billions of humans in the northern hemisphere.
As should be obvious to everyone, the reduction of Arctic sea ice or the population of ringed seals has had no correlation whatever with the growth of the polar bear population. Indeed, if there hadn’t been a period of glaciation about 250,000 years ago and a bunch of formerly brown bears had not become isolated and had not adapted successfully, there would be no polar bears.
Further putting the lie to the Sierra Club and other environmental organization’s predictions is the fact that polar bears live in remote and inhospitable parts of the Arctic. In addition, they are not stationary, roaming over an area as large as two hundred square kilometers in search of tasty seals. Most of the time, humans can’t even visit or fly over the vast bulk of the Arctic to make any kind of count.
The Sierra Club has no idea how many polar bears actually exist in the Arctic and any claim that they are “endangered” is pure balderdash. I could use another word to describe such claims, but my Mother told me not to.
So, to sum up, the Sierra Club is LYING about polar bears and you would be well advised to take anything else they have to say with a grain of Arctic Sea salt.