Thursday, June 11, 2015

No Strategy. No Clue.

By Alan Caruba

The Wednesday, June 10 Wall Street Journal headline at the top of the page was “Obama Set to Expand Troops in Iraq.”  We were 589 days into the two terms Barack Hussein Obama has served in the office of President of the United States and he is as clueless now as he was when he arrived on January 20, 2009.

“President Barack Obama is poised to send hundreds more American advisers to a new base in a strategic Iraqi region to help devise a counterattack against marauding Islamic State militants, U.S. officials said Tuesday, a shift that underscores American concern over recent battlefield losses.”  It’s 450 “trainers.”

We have had losses because (1) Obama was elected on a promise to end the conflict in Iraq and (2) reelected by pulling out troops to the point that the remaining Iraqi troops—Shiites in the south—decided it wasn’t worth dying for their leaders. Can’t say I blame them, but dying at the hands of ninth century Islamic fanatics is the fate that threatens the entire Middle East, not just Iraq or what’s left of it.

This is how we lost the war in Vietnam. There was a time when Americans utterly destroyed their enemies on the battlefield. In the latter half of the last century, starting in Korea, we forgot how to do that and why that’s how wars are won.

In all candor, like a lot of Americans, I went back and forth about the Mideast conflicts. Looking back, I think George H.W. Bush showed remarkable insight when, after driving Iraq’s Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, he stopped at the border and came home. George W. had the notion he could somehow introduce democracy to the region. He couldn’t and it will likely never really occur there because Islam is the only law and it has kept the region ignorant, backward, and under the thumb of tyrants for centuries.

The Islamic State troops must be stopped at some point, but Obama is not the President who will do it. Whatever U.S. backed combat occurs will be just enough to present enough television news images to convince the gullible that progress is being made.

Obama arrived in office without any strategy and has spent the last six and a half years “muddling through” as the British say. He and the Democratic Party had only one goal; to win the elections. After that, they wanted to “fundamentally transform” the greatest nation on planet Earth. They have largely made a mess out of everything they touched from ObamaCare to Common Core.

There’s a reason why Obama will send more troops and that’s because every one of our allies has told him that, if the U.S. does not again assert its role of global leadership, they are not going to cooperate with him in a thousand different ways.

Our allies in the Mideast have told him they lack the military strength (and will) to conduct any kind of war with ISIS. The U.S. and much of the rest of the world cannot afford to sit by and let the enormous oil wealth and reserves of the Mideast come under the control of ISIS.

So, once again we read headlines about U.S. troops returning to the Mideast.

What that means is that the 2016 elections are more critical to the future of the nation than all previous ones.

I think Americans, liberals, conservatives and independents alike have had more than enough of President No Strategy. I think there are enough older Americans who remember and take pride in a nation that was unabashedly the world’s leader in the pursuit of peace and democracy. And I think that the thirty percent or so of brain-dead liberals are not sufficient to affect the outcome of a 2016 election devoted to restoring the nation’s economy and leadership.

It can be done. John F. Kennedy was on his way to doing so. Reagan did so. In 590 days from now, we can begin to do so again.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

"Skeptics" Gather in D.C.

By Alan Caruba

On Thursday and Friday, June 11-12, there will be a gathering of some of the nation’s and the world’s leading climate change “skeptics” in Washington, D.C. and joining them will be members of Congress and their staffs. The Tenth International Conference on Climate Change will occur and the odds are that the mainstream media, as it has done for all the previous conferences, will do its best to ignore it.

In attendance as well will be scores of scientists, economists, and policy experts for a conference being held just two blocks from a White House in which the President of the United States resides while lying about “climate change” as the greatest threat to the planet.

In March, the Gallup Poll revealed that “Although climate scientists have been in the news describing this winter as a strong signal that global warming is producing more extreme weather, Americans are no more likely today (55%) than in the past two years to believe the effects of global warming are occurring.”

The Conference is sponsored by The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based free-market think tank and, while most of us have heard of the Rand Corporation or the Heritage Foundation, Heartland is one of the those power houses that labors without the “image” accorded others.

Founded in 1984, it has a full-time staff of 31 with approximately 235 academics and professional economists who participate in its peer-review process, plus more than 160 elected officials who serve on its Legislative Forum. In addition to the environment, its scholars also focus on education, health, budget and tax issues.

I have been a Heartland policy analyst for so long I can’t recall when I joined. Approximately 8,300 supporters contribute to its annual budget of $6 million. It does not accept government funding.

Without your knowing it, the nine conferences that preceded the current one have had a dramatic impact on your life and wallet. For one thing, you’re not being robbed by a “carbon tax” aimed at “reducing greenhouse gases.” On the other hand, you may be at risk of losing a coal-fired plant that provides your electricity if the Environmental Protection Agency is allowed to continue its vile attack on our energy resources.

It has been Heartland and a handful of other think tanks that labored to inform the public about the science that utterly debunked the lies about “global warming” and now works to do the same for those applied to “climate change.”  Heartland’s power is seen in its conferences.

The problem for Heartland and the rest of us is that we are up against the U.S. government whose Obama administration is completely committed to the lies; agency by agency within the government have budgets and programs to continue to telling the lies. Beyond them is the entire system of government schools and, beyond them, much of the higher education community.

In early June the Daily Caller reported that “National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists have found a solution to the 15-year ‘pause’ in global warming: They ‘adjusted’ the hiatus in warming out of the temperature record.”  This is what Heartland and others have been fighting against and exposing since the global warming hoax began in the late 1980s. And we are beginning to see the Congress respond.

As reported by CNS News, appropriators in the House of Representatives have let it be known that they are taking aim at one of the Obama administration’s most cherished priorities—international climate change funding. An appropriations bill for the State Department and foreign operations excluded the Green Climate Fund, the Clean Technology Fund, and the Strategic Climate Fund, while also removing funding for the U.SN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. That’s millions in U.S. taxpayer funding that will not be wasted on the climate change hoax.

The Conference will honor some of the world’s leading “skeptics”—the alarmists call them “denier.” They include Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) as the winner of the Political Leadership on Climate Change Award, sponsored by the Heritage Foundation. My friend, Robert M. Carter, Ph.D. will receive Heartland’s Lifetime Achievement in Climate Science award. Others whom you may not have heard of include William Happer, Ph.D., David Legates, Ph.D., and Anthony Watts, all of whom have been on the front lines of the battle for the truth about the planet’s climate.

An entire generation has grown up and graduated from college since the first lies about global warming were unleashed. That’s how long Heartland and others have labored to present the truth. If the media fails to take notice of this week’s conference, you will know that the battle will continue for a long time to come.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Predicting Earthquakes. Not.

By Alan Caruba

The president of the Space and Science Research Corporation, John Casey, is also the author of “Cold Sun: A Dangerous ‘Hibernation’ of the Sun Has Begun!” and has called attention to a meteorological cycle that until the global warming hoax occurred, was largely unknown to many people and, to a large degree still is.

Nature has not cooperated with the charlatans who made claims about a dramatic warming of the Earth. Since 1998 the planet along with the Sun has been in a solar cycle distinguished by very few, if any, sun spots—evidence of solar storms—and a cooling of the Earth that has some predicting a forthcoming new Little Ice Age.

As Wikipedia reports: “Solar Cycle 24 is the 24th solar cycle since 1755, when extensive recording of solar sunspot activity began. It is the current solar cycle, and began on January 4, 2008, but there was minimal activity until early 2010. It is on track to be the Solar Cycle with the lowest recorded sunspot activity since accurate records began in 1750.” These cycles occur every eleven years.

I was surprised to receive a news release from the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC) on Monday with the headline “Earthquake and Volcano Threat Increases” because, frankly, I could have put out the same release and, if such activity did increase, I could claim credit for predicting it and, if not, few if any would recall I had made such a claim. While earthquake activity has been studied for decades, even the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) makes no claim to being able to predicting when or where one will occur.

What the USGS can tell you is that their scientists (and others) “estimate earthquake probabilities in two ways: by studying the history of large earthquakes in a specific area and the rate at which strain accumulates in the rock.”  A translation of this is that they have only the most minimal clues when and where one will occur. A recent International Business Times article reported that this may change as the introduction of “big data analytics” kicks in to provide “a leap of accuracy of quake predictions.”

The SSRC news release was about a letter that Casey had sent Craig Fugate, the Administrator of the Federal Management Agency which “disclosed that we are about to enter a potentially catastrophic period of record earthquakes and volcanic eruptions throughout the United States.”

Casey’s letter outlined “how the ongoing dramatic reduction in the Sun’s energy output will not only plunge the world into a decades-long cold epoch, but at the same time bring record geographic devastation in monster earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.”

Other scientists have come to similar conclusions, but after years of sorting through all the claims about global warming and “climate change”, one might want to tread lightly before embracing them.

I asked my colleague at The Heartland Institute, Science Director Jay Lehr, for his reaction and he was quite candid. “I have read it and am extremely skeptical. It sounds like the agency is looking for some press and, of course, when they turn out to be wrong no one will be upset. No harm. No foul. Being ready for earthquakes in known quake zones makes sense; creating unwarranted fear does not.”

Dr. Lehr summed up my own reaction. I would recommend his skepticism to everyone.

Will there be earthquakes here in the U.S.? Yes. The New Madrid earthquakes were the biggest in the nation’s history, occurring in the central Mississippi Valley and so large they were felt as far away as New York and Boston, Montreal and Washington, D.C.  President James Madison and his wife Dolly felt them in the White House. They lasted from December 16, 1811 through March of 1812 and there were more than 2,000 quakes in the central Midwest, and between 6,000-10,000 in the boot-heel of Missouri where New Madrid is located near the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

When will new earthquakes or volcanic eruptions occur? I doubt anyone knows the answer to that.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Caitlin Jenner? Hello Sucker!

By Alan Caruba

It doesn’t matter that Bruce Jenner, famed Olympic athlete and member of the Kardashian family, thinks that he is female. He can never be female no matter what surgery he undertakes to make it reflect the fantasy in his head. Born a male, his body is a billion cells and nerve contacts whose DNA determines his true gender.

That’s why those who are buying into the pop cultural myth and news coverage of Jenner’s announced transformation should be greeted “Hello, Sucker!”  It’s worse than just plain stupidity; it is the tip of a massive effort to alter society that dates back to those arrogant and deluded founders of communism who thought that, for it to succeed, the family as a key element of all societies, had to be eliminated.

Dr. Paul Kengor, Ph.D., is a leading scholar on Communism and the author, among other excellent books, of “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century” and, just out, “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has sabotaged Family and Marriage.”  ($18.95, WND Books, softcover)

The only way progressives—communists—know how to advance their agenda is to lie about it in every way. Even a short look at the lives of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the authors of Communist manifesto, Das Kapital, tells you what motivated their wish to destroy the family.

As Dr. Kengor points out, Engels had written that he “favored that marriage should not be a legal relationship, but a purely private affairs” noting that Engels “revealed a highly promiscuous attitude toward sexual morality and marital relationships.” Between the two men, they had many mistresses. Of the six children Marx fathered, four died before he did and two committed suicide. Both men leached off of Engel’s inheritance, never working a day in their lives. Marx’s family finally refused to lend him a dime; in brief, two men with a disdain for traditional marriage and widely held Judeo-Christian moral values.

Therefore, to understand why we are drowning in anti-family propaganda and efforts to change the laws affecting what marriage is and is not, Dr. Kengor notes that “Even way back when, in the mid-1800s, the far left had its sights on the family, with marriage at its epicenter. And this particular component of the extreme left—the communist left—was devoutly atheistic in its orientation ambition, and mission. It rebelled against God, a rebellion against the Creator that was central to its new direction and fundamental transformation.”

“Fundamental transformation”? Where have we heard that term before? Oh yes, from President Barack Obama’s lips. This was the candidate for President who said marriage was strictly between a man and a woman before he was elected and “evolved” into supporting same-sex marriage. Hello, Sucker!

“Same-sex marriage,” says Dr. Kengor “is hardly a Marxist plot, a latent communist conspiracy. It is, however, a crucial final blow to marriage—the only blow that is enabling a formal, legal redefinition that will unravel the institution”, adding that “what the left has steadfastly said and written and done to marriage and the family over the last two centuries cannot be ignored.”

“Much of the wider American culture, outside of the far left, has also become secular and dismissive of traditional religious teaching on matters such as family and marriage…The radical left could never have achieved this ultimate takedown of marriage without the larger American public’s broad acceptance of gay marriage.” If you can believe that two men or two women can and should get married, than you will believe anything. In five thousand years of civilization, we are close to letting all of the moral and civil lessons learned in the past be ignored, forgotten or rewritten.

We have, as a society, been tending more and more in this direction, dramatically when the Supreme Court legalized abortion and, in its forthcoming decision on same-sex marriage, likely a similar acceptance. When that occurs, our society will be just decades away from a serious breakdown. As it is, more and more children are growing up in single-parent family settings, lacking as often as not, a father.

If you want to look at men dressing and acting like women, tune in America’s most famous drag queen, RuPaul’s television show. He’s male. Those on the show are male.

There are among us, men and women, whose sexual preference takes them in the direction of their own gender. They constitute 1.8% if the U.S. population. There are those who, born male, now claim to be female. That is their problem deserving of no special laws or attention. Changing our entire society and culture to benefit this slim nitch of society is a very bad idea.

Bruce Jenner’s absurd claims will make him a rich man. Not a rich woman.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Saturday, June 6, 2015

"The Best Medicine Ever..."

Call it "the best medicine ever", but the donations that have come in this past week have been a big boost to my spirits as I recover from an operation that has left me unable to write my commentaries or have a normal life for now. I anticipate that I will be active again soon.

 That's why, if you have been thinking about showing your support for "Warning Signs", this would be a good time to do so with my sincere, heartfelt thanks. -- Alan Caruba

Cartoon Round Up



Thursday, June 4, 2015

"The Best of" Caruba Commentaries: Obama's Make-Believe life

In the wake of a serious operation that will require rest and recovery, I thought I would offer "The best of" previous commentaries and will start with "Obama's Make-Believe Life" which, since posted on January 2, 2010 has gone viral. Enjoy.

Obama's Make-Believe Life
By Alan Caruba  (1/2/10)

I have this theory about Barack Obama. I think he’s led a kind of make-believe life in which money was provided and doors were opened because at some point early on somebody or some group took a look at this tall, good looking, half-white, half-black, young man with an exotic African/Muslim name and concluded he could be guided toward a life in politics where his facile speaking skills could even put him in the White House.

In a very real way, he has been a young man in a very big hurry. Who else do you know has written two memoirs before the age of 45? “Dreams From My Father” was published in 1995 when he was only 34 years old. The “Audacity of Hope” followed in 2006. If, indeed, he did write them himself. There are some who think that his mentor and friend, Bill Ayers, a man who calls himself a “communist with a small ‘c’” was the real author.

His political skills consisted of rarely voting on anything that might be deemed controversial. He went from a legislator in the Illinois legislature to the Senator from that state because he had the good fortune of having Mayor Daley’s formidable political machine at his disposal.

He was in the U.S. Senate so briefly that his bid for the presidency was either an act of astonishing self-confidence or part of some greater game plan that had been determined before he first stepped foot in the Capital. How, many must wonder, was he selected to be a 2004 keynote speaker at the Democrat convention that nominated John Kerry when virtually no one had ever even heard of him before?

He outmaneuvered Hillary Clinton in primaries. He took Iowa by storm. A charming young man, an anomaly in the state with a very small black population, he oozed “cool” in a place where agriculture was the antithesis of cool. He dazzled the locals. And he had an army of volunteers drawn to a charisma that hid any real substance.

And then he had the great good fortune of having the Republicans select one of the most inept candidates for the presidency since Bob Dole. And then John McCain did something crazy. He picked Sarah Palin, an unknown female governor from the very distant state of Alaska. It was a ticket that was reminiscent of 1984’s Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro and they went down to defeat.

The mainstream political media fell in love with him. It was a schoolgirl crush with febrile commentators like Chris Mathews swooning then and now over the man. The venom directed against McCain and, in particular, Palin, was extraordinary.

Now, nearly a full year into his first term, all of those gilded years leading up to the White House have left him unprepared to be President. Left to his own instincts, he has a talent for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. It swiftly became a joke that he could not deliver even the briefest of statements without the ever-present Tele-Prompters.

Far worse, however, is his capacity to want to “wish away” some terrible realities, not the least of which is the Islamist intention to destroy America and enslave the West. Any student of history knows how swiftly Islam initially spread. It knocked on the doors of Europe, having gained a foothold in Spain.

The great crowds that greeted him at home or on his campaign “world tour” were no substitute for having even the slightest grasp of history and the reality of a world filled with really bad people with really bad intentions.

Oddly and perhaps even inevitably, his political experience, a cakewalk, has positioned him to destroy the Democrat Party’s hold on power in Congress because in the end it was never about the Party. It was always about his communist ideology, learned at an early age from family, mentors, college professors, and extreme leftist friends and colleagues.

Obama is a man who could deliver a snap judgment about a Cambridge, Massachusetts police officer who arrested an “obstreperous” Harvard professor-friend, but would warn Americans against “jumping to conclusions” about a mass murderer at Fort Hood who shouted “Allahu Akbar.” The absurdity of that was lost on no one. He has since compounded this by calling the Christmas bomber “an isolated extremist” only to have to admit a day or two later that he was part of an al Qaeda plot.

He is a man who could strive to close down our detention facility at Guantanamo even though those released were known to have returned to the battlefield against America. He could even instruct his Attorney General to afford the perpetrator of 9/11 a civil trial when no one else would ever even consider such an obscenity. And he is a man who could wait three days before having anything to say about the perpetrator of yet another terrorist attack on Americans and then have to elaborate on his remarks the following day because his first statement was so lame.

The pattern repeats itself. He either blames any problem on the Bush administration or he naively seeks to wish away the truth.

Knock, knock. Anyone home? Anyone there? Barack Obama exists only as the sock puppet of his handlers, of the people who have maneuvered and manufactured this pathetic individual’s life.

When anyone else would quickly and easily produce a birth certificate, this man has spent over a million dollars to deny access to his. Most other documents, the paper trail we all leave in our wake, have been sequestered from review. He has lived a make-believe life whose true facts remain hidden.

We laugh at the ventriloquist’s dummy, but what do you do when the dummy is President of the United States of America?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Good News

I survived surgery and the hospital. Am home again and will begin several weeks of recovery. Hope to be writing my commentaries by the coming week. Thanks for your prayers and kind thoughts.

Alan Caruba

Friday, May 29, 2015

Hiatus Announcement

On Saturday, May 30, I will be in a hospital for an operation that will require a number of days for the initial recovery. As a result, for the coming week I will not be posting commentaries to my blog. I greatly enjoy sharing my views of the nation and the world. It’s a complex and often dangerous place, so my effort has always been to provide a point of view and information you may not find elsewhere.

This would be a good week if you would like to show your support for my “Warning Signs” blog with a donation to express your enjoyment of the commentaries. Thank you!


Alan Caruba

Cartoon Round Up




Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Hillary Enigma

By Alan Caruba

Does it strike anyone as strange that the only candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination to be the next President of the United States is the wife of a former President? There is no historic precedent for this, no way to measure this against how Americans have selected Presidents in the past.

Like most Americans, I first took notice of her when Bill began his campaign to become President. I recall being struck by the fact that in 1969 as a student at Wellesley College, her 92-page senior thesis was devoted to the community organizer, Saul Alinsky’s book. The title of the thesis was “There is Only the Fight…”: An Analysis of the Alinski Model.” She would request Wellesley to deny access to it.  

Alinksy was a Communist. His twelve rules for radicals, unlike the Ten Commandments, are devoid of a moral message. Instead, the message is “this is how you can win.”  Hillary would do well to review Rule 7, “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”  She was already old news when she announced her candidacy and it is becoming older with every passing day as she fails to take questions from the media, participating in totally staged events to look like “one of the people.”

She and Bill are not one of the people. They, like the Bushes, are political royalty. They have both been around a very long time.

Hillary, however, despite the millions of words that have been written about and by her remains an enigma. Other than being farther to the Left than Bill, she is a woman whose “achievements” in life have largely been the result of having married Bill. She would spend eight years in the White House as the First Lady and, pursuing her college dreams of political power, they would move to New York State where she ran and won a Senatorial election.

There isn’t a single Senate bill that she introduced or that is credited to her. She is said to have worked hard and gotten along well with her colleagues, but her Senate years are a blur in her public life. Then she made a bid to be the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in 2008 and along came Barack Hussein Obama with whom the voters fell in love. When he was elected, he asked her to become his Secretary of State.

With the exception of the Benghazi tragedy on September 11, 2012, a clear failure of judgment and duty, and about which she lied, her years as Secretary of State reflect her years in the Senate; nothing of any significance resulted, no major treaties, no major anything, except for one more scandal.

So the question remains; who is Hillary Rodham Clinton? What are her fundamental principles beyond the acquisition of political power? And money. Lots of it while uttering nonsense such as she and Bill being “dead broke” when they left office?

What are we to make of her deletions of thousands of emails on her private server—something she was not supposed to use as Secretary of State—and her assertion that those we may never see were of no importance? They’re important if, as is widely believed, foreign governments hacked her private email server and thus had access to information about policies affecting themselves and others. She may not have broken a law, but she surely did not obey Obama White House policy regarding the emails.

Alinski’s Rule 1 is “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have. Power is derived from two main sources—money and people.”

We are told that Hillary has a huge amount of money with which to wage a campaign to become the first woman President. In light of the revelations about the Clinton Foundations, virtual slush funds, and the millions earned by her and Bill to give speeches, there is little doubt of that.

You cannot, however, buy trust and the polls indicate that is seeping away.

Her die-hard supporters probably know as little about her as the rest of us, but it is their trust she is depending on right now. Should she actually receive the Democratic Party’s nomination, the distrust of independent voters, disaffected Democrats, and of course Republicans, will play a crucial role in who is elected in 2016. It is not likely to be Hillary Clinton.

It is not likely because, as we have already seen, she seems to have reached a point where her political abilities have grown tired and out-of-date. These are not the 1990s. A whole generation has been born since Bill was President.

Like her, the Democratic Party seems tired as well. Can you believe there is not another Democrat, a Governor or Senator who could emerge to represent the Party? How devoid of any real leadership has the Democratic Party become if the only candidate they can offer is a former First Lady? That has been her primary claim to fame despite the two offices she has held since the 1990s.

I suggest that Hillary ceases to be an enigma if you just think of the Wellesley student who thought the best topic for her senior thesis was the book by a dedicated Communist, Saul Alinsky.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Leaving the Church of Environmentalism

By Alan Caruba

In March 2009 while the Environmental Protection Agency was rushing to fulfill a presidential campaign pledge to document that carbon dioxide (CO2) and five other greenhouse gases endangered public health and the environment, a longtime employee, Alan Carlin, put out a 93-page report challenging the science being cited and the drift of the agency from its initial role to one captured by fanatical activists and alarmists, treating environmentalism more as a religion than based in science.

At the time Carlin was a 72-year-old analyst and economist who, as The New York Times put it, “had labored in obscurity in a little-known office at the Environmental Protection Agency since the Nixon administration.” His EPA career would span 38 years. 

The website for his new book, “Environmentalism Gone Mad” says, “Dr. Alan Carlin is an economist and physical scientist with degrees from Caltech and MIT and publications in both economics and climate/energy, who became actively involved in the Sierra Club in the 1960s as an activist and Chapter Chairman. This led to a career as a manager and senior analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency.”

As he says in the preface “The purpose of this book is to explain why I changed from my lifelong support of the environmental movement to extreme skepticism concern their current primary objective of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide.”

“Although I and the many other climate skeptics are now referred to as ‘deniers’ by the climate alarmists, that does not change the science—and there is no valid scientific basis for the alarmists’ catastrophic climate predictions—or justify their fantastically expensive and useless ‘solution.’”

Carlin went from being a dedicated environmentalist, based on its initial philosophy of conservation, to an observer of the movement that was taken over and distorted to advocate falsehoods about global warming and a transition from fossil-fuels to “clean energy” meaning wind, solar and bio-fuels. As an economist he understood how absurd it was to suggest rejecting fossil-fuels, the key element of modern industry and society.

“The climate alarmists,” says Carlin, “have now been making their apocalyptic predictions for almost thirty years and it is now possible to compare their predictions with actual physical observations.”  Suffice to say all the predictions of a significantly higher temperature—the warming—have been wrong.

In fact, the Earth has been in a natural cooling cycle since 1998 and shows no indication of warming

Predictions about the North and South Poles melting, a major rise in ocean levels, increased hurricanes and other climate events have been wrong along with countless other climate-related apocalyptic predictions.

Having observed how the EPA has functioned for more than three decades, Carlin warns that its current “environmental policy has been hijacked by radicals intent on imposing their ideology by government fiat on the rest of us whether we like it or not…If environmental policy is based on government fiat or ‘green’ policy prescriptions the results have been and are very likely to continue to be disastrous.”

At 625 pages, Carlin’s book takes the reader from his early days as a Sierra Club activist and chapter leader to being an EPA outcast, denounced for telling the truth about the false claims of global warming, climate change, and what is now being called extreme weather.

As an economist, Carlin is particularly upset that “the Obama Administration’s climate/energy policy is wasting very large sums on non-solutions to minor or non-problems.”  The book has come along as President Obama has been flogging “climate change” as the greatest threat to the nation and the world.

“It has been long recognized that weather is chaotic," says Carlin. While we operate within the four seasons, the weather that occurs can only be predicted in the most general terms. Suggesting that humans actually have any effect on the weather is absurd.

That is why the predictions made by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and all the others based on computer models are, by definition, worthless. Computer models cannot predict anything about the vast chaotic global climate system. Even today, meteorologists are mystified by the actions of clouds which can form and disappear in minutes.

It’s useful to keep in mind that climate is measured in centuries, while the weather is reported as what is occurring today and forecast, at best, for no more than a week. Weather records are maintained for purposes of comparison and within the larger context of determining the Earth’s climate cycles. Like those in the past, the present cooling cycle is based on a comparable one of the Sun that is producing lower levels of radiation. You don’t need a Ph.D. in meteorology to understand this.

Carlin does not hesitate to excoriate the blather put forth by the alarmists; particularly their claims that the weather is affected in any significant fashion by human activity and development in particular. “There is simply no evidence thus far that the normal activities of man have or will result in catastrophic outcomes for either man or nature.”

The actions the alarmists call for do nothing to enhance and benefit our lives. They drive up the cost of energy and food. They ignore how dependent modern life is on the use of fossil fuels.

“Despite all the lavish funding by liberal foundations and the federal government on their global warming doctrine-inspired programs, the radical environmental movement has long since gone so far beyond rationality that it is counter-productive in achieving its own ends.”

So long as it remains heavily funded and backed by the federal government, we must, like Carlin, speak out against environmental extremism. We must elect new people to govern in a more realistic, science-based fashion. We must urge our current legislators to rein in the rogue Environmental Protection Agency.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Barack "Climate Change" Obama

By Alan Caruba

“Woe to the land that’s governed by a child.”  - Shakespeare, Richard III

I have been wrestling for some kind of explanation why the President of the United States, Barack Obama, would continue to talk about climate change and urge the global transition from fossil fuels to wind, solar and bio-energy. I have concluded that he thinks everyone, not just Americans, are idiots.

We know he lies about everything, but these two topics are clearly near and dear to his heart.

My friend, Paul Driessen, is a policy analyst for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a free market think tank. Among the pundit class he’s ranked very high by his colleagues. Here’s what he has to say about climate change:

“Earth climate always has changed, is always changing, and always will change—but not from fossil-fuel use. Solar fluctuations, deep ocean circulation patterns, and other powerful natural forces have driven climate change and weather events throughout Earth’s history and will continue to do so.”

“President Obama’s hubris is breathtaking. He now thinks an army of regulators can control our planet’s temperature and climate by tweaking emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide, a mere 0.04% of the atmosphere.”

“America’s communities do not need to be protected from climate change. They need to be protected from the excesses of authoritarian presidents and bureaucrats.”

Driessen and I look at and listen to Obama and wonder if others too see and hear someone uttering some of the most absurd claims about the climate. Then we worry that this someone is the President of the United States with the power to turn his ignorance into national policy.

At this point we have suffered his initial failure to respond to the recession he inherited from the 2008 financial crisis. More than six years later the economy has barely moved toward a normal rate of growth. Then we were gifted with ObamaCare and the disruption of what was widely regarded as the best health system in the world. And, for good measure, he imposed Common Core on an already weakened educational system. It is being repealed and opposed in many states. For good measure, his foreign policy, if he has one, is widely regarded as a total failure.

How is it a former “community organizer” possesses a seemingly vast understanding of meteorology? Did they also teach that at the Harvard Law School? “Climate change,” said Obama, addressing a graduating class of the Coast Guard Academy, “constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and make no mistake; it will impact how our military defends our country.”

“Our military and our combatant commanders,” the President told the Academy graduates, “our services—including the Coast Guard—will need to factor climate change into plans and operations, because you need to be ready.” For what? For a rainstorm? For snow? Wind?

This is the same President who sees no threat to our national security from Iran whose leaders shout “Death to America” every day when they aren’t also shouting “Death to Israel.” He has zealously been pursuing a deal that would enable Iran, the leading supporter of terrorism, to have nuclear weapons. Meanwhile Islamic State (ISIS) is taking over more territory in northern Iraq and into Syria. Obama might as well be dropping bags of marshmallows on them.

He blamed climate change in the form of “severe droughts” for the rise of Islamism in the Middle East and Africa. Someone needs to tell Obama that there have always been severe droughts somewhere on the planet, and floods, and forest fires, and blizzards, and hurricanes. Even so, in the last eighteen years, there have actually been LESS of these natural events, along with the flatlining of the planet’s overall or average temperature—there has been no warming!

Not content to blame climate change for the rise of terrorism, the White House issued a report that was described as “a doomsday scenario of health, security, economic and political issues.” The thing about climate is that it measured in centuries, not years. As for the weather, while records are maintained, it is usually reported as today’s news with a forecast of the coming week.

So you shouldn’t be surprised that the report blamed “asthma attacks” on climate change!

Suffice to say there isn’t a glimmer of hard evidence to support anything the President is saying these days about climate change.

And this is the same President that wants the U.S. and the rest of the world to give up the use of fossil fuels—coal, oil and natural gas—to “stop climate change.” 

IF Obama’s climate change idiocy is just a way to distract Americans from the real problems we have encountered thanks to his failure to address them, then it is purely cynical and political.

IF Obama really believes this stuff, he is unfit to be President.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

By Alan Caruba

We need to remind ourselves that Memorial Day is not just another three-day weekend or a day when all manner of sales are offered to those who want to go shopping. It is a day set aside to honor the ultimate sacrifice of those who have fought to defend our nation and take military action in foreign nations. We honor, too, those who suffered wounds and returned home.

We like to think of America as a nation that has gone to war only when we had to, but a new book, “America Invades: How We’ve Invaded or Been Invaded with Almost Every Country on Earth” tells a different story based on history.

As documented by its authors, Christopher Kelly and Stuart Laycock, America, “has invaded or fought in eighty-four out of 194 countries (countries recognized by the United Nations and excluding the United States) in the world. That’s 43 percent of the total. And it hasn’t been militarily involved with just ninety or a hundred countries. It has had some form of military involvement with a spectacular 191 out of 194. That’s more than 98 percent.”

“Most people,” the authors note “would probably agree that much of what America has done around the world has clearly been wise and noble (as in helping liberate Europe from Nazi tyranny.) Some, however, have been wrong and/or unwise. And some of what America has done has been in-between. In some sense, it’s like looking at the history of one’s own family. And, indeed, all of it—the liberations, the fiascos, and follies—is, in some sense, part of the history of every American citizen.”

That’s why it is a good idea to pause on Memorial Day because as an American it is part of your history. “Americans are always hoping for peace but usually preparing for war” says the authors who remind us that “the American eagle is an ambivalent bird holding arrows in the talons of one foot and an olive branch in the other.”

Our natural instinct is for peace. Only aggressive nations, usually led by despots, want war. That is not a description of America. We have not, however, shied from war when the enemy was a well-defined aggressor.

“In the twenty-first century, the United States, though challenged by Russia and China, is the sole remaining superpower. The global responsibilities that we began to shoulder in the twentieth century seem today more burdensome than ever. The cost of being the world’s policeman seems exorbitant in terms of both lives and treasure.”

That’s why we need to remind ourselves that, as a former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, has said of America, “We are the indispensable nation.”

We have learned what happens when our President has retreated from the responsibility to deter war. Since leaving Iraq with no U.S. military ground support that nation which was stable at the end of our war there has come under attack by the Islamic State. The President’s efforts to reach a deal with Iran that would allow them to become a nuclear power is causing Arab states to regard the U.S. as abandoning them and could lead to a nuclear arms race in a part of the world that is far from stable.

The U.S. in the wake of World War Two has a vast network of bases and alliances that span the world. Many of those bases were created at the invitation of the host nation. The result, as the authors note is that “The U.S. military, but virtue of its global reach, is almost invariably the first to respond to natural disasters as they occur around the world. If not us, then who will?”

On Memorial Day we honor our sons and daughters who gave their lives when their nation called on them.

“Today the sacrifice of over 218,000 American servicemen and servicewomen is memorialized in military cemeteries in twenty-four different overseas cemeteries in eleven different countries. The boundaries of Jefferson’s Empire of Liberty, therefore, stretch around the world.”

We worry about the emergence of other world powers, but I doubt that Russia which lost 127 million of its people in World War Two or China which is focused on building an economy based heavily on world trade are serious wartime threats.

That does not, however, exclude the likelihood that events may cause the next President to conclude that the only way to put the lid on the Middle East is to return militarily to Iraq and to make it clear to Iran that its nuclear ambitions are untenable and unacceptable.

The ancient Romans knew a truth they share in the phrase, “Si vis pacem, para bellum.”  If you want peace, plans for war.

About the only thing that is predictable is that somewhere in the world there will be new wars and, given its power and its responsibility, America may well be engaged in restoring the peace.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thinking About China

By Alan Caruba

Napoleon Bonaparte purportedly said “Let China sleep, for when China wakes, she will shake the world.” 

As Thomas J. Christensen, the author of his recently published “The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power”, reminds us, “For millennia China was arguably the greatest civilization on the planet and for many previous centuries its most powerful empire.”

China is no longer an empire, but it remains a huge nation geographically and huge in terms of its population.

From the website, we learn:

The population of China is estimated at 1,393,783,836 as of July 1 2014.
China's population is equivalent to 19.24% of the total world population.
China ranks number 1 in the list of countries by population.
54% of the population is urban (756,300,115 people in 2014).
The median age in China is 35.7 years.

Christensen is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Currently he is the William P. Boswell Professor of World Politics and director of the China and World Program at Princeton University. After reading his book, you might well conclude that there is little about China and Asia he does not know.

We are mostly dependent on various news stories about China to have any idea what is occurring, but the fact remains that just as the U.S. has its optimists and pessimists, conservatives and liberals who influence policy the same exists for China, so a lot depends on who is being quoted. Generally, though, it is only the top leaders who are. That means we are getting the Chinese “party line” and the occasional general or admiral warning against any aggression.

China did not begin to awaken as a modern nation until after the death of Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic of China, a Communist with a capital “C.”  Christensen notes that, while keeping its political ideology, the leader that followed him made a “peaceful transformation launched under CCP leader Deng Xiaopping in 1978 and the collapse of the superpower Soviet Union thirteen years later that made China appear to stand tall again among the great powers.” The transition was to a capitalist-based economy.

These days the Chinese and the Russians are making efforts to achieve areas of cooperation and, in particular, their militaries. They hold drills together for common defense strategies.

Christensen believes that “China’s return to great power status is perhaps the most important challenges in twenty-first century American diplomacy”, but to put that in context he points out that “China’s per capita income is only one fifth that of the United States” and “though a true trade superpower, many of its exporters are controlled at least in part by foreign investors.”

“Still, the pessimists do not give enough credit to the sustainability of U.S. leadership in Asia,” says Christensen. “For example, they often underestimate the value of American’s unparalleled network of allies and security partners.”  You can be sure that the Chinese leadership does not.

They also have, as one would expect, concerns about U.S. military power in their area of the world, but they feel the same about Japan and South Korea as well. “China is not currently an enemy of the United States,” says Christensen, nor is it likely to be for a long time to come.

“It does not need to be contained like the (former) Soviet Union. Nor should China become the kind of regional or global adversary that we have faced in the past, although that outcome, unfortunately, is still a distinct possibility.” That possibility depends on China’s leadership now and in the future. For now they are concentrating on their economy and are likely to do so for many years to come.
“China’s economic clout is real and growing rapidly, especially since the 2008 financial crisis. China has been the main engine of growth for the world’s economy since that time and, by some measures, has become the world’s number one trading state.” There is only one reason why the U.S. has not yet recovered from the financial crisis and his name is Barack Obama.

I suspect that Obama is held in disdain by the Chinese leadership despite all the public handshakes. For one thing, China weathered the financial crisis far better than the U.S. “One of the burdens the new Obama administration inherited in early 2009 was a China bearing a mix of cockiness and insecurity that would negatively influence its policies in 2009-2010,” says Christensen and as the U.S. foundered in Afghanistan and Iraq “American power inspired less awe.”

“Sometime in 2012, the ‘Asia pivot’” of the Obama administration “would be jettisoned in Washington for the more subtle ‘Asia rebalance.’”  If you get the feeling that the Obama administration has no real China policy or one that will have little influence, you are right.

With regard to China, It likely does not matter what the Obama administration does for its remaining one and a half years in office.

Various scholars and diplomats will continue to keep a watchful eye on China and most surely many corporate leaders and U.S. entrepreneurs will do so as well given its huge population as a marketplace. It’s already a great tourist destination.

Napoleon was right.

© Alan Caruba, 2015