Saturday, February 28, 2015

Green Slander

By Alan Caruba

It is a sure sign that the advocates of the “global warming” and “climate change” hoaxes know that the public no longer believes that the former is occurring or that the latter represents an immediate, global threat.

Even though the “climate skeptics”, scientists who have produced research proving false methodology and the conclusions based on it are quite few in number, an effort to silence them by smearing their reputations and denying funding for their work has been launched and it is based entirely on a lie.

Scientists are supposed to be skeptical, not only of other scientist’s findings, but their own. Good science must be able to reproduce the results of published research. In the case of the many computer models cited as proof that global warming was occurring or would, the passing years have demonstrated that none were accurate.

As Joseph L. Bast, president of The Heartland Institute and Joseph A. Morris, an attorney who has fought in several countries to defend free speech, wrote in a February 24 commentary, “The Crucifixion of Dr. Wei-Hock Soon”, of an article co-authored with Christopher Monckton, Matt Briggs, and David Legates, and published in the Science Bulletin, a publication of the Chinese Academy of Sciences “The article reveals what appears to be an error in the computer models used to predict global warming that leads models to over-estimate future warming by a factor of three.” (Emphasis added) Their commentary has been downloaded more than 10,000 times!

“If the work of Soon et al is confirmed by other scientists, the ‘global warming crisis’ may need to be cancelled and we can all enjoy lower taxes, fewer regulations, and more personal freedom.” However, “having failed to refute the article, environmentalists turned to smearing the authors.”
Little wonder the “Warmists” are worried; the Earth has been in a cooling cycle since 1996. People are noticing just how cold this record-breaking and record-setting winter is. 

The attack on Dr. Soon began with a Greenpeace news release that was republished on the front page of The New York Times on February 22nd. Despite its august reputation, The Times' coverage of climate issues has been an utter disgrace for decades. As public interest waned, it eliminated its staff of reporters exclusively devoted to writing about the “environment.”

Myron Ebell, a climate change skeptic and director of Global Warming and International Environmental Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, noted on February 27th that the Greenpeace attack on Dr. Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics claimed they had secured $1.2 million in funding for his research over the past decade and that it came from energy corporations, electric utilities, and charitable foundations related to those companies.  The truth, however, is “that the grants were made not to Dr. Soon but to the Smithsonian, which never complained while taking its sizable cut off the top.”

Columnist Larry Bell who is also an endowed professor at the University of Houston, disputed the Greenpeace claim, saying, “First, let’s recognize that the supporting FOIA documents referred to an agreement between the Smithsonian (not Dr. Soon) and Southern Company Services, Inc., whereby 40 percent of that more than $1.2 million went directly to the Smithsonian” leaving “an average funding of $71,000 a year for the past eleven years to support the actual research activities.”

Focusing on Greenpeace and its Climate Investigations Center which describes itself as “a group funded by foundations seeking to limit the risks of climate change”, Bell asked “Do these activist organizations make their estimated $360,000,000 annual funding publicly available?” Bell said “Ad hominem assaults disparaging the integrity of this leading authority on relationships between solar phenomena and global climate are unconscionable.”

In his article, “Vilifying realist science—and scientists”, Paul Driessen, a policy advisor to the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), noted that in 2012 Greenpeace USA was the recipient of $32,791,149 and that this is true of other environmental pressure groups that in 2012 secured $111,915.138 for the Environmental Defense Fund, $98,701,707 for the Natural Resources Defense Council, $97,757,678 for the Sierra Club, and, for Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, $19,150,215.

“All told,” noted Driessen, “more than 16,000 American environmental groups collect(ed) total annual revenues of over $13.4 billion (2009 figures). Only a small part of that comes from membership dues and individual contributions.”  With that kind of money you can do a lot of damage to scientist’s reputation.

They fear that the public may actually learn the truth about “global warming” and the fear-mongering claims about “climate change” does not stop with just the environmental organizations. At the same time The New York Times was printing the Greenpeace lies, U.S. Senators Ed Market (D-Mass), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) joined together on February 25th to send letters to 107 companies, trade associations, and non-profit groups demanding comprehensive information about all funding of research on climate or related issues.

Among the groups receiving the letter were two for whom I am a policy advisor, The Heartland Institute and CFACT, but others include the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and the American Energy Alliance.

Following The New York Times article, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, sent letters to the presidents of seven universities asking them to provide details about seven professors who are either prominent global warming skeptics.

As Rich Lowrey, editor of the National Review, pointed out on February 27th, that "Science as an enterprise usually doesn't need political enforcers. But proponents of a climate alarmism that demands immediate action to avert worldwide catastrophe won't and can't simply let the science speak for itself."

This is not fact-finding. It is an act of intimidation.
And it looks like a carefully organized effort to quash any research that might dispute “global warming” or “climate change” as defined by the Greens and by both the President and the Secretary of State as the greatest threat we and the rest of the world faces.

The greatest threat is the scores of environmental organizations that have been exaggerating and distorting their alleged “science” in order to thwart development here and around the world that would enhance everyone’s life. Now they are attacking real scientists, those who are skeptical of their claims, to silence them.

This is what fascists do.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Last Day of Donation Week

Been thinking about making a donation to Warning Signs this week? Today would be a good day (and any other day!) to share your enjoyment of my commentaries by sharing what you can to help support this blog. Yes, we do have bills to pay. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

Cartoon Round Up







Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Word from Brazil

By Alan Caruba

The carnival in Rio de Janeiro from February 13 through the 17th was one heck of a party. It was celebrated by the locals, plus an estimated one million visitors, complete with fabulous parades, street parties and balls. Brazil is blessed with some great beaches, the most famous of which is Ipanema, thanks to the 1962 bossa nova classic “Girl from Ipanema”.

Brazil shares borders every other nation in South America except Ecuador and Chile, and has a range of geographic features from the Amazon rain forest to jungles, towering mountains, rivers and rolling plains. In 2016 Brazil will host the Summer Olympics.

I suspect that’s about the only knowledge of Brazil that most Americans have. Brazil is the largest nation in South America. Its most densely populated parts are in the south-central regions that include major cities like San Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The only Portuguese-speaking nation in both North and South America, it has enjoyed economic growth, but that has slowed.

A friend from Brazil shared news that was not likely to show up except on the business pages because U.S. media tend to ignore Brazil and South America unless its bad news. Brazil’s national oil company, Petrobras, has been caught up in a huge scandal that will lead to criminal proceedings. In early February, its CEO, Gracas Foster, and five other top executives resigned.

It’s a kickback scandal and what makes Brazil a place to watch is the fact that its president, Dilma Rousseff, served on Petrobras board of directors from 2003 to 2010 when the prosecutors allege that the kickbacks were occurring. Her political party is alleged to have received billions in money skimmed from the company.

In October 2014, she was reelected in what The Telegraph described as a “dramatic run-off and a tense campaign” which she won “by a whisker”, just 51.6% of the vote.  She was the candidate of the Worker’s Party. The months leading up to the election included mass protests, the corruption scandal, and a stalling economy, slipping back into recession for the first time in five years.

Petrobras is the perfect example of why a government-run enterprise, socialism, is never a good idea. Worth $310 billion in 2008 and valued as the world’s fifth-largest company, today it is worth just $48 billion. There is a definite sense of crisis in Brazil as its government is posting record budget deficits after a collapse in prices for the soy, oil, and iron that the country exports. Its currency, the real, has seen a drop in value for the past six months.

One observer suggests a possible military intervention to remove the president and others involved in the Petrobras scandal.

All that is bad news, but on top of it San Paulo, Brazil’s commercial capital, is running out of water as the reservoirs that supply the nearly twenty million people in the metropolitan area are close to running dry. The water literally goes off around 1 PM until the next day for a few hours but the state water utility denies it is rationing it. The water problem is estimated to last for four to five more years.

America has a long history of isolationism. Early Americans came here to get away from the problems in their home countries, but those problems have ways of affecting our lives as we have seen with the turmoil of Islamic fascism in the Middle East.

We would be well advised to keep an eye on Brazil (and Argentina and Venezuela) and hope it can resolve its current problems, but we can also give thanks that the U.S. is enjoying a boom in energy reserves, particularly oil and natural gas, that protects us against potential upheaval elsewhere in the world. 

If we replace the current U.S. administration with one that understands and supports the growth of our energy sector, we will be on our way to a brighter future.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Donation Week


We’re halfway through Warning Signs’ “Donation Week” and it has been encouraging that readers of my commentaries have been responding with donations, both large and small, to help underwrite the costs of maintaining this blog. I know you are asked by many others to give what you can, so the decision on your part is how much a part of your life are the commentaries that provide information, insight and analysis of what can be and is a very complex and often confusing world.

If the answer is that you find my commentaries of value, than I ask that you send a dollar in any amount you can afford to become part of Warning Signs.
Thank you!
Alan Caruba


The End of Freedom in America

By Alan Caruba

The America that has existed from the days of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, when its sovereignty was acknowledged by a treaty with England 1783, and its founding in 1788 with the ratification of the Constitution is no more. The America for which thousands fought and gave their lives is no more.

That America ends on February 26 when the Federal Communications Commission, under intense pressure from the Obama White House and with the votes of its Democratic Party commissioners asserts government control over the Internet with a 332-page set of regulations, dubbed “Net Neutrality.”

Writing in the Feb 22nd Wall Street Journal, columnist L. Gordon Crovitz summed up what will occur saying “Obamanet promises to fix an Internet that isn’t broken…The permissionless Internet which allows anyone to introduce a website, app, or device without government review, ends this week.”

“The big politicization came when President Obama in November demanded that the supposedly independent FCC apply agency’s most extreme regulation to the Internet.” Of course Obama wants the Internet regulated and of course the Democratic Party will support this move to control who gets to put up a website or blog and, more importantly, who gets to say anything critical of the President.

The Democratic Party has been in everything but name the Communist Party in the United States for several decades. Obama was raised and mentored to be a Marxist. What we are witnessing is nothing less than tyranny replacing democracy.

Crovitz warned that “This week Mr. Obama’s bureaucrats will give him the regulated Internet he demands. Unless Congress or the courts block Obamanet, it will be the end of the Internet as we know it.”

Earlier this week, as reported by Giuseppe Macri in The Daily Caller the FCC’s two Republican commissioners, Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly, asked Chairman Tom Wheeler “to delay the vote and release his proposal to the public. ‘We respectfully request that FCC leadership immediately release the 332-page Internet regulation plan publicly and allow the American people a reasonable period of not less than 30 days to carefully study it.’”

There is some evil at work here because, as the Republican commissioners point out, “the plan in front of us right now is so drastically different than the proposal the FCC adopted and put out for public comment last May.”

Shades of ObamaCare! Even the Democrats who voted that monstrosity into law had not read it. Now neither Congress, nor the rest of America is being permitted to see regulations that will determine what can and cannot be posted to the Internet, the greatest instrument of free speech ever invented since the printing press.

Commissioner Pai says that the FCC is “adopting a solution that won’t work to a problem that doesn’t exist using legal authority we don’t have.” He estimates that the regulations will add up to $11 billion in new taxes on Internet access.
In a commentary, “Neutralize Obama’s Hijacking of the Internet”, Judi McLeod, the editor of, said “Forget NSA, the FBI, the CIA, and all warnings sent by Edward Snowden. They’ve got nothing on how Net Neutrality will silence you.”

“Someday in the near future when you type in the words “Islamic terrorists” in an Internet post, you will be knocked off the Net and find it all but impossible to climb back on again.”

Do I think the Congress will exercise its oversight responsibilities and stop this tyrannical power grab? No. Do I think our court system will do anything other than bow to precedent set by earlier FCC regulations? Yes.

As a nation founded on and devoted to freedom of speech, I think February 26, 2015 will go down in the history books as the day when that freedom came to an end in America.

Thanks to a National Security Agency we no longer have any privacy regarding anything we say using telephones, the Internet or any other form of communication.

If the Democrat-controlled FCC has its way, the Internet will slow your access and could eliminate access countless sites that provide news and express opinions the federal government finds offensive. That's what tyrannies do.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Right to Say No

By Alan Caruba

Something very unpleasant is occurring in America. Those who have a strong religious faith are being denied the right to say “no” based on its teachings and values. This is particularly true these days as homosexuals, barely three percent of the population, demand that they be accommodated when their demand runs counter to thousands of years of what has been deemed moral behavior and, for many, still is.

When it comes to marriage. Gays insist they have a “right” to get married and call their union “marriage”, but there is absolutely nothing in the thousands of years of the Judeo-Christian ethic that defines same-sex unions as either moral or legal.

The most recent and egregious example of what can happen when someone obeys God rather than the state is Arlene’s Flowers, a small floral shop in Richland, Washington. Its owner, Barronelle Stuzman, declined to make flower arrangements for a gay couple’s wedding and, instead of finding a shop that would, they took their grievance to court. A judge ruled Ms. Stutzman violated the state’s anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws. 

I find it odd that one cannot refuse to render a service or sell a product if that decision is based on one’s religious beliefs. Isn’t that a form of discrimination against religion? Yes, it is.

Commenting on these increasing cases filed by homosexuals, the noted conservative writer, Selwyn Duke, said “It is a new front in the war on faith, legitimate freedom and private property rights. Many point out that it constitutes an unprecedented trampling of religious liberty and this is true.”

America is a nation based on its Founder’s beliefs that the rights of its citizens came from God, not the state. Something is very wrong when judges ignore that fundamental truth.

Anti-discrimination laws have the intent of ensuring the right of people to be treated equally. Not all such laws are the same. Some permit exemptions based on religion or gender. The reality that women are different from men has seen some nations such as ours exclude them from serving in a frontline combat role or aboard submarines. This is a concession to reality.

Ms. Stuzman’s new reality, after forty years in business, is the loss of her business due to the fines that have been assessed, along with the cost of legal fees. “They want my home, they want my business, they want my personal finances as an example for other people to be quiet,” said Ms. Stuzman. The gay couple may love each other, but they have demonstrated their belief in their right to marry permits them to inflict an enormous harm on a 70-year-old florist. There is something truly obscene about that.

In August of last year, a same-sex couple from Newark requested the use of the Liberty Ridge Farm for their wedding ceremony and was denied. In order to comply with a court order that they make their farm available despite their religious convictions, Cynthia and Robert Gifford, the owners of the farm near Albany, N.Y., have decided to no longer host any wedding or other ceremonies. 

It’s not like the New Testament isn’t quite clear regarding the issue of homosexuality:

Leviticus 18:22  "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination."

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our Go."

Romans 1:26-28  "For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

Under Islam, you can be put to death for homosexuality.
Here in America, it is not the homosexuals who are subject to restrictions. It is people of faith who are being told they must provide services and products to them in the context if they intend to marry or as a reflection of their gender preference.
Urloved Photography is a small business in Northern California specializing in wedding and event photograph. In response to a request from a gay couple, Urlove replied with an email that said “Thanks so much for contacting us and for your very kind words. We feel that photographing a gay wedding is not the best match for us, however we can refer you to a colleague who would make a great match. We wish you the very best!”  In California, however, one cannot reject business on the basis of sexual orientation.

Some states are trying to extend a measure of legal protection against the demands of homosexuals. In Kansas, its Federal and State Affairs committee has passed a bill aimed at protecting individuals, groups and businesses that refuse for religious reasons to recognize same-sex marriages or provide benefits to gay couples. Kansas law already protects employees from being sanctioned based on religious beliefs.

Federal judges have recently struck down bans on gay marriage in Oklahoma and Utah. In Indiana legislation to protect residents with strong religious beliefs from having to provide services and products to same-sex weddings is under consideration. In October, however, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Indiana’s gay marriage ban.

Our states are sovereign republics in their own right. That should be respected.

We are witnessing the arrogance of the homosexual community pitting itself against millennia of tradition and spiritual belief. Can’t find a photographer, florist or baker who wants to provide services for your same-sex wedding? Find someone who will.

Instead, states are caving into homosexual demands and asking their residents to abandon the reality that marriage is intended solely for a man and a woman.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Correction: It is my understanding that it was the state attorney general who brought the charges against the flower shop, not the gay couple.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Donation Week

I am devoting this week to requesting your donation for "Warning Signs" because, frankly, it costs money to maintain the blog and provide the content you enjoy. No amount is too small because it all adds up when everyone participates.

Thank you!

It's an Ice Age for Sure

By Alan Caruba

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire.
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate.
To say that for destruction ice Is also great.
And would suffice.

-- Robert Frost, American poet.

Robert W. Felix borrowed from the poet Robert Frost for the title of his book, “Not by Fire, But by Ice”, first published in 1997 and devoted to the science of magnetic reversals and the Earth’s ice ages. I read it first in 2010 and was absolutely floored because Felix makes a very strong case for a reversal that would lead to a widespread extinction of life at some point in the future. In the near, more predictable future, he said the Earth was heading into a new ice age.

“What would happen if a magnetic reversal occurred right here?” asked Felix. “The same things that happened in the past. Earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, giant snowstorms, rising land, plummeting sea levels—you name it—tectonic activity would go bonkers.” Don’t believe him? Think about the disappearance of the dinosaurs some 65.5 million years ago.

The Earth had been in a cooling cycle that began in 1996 when the sun entered a cycle of reduced radiation. Such cycles were well known and most dramatically tied to the mini-ice age that occurred between 1300 and 1850. Solar observers had noticed many centuries ago that when there were few sunspots—magnetic storms—on the surface of the Sun, the Earth got colder.

This has become especially dramatic because, on February 17 a post on called for a discussion of the fact that “The Sun has gone quiet again during the weakest solar cycle in more than a century.” The post says, “If history is a guide, it is safe to say that weak solar activity for a prolonged period of time can have a negative impact on global temperatures in the troposphere which is the bottom-most layer of Earth’s atmosphere—and where we all live.”

“There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The first is known as the ‘Maunder Minimum’, named after solar astronomer Edward Maunder, and it lasted from 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the ‘Dalton Minimum’, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton and it lasted from 1780 to 1830.” Together they are referred to as the “Little Ice Age.”

There are quite a few scientists forecasting a new ice age. The last ice age began approximately 1.6 million years ago in the Pleistocene epoch. We are currently in the Holocene epoch that began about 11,000 years ago and is regarded as an interglacial period of general warmth.

In his book, “Dark Winter: How the Sun is Causing a 30-Year Cold Spell”, John L. Casey, a former White House national space policy advisor, says that whatever warming has occurred has ended as the result of “solar hibernation”, a term he applies to the reduction of energy output of the Sun. The “climate change” that is occurring is a long-term reduction in the Earth’s temperatures with, says Casey, “a high probability of increased earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.”

In “Cold Sun”, another book by Casey, his says that “The most likely outcome from this ‘solar hibernation’ will be widespread global loss of life and social, economic, and political disruption. You must prepare for this life-altering event now!”

In January 2012, Matt Ridley, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, noted that “The entire 10,000-year history of civilization has happened in an unusually warm interlude in the Earth’s recent history. Over the past million years, it has been as warm as this or warmer for less than 10% of the time, during 11 brief episodes known as interglacial periods.”

Those who kept warning of a “global warming” with dire results misinterpreted the climate. Ridley noted that “It’s striking that most inter-glacials begin with an abrupt warming, peak sharply, (and) then begin a gradual descent into cooler conditions.” That is what is occurring now.

None of this has anything to do with carbon dioxide, ozone, or any other element of the Earth’s atmosphere. It is entirely the result of the lower solar radiation of heat.

The United States should be taking steps to ensure a sufficient supply of electricity to cope with the lower temperatures, but has been wasting billions to support “renewable” energy, wind and solar, that is costly and ineffective. The U.S. Energy Department projects that solar power will make up 0.6 percent of total U.S. electricity generation in 2015. Wind power which is funded in part by taxpayer subsidies to stay in business has received $7.3 billion over the past seven years, but produces a minimal amount of electricity to justify its cost.

At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency’s “war on coal” has forced many plants providing electricity to close. A significant disruption of electricity over an extended period of time will cause many deaths due to the cold weather. It is inevitable.

At the same time, instead of providing a source of food, tons of corn are being turned into ethanol in the name of reducing carbon dioxide even though CO2 plays no role whatever in a “global warming” that is not happening.

It’s not just another typical winter. The U.S. and much of the northern hemisphere is experiencing increased cooling that is seen in record-breaking and record-setting new amounts of snow and ice. This is a trend tied to the Sun’s and the Earth’s cooling cycle.

That is of no concern to those who are using “global warming” and “climate change” in order to bring about a transformation in the global economic system from capitalism, the most effective creator of growth and wealth, to socialism, a pathetic, failed system of income redistribution controlled by a central government. Directed out of the United Nations, their absurd claims are supported by the media and many deluded politicians.

Is the U.S. government responding in a sensible way? No. When President Obama speaks of “climate change” he means “global warming.” The result over the past three decades has been the waste of billions for “research” and other schemes tied to this huge hoax.

Real climatologists, meteorologists, and scientists paying attention to both the past and to present events are forecasting more intense and longer winters—for now a Little Ice Age.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Have You Made a Donation to "Warning Signs"?

Asking for donations is part of life as a blogger because there are real expenses involved, even if you do not count the time required to research and write a serious commentary on a serious topic.

“Warning Signs” has a real following and the commentaries posted here are also posted on a large number of news and opinion sites, so they reach a significant audience of readers. That does not, however, help pay the bills whether it is just office supplies and equipment or the costs of maintaining and protecting the computer.

So one has to ask for donations and, in my case, I know there are many of you who visit daily. I am pleased by that, but many of you do not make even one donation a year. Others are more supportive. You know who you are and I thank you.
If you haven’t made a donation, please do so. Become a part of the process that provides you the commentaries you have come to value. Now put a dollar sign on them. Thanks.

There Will Always Be War

By Alan Caruba

We begin with the reality that the United States and many other nations are at war with militant Islamists. They are a growing army of religious zealots murdering Christians, Jews, others who are not Muslim, and even other Muslims.

In my youth America knew how to win wars. In Europe it bombed Germany into submission, leading its allies in an invasion that left Germany divided for decades until the Soviet Union collapsed. In Asia Truman dropped two atomic bombs on Japan because they didn’t get the message when Hiroshima was destroyed on August 6, 1945. It took a second bomb on Nagasaki on August 9 to bring about Japan’s surrender.

Millions died in World War II but the alternative would have been the loss of freedom for millions worldwide.

If one spends any time learning history, the primary lesson is that war has been a constant factor from the beginning of what we call civilization about five thousand years ago.

The Bronze Age introduced new weapons that gave the residents of the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East a distinct advantage over invading nomadic people, but the invaders introduced chariots and it took the Egyptians and Babylonians a while to catch up. War has always been about new, more lethal weaponry.

Why would we be surprised to learn that the Assyrians who originated in what is now northern Iraq or the Islamic State (ISIS) were the most violent and bloodthirsty of the ancient world’s peoples? Known to all their neighbors by 1300 BC., their army become a source of terror for the Middle East during the ninth century. They destroyed the Kingdom of Israel around 732 BC, but the southern part of the Kingdom of Judah survived. In time the Babylonians would defeat the Assyrians.

Not all wars involved religion. The Greeks fought each other and then fought the Persians. Alexander the Great, a Macedonian, loved waging war and was very successful. The constant factor, however, was war and, of course, Rome would become the greatest empire of its time, beginning around 509 BC, fighting three Punic wars with Carthage, but losing an estimated 400,000 in the first war and 150,000 in the second.

Eventually, Rome was so powerful it imposed a “Pax Romana” on the entire Mediterranean area it controlled. In time, Rome would be destroyed by the “barbarians”, Visigoths, Vandals, Ostrogoth’s, and Burgundians. By 476 AD, the Roman Empire was history.

After establishing a group of followers in the Arabian Peninsula as the “last prophet”, proclaiming Islam as the one, true faith, Muhammad died in 632 AD Within ten years, the Arabs had conquered Jerusalem and were taking aim at Damascus and Cairo. Baghdad and the Libyan Desert were the next to be conquered. They moved on to Spain and Central Asia.

During his lifetime, Ali, Mohammad’s son-in-law, was the leader of the Arab forces. As noted in Samuel Willard Crompton’s ‘The Handy Military History Answer Book’, by the time the Arabs fought the Byzantines and the Persians they had also initiated the great split that remains today between the Sunnis and the Shiites.” Shiite means “follower of Ali.” The Sunnis wanted to elect their own caliph.

After taking the southern half of Spain, the Muslim army was poised to take all of Europe, but their 732 AD defeat in the Battle of Tours put an end to further expansion. Their momentum in Asia was stopped in 751 AD with a defeat in the Battle of Talas. As Crompton notes, “in the century that followed the Prophet’s death, the Arabs took over ninety percent of all the urban centers in the Western world, and their conquests equaled those of ancient Rome.”

The Crusades

Which brings us to the first Crusade; it began when Pope Urban II in 1095 told a gathering of 10,000, mostly French and German knights, that a “new accursed group”, the Muslims, had taken control of the holy land were preventing pilgrims from visiting holy sites. The knights responded to his call to liberate Jerusalem by chanting “Deus Volt! Deus Volt!”—God wills it.

They were joined by a “Peasants Crusade” between 1095 and 1096. By June 1099 the knights arrived outside Jerusalem and what followed was a wholesale murder of everyone there. In 1185, Saladin, the emir of Cairo and Lord of Damascus, proclaimed a jihad—a holy war—against the Christians in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The knights defending it were defeated.

A Second Crusade followed in 1147 AD. but accomplished little and the Third Crusade had the same result. A Fourth Crusade resulted in the Europeans taking control of Constantinople in August 1204 AD. They would rule it for the next fifty years. Years later, in 1489, a war drove the Muslims from Spain.

The spokeswoman from our Department of State who said that the present generation of Muslim holy warriors can’t all be killed doesn’t know that this is the way wars are won. You kill the enemy until the enemy decides that dying for their cause is not worth it.

If ISIS is insane enough to bring the war to our homeland (and even if it doesn’t), a war of total destruction will be the only way to end the present conflict. Currently, the Jordanians and the Egyptians are doing what they can to resist ISIS, but recent polls confirm that Americans are beginning to conclude that our active boots-on-the-ground participation is the only way this will end.

Obama is merely going through the motions of conducting a war against ISIS, but retired generals and diplomats have told Congress that only full-scale war will end the threat they represent.

Meanwhile, ISIS is committing genocide against the Christians of the Middle East while Boko Haram is doing the same in Africa. Hezbollah would do the same against Israel if it could. Given nuclear arms, Iran will assert control over all of the Muslim warriors, threatening both Israel and the U.S.

Our next President will have to commit to destroying ISIS. There is no alternative. That is history’s primary lesson.

Editor’s Note:  The Handy Military History Answer Book is published by Visible Ink, $21.95, softcover.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Too Many Lies, Too Much of the Time

By Alan Caruba

“He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.”
-- THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Peter Carr, Aug. 19, 1785

I am beginning to wonder if Americans have grown so accustomed to the lies told by the President, his administration, and others said to be highly regarded, that we are losing a sense of outrage?

To the degree that Brian Williams’ serial lies have evoked a national discussion, it’s good to know that most people think he has lost credibility to the point of not being a news anchor, but one still has to wonder what NBC will do at the end of the six month suspension it has imposed on him. I am cynical enough to think he may be offered a job at MSNBC.

It is far more significant that, regarding the leading candidate to be the Democratic Party’s choice to run for President in 2016, we know she engaged in similar lies of having been “under fire.”

It’s one thing to expect politicians to lie, but the nation’s future is at stake when we still do not know the truth of Hillary Clinton’s full role in the Benghazi attack that left a U.S. ambassador and three others dead. She was the Secretary of State at the time and we watched her stand at his side as the President attributed the attack to a video no one had ever seen. The fact that the attack occurred on the anniversary of 9/11 was conveniently ignored.

The refusal to identify the Islamic State (ISIS) as an enemy representative of the global jihad is not just politics. It is a lie on the order of the President’s assertion that “The Islamic State is not Islamic.” As we are repeatedly reminded, if you cannot or will not identify an enemy, you are leaving yourself and, in this case, the nation open to attack.

Indeed, many elements of the Obama administration have engaged in lying on a level that goes beyond “politics.” It is a deliberate attack on science itself when the EPA, NOAA and NASA actively engage in distorting data to say that the Earth is warming when it has been in a well-established cooling cycle for 19 years at this point.

How are we expected to maintain any confidence in an administration that lies about employment statistics and other critical data we need to know regarding the economy?

The lie about “income inequality” is the core rational for Communism. There is no such thing as equality when it comes to income because some people enjoy higher pay for higher skills, higher productivity, and higher responsibility. We don’t pay “sanitation engineers” the same as we pay real engineers. And you don’t create new jobs by raising the minimum wage when it will reduce existing and potential new jobs.

Most dramatically, it was a series of lies told by the President that led to the passage of ObamaCare. Its two thousand-plus pages were not read by the exclusively Democratic members of Congress who passed it and, today, we learn that it is a major contributor to the nation’s deficit which is the result of the government spending more than it takes in. For the past six years Obama’s policies have added trillions to our national debt, now $18 trillion and growing. It is going to be a burden on generations to come.

There is no evidence of the tax reforms that Congress knows are needed, nor reforms to the entitlement programs that are just years from becoming insolvent.

Whether it is domestic or foreign affairs, Americans have been at a loss to expect the national press to address the lies because they would have to abandon the protection they have afforded the President for the past six years. Only one news service, Fox News, is credited with providing the truth. Fortunately the Internet has provided access to many other outlets where the truth can be found. And, yes, many that maintain the lies.

It should come as no surprise that the Obama administration wants to regulate the Internet with a program that call “Net neutrality”, but there is nothing neutral about it. The freedom the Internet enjoys is the best example of the value Americans put on an uncensored source of information and communication. The Obama administration wants to control the Internet in the same way that despots around the world want to do.  

There is always a far higher price to pay for believing lies than knowing the truth.
We expect our enemies to lie. We should not expect our government to do so in such a routine and obscene fashion.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The EPA's Ozone Nightmare

By Alan Caruba

Putting aside its insane attack on carbon dioxide, declaring the most essential gas on Earth, other than oxygen, a “pollutant”, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently engaged in trying to further regulate ozone for no apparent reason other than its incessant attack on the economy.
In late January on behalf of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), Dr. Bonner R. Cohen, Ph.D, filed his testimony on the proposed national ambient air quality standard for ozone. The EPA wants to lower the current ozone standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb) to a range of 70 to 65 ppb, and even as low as 60 ppb.

“After promulgation of the current ozone standards in 2008,” Dr. Cohen noted, “EPA two years later called a temporary halt to the nationwide implementation of the standard in response to the severe recession prevailing at the time.” 

In other words, it was deemed bad for the economy. “Now, EPA is proposing a new, more stringent standard even before the current standard has been fully implemented and even though, according to the EPA’s own data, ozone concentrations have declined by 33 percent since 1980.”

According to Wikipedia: Ozone is a powerful oxidant (far more so than dioxygen) and has many industrial and consumer applications related to oxidation. This same high oxidizing potential, however, causes ozone to damage mucous and respiratory tissues in animals, and also tissues in plants, above concentrations of about 100 ppb. This makes ozone a potent respiratory hazard and pollutant near ground level. However, the so-called ozone layer (a portion of the stratosphere with a higher concentration of ozone, from two to eight ppm) is beneficial, preventing damaging ultraviolet light from reaching the Earth’s surface, to the benefit of both plants and animals.”

So, yes, reducing ozone in the ground level atmosphere does have health benefits, but the EPA doesn't just enforce the Clean Air Act, it also seeks to reinterpret and use it in every way possible to harm the economy.

As Dr. Cohen pointed out, “the Clean Air Act requires EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee to produce an evaluation of the adverse effects, including economic impact, of obtaining and maintaining a tighter standard. Despite repeated requests from Congress, (the Committee) has not produced the legally required evaluation. By ignoring this statutory mandate, and moving ahead with its ozone rulemaking, EPA is showing contempt for the rule of law and for the taxpayers who provide the agency’s funding.”

Since President Obama took office in 2009 he has used the EPA as one of his primary tools to harm the U.S. economy. In a Feb 2 Daily Caller article, Michael Bastasch reported that “Tens of thousands of coal mine and power plant workers have lost their jobs under President Obama, and more layoffs could be on the way as the administration continues to pile on tens of billions of dollars in regulatory costs.”

The American Coal Council’s CEO Betsy Monseu also testified regarding the proposed ozone standards, noting that the increased reductions would affect power plants, industrial plants, auto, agriculture, commercial and residential buildings, and more.

Citing a study undertaken for the National Association of Manufacturers, “a 60 ppb ozone standard would result in a GDP reduction of $270 billion per year, a loss of up to 2.9 million jobs equivalents annually, and a reduction of $1,570 in average annual household consumption. Electricity costs could increase up to 23% and natural gas cost by up to 52% over the period to 2040.”

In a rational society, imposing such job losses and increased costs when the problem is already being solved would make no sense, but we all live in Obama’s society these days and that means increasing ozone standards only make sense if you want to harm the economy in every way possible.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Beyond Anti-Semitism

By Alan Caruba

I read Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent call to European Jews to move to Israel in the wake of the attacks in Paris and in Copenhagen. “Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe,” was Netanyahu’s message to those considering leaving their home nations.

By 2012 about 43% of the world’s Jewish community lived in Israel, making it the country with the largest Jewish population. The bulk of the rest of the world’s Jewish population lives in the United States and the remainder are scattered among other nations.  

When it declared its sovereignty in 1948 Israel quickly filled with Jewish immigrants from the surrounding Arab nations that made it clear they were not welcome even if their families had lived there for generations. Now they are extending their hatred to Arab Christians.

These days Israel’s population numbers 7,821,850. For years Israel has been welcoming Jewish immigrants from nations that include Russia, Ethiopia, Ukraine, and France; even some from the U.S. As incidences of anti-Semitism increase in Europe, Netanyahu’s invitation is being answered by more Jews seeking a respite from the hatred they are encountering.

In the U.S., unless you live in a major urban center or its suburbs, you are not likely to encounter too many Jews. According to the 2015 World Almanac and Book of Facts® there are 5,439,000 Jews in North America and 13,862,000 worldwide.

So why are we witnessing attacks on Jews? Writing in The Wall Street Journal on January 15, 2015, Ruth R. Wisse, a former professor of Yiddish and comparative literature at Harvard, warned that “If we mistakenly imagine that this is ‘about’ Jews, however, we fall into the trap that anti-Semitism sets for us by deflecting attention from perpetrators to victims.”

“The trail of terror leads not to the Jews but from those who organize against them…In every case, Jews are convenient targets standing in for the liberalizing aspects of individual freedom, democratic governance and modernity complete with its anxieties. Anti-Jewish politics aims at the tolerant societies in which Jews flourish.”

Therein lays the danger in President Obama’s resistance to identifying the terrorists and acts of terrorism around the world as fundamentally Islamic. Do all Muslims hate Jews? Probably not, but enough do to support radical Islamism in the millions and their hatred extends to Christians and all other infidels, unbelievers.

One thing is for sure. As reported on June 3, 2014 in The Wall Street Journal, “from 2010 to 2013, the number of jihadist groups worldwide has grown by 58%, to 49 from 31; the number of jihadist fighters has doubled to a high estimate of 100,000; and the number of attacks by al Qaeda affiliates has increased to roughly 1,000 from 392.” Those numbers are increasing.

CNS reported in November 2014 that “The number of people killed by terrorists worldwide in 2013 rose by 60% compared to the previous year—from 11,133 to 17,958—with four Sunni Muslim extremists groups responsible for two-thirds of all fatalities” according to the Global Terrorism Index, a project of the Institute for Economics and Peace.

The failure to defeat the jihadist groups can only lead to the increasing danger of an attack on the U.S. homeland, but it will also ensure that such attacks occur throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East wherever there are large Muslim populations.

On September 29, 2014, Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the United Nations General Assembly. “It’s not militants. It’s not Islam. It’s militant Islam. Typically its first victims are other Muslims, but it spares no one. Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Kurds—no creed, no faith, no ethnic group is beyond its sights. And it’s rapidly spreading in every part of the world. You know the famous American saying, ‘All politics is local’? For militant Islamists, ‘All politics is global’ because their ultimate goal is to dominate the world.”

When Netanyahu addresses the U.S. Congress next month, his message will surely be the same, but with one difference. He will focus on the insane prospect of an Iran, the source of terrorist acts against the U.S., since the Beirut bombing of our Marine barracks there in 1983.

What Obama does not grasp is that Netanyahu wants the U.S. to cease its insane support for a nuclear Iran. He wants to protect his nation, but what he also wants to do is to save Iranian lives because Iran will not be permitted to reach a point where it can annihilate Israel.

This goes beyond the anti-Semitism that has flourished for millennia and goes straight to the question of whether Israel and the U.S. can survive an inevitable attack and whether the rest of the world can avoid slipping into a new Dark Age rooted in the seventh century.

© Alan Caruba, 2015