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?