Obama has a Very Bad Day

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By Alan Caruba

“Jan 31, 3:10 PM (ET) - PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge in Florida says the Obama administration's health overhaul is unconstitutional, siding with 26 states that had sued to block it. U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson on Monday accepted without trial the states' argument that the new law violates people's rights by forcing them to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties.

Attorneys for the administration had argued that the states did not have standing to challenge the law and that the case should be dismissed. The case is likely to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Two other federal judges have upheld the insurance requirement, but a federal judge in Virginia also ruled the insurance requirement unconstitutional.”

See? The system works. That is to say, the one set up by the U.S. Constitution. You remember the U.S. Constitution, right?

And, well, when 26 States all say that a law passed by Congress and signed by the President is unconstitutional, the chances are it is.

When you combine that with the House of Representatives’ call for its repeal, even Democrat Senators (particularly those facing reelection in 2012) are going to think twice about voting against repeal when it gets to the Senate floor.

President Obama is just two years into his first and last term, looking more and more like Jimmy Carter every day, courtesy of the mobs in the streets of Cairo.

For two years he threw trillions of OUR dollars at “stimulus” legislation to generate jobs and failed. Now the most central piece of legislation for him, former Speaker Pelosi, and Harry Reid has been ruled unconstitutional.

There is no way Obama can breath life into that horrid overhaul of Medicare that pulled trillions out of it while adding millions more Americans to it. No where in the Constitution does it say that the government can require you to buy insurance, a hamburger, or even a lottery ticket.

Moreover, as various entities examined Obamacare, it became increasingly clear that it was a monstrosity filled with mandates that would end up killing people who didn’t have months to wait around for an operation or waiting to see the increasingly fewer physicians it would force to leave the profession for lack of adequate compensation.

It is now clear to everyone that Obama was and is totally unsuited and unprepared to be President. Now watch the issue of his real place of birth move to the center of the stage.

The U.S. can survive a “President Biden”, but Obama should never have been let anywhere near the Oval Office.

Not a good day for the Democratic Party. A really awful day for Barack Hussein Obama.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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US Middle East Policies

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This won't work either

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Anther infringement on our civil liberties comes into force today in England and Wales, it's a measure to target gang members but will no doubt end up being used for something it was never meant to be used for.

Powers to restrict the movements of people accused of gang membership have come into force in England and Wales.
Gang injunctions can be used to ban people from certain places or from walking aggressive dogs.
The powers are similar to anti-social behaviour orders and were conceived by the former Labour government after appeals from councils for help.
Ministers say the injunctions should not replace prosecutions of gang members involved in violent crime.
Police and local councils can seek gang injunctions in the county courts against adults who they believe are involved in gang-related violence and crime.
The Labour government devised the powers after Birmingham City Council tried unsuccessfully to use ordinary civil injunctions against suspected gang members in the city.
Like Asbos, each order is tailored to the individual and could include bans from particular neighbourhoods where police know rival gangs meet to fight.
Individuals could also be forced to take part in activities designed to protect them from gang culture, such as mentoring schemes, or could be banned from wearing certain colours used by gangs to signify membership.
A separate power covering injunctions for young people aged 14 to 17 is being piloted later in the year.
I suspect like ASBO's these will become a badge of honour to some that they are applied too, I also expect like ASBO's a majority of gang members will ignore them and go ahead and keep doing what they were doing anyway, it's a typical political fudge designed to show that they were doing something when in fact they weren't dealing with the problems at all, a slap on the wrist rather than a bullet to the head. The police already have the power to deal with this sort of thing anyway, they just don't have the time or resources anymore because of paperwork and the very necessary time consuming  task of revenue raising from motorists.
I do wonder how long it will be though before these gang injunctions are used to target protest groups by various councils in the UK, It would be easy enough to declare the leadership of protest groups gang members and prevent them from attending demo's without actually doing more than signing a piece of paper. Local authorities after all have a history of overstepping their authority just look at the abuses of RIPA where instead of targeting terrorists they used it to check bin levels and if parents were in the catchment areas for schools.
ASBO's were a waste of time, I suspect gang injunctions will be too, until they are used to target the wrong people or rather those the local authorities wish to silence...
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Waiting and Watching Egypt

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By Alan Caruba

Today we watch events unfold in far off places often in real time. What we lack, however, is context. Most Americans and, I suspect, others in Western nations are frequently at a loss when it comes to knowing anything about the culture and history, past and recent, of nations in the Middle East, Africa, or Asia.

What we do know about the Middle East is that, since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran along with the rise of al Qaeda and other jihadist organizations, things have not gone well for American and Western interests.

How different everything might have been if U.S. troops had occupied Tehran in 1979 and demanded the return of our diplomats after they had been taken hostage.

After World War One, what was once the Ottoman Empire that ruled the Middle East and areas of the Maghreb in northern Africa, the French and the British got out their maps at the Versailles conference to literally draw new lines on it and create new nations that were, in fact, colonies. They included Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and a strip of territory called the Palestinian mandate. The chief prize at stake was oil.

After World War Two was concluded many of the former British and French colonies, including India, and much of Africa declared their independence. The Saudi Royal family had already thrown in its lot with America. In Egypt, the Suez Canal, opened in 1869, was jointly owned by the British and French. The British called the shots there through its royal family.

The Egyptian defeat in the 1948 war in response to the establishment of Israel stirred discontent among its military leadership. Gamal Abed Al Nasser ultimately emerged as Egypt’s leader after a July 1952 bloodless coup against King Farouk and the royal family. In 1956 Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal.

Here’s what it gets very instructive. In 1956 the British and French, with Israeli involvement, sent troops to seize the Suez Canal. That operation was quashed by President Dwight Eisenhower who made it known that the United States would not support it. The era of colonization was over.

What had been occurring, however, was an era of pent-up anger throughout the Middle East focused on the establishment of Israel and resentment of the former colonial powers. The British had earlier installed a royal family in Iraq. A new component was opposition to the dictators like Hussein who emerged to run Iraq. Another example is the fact that first the British and then the Americans had controlled Iran’s oil through its royal family. Other royal families continue to control mideast oil.

Ironically, it took George W. Bush to rid Iraq of three decades of despotic rule by Saddam Hussein. However, this has to be balanced against the fact that the U.S. has also supported the authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. It was, however, Egypt, as well as Jordan, who made peace with Israel.

Arab military defeats gave way to support for the so-called Palestinians as pawns in the war against Israel. The main support of the Palestinian "refugees" is the United Nations, sixty-three years after 1948 and subsequent wars to destroy Israel. Iran has funded two Palestinian terrorist organizations, Hezbollah and Hamas.

At the heart of the turmoil in the Middle East is a movement to restore Islam to its former glory when it literally knocked on the doors of Europe. The jihadists such as Osama bin Laden dream of a worldwide Islamic caliphate. As in the early spread of Islam, it would be achieved through war, but the tactic employed would be terrorism and the fact of Islam’s expanding population worldwide.

An irony of the Islamist movement is its opposition to the monarchies ruling Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, all of whom have proven to be good allies to the United States at the same time they have funded the spread of Islam. In Egypt, under Mubarak, the jihadists known as the Muslim Brotherhood were ruthlessly suppressed. The Saudis actually exiled bin Laden.

What the world has witnessed has proven to be very bad news for the West. The 1979 Iranian revolution has given us Mamoud Ahmadinejad and a regime plotting through proxies to control Lebanon via Hezbollah and Gaza via Hamas, while it plots to control Iraq and eyes the Gulf States as well. Its closest ally these days is Syria. It has long sought to become a nuclear power. Its proclaimed goal is to destroy Israel.

Democracy has not turned out to be much help in the Middle East. Rigged elections in Egypt kept Mubarak in power for three decades. Saddam Hussein used terror and the Baath Party to achieve and hold on to power. Elections were rigged in Afghanistan. Pakistan has been mainly ruled by its military.

Lebanon was a democracy and now its prime minister comes from the ranks of Hezbollah. Turkey has had a long run of real democracy, but only because its military ensured that Islamists did not take over.

Americans have a lot at stake and, of growing concern to many, a President, Barack Hussein Obama, whose first television interview was with Al Arabia, who bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, and whose first global lengthy outing was a tour of the Middle East to demonstrate how friendly he was to their cause.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Bookviews - February Edition Posted

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For followers of this blog who love to read, the February edition of my monthly report on new non-fiction and fiction titles, Bookviews, has been posted.

It is filled with news of some excellent books on science, history, health and wellness, books for younger readers, and notice taken of some interesting and entertaining new novels.

Share news of this with friends and family, any one of whom is likely to find just the right book about something of interest to them.
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Justifying paedophilia

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There is a problem in the Pakistani Muslim community and it isn't just that they are Muslims. For years now the some of the young men in that community have been preying on and grooming under age girls from outside their community, not just white, but Sikh and Hindu girls as well. Finally the MSM had the courage to break the story and various other minions of the state poked their heads above the parapet to tell us yes they knew about it, but dared not report it further because it might be deemed "racist" if they did. So you'd think the Muslim community as a whole would be keeping their heads down and coming out with various platitudes such as "it's only a minority" and doing their best to use the term "Asian" rather than "Muslim" or "Pakistani" like most of their useful idiots on the left and in the MSM have been doing, though the Muslim talent for public relations and how to get it totally wrong is utterly astounding.
So, into the breach steps Lord Ahmed of Cartexting Rotherham to explain why these scum behaved as they did and it's all due to marrying their cousins (even the ones who weren't married it seems)

BRITAIN'S first Muslim peer last night attacked arranged first-cousin marriages for contributing to a spate of sex crimes committed by Pakistani men.
Lord Ahmed of Rotherham said the marriages were being used by depraved young men as an excuse to prey on “vulnerable girls”.
His comments follow a succession of court cases where Asian men have been prosecuted for targeting white teenage girls.
The Labour peer, who wants an end to cousin marriages, claimed Asian men target their victims at a young age because they feel there is less chance of getting caught.
He said: “They are married to girls from overseas who they don’t have anything in common with and they have children and a family but they are looking for fun in their sexual activities and seek out vulnerable girls.”
Last month, former Home Secretary Jack Straw provoked fury after claiming some men of Pakistani origin view white girls as “easy meat”.
The Labour MP for Blackburn spoke out after two Asian men who abused girls in Derby were given indeterminate jail terms.
Research suggests about 55 per cent of British Pakistanis marry their first cousins, who are typically from abroad.
Marriages between first cousins is lawful in Britain, but they are generally frowned upon.
So there you go, marrying your cousin turns you into a sex mad paedophile according at least to Lord Ahmed. The truth is rather more brutal of course, these men behaved in a depraved manner because people in authority and in their own communities chose to look the other way. Yes some of the blame must also be laid at the feet of the parents of these children too, though in some instances at least they may not have been aware of what was going on, or even cared. But the vast majority of the blame has to be laid at the feet of these men who deliberately sought to target vulnerable children from other communities because they knew full well what would happen if they did target their own. There is no justification in the world for what they did, nor any excuse and Lord Ahmed would have done well to have simply continued his campaign to end first cousin marriages without trying to excuse or justify these perverts behaviour.
I am sick to death of this stupid blame game played out in the MSM and our political elite over the rape and prostitution of these young girls. I'm sick to death of the avoidance of the discussion of the amount of men queuing up to pay to molest these children, some in their 50's following the example of their sick prophet no doubt, after all if it was good enough for Mohammed... And well past the age where they're over the distress of being forced into marriage if they ever were. I'm sick to death of the term Asian being used to disguise the fact that this is a Pakistani Muslim problem. It's not a Sikh problem, it's not a Hindu problem it most certainly isn't a Chinese problem and they are all Asians and sick to death no doubt about being tarred with a Pakistani Muslim perversion. I'm sick to death of people like Taji Mustafa, media spokesperson of Hizb ut-Tahrir who objects to the claims that Islam had anything to do with the issue as various newspapers had claimed. He said:
"Islam promotes respect for women regardless of their race, religion and ethnicity. In Islam, you are not allowed to drink, take drugs, engage in pre-marital sex or even have a girlfriend. So how can Islam be blamed for these heinous crimes?"
 I suspect the fact that it was Muslims doing this that gives the game away, not Asians but Pakistani Muslims, despite the vast generalisation on the matter of who was actually doing it in the press and amongst politicians as well as the silence of various socialist groups like the SWP and the UAF who would be all over this if it was white guys preying on Muslim girls screaming racist no doubt. Since 1997, 56 people with an average age of 28 have been convicted of offences related to on-street grooming of girls aged 11 to 16. Of these, three were white and the rest Asian, of whom 50 were Muslim, with the majority British Pakistani, with more and more cases coming out of the woodwork. I'm totally sick of the stench of cover up as this seems to have been going on for years, even the fact that at the time the UK's youngest mum was only a mum because she was gang raped by Pakistani taxi drivers back in 2002 and still nothing was done other than for Labour to open the floodgates to even more immigration to rub the rights nose in multiculturalism. Well if this is one of the benefits of multiculturalism then count me out as a fan of it, not that I ever was, watching from the sidelines as all that was good about England was denigrated and contemptuously cast aside by Labour, the left and their pro British anti English mind set, which allowed this outrage to go on unchallenged until it could no longer be brushed under the mat and even then I reckon it would still be hidden and Jack Straw et al saying nothing and pretending the problem doesn't exist had not the Times finally got brave enough to do an article on it. I even remember Nick Griffin of the BNP being vilified  and prosecuted back in 2005 for saying it was going on. Since then the establishments, both legal and political, have ignored the continuing abuse and violence solely for their own benefit and to avoid getting accused of racism themselves. 
I am absolutely horrified by this, authorities across the country knew this was going on for many years yet did NOTHING significant to effect the cessation of these vile acts, but elected instead to hide them under blankets of secrecy! They were culpable in withholding relevant information that would have helped to protect our country's children from abuse at the hands of Muslim paedophile gangs.
What gets me as well, is that as soon as these scum have done their time they'll vanish back into their communities and not be despised like we would despise.
That this could happen in my England is the most damning verdict on the Labour years in power, not the war in Iraq, not the financial waste and irregularities, but the despoliation of young girls by an alien culture encouraged to settle here and aided and abetted by a wall of silence by the authorities.
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Israel Holds Its Breath

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By Alan Caruba

After more than three thousand years of varying calamities, Jews have perfected survival against the odds. There is a joke they tell about “Jewish Zen”:

“Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.”

Right now, Israel and those who support the Jewish State are holding their breath, watching events in Egypt. What is happening is not inconsequential, given that Egypt made peace with Israel in 1979 after a series of wars in which it had been soundly defeated.

When the flamboyant Gamal Abed Al Nasser died, Anwar al-Sadat became Egypt’s president and, together with Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, they turned a corner toward peace. The treaty was greeted with angry demonstrations throughout the Arab world. Sadat, the peacemaker, was assassinated by Muslim zealots.

At that point Hosni Mubarak became Egypt’s president and he has held the position for three decades as the head of what is essentially a one party system. There have been a half dozen assassination attempts on his life. He is 83 years old. Like most Arab nations and other third world nations, he ran an authoritarian regime.

The peace deal included the return of the Sinai desert to Egypt by Israel. Under former Prime Minister Arial Sharon, Israelis who had lived in the Gaza strip were forced to leave and it was turned over to the Palestine Authority in a “land-for-peace” swap. The peaceloving Palestinians turned Gaza into a launch site for thousands of rockets into Israel.

Today, Egypt shares a border with Gaza which features an unknown number of tunnels used to smuggle in weapons and goods. Gaza is run by Hamas, a terrorist Palestinian organization that drove the PA out at gunpoint.

So the fate of Egypt is of importance to Israel. To Israel’s north, another terrorist group, Hezbollah, has taken over the government of Lebanon without firing a shot. Christians, Druze and Marists, along with others in Lebanon have once again lost control over their nation, formerly peacefully governed by a constitutional coalition of Christians and Muslims.

None of this bodes well for Israel as it looks around at Middle Eastern and northern African nations in which governments are being overthrown for being noxious oppressors.

Of great importance to Israel at this time is the question of what action the United States will or will not take regarding the current turmoil. Since the Egyptian uprising appears to be a genuine people’s rebellion, the question is who ends up with the reins of power there? My bet is on the military.

Meanwhile, however, yet another United Nations resolution aimed at Israel like a guided missile is making its way through the Security Council and, at this point, only the U.S. can shoot it down with a veto.

The UN resolution declares that any construction in the West Bank by Israel is illegal, even if it is in its capitol, Jerusalem.

No American administration has been able to broker peace between Israel and the so-called Palestinians, the oldest existing group of “refugees” in the world.

Following the end of a failed war against the then new state of Israel, the Arab population that fled became the sole object and purpose of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). No other refugee group in the world enjoys this status.

There is a Palestinian problem because there is a United Nations problem.

The United Nations is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of its Middle Eastern and Islamic members.

What was to be a UN emergency response in May 1950, UNWRA has cost American taxpayers billions since then. Today, UNRWA continues to operate in both the Palestinian Authority-ruled West Bank and the Hamas-ruled Gaza, taken from the PA in June 2007. As noted in a recent article by Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, in 2007 UNRWA employed more than 29,000, all but 200 of whom were Palestinians. Its “facilities and personnel have been tied to numerous terrorist attacks on Israel.”

Sixty years of stalled and failed peace talks, as well as terror campaigns against Israel, have deligitimized Palestinian claims.

Following Israel’s operation Cast Lead in December 2008 to stop Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket attacks, the Obama administration promised $400 million for Gaza and $600 million for the West Bank.

Though not confirmed, the rumor-mill in Washington is saying that the Obama administration will not veto the latest in an endless succession of anti-Israel resolutions.

If true, President Obama would become the first U.S. President to not defend Israel’s sovereignty.

If true, it would signal to the entire Middle East and the world that America is abandoning the only true democracy in the region and its longtime ally.

The United Nations was founded in 1945 after World War Two. It has since become a cesspool of corruption and an international cancer determined to become a one-world government. The time is long overdue for the U.S. to stop funding it and, indeed, to withdraw from it.

If Obama does not veto the Security Council resolution, the U.S. will pay for that decision for decades to come. Israel will be in ever more certain peril.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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90p a gallon, that'll be before tax of course.

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Seems our clever British scientists have developed a fuel based on hydrogen that can be used as a substitute for petrol that costs only 90p a gallon (oh halcyon days) and can be used in petrol driven cars without modification. It's also carbon friendly but only idiot enviroloons give a damn about that.

BRITISH scientists have invented an “artificial” petrol that could spell an end to soaring prices at the pumps.
The new hydrogen-based fuel costs only 90 pence per gallon and could even run in existing cars.
The environment-friendly fuel has been developed in secret at a laboratory in Oxford and could be available in as little as three years.
Motorists could even be able to drive for 300 to 400 miles before needing to fill up.
The breakthrough comes as average UK fuel prices have hit a record high, marking “another milestone along a road of misery for drivers”, according to motoring organisation the AA.
The revolutionary fuel, which has been invented by Cella Energy, produces no greenhouse gases and is “suitable for widespread use as a carbon-free alternative to petrol”.
Clever guys, of course what everyone is forgetting is the cold dead hand of the state and fuel duty. There's no way in hell that we'll be buying fuel at 90p a gallon not with any politicians in charge of the country, not now, not then, not ever.
That said, if it can get us out of the clutches of OPEC and the Islamic oil cartel (yes I know it's not just the Middle East) then it will be a job well done. Until that is the enviroloons start panicking about us turning all our water into fuel. There are already water problems around the world of too much usage anyway. However there is a source of hydrogen available too us if we want to go and get it. All of the gas giant planets out there starting with Jupiter have hydrogen atmosphere's, plus there are masses of Ice asteroids out past Neptune. Not easy to get, but easy enough from a technical standpoint as the technology to convert the stuff to fuel to power the tankers needed to get it is already in development.
I'd expect our enviroloons to come up with some sort of objection though, it's in their nature, they want to reduce the world population (minus the enviroloons) not sustain or civilisation by technology. So this technology will have been a body blow to them.
Isn't science grand...
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Losing Egypt

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By Alan Caruba

Those of us around at the time of the 1979 Iranian student revolution that deposed the shah are having strong feelings of déjà vu because that uprising was swiftly co-opted by Ayatollah Khomeini who hated the Great Satan, America, as much as he hated the Little Satan, Israel.

The U.S. lost a major ally in the Middle East. The Shah may have been a bastard, but he was our bastard. The CIA had put him on the Peacock Throne.

The uprising in Egypt, if taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood, will severely endanger American interests that have largely been coasting along in the belief that Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak would engineer a smooth transition of power to his son. This was the scenario in Syria when its dictator, Hafiz al-Assad, passed away.

That scenario just went out the window. Given the depth of opposition to Mubarak, it is unlikely power would pass to his son, Jamal who, with his wife and daughter have fled to Great Britain. Moreover, since Mubarak has no vice president, there is a major power vacuum.

The fate of the Suez Canal is the biggest geopolitical concern at this point. A lot of oil transits through it in much the same way it does through the Strait of Harmuz. Years of growing dependency on Middle East oil while our own vast reserves were locked up and neglected will demonstrate why the policies of several administrations have been not just short-sighted, but incredibly stupid.

As big a pain as Saddam Hussein was, I always believed that he was overthrown as much because of his control of Iraqi oil as for any other reason. The U.S. backed his war on Iran until it fizzled after eight years. When he invaded Kuwait, we pushed him back into Iraq. After 9/11 it is likely that the calculation was made that Iraq and the Middle East would be better off without him. His overthrow might also been seen as an object lesson to others in the region of what happens when Uncle Sam is unhappy.

Mubarak has been “our man” in Egypt since he took over after the assassination in 1981 of Anwar Sadat who had been killed because he made peace overtures to Israel. Up to then, Egypt had been repeatedly defeated, especially in the Six Day War. After thirty years of dictatorship Mubarak is hated by most Egyptians for all the usual reasons.

To understand the current unrest in Egypt and elsewhere, it is necessary to understand that most of the population of the Middle East and northern Africa’s Maghreb are young people. They are fed up with the oppression of their governments, with unemployment, with inflation, with the region’s endemic and historic corruption, and its lack of political freedom.

They rioted in Lebanon against Syrian oppression after the assassination of their prime minister. They rioted recently against Hezbollah control of Lebanon. Within the past weeks, there have been riots in Tunisia, in Yemen, and now Egypt. It is a contagion.

We are running out of friends in the Middle East. For all of the talk of supporting freedom in the Middle East, the U.S. has usually backed its despots. Given our dependency on Middle East oil, we have had very little choice. That’s what happens when you don’t allow drilling in Alaska’s ANWR, anywhere off our coastlines or domestically where billions of barrels are estimated to exist.

Now, however, we have a President who is VERY different from any that came before him going all the way back to Truman and Eisenhower.

A neophyte when it comes to foreign affairs, no matter what nation is involved, Obama has demonstrated extraordinarily bad instincts and judgment. He has regarded the United States as just one nation among others. He has apologized for the sixty years of relative peace the U.S. has provided as global sheriff. He has been eager to “reach out” to Middle Eastern nations. The result is that Obama has appeared weak to everyone.

He failed to speak out strongly in June 2009 when ordinary Iranians filled Tehran’s streets to protest the despicable and detested ayatollahs that rigged its election in favor of Mamoud Ahmadinejad. He lost a major opportunity while saying at the time that he did not want to “meddle” in Iran’s affairs.

Although he increased combat strength and supported Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai, the results there have been a predictable failure for a regime that lacks popular support.

Ironically, the only actual and natural ally the U.S. has in the Middle East, Israel, has been beaten about with Obama’s absurd demands that it not construct new housing in its own capitol, Jerusalem.

In the first two years of Obama’s presidency, it has become obvious to everyone, friend and foe alike, that he is anti-Israel. Perhaps he was trying to signal some kind of accommodation with Iran? Or maybe he just doesn’t like a Jewish presence in the Islamic Middle East?

That is why the rumor that the U.S. will not veto yet another anti-Israel resolution in the UN Security Council worries a lot of people. Failure to do so would make Obama the first U.S. President ever to abandon Israel in the UN.

Throughout the Middle East, people risking their lives for freedom know that if the U.S. abandons Israel, it will abandon them.

That is why, also, there can be no accommodation with Iran. Every other nation in the Middle East knows this. Hezbollah and Hamas are both terrorist organizations and both are funded and directed by Iran. It is the single greatest threat to peace in the Middle East. Syria is Iran’s closest ally and agent.

By contrast, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, all monarchies, all protected by the U.S., fear Iran.

No Middle Eastern nation is safe so long as radical Shia Islam is directed from Tehran and operates with impunity in Yemen and in Pakistan.

No nation in the world is safe if Iran acquires nuclear weapons.

If Egypt is lost to the Muslim Brotherhood as the result of the current insurrection and rebellion, the implications for the U.S. and the world would be a major game change.

A lot of nations who found it fashionable to oppose and criticize the U.S. as a big military bully are going to be looking to it to avoid an ugly, expensive, and dangerous future.

On Friday, the White House released a statement that was made in Platitude Heaven:

Politico.com reported that “President Obama called for Egypt's government to respect the rights of its people. ‘The people of Egypt have rights that are universal,’ he said.”

“Calling for Egyptian authorities to respect citizen’s right to speech and protest, he said, ‘suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.’ The president also urged the people of Egypt to refrain from violent protest. Obama spoke with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for 30 minutes earlier Friday.”

The problem, of course, is that we have a President who is intellectually, emotionally, philosophically, and in all other ways not up to this crisis.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Cartoon Round Up

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Guess I'm not most

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seems most of my fellow countrymen think it's possible to communicate with the dead...

MOST Britons think it is possible to communicate with the dead – and the person they would most like to talk to is Princess Diana.
Two-thirds of us believe in life after death, a third think there is a heaven and a fifth expect to be reincarnated.
These are the findings of a survey on modern attitudes towards spiritualism.
Some 58 per cent of Britons believe their dead loved ones are “with them in spirit” – while 40 per cent believe in guardian angels.
A fifth claim to have seen a ghost or felt the presence of a spirit and 53 per cent believe that psychics are able to communicate with the dead.
Diana was the most popular choice of famous person to contact, with Albert Einstein and Marilyn Monroe in second and third place.
However, the most common ghost sighting is of a relative or friend, the survey of 3,000 adults revealed.
The poll, by Dr Penny Sartori, was conducted to mark the release of Hereafter, directed by Clint Eastwood. The film is about a man who can talk to the dead.
That certainly explains the plethora of tv programs both fictional and purporting to be factual that pass for entertainment on various satellite/cable tv channels, though what it says about the thought processes of the UK public leaves me somewhat bemused. I cannot imagine for one second why a dead person would still want to interact with the living nor indeed why the deceased Princess Di would want to talk to a lot of nosey voyeurs. Personally I believe that wishful thinking as well as a desire on the part of the public to seek meaning beyond death has a lot to do with it. As well as a certain pandering to the bereaved and incredulous on the part of spiritualists and their cohorts (Yes I'm looking at you Derek Acorah) I'm sure some of you out there could regale me with tales of meeting recently or even long lost relatives, but frankly although I'd be polite, I wouldn't believe you, a part of me stubbornly holds it to be wishful thinking as well as an unconscious desire of people to scare the shit out of themselves.
Still it's up to you lot what you believe, I'm not going to gainsay you and your beliefs, they're simply not mine and I doubt you'd convince me otherwise, I've yet to see any proof, never mind scientifically proven proof, bit like global warming really. It's not a discussion I have at home either, both the female members here fully believe the dead can speak and my views go down as well as a pork pie at a mosque. So I'm afraid you lot get it in the neck and put up with my minority heresy. I'm not saying that nothing happens to you after you die (though it's possible) I'm just saying that I don't believe the dead hang around to chat/haunt, they move on perhaps, or don't interact. Either way I believe people delude themselves into thinking that the dead are still around, mostly it's harmless, sometimes it's commercial, but really it strikes me as people being people, therefore odd. I'm just odd in different ways...
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The Long Winter of 2010-2011

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By Alan Caruba

For New Yorkers and those in my part of New Jersey across the river, snow has fallen eight times since December 14, an average of once every five days, 56.1 inches in Central Park as of Jan 27th, and people are, shall we say, taking notice?

Along with the snow come power outages, disrupted bus schedules, air travel delays, commuting by car becomes an auto body repair business bonanza, schools shut their doors, and some people die from weather-related accidents or just from trying to shovel the snow from the driveway.

Having battled the “global warming” hoax since it was first perpetrated in the late 1980s, I have had the good fortune to make friends with many of the world’s top meteorologists and climatologists who joined in the long effort to educate people to the fact that there never was a rapid rise in the planet’s overall temperatures.

Even so, some mainstream media news outlets have continued to file stories incredulously blaming the winter snow storms on “global warming.” The hoax for too many media folk has long since become a religion in which blind faith replaces the objective fact obvious to everyone. It is cold. There is snow. Lots of it.

Indeed, the Earth has been in a cooling cycle since around 1998 as verified by meteorological satellite and other data. Piers Corbyn, an astrophysicist and leading forecaster, said “We’re now headed for a Maunder minimum of very low solar activity. The globe will be much cooler until about 2035, so there will be a lot more of these cold winters in Europe and the USA.”

Considering how the climatologists and meteorologists of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been telling everyone for decades of a coming warming, why should we believe Corbyn and others predicting decades of cold weather? Corbyn studies solar cycles and they determine how warm or cold the Earth is.

It’s the Sun, Stupid

Corbyn’s astonishing record of accuracy has put his native England’s meteorological service to shame for deliberately misleading the British to believe the “global warming” hoax. Not given to vague talk, Corbyn recently said, “The claim that 2010 is the second warmest year on record is delusional, irrelevant and disingenuous. Warmist (warm is cold) explanations for extreme events are as useless as saying ‘Wet days cause rain.’”

It is useful to keep in mind that U.S. agencies such as NASA and NOAA have been issuing similar politically correct and meteorologically incorrect “global warming” claims for years.

Consider weather events just since the beginning of the year.

For the first time since 1945, the maximum daytime temperature in North Korea has remained below zero for nearly a month. In neighboring China, the snowfall in northwest China was accompanied by extreme cold and a snowfall that flattened or damaged 100,000 homes. All around the world there have been similar reports, including sunny Italy that set new cold records, -48.3 degrees on January 19.

In the United States, Minnesota shattered its cold records on January 21 reaching an astonishing -46 degrees. In Florida, eight new record lows were set by January 17 and there was snow in every State of the lower 48. And spring will not debut until March 21!

It’s not like this is a new weather phenomenon. As any meteorologist will tell you, the Earth has gone through numerous warming and cooling cycles. In its 4.5 billion years, scientists estimate there have been at least seventeen full-blown Great Ice Ages. In near past history, the last Little Ice Age is well documented, having begun around 1300 and not ended until 1850. Whatever warming occurred since then, however, has amounted to just over one degree, but that was enough!

Reaching its peak in the 17th century, in England the Thames River froze over. The Little Ice Age is credited with bringing down the French monarchy and ruining Napoleon’s subsequent Russia campaign. In America, the tiny army of George Washington weathered a harsh winter at Valley Forge.

As in previous cooling cycles, it was low solar activity that determined the temperature, not carbon dioxide or other so-called greenhouse gases.

People’s lives depend on our government’s ability to measure and forecast the weather. A government that continues to tell people that “global warming” is real and then throws billions of money on “research” to prove it, while issuing utterly false claims, must be forced to acknowledge reality. The same applies to the energy policies on which everyone depends for electricity, a reliable supply of heating oil, and other elements of the infrastructure.

The lies must end. The end of the cooling cycle is nowhere in sight.

Editor’s Note: To follow cold weather events, visit http://www.iceagenow.com/. For instruments with which forecast weather, visit http://www.weathershop.com/.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Another betrayal

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It was Labour under Tony Blair who crowed that they wanted 50 per cent of those aged up to 30 to be engaged in higher education by 2010. Despite the fact that major dumbing down in education under labour went ahead and these courses only brought them up to what was considered A Level standards in my day, plus they got charged for the privilege too. So our young were encouraged into a university life and to take a host of courses that few employers wanted or needed, such as degrees in the Beatles or indeed flower arranging, useful I'm sure for Music magazines or florists but of limited other use in the real world as the current figures for joblessness in graduates prove.

The number of university graduates out of work is at its highest level for more than 10 years.
A fifth of new graduates are now unemployed – double the 10.6 per cent without a job before the recession.
Official figures show that graduate unemployment has increased faster than for the UK as a whole.
By the end of the recession, the jobless rate for college leavers was 2.3 times higher than the rest of the UK in the third quarter of 2009. Student union leaders said the statistics were further bad news for young people.
Aaron Porter, president of the National Union of Students, said: “Graduates are encountering an exceptionally hostile jobs market and the Government persists with policies that put the burden of the country’s debt on the young.” He said the NUS was calling for renewed targeted investment in education and the reinstatement of the Future Jobs Fund to support graduates into employment.
Sally Hunt, secretary of the University and College Union said: “Those who do make it through university are going to face a difficult job market without support, but saddled with record levels of debt.”
The data was taken from the Labour Force Survey by the Office for National Statistics.
Yes it's bad news and yes it's pretty bad that students start off in life owing huge amounts of debt, but that sadly for Aaron Porter is not the fault of the current government despite his lefty bleating on the subject. Students have paid top up fees since the Dearing Report into the future funding of higher education on 23 July 1997 by the then Education Secretary David Blunkett who announced the introduction of means-tested tuition fees to begin in September 1998 with students being required to pay up to £1000 a year for tuition, thus opening the floodgates to universities and banks to charge through the nose for silly courses of no use to anyone but their treasuries.Porter should really learn some history, but as head of the Students Union and arch socialist, probably struggles to learn anything of value about real life and the real world.
Today you don't get much for nothing, life changes and the idiocy of labour for allowing this situation to develop still hasn't been resolved, nor does it look too likely that the coagulation will do anything to reduce places and actually get kids taught anything useful for life. The old system worked fairly well, grammar for the brightest, secondary modern for the skilled, university only for the top 10% of our brightest and best, but plenty of opportunity via technical colleges and polytechnics for our skilled workforce to move up a notch, often by paid day release by their employers, or nightschool if they weren't. Yes there were times it wasn't fair and some got left behind, but it worked by and large. Labours class ignorance by bringing in comprehensive dumbing down and Thatchers moving us away from a manufacturing based economy to a service economy didn't help, but it was still a good base for education. Sadly there's no going back and we've ended up producing a generation of unemployables unless they get lucky with an understanding employer. Students graduating today have been betrayed by Labour, but the rot goes back a lot further a whole generation of kids dating back to the end of the 70's have been denied the skills to really make a difference in their lives, we need skilled craftsmen not Beatles degrees, engineers, plumbers, electricians, not flower arrangers, people who make things, not shuffle paperwork. If we had those we wouldn't need the constant stream of immigrants with those skills nor those sadly without them.
Frankly I don't know what if anything can be done to repair the damage, it's not as if the kids are any less bright, just simply betrayed, by both government at home, socialist education methods and the EU abroad. There will come a reckoning though and I hope I live to see it when the architects of this betrayal are paid back in full and bitterly regret their hand in this mess.
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Demonizing Bisphenol-A: The BPA File, Part One

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By Alan Caruba

In July 2010 I wrote a commentary about Bisphenol-A, more commonly called BPA. It is a chemical that has been in wide, safe use for over 50 years, but has come under a horrendous and unrelenting attack by a variety of specious environmental and consumer groups.

Out of curiosity mostly, I initiated a Google Alert earlier this month to inform me whenever BPA was mentioned in a news story on the Web. Within three weeks I received 20 alerts, almost one a day, and each contained notifications on 15 – 25 different article references. That’s just nuts!

Why are Americans being bombarded in the space of a single month with more than 400 articles in magazines, newspapers, and on the Internet that are designed to frighten them into thinking that a good, safe thing is a bad thing?

It piqued my curiosity and prompted me to dig deeper. It seems that finding out who is behind these attacks on BPA, none of which has any credible science to support their claims, is proving to be a real detective game.

The result is that I have decided to follow the BPA story on a periodic basis in order to track and report how this classic scare campaign is maintained and spread. My research and writings will appear in “The BPA File”, a series that will ultimately be published on the website of The National Anxiety Center. It will appear monthly and elsewhere in places where readers have grown accustomed to seeing my writings.

I founded The National Anxiety Center in 1990 as a clearinghouse for information about just such scare campaigns and this fresh examination of BPA will be published alongside previous works including, “The Subversion of Education in America” and “The Enemies of Meat,” as well as the archive of commentaries written before I began my daily blog, “Warning Signs.”

The reason for this new series is that we have already seen any number of beneficial chemicals and products targeted in this fashion, often to be driven from the marketplace by class action lawsuits or banned by federal agencies and states.

Classic examples range from Alar and DDT to saccharine, all of which came under withering criticism from questionable sources using junk science, yet all of which have been proved over time to be perfectly safe and harmless when properly used. The same is happening today with BPA.

When the American Council on Science and Health, a consumer advocate group, listed “The Top Ten Unfounded Health Scares of 2010”, number one on its list was BPA. The ACSH wrote, “Bisphenol-A has been in use for over five decades in the manufacturing of certain life-saving medical devices as well as in baby and water bottles, dental devices, eyeglass lenses, DVDs and CDs and other electronics.”

BPA also plays an important role in maintaining a healthy food supply. “In addition,” said the ACSH, “it (BPA) has been used to coat the inside of nearly all metal food cans to protect consumers against deadly diseases like botulism.” If activists are successful in their pressure campaigns to ban BPA, my fear is that less-tested and less-safe alternatives will be forced upon unsuspecting consumers.

Here’s a simple question. If any of the charges against BPA are true, why then – in more than 50 year’s time! – has there been no direct connection drawn between BPA and the disease conditions claimed by anti-chemical activists? Answer: because none has ever been established through reliable scientific testing.

Human beings are chemical-processing machines. That’s what our bodies do all day, every day. We live longer, healthier lives precisely because of the discovery and use of chemicals, many of which exist solely to enhance our health and well-being.

Ultimately, as any chemist, pharmacist, or physician will tell you, “The poison is in the dose.” It is the amount of exposure and the route of exposure that determines whether something is harmful or not. Perhaps the best example of this ancient axiom is water. Too much and you can drown in it. Too little and you will suffer dehydration.

The same holds true for other chemicals, many of which are found in nature. Most crops produce their own pesticides to protect against natural predators and the human race has been ingesting trace elements of these chemicals since the dawn of humanity, along with the fruits and vegetables we know to be healthy elements of our diet. The amounts, however, are so miniscule – parts per billion – that they pose no threat.

This exact pattern exists with BPA as well; the so-called ‘endocrine disruptor’ we’re so breathlessly warned about in BPA is identical to a chemical found in soy products like tofu and soy sauce, soy milk and other related products. Strangely, we’re not hearing panicked cries to banish vegetarian food, Chinese carry-out and alternative dairy products for the lactose-intolerant from American society.

So, with Part One of The BPA File we shall begin an investigative journey that will, I promise, astonish you with the brazenness of a global campaign of lies intended to actually endanger your life by denying you the benefits of this particular chemical.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Don't do the crime if you are not prepared to do the time, used to be the old maxim before various ministers tried to find ways to cut corners and reduce the prison population rather than build more prisons, though frequently enough they were prepared to let any prisoners out early violent or not. Yet what happens if there is no real penalty for committing a crime?

MORE than 10,000 yobs have snubbed anti-social behaviour orders, it was revealed yesterday.
Government figures show 56 per cent of Asbos issued between 1999 – when they were introduced by Labour – and 2009 have been breached.
It found 45,599 Asbos were flouted across England and Wales between June 2000 and December 2009.
In 2009 – the latest year for which statistics are available – 1,671 Asbos were issued and 1,133 broken. Officials found that one Asbo – often imposed to control the behaviour of thuggish street yobs – was breached more than four times on average.
I can't imagine what was going on in the heads of labour politicians other than this is a cheap (and unsupervised) way of dealing with the odd thug who they didn't want clogging up the prison/remand/probation system. It wasn't even an effective slap on the wrist as 56% of those given them simply ignored them, it just added an extra layer between the courts and prison. Inevitably it was used for things it was never designed for, as well as ridiculous lengths of time it often applied for.
If we are going to deal with criminals and anti social behaviour then the punishment has to be such that the offenders will not wish to re-offend. I'm not saying that persistent littering should carry a death penalty or any such, but that those who do it and get caught should not simply get told not to do it again or else. Not even kids are fooled by that one, it's what's known to them as an empty threat, nor am I suggesting birching or flogging, though in certain instances I could see it having an effect, however as the human rights act and various do-gooders would go into apoplexy over really punishing criminals they aren't options (yet) The answer I believe would be hard tough but short sentences, up at 6, made to run or jog to every task (mundane stuff), basic food, no tv, no interaction and early to bed. Most kids wouldn't know what had hit them and probably wouldn't want to do it again, that said, others might have better ideas and would no doubt work far better than an ASBO.
Certainly something needs to be done if the figures are anything to go by.
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Sitting Together

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The Horrid Ms. Browner

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By Alan Caruba

The announced departure of Carol Browner as President Obama’s climate “czar” is very good news for America, given her long record of contempt for the truth regarding “global warming” and a range of other Environmental Protection Agency initiatives when she served as former President Clinton’s director of the EPA.

The decision to leave could have been motivated to put some distance between herself and the White House to afford the President some political cover.

Whatever reason will be put forth for her leaving, the real reason is her justified concern that she will be summoned before a congressional committee to explain why, for example, she deliberately misled Americans during the BP oil spill, going on national television to say that most of the oil was gone. She cited a White House commission created to investigate the spill, implying that the scientist’s report had confirmed the need for a moratorium on oil drilling in the Gulf when, in fact, they had not supported it.

Browner has been a dedicated socialist, serving as a Commissioner of the Socialist International, an umbrella group for 170 “social democratic, socialist, and labor parties” in 55 nations. According to its “organizing document”, the SI cites capitalism as the cause of “devastating crisis”, “mass unemployment”, “imperialist expansion” and “colonial exploitation” worldwide. This is straight out of the Communist Manifesto.

When her role with SI was revealed, its website scrubbed her photo and evidence of her commission membership. No doubt several of Obama’s “czars” have shared similar views of capitalism. One, Van Jones, was forced to resign as the "Green Jobs Czar" when it was revealed he was a communist.

Obama’s election was, in effect, a socialist takeover of the executive branch of the U.S. government.

Browner’s dedication to the Big Lie of “global warming” goes back to her days when she served as then-Senator Al Gore’s legislative director from 1988 to 1988. Browner’s devotion to environmentalism resulted in her being named Florida’s Secretary of Environmental Regulation from 1991 to 1993. After the 1992 presidential election, she served as a transition director for Vice President-elect Gore.

Global warming is the assertion that the Earth is rapidly warming as the result of the buildup of “greenhouse gases”, most particularly carbon dioxide.

The “theory” is now totally discredited, but continues as justification for a variety of policies such as the administration’s emphasis on wind and solar energy, attacks on the coal and oil industries, and efforts that would drive up the cost of electricity to business, industry, and all consumers.

Browner is on record saying that global warming is “the greatest challenge ever faced” despite revelations in 2009 that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had rigged the computer model's global temperature records to advance the fraud.

Global warming is the basis for the Cap-and-Trade legislation that was stalled in the Senate during the first half of Obama’s term. Since then, the EPA under Lisa Jackson, a Browner acolyte, has asserted that it intends to regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gases. The EPA has no such authority under the Clean Air Act. Such regulations would have a devastating affect on the nation’s economy.

In December 1992, President-elect Bill Clinton named Browner as his choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency and she was confirmed by the Senate on January 21, 1993. She would become the longest-serving EPA director.

Despite a J.D. degree from the University of Florida College of Law in 1979, Browner has frequently shown a contempt for the law. In 1995, she used her position at the EPA to lobby more than a hundred grassroots environmental groups to oppose the Republican-led Congress’s regulatory initiatives to curb the EPA. In doing so, she violated the Anti-Lobbying Act. The Browner-led EPA was strongly rebuked by a bipartisan subcommittee of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.

On her last day as EPA Director, Browner ordered a computer technician to delete all her computer files despite a federal judge’s order requiring the agency to preserve those files. It was later learned that three other high-ranking EPA officials had also violated the judge’s order. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth held the EPA in contempt of Congress in 2001.

During secret negotiations with auto industry executives on behalf of the Obama administration, Browner directed them “to put nothing in writing” as she orchestrated an agreement to increase federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards. Federal law requires officials to preserve documents concerning significant policy decisions.

In these and countless other unknown ways, Carol Browner has used the reins of power as EPA Director and later as President Obama’s climate advisor to assert EPA and government control over every aspect of the lives of Americans, limiting their choices, and in the process harming the nation’s economy.

Until the nation is released from the grip of such environmental/socialist zealots, its future remains in jeopardy.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Obama Prepares for 2nd Term

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The turning wheels

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Climate change, Climate disruption, Global warming (what the hell I'm a traditionalist and I like nailing warmists to the mast) started to unravel almost as soon as the phrase was invoked. A lot of scientists went along with it following the money, but a hard core dug their heels in faster than you could say hockey stick and said, hold on a minute this doesn't match what's actually going on. Unfortunately politicians had decided that they needed an excuse to wave in front of the public to justify their raid on our money via taxation for all those lovely bird choppers and climate levies on our fuel bills. So essentially truth became a casualty in the ongoing debate of whether or not mankind was responsible for warming the planet up, but the fightback was growing apace and slowly but surely the warmist camp were being forced onto the back foot as data continually showed they were talking out of their adjusted figures, 3 cold winters on the run didn't help either nor their support from the wilder side of the environmental movement. The so called "climategate" or "CRUtape" leak however tipped the balance, the "proof" skeptics had been looking for was suddenly out into the public arena and for all it's taken a couple of years and two cover ups investigations finally some politicians are taking note of what's going on in the minds of people in the real world.

TWO inquiries into claims that scientists manipulated data about global warming were yesterday condemned by MPs as ineffective and too secretive.
The row, which became known as Climategate, erupted in 2009 over allegations that researchers had deliberately strengthened evidence suggesting human activity was to blame for rising temperatures.
MPs on the Science and Technology Committee have now concluded that both probes into the scandal had failed to “fully investigate” claims that scientists had deleted embarrassing emails.
The investigations were set up after around 4,000 leaked emails and documents appeared to show that scientists at East Anglia University’s Climate Research Unit had manipulated data to strengthen the case for man-made global warming.
UEA’s Independent Climate Change Emails Review was led by Sir Muir Russell, while the Scientific Appraisal Panel was led by Lord Oxburgh.
But the MPs said they had “reservations” about both inquiries.
They criticised the brevity of the appraisal panel report, at “a mere five pages”, and said both investigations should have been more open to the public.
The committee also said the emails review “did not fully investigate the serious allegation” relating to the deletion of emails and instead relied on a verbal reassurance that the messages still exist.
Though the committee was split over the credibility of the inquiries, an amendment put forward by Labour MP Graham Stringer which said that they had not been independent was voted down by members.
He said Lord Oxburgh appeared to have a “conflict of interest” because of his links to green businesses while the Emails Review panel included a former Climate Research Unit scientist.
He maintained: “We are now left without a clear understanding of whether or not the CRU science is compromised.”
Yes, it's mostly MP's covering their arses, but it does give the first official signs that some MP's are starting to get worried by the web of lies and deceit implicit in the leaked documents and aren't very happy with the findings of the two investigations. It's a shame Labour MP Graham Stringer's amendment didn't get through, but that I suspect would have taken a miracle and run headlong into the administrations ultimate policy of milking us for all we're worth.
The warmists are losing the battle, they know this, but are still hell bent on getting as much cash for research out of the system before it all goes tits up, same with the government, one day someone will pull the plug and scapegoat hunting season will begin. MP's are notoriously good at shifting the blame, pro warming scientists and environmental groups should remember this, it wont be MP's who are hung out to dry, they'll just claim they were badly misinformed by the scientist and enviroloon movement. MP's will move onto the next great cash cow, probably biodiversity unless we hang them all first.
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The True State of the Economy

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By Alan Caruba

The mainstream media will fall all over itself to put a good face on the President’s State of the Union speech. Time was when Presidents simply sent a written message to the Congress (Article II, Section 3) to be read in chambers, but we must now suffer through an hour and a half of madcap Democrat applause and frozen Republican silence.

Great television, it isn’t. The worst part, even before the speech, is that everyone knows it will be filled with boldfaced lies about “investments”, i.e., more spending, and other fictions. Thank goodness that all spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives (Article I, Section 7). Since Republicans now control the house those “investments” are not likely to be approved or authorized.

In recent days, AmericanThinker.com, has posted excellent articles that provide the cold hard numbers regarding the first two years of the Obama administration and past four years of Democrat rule. A sampling tells the truth.

The prices of selected commodities, all of which translate to what you pay at the gas pump or in the supermarket, have all risen in the past two years.

#Crude Oil, European Brent (barrel) was selling for $43.49 in January 2009. It now sells for $99.02, an increase of 127.7%

#Corn, No. 2 yellow was selling for $3.56 a bushel in January 2009. It now sells for $6.33, an increase of 60.5%. Corn is an important indicator because much of it, by government mandate, must be turned into a gasoline additive called ethanol. The result is that the cost of food is increased as corn which is widely used to feed livestock and in countless other ways in the food chain is diverted to make fuel.

#Sugar, cane, raw, world price per pound was $13.37 in January 2009. It now sells for $35.39, an increase of 164%,

# Unemployment, non-farm, overall was at 7.6% and is now at 9.4%, an increase of 23.7%. The number of unemployed in January 2009 was 11,616.000 and has since risen to 14,485,000, an increase of 24.7% despite the promise of “shovel ready” and “Green” jobs. The number of people on food stamps increased 35.1%. The number of people receiving unemployment benefits increased 22.2%

# The national debt in trillions was $10.627 in January 2009 and now stands at $14.052, an increase of 32.2%.

Do you see a pattern here?

By December 2010, more than fifty percent of Americans said they were worse off than they were two years earlier when President Obama took office. The Bloomberg National Poll showed that two-thirds of Americans believed the nation was headed in the wrong direction.

None of this is surprising, given that the nation is struggling to recover from the longest recession since the Great Depression. There is no indication that Obama can, will, or even wants to correct the current recession. Recessions are cyclical and most presidents have encountered one while in office.

No amount of speeches, State of the Union or otherwise, will improve the economy if the past policies of the Obama administration continue. The nation has suffered unemployment at more than 9% for the twentieth month in a row as of January. That is a post-World War II record!

The Obama administration has done nothing useful to turn the recession around. Instead it has wasted billions bailing out General Motors to save the auto union, followed by an idiotic “Cash for Clunkers” program. At the same time, it has insisted that GM turn out $41,000 electric cars while raising the mandate for ethanol levels in gasoline, thus reducing the mileage per gallon while increasing its cost to consumers.

The housing market, brought to its knees by two horrid government entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is still in the basement. The government had to seize both of them and is billions in debt as a result. “Social justice” was the excuse given for the government’s intervention in the mortgage loan marketplace instead of leaving it to the normal prudence of lending institutions.

Instead of focusing on ways to encourage the growth of small businesses, the administration spent its time and energy on passing Obamacare, taking trillions out of Medicare while at the same time adding more people to its rolls. This is the Obama definition of “saving” Medicare. More than half of the States have joined a suit to abrogate Obamacare as unconstitutional.

Obama’s is an utterly failed administration. In an effort to be reelected, Obama will apply a Clintonian approach, appearing to move to the middle, be more fiscally prudent, et cetera, but this is one leopard that will not change his spots. He is a committed Marxist and one who gives every indication of deliberately crashing the economy. In that respect, he is succeeding.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Never thought I'd see the day

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It was always something that attracted the great green unwashed, various leftists and many others of the hard of thinking in society and that was nuclear power. New Labour actually came to power in 1997 with a promise to phase out nuclear power as part of its manifesto.
New Labour is a party of ideas and ideals but not of outdated ideology. ..... We see no economic case for the building of any new nuclear power stations.
All part of Blair's concessions to the left-wing suicidal tendency CND part of the party, a little sop to say we're still (sort of) Labour. Whilst other countries (namely France) moved on to third and fourth generation stations in an area we used to be world beaters at, the UK decided that we would be safe relying on others to provide the fuel for our stations as well as a very unhealthy reliance on mostly useless "Green" energy schemes that don't even come close to generating what is claimed they can never mind what the country needs.
So this little matter caused my eyebrows to raise...

Hundreds of people have called on the coalition to reconsider a decision to rule out Dungeness as the site of a new nuclear power plant.
The previous government dismissed Dungeness as a location for one of 10 new nuclear power stations in 2009.
About 200 people gathered at the meeting in New Romney on Saturday, to pledge their support for a new plant.
Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe Damian Collins vowed to take the issue right to the heart of government.
He told the meeting he would take a petition signed by hundreds of residents supporting Dungeness to Downing Street on Tuesday.
Mr Collins said thousands of jobs in Kent and East Sussex were dependent on the power plant.
The meeting in New Romney was also attended by officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
Dungeness was rejected as an option for a new nuclear power station primarily on environmental grounds.
It is in an area prone to flooding and the shingle beach which protects the current site from the sea often needs to be replenished.
Strangely enough if anyone 10 years ago had asked me where Dungeness was I'd have hazarded a guess at Scotland. As it is it seems so strange to have people clamouring to have a nuclear power station in their back yard. Yes the jobs are certainly welcome and yes it is essential on top of Labours attempts to strangle at birth any attempt to build any power station that actually worked, now currently carried on by that idiot Chris Huhne in the coagulation.
How things have changed in the last 14 years, any attempt to build a new generation of nuclear plants would have been the cause of marches up and down the country, public enquiries and various attempts at sabotage by enviroloonies. Now staring into the abyss of power brown outs in the next few years nuclear power is the only guaranteed power source that can produce the necessary giga-wattage reliably and of low carbon that the green movement can stomach.
Hypocrisy writ large, though still not the quickest and cheapest way to stop the blackouts, but as that would bring the enviroloons out of the woodwork (google Kingsnorth) it does give me a wry smile to see the damascene conversion of the Green movement and the idiot left.
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My Advice to the POTUS about the SOTU

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By Alan Caruba

Some of you will have more important things to do on Tuesday evening than to listen to President Barack Hussein Obama’s second State of the Union, commonly referred to as the SOTU and, of course, he is the POTUS.

Is there an acronym for B-O-R-I-N-G and P-R-E-D-I-C-T-A-B-L-E?

Here’s some free advice for the POTUS. The highlight of your first SOTU was the way you insulted the members of the Supreme Court seated in their robes right in front of you. Way to go, Barack!

A big time Harvard Law School grad like you surely knows gobs more about the law than they do and, don’t forget, you taught a course on the Constitution as an adjunct professor or some such position. At the time, you concluded that the Constitution was a “negative” instrument of government because it wouldn’t let the Congress or you go hog-wild and pass any law you wanted. As we all know, the Constitution is filled with too many phrases that begin “Congress shall make no law…” plus all that checks-and-balances stuff.

When you had a Democrat majority, you showed America what you wanted to do. You, crazy Nancy Pelosi, and the ever-cheerful Harry Reid, rammed Obamacare through even after a million people showed up to say don’t do it. Were the voters grateful? Hell, no! They voted out a ton of those Democrats, replaced them with Republicans, and those new members of the House just voted to repeal your beloved bill.

Well, after two years of waiting for those “shovel ready” and “Green” jobs to show up while you were creating a Marxist worker’s paradise, it’s clear that the SOTU will have to be all about J-O-B-S, with an emphasis on the last two letters.

Most of the genius economists who advised you in the first two years have since fled back to academia and even Rahm has left for the blessed streets of Chicago. So now it’s time to talk about J-O-B-S, with an emphasis on the last two letters.

Your own resume is a bit thin as regards anything most people would regard as a job. Remember when “community organizer” was considered a joke? It still is. Only no one is laughing because they are all out looking for J-O-B-S.

We all know you have to toss in some catchy phrases about foreign affairs, but other than blaming Israel for all the problems in the Middle East including flatulence and sand, no one cares about the rest of the world very much. They’re mostly trying to hold onto or get a J-O-B.

Word is you will also speak about the need for more spending. This is a really bad idea because you and the Democrats have spent us into virtual insolvency at this point and Americans really, really, really hate this.

Just stick to your script from those glorious campaign days in 2008. Remind everyone that everything wrong in the world is the fault of the unexceptional and arrogant U.S.A. Remind everyone that it is all Bush’s fault. Remind everyone that you cannot get out of Iraq or Afghanistan fast enough. Mention the troops. Everyone loves the troops.

It is essential to throw in some reference to global warming, to electric cars, to wind and solar energy, and to take a moment to remind everyone how horrid Big Oil and Big Coal are. That’s pretty much been your energy policy anyway.

As for the business climate in America, it will probably be a good idea not to say bad things about Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Wall Street, or all the other engines of the economy that often employ people who are looking for J-O-B-S.

Mention “civility” and “public discourse” because they score well in focus groups. Also mention “bipartisanship” because it does too and, remember, in two years you will be looking for a J-O-B, so try to fake some humility.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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Ooh popcorn time

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This could get interesting, seems it's soon to be "LGBT History Month" and homosexuality and alternative sexual lifestyles is to be bigged up in schools as part of a Government-backed drive to "celebrate the gay community".


Children are to be taught about homosexuality in maths, geography and science lessons as part of a Government-backed drive to "celebrate the gay community".
Lesson plans have been drawn up for pupils as young as four, in a scheme funded with a £35,000 grant from an education quango, the Training and Development Agency for Schools.
The initiative will be officially launched next month at the start of "LGBT History Month" – an initiative to encourage teaching about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual issues.
The lesson plans, spread across the curriculum, will be offered to all schools, which can choose whether or not to make use of them.
But critics last night called the initiative a poor use of public money which could distract from the teaching of "core" subjects.
Among the suggestions are:
Maths – teaching statistics through census findings about the number of homosexuals in the population, and using gay characters in scenarios for maths problems;
Design and technology – encouraging pupils to make symbols linked to the gay rights movement;
Science – studying animal species where the male takes a leading role in raising young, such as emperor penguins and sea horses, and staging class discussions on different family structures, including same-sex parents;
Geography – examining the transformation of San Francisco's Castro district in the 1960s from a working-class Irish area to the world's first "gay neighbourhood", and considering why homosexuals move from the countryside to cities;
Languages – using gay characters in role play scenarios, and teaching "LGBT vocabulary".
The lesson plans, written by teachers and backed by the Department for Education, will be available for schools to download from the Schools Out website.
For younger children, the plans will suggest using images of same sex couples and also promoting books such as "And Tango Makes Three", which is about two male penguins raising a young chick, inspired by actual events at New York's Central Park Zoo.
 I can't help wonder who is kidding who here if they think that kids (who will victimise any one they perceive to be different) will buy into this sort of guff, but each to their own. That said, I just wonder how they believe our resident Muslim/Islamic community are going to react to this?

- 0% of British Muslims found homosexuality acceptable.

So we have the delicious possibility of a righteous pet fight coming up, though I suspect a lot will chicken out of the voluntary scheme if they have a large percentage of Muslims at their schools or even ignore the subject entirely.

I'm still waiting patiently for "White History Month" and the MOWO (Music of white origin) awards, a White policeman's association and I can't see any of these happening any time soon.

I'm feeling victimised.


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Hating Infidels 24/7

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By Alan Caruba

The Holocaust of the last century is remembered for the mass murder of Europe’s Jewish population, an estimated six million who perished. In total, an estimated eleven to seventeen million Europeans, Jews and Christians, died in the Nazi concentration and death camps or were murdered outright in their homelands.

Records were lost or didn’t list religion, but the lesser known story of the Holocaust was the death of millions of Christians, three million of whom were Poles, predominantly Catholics, killed by the Nazis for being Poles. They have a special place in Jewish history because many Poles, risking immediate execution if caught, were among the “righteous Gentiles” who were rescuers of Jews.

I cite this because there is a new Holocaust abroad in the world and it is directed at Christians, particularly in the Middle East and throughout Africa, wherever Islam is the dominant religion. Nor is this is a new phenomenon; Christians were widely persecuted under the Ottomans (Turks) when their empire encompassed much of the Middle East.

It is clearly manifesting itself again and to far too little notice.

Let it be said, too, that Islam is an equal opportunity enemy of all other faiths as was seen in the 2008 attack in Mumbai, India, that included India’s tiny Bene Israel Jewish community. The conflict between Islam and India’s Hindus goes back centuries and resulted in the creation of Pakistan as a separate Muslim state when India gained its independence.

Why has there been so little consistent coverage of the on-going attack on Christians? This is especially curious insofar as it is estimated that there are more than two billion Christians worldwide, about a third of the global population. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that they are the victims, not the perpetrators of this horror.

Today thousands of Iraqi Christians are fleeing to the comparative safety of the Kurdish area and other countries. Indeed, many Americans are unaware that much of the U.S. Arab population is, in fact, Christian, not Muslim.

In mid-December, The Telegraph, a London daily, reported that “some 1,000 families, roughly 6,000 people, have arrived in the northern Kurdish areas from Baghdad, Mosul, and Nineveh” according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. “Several thousand have crossed into Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.”

Egypt is home to some twelve million Copts, otherwise known as the Coptic Orthodox Church. They have been in Egypt since 54 A.D. when St. Mark, a North African Jew, one of seventy apostles of the early church brought Christianity to that ancient land. The invasion of Muslims in 643 A.D created the inevitable adversity. On New Year’s Eve, there was a terrorist attack on the Coptic Church in Alexandria that killed 21 parishioners.

Copts have been routinely targeted for all manner of abuses and, unsurprisingly, Egypt is the epicenter for anti-Semitism in the Middle East. Officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, it has been ruled by President Hosni Mubarack since 1981. By contrast, the U.S. has had six presidents since then.

Boutros Boutros-Ghalli, a Copt and former secretary-general of the U.N., is president of the National Council of Human Rights in Cairo. In a Jan 21 article in the Wall Street Journal he cited Egypt as “a model of religious tolerance in the region” and noted that “thousands of Muslims gathered around churches across the country (on Jan 6, the eve of the Coptic Christmas) to act as human shields, protecting their Christian neighbors during their Mass.”

The exodus of Christians from the Middle East and incidents in African nations where an estimated 40% of the population are Christians speaks to the persecution that has spread everywhere before and since the rise of the Islamic Revolution, sparked by events in Iran in 1979. This has since led to the creation of Hezbollah and Hamas, two Iranian proxies. Al Qaeda, created to expel the Russians from Afghanistan, has been the tip of the Islamist sword, perpetrating 9/11 and other attacks worldwide.

The persecution historically directed against Judaism is now commonplace in its more lethal manifestations against Christians. Since the Old Testament is part of the Christian liturgy, an attack on Jews is an attack on Christians and vice-versa.

The post-war rise of secularism in Europe, along with demographic shifts in which large numbers of Muslims have taken up residence in European nations is having its affect on both Christian and Jewish communities there.

In America, the denigration of Christianity it is less visible and is not by definition persecution. A majority Christian nation, America has been experiencing a rise in efforts to diminish the acknowledgement of Christianity’s role in the nation’s history and by efforts to limit Christian symbols, prayers, and even the celebration of Christmas in public institutions and places.

Slowly, American, European and Christians worldwide are beginning to realize that they are locked in a religious war. It is a war that Christianity must engage. The silence of church leaders is no longer an option. It is a war between the 7th century and the 21st century.

It is a misnomer to call it a “war on terror.” Terror is a tactic, but this is a war against Islam because Islam has been at war with all other faiths since its inception.

In New York City, when Muslims seek to build a mosque within steps of Ground Zero, they are simply exalting the atrocity of 9/11. It begs the question why its confessed perpetrator, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, has not, ten years later, been brought to trial.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
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