Friday, February 28, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Keystone XL is Proof Obama Opposes U.S. Economic Growth

Thousands of Miles of U.S. pipelines

By Alan Caruba

It’s taken nearly five years, but Americans are finally aware that President Obama is opposed to anything that contributes to the economic growth of the nation. Along with a Democratic controlled Senate and its opposition to anything generated by the Republican House, Obama has saddled the nation with the highest debt in its history and squandered billions on failed alternative energy firms.

The most dramatic example is Obama’s five-year delay of the implementation of the Keystone XL pipeline that would safely transport oil from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

There are approximately 55,000 miles of pipelines in the U.S. with another 30,000 to 40,000 smaller gathering pipelines that feed it to the major ones.

In a February 17 U.S. Chamber of Commerce advertisement in The Weekly Standard, its president and CEO, Thomas J. Donahue, wrote that “In the same time that the Keystone XL pipeline application has been under review by the Obama administration, the Hoover Dam, the New Jersey Turnpike, and the Empire State Building were built—a clear indicator of how cumbersome and political today’s permitting process has become.” 

Donahue pointed out that “The Keystone XL pipeline would not only transport fuel safely, but it would boost economic activity along the way. Building the pipeline would create more than 42,000 new jobs while adding $3.4 billion to the economy. The pipeline would generate more than $5.2 billion in property taxes for communities on the route, pumping cash into state and city coffers for schools, law enforcement, and local projects.”

“Radical eco-zealots have chosen Keystone XL as the place to make their stand,” says Craig Rucker, the Executive Director of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) a free market think tank. “They claim this project is unsafe for the environment and the people it would pass near, and that it would greatly contribute to alleged ‘global warming.’”

The State Department is accepting public comment on the pipeline and CFACT has a petition for which it is seeking signatures to move forward on its acceptance. Take a moment to sign it.

Even Obama’s Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, has gone on record saying that the nation’s railroad infrastructure was not ready to handle the huge increase in all oil production coming out of places like North Dakota’s Bakken Shale formation, urging that pipelines are the best option. “Frankly, I think pipeline transport overall probably has overall a better record in terms of cost, in terms of emissions, and in terms of safety.”

Keystone XL has become the environmental movement’s front line in its attack on the nation’s economic growth and political pundits commonly say that Obama’s refusal to permit its construction is based on his intention to keep their vote, but I am inclined to believe that it is part of his effort to convert the economy and political structure of the nation from a vigorous capitalist entity to one in which millions of Americans, unable to find employment and experiencing a reduction in their personal wealth are forced onto government doles of one sort or another.

Paul Driessen, a CFACT senior policy advisor, points out that “Most Americans are no longer fooled by empty hope and change hype. In December only 74,000 jobs were created (many of them low-paying part-time seasonal positions), while 374,000 more people gave up looking for work. Not surprisingly, recent polls have found that three-quarters of Americans say the country still appears to be in a recession, two-thirds don’t trust the President to make the right decisions for the country, and barely 30% say the nation is ‘heading in the right direction.’”

One is reminded of Obama’s claim that his $787 billion dollar “stimulus” program would help fund “shovel ready” jobs waiting to be filled. It utterly failed to do that, instead directing the money to alternative energy firms that went bankrupt while their owners pocketed much of that funding. Obama later admitted that there were far fewer shovel ready jobs than he believed existed. Government regulations have so slowed and delayed construction projects of every description that until they are removed, the economy will continue to stagnate.

The environmental claim that the pipeline will contribute to “greenhouse gas emissions”, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), is utterly false because CO2 plays virtually no role whatever in affecting the Earth’s weather or climate. The claim is based on computer models, 95% or more of which have proved to be wrong.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal on February 20, Richard McNider and John Christie disputed Secretary of State John Kerry’s claims about “climate change”, pointing out that “When the failure of become clear, the modeling industry always comes back with new models that soften their previous warming forecasts…The models mostly miss warming in the deep atmosphere—from the Earth’s surface to 75,000 feet—which is supposed to be one of the real signals of warming caused by carbon dioxide. Here, the consensus ignores the reality of temperature observations of the deep atmosphere collected by satellites and balloons, which have consistently shown less than half of the warming shown in the average model forecasts.” McNider and Christie are professors of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and fellows of the American Meteorological Society.

Even Kerry’s Department of State’s own final environmental impact statement said that the Keystone XL pipeline would contribute little to global greenhouse gas emissions. Obama’s alleged climate policies ignore the science that disputes any connection between CO2 and the climate, but it is his primary instrument to delay and eliminate any economic growth.

Regrettably, on Feb 19, a Nebraska judge ruled that the law allowing the Keystone XL pipeline to be built across the State is unconstitutional, thus delaying the project still further.

The greenhouse emissions claims are a huge lie created to advance “global warming”, now called “climate change”, but the bottom line is that Obama is using them as a weapon against the nation’s capacity to grow the economy

We have a President who is doing everything he can to reduce jobs, reduce construction, eliminate coal-fired plants to produce electricity, and to wage an economic war on America.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Stupid, Evil or Both?

By Alan Caruba

For a long time now I have been trying to determine whether the Obama administration is stupid, evil or both. In addition to its long list of scandals, its governance of America increasingly looks like and acts as if the power granted to it by two elections exists to intimidate and harass Americans, inflict endless new taxes, and granted it the right to destroy one of the best healthcare systems and military in the world.

Listening to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry constantly talk about the non-existent threat of global warming/climate change is both stupid and evil. There is no global warming. The Earth has been in a cooling cycle for some seventeen years at this point and the supposed “science” they cite—that carbon dioxide emissions will heat the Earth—is utterly bogus, based entirely on computer models that have been wrong from the day the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were first used.

In a recent article in Forbes magazine, James Taylor, editor of The Heartland Institute’s Environment and Climate News, noted that “More than 30,000 scientists have signed a summary of the science explaining why humans are not creating a global warming crisis.” He cites several other surveys that confirm that neither scientists nor the public regard global warming/climate change to be a concern.

What should be a major concern, however, is the way the Obama administration has transformed the Internal Revenue Service into an agency to thwart conservative groups from receiving non-profit status to advance their views. The Environmental Protection Agency has been let loose to generate all manner of regulations whose intent is to shut down coal-fired plants that produce electricity and deny the ability to build new ones. The amount of electricity that is being produced from these plants has dropped significantly from the 50% it once was.

The passage of the Affordable Health Care Act—Obamacare—is wreaking havoc on the economy and is the result of the lies told by the President and many Democratic members of Congress who voted for it without even reading it. The nation is suffering from losses of jobs and the reduction of full-time jobs to part-time. Americans are losing their healthcare plans and Obamacare plans have far higher premiums. Individuals and businesses who fail to sign up for one face fines.

This is worse than stupid. It is evil. It is a deliberate attack on the nation’s economic growth, rendering an estimated 100 million Americans without employment and forcing millions to apply for food stamps in order to put food on the table.

While the lies are evil, the stupidity of those like former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is demonstrated by things she has said in recent years.

“It’s almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem.”  The nation has a huge borrowing and spending problem that currently adds up to more than $17 trillion in debt. Federal spending (25% of the Gross Domestic Product) is the highest since World War II as is the budget deficit (10% of GDP). The U.S. suffered the first downgrade in its credit rating in its history.

The administration’s “stimulus” program wasted billions on alternative energy companies that often filed for bankruptcy shortly thereafter. The promise of “green jobs” was as specious as “shovel ready” jobs that even the President admitted did not exist. Nancy Pelosi said at the time that “Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs” but the U.S. population is currently around 317 million total!

This goes well beyond just stupidity. Obama’s, Pelosi’s, Biden’s and other administration member’s statements have been a consistent record of lies and that is evil.

When Obama took office in 2009 America was still regarded as the leading nation in the world in the arena of foreign affairs, but in the years since then nations and non-state enemies such as al Qaeda have concluded that it has demonstrated not just weakness, but dangerous stupidity as seen in its current efforts to negotiate with Iran to cease its quest of nuclear weapons. To this day its leaders still lead chants of “Death to America” and to our only true ally in the Mideast, Israel.

Claims that al Qaeda had been defeated were also false as it and other Islamic radical groups expand their activities.

One can barely find any evidence that the Obama administration has shown any success domestically or in foreign affairs and we still have three more years of it to endure.

The only hope at present is the forthcoming November midterm elections and, if power in the Senate can be acquired by the Republican Party and expanded in the House, efforts to thwart the deliberate destruction of the nation can be enacted. We have been living with a President who has refused to negotiate with Congress and with a Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, who has blocked debates and votes on any of the legislation initiated in the House.

The nation is just months away from either further decline or a reversal of policies that are either stupid or evil or both.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Voter's Remorse Over Obama

By Alan Caruba

I don’t recall when I first wrote about Obama telling lies, but it surely must have been early in his first term, if not even earlier in the 2008 campaign. So much of the information about his life was subject to question that it raised my concern.

The way Obamacare was reamed through a Congress that hadn’t even read the bill put me on full alert. No Republican voted for it.

When you have spent your early years as a journalist as I did you tend to develop a healthy skepticism regarding politicians. There are some very good people who go into politics, but they are vastly outnumbered by those who see it as an easy way to line their pockets. They are the “Eddie Haskell’s” if you are old enough to remember the unctuous character from “Leave It To Beaver.”  Glad-handers, back-slappers, and generally smooth talkers.

I was not surprised to read a February 19 article in the Washington Examiner by Paul Paulard. “Poll: Only 79% of Obama voters would vote for him again” was the title and my first response was surprise that that many would still vote for him. Only???

In the poll 71%  of the Obama voters now inclined to vote for someone else if they had the chance said they ‘regret’ their vote to reelect the President. So a majority of those taking The Economist/ poll would vote for him again, but nearly all regret having done so.

This is a definition of stupidity. I think Obama and his cohorts counted on this high level of indifference to the facts about his first term.

Among the sample of those who would vote for someone else if they could, 100% of the Hispanics said they would and 80% of the whites said they would. However 61% of the blacks said they would still vote for Obama. It strikes me that many in the African-American community are quick to speak out against any perceived prejudice, but when it comes to electing Obama, skin color was a major factor. I suspect that many are unaware of how Obama’s policies have left the black community with soaring numbers of unemployed, far in excess of other racial groups.

Among women 84% said they would vote for someone else, but just 61% men agreed. The most surprising element of the poll was that 55% of Democrats—yes Democrats—wished they had not pulled the lever for Obama and 71% of independents agreed.

All second term Presidents achieve lame duck status at some point when their power to influence the Congress to support their programs kicks in. Arguably, Obama achieved that in 2010 when voters returned power in the House of Representatives to Republicans. The Senate’s response—mostly Majority Leader Harry Reid’s—was to deny any but a few of the many bills generated in the House an opportunity to be debated and voted upon.

The gridlock that resulted and which Obama endlessly decries was created by the Democrats in the Senate.

Efforts by Republicans were rebuffed along with all manner of charges that they were anti-women and anti-immigrant, among other absurdities. When the Republicans tried to get the insane borrowing and spending under control by shutting down the federal government as a response to raising the credit limits, they were portrayed as political cavemen.

Obama is a President who has made it clear that he considers the Congress as an obstacle to his transformation of the nation from a capitalist to a socialist economy in which Big Government functions as the redistributor of taxpayer funding with an emphasis on programs that, like food stamps, added millions to that handout.

It took the launch of Obamacare to make it abundantly clear how incompetent the Obama administration was and is. The impact on the stagnant job market saw jobs disappear or be turned into part-time, lower-wage positions. People discovered they could not keep their family physician or specialist. Even access to nearby hospitals was denied for some.

We are now being told that being unable to find work is an opportunity to pursue one’s hobbies. Denigrating working for a living is so un-American it is mind-boggling.

The media coverage of Obama’s first term and now the first years of his second protected him against the failure to revive the economy after the 2008 financial crisis. The scandals from Fast and Furious to Benghazi were shunted aside so that the passage of time would diminish their impact. Those who reelected him were not paying attention! Or they just didn’t care.

One can only hope voters are paying attention now and, in the November 2014 midterm elections, they will elect Republican candidates who will have an opportunity—particularly in the Senate—to limit the damage that Obama continues to inflict on the economy and in the area of foreign affairs.

Based on the poll, it took Obama voters over five years, going on six, to conclude they had made a bad choice—but 79% would still vote for him!

That members of Congress, pundits, and others now routinely call Obama a liar is a good sign because he is. But he is also still President of the United States of America and I suspect he doesn’t care what people say about him anymore.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Greens Exploit Widespread Science Ignorance

By Alan Caruba

I frequently have to tell people that I am a science writer, not a scientist. The only science course I took in college was zoology and I passed it only because my paper on Procyon Lotor—raccoons—demonstrated an ability to do some good research and present it cogently.

In the decades since then I have had the opportunity to write about many science-based topics and it became evident that a huge portion of our society and worldwide is ignorant of how science functions and the incredible advances for mankind that it has provided.

It is this ignorance that is constantly exploited by the many environmental groups. Scaring people about the climate has been their bread and butter for decades, but a natural cooling cycle that is approaching two decades in a few years is killing that goose that laid so many golden eggs. The same is occurring for “renewable energy” as Europe is beginning to regret pouring billions into wind energy while multi-million U.S. subsidies are on the chopping block as well.

The “food police” are generating a scare campaign about genetically modified food crops. As Dr. Jay Lehr, the Science Director of The Heartland Institute, pointed out in a December 2013 article, “Not one single human has been harmed by genetically improved food.” So, naturally, some Greens are pushing to have everything made from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) subjected to warning labels.

Do you know who the first environmentalists were? Farmers! It is the original “green job” because farmers were among the original users of renewable energy—the solar power—to grow their crops. They used wind power to draw water and grind grain into flour. They built irrigation systems to make more efficient use of water.

When the United States declared its independence the nation was largely composed of farmers. Now less than two percent of the population grows enough food to feed all of us and have plenty left over to export. The current exception to this is California’s central value when farmers have been denied water to save the lives of bait fish, smelt. They’re getting no help from the federal government either.

Throughout the last century the American Farm Bureau Federation and state farm bureaus were leaders in conservation tillage, well-water testing, and many other environmental improvements. As one observer noted, “Long after the current excitement about the green economy has worn off, American farmers and ranchers will remain green collar workers as they have always been—efficient producers of food, fiber, and fuel and stewards of natural resources.

In the meantime, we are subjected to celebrities like Al Gore, Bill Maher, and Daryl Hanna, who have no science degree.  The outspoken actors, Ed Begley and Leonardo Dicaprio only have a high school diploma and many others who opine on environmental issues are literally high school dropouts. A long list of news media personalities has no science degree. They include ABC’s Sam Champion, NBC’s Matt Laurer, and CBS’s Harry Smith. CBS’s Scott Pelley is a college dropout.

Among the scientists, many have degrees in areas that do not reflect meteorology or climatology. They include Bill Nye known as the “science guy” who has a degree in mechanical engineering.

As Dr. Lehr points out, “There is little food on the plate of humans anywhere that has not been genetically improved.” This goes back four thousand years to the creation of wine. In 1862, an Austrian monk, Gregor Mendel began to crossbreed simple garden peas to improve their taste, yield and strength. Thirty years later his work on the subject was published in the journal of the Royal Society of London, “and the new agricultural science of hybridization was born to improve our food.”

Writing in the February edition of Wheat Life, a publication for Washington state farmers, John Moffatt, a wheat breeder for Syngenta, noted that “Wheat is not only the largest crop in the world with acreage surpassing that of even corn and soybeans, it is also one of the most complex.” Sygenta is one of North America’s leading wheat genetic research companies, responsible for helping farmers grow profitable wheat with research that begins with seeds that undergo a certification process. Their crop varieties consistently outperform saved seed in yield, quality and test weight.

“If genetic labeling laws are passed throughout the United States,” warns Dr. Lehr, “it will severely set back the scientific and human health benefits of genetic food advances. Billions of people around the world have consumed genetically modified food since it became widespread during recent decades. Billions more will benefit from such foods in the coming decades.”

Meanwhile, the Green liars will continue to wage war on humanity. From Paul Ehrlich who in 1968 forecast global famine to the Club of Rome that in 1972 predicted exhausted resources and famine and then had to recant the forecasts in 1976, to an endless series of “science” lies before and since, it behooves us all to be wary and skeptical of their claims.

We owe a debt of gratitude to those scientists who have greatly enhanced the lives of the seven billion with whom we share planet Earth. We owe a lot to the farmers who, thanks to scientific breakthroughs in genetics, are feeding us.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pardon My Paranoia

By Alan Caruba

An organization, Patriots for America, is calling for millions of Americans to descend on Washington, D.C on May 16 for Operation American Spring whose purpose is to demand that President Obama and others in his administration be removed from office.

Among the rules of engagement set forth on their Internet site include (1) no weapons. No ammunition. “The Communist forces that control Washington, D.C. do not recognize the 2nd Amendment and have banned all weapons and ammunition from the district. Do not give them the opportunity to arrest you and prosecute you.” (2) Follow all rules of the road. (3) Comply with all constitutional requests of local authorities. And (4) travel in groups of four or greater.

Geoff Ross is identified as the senior chief of the organization that wants participants to be prepared to stay as long as it takes for Congress to take action. The event suggests that he and many supportive groups think the U.S. is at risk of losing its constitutional government so long as Barack Obama is President.

The worst possible scenario to the event would be if some element of the law enforcement authority is ordered to fire on the gathering, but I recall that in July 2008 presidential candidate Obama said that Americans could no longer “…continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

America does not need a civilian national security force.
We have the military whose job is to protect us against foreign invasion and we have state and local police authorities in our towns and cities to address riots and large protests. The force the President wants would exist solely to intimidate and control Americans who he deems his enemies.

What we do have in the wake of 9/11 is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and it is not intended to be a military force although it does include the Coast Guard. On March 23, 2013, Capt. Terry M. Hestilow, U.S. Army retired, wrote to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) warning that DHS is preparing to go to war with the citizens of the United States.

“It is with gravest concern that I write to you today concerning the recent appropriation of weapons by the DHS that can only be understood as a bold threat of war by that agency, and the Obama administration, against the citizens of the United States of America.” He expressed his concerns over “recent purchases of almost 3,000 mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) armored personnel carriers, 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition (with associated weapons), and other weapons systems.”

“One needs only look to the rise of Adolf Hitler,” wrote Capt. Hestilow, “and his associated DHS organizations, the SA and the SS, of 1932-1934, to see the outcome of allowing an agency of government this kind of control over the free citizens of a nation.”

In a February 5, 2014 article on, Kit Daniels reported that “The U.S. Postal Service is currently seeking companies that can provide “assorted small arms ammunition in the new future. The U.S. Postal Service joins the long list of non-military federal agencies purchasing large amounts of ammunition.”

What has a growing number of Americans concerned is this arming of government agencies we do not associate with the need to be heavily armed. “Since 2001, the U.S. Department of Education has been building a massive arsenal through purchases orchestrated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms” reported Daniels. “Back in July, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also purchased 72,000 rounds of 40 Smith and Wesson, following a 2012 purchase for 46,000 rounds of .40 S&W jacketed hollow point by the National Weather Service.”

One might assume that the DHS needs to be armed to some degree, but there is no logical reason for the Post Office, the Department of Education, and NOAA to be heavily armed. Reportedly DHS spent over $58 million to hire security details for just two Social Security offices in Maryland and $80 million for armed guards to protect government buildings in New York and more guards for federal facilities in Wisconsin and Minnesota. “Even the Environmental Protection Agency has its own SWAT teams conducting raids on peaceful Americans,” wrote Daniels.

DHS has been engaged in a program to provide military-style weapons and vehicles to local police forces around the nations.

My most profound fear, my paranoia, concerning the May 16 protest, despite its instructions to participants not be armed, is that some incident would escalate to a point where shots were exchanged. One can conceive of that serving as the reason to initiate an “emergency” proclamation and/or to declare martial law.

One gets the feeling that this government, under the direction of President Obama, is preparing for a national insurrection against his often lawless administration. The May 16 event would provide an excuse to initiate actions that would put us all under the gun.

I no longer believe “it can’t happen here.” We have a President who sees no reason to work with Congress and who recently “joked” that he can do whatever he wants.

I worry that members of our military and others would obey orders to impose governmental control to the extent that we might see widespread resistance by millions of armed Americans. I regard the surge in the purchase of weapons by private citizens during Obama’s terms in office as a reflection of the paranoia that I am feeling these days.

But is it paranoia? Or is it a reasonable assumption that a President who feels free to ignore the Constitution might have plans that do not include peaceful elections or his departure from the office?

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The World's Volcanic Past and Future

By Alan Caruba

While Americans coped with massive snowfalls in the South, Midwest and Northeast, a dramatic volcanic eruption occurred on February 13th in Indonesia when Mount Kelud in the province of East Java erupted so loudly it could be heard 120 miles away.

It is one of 130 volcanos in the world’s fourth most populous nation, located on the “ring of fire” volcanic belt around the shores of the Pacific Ocean. About 200,000 people were affected and more than 76,000 had to be evacuated according to Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency. The affect was dramatic, shutting down an airport in Indonesia’s second largest city, Surabaya, a major industrial center, along with those in five other cities as well as a major oil refinery that provides more than a third of Indonesia’s total output of refined products.

Earlier this month, the eruption of Mount Sinabung in the north of the island of Sumatra was credited with the death of eleven people. It had been spewing lava and ash for months and forced thousands to flee the area.

There are about 1,500 active volcanos worldwide with the majority on the Pacific “ring of fire.” Some fifty of these erupt every year, An estimated 500 million people worldwide live near active volcanoes.

While environmentalists are forever blathering about carbon dioxide (C02) emissions from cars, plants that produce electricity, and all forms of manufacturing, volcanos produce from 145 million to 255 million short tons of CO2 every year.

Large, explosive eruptions, in addition to CO2, put large amounts of water vapor, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, and ash, pulverized rock and pumice, into the stratosphere to heights of 10 to 20 miles above the Earth’s surface. Sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid condense rapidly in the stratosphere to form fine sulfate aerosols that reflect the Sun’s radiation, cooling the Earth’s lower atmosphere or troposphere while also absorbing heat radiated from the Earth. In the past century, several eruptions during the past century cooled the Earth by up to half a degree Fahrenheit for periods of one to three years.

I cite this to drive home the fundamental scientific fact that, as opposed to all the nonsense about human control or effect on the Earth’s temperatures, volcanoes by comparison render the human component infinitesimal.

Moreover, CO2 plays virtually no role in the Earth’s overall temperature. Shutting down coal-fired electrical plants and preventing the construction of new ones has no basis in science. The outcry against CO2 ignores the fact that all life on Earth depends on it to provide the “food” that all vegetation requires. More Co2, not less, is good for the Earth.

What Americans need to worry about is the eruption of a super volcano with a large caldera such as the Yellowstone Caldera in Yellowstone National Park and the Valles Caldera in New Mexico. Both have been dormant for thousands of years.

The Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years compared to its human component that only began to create what we call modern civilization for about five thousand years. Its volcanos, potential earthquakes, floods, blizzards, and other natural hazards pose some serious threats. Massive eruptions such as those about 250 million years ago are believed to have been the cause of the “Great Dying” that is estimated to have killed 90% of the species existing at the time.

When I read and hear about people speaking about how humans are causing major species declines or industry threatening the climate, I am reminded of how Nature, the action or inaction of the Sun, volcanoes and other natural events dwarf anything that is attributed to human activity.

Thanks to the environmentalists, we are crippling and denying the ability of this nation to construct the pipelines, expand our industrial base, and provide the housing needed for an expanding population.

Look around you. Pretend you’re a dinosaur Then remember they dominated the Earth for thousands of years until Nature eliminated them.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Obama's War on America: Killing Coal to Kill U.S. Electrical Power

By Alan Caruba
President Obama, supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, is seeking to deprive America of the use of its enormous reserves of coal in coal-fired plants that produce the electricity on which the economy and all life in America depends.

This isn’t just a “war on coal”, it is a war on America and one free market think tank, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) has been joined by six major unions to ensure that the EPA’s proposed energy proposal, Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule does not become a regulation that they call “nothing less than industrial sabotage by regulatory means.”

The EPA’s current regulations have resulted in the shut down over more than 150 coal-fired plants over the course of Obama’s first term and his second represents a threat to everyone living in America. We are living through one of the harshest winters in recent years and the 17-year-old cooling cycle which the entire Earth is experiencing promises to last decades.

Commenting on the proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants, Bonner R.Cohen, PhD, a CFACT Senior Policy Analyst laid out the reasons why MATS has no basis whatever in science.

Any regulation seeking to limit the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere deliberately and deceptively ignores facts that anyone can understand. Bonner spelled out the basic scientific facts, but it is essential to keep in mind that CO2 is essential to all life on Earth, providing the “food” that all vegetation depends.

"Current concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are 400 parts per million (ppm). Human activities in all their forms account for 4% of that total. The United States is responsible for 3% of that 4%, all the rest of the CO2 in the atmosphere (96% of the total) comes from purely natural causes, such as volcanoes, undersea venting, animal fluctuation, etc.,” said Cohen.

“The total U.S. contribution to atmospheric CO2 is one tenth of 1% or 00.1%. This 0.01% includes the CO2 that is emitted every time one of the approximately 315 million Americans opens his or her mouth to speak, cry, or engage in any verbal activity.” There are seven billion people on Earth contributing CO2 just by exhaling.

“The contribution of coal-fired plants to the U.S., much less global CO2 emissions, is so miniscule that it cannot be measured with any degree of accuracy. And the contribution of those entities targeted by the EPA to the Earth’s climate also cannot be measured. Thus the EPA has absolutely no way of saying how its proposed regulations will affect the climate.”

The EPA is moving toward imposing these baseless regulations despite the fact that China and India have been building coal-fired plants to provide their nations with the energy to expand and compete in the global marketplace. China’s CO2 emission increased by 167% between 1999 and 2009, while the U.S., the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide, emitted 17% over the same 10-year period.

According to an analysis by Climate Central, from 2005-2009, China added coal-fired electricity capacity that is equivalent to the entire U.S. fleet. From 2010-2013, it added half the coal generation of the entire U.S. again. Powered by cheap and abundant coal, China’s economy has lifted 600 million people out of abject poverty and into the middle class over the last two decades.

Carbon dioxide, however, is vital for all life Earth despite decades of lies about it by environmentalists falsely claiming it warms the Earth. It is the food that all vegetation requires in the same way all animal life requires oxygen.

“For EPA to impose carbon-pollution standards that by design will make the introduction of new coal-fired power plants all but impossible is to adapt a policy that by design will drive up the cost of electricity by limiting America’s sources of power,” said Cohen. “The EPA is engaging in a complete fabrication, one that will put an end to an industry that supplies the U.S. with 37% of its electricity.” When Obama took office in 2009, coal-fired plants were providing nearly 50% of U.S. electrical energy.

This is a criminal act against all Americans and one based on the totally false claims about “global warming”, now called “climate change.” The President, during the recent State of the Union speech lied when he said that science was “settled.”

CFACT is not alone in opposing the Obama administration’s attack on the provision of energy. Six unions are petitioning the Senate to hold hearings on the EPA coal plant rules. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and five other unions have sent a letter to top senators on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The United Mine Workers, Boilermakers and Utility Workers said that the proposed rules would result in the closing of 56 gigawatts of coal-fired generation and the loss of approximately 250,000 jobs. These unions have been pushing back against the Obama administration for years at this point.

In 2011 the Congressional Research Service reported that America’s reserves of coal are unsurpassed, accounting for more than 28% of the world’s coal. It estimated that U.S. recoverable coal reserves were approximately 262 billion tons—not including massive, cut difficult to access Alaskan reserves.

The U.S. consumes around 1.2 billion tons of coal a year and our coal reserves add up to centuries of coal use which the White House and the EPA is seeking to deny to all Americans.

If the White House and the EPA is permitted to implement the MATS regulation the economy will dramatically decline. Life in America will resemble that of third world nations. It is entirely based on lies.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Obama Wants to Waste a Billion on "Climate Change"

By Alan Caruba

Barack Obama will be remembered for many things during his two terms in office, but high on the list, right after lying to everyone about everything, will be his determination to waste billions of taxpayer dollars on every Green scheme from solar and wind energy to electric cars, and now on “climate change.”

He is calling for a billion-dollar climate change fund in his forthcoming budget, due out next month. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, the fund “would be spent on researching the projected effects of climate change and helping Americans prepare for them, including with new technology and infrastructure, according to the White House.

We don’t need any research and we don’t need any new technology. The National Weather Service has hugely expensive computers that enable it to predict what the weather will be anywhere in the U.S. with some measure of accuracy for up to three or four days. After that, it gets fuzzy. What will the weather be next week? Well, maybe a bit warmer or a bit colder.

As for the effects of weather events, we have centuries of knowledge regarding this. We know what happens after a blizzard or a hurricane, a drought or a flood.

When a huge storm like Sandy hit the East Coast, we had FEMA that was supposed to come in and help the victims. The federal government also came up with a couple of million for the States most affected, but it is still a problem that local first responders and utilities have to address most directly.

Obama was out in California to show his concern for the drought-stricken farmers and the administration is speeding delivery of $100 million of aid to livestock farmers, $15 million for areas hit hardest, and $60 million for California food banks to help the poor. Rep. Kevin McCarthy(R-CA) pointed out that the drought has been “exacerbated by federal and state regulations” including an environmental rule that placed “the well-being of fish…ahead of the well-being” of communities.

Like Rep. McCarthy, those on the scene point out that the drought is in part the result of the failure to restore the water flow from California’s water-heavy north to farmers in the central and south. House Bill 3964 does that, but only if the Senate will stop holding it up. Rep. McCarthy is joined by Rep. Devin Nunes explaining that California’s system of aqueducts and storage tanks was designed long ago to take advantage of rain and mountain runoff from wet years and store it for use in dry years.

As pointed out, “Environmental special interests managed to dismantle the system by diverting water meant for farms to pet projects, such as saving delta smelt, a baitfish. That move forced the flushing of three million acre-feet of water originally slated for the Central Valley into the ocean over the past five years.”

Obama made no mention of that, but it is an example of how, in the name of climate change billions are wasted or lost, such as when the outcry over Spotted Owls caused a vast portion of the Northwest’s timber industry was decimated by the false claim that they were “endangered.”

All this traces back to the founding of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988 by two United Nations organizations, the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environmental Program. The IPCC was given a formal blessing by the UN General Assembly through Resolution 43/53.

And what has the IPCC done? It has championed the utterly false claim that carbon dioxide (CO2) is responsible for warming the Earth and that all the industries and other human activities that create CO2 emissions had to reduce them in order to save the Earth. In 2007 the IPCC and Al Gore would share a Nobel Peace Prize. As an organization and as an individual these two have proved to be the among the greatest liars on planet Earth.

Dr. Craig D. Idso, PhD, is the founder and chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. He is an advisor to The Heartland Institute and, with Dr. Robert M. Carter and Dr. S. Fred Singer, authored the 2011 study, “Climate Change Reconsidered”, for the entertainingly named NIPCC—NoneIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Published by The Heartland Institute, a free market think tank that has led the effort to expose the IPCC since 2009, sponsoring eight international conferences, the report was updated in 2013 and a new update is due in March.

Writing in The Hill on January 30, Dr. Idso said “the President’s concerns for the planet are based upon flawed and speculative science; and his policy prescription is a recipe for failure” noting that “literally thousands of scientific studies have produced findings that run counter to his view of future climate.”

“As just one example, and a damning one at that, all of the computer models upon which his vision is based failed to predict the current plateau (the cooling cycle) in global temperature that has continued for the past 16 years. That the Earth has not warmed significantly during this period, despite an 8 percent increase in atmospheric CO2, is a major indictment of the model’s credibility in predicting future climate, as well as the President’s assertion that debate on this topic is ‘settled’.”

“The taxation or regulation of CO2 emissions is an unnecessary and detrimental policy option that should be shunned,” said Dr. Idso. Unfortunately for Americans, that is precisely the policy being driven by Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency, along with the Department of the Interior and other elements of the government.

So the trip to California with its promise of more million spent when, in fact, the Green policies of that State have caused the loss of the Central lands that produce a major portion of the nation’s food stocks, reveals how utterly corrupt Obama’s climate-related policies have been since he took office in 2009.

Billions of taxpayer dollars have been squandered by the crony capitalism that is the driving force behind the IPCC’s and U.S. demands for the reduction of CO2 emissions.

There is climate change and it has been going on for 4.5 billion years on planet Earth. It has everything to do with the Sun, the oceans, volcanic activity and other natural factors. It has nothing to do with the planet’s human population.

What is profoundly disturbing is the deliberate political agenda behind the President’s lies and Secretary of State John Kerry’s irrational belief that climate change is the world’s “most fearsome” weapon of mass destruction.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hollywood Rediscovers the Bible

By Alan Caruba

When I was growing up in the 1950s there were two blockbusters, “The Ten Commandments” and “Ben-Hur.” Together they pulled in $1.795 billion in adjusted domestic ticket sales. The power of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, to draw audiences is impressive and, in hard times like the present, many seek a message of hope in religion.

It’s worth keeping in mind that, according to Pew research, by the end of 2012, a large majority of Americans—77% of the adult population—identify with a Christian religion, including 52% who are Protestants, 23% who are Catholic, and 2% who affiliate with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormons. Some 18% expressed no explicit religious identity and 5% identified with a non-Christian religion.

U.S. Presidents, particularly the Founders, were serious readers of the Bible. Tevi Troy, writing in The Wall Street Journal on February 14, noted that “Our earliest presidents, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison were all assiduous readers—of history and philosophy, and the Bible as well. Lacking many books in his earliest years, Abraham Lincoln “was among the most diligent readers of all U.S. Presidents.

I suspect that the Obama administration’s open attacks on the Catholic Church for its resistance to Obamacare’s demands that contraceptive medications be covered in healthcare insurance plans makes a lot of Americans, not just Catholics, uneasy at best, raising serious questions about the nation’s fundamental devotion to the free practice of religion.

In a statement about the National Day of Prayer, President Obama made no reference to Christianity, but acknowledged freedom of religion in its historic context. He is a far cry from his predecessor, George W. Bush, for whom his faith in Jesus was openly acknowledged and who found wide support in the nation’s evangelical community. Bush was an avid reader of the Bible.

A Marxist at heart, I doubt that Obama cares much for Christianity and his Chicago church was led by Jeremiah Wright who is most famous for having said “God damn America” and had to apologize for remarks critical of Jews. Obama has openly defended Islam and many believe he is a Muslim.

Hollywood is rediscovering the Bible these days after years of films based on cartoon characters like Batman and Spider Man. In 2014 it will release more big Biblically-based films than it has in the last eleven years combined and the trend is strong for more in 2015.

Debuting in February was “Son of God” from Twentieth Century Fox, culled from the History Channel’s 2013 miniseries, “The Bible”, produced by Mark Burnett who, along with his wife, Roma Downey, is a devout Christian. Debuting in March is “Noah” from Paramount, starring Russell Crow and coming in April is “Heaven is for Real.” On its way to the nation’s theatres are “Mary” and “Exodus.”

Burnett believes that people are seeking messages of spiritual uplift in the wake of the 2008 financial crash and I would add the five years of Obama’s failed management of the economy with its emphasis on socialist, Keynesian government spending that has proved to be largely a waste that has added six trillion to the nation’s soaring debt.

Having attended school when the day began with a pledge of allegiance and the reading of a prayer, I am among those who lament the court-imposed ban on the latter.
As a longtime book reviewer, I have seen a trend of books espousing atheism. Among the latest I have received are “Writing God’s Obituary: How a Good Methodist Became a Better Atheist” by Anthony B. Pinn, “The Original Atheists” edited by S.T. Joshi, and “The Transcendental Temptation: A Critique of Religion and the Paranormal” by Paul Kurtz, one of the most active critics of religion with fifty books to his credit. There are, however, many books that explore faith such as “Faith Afield: A Sportsman’s Devotional” by Steve Scott and “”What on Earth Do We Know About Heaven?” by Randal Rauser.

One can only hope that Hollywood’s rediscovery of the Bible will contribute to a resistance against those groups and individuals who protest any display of religious symbols such as the Cross, notable during the Christmas holidays.

America was founded by men who were believers in religious expression and faith. And tolerance. The drift from these values harm the nation and a renewal of them are the essence of hope.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Liberal Media in Free Fall

By Alan Caruba

An enduring memory of my late Father is of him sitting in his chair by the fireplace reading The New York Times. As far as he was concerned, he was receiving the most accurate news of the nation and the world. Despite the many Pulitzer Prizes it has received over the years, he wasn’t.

One of them went to Walter Duranty in 1932, a reporter who was an apologist for the Soviet Union’s Stalinist regime. History revealed that he failed to accurately report on the 1932-1933 famine that killed countless thousands in the Ukraine where collective farming had been imposed. In November 2003 the Pulitzer Board, decided not to revoke the prize. In its review of the 13 articles, the Board “concluded that there was not clear and convincing evidence of deliberate deceptions, the relevant standard in this case.” The Board extended its sympathy to Ukrainians.

Ukraine is the site of major protests as a new generation seeks to align the nation with Europe and not the Russian Republic that replaced the failed Soviet Union. The nation is sharply divided.

A Breitbart news story about The New York Times reported that on Thursday of last week it had announced that “profits had fallen nearly 50% in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the same period a year before.” Total revenues were down 5.2% and advertising revenues were down 6.3%. A rise in the number of digital readers has not resulted in digital advertising revenues. “Ultimately, the question is whether readers still want the content the Times is providing.”

On Feb 7, The Times published an article by Porter Fox claiming that “The planet has warmed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1800s and as a result snow is melting. On the same day more than two thirds of the nation was covered in snow. A few days later, every State but Florida had some snow.

Newspapers across the nation are encountering similar revenue losses, but I am inclined to believe that the Times is also incurring losses as its blatant liberalism has become better understood by the current generation. When the Times sold the Boston Globe, once valued at $1.1 billion, the new owner purchased it for $73 million. Boston-based talk show host, Howie Carr, often called the paper “the All Gay Boston Globe” because it was so blatantly biased in favor of same-sex marriage.

Newsweek was sold for one dollar. In 2013 The Daily Beast was projected to lose $12 million.

MSNBC has no right to call itself a news channel and its lack of viewers suggests that, except for those so wedded to liberalism, its multitudinous failures to meet any standard of journalism are testimony to the awareness of its appalling broadcasting. The Current channel, owned by Al Gore, fared so poorly that it was sold to Al Jezeera.

By contrast, The Wall Street Journal and Investors Business Daily are thriving.

What this suggests to me is that liberalism may be waning and those who no longer read, listen or view liberal media are beginning to include the millions of Americans who woke up to the horrors of Obamacare and concluded that this outrageous power grab of one sixth of the nation’s economy had nothing to do with providing healthcare coverage.

Barack Obama’s performance in office, complete with lavish, costly vacations and plenty of golfing, is conveying a message to many Americans that he is not focused on the stagnant economy and, thanks to failed stimulus and bailout programs, has not achieved any progress.  His failure of leadership and his incompetence cannot hide behind a torrent of media spin.

Even the most blatant liberal coverage has been unable to hide the tide of scandals. This is not deterring the Federal Communications Commission from pressuring radio and television stations to moderate or change their coverage of the scandals and other news the Obama administration would prefer not be aired. The FCC has come up with a bogus program to “research” how they make their editorial decisions. It’s none of their business and reeks of its former “Fairness Doctrine.”

Americans should be concerned about the way the mainstream media reports the actions of the Obama administration. Ironically, it has been subjected to wiretaps and other efforts to exert pressure on journalists. The press advocacy group, Reporters Without Borders, just announced its 2014 World Press Freedom Index. Under the Obama administration the U.S. fell 13 slots from 32nd to 46th among 180 nations measured in terms of official abuse, media independence, and infrastructure to determine how free journalists are free to report.

The administration’s biggest problem is Obama’s pathological lying which becomes more evident with every passing day. In a visit to California this past week, he still claimed that the Earth was warming despite new records being set for cold weather.

Put these factors together and the decline of liberal media becomes more than just the changes the digital revolution has produced. The New York Times is tanking financially but The Wall Street Journal is not. Fox News has more viewers than ABC, CBS, and NBC combined. It is likely you could add CNN’s and MSNBC’s viewers to the total and Fox would still be ahead.

Why? Because all the White House lies and stonewalling, combined with all the media spin of the news, cannot hide the truth and the truth favors conservative concerns about the economy, about the moral life of the nation, about scandals, and about a President who is not acting as the Constitution says he must.

I don’t expect The New York Times to go out of business tomorrow, but I do expect it to shrink greatly from that august podium it has occupied for decades. Its internal rot is tangible.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014