Monday, June 30, 2008

Wanting the World to Love America ... by Jim Camp

Insight on Freedom is happy to present this guest commentary by Jim Camp CEO of the Jim Camp Group

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Wanting the World to Love America ... By Jim Camp
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Americans, caught up in the daily struggles of their own lives would be astonished to discover the degree and amount of news coverage America receives in the press of other nations and they would be even more astonished to see the depth of interest in us from ordinary individuals in other countries. People all over the world pay close attention to America and what we will and won't do. Our policies, actions and non-actions are reported upon and broadcast via satellite, internet, and print every day by international news companies and agencies all over the world.

This is appropriate to a nation whose prosperity and indebtedness is directly linked to the fate of other nations. When America does well in the marketplace, it ripples out. The old saying, “a rising tide lifts all boats” is true. It is very clear that what happens here affects the lives of others around the world. Almost all sell their products and agricultural surpluses to America, a nation where consumption is an obsession. We are, after all, the inventors of the supermarket, the shopping mall, and the charge account.

America holds title “leader of the free world.” This has been bestowed upon us. Delivered every day by the press of the world; a press that has often been educated and trained in the U.S. Children from all nations come here by the tens of thousands to be educated and trained. They return to their countries strongly aware of the freedoms, comforts, and security Americans enjoy. It is no surprise that, over the last sixty years, the rest of the world has grown accustomed to America taking action as America sees required. The ability and willingness of Americans to do what other nations often shrink from is taken for granted around the world.

Our passion for democracy and our hatred of tyranny has distinguished America since before the founding fathers and through to today. In my lifetime we rebuilt Europe. We opposed the Soviet Union and saved Europe from their totalitarian system. We fought to keep South Korea free from communism. We re-built Japan and helped a once terrible enemy become a great ally.We fought a war against communism in Vietnam, halting its spread in South East Asia. It can be argued we succeeded in spreading capitalism throughout that area of the world. Even China has opened it doors to capitalism and becomes more open every day. This is reflected in our current effort to transform Iraq and Afghanistan into nations where power shifts to “the consent of the governed” in a region where such ideas have never existed.Americans want to be loved. They want America to be loved. We find nothing unusual in this because America has drawn our population from the people of the world, welcoming them to our shores, liberating them, treating them to the American dream, assimilating them into our culture, welcoming them as new citizens. In our minds we should be loved. But does our desire to be loved pose a danger?

In my book, “No: The Only Negotiating System You Need for Work and Home”, I address our individual and, by extension, our national desire to achieve our objectives. The present election cycle allows us to debate how best to achieve them and what efforts and policies are to be embraced or rejected.

”No,” I wrote, “requires a solid, ironclad mission and purpose.” When negotiating, however, it's not about you, but them—the other side. The “No” system empowers you to see the value of what you deliver and shields you from that terrible emotional fear of neediness.

America's neediness is often reflected in the view of those who need to be loved. They are willing to compromise America's long-term interests to get short-term love.

History teaches, however, that American policy-makers have frequently positioned us in opposition to the views in much of the rest of the world. All around the world our commitment to democracy, to capitalism, and our antipathy to the gangsters in so many other nations is closely watched. Our “mission and purpose” and the manner we go about achieving it is debated in their news media on a daily basis.

The results of a worldwide survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project were announced in June. Not surprisingly a lot of the world's ills were blamed on America as many believe “global warming” is real and others object to the conduct of our leadership’s decision to remove the dictator, Saddam Hussein, from power and what has followed from that decision. At the same time, there is widespread concern over our current economic troubles. Foreigners often say they like America, like Americans, but dislike our policies. The ability of Americans to say “No” to bad economic, domestic, and foreign affairs policies will continue to be closely watched by millions in nations around the world. The willingness of Americans to make the tough decisions to drive America's mission and purpose forward in the future will be watched as well.

These are times when the fate of America and the lives of others around the world rest on our ability to say “no” even if it may cost us some momentary popularity or stiffen the resistance of those who openly seek to destroy us. Our ability to say “no” to bad economic policies, bad ideas, incorrect actions and all that threaten our well being will determine our future and the world¹s.

In 1776 we said “no” to tyranny and “yes” to liberty. We will celebrate that decision again on July Fourth.

Jim Camp is an internationally recognized expert on negotiation and a bestselling author of two books on the subject. He is the CEO of Camp Negotiation Systems, http://www.startwithno.com/



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Better Red Than Free!

Better Red Than Free!

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Here is an article by Bob Webster you must read. Mr. Webster is a descendent of Daniel Webster's brother Ezekiel. He has always had a strong interest in history, our Constitution, U.S. politics and law. A political conservative with objectivist and libertarian roots, he has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint as a great danger to our Republic.

Mr. Webster has written an article titled: “Obama: Leader of The New American National Socialist Party?” We highly recommend this article to you. It can be found at:
http://www.webcommentary.com/asp/ShowArticle.asp?id=websterb&date=080627

America stands at a crossroads. The choice is as clear as it could possibly be. The problem is, as I see it, the ignorance of the American electorate. And that is why conservatives are afraid. We fear the loss of our freedom. And the throngs who lust after an unidentified “change”… could well be America’s version of the German electorate in July of 1932. Adolf Hitler was elected on a platform of “Change”! And he definitely brought change… to the entire world.

America has the choice, this coming November, of choosing freedom as a representative republic, or slavery as a socialist state. The choice could not be clearer. Clear, that is, to those who understand America, those who understand what America was founded upon, those who rely upon themselves and their own resources for their needs, and those who regularly take part in the ongoing political discussion in America. Unfortunately, that is no longer the majority of Americans.

While the Republican Party has catered to the intelligent, informed, voter in America, and has for the most part, made no effort at recruiting the uninformed, with less than sparkling IQ’s, into the party, the Left Wing of the American politics has been recruiting them at a furious pace. The theory is that the less informed voter will be the easiest influenced and easiest led to vote for the Democrats and the democrats, as usual, are promising them anything their hearts desire in exchange for their votes. And get their votes they do! That is another reason the Right Wing of American politics has no interest in wasting time, effort, and money on recruiting that group of voters.

The Left Wing of American politics is broken down into two groups… at the top, the leadership (the elite) and… at the bottom… everybody else.

As it stands today, there is a better than even chance that the election of a new President in November will be decided by a portion of the American electorate with little or no knowledge of what a representative republic is, how it works, and what it takes to make it successful. They will be voting for a national nanny. They believe it is the government’s duty to feed and clothe them, educate them, take care of them when they are sick, and bury them when they die. These are not the kind of people who make for a successful country. In fact, they will bleed a country dry. Nevertheless, that is where we are and that is the huge gamble America seems ready to take in November.

On the other hand, as it were, the Right Side of the American political spectrum are those Americans who DO understand what their country was, is, and , unfortunately, what it is about to become… and we are disheartened and depressed that our nation is about to be relegated to a second rate power on the world’s stage and dropped from atop the list of leading countries on the planet to, at best, a “Second-World Country”, well on it’s way to “Third-World Country” status.

So… there it is. America making a choice to remove itself from the leadership position of a world more in need of us now than at any time in history. Why? Because we have reared two generations of young Americans who have no idea, none, of who, and what, America is, or was. We have produced two generations who feel entitled to everything they want. They have no concept of earning what they get. No concept of working and investing in the country, no concept of what it takes to secure the nation from all those who would like nothing better than to see the downfall of America. They have no concept of pride in America as their homeland. They have managed to graduate college having learned nothing of the history of this great land… because they were not taught it. These are the Americans who would have great difficulty finding America on a map! They yearn for the European style socialist governments, which take damn near everything their citizens earn and, in turn, guarantees their citizens “subsistence” until their “state underwritten funeral”. That’s the bottom line. For those people, America is just a word. And these are the people who will decide the fate of America at the polls next November.

For those of us who have spent our lives “plugged-in” to America, working for America, soldiering for America, praying for America, keeping our eyes on our national leadership, prodding when necessary and, and voting them out of office when necessary, it is a painful experience to see the country we worked so hard for, so diligently for, being turned into a cesspool of socialism. But that is exactly what is happening in America today… and we are sickened by it.

“America was once an economic King Kong, which we have completely shackled through socialism, welfare-statism, agri-business welfare, unionism, cronyism, over-taxation, environmentalism, affirmative action, and thousands of other stupid political, social and economic restraints, regulations, restrictions, and controls.” That is a quote from “The Fall of America” at:

http://plancksconstant.org/blog1/2008/06/the_fall_of_america.html

I often think if there were such a being as “the Father of the Blogosphere” it would have to be Thomas Payne. His pamphleteering before the American Revolution fired up the people of the 13 colonies to rise up and take their freedom from the mother country. His words are as apropos today as they were in the 18th century. Payne said: “These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman”. --Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

Somehow, we have managed to come full circle. These are, indeed, “the times that try men’s souls”.



Longstreet


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Longstreet’s commentaries can now be found at “The Conservative Voice” at:http://www.theconservativevoice.com/ and at: www.tcvdaily.com/


Sunday, June 29, 2008

How long ‘til Israel strikes Iran?

How long ‘til Israel strikes Iran?
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Oh, it’s going to happen. It’s a matter of time.. .. and the time there is… is growing short.

Iran has been given every opportunity to get out of the nuclear bomb and missile business and they have spurned every opportunity. The west has run out of options... save for one, possibly two.

One… to bomb the living daylights out of their known nuclear facilities. We my not get the main plant which is said to be deep in the earth, but we can do enough damage to those facilities making ancillary equipment to slow down their progress.

The US “Left” has brought so much pressure to bear (through the mainstream media in this country) on our politicians in Congress, they are afraid to utter any thing, which might be construed as making war on Iran. Now, everybody knows it is coming... save for some of the intelligentsia. Those educated beyond their abilities. They don’t live on the same planet as the remainder of us, anyway.

First, Israel will have to deliver the first strike... and they will. The hand of the US will not be seen, but it will be there, and everybody will know that we will be involved, up to our necks, but we will have “Plausible Deniability”.

Why Israel? Because, they are the logical choice. The have the means and they have the motivation… self-preservation. Israel wants to live and be free, and they know some things are worth fighting for; some things are worth putting your life, or the lives of your nation's young people, on the line. Liberty is one of those things. Unlike the American Left, Israeli’s have not forgotten their duty, to each other, to maintain their freedom.

So, Israel will make the first strike, with our backup.

Look we're in the Middle East to stay! Most likely... forever. We cannot leave. We must keep a military presence where the trouble is. That’s the Middle East!

In the meantime, the President will begin preparing the people of the US for a third front in the war on terrorism. Much will be in the news in coming weeks concerning the harshness of the Iranian Mullahs on the people of Iran who want their freedom. Much will be made of the threat Iran already poses to the US and, of course, Israel. The United Nations will be dragged into it, kicking and screaming, and will, as usual, do nothing.

Longstreet


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Longstreet’s commentaries can now be found at “The Conservative Voice” at:http://www.theconservativevoice.com/ and at: www.tcvdaily.com/




Saturday, June 28, 2008

Are We Running Out of Oil… Or Not???

March, 2007

Are We Running Out of Oil… Or Not???
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If one listens to the MSM one will believe that the world is going to run out of oil next week! Everything will come to a grinding halt. The economy will crash… everything will end! Typical “Chicken Little” stuff.

Well, I don’t believe it.

I haven’t gotten around to researching whether oil is a renewable resource or not. Some say yes… while others say it is not and, that the supply of oil is finite. I simply don’t know… yet. I haven’t researched it.

In the meantime I did find some interesting info over at the National Center for Policy Analysis. You can visit them and take a look at the info they have posted there which seems to bolster the fact that we are nowhere near depleting our oil supply. Visit them at:

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/bg/bg159/index.html#c

I gleaned some interesting tidbits such as:

"Oil shales may hold another 14,000 billion barrels of crude oil -- a 500 year supply."

Did that shock you?

Well check this out from the web site of the National Center for Policy Analysis:

“Scaremongers are fond of reminding us that the total amount of oil in the Earth is finite and cannot be replaced during the span of human life. This is true; yet estimates of the world’s total oil endowment have grown faster than humanity can pump petroleum out of the ground.
16The Growing Endowment of Oil.Estimates of the total amount of oil resources in the world grew throughout the 20th century [see Figure III].
In May 1920, the U.S. Geological Survey announced that the world’s total endowment of oil amounted to 60 billion barrels.
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In 1950, geologists estimated the world’s total oil endowment at around 600 billion barrels.
From 1970 through 1990, their estimates increased to between 1,500 and 2,000 billion barrels.
In 1994, the U.S. Geological Survey raised the estimate to 2,400 billion barrels, and their most recent estimate (2000) was of a 3,000-billion-barrel endowment.
By the year 2000, a total of 900 billion barrels of oil had been produced.
18 Total world oil production in 2000 was 25 billion barrels.19 If world oil consumption continues to increase at an average rate of 1.4 percent a year, and no further resources are discovered, the world’s oil supply will not be exhausted until the year 2056.”

There is much more info on this site. For instance:

Additional Petroleum Resources.The estimates above do not include unconventional oil resources. Conventional oil refers to oil that is pumped out of the ground with minimal processing; unconventional oil resources consist largely of tar sands and oil shales that require processing to extract liquid petroleum. Unconventional oil resources are very large. In the future, new technologies that allow extraction of these unconventional resources likely will increase the world’s reserves.
Oil production from tar sands in Canada and South America would add about 600 billion barrels to the world’s supply.
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Rocks found in the three western states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming alone contain 1,500 billion barrels of oil.
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Worldwide, the oil-shale resource base could easily be as large as 14,000 billion barrels — more than 500 years of oil supply at year 2000 production rates.
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Unconventional oil resources are more expensive to extract and produce, but we can expect production costs to drop with time as improved technologies increase efficiency.

(From the National Center for policy Analysis)

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/bg/bg159/index.html#c

There is lots more info the inquiring mind can chew over on that site.

I suppose, if anything, this should give us all pause to re-think our Gas shortage. It is being sold by the MSM as a crude oil shortage when in fact we have plenty of crude. What we don’t have in the US is refineries! We need two or three times as many as we have…. and soon. But, unless Congress steps in and forces the EPA to back off some of it’s hamstringing rules so the petroleum industry can build new refineries then we have only begun to feel the pinch at the pumps!

Longstreet




Longstreet’s commentaries can now be found at “The Conservative Voice” at:http://www.theconservativevoice.com/ and at: www.tcvdaily.com/


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Friday, June 27, 2008

One Vote Saved This Nation

One Vote Saved This Nation

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The Supreme Court of the US came within one vote of decreeing the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, a part of the Bill of Rights, unconstitutional. ONE vote! And we are celebrating??? It took 9 “learned” people in black robes to tell us the second amendment means what it says. Do you realize we were one vote away from splitting this nation apart more clearly than the Mason-Dixon line ever did?

An idiot can read the 2nd Amendment and tell you what it says and what it means. But because our liberal friends have muddied the waters of what the word “right” means, over the past few decades, we had to have a pronouncement from the Supreme Court of the land to settle the issue. Problem is, it didn’t settle anything. It has only opened up a slew of new platforms for numerous additional challenges to the rights granted US Citizens under the 2nd amendment.

The fact that one of our rights under the bills of rights was saved by one vote ought to scare the hell out of all Americans! This is how fragile our freedom has become. This vote reflects just how tenuous our grasp on liberty is in this 21st century. Those of us who believe in the freedom granted by the original constitution are holding on by the skin of our teeth. Nobody gives a damn anymore about living free. If Americans actually BELIEVED in America one tenth as much as the founders of this country did, the issue would never have been considered serious enough to go before the Supreme Court. There would have been no need. The Second Amendment says Americans may keep and bear arms. It means…. Americans may keep and bear arms!

When America has a supreme court as political as this one, and as unrepresentative of America as this one, we need to take a serious look at ridding the country of this all too powerful institution.

Look, the unspoken driving force behind the presidential election this year is whether we continue to live free, or we elect another socialist who will appoint left wing, liberal/socialist judges to the Supreme Court and finish off the already struggling representative republic known as the United States of America. THAT’S what this election is about!

The problem is… so few Americans take enough interest in their government, enough interest in anything having to do with the politics of this land, that we go about our days in blissful ignorance of the sacrifice made by those who preceded us to insure the freedoms we are rushing, head-long, to give away today. Our public school system, I am now convinced, deliberately does not teach the constitution anymore. Graduating students who are barely past functional literacy is just another way of creating an underclass dependent upon those who desire, who seek, and who grasp for power over them. It is happening right in front of our eyes and we are so blinded with all the propaganda coming at us, from all directions, of our imminent doom from a hoax called global warming, that we cannot see, cannot hear, cannot grasp, that we are being flimflammed by a socialist movement bent on the complete destruction of America as a free nation.

Look at the numbers again. 5 to 4. 5 to 4. One vote. ONE vote! If there was any reason, any reason, at all, to vote against democrats in November… THIS vote, dear reader, is it! If we allow the socialists in this country to gain control of the Supreme Court by electing them is such numbers that they control both houses of the Congress and the office of the President, we will assuredly be stacking the Supreme Court with liberals/socialists. Had we not gotten the last two conservative justices on that court, all gun owners in this country would be awaiting orders today to turn in our weapons. We wouldn’t turn them in, of course, thereby bringing about that split in the country I spoke of earlier.

The Supreme Court has taken on powers the constitution does not grant them. Today they are acting, not so much as a judicial body, as they are a legislative body, making law by fiat. That is most certainly not constitutional. The Court is circumventing the US House of Representatives and the US Senate by making law from the bench.

The Supreme Court must be reined-in and I’m afraid the only way that will be accomplished is through a constitutional amendment. No more lifetime appointments to the court for one thing. No more appointment to the court by the President. “Would be Justices” must stand for election and then serve only six years… one term only. And that is just for starters.

As a gun owner, you’d think I’d be celebrating the decision of the court that the 2nd amendment means what it says. But I’m not. I already knew that! What I didn’t know was how the court would rule… and I was afraid, frankly, that they WOULD rule that the 2nd amendment was unconstitutional even though it is a part of the constitution!

We live in exceedingly dangerous times in America. We have lost our love for freedom. We have lost our love of independence. We have lost pride in who we are because we no longer KNOW who we are. Our young yearn for the ways of Europe from which their ancestors braved an ocean and a lethal wilderness to escape.

Finally, if you are a gun owner, may we suggest that you purchase as much ammunition for your weapons as you possibly can… before the taxes begin. Because, as surely as Obama is elected, and the democrats maintain control of the Congress, they are going to tax ammunition so much that it will be out of reach of most gun owners. If you do not have the equipment to make your own re-loads you might want to consider getting it. The “gun grabbers” are not going away. If you are going to be allowed to keep your gun, then they will find ways to make that weapon inoperable.

I look at America today and I feel as if I am looking at a replay of German history during the 1930’s. I see crowds lusting after a candidate who offers “hope” and “change”… again. Germany elected him. Look what happened to Germany.

All of this from a Supreme Court 5 to 4 vote? No. I got all of this from that 5th vote… the 5th vote that could have easily gone the other way…the 5th vote that could have sparked a conflagration in America that would have ended in the destruction of this nation. That’s what I am looking at. That is why I shudder.

Longstreet


© Longstreet, 2008




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Longstreet’s commentaries can now be found at “The Conservative Voice” at:
http://www.theconservativevoice.com/ and at: www.tcvdaily.com/

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Can Your Child Write in Cursive? No, I Am NOT Kidding!

Can your Child Write in Cursive? No, I Am NOT Kidding!
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I learned something disturbing, just recently, from a friend of mine who works in a government agency. My friend told me of an intern they had in their office recently who was unable to read cursive writing. The intern explained that cursive is no longer taught in the public schools. Therefore, she could neither write in cursive, nor read other people's cursive! She was asked how she signed her papers in school and she reportedly said the students were instructed to print their signature.

Now… think about this for a moment. In my opinion, cursive “writing” is another skill of Ladies and Gentlemen, much as the learning of Latin was as late as 5, or even 4, decades ago, which has now been tossed overboard. It was one of the most used skills I learned as a student. It had a direct bearing on my life after my formal schooling ended. (My “informal schooling” has never ended.)

We have become a crass, unpolished, disrespectful, bunch of boobs, we Americans, and it is a damned shame!

Cursive writing is an art form. No two people’s cursive offerings are alike. Cursive is a window into the writer’s personality. It reflects his/her, mood at the time the writer scribbles his missive onto the chosen parchment. I stand by my pronouncement that cursive is an art form. It most certainly is!

I have a signature like no other. I worked at it for years to get it just so. It was to reflect me. I write in bold strokes, in sweeping loops and swirls, and heavy in ink. I don’t know what that says about me, but I take pride in my signature.

For years I had to sign affidavits, by the batches, once every month. I created a signature that was mine and mine alone. I wanted a signature that was not easily copied. It didn’t matter that others could not make out what it was. It was mine and I’d recognize it at a mile’s distance. Even more important, I’d also recognize, instantly, any attempt to forge my signature.

Back to the need for cursive. If, indeed, cursive is no longer taught, we have lost another touch of class. Lord knows we Americans do not need to lose any more “class”. I suppose that is one reason I am attracted to the 19th century. Their “informal” was so far above our modern “formal” as to be absurd! But, they could express themselves in such flowing phrases as to be pure poetry.

I once read a letter written by a Confederate officer in command of troops who were preparing to attack a Union position the following morning. The letter was to the Union officer. The Confederate general read the Union general the riot act… but he did it in such flowery language that it was a pleasure to read. There was no doubt of the threat expressed in the letter. But, again, it was a pleasure to read.

Seems to me, that cursive almost forces the writer to take careful note of what he/she is saying, or trying to say, as the pen moves across the page. A simple note written in your hand to a friend, these days, is a treasure. The writer is sharing a part of himself or herself with the recipient of the note, or letter, as the case may be.

No, cursive is most definitely needed. If our public school systems have, indeed, chosen to stop teaching it, then they (most certainly) should reconsider and begin, with all haste, to teach our young how to demonstrate “a little class” with the simple act of writing… not printing… writing… in cursive.

The personal touch is no longer valued in American culture. Cursive was one of the last threads by which our culture was hanging over the dark pit of the impersonal.

Ok, so whether or not our students can write in cursive is NOT as important as who the next President to the US will be, it is far more important to who we Americans are, and who, and what, we are becoming. The loss of this art form is testament to the decay at work in our society. We have managed to dumb down our civilization to the lowest common denominator, and yet we continue to dumb down even more! This is frightening… truly frightening.

Longstreet



© Longstreet, 2008



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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Venezuela Goes to the Dogs ... by Alan Caruba



Venezuela Goes to the Dogs

By Alan Caruba


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Coming just a week or so after Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) publicly said the U.S. government should nationalize the nation’s oil refineries, echoing a similar earlier threat by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) to nationalize the entire industry, it is instructive to see what has happened in Venezuela where a Communist wannabe dictator, Hugo Chavez, nationalized that nation’s oil industry.



One would think it was bad enough that Sen. Barack Obama and the Democrats want to enact a windfall profits tax on U.S. oil industry, the same action that in 1980 effectively has reduced exploration and production in the U.S. by nearly sixty percent, but Venezuela’s takeover of its oil industry is a case history example of why so many of the world’s national oil companies are badly managed and under-performing.



Venezuela has a long history of problems with its various governments dating back to the 1800s when Simon Bolivar fought for its independence from Spain. What followed “was characterized by coups, civil wars, and battle after battle,” says Kyle D. Guerrero, an academic who has lived in both Venezuela and the United States.



The June issue of Energy Tribune is devoted to Venezuela because, as its editor Michael J. Economides points out, it has the Western hemisphere’s largest oil reserves. Don’t bother looking for Newsweek or Time to provide the real story because they are still telling Americans that global warming is real and “fossil fuels” are bad, bad, bad.



Consider instead that, aside from its oil, Venezuela with a population of twenty-six million, most of whom reside in its cities, could comfortably fit its 352,145 square miles into the State of Alaska’s 663,267 square miles. Despite the billions president Chavez is spending on arms for its army of 120,000 soldiers, claiming that the U.S. intends to invade, the truth is that the U.S. is wisely waiting for the inevitable ouster of this jackass.



Economides says that “Hugo Chavez is in free-fall” and warns that “the uncertain transition that will follow him bodes ill for the stability of the country.” This is worrisome for the United States because by 2006 our Venezuelan crude oil imports amounted to about eleven percent of our needs. They represent 60 percent of Venezuela’s total exports. This mutual dependency stands in vast contrast to the diplomatic relationship between our two nations.



“Chavez,” says Economides, “would be a comical character were it not for the $100-plus oil prices which have papered over his shortcomings and prolong the eventual day of reckoning.” It is astonishing to see the way he has devastated the industry that permits him stay in power. In 2003 he fired more than 18,000 highly trained oil workers who went on strike against him. This set in motion a huge brain-drain as ten thousand of them have left the country. An estimated two-thirds of the rest of the population wants to leave as well.



Proving once again that Communism is the worst possible political and economic system known to man, Chavez’s only friends these days are people like Cuba’s Fidel Castro, and thugs like Iran’s Mamoud Amadinejad, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, and the FARC guerillas in neighboring Colombia. The one thing they have in common is the way they have destroyed their nation’s economies and spread misery among their captive citizens.



In 1992 Chavez led a military coup against the government of Carlos Andres Perez. In 1994 he was pardoned and, in 1998, he was elected president of Venezuela. If that sounds improbable, one has to consider the long history of coups and other difficulties endemic to the governments and economies of South American nations. The Chavez platform was one of “change” that would redistribute the wealth of the nation based on a variety of “free” programs of medical care, price controls, and other giveaways. It this sounds a lot like a certain Democrat candidate, it is not a coincidence.



The result has been the highest rate of inflation in Latin America, 23 percent last year and still increasing. The breakdown of society is reflected in the way Venezuela in 1988 had 4,500 murders and, during the Chavez regime from 1999 to 2007, this increased to over 105,000. There is virtually no foreign investment and domestic businesses have suffered. Its health system reflects his “reforms” as childbirth mortality rates rise and cases of malaria have doubled.



Poverty is the only growth industry in Venezuela. Aside from oil, its position as a place for illegal drug transit keeps the money flowing, but only for those in charge.



This is a nation that choose Communism at a time when the Soviet Union had already collapsed, whose citizens preferred a typical Latin American “strongman” over democratic reform, and who will suffer far more as the price of a barrel of oil inevitably and eventually returns to a more realistic level.



The real question will be what kind of transition will follow the fall of Hugo Chavez and his followers and the odds are the answer will be very ugly.



Alan Caruba writes a weekly column posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center, http://www.anxietycenter.com/. He blogs at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/.



© Alan Caruba, June 2008



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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This Conservative Will NOT Vote for McCain, Period.

This Conservative Will not Vote for McCain, Period.
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My conservative friends have been asking me for months now if I intend to vote for McCain. Some have even taken for granted that I, as a Republican, WILL vote for McCain. When I correct them and state flatly I have no intention of voting for McCain, under any circumstances, they smile and say: ”Oh, you’ll change your mind once you are inside that voting booth.” Once again, they are wrong. No, I won’t change my mind.

When I was growing up, my family tells me I was as stubborn as a fence post. That is probably true. Now that I am all grown, I am even more stubborn. But, I am consistent!

My father tells the story of my childhood when he would punish me, with a two inch wide leather belt, I would not cry. No matter the pain inflicted, I did not shed a tear. In a conversation we had, just before he passed away, he asked me why. I told him that, as a rule, when I was caught doing something I knew would bring me punishment, I had made a clear decision to go ahead and do it and accept the punishment as part of the deal. Therefore, I could not allow my self to show pain, or to weep at the punishment I had wittingly brought on myself.

I have a psychologist friend who tells me I’m some sorta nut! She is probably right. But, I have a tendency to make decisions and then stand by those decisions no matter the cost. That is exactly what I intend to do come November and the election.

I will not vote for McCain. If my one vote causes Obama to win by one vote… tough! I will have made my bed and I will lie in it.

You see, I have had enough! Enough of being lied to by the GOP. Enough of being used and abused by the GOP just to get my vote, and then have them conveniently forget what they promised me to get that vote in the first place. I’ve had enough of the GOP sucking up to conservatives and seducing us into giving them what they want, our vote, then siding with the democrats when the very issues dear to the conservative movement come up for action either in the US House or the US Senate.

I’m not alone in my feelings about the GOP candidate for President. Many Republicans are having the same debate within themselves. We know the risk that Obama MAY, indeed, be elected is very, very, uncomfortably real. But, where do you draw the line? Where do you say, as an individual… “No more”! For me, THIS is it.


I have been unhappy, for a while, at the direction the GOP has taken. Frankly, I cannot believe there was/is no better candidate the party could have chosen to run for President. My dearest friend, a democrat, told me sometime back now, that it says a lot about the awful shape this country is in when it cannot find better candidates to offer than Obama and McCain. I agreed, wholeheartedly.

As a southerner (Southern American) with a deep passion for my family’s history and heritage, I take particular umbrage at the GOP’s choice of McCain.

I’ve had enough of Republican candidates coming “down here”, to DIXIE, and denouncing my ancestry, the icons of my confederate ancestry, my heritage, my history, my home state of South Carolina, and in doing so slander my confederate ancestors who died fighting for their right to create a country that WOULD govern by the original constitution given us by the Founding Fathers of the United States. (We recommend you read the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. We guarantee you… you WILL be surprised, I expect pleasantly surprised, by just how closely it tracks with the original US Constitution. You can easily find it online.)

Every now and again, in our lives, we are called upon, and asked to take a stand for what we believe is right. Sometimes standing up for what you believe is not popular, quite often, in fact. But a man’s character demands that he do what HE determines is the right thing to do. There is always a cost. There shouldn’t be… but there always is.

So judge my character for yourselves. And know this: I am not going to vote for McCain in November, nor for Obama.

May God have mercy on this country, and bless this country, and do it with all possible haste!

Longstreet


© Longstreet, 2008

Longstreet’s commentaries can now be found at “The Conservative Voice” at:
http://www.theconservativevoice.com/ and at: www.tcvdaily.com/


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Monday, June 23, 2008

The Cost of Freedom is Never Too Dear, Or Is It?

The Cost of Freedom is Never Too Dear, Or Is It?
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Is it true? I mean, is the cost of freedom never, ever, too dear? For instance, the US is paying the price for the freedom of the Afghanis and Iraqis in the blood of our young men and women and the treasure from our national coffers while, here at home, we are preparing to relinquish our own freedom by electing a socialist as the President, leader of the country, and Commander-in-Chief of our military. Is it worth it?

Now let’s see: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and Lebanon. All these nations (and peoples) are in a state of “flux” as they persist in a struggle to adopt some form of democracy. It has all happened in the past few years.

So “war solves nothing”, huh? Care to rethink your position on that? I thought not. When one entrenches oneself into self doubt as deeply as the peaceniks have, it is nigh impossible to extract them. So, we will simply overlook them, as we have always done. They line the fringes of our society, anyway.

No one likes war. But, contrary to what the peaceniks tell us, war does bring change for the better. Ask the Brits, the French, the Germans the Belgium’s, the Jews…. and the list goes on. (The French may still be too arrogant to admit it, but, regardless of what they tell themselves, the remainder of the world knows they exist as a nation only because of the efforts of US servicemen, and their allies, in two world wars.)

War changes things. The Middle East, for better or for worse, is changed forever. The US has a beachhead in the Middle East and we will be there, to one degree or another, forever. We are not going to leave. As the democracies begin to shape up, and form up, and freedom begins to spread, those who hold the dictator’s reins now will, over time, find themselves out of a job. Those who would hold the Middle East back in the 14th century will find they alone are left in the past. The people are going to move on to liberty and freedom. Once a people taste freedom, it is not possible to strip them of it again. Not for long, anyway. Take it from them and they will fight you to reclaim it.

No matter what you may think of President George W. Bush… and Lord knows, I have MY issues with him… if liberty blossoms, and blooms, in the Middle East, one man will be responsible. George W. Bush. He took a stand when the rest of the world would not. He alone had a vision of a free people who would seek after democracy. Old Europe, now irrelevant, stood on the sidelines as history passed them by. There they will remain. What they do, or say, is of no consequence to anyone but themselves. If Bush’s efforts fail then he will be rightly blamed for that. Only time will tell how successful those efforts are, or just how bad a failure they are.

The spark of freedom has been planted in Middle Eastern countries, ancient in origin, yet infants in the ways of democracy. It will take time to see if that spark ignites the longing for freedom, for self-determination, for liberty, and for the dignity of a free people. There is reason to believe that within days, or weeks, or months of the US pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan, they will revert to their pre-war totalitarian ways. Many of us feel that is the most likely scenario. And yet, there is the optimistic outlook, which says democracy will win out, and the newly freed people will manage to pick up the pieces and build nations able, willing, and even eager to take their place amongst the democratic peoples of the world. Honestly… I hope the optimists win this one. The US, and it’s coalition partners, have paid a dear price, in blood and treasure, to set those enslaved peoples free and give them that chance.

In the meantime, America marches on, constantly embroiled in what seems like a never-ending contest to determine who will lead this country. Many of us worry that while we are busy securing freedom for nations in distant places we are in danger of relinquishing our OWN freedom as the pre-World War Two Germans did… at the ballot box. SOME of us, and we hope, enough of us, still believe that Ronald Reagan’s dream of America as a great “shining city on a hill” still perseveres. The nation Reagan pointed to as the last hope of a world, that lost its way, is in serious danger of joining the lost. I ask again, if the cost of Iraqi and Afghani freedom is the loss of our OWN freedom… then, is THAT price too dear?

For our non-American readers… that is what defines Americans. We are a people willing to risk it all… to set other men free. It costs us… dearly…each time we commit ourselves to a fight for other men’s freedom. For years, and even decades afterwards, we lick our wounds and contemplate the question of the cost, over and over again. For we know, deep down inside ourselves, that freedom must be nurtured with the blood of free men for it’s continued existence. You see… we know that our own freedom depends upon the freedom of our fellowman. As testament to our commitment survey the cemeteries filled with American dead from the remote jungle islands of the Pacific to the picturesque European countryside.

Even now, America is engaged with a foe in a worldwide war to beat back the terrorists who have stated their goal as a worldwide caliphate (kingdom) ruled by a singe religion… a theocracy. They have shown they will do anything, including the cold-blooded murder of thousands, yea, millions of innocents to achieve that goal. America and a handful of brave partner nations is the only thing standing between the free world and the ravenous wolves of Islamofacism.

Yes, we worry about the cost. Yes, we worry about our own freedom. But we know that America’s dedication to freedom would be less than complete should we ever turn our backs on our fellowman struggling to join us in the sacred, priceless, state of freedom.

If the cause is great enough, the price is irrelevant.


Longstreet

© Longstreet, 2008

Longstreet’s commentaries can now be found at “The Conservative Voice” at:
http://www.theconservativevoice.com/ and at: www.tcvdaily.com/

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Are We Importing Slaves, or Serfs, by Continuing to Allow the Flood of Illegal Immigration?

Are We Importing Slaves, or Serfs, by Continuing to Allow the Flood of Illegal Immigration?


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Is it just me… or has anyone else noticed the Mainstream Media seems to have dropped the word “illegal” when writing a story about illegal immigrants? I have noticed that the MsM is referring to them as strictly “immigrants”, not “illegal immigrants” as they actually are. Now, this is not surprising to those of us who have been a part of the media, and been media watchers, for a few decades.

It is depressing, however, to note that the media, so many American receive their information from, is so utterly biased. It’s not so much that I am concerned over their bias, as I am concerned because they continue to lie about it and swear there is no bias in their reporting.

The New York Times owns my own regional newspaper. Now, one would expect it to be biased toward the left of the political spectrum … and one would be correct. It is slightly to the left of the old Soviet Union tome, “Pravda”. But, will they admit it, heck no! But there it is, everyday, in black and white, for everyone to see.

The broadcast networks are much the same way. Their choice of words and choice of video, and photos, gets their bias passed on to their viewers in a nice neat bundle. Frankly, Fox News Channel is the only truly Conservative network on TV in America. Yet, they will not admit it, either. I would much prefer that newspaper place a huge “L” or a huge “R”, in a circle, toward the top of their front pages to denote what their political bias is. That would tell me all I really need to know. If Fox News Channel would drop the “Fair and Balanced” logo and just say something like: “Your source for the Conservative view of the news”, I would be much happier with them.

Ok, so I am dreaming, and NO, I won’t hold my breath until that happens.

May I suggest you alert your children to the propaganda they will be facing daily as they grow up. Introduce them to a live broadcast of a conservative speaking on TV. Then have them watch the anchor’s analysis of what that conservative said. That will open their eyes!

Many years ago, I had my, then teen-age, daughter view a Reagan speech with me and then view the broadcast network anchor’s analysis of what President Reagan said. My daughter turned to me, her eyes wide, and said, “Daddy, that is NOT what the President said”! I smiled and remarked that she now knew what propaganda was and what left wing bias looked, and sounded like, in the Main Stream Media in America. She is now a medical professional woman with a couple of degrees, a husband and two small children, and she has never forgotten that important lesson.

We have a culture in this country, which has been molded by the media into a culture of mediocrity. We no longer strive for the best in ourselves. Why? Because we have been told, and taught, by the media that being “average” is good enough! The sad truth is… average nations don’t last long!

Look, this nation is only 231 years old! In the grand scheme of things including the history of nations on this globe, the US is still a child, having not reached puberty yet. And already we are on a downward slide into obscurity, or as Reagan called it the “dust bin of history”. Liberalism has stripped the dignity of self-dependence and hard work from us and made us into a socialist welfare state. Welfare states never, I repeat never, make their mark on world history. They are, forever, simply a note in the margins of history. That is where we are headed and our national leaders are more than happy to grease the skids with their “National Nanny” schemes.

And now the US is importing a slave culture, or a “serf: culture. if that is more acceptable to your sensitivities. The Mexicans, the Latinos, have become the lowest class in America… and we are actually importing them by allowing them to cross illegally into our territory. By doing this we are once again demonstrating our national government’s approval of slavery. (Call it Serfdom if it makes you feel better.)


But, Longstreet, you say, you are being too harsh calling the importation of illegal labor “slavery”!

Oh, am I? Gee. The truth hurts, doesn’t it? Hey, I’m a conservative and conservatism deals in reality, not Nirvana.

We are importing a ready-made underclass, which will become wards of the government as soon as they cross into US territory. Being a ward of the government means two things: You and I will have to support them and take care of their needs, and it also means… the liberal government will guarantee the wards pay them back for all this national largesse by keeping them in office with their votes!

Beginning to see the big picture here?

Look, it boils down to this: the GOP wants the cheap labor and the Dems want the cheap votes! That is the bottom line. Always follow the money!

As the US still pays for the last batch of slaves we brought into the country, you’d have thought we learned something. Apparently not!






Longstreet




Longstreet’s columns can now be read at “The Conservative Voice” at http://www.theconservativevoice.com/ and at http://www.tcvdaily.com/ .



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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Socialized Medicine



(January 2006)

Socialized Medicine

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We learned, this past week, that some of this nations largest employers are telling their employees that they must stop smoking, by a date certain, or be fired. This is not smoking on the job, or even at the place of employment, but… anywhere… at anytime. Even in your own home on your own time!

Ok, so where is that much vaunted “Right to Privacy”, we are assured the US Constitution grants each, and every, American citizen? Or, does it just cover woman who wish to have an abortion, or the government, when it wishes to tap your telephone?

How far is too far?

The reason, they say is to produce a healthier work force! The fact that the company’s medical costs are reduced is just a happy coincidence, right? I am told that 21 states allow this and 29 states do not. Who is right and who is wrong and when will the Supreme Court rule on this, or, have they?

Forget tobacco and cigarettes. The overriding question here is where; exactly, do we stop employers and government from encroaching on our privacy? Where? So far as I am concerned… we have allowed them both to go entirely too far, as it is.

Now, if smoking a cigarette is unhealthy activity, which cannot be condoned by your employer, then what about the consumption of alcohol? What about riding a motorcycle to work? What about over eating? And speaking of eating, what about those extra pounds we men tend to carry around our waists as we get older?

So, now having a few beers while watching the Super Bowl, in your own home, can get you fired? No, but smoking a cigarette can!

Eating that extra helping at Sunday dinner…can that get you fired? No, but smoking the after dinner cigarette can!

Having a couple of drinks after work, at your favorite neighborhood bar, can that get you fired? No, but lighting up while having those drinks can, or stepping outside, for a quick smoke, as required by some of our larger cities, can!

Now, lets clear away the smoke. (No pun intended.) What we have here is a flagrant attack by the “smoking nazis”! They’re doing this simply… because they can!

We are continuing to lose our privacy at an ever-increasing speed. There is hardly a place in America one can go, these days, without being seen by someone’s security cameras. I recently stood in a parking lot of one of the Big Box stores and counted 22 cameras zeroed in on the parking area, and entrances, and exits, to the store. And that was just on the OUTSIDE.

The “no smoking at home rules” are just the latest invasion of our privacy. It will get worse, if we allow it.

If you think it’s bad now, wait until we have national health insurance. Our every move will be monitored, and we will be directed, by the government, in every facet of our lives.

Weight too much? Lose weight… or the government won’t pay for your medical bills.

Drive too fast? Slow down or the government won’t pay for your medical bills if you’re in an accident.

Smoke? The government won’t pay for your medical bills, period.

Have more than (two) kids? Your medical bills will not be paid if you exceed the allowable limit on babies.

Pregnant with a third child and the government insists that you have an abortion, but you really want this third child? Well, either have an abortion, or that third child will have no medical coverage and the cost of the pregnancy, and delivery, will not be covered, either.

Didn’t finish High School? Your medical bills will not be covered if you do not get a High School Diploma.

Take the wrong courses in college? Well, if you didn’t check before you signed up for a course, and you signed-up for a course the government thinks is uncalled for, or that you do not need for your chosen occupation… then your medical bills will not be picked up by the National Healthcare.

Choose the wrong career, and you are on your own! No medical help from the government.

Get the picture? Almost total control. And you, and I, will have given that power to the government! (or your employer) After a while, there won’t be much difference, anyway.

So, next time you hear someone calling for National Healthcare, remind them of all the freedom they will give up for that cradle to the grave care.

The founders of this country wanted us to live free. Healthy, if we can manage it, but free, in any event. Today, it seems we are prepared to give our freedom up for a form of modern day Marxism. Socialized Medicine.

To paraphrase Shakespeare, “Socialized Medicine by any other name, would still stink!”

Longstreet


Longstreet’s columns can now be read at “The Conservative Voice” at http://www.theconservativevoice.com/ and at http://www.tcvdaily.com/ .

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Are Today’s Democrats the “Neo-Comms” of the World?

Are Today’s Democratics the “Neo-Comms” of the World?
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Before we begin, I’d like to define Neo Comm for you: Neo Comm = New Communist. Learn it because you are going to be hearing it a lot in the next few months and years, because they are here, among us, and their goal remains the same as the Old Communists… the destruction of American as a free, capitalist, country.

I have watched over the years as the US Democratic Party adopted more and more of the Marxist agenda and slowly transformed themselves from a freedom loving party to a Socialist/Marxist party. I first became aware of this transformation in the 1960’s. Since then I have watched as the Democratic Party has slowly shed it’s façade until they now proudly proclaim their socialist agenda.

In the past few months we have heard their candidate for President, Barack Hussein Obama, proudly announce all the socialist programs he hopes to initiate upon entering the Oval office. Then, a few days ago, a democratic representative from California openly announced the party’s interest in nationalizing the oil industry in America. Then, a few days later, another democrat announces their interest in nationalizing oil refineries in America. This is socialism, the initial step toward full communism.

I understand that many Americans have no idea what socialism is and, unfortunately, they have even less understanding of capitalism. At least two generations of Americans have been taught in the government indoctrination centers, we laughingly refer to as the Public School System, and in our institutions of higher learning, that being liberal, being progressive, is the accepted norm for Americans. They bought it. Nobody told them that words like “liberal” and “progressive” were cover words for “collectivism”, “socialism”, and “communism”.

So here we are decades, nearly half a century, after Joe McCarthy’s accusations of communist infiltration, we have come to believe that Joe McCarthy was, at least, partly RIGHT! There were, and continue to be, communists among us!

The Conservative blogosphere has been literally screaming at the top of its lungs about the socialist leanings of the Democratic candidate for President. We have warned of his socialist connections, over and over again. Why? Because they are so numerous… and most Americans today simply do not recognize freedom-suffocating socialism. They have bought the socialist lies, lock, stock, and barrel!

There is an article on
www.Investors.com titled “Obama’s Red Roots”. We recommend you read it. You’ll find it at:

www.investors.com/editorial/editorialcontent.asp?secid=1501&status=article&id=298595112205121


Sen. Obama cited new economic forces to explain what appears like a return to an older-style big-government Democratic platform skeptical of market forces. "Globalization and technology and automation all weaken the position of workers," he said, “and a strong government hand is needed to assure that wealth is distributed more equitably”. (From an article by BOB DAVIS and AMY CHOZICK IN the Wall Street Journal… June 17th, 2008) if you wish to check the source of this statement you’ll find it at:

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB121366164848479237.html?mod=special_page_campaign2008_topbox

That last phrase: “and a strong government hand is needed to assure that wealth is distributed more equitably” is pure socialism.

I have come to think of the Obama Campaign as the” Trojan Horse of American Politics”. It’s an attractive thing, an alluring thing, but once we tow it inside the walls of our democracy, the trap door will fly open and the conquering force we call socialism will be loosed on an unsuspecting electorate and it will lay waste to our form of government slaughtering our freedom and our liberty one blow at a time.

Winston Churchill said: “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery”. In these few words Churchill summed up for us exactly what Obama and the Democratic Party of America are offering the citizens of the United States today.

I have observed over the decades that socialism attracts two types of people: the ignorant, and those lusting after power. Those desiring power are covetous of socialism for they will grasp and maintain power over the ignorant. The ignorant covet socialism because, in their ignorance, they are ever reaching for the fulfillment of the promises made to them by those in power over them. It rarely ever crosses their consciousness that continuing their quest for the “free lunch” only enslaves them to a lie.

I shudder as I view the throngs, in what appears to be a state of ecstasy, as they push and shove just to be in the presence of the man who has become the public face of socialism in America. Obama.

If it is possible for those Americans who have passed on since that band of “rebels” founded this country to see what is happening today in this current election cycle, I don’t think it is outside the realm of possibility that they are aghast at the very idea that their descendents are so eager to give up that freedom, that liberty, for which they fought, bled, and died.



Longstreet

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Israel Rehearsing Iran Raid!

Israel Rehearsing Iran Raid!
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We have been telling you for months, nay, years, that if the US would not strike Iran’s nuclear facilities… Israel would. Why, we have even had American “experts” tell us that the distance was too great… that Israel did not have the means to make an air raid at that distance and return to Israel.

That was/is BS! If any nation on the face of the planet can do something like that… Israel can… and will! If Israel decided to raid Antarctica, it would be wise for the penguins to dig in. Take a look at the list of Nobel Prize winners. Notice how many Jews are on it?

Now comes word that Israel has made a very public demonstration of their capability to take out those nuclear facilities in Iran. We have no doubt it was done for two reasons: one to show the world that it COULD do it, and two it was a rehearsal… pure and simple.

The International Herald Tribune has the story at:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/06/20/america/20iran.php

If there is any doubt in your mind that a strike against Iran is coming, then you are deluding yourself. If there is any doubt in your mind that the US will not back Israel when the feces hits the rotary oscillator, again you are deluding yourself.

Again the “weenie” nations of Europe are going to stand back and wait upon the US to save their collective behinds. They are going to *itch and moan about the “bully” (The US, of course!) and those mean ole Jews in Israel, all the while they are wiping the “fear sweat” from their brow. There is STILL, to this day, a high degree of racism and bigotry toward Jews in Europe. Yet, Europe will smugly point to racism in America as though they, themselves, are as pure as the driven snow. I have never understood that! But that is an article for another day.

I expect the “pucker factor” in Iran is reaching its zenith right about now. Israel is ready to act. Israel WILL act with, or without, the US. Good on Israel!

Longstreet
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Is the Democrat Party the CPUSA in Disguise?

Is the Democrat Party the CPUSA in Disguise?
By Alan Caruba


It’s no secret that Democrats are liberal, but when you peel away their devotion to environmental policies that have left America vulnerable to foreign nations on whom we depend for the importation of oil, what has been revealed is an intention to nationalize our nation’s oil industry. That, simply stated, is communism.

One might expect members of the Communist Party USA to advocate the nationalization of our oil companies, but hearing it from the lips of Democrat Party members of the House of Representatives should send a chill of fear through every American.

It was the former Soviet Union’s reliance on revenue from its nationalized oil industry that proved to be a major factor in the collapse of that totalitarian regime. It is, in large part, Russia’s nationalized oil and national gas industry that props up the current regime, a thinly disguised resurrection of the former communist party.

Having invited foreign, privately-owned oil companies to help revitalize their industry, the current leadership in Russia ruthlessly abrogated the original contracts to deprive them of much of their initial investment. Russian oil and natural gas company executives who resisted either fled to self-imposed exile or were jailed.

Russia has since sought to coerce European and former satellite nations by threatening to withhold the oil and natural gas on which they depend.

The nationalization of Venezuela’s oil industry by a communist regime led by Hugo Chavez is currently destroying that nation’s economy. Most of the oil in the world is under the control of nationalized industries. U.S. oil companies, combined, own only four percent of the world’s known oil reserves.

At a June 18 press conference, however, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) called for the government to nationalize and own refineries, threatening U.S. oil companies with nationalization. “We should own the refineries. Then we can control how much gets out into the market.” Earlier, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) had also threatened oil company executives with nationalization.

In a demonstration of a complete lack of understanding of how the marketplace for oil operates, nationally and globally, Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) said, “You cannot drill your way out of this.” Exploring for and drilling oil is precisely the way to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil!

Rahall is the chairman of the Resources Committee and is apparently ignorant of the fact that the U.S. has literally billions of barrels of oil untapped in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, off the continental shelf of the nation’s vast coastlines, and in many States.

Florida, for example, long resistant to permitting off-shore drilling, has discovered that the high price of gasoline is forcing many Americans to abandon plans to drive to Florida for vacations there. Meanwhile, China has joined with Cuba to explore and drill for oil barely 90 miles or less off the coast of Florida. Similar energy policies in California caused its largest utility to go bankrupt and has deprived its citizens of a reliable supply of energy.

The Democrat nominee for President, Sen. Barack Obama, has called for a windfall profits tax on U.S. oil companies, but in 1980 such a tax, before it was repealed, led to the three decades of decline in oil production in the United States. U.S. oil companies do not control the price of oil, a global commodity sold on mercantile exchanges around the world. Their profits are less than those currently being enjoyed by the pharmaceutical industry, high tech industries, and financial and banking firms nationwide.

It was former President Clinton who refused to allow exploration and drilling in ANWR in the 1990s and it has been a Democrat-controlled Congress that has resisted President Bush’s call to allow access to the estimated seven billion barrels of oil untapped beneath ANWR.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) deliberately sought to mislead Americans into believing that the oil leases held by U.S. oil companies mean that they could drill tomorrow to produce oil, but neglected to mention that oil leases are no guarantee that any oil would be found. A high percentage of wells that are drilled come up empty. It is a highly speculative and highly expensive business to find and extract oil.

This brings us to the fact that a vast matrix of environmental legislation slows the process by which oil can be accessed and, later, refined for use by consumers. The U.S. has not allowed a new refinery to be built in more than three decades as a result of this legislation. It takes, on the average, ten years between finding oil and making it available to consumers.

Voters paying $4 a gallon can thank the Democrat Party’s alliance with environmental organizations for the failure and refusal to allow access to our national reserves of oil and natural gas. Lying about it and shifting blame to the oil companies does not change this fundamental truth.

The past actions of the Democrat Party and the assertions by several Democrat members of Congress represent the true face of the party and its close resemblance to the Communist Party USA should be a cause for grave concern in the forthcoming national elections.

Alan Caruba writes a weekly column posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center, www.anxietycenter.com. He blogs at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com.

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Obama’s First Term = Jimmy Carter’s Second Term.

Obama’s First Term = Jimmy Carter’s Second Term.

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What an absolutely terrifying thought! Malaise all over again!

For you youngsters who have no clue what I am talking about… allow me to clarify: Jimmy Carter’s administration was so bad it triggered a national state of depression unseen in America since it’s founding. Carter, himself, referred to it as a national “malaise”. I shudder when I think about it, even today. It was a brief brush with socialism, Democratic Party style. The fake oil shortage had Washington ordering thermostats in homes, offices, schools, and businesses set at 68º.

I got a call from the head of the Civil Preparedness Office in my county when that happened. I was summoned there to meet with the director. He was distraught. He told me he had been ordered to go into offices and businesses in the county and check the thermostats in those establishments to be sure they were set at 68º. I remember he shoved his chair back from his desk, stood, and turned to me and said: “I am not going to do this!” Oh, he was a democrat, himself.

What Foreign Policy Carter had was a disgrace. Mostly, it was an apology to the rest of the world for being the most successful nation in history. When threatened, the Carter Administration’s response was to immediately drop to the ground an assume the fetal position and hope, like the Opossum, the danger would pass.




The Iranians made fools of us by overrunning our embassy and holding Americans hostage for well over a year while the Carter Administration “talked”. The only military response to that embarrassment was a dismal failure because our military had been so deprived of equipment, and training, that we didn’t have the helicopters and personnel we needed for the mission. It ended in a fiery crash in the desert, which unnecessarily cost the lives of American servicemen.

Yes, the Carter Administration was what we used to call, when I was in the military,… a FUBAR!

But, too many young Americans have been born since Carter and they have no memory of the truly awful governance of the Carter Administration. They do not remember that his campaign was so very like Obama’s… always vague. Simply put, Carter ran as “Not Nixon”. Obama is running as “Not Bush”.

Now, we’ve just touched the hi-lights here, and just a tiny fraction of the things that went wrong during the Carter years.

As a result of the electorate’s ignorance, there is a good chance that we will wind up with an Obama presidency, or as we call it, Jimmy Carter Two!

So what if we DO manage to screw ourselves and elect Obama? What then? Well, there are some preparations we, as Americans, need to make. There is an excellent article over at
www.dequalss.com that looks at this very thing. We recommend you check it out at:

http://www.dequalss.com/wp/2008/06/preparation-for-an-obama-presidency/

There is hardly a day that goes by that I do not see, hear, or read how the election of Obama will finally put racism to and end in America. The naiveté of those even thinking that is immeasurable. It simply is not going to happen. If you are among those who believe that… prepare to be bitterly disappointed. The plain truth is that as long as there are people of different skin colors, different body features, different belief systems, etc., etc., there is going to be racism. Electing a black man as President of the US is not going to change that… at all.

As a white southern American male, of northern European descent, I have become used to being referred to as a racist. I don’t even mind it anymore. In fact, as a southern American, I have come to expect such empty-headed belief as the norm for those who find they cannot exist without having someone to pin their inferiority complex on. They have a crying need for someone they can point to as inferior to themselves. That is not going to change.

It is doubtful that Obama will win the white vote. History says he will not. In fact, he MAY lose the election! Ok, OK, I’ll pause a moment and allow you to catch your breath……..(PAUSE)……….. Yes, there is a distinct possibility that Obama will not win the election to the office of President of the United States in November. History tells us that no Democrat presidential candidate has won the white vote in 30 years. No, not even Bill Clinton. Already we are being warned of dire consequences if Obama is not elected. I don’t mean bad economic news or bad news from the war front… no… none of that sort of thing. We are being warned of what can only be described as an “uprising” of America’s black population… a “trashing” of America by black rioters.

There is an article over at Radarsite titled: “Elect Obama, or Else—“. We recommend you take the time to read it. You’ll find it at:

http://radarsite.blogspot.com/2008/06/elect-obama-or-else_08.html

You can make up your own mind as to whether or not there is a real threat of civil unrest among the black community (If Obama fails to win) or not. Most of us are just brushing such rumors off. We’ll react to any such national “uprising” as is necessary to squelch it, if, and when, it occurs. Until then we do not intend to nurture seeds of such a calamity and cause them, perhaps, to blossom.

Personally, I find the thought of impending socialism, if Obama wins, far more frightening than rioting in the streets.




Longstreet

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A World Afloat on an Ocean of Oil ... by Alan Caruba

A World Afloat on an Ocean of Oil
By Alan Caruba


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Considering how much untapped oil is known to exist, not just in the United States, but worldwide, one would think that its current price was some kind of anomaly and it is. It is more the result of speculation than anything else.

The most fundamental fact about oil worldwide is that there is lots of it. Though frequently overlooked, the ability to refine crude oil plays an essential role in the supply and demand equation. More refining capacity is needed worldwide. Finally, there’s the fact that, in general, oil is very expensive to get at and often found in the most inhospitable places on Earth.

For sheer insanity, however, consider a nation that has an estimated 31 billion barrels of oil offshore of its coasts and 117 billion barrels of oil under land owned or managed by the government, plus 139 billion barrels beneath privately held land.

In just one area, a desolate place designated a wildlife refuge, there’s an estimated 7.7 billion barrels untapped. The nation with this abundance of oil is, of course, the United States of America. Most of the areas where oil is known to exist have been ruled off-limits to any exploration or extraction by the government.

In the areas where it is accessible, drilling for it is hugely encumbered and often denied by the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act.

If, however, you connect the dots, you will have noticed by now that America’s energy problems, namely the price of a gallon of gasoline or heating oil, is making everyone miserable thanks in great part to environmental legislation designed to make it impossible to access oil on both public and privately held lands. Then, just to make matters worse, the government requires that every gallon of gasoline include the additive, ethanol, which reduces its mileage and increases its cost.

Further, we’re told that Sen. Barack Obama, if elected, intends to seize “windfall profits.” This is sufficient reason for American oil companies to decide to drill anywhere else. The last time a windfall profits tax was implemented was at the end of President Carter’s term. It had such a negative impact on U.S. oil companies that drilling for oil domestically dropped dramatically. It has stayed that way since the 1980s. Their actual profits are now less than pharmaceutical, high tech, and other elements of the economy. Imagine how thrilled they were to hear Rep. Maxine Waters’ threat to nationalize them.

No profits. No exploration. No drilling. And no domestic oil with which to correct our dependence on foreign oil and thus provide a measure of security to a nation that runs on oil.

If you wanted to bring the United States to ruin, you could not have designed and implemented a more perfect scheme. Along with too many members of Congress, environmentalists are America’s Fifth Column.

As my friend, Seldon B. Graham, a veteran petroleum engineer and oil industry attorney, and a graduate of West Point says of oil, “If it is worth dying for in the Near East, it is worth drilling for in the United States.”

As to the claim that the Earth is running out of oil, that can be easily dismissed simply by reading information available in respected publications such as Business Week that, “The Saudis have embarked on an ambitious expansion program that should see more than 2 million barrels of new production capacity come onstream by the middle of next year.”

Those of us who follow energy trends read the Energy Tribune because it has some of the best information available on what is really occurring. In its May edition, Matt Pickard wrote about the expansion worldwide of offshore drilling, noting that today’s prices are being driven by increased demand from rapidly developing nations such as China and India. This demand is going to increase over the next two or three decades.

Unless the United States begins to free up its own oil and natural gas reserves, Americans are going to be paying more at the pump and in their homes for a very long time to come.

The good news is that the offshore oil and gas industry, despite the huge risks and costs involved and despite an aging, understaffed workforce, is making strides to meet demand. Whether it’s in the Gulf of Mexico or the North Sea, the icy waters of the Barents Sea or offshore of Brazil and Africa, massive new reserves of oil are being found.

“Large discoveries offshore Brazil, the continued progress in every region’s major projects, and the ongoing push for Arctic exploration and production point to the industry’s potential for growth over the next 20 to 30 years,” wrote Pickard. Brazil is poised to become a major producer. In its Tupi field, “Petrobas announced an aggressive development plan, with an early production system possible within two or three years,” reports Pickard. The nearby Jupiter field has gas reserves to rival Tupi.

None of this is a secret! Both privately owned U.S. and foreign national oil companies are going to find more oil and gas.

Neither candidate for President is telling the truth these days because both believe global warming is real and both keep blathering on about “alternative” energy. The big problem for the rest of us is that you can’t pour wind or solar energy into a gas tank.

The U.S. mandate for ethanol as a gasoline additive has already significantly put the world’s food supply in jeopardy, but most Americans are blissfully unaware that it requires 1.5 gallons of ethanol to produce the same energy as a gallon of gasoline. It actually emits more carbon dioxide than gasoline. It is an environmental hoax.

The world is afloat an ocean of oil. Meanwhile, the United States continues to rule 85% of its offshore oil off-limits to exploration and extraction. This is occurring while the Chinese prepare to pump oil just offshore of Cuba, a mere 90 miles from Florida. It is occurring while the Russians are looking to plant their flag on potential reserves of subterranean oil in the Arctic.

The next time you hear a politician say we need to be “energy independent”, ask him or her why Americans cannot have access to the oil reserves known to exist in California, in Alaska, and in many of our other States or off the coastlines of Florida and elsewhere.

Ask them why the fate of the condors and little known species is more important than the family budget of Americans forced to make choices between more food and more gasoline.

Ask them why they continue to claim that global warming is a threat when the entire Earth is now in a decade-old cooling cycle.

Ask them why they insist on blaming investor-owned oil companies whose own reserves are barely four percent of the world’s known oil reserves? Ask them how they expect these oil companies to compete in the global marketplace when they threaten to seize their profits.

Energy is the master resource. It determines which nations thrive and which lag behind. For now, America is being ill-served by a Congress that refuses to permit access our own energy resources.

Ask yourself how we have arrived at a point in time when both candidates for President believe in a non-existent global warming and whose proposals offer no practical solution to our current and future energy needs.


Alan Caruba writes a weekly column posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center, http://www.anxietycenter.com/. He blogs at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/.


© Alan Caruba, June 2008



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