Tuesday, November 30, 2010

“The Dream Act” = Amnesty For Illegal Aliens


“The Dream Act” = Amnesty For Illegal Aliens
Undocumented Aliens = Undocumented DEMOCRATS!
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

Well, the dems are at it again. You simply have to give them an “A” for effort.

I recall a TV game show where the booth announcer would enthusiastically shout: “Come on DOWN” to those chosen as contestants on the show. The chosen contestants would rush to the stage expecting instant riches to await them there.

It seems to me there is something similar going on at the southern border of the US. I visualize democrats standing along the border gesturing to the would be illegal immigrants on the Mexican side to: “Come on OVER!” And, boy, they are coming – in DROVES. The illegals climb the fence, go under the fence in tunnels, around the fence, and, quite often, through the fence, all the while, expecting great riches awaiting them on the American side including free healthcare, free education, welfare payment checks each month and a guarantee of citizenship -- if their numbers become great enough to swing the elections in the democrats favor -- all of this as a result of breaking the US laws and becoming criminals.

Do not be fooled by all the denials from the democrats. Amnesty for illegal aliens is all about power for the liberal-socialist democrats in the US government. They, rightfully, see the gigantic influx of illegal aliens as a power source that will, if they can pull it off, guarantee victory at the polls, election cycle after election cycle, effective smothering their opposition and, eventually, securing them an uncontested lock on the US government forever.

So, if you liked the way the democrats have ruled under the democrat liberal-socialist control of the Congress and the socialist Obama Regime, then you are going to absolutely LOVE the socialist state the Hispanic vote will allow them to force on the American people. Very soon America will resemble nothing more than a banana republic with a socialist dictator in the mold of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela – or -- the Castro brothers of Cuba.

I hope that is a sobering thought for Americans. Here is another one. We are losing our country and the passage of The Dream Act will be the last nail in the coffin of a constitutional republic in the United States.

I have lost count of the many times the democrats have endeavored to pass bills for amnesty for illegal aliens in the past few years. It seems that every session of Congress they try again and again to ram it through. They change the name, add a few more freebies, and twist arms of reluctant senators and congresspersons and generally increase the pressure on those hapless lawmakers to a near unbearable level. Still, somehow, we have managed to hold them off… until the next time.

Now the Obama Regime is claiming immigration reform is an emergency and the Congress must act to pass The Dream Act during the ongoing lame duck session of Congress which has a little less than 18 days to finish their work before it disbands and heads home until the first of January.

Many of the current supporters of Immigration Reform (another title for Amnesty for illegal aliens) will not return in January having been unceremoniously thrown out of office by voters angry at their efforts to “fundamentally change America” into their version of a socialist utopia.

Amnesty for illegal aliens is not the least of the actions of the defeated democrats to anger Americans who DO understand we are losing our constitutional representative government and being yoked with oppression from a socialist elite who are working maniacally to turn off the lights of that fabled “Shining City on a Hill" and replace the hill, upon which it sat, with a dung heap.

The Dream Act must be stopped in its tracks -- and it must be stopped NOW! It will be nothing short of a disaster for America if it passes.

I simply do not think something this important to the very existence of America should be brought to the floor of the Congress during a lame duck session. As we said above, many of the democrats who will be supporting the bill have already been relieved of their office come the first of January. They have nothing to lose and they certainly do not have to fear a backlash from their constituents back home. Some might even feel a little revenge is in order for their having been dumped by their constituents in the Mid-Term Election back in November.

I repeat: The Dream Act, though artfully camouflaged, is nothing more than amnesty for illegal aliens and should NEVER come up for a vote in the Congress.

We all would do well to write, phone, e-mail, fax, send a telegram, or in some way not included here, contact our Senators and Congresspersons and tell them to vote NO on AMNESTY for ILLEGAL Aliens, otherwise known: “The Dream Act. We need to do it right NOW!

The Dream Act MUST BE STOPPED!!!
J. D. Longstreet

Political Correctness Slams Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans

Georgia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans
PRESS RELEASE:

HISTORY CHANNEL CAVES TO POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IN GEORGIA
****************

(ATLANTA - November 29, 2010) The nationally syndicated cable television History Channel has made the controversial decision to force cable television companies, including Comcast and Charter, to pull ads paid for by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Georgia commemorating the Sesquicentennial (150th Anniversary) of the War Between the States.

The series of twelve television commercials by the Sons of Confederate Veterans is part of a statewide radio and television campaign aimed at commemorating the anniversary of the late War Between the States and educating the public on Georgia's important role and the historical causes of the War. All twelve television commercials, as well as a companion series of radio commercials, are still broadcasting across the state of Georgia; and an entire slate of additional commercials are already in production for 2011.

The commercials came under scrutiny of the History Channel when a little-known liberal Internet site began attacking the Sons of Confederate Veterans for commemorating the War and, subsequently, also the History Channel for allowing the commercials to broadcast in their programming.

Vice-president Nancy Alpert of A&E Television, the parent company of the History Channel, gave the following explanation of her decision to ban the historical ads: "The subject matter of each of the SCV ads, plus the actual language... is well beyond our guidelines for any advertising on AETN." Alpert cited her opinion that the ads violated History Channel guidelines by quoting, among other things, a statement in one commercial that the war was "Not a 'civil war' fought to take over the United States, as it is called in history books today, this was a war... against an aggressive invasion by federal troops." She also complained that one of the commercials related to the causes of the War stated that the South seceded in part because "Northern congressmen were able to vote themselves virtually anything they wanted, using Southern tax money, while the South was powerless to stop it."
The commercials clearly offer a different point of view than that which is usually presented by documentaries on the History Channel; yet the channel has purported in the past to be an outlet, which offers competing, and even controversial, opinions about historical events.
Speaking on behalf of the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans which paid for the commercials to run, Division Commander Jack Bridwell had this to say, "We find it more than interesting that the History Channel has no problem airing shows with controversial theories about history, including more than one show which speculates that extraterrestrial aliens in UFO's somehow redirected human history, and yet the same channel does not see the value in allowing a non-profit, educational organization to present the Southern view of the causes for the War."

As the organization founded in 1896 and directly descended from the original United Confederate Veterans, the Sons of Confederate Veterans is charged in their initial charter with teaching the historical reasons for the South's heroic stand against overwhelming odds in the War. The charge given at the organization’s founding states, "To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will submit the vindication of the cause for which we fought; To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, and the perpetuation of those principles he loved and which made him glorious and which you also cherish."

With the Sons of Confederate Veterans representing more than 100,000 Southerners across the country, the Georgia Division of the SCV announced today that it is launching a campaign to educate the general American public about the censorship and hypocrisy of the A&E Network and particularly the History Channel. It is estimated that the A&E Network stands to lose several hundred thousand dollars over the course of the next two quarters as their advertisers are barraged by former viewers who are unhappy with this pandering to "political correctness," particularly across the South.

Interviews and statements related to the Sons of Confederate Veterans may be arranged via Announcements@RayMcBerryEnterprises.com or by calling 1-866-SCV-in-GA.

END RELEASE

(Ray McBerry Enterprises is the public relations firm for the Georgia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Stop START

Stop START
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet


Americans would do well to pray for the failure of the US Senate to ratify the “New START” Treaty with Russia. (The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) The security of the United States is at risk. In fact, the US should be building nukes at an increased pace and we should, most certainly, move forward, with all deliberate haste, to create and bring on line a viable Anti Ballistic Missile System as quickly as is humanly possible.

The New START may be good for Russia, but it is certainly NOT GOOD FOR AMERICA and it should be scrapped!

A few reasons the Senate should not ratify New START: It limits the development and deployment of America’s missile defense system. It also reduces America’s nuclear stockpile, does not allow America to modernize our existing nuclear assets, and some say there are no hard and fast rules within New START for verification.

New Start is a BAD treaty for America and we urge the US Senate to give it a “thumbs-down.”

What with North Korea kicking up its heels, these days, nuclear proliferation should be addressed, as well. Actively waiting in the wings are Syria and Iran. Soon they will step onto the stage as nuclear powers. Now that I think about it, nuclear proliferation should be addressed BEFORE there is any discussion of a treaty, of ANY kind, that will reduce our nuclear stockpile.

I maintain today, as I have for over a decade that China is our mortal enemy and we need to worry about China’s growing nuclear arsenal and the continued modernization of their nuclear delivery systems, as well as their on-going construction of underground bunkers, which are meant to insure a second-strike capability for China.

There are reports that China's warhead numbers have even doubled in recent years. The US’s top brass say China may now be able to put multiple nukes on a single, newly developed, road-mobile missile.

Peter Brookes, A Heritage Foundation senior fellow and a former deputy assistant secretary of Defense writes the following:

“China's 2nd Artillery (nuclear forces) is reportedly building 3,000-plus miles of tunnels in central China, known as "the Underground Great Wall" -- likely providing Beijing with an enhanced, land-based, second-strike capability. Naturally, China's ICBMs are thought to be targeted at us.

But Beijing is also diversifying its nuclear capabilities by broadening its force structure into the traditional triad -- missiles based not just on land but also on bombers and subs.

China's new class of strategic submarine may already carry its first sea-based ICBMs. And Beijing's building another "boomer" sub class, too, significantly raising its nuclear-strike mobility and survivability -- while lowering detectability.

It's also adding advanced strategic bombers to the mix. Analysts believe China is developing long-range cruise missiles for these aircraft, which may have both conventional and nuclear warheads.” You may read Mr. Brookes’ entire article in the NY Post (HERE).

Mr. Brookes points out that China avoids arms control treaties.

The proponents of the New START treaty seem to think that other nations will follow America’s example if we disarm. That is a fallacy that could be fatal. In fact, in our opinion, that is infantile reasoning. It is a lesson I learned was wrong while I was yet in grade school. After being pounded upon (a couple of times) by the school yard bully, I learned to expect bad behavior from my fellow students, prepare for it, and be ready to put up a hell of a fight when the time came.

It is difficult for me to have a great deal of confidence in our leaders after they required several days to decide if a contrail streaking up the western coast of America was from a plane or a missile. Just as any experienced soldier can tell if the sound made by an artillery shell is “in-coming” or “out-going” the least we can expect is for our military leaders to know the difference between the contrails of a missile and/or an aircraft.

With all the terrorist groups and rogue states in Asia and the Middle East with nuclear weapons or working 24/7 to create them, Russia’s nuke capability is less important than a viable missile defense system for America.

America is more in need of some adult leadership in the White House than any new arms control treaty with Russia -- or any other country.

The New START Treaty deserves nothing less than a quick death in the US Senate.

J. D. Longstreet

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Up in the Air! A Missle, Or A Plane, Or Another Government Cover-Up?


ANOTHER GOVERNMENT COVER-UP!!! WILL IT EVER END???
Jim Cash, Brig. Gen., USAF, Ret.

Sliding silently under the mud, muck and fog of national politics, is a current event that makes Bill Clinton's excursion into the world of elderly sex look tame in comparison. This time the nation's national security is truly threatened in my opinion, and it involves not only a weak President with limited problem-solving ability, but leadership at the highest levels in the Pentagon as well. The American people would do well to demand a full investigation by an unbiased group, and let the chips fall where they may. I am referring to the "missile shot" taken of California coast recently, and the lame response by NORAD, the Pentagon and the White House itself.

First, in hope of adding some creditability to my assessment of what really happened just off the coast of Los Angeles let me convey a bit of my background which can be checked easily by going to Google and typing in my name. An Air Force biography will appear.

During the late eighties I was assigned to NORAD, as a Command Director initially and later as the assistant Director of Operations for NORAD. The NORAD operation was located inside the Cheyenne Mountain complex just outside Colorado Springs, Colorado. Twenty four hours a day a team of approximately 150 highly trained individuals, lead by a Brigadier General, monitored one of the most sophisticated computer systems in the world. This system was fed data from many different sensors that were able to detect missile shots from any point on the globe. All this data was taken into consideration when making the "assessment" as whether or not North America and/or Canada were threatened by such a launch. If the launch was assessed as a true threat, the President was contacted immediately by NORAD through a military individual always close to the President who carried what we called, "the football", a black brief case with release codes for our nuclear forces. I know the system well, as for near three years I led one of those teams.

In addition, for over 25 years, I flew US Air Force fighters to include the F-106, F-4, F-15, F-16, and commanded an F-15 Squadron and an F-16 Wing. The sole purpose of the F-106 assignment was to maintain an ability to become airborne in minutes to intercept inbound bombers posing a threat to the US mainland. Untold hours were spent studying and being tested on visually identifying an air-to-air threat to include its type and threat potential. I understand the difference in an aircraft contrail and a missile launch contrail.

In my opinion there is absolutely no doubt that what was captured on video off the coast of California was a missile launch, was clearly observed by NORAD, assessed by a four-star General in minutes, and passed to the President immediately. That is the way the system works, and heads fall if there is a failure. This is one of the most important tenets of National Defense and its sole purpose of protecting the American people. Even the smallest failure in this system gets intense scrutiny at the highest level.

Now, the question that still must be answered is why NORAD's muted response was simply that North America was not threatened, and later our government approved the lame excuse that the picture recorded was simply an aircraft leaving a contrail. This decision was made far above the four-star level, and because the system in place demands it, was made by the President himself.

There are many possible answers to the question why. Normally, when a situation of this nature occurs the decision makers in Washington feel it would create panic among the mere mortals who go to work every day. To avoid shocking the population the truth is shaded, or sometimes just kept quite in hope it will just go away. I would say to our government officials who disregard the intelligence of the American people, be careful. The people are awakening, and their trust in our government is fading. This level of decision making will hasten that process.

In my opinion we must question the timing of this shot across our bow. The President was abroad being diplomatic, which means trying to placate China which is becoming overly concerned with our handling a totally out of control deficient in spending. They do not want our debt to them be paid in cheapened US dollars, and it appears that our current plan is to do just that. China is devoting a major portion of their GDP to defense spending, and what better time to show the US that they can slip a missile equipped submarine through the South Pacific undetected right up to one of our largest cities, than right now. And, the Chinese have the guts to do it.

Important in my opinion is that once again the leader of this nation chose to disguise the truth and keep the American people in the dark on an issue that constitutes a major threat to the entire population of the United States of America. This is no longer a threat to only our military thousands of miles from the homeland. This is a show of force sending a signal that downtown USA is now capably of being hit by an undetected submarine and at any time. It may very well be the beginning of the real power struggle between the United States and China. If so, I predict the next phase will be China's demand for the US to cease support of Taiwan, and so it goes.

President Obama is getting in over his head once again on this one. Hiding the severity of issues we face with China to include this possible signal of strength is a terrible mistake. It is happening at a time that our Secretary of Defense, under the guidance of the President, is literally gutting our military forces. We have seen it already when the F-22 buy was cut from over 600 aircraft to 187, and research and development for follow on systems severely reduced. This is but one of hundreds of examples of military reductions. I fear that this could be another reason for this cover-up. If the American people fully realized the severity of the threat they might demand restoring our military to face the growing threat from China and Russia, as opposed to the massive domestic spending that we have witnessed over the past two years.

So, where does this leave us? Again, the people must decide and place pressure on the government to insure that our National Security remains intact. Military strength prevents war. Military weakness invites not only war, but also a lack of deterrence for intervention and bullying on many fronts.

If there was ever a time for the people to look closely at the national leadership and demand honesty and integrity, it is now. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. At issue is electing those who have the ability to make proper decisions for our country, and will do so with no regard to their own personal gain. It is time to elect a President and a Congress who will put country above self, and defend this great nation against all enemies, foreign or domestic, and above all be honest with the people who honored them with election to high office.

Jim Cash
Brig. Gen., USAF, Ret.


Lakeside, Montana
**************************
BRIGADIER GENERAL JIMMY L. CASH -- Retired June 1, 1991.

Brigadier General Jimmy L. Cash was vice commander, 7th Air Force, Osan Air Base, South Korea. General Cash was born in DeKalb, Texas, in 1939, and graduated from DeKalb High School in 1958. He earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University in 1962 and a master of science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1970. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1968, Armed Forces Staff College in 1975, Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1976 and the Air War College in 1983.


In September 1962 he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Texas A&M. General Cash completed pilot training at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, and received pilot wings in May 1965. After completing F-102 and F-106 training, he was assigned to the 456th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Castle Air Force Base, Calif., for one year. He then transitioned to the F-4C as an aircraft commander. In September 1967he was assigned to the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, Cam Rahn Bay AirBase, Republic of Vietnam. The general transferred to South Korea in February 1968 and was first at Kunsan Air Base, then Taegu Air Base, as an operational F-4 pilot. In September 1968 he was assigned to the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing at George Air Force Base, Calif., as an F-4 instructor pilot. In June 1972 he was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy as air officer commanding Cadet Squadron 18.


General Cash entered the Armed Forces Staff College in January 1975 and upon completion was assigned to the 51st Composite Wing, Osan AirBase, in September 1975. He served as an F-4E flight commander and, later, as chief of the Standardization and Evaluation Division. He was assigned to the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base,Va., as chief of the Langley Consolidated Command Post in September1976. In March 1978 he transferred to the 27th Tactical Fighter Squadron for F-15 checkout and in June became operations officer of the 71st Tactical Fighter Squadron. In April 1979 he assumed command of the 94th Tactical Fighter Squadron, "Hat-in-the-Ring." He was assigned as chief of the Operations Training Division with the inspector general team, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley, in March 1981.


The general was assigned as deputy commander for operations, 56thTactical Training Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., in July 1983. He was wing vice commander from June 1984 to August 1984, when he assumed command of the 56th Tactical Training Wing. In February 1986 the general became deputy chief of staff for operations, Headquarters 9th Air Force, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. He became command director, North American Aerospace Defense Command combat operations staff, Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Colo., in February 1987.


The general is a command pilot with 4,000 flying hours. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Vietnam Service Medal. He was promoted to brigadier general July 1, 1988, with same date of rank. (Current as of July 1990)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Climate change no longer scary in Europe ... Dr. Hans Labohm


Climate change no longer scary in Europe
It’s not the climate, but the tide of opinion that’s changing in Europe and around the globe
Dr. Hans Labohm


The upcoming climate change (and wealth redistribution) summit in Cancun – coupled with Bjorn Lomborg’s ongoing publicity campaign for his new film – makes one thing painfully obvious. The fight against the delusion of dangerous man-made global warming remains an uphill struggle.

For decades the climate debate has been obfuscated by cherry-picking, spin-doctoring and scare-mongering by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other climate alarmists, including the environmental movement and mainstream media. Their massive effort to overstate the threat of man-made warming has left its imprint on public opinion.

But the tide seems to be turning. The Climate Conference fiasco in Copenhagen, Climategate scandal and stabilization of worldwide temperatures since 1995 have given rise to growing doubts about the putative threat of “dangerous global warming” or “global climate disruption.” Indeed, even Phil Jones, director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and one of the main players in Climategate, now acknowledges that there has been no measurable warming since 1995, despite steadily rising atmospheric carbon dioxide.

People are paying attention, and opinion polls in many countries show a dramatic fall in the ranking of climate change among people’s major concerns. They are also beginning to understand that major rain and snow storms, hurricanes and other weather extremes are caused by solar-driven changes in global jet streams and warm-cold fronts, not by CO2, and that claims about recent years being the “warmest ever” are based on false or falsified temperature data.

In various parts of the world, the climate debate displays different features. The US and other parts of the non-European Anglo-Saxon world feature highly polarized and politicized debates along the left/right divide. In Europe, all major political parties are still toeing the “official” IPCC line. In both arenas, with a few notable exceptions, skeptical views – even from well-known scientists with impeccable credentials – tend to be ignored and/or actively suppressed by governments, academia and the media.

However, skepticism about manmade climate disasters is gradually gaining ground nevertheless.

In my own country, The Netherlands, for instance, it has even received some official recognition, thus dissolving the information monopoly of climate alarmists. The Standing Committee on Environment of the Lower House even organized a one-day hearing, where both climate chaos adherents and disaster skeptics could freely discuss their different views before key parliamentarians who decide climate policy.

This hearing was followed by a special seminar organized by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences, using the same format but focusing on scientific topics. The Academy will soon publish a report about this seminar.

Europe often brags about its emission trading scheme (ETS), regarding itself as the vanguard of an international climate policy. In the European view, the Copenhagen climate summit should have produced a worldwide extension and sharpening of its ETS. But the vast majority of countries in the world refused to follow Europe’s example, so the meeting turned into a fiasco. Its follow-up in Cancun at year’s end will surely produce a similar result. And for good reason.

Contrary to official claims, Europe’s experience with ETS is dismally bad. The system is expensive and prone to massive fraud. More importantly, it serves no useful purpose.

The European Environmental Agency tracks Europe's performance regarding the reduction of CO2 emissions. Its latest report states: “The European Union's greenhouse gas inventory report … shows that emissions have not only continued their downward trend in 2008, but have also picked up pace. The EU-27’s emissions stood 11.3% below their 1990 levels, while EU-15 achieved a reduction of 6.9% compared to Kyoto base-year levels.”

On the face of it, the scheme seems to be pretty successful. However, much of the downward trend was due to the global economic recession, not to the ETS. Moreover, both climate chaos proponents and climate disaster skeptics agree that the scheme will have no detectable impact whatsoever on worldwide temperatures – perhaps 0.1 degrees – though this crucial piece of information has been carefully and deliberately shielded from the public eye.

What about renewable energy as an alternative? Consider these EU costs for various sources of electricity in cents per kilowatt-hour: nuclear 4, coal 4, natural gas 5, onshore wind 13, biomass 16 … solar 56!

Obviously, the price tag for renewables is extremely high, compared to hydrocarbons. The additional costs can be justified either by imminent fossil fuel scarcity (the “oil peak”), which would send petroleum and coal prices through the roof, or by the threat of man-made global warming. But on closer inspection neither argument is tenable.

The authoritative International Energy Agency does not foresee any substantial scarcity of oil and gas in the near to medium future, and coal reserves remain sufficient for centuries to come. As to global warming, the absence of a statistically significant increase in average worldwide temperatures since 1995 obliterates that assertion.

Meanwhile, recent peer-reviewed studies indicate that increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere (natural or man-made) have minimal effects on climate change – while others demonstrate that, on balance, this plant-fertilizing gas is beneficial, rather than harmful, for mankind and the biosphere.

All this argues for a closer look at the cost/benefit relationship of investing in renewable energy projects, to prevent a massive waste of financial and natural resources on unreliable and thus uncompetitive forms of energy. Since every cloud has a silver lining, the ongoing economic crisis might give extra impetus toward that end.
______________
Hans Labohm is a former professor at the Dutch Institute of International Relations and guest teacher at the Netherlands Institute for Defense Studies. He has been an IPCC reviewer and has written extensively on global warming, petroleum economics and other topics.

Friday, November 26, 2010

North Korea, China’s Hidden Dagger ... Alan Caruba


North Korea, China’s Hidden Dagger
By Alan Caruba


The Korean War ended in a stalemate in 1953. Having begun on June 25, 1950 with the blessings of Joseph Stalin, an armistice agreement on July 27, 1953 left the peninsula divided between the Republic of South Korea and the Peoples Republic of North Korea. How long ago was that? Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected largely on the promise to go there and secure an end to the conflict

By the time it was over the Red Chinese had intervened and American casualties were around 54,000 with 103,000 wounded. The North Koreans and Chinese were estimated to have lost ten times that number. The war was immensely unpopular with an American public that was still recovering from World War Two that had ended in 1945.

To his credit, President Truman did not hesitate to commit troops. Within two days after the invasion, Americans were fighting another war in Asia. The United Nations provided cover and the conflict was officially a UN action.

It was a proxy war, part of the long Cold War that had begun at the end of World War Two. The Chinese got involved when Gen. Douglas McArthur’s strategies put U.S. troops close to their border. He wanted to finish off not just the North Koreans, but the fledgling communist Chinese government as well. Truman relieved him of command after he neglected the fact that U.S. armies fight under civilian control in the form of an elected Commander-in-Chief and authorization from Congress.

In time, China for reasons of proximity and other factors became the power that controlled North Korea. Under Kim ill-Sung, known as the “Great Leader”, a Soviet protégée of Stalin’s, and his son Kim Jong-il, the “Dear Leader”, North Korea has evolved into the classic rogue nation. It was named one of George W. Bush’s “axis of evil.”

China provides life support for North Korea, the supplier of food and energy. In his 2004 book, “Rogue State: How a Nuclear North Korea Threatens America”, William C. Triplett II, noted that “communist China is central to all North Korean issues, from human rights to weapons proliferation.”

Whatever North Korea does is sanctioned by China. This fact has been largely shielded by U.S. policy from the American public. North Korea is known in diplomatic circles as “China’s hidden dagger.” The phrase is taken from an ancient Chinese military text called “36 Srategems.” It means the covert use of another country to annihilate your enemy. North Korea threatens South Korea and Japan, and by extension the U.S. which is committed to come to its defense.

American administrations have negotiated with North Korea and each has learned that they will not adhere to any agreement, using negotiations to secure bribes of all kinds, including one in which the U.S. agreed to build two nuclear facilities there! Recent news revealed they have increased their ability to produce nuclear weapons to the utter astonishment of U.S. intelligence agencies.

Its nuclear program was begun by Moscow and Beijing converted it to a weapons program. Triplett said that Beijing uses North Korea as a proxy distributor of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles to terrorist nations that include Iran and Syria. They in turn, provide weapons to their proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas.

Like Iran, no sanctions and no threats of military reprisal have ever had any serious affect on North Korea.

Writing during the George W. Bush administration, Triplett said “There is no endgame strategy. North Korean aggression and provocations still go unpunished.” Together, the North Koreans and China “have successfully bogged any progress in endless diplomatic meetings and conferences while North Korea’s nuclear research marches on.”

America is in no position to fight another war on the Korean peninsula and is dependent on China (and Japan) to purchase its securities to keep its economy functioning in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis. America’s manufacturing base has largely been undermined by the transfer of many of our industries to China.

Americans have largely forgotten the threat of communism.

The latest North Korean attacks are China’s way of reminding the U.S. of its dilemma and dependence.

The failure to secure a victory over North Korea in the 1950s, too much dithering since then, and too much distraction fighting recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have combined to render America a paper tiger who, despite our vast military power, will not or cannot pull the trigger.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Alan Caruba's commentaries are posted daily at "Warning Signs" his popular blog and thereafter on dozens of other websites and blogs. If you love to read, visit his monthly report on new books at Bookviews. To visit his Facebook page, click here For information on his professional skills, Caruba.com is the place to visit.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Day for Thanksgiving to God And A Time For Reflection


A Day for Thanksgiving to God And A Time For Reflection
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet


We are entering the holiday season in America. Now, I don’t mean the politically correct “winter break” or “winter solstice” or any of that Left-Wing pabulum. I mean we are celebrating Thanksgiving today and a month from now we will celebrate Christmas.

Thanksgiving, in America, is set aside as a day to give thanks to God for his bounty bestowed upon this nation and Christmas to celebrate the birth of the Son of God, the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Today, Christians around the world are being persecuted to a degree not seen in many centuries. Some of the worst persecution is being levied against Christians in the very nation founded by Christians -- America.

A movement straight out of the bowels of Hell, called Political Correctness, is destroying America. It is undermining the tenants upon which this nation was founded and re-writing history in an endeavor to remove our children from their birthright inheritance of a nation based on the Judeo-Christian faith.

When the Mayflower dropped anchor, just off the shores of North America in November of 1620, The crew and passengers gathered to thank God for their safe, though troubled, passage to this new world. And then… they drew up a document, which would become the founding document for this nation. It was the Mayflower Compact.

The Mayflower Compact is little noted these days because it’s contents are explosive… blowing holes through the Politically Correct doctrine that this nation was not founded on Christian values and is not a Christian nation. As a result, many textbooks stir a course far away from, or around, the actual contents of that document which would put the lie to their claims of a totally secular nation.

Have you ever read the Mayflower Compact? My guess is that most of you have not. Well, grab your reading glasses, ‘cause here it is:

“In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereigne Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britaine, France, and Ireland king, defender of the faith, etc., having undertaken, for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith, and honour of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northerne parts of Virginia, doe, by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politick, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enacte, constitute, and frame such just and equall laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time as shall be thought most meete and convenient for the generall good of the Colonie unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cap-Codd the II. of November, in the year of the reign of our sovereigne lord, King James of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fiftie-fourth. Anno. Dom. 1620”

Below are the names of the folks aboard the Mayflower who signed the above document: (Note: None of the women aboard signed. I’m assuming they were not permitted.)

John Carver

John Howland

William Brewster

Edward Winslow

George Soule

William Bradford

Isaac Allerton

Samuel Fuller

John Craxton

Miles Standish

Christopher Martin

William Mullins

William White

Stephen Hopkins
Edward Doten

Edward Liester

Richard Warren

John Billington

Edward Tilly

John Tilly

Francis Cooke

Thomas Rogers

Thomas Tinker

John Rigdale

James Chilton

Edward Fuller

John Turner

Francis Eaton
Moses Fletcher

John Goodman

Thomas Williams

Digery Priest

Edmond Margesson

Peter Brown

Richard Bitteridge

Richard Clark

Richard Gardiner

Gilbert Winslow

John Alden

John Allerton

Thomas English


Do you see the danger this document presents? It shreds the claims of a secular nation by today’s political left.

As Americans, we have much for which to be thankful. Among those blessings, perhaps foremost among all our blessings, were those hardy souls aboard the Mayflower who weathered the storms of the Atlantic, during the period of the year we now recognize as the hurricane season, to start anew and to plant the seeds of what would become a new nation, under God.

Today many Americans are enduring trying times. Our religious faith and perseverance is the answer for us as it was for our Pilgrim ancestors. In the face of the worst tribulations imaginable – they trusted in Godand -- they persevered. As their progeny, we can do no less.

J. D. Longstreet

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Global Mischief Caused By A Weak US President


Global Mischief Caused By A Weak US President
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet


North Korea artillery firing on South Korea is just the sort of global mischief we can expect when the Chief of the Global Police is weak, and has a worldwide reputation for being an international “pushover.”

Why would North Korea fire on South Korea? Because they can -- and because they are confident the Obama Administration will do nothing more than posture in public, issue a "stern" warning and ... well ... that's IT!

All the behind-the-hand-snickering we have heard from the world’s rogue state leaders was an indication that they understood Obama had loosened their leash.

First there is a missile launched off the coast of California a few days ago. (You may choose to believe it was the contrail of an aircraft, if you wish. I do not.) I have to believe that was a Chinese missile and it served its purpose, which, I believe, was to say to Obama: “Hey, we’ve got you by the cajones ... and don’t you forget it! Now – about Taiwan … “

Oh, this is just the beginning. Things are going to get rowdy around the globe until we get a new sheriff in town or, if you will, a new Chief of the Global Police.

For Instance: When Jimmy Carter was President we had the Iran Hostage situation. Within minutes of Ronald Reagan being sworn in as President, those hostages were freed.

They may be rogues, but they understand power and they understand and respect the application of power, and they understand when a US President decides to bring the hammer down, they are going to be smashed.

There is Syria, North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, Yemen, Pakistan, Sudan, Somalia, Venezuela, the Palestinians, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, not to mention Al Qaeda or The Balkans, all capable of creating trouble at a moment’s notice. Of course, I did not mention Iraq or Afghanistan because we already have boots on the ground in both countries.

It is a fact that man is basically evil. We humans are capable of anything including appalling cruelty to our fellow human beings. As a conservative I understand that, so I expect my fellow man do such unthinkable things as initiating a war on a whim.

Man is a rebel. As people of faith the world over understand, man rebelled first against his own Creator. As punishment, man received the gift, or curse, of free will. The mixture of free will and a rebellious nature is explosive. We have been at each other’s throats since the children of the first couple became a murderer and the victim of murderer.

Nothing much has changed since that fateful day. Now, we murder in much greater volume and with much greater efficiency.

Over time our tribes became klans and then countries. Countries initiated governments and governments initiated laws in an attempt to control man’s rebelliousness and conduct all that energy into productive channels that would benefit the population of the various countries.

Obviously, some countries became better at it than others. Some thrived while others did not prosper as well. We became a planet of “have” and “have-not” countries or nations. It wasn’t long until the “have-nots” decided to take what they wanted from the “haves.” Or the “haves’ decided to simply take the “have-not” country and make it a part of its greater self in order to make better use of the natural resources of the aforementioned “have-not” nation.

In the case of the former, it never worked – at least not for long. In the case of the latter, it did work often enough that great empires were born such as the empire of Alexander the Great and the Roman Empire.

But man is a rebel – remember? Tell him he cannot have something and that is the thing he wants most. Call it covetousness, or whatever; the plain truth is that man is never satisfied. He hungers for that which he cannot have.

There are two primary hungers, which have eaten at man since the Garden of Eden: freedom and power. Even today, in the twenty-first century, the desire for freedom and power burns within the heart of man with the fiery brilliance of an atom bomb explosion. And that gift, or curse, of freewill is the lit fuse on that volatile mixture.

I explain all this, as best I can, to try to explain that one must understand these basic facts of human nature before one can understand all the strife between nations the of our modern world.

And it is here that conservatives and liberals disagree, fundamentally, on how a powerful nation, such as the United States, must approach its enemies and the nations that continue to create, cause, and even fund worldwide mischief.

Conservatives understand that you cannot negotiate with someone who will not negotiate. You cannot talk to someone who will not talk. You cannot take the word of a liar whether that liar is an individual or a government.

Conservatives, unlike liberals, also understand that war can, and often does, solve a host of problems. It is also true that war sometimes creates a host of new and unexpected problems. Conservatives, who do not seek an unobtainable Utopia on earth, understand this and accept that it is a part of the human condition. We do not accept the delusion that man is basically good and kind. We know that wishing it so does not make it so.

The US has been the leader of the free world, on planet earth, since it was granted that position by, well, default. However, we have often made mistakes. But they have been mistakes we have quickly corrected or made amends. Making a “pilgrimage of apology,” bowing and scraping before the leaders of other countries, does nothing but demonstrate a nation’s weakness. When the leader of the United States makes a point of doing just that, America must expect mischief to be forthcoming.

The current President of the US, unfortunately, is seen around the globe as a weak leader. As a result America, and the free world, are just beginning to see emboldened enemies probing, trying, and testing his fortitude.

So far, in his tenure in office, President Obama has acted more as a politician than a leader. He is a great orator, a great politician, but a poor leader, especially on the international stage. The world knows this, even if his own political party does not.

There will be more incidents such as the North Korean shelling of a South Korean Island in the months ahead. “While the cat is away, the mice will play” is an old axiom with a great deal of truth attached to it. Until the US elects a new cat -- there will be much more activity among the mice. Count on it.

J. D. Longstreet

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The GOP’s Dark Horse Candidate


The GOP’s Dark Horse Candidate
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet




In the interest of full disclosure, allow me to admit, right up front, that I LIKE Sarah Palin. I think she is a grand lady. She is gorgeous, talented, highly intelligent, a fiery orator, a great motivator, a heck of a fundraiser, and, apparently, a good wife and mother. She is, in my estimation, all those things, and yet, I am not convinced she can defeat Obama in a head-on campaign for President of the United States.

If I had any advice to offer to Mrs. Palin, I would urge her to seek a US Senate seat, or a seat in the US House of Representatives, FIRST, before tossing her hat into the ring for President. But, hey, I’m just an ole country boy in the swamps of North Carolina. What do I know?

Well, I know the GOP will be in trouble if any of the would-be candidates we already know capture the nomination.

See, the thing about conservatives that the establishment republicans do not understand, just do NOT GET, is our determination to vote for a conservative candidate of OUR choosing. That is to say: a CONSERVATIVE candidate.

The GOP continues to run out middle of the road candidates (so-called Moderates) and they expect conservative republicans to vote for them. And we don’t. For evidence, I refer you to the 2008 Presidential election. WE told the RNC that McCain would not get the conservative vote, even with Obama as the opposition.

Apparently they did not believe us, and McCain went on to lose… big. Conservatives either wrote in a name on the ballot, or stayed home on Election Day. Personally, I wrote in a name rather than stay home, or vote for McCain.

Of course, that is past history. However, as we all know history repeats itself. Frankly, I expect history to repeat itself in November of 2012. I also expect the GOP to maintain control of the US House and gain control of the US Senate, BUT LOSE THE RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE.

Honestly, I just do not see a way to win against the Democratic Party machine in the presidential race in 2012. This is where I disagree with Rush Limbaugh. It has been reported that Mr. Limbaugh, for whom I have great respect, has stated that Obama doesn’t have a chance of winning in 2012. I don’t often disagree with Mr. Limbaugh, but on this – I do. I not only believe Obama has a chance -- I believe he WILL win.

That doesn’t mean I am happy about it -- far from it. It grinds on me something awful. But I have to call them as I see them and, unfortunately, that is the way I see the race for President shaping up.

See, I DO believe the Tea Party, and unaligned conservatives, along with a fairly large portion of Independents, WILL support the candidacy of Sarah Palin. Either the GOP will bow to the pressure and Mrs. Palin will wrap up the nomination -- and lose in the election, or the GOP WILL NOT BOW to the pressure from conservatives, place the name of a moderate or liberal republican on the ticket -- and lose the presidential election. Either scenario will be bad for America.

There is already talk in the Mainstream Media about a possible “Dark Horse” candidate from the GOP stables. The Washington Post has an article entitled: “Republicans' 2012 dark horse still has no name.” You may read the entire article (HERE).

In the WaPo article the author, Chris Cillizza, names four possible dark horse GOP candidates. They are: Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania; Mike Pence, former Congressman from Indiana; Scott Brown, The Massachusetts Republican, who became a national star this year when he won a special election to replace the late Democratic Party Senator Edward M. Kennedy; and Marco Rubio, the Florida senator-elect.

Looking at all four of the possible dark horse candidates above, I see only one that has a prayer. That is Mike Pence of Indiana. Pence has some influence with social and fiscal conservatives. Notice – I said SOME.

The one republican I felt had a chance of winning over conservatives, nationally, other than Palin, of course, was Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. However, he has stated, emphatically, he has absolutely no desire to be President of the US … period!

If I am correct, shouldn’t we conservatives concentrate on gaining a veto-proof Congress?

From my viewpoint, we conservatives have a conundrum, of sorts. One might even compare it to the Gordian Knot. Alexander the Great solved that problem by slicing the knot in twain. An acceptable conservative dark horse candidate just might slice through the “GOP Knot” and gain entrance to the Oval Office. But WHO might that dark horse be? Ah. There’s the rub!

J. D. Longstreet


Monday, November 22, 2010

The Coming War Between The United States And Mexico


The Coming US/Mexico War
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet



At some point in the near future, the US will be forced to invade Mexico – again!

There is a war going on in Mexico and the Mexican government has shown no capability of containing or winning the bloody conflict.

Mexico today resembles more a wartime Vietnam than it does a country at peace. That is because there is no peace in Mexico.

The US cannot continue to look the other way and pretend that the Mexican government can control the violence wrought by drug cartels, drug gangs, and just plain ole “outlaws.” The drug insurrection in Mexico is running up a body count that rivals that of the US wars in the Middle East. That, dear reader, is a full-blown war!

Americans who live in the states along the Southern Border of the US have a right to expect their government to protect them from marauding gangs and private Mexican outlaw armies. The extremely weak response from the Obama Regime to their pleas for assistance is a black mark on Obama’s record that will never fade.

The primary task of the US Government is National Defense. Protection of US citizens from invasion by other countries would certainly fall within that definition.

You think “invasion” is too strong a word? Then THINK AGAIN. The near incessant pouring of illegal aliens across the Mexican border into the US is straining our national treasury to the breaking point.

We really do not know how many illegal aliens from Mexico are now within the US. Oh, the government issues figures, but I suspect the figures they publicly espouse are “low-ball” figures.

Many suspect those “undocumented immigrants” are really “undocumented democrats.” How else to explain the democrats unceasing drive to grant them citizenship with such bills as “The Dream Act” widely expected to be introduced in the US Senate, by the democrats, during the on-going lame duck session of Congress?

The Dream Act must be defeated

One of the most important steps the new Congress can take is to build the fence along the border with Mexico and the US. In addition, the US military should be tasked with the security of that border with armed troops allowed to use deadly force to stop illegal entry into the US.

Even if that were done, I suspect it will not be enough. The armed Mexican gangs, and those private drug armies, will certainly challenge the border defenses until they are neutralized. The only way to do that is for the President to order an armed invasion of Mexico to hunt down and destroy the drug kingpins and wipe out their gunmen -- to the last man.

In fact we may find it necessary to occupy a strip of northern Mexico to serve as a buffer zone. The point is, the US needs to do whatever is necessary to stop the land invasion of US territory by illegal aliens and to guarantee the safety of US citizens along that border.

An invasion of Mexico by US military forces is not new. Our neighbor to the south has made a nuisance of itself many times before. In the mid 1840’s and again in early 1900’s, US forces have been ordered into Mexico. You can bet there are contingency plans for just such an invasion on file at the Pentagon.

Call it a “Police Action,” if you will. We cannot continue to allow our neighbor’s war to spill over into US territory endangering US citizen’s lives and property. Armed US troops on the US/Mexico border would go a long way toward lessening the tension in the Border States and cooling the tempers of property owners along the border.

Americans have a history of stepping-in and stepping-up when their government, for whatever reason, fails to act to protect them. It is only a matter of time before there are armed clashes between Mexican citizens and American citizens along the border. It takes no crystal ball to see that future unfold. The violence along the border is escalating and that violence is being imported -- along with the illegal drugs flooding across the border into the US. It MUST be STOPPED.

It is clear the Obama Regime is totally incapable of bringing pressure to bear on the Mexican government. Obama is such a weak President he is being “rolled” by practically every nation he seeks to deal with around the globe. It is a fact that a weak US President invites trouble by emboldening our foes everywhere. It is also clear that Obama’s weakness as a leader is adding fuel to the conflagration along the US/Mexico border.

Americans are now aware of the terrible mistake they made by electing Obama to the Office of President in 2008 and they intend to correct that mistake in November of 2012. But that is two years away. SOMETHING needs to be done NOW before there is a massive bloodletting as the result of a skirmish between armed Mexicans and armed US citizens. Mark my words – it is going to happen -- sooner rather than later.

A strong American President could stop a war between Mexico and the United States. Problem is – AMERICA DOES NOT HAVE A STRONG PRESIDENT. We intend to correct that error in 2012.

J. D. Longstreet

Sunday, November 21, 2010

November 22, 1963: Changing History with a Bullet ... Alan Caruba


November 22, 1963: Changing History with a Bullet
By Alan Caruba


On November 22, 1963 I was in the office of a human rights organization in downtown Miami, Florida, fresh from service in the U.S. Army.

I was happy that President Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev had not gone to war in October 1962 over Soviet missiles in Cuba. My battalion, part of the Second Infantry Division, had been put on alert to invade. A U.S. naval blockade had stopped any new missiles from being delivered and those that had been were withdrawn.

The Cold War had been going on since 1945 and tensions between the U.S. and Russia had briefly and dangerously reached a tipping point. Fortunately, the leaders of both nations pulled back. Elsewhere a relatively small, backwater conflict was going on in Vietnam, but few were paying it any attention.

John F. Kennedy was incredibly popular. He said that the torch of freedom had passed to a new generation and, at age 26, I was convinced his generation and mine were going to solve all of the world’s problems. I was unaware that JFK had so failed to impress Krushchev when they had met in Vienna in 1961 that the Soviet leader had felt emboldened to put missiles in Castro's Cuba.

On November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, Lee Oswald, a leftist malcontent who had spent some time in Russia, shot and killed the President. Within days I had packed and returned home where I would take up a career in journalism.

Anyone who was alive on that day can probably tell you where they were when they got the news. For later generations, it is just a date in the history books.

After Lyndon Baines Johnson was sworn into office to serve out JFK’s term and won election on his own, history took a turn for the worse when he escalated the Vietnam War. Some 58,000 young men died in that conflict and President Johnson, after a huge election victory in 1964, announced on March 21, 1968 that he would not run for a second full term. He had served from 1963 to 1969.

Johnson had unleashed a tidal wave of liberal programs such as “the Great Society” and “the war on poverty”, signed the Civil Rights Act into law, initiated Public Broadcasting, instituted Medicare and Medicaid, and increased aid to education.

The nation turned away from liberalism and elected Richard M. Nixon who would serve from 1969 until forced to resign from the presidency in 1974 as the result of the Watergate scandal. The nation swung back toward liberalism and elected a little known governor from Georgia, Jimmy Carter. He lasted one term and the nation swung back toward conservatism and elected Ronald Reagan. Twelve years later, after Bush 41, it would swing back again and elect Bill Clinton.

For nearly fifty years, America has been seesawing back and forth between conservatism and liberalism without seeming to learn the lessons of the experience.

Liberalism and its many entitlement programs, the expansion of the federal government, the debasement of our educational system, congressional raids on the Social Security fund, and the failure to rein in the “government sponsored entities”, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have brought us to a point of economic collapse not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s..

After November 22, 1963 everything that followed began with a single bullet. It sent the nation careening off on a spending spree that by 2008 took an infusion of billions of public dollars to avoid a banking industry catastrophe. It would be followed by an increase of two trillion in the national debt under a new, young, and briefly popular president.

Did we learn anything from those previous decades? Apparently not.

In 2008, the voters elected a virtually unknown U.S. Senator from Illinois who had barely spent a few months in the Senate before setting out to become the 44th president. Like JFK he was young, charismatic, and eloquent so long as Teleprompters fed him the words to say.

President Barack Obama did not bring a “brain trust” into office with him like FDR or “the best and the brightest” as Kennedy did. Instead, he installed a large group of “czars”, men and women, dedicated socialists and loony environmentalists who mostly bypassed the Congressional vetting process, but who have wielded great power behind the scenes.

Obama’s popularity, like Carter’s, disappeared in less than two years. The recent midterm elections were historic. The Republicans will control of the House and Democrats will have a narrow control of the Senate when a new Congress returns in January. Until then, the political chess game is astonishing as the nation races toward deadlines that include extending the Bush tax cuts and the continued funding of the government.

A remarkable movement, the Tea Party, emerged; leaderless, but composed of millions of Americans determined to take back the power that had been taken from them by a Congress indifferent to their wishes. The damage of the first two years of Obama’s term will take time to repair, but it will be repaired.History might have been very different had it not been for November 22, 1963, but we shall never know how different.

What we do know is that liberalism, socialism, does not work. It debases fiscal prudence, spreads poverty, and subverts the Founder’s intention of a small central government while shackling the States with unfunded mandates.

For an older generation of Americans, we have lived through a lot of history and, 47 years ago, a single bullet set it in motion.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

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Alan Caruba's commentaries are posted daily at "Warning Signs" his popular blog and thereafter on dozens of other websites and blogs. If you love to read, visit his monthly report on new books at Bookviews. To visit his Facebook page, click here For information on his professional skills, Caruba.com is the place to visit.

End The Ethanol Subsidies ... Paul Driessen


End the ethanol subsidies
Congressional inaction would save taxpayers $6 billion, and bring other benefits too
Paul Driessen


What am I missing? There must be some aspect of our insane energy policies that I fail to appreciate.

“We the People” just booted a boatload of spendthrifts out of Congress, after they helped engineer a $1.3 trillion deficit on America’s FY-2010 budget and balloon our cumulative national debt to $13.7 trillion.

The “bipartisan White House deficit reduction panel” chimed in with a 50-page draft proposal, offering suggestions for $3.8 trillion in future budgetary savings. The proposal targets $100 billion in Defense Department weapons programs, healthcare benefits and overseas bases. It also proposes a $13-billion cutback in the federal workforce and lining out $400 million in unnecessary printing costs.

And yet, amazingly, not even this independent commission was willing to eliminate the $6-billion sacred cow of annual ethanol subsidies. The current 45-cents-per-gallon tax credit for blending ethanol into gasoline automatically expires December 31, as does the 54-cents-a-gallon tariff on imported ethanol. So all senators and congressmen need to do is nothing, and beleaguered taxpayers will save six billion bucks.

We can only hope. Unfortunately, renewable fuel lobbyists will try to use the lame duck session to perpetuate the special treatment. The National Corn Growers Association, Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, ADM and POET ethanol count as friends incoming House Speaker John Boehner, incoming House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, other influential Republicans and scores of prominent Democrats.

Perhaps if DePuy or Sofamor Danek donates some spinal implants, enough wavering legislators will find the backbone to challenge the subsidizers and ensure a little adult supervision over the budget process. If this election was about anything, it was about ending business as usual, ensuring energy and economic common sense, and not bankrupting the United States.

Ethanol and earmarks represent a key litmus test for Republicans and fiscal conservatives. Failure to hold the line will create a rocky road for credibility and progress next year. It should be an easy decision. It’s time for action – or more accurately, inaction.

Federal laws already require that gasoline be 10% ethanol, and EPA has announced that it will now allow up to 15% ethanol blends for cars and trucks built since 2007. These mandates already require that ethanol use increase from 13 billion gallons today to 36 billion by 2022, ensuring profitable markets for corn growers and ethanol producers, without subsidies. Even large corn ethanol producers like Green Plains Energy now say the subsidies are no longer needed.

The subsidies and tariffs only fatten profit margins, reduce competition, increase consumer prices, cause frayed relations with Brazil over barriers to its sugar-cane ethanol entering US markets, and stifle technological innovation that could improve production efficiencies and lessen environmental impacts.

As Examiner columnist Timothy Carney observes, “the tax credit won't boost ethanol consumption at all in the future, because the mandate will set demand. So the tax credit will simply subsidize the ethanol that blenders – ie, oil companies – would have bought anyway.”

The corn/ethanol lobby says ending the subsidies would cost up to 160,000 jobs. However, a recent study by leading agricultural economists at Iowa State University concludes that only 300 jobs would be lost. If so, preserving the subsidies works out to $20 million for each job saved.

Meanwhile, says Louisiana State University professor Joseph Mason, the Interior Department’s heavy-handed offshore drilling moratorium could cost up to 155,000 Gulf Coast jobs. That’s on top of countless billions of lease bonus, rent, royalty and tax dollars the US Treasury will never see, because Interior, EPA, Congress and the White House have made billions of barrels of offshore, Alaskan and Lower 48 oil and gas off limits.

America could produce 670 billion gallons of oil (including 480 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel) from a splinter of ANWR equal to 1/20 of Washington, DC. Doing so would generate enormous revenues, instead of requiring perpetual subsidies. By contrast, reaching the 36-billion-gallon biofuel mandate would require 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol from cropland and wildlife habitat the size of Georgia, and 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuel from switchgrass grown on additional acreage the size of South Carolina.

Opposition to extending the tax credit and tariffs also comes from a growing coalition of meat and food producers, environmental groups and consumer organizations. They emphasize that corn ethanol production increases corn prices, reduces farmland available for other crops, and drives up the price of beef, pork, poultry, eggs, corn syrup and all groceries made with those products. It means fewer malnourished people can be fed under current USAID and World Food Organization budgets.

The coalition also points out that growing and processing corn into ethanol requires enormous amounts of water for every gallon of alcohol fuel produced. (Cornell University agriculture professor David Pimental estimates the inputs at 8,000 gallons of water per gallon of corn-based ethanol.) Much of the water comes from already stressed aquifers – and growing the crops results in significant pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer runoff into our rivers, lakes, bays and oceans.

Producing ethanol from sugar cane carries much lower water demands and environmental impacts.

Pro-subsidy factions say $6 billion is pocket change in a $3.6-trillion federal budget. It may indeed be a small step. But all the caterwauling suggests it is a giant step for Congress – and a hugely symbolic one that can no longer be avoided. Moreover, if reductions like this are to be rejected as too trivial to trifle with, how do Nanny State legislators justify their intrusive rules on toilets, washing machines, plastic bags and light bulbs? How do they suppose cash-strapped families balance their budgets?

The ethanol mandates are enough interference in what should be a highly competitive marketplace of ideas and technologies for America’s energy future. Congress should not muddy the waters even further, by extending the subsidies and protective tariffs.

(While they’re at it, the lawmakers should also pull the plug on chicken-fat-to-biofuel subsidies. This tax credit is just another unaffordable, feel-good “green energy” boondoggle – that turns waste fat into wasted tax dollars. Reducing effluent streams, garnering positive PR, and selling their “alternative fuel” to oil companies and the Air Force, under utopian biofuel mandates, ought to be adequate incentive.)

It should be an easy decision. It merely takes commitment to principles – something our legislators better start discovering, if they want to be around after the next election cycle.
___________

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A War with Iran is Inevitable ... Alan Caruba

A War with Iran is Inevitable
By Alan Caruba


If the U.S. and allies had known that Nazi Germany would embark on the genocide of six million Jews in Europe, along with five million others that included gypsies, homosexuals, and political opponents, is there any doubt they would have taken preemptive measures to stop the Holocaust?


What we know about the Iranian regime is that it is led by Shiite fanatics that believe that the only way the mythical Twelfth Imam can return is for the earth to be in a state of complete chaos and anarchy. Almost from the beginning, following the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, the regime has engaged in an effort to achieve nuclear weapons. Their use against Israel is a certainty, but they would also be targeted against Europe.


Thus, when Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) recently called for war with Iran, I assumed he has some information I do not. Sen. Graham said, “I think we’re to the point now that you have to really neuter the regime’s ability to wage war against us and our allies.”


In the 1980s, Iran fought an eight-year war with Iraq. It ended in a stalemate, a million casualties, and the need to rebuild from scratch what was left of its military. Iran is located in one of the nastiest neighborhoods of planet Earth. It shares borders with Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan. The Gulf States deeply distrust Iran’s nuclear and other hegemonic ambitions. The Saudis and the Egyptians recently conducted joint military maneuvers for that reason.


Internally, it faces a growing opposition from its mostly young citizens to the rule of the Supreme Ayatollah, Mamoud Ahmadinejad, and others who support the dictatorship that passes for a government there. Given time and covert assistance, one assumes they might prevail, but the real question is whether the world has the time?


Iran’s economy is in a state of collapse. As recently as November 9th there was a report of the arrest of four prominent Iranian student activists and others in anticipation of a government plan to phase out basic food and fuel subsidies. “The government is bracing for social unrest,” said one report.


If Iran’s leadership were rational, the last thing they need at this point is a war. They are not and their openly expressed hatred for Israel gives every indication of that. As the primary source of funding for Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza strip, Iran would seem to favor having its proxies take over Lebanon by force and to wage a new war on Israel. This would take some attention and pressure off of Iran as it works its will behind the scenes. The Department of Defense and the CIA have war-gamed various plans against Iran over the years and the feedback was that neither liked the outcome because they always included the problem of an uncontrollable escalation. As a point of reference, we put too few troops into Iraq in the 2003 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq regime and, while Baghdad quickly fell, the result became a long, unpopular war.


This raises the question of why, before leaving for his Asia trip on November 6, President Obama, according to Debka File, ordered the Pentagon “not just to beef up American and NATO military pressure on Iran, but to do so as conspicuously as possible.” There are three aircraft carriers, four nuclear submarines, and marine assault units in the vicinity of Iranian shores as this is being written. This suggests that U.S. intelligence has picked up some disturbing signs or that the Obama administration simply wants to send a message to Iran that any trouble-making in the Middle East would be unwise.


Meanwhile, Sen. Graham called for “sinking the Iranian navy, destroying its air force, and delivering a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guards.” We can do that any time we want. What is the Senator not sharing with us that increases the urgency of such action now?


The problem Iran poses ultimately comes down to choking off the Straits of Harmuz through which flow millions of barrels of oil to the West. That would be a very destabilizing event and not permissible to the U.S., NATO nations, and others. If, however, Iran’s goal is to create world chaos, nuclear-tipped missiles would be the best way to achieve it.


As with so many geopolitical and military options, there are few good choices, but much of Iran’s bellicosity likely comes from its internal situation which, as we have seen, is an increasing threat to its regime. A show of force is a good idea. The use of it before Iran goes nuclear is even better.


© Alan Caruba, 2010
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Alan Caruba's commentaries are posted daily at "Warning Signs" his popular blog and thereafter on dozens of other websites and blogs. If you love to read, visit his monthly report on new books at Bookviews. To visit his Facebook page, click here For information on his professional skills, Caruba.com is the place to visit.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stop Political Correctness at US Airports! Begin Profiling!


Stop Political Correctness at US Airports! Begin Profiling!
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet


What’s next in the quest for security at US airports? Cavity searches? Seems to me, that’s about the only thing NOT searched these days.

The US is fatalistically politically correct. We refuse to make a point of searching the very people we already know are the most likely, of all the people boarding aircraft in the US, to be carrying explosive materials, or weapons. Instead, our government is forcing EVERYONE to suffer the indignity of full body scans or “pat downs.”

The US Constitution used to protect American citizens from unreasonable searches. But the US government has made it clear in the past few days that unless the Supreme Court steps in and forces them to abide by the constitution they intend to continue violating the rights of American citizens.

Profiling is the answer to all this humiliation at US airports. We know the profile of a person, more likely than anyone else in the general public, to be carrying a device, or materials, forbidden on aircraft. THOSE are the people the government should be patting down and body scanning – not grandmothers, 3-year old children, or even nuns.

So how would the airport screeners know to scan and or pat down? Well, let’s take a look at history for a clue:

1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by a Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 402.

In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 403.


In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.


During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped inLebanon by Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.


In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.


In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 yearold American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard inhis wheelchair by Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.


In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens , and a US Navydiver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.


In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.


In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombedby Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.


In 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used asmissiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.


In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.


In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.


And now we can add: In 2009, 31 people wounded and 13 AmericanSoldiers murdered on base at Fort Hoodby a Major that was known as a:You guessed it - A Muslim male extremist between the age of 17 and 40.

Profiling could include the country of one’s origin, one’s behavior, one’s religion, one’s gender, and yes, even the color of one’s skin.

Profiling would make air travel in America much safer than it is today. To continue to lie to ourselves, as we do under the current politically correct non-profiling system, does not make us safer. In my opinion, it only makes us more vulnerable to would-be terrorists while denying Americans their constitutional rights.

I have to tell you, I view the government’s behavior at US airports as just another example of the Obama Regime’s lack of respect for the rights of US citizens under the constitution. Once more, they demonstrate their distaste for the limits the constitution places on government.

Americans are indisputably losing another of our cherished freedoms. That is the ability to move about as we please. Since the birth of the country we have had the ability to go anywhere, within the states, when we please, anyway we pleased. No longer. Our cherished mobility has been curtailed.

If we are to regain control of our government, we have to continue purging the government of the liberal-socialists remaining in the election of November 2012. Then, and only then, can we have a chance at regaining our lost freedom.

J. D. Longstreet