Thursday, April 30, 2015

Circumstantial Evidence

By Alan Caruba

Imagine that you are the former Governor of Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, both sitting in jail after having been found guilty last year of public corruption for accepting golf outings, lavish vacations and $120,000 in “sweetheart” loans. Compared to the Clintons they are just two failed bit players.

Writing in the May issue of Commentary, Jonathan S. Tobin, a senior editor, noted the lack of a “smoking gun” in the case of just the latest Clinton scandals. “But what Democrats and all Americans should be asking about this argument is why some people get prosecuted for corruption on such circumstantial evidence while others are considered likely to be elected president.”

“Just because a prosecutor isn’t likely to haul the Clintons into court over all these astonishing coincidences (or at least not so long as the Democrats control the Department of Justice), that doesn’t mean their behavior doesn’t smell to high heaven,” said Tobin. “The court in which the Clintons deserve to be condemned is that of public opinion.”

The Clintons have conspired and sometimes acted in direct contradiction of the law to rely on the concept of circumstantial evidence. Hillary’s use of her own private email server and her later destruction of that server is a classic example of this behavior. The high-paid speeches which Bill gave put him into a gray area of collusion, benefitting from the influence Hillary had as Secretary of State. Ultimately, the donations to their foundation by foreign governments rank far above a mere misdemeanor. It was too often just blatant bribery.

I fear that far too many Americans do not realize that our nation and its system of justice are on the cusp of encountering serious damage. Merely condemning the Clintons for what we know at this point is simply not enough.

What is needed is a widespread denunciation of their actions over recent years.

What is really needed is a decision by the Democratic Party to withhold the right to run in its primaries for the office of president, based on her actions deleting emails and accepting donation to the foundation.

The U.S. media needs to be more vocal that Hillary withdraw her candidacy.

Why would a media mute its criticism and a political party ignore the obvious revelations, even if deemed circumstantial evidence, of the corruption demonstrated by the Clintons?  The Clintons have been given a free pass from the day they entered politics.

As Peggy Noonan, a Wall Street Journal columnist, has said, “We are defining political deviancy down.” That degrades the process by which we select and elect the men and women who are given the role and responsibility of lawmakers.

As Noonan notes of Hillary, “The story is that this is what she does, and always has. The rules apply to others, not her.” As recently as 2012, the State Department forced the resignation of a U.S. ambassador for “in part setting up an unsanctioned private email system.”

“In 1992 the Clintons were new and golden. Now, so many years later, their reputation for rule breaking and corruption is so deep, so assumed that it really has become old news. And old news isn’t news.”

Except when it is. When old news is an unbroken succession of wrong-doing it is incumbent on everyone involved with the present “campaign” by Hillary Clinton to be the next President to not avoid the stink that arises from both the earlier and most recent revelations.

“A generation or two ago,” said Noonan, “a person so encrusted in a reputation for scandal would not be considered a possible presidential contender. She would be ineligible. Now she is inevitable.”

Those earlier generations have been replaced by those more intent on celebrity than substance. They have the attention span of fungus. They lack any vision for America, having never really learned about or absorbed the lessons that the Greatest Generation and others passed onto us.

Are there enough of them to plunge America into the Clinton cesspool by electing her President? One can only pray that the answer is no.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Just Another Race Riot

By Alan Caruba

When you’ve lived over seven decades in America, the news about another race riot is really not news. It’s just another race riot.

The latest is Baltimore and the theme for this one is police violence against an unarmed black youth. This was the theme of the Ferguson, Missouri riots last year and has been a fairly common theme since the arrival of the new century fifteen years ago. Such events included riots in Cincinnati in 2001, the Oakland riots in 2009, and the two most recent.

A December 2014 article in Real Clear Politics by Jack Kelly put the statistics in perspective. “Young black males are 21 times more likely to be shot dead by police than are young white males, Pro Publica said. But because more than two-thirds of police officers are white and blacks commit about half of violent crimes, it stands to reason most police shootings would involve a white cop and a black suspect.”

Largely unreported is that “Black cops shot black suspects at essentially the same rate as white cops…” 

For those of us outside of the black community and living in safe suburban zones surrounding our cities, the riots might as well be taking place on Mars. Why anyone would, as is often the case, destroy their own neighborhood, loot and burn down businesses (often black-owned) defies an answer.

Because riots offer television news dramatic images of violence and destruction, one can depend on coverage for a long as it lasts. Being photographed looting or engaging in violence against police and others seems to be one of the “perks” of rioting. Baltimore’s riot dominated the news on every channel Monday evening to the point one might conclude that nothing else of any importance was occurring anywhere in the world. The earthquake devastation in Nepal had to fight for the very few minutes of coverage it received.

It is astonishing to recall that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was able to lead many civil rights marches with so little violence, but it was the years concurrent with and following the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts in 1964 and 1965 that saw large riots such as several in 1964 in Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York. There were three just in New Jersey that year.

Having achieved the goals of the civil rights movement, historic federal laws, one might have concluded that rioting was no longer needed to call attention to the ills of the post-civil rights era.

You would have been wrong. The one that got national attention was in the Watts area of Los Angeles in 1965. The pattern continued with riots in 1966 and 1967. In April and May 1968 after Dr. King was assassinated, there were riots in 125 cities. The 1980s and 1990’s had their share of riots.

Just add Baltimore’s Freddie Gray’s name to the list of those who died either during an arrest or in police custody, sparking a riot. In the past the public generally backed the police, but now they are being depicted as undisciplined killers. The reality is that the police are the thin line of defense between us and the criminals whose job is theirs to arrest and detain. That occurs all the time. Police have more reasons to act in their own defense in a week than most of us will have in a lifetime.

As we learned from Ferguson, the original allegations against the police officer were totally false. Let it also be said that is not the only reason riots have occurred. A lot of them just seem to reflect feelings of alienation, anger, and dissatisfaction that bubble below the surface in black urban enclaves. Nothing is likely to change that.

So, as Baltimore cleans up the mess left behind by the latest riot, be assured that another is right around the corner somewhere. There is a core of law-breakers and angry blacks for whom virtually anything is excuse enough for a riot.

We had to pass through a Civil War to resolve the race-based ills of that era. Americans elected the first black American as President in 2008, but his race has not reduced riots during his time in office.

The lesson that we can draw from this is that, if you put enough people together in close proximity in a city where there is both wealth and poverty, where there are economic disparities between whites and blacks, you need only wait a while for the next riot.

Alan Caruba, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Israel Will Attack Iran Soon

By Alan Caruba

The Israelis will destroy several Iranian nuclear facilities and my educated guess is that they will do so before the end of this year.

Israel has no margin of error when it comes to nuclear reactors in nations that threaten its existence. While President Obama does everything in his power to enable Iran to create its own nuclear weapons, it is a good idea to recall that in June 1981 the Israelis destroyed a reactor in Iraq. It was the first air strike against such a facility. In September 2007, the Israelis destroyed a Syrian reactor. There was no reprisal in either case.

From Wednesday, April 22 to Friday April 24 the Israelis struck Hizbollah and Syrian military targets in the Walamoun Mountains on the Syrian-Lebanese border. The calculations were that the location, a site for long-range missiles, would be safer from the Israelis. They were wrong.

In September 2014, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the United Nations General Assembly warning “don’t be fooled by Iran’s manipulative charm offensive. It’s designed for one purpose and for one purpose only. To lift the sanctions and remove the obstacles to Iran’s path to the bomb.”

“Once Iran produces atomic bombs, all the charm and all the smiles will suddenly disappear. They’ll just vanish. It’s then that the ayatollahs will show their true face and unleash their aggressive fanaticism on the entire world.”  He offered a comparable message to a joint meeting of Congress in March of this year.

Is anyone listening? Not President Obama. On April 25, writing in The Wall Street Journal, Mortimer Zuckerman, the chairman and editor in chief of the U.S. News and World Report, said “President Obama has been chasing a rainbow in his negotiations with Iran. He has forsaken decades of pledges to the civilized world from presidents of both parties. He has misled the American people in repeatedly affirming that the U.S. would never allow revolutionary Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.”

It’s bad enough when you can’t trust your nation’s enemies, but when you cannot trust your own President you have a very big problem because Iran is not just a threat to America and Israel, but to the entire world.

Obama’s anti-Semitism is obvious to anyone paying the least attention. He particularly loathes Israel. In early April the White House let its unhappiness be known that Netanyahu had, in its words, failed to tone down “hostile and aggressive language” of the Passover religious service. What were those words? “Next year in Jerusalem.”

This is an ancient Jewish prayer that sustained generations of Jews over the course of two millennia, expressing their hope to return to their homeland. To the White House, however, it was “affront to the Palestinians, not to mention a slap in the face to President Obama himself who has worked tirelessly for peace despite Israeli intransigence.” The Jews returned to Israel, declared its independence in 1948, and have had the support of every President since…until Obama.

The Israelis know this. Since their independence the Israelis have fought seven recognized wars, two Palestinian intifadas, and a series of armed conflicts in the broader Arab-Israeli conflict. Most recently they put down Hamas in the Gaza once again for its repeated rocketing.

Despite or because of this, the Israelis have sought to demonstrate good will toward their Arab neighbors. There is an untold story of the December 2014 meeting of six Gulf Cooperation Council rulers in the Qatari capital of Doha to discuss steps to respond to challenges that include Iranian aggression and clamping down on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Sources close to event report that Netanyahu has achieved close coordination with the most important Arab leaders that include Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Other members of the Council include Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Israelis have no choice, nor do I anticipate that Iran will do much, if anything, to respond in the wake of the ashes of those facilities. No other nation will come to their aid.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Global Warming? The Pope is Wrong

By Alan Caruba

I have devoted the better part of more than two and a half decades speaking out against the charlatans that have created and maintained the greatest hoax ever imposed on modern man. At the heart of this hoax has been the United Nations environmental program and at the heart of that program is an agenda to initiate a massive redistribution of wealth from industrialized, successful nations to those who have suffered, as often as not, from being ruled by despots of one description or another.

It is with profound sorrow and disappointment that I must now speak out against Pope Francis, the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics, whom observers have noted has “a green agenda.” He has become an outspoken advocate on environmental issues, saying that taking action is “essential to faith” and calling the destruction of nature a modern sin.

Before proceeding, let me note that I am not Catholic. My thoughts regarding the Pope are rooted in my knowledge of the long record of lies, false predictions, and claims by various environmentalists over the years.

When the Vatican announced it would hold a conference on April 28 called “Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development”, I wondered why the Vatican is not holding a conference to organize the protection of Christians—particularly in the Middle East—against the wholesale genocide that is occurring. The Pope is not alone in this. There appears to be little urgency in addressing a threat comparable to the Holocaust of the last century that consigned six million Jews to death for being Jews.

I frankly do not know what is meant by “the moral dimensions of climate change.” Climate change is something that was occurring long before there was a human population on planet Earth. It is the measurement of the previous global cycles through which the Earth has passed for billions of years. It is profoundly natural. Applying a moral dimension to it makes no sense whatever.

As for “sustainable development”, that is a term that environmentalists use to deny any development that benefits the human population.

Environmentalism is deeply opposed to the use of any energy resource, coal, oil, natural gas, as well as other elements of the Earth we use to enhance and improve our lives with habitat of every description from a hut to a skyscraper. Over the last five thousand years we have gone from being largely dependent on wood to the use of fossil fuel energy that keeps us safe against nature—blizzards, floods, hurricanes, forest fires, et cetera.

At the heart of environmentalism, however, is a deep disdain and antagonism to the human race. From its earliest advocates, one can find allusions to humanity as “a cancer” on the Earth. The Catholic Church has been an advocate for the human race, most notably opposing abortion that kills humans in the womb. Its charitable work is legendary.

To grasp how far the forthcoming conference is from the most basic beliefs of Catholicism, one need only take note of the persons scheduled to speak. They include the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, the leader of the institution in which the hoax of global warming was created and advanced. Another is Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, another voice for global warming, but neither is going to tell those attending the conference that there is no warming and that the Earth has been a natural cooling cycle for the past eighteen years, tied entirely to a comparable cycle of the Sun.

The Green’s response to the voices of those scientists who courageously spoke out to debunk their lies has been to denounce and try to silence them. There is no science to support the global warming hoax.

The one-day summit will include participants from major world religions. The Pope will issue an encyclical on the environment later this year.

Is there a religious or spiritual aspect to opposing the forthcoming conference and encyclical? One need look no further than Genesis. In a Wall Street Journal commentary, William McGurn drew the lesson that it offers “a reminder that God’s creation is meant to serve man—not man the environment.

Quoting Genesis 2:15: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” concluding that “the Earth is to be worked and that this work and the fruit it bears are also blessed.” The spiritual truth to be drawn from this is that man is the steward of the Earth. That does not mean its resources should be abandoned because of bogus claims that the Earth is doomed.

McGurn reminds us that “it is the have-nots who pay the highest price for the statist interventions so beloved the Church of St. Green.” There are more than a billion on Earth who do not have any access to electricity which, in addition to hydropower, is generated by coal, oil and natural gas. Lacking the means to deter the impact of insects and weeds on agriculture, much of the Earth’s annual crops are lost. Lacking access to the beneficial chemicals that protect humans from the diseases transmitted by insects, millions die needlessly.

The Heartland Institute, a free market think tank is leading the effort to alert people to the dangerous message of the Vatican conference because “many people of faith who are familiar with the science and economics of climate change are worried this event will become a platform for alarmism over a controversial scientific issue” noting that “there is no scientific ‘consensus’ on whether there is any need to reduce mankind’s use of fossil fuels.”

The conference agenda is “profoundly anti-poor and anti-life” says the Institute. Plainly said, the Vatican conference incomprehensibly would advocate policies whose only result would be the reduction of human life in order to “sustain” the Earth.

“These unnecessary policies would cause the suffering and even death of billions of people. All people of faith should rise up in opposition to such policies.”

The Heartland Institute is sending a team of scientists and climate policy experts to Rome where they will be joined by Marc Morano of the think tank, CFACT. Says Morano, 'Instead of entering into an invalid marriage with climate fear promoters—a marriage that is destined for an annulment—Pope Francis should administer last rites to the promotion of man-made climate fears and their so-called solutions. This unholy alliance must be prevented.”

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Supreme Court to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage

By Alan Caruba

In 1973, the Supreme Court looked into the Constitution, found that it approved of abortion and overruled laws banning it. Other laws have since addressed late term abortions and those resulting from rape or incest, but killing human life in the womb has been lawful since then. . According to the Guttmacher Institute from 1973 through 2011, nearly 53 million legal abortions occurred in the U.S.

By dismantling the fundamental traditions and beliefs of a nation piece by piece, you ultimate will destroy it. Claiming this is done in the name of “love” or “equality” ignores the greater societal issues involved in marriage; the creation of families with mothers and fathers, and, indeed, the welfare of children raised in same-sex marriages.

Abortion remains a moral issue in the minds and hearts of many Americans and now they are waiting to see how the Supreme Court will rule on same-sex marriage. As Ryan T. Anderson wrote in The Heritage Foundation’s publication, The Daily Signal, “There simply is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires all 50 states to redefine marriage.”

“The over-arching question before the Supreme Court is not whether a male-female marriage policy is the best, but only whether it is allowed by the Constitution. The question is not whether government-recognized same-sex marriage is good or bad policy, but only whether it is required by the Constitution.”

Anderson points out that “The only way the Court could strike down laws that define marriage as the union of husband and wife is to adopt a view of marriage that sees it an essentially genderless institution…” Marriage is all about gender and the union of opposites that is blessed by the community when a man and woman enter into it. To legalize same-sex marriage is to degrade the essential element of society, the keystone of family.

What we are witnessing is the current high point in a long campaign to remove any obstacle to being homosexual and the right to marry another homosexual represents an important political goal for GLBT community. For them it’s not about the thousands of years in which all societies forbid the marriage between those of the same gender or the 227 years since the Constitution was ratified.

Clearly the Constitution neither requires nor bans same-sex marriage. The thought of such a marriage would never have occurred to the Founding Fathers and the creation of a new nation had far greater priorities and responsibilities than same-sex marriage. Most such issues such as abortion were left to the states to determine. Even so, when the voters of California voted in 2008 to ban same-sex marriage, the courts there overturned it.

We are witnessing a homosexual juggernaut that will settle for nothing less than their own interpretation of the relations between the sexes.

When the Supreme Court hears the same-sex marriage case on Tuesday, April 28, it will be decided by a Court that is sharply divided between liberal and conservative points of view, but in the legal community, there is no argument that, as federal law states, “Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

That’s why the fact that in late September Justice Elena Kagan performed a same-sex “wedding” takes on tremendous importance. As documented by, Justice Kagan has a long history of advancing homosexual issues and policies. A 16-page report leaves little doubt that she favors acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism as “civil rights.” 

There is no way that Justice Kagan should join other Supreme Court judges to rule on this case. That would run counter to federal law and would be an arrogant dismissal of the most fundamental concept of justice before the bench.

What we have learned thus far is that the practice of same-sex marriage has proven more a threat to the rights of those who are opposed to it for sincere religious reasons than for those demanding their services.  If there is any justice left in America, a bakery or florist should be able to say no. Demanding that they act against their faith tells you a great deal of the homosexual mindset when it comes to their “rights.” 

I am utterly opposed to same-sex “marriage” for all the reasons the Bible and history provide.

If Justice Kagan does not recuse herself from Tuesday’s case and her fellow justices do not demand that she does, the rule of law and justice in America will have suffered another serious blow.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Could You Spot a Potential School Shooter?

By Alan Caruba

In April 1999, we were all stunned by the news that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had attacked and killed students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado and, more recently, in December 2012, that Adam Lanza, after killing his mother at home, then massacred twenty-six staff and students at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. These events evoke dread of potential events, a quest to understand why they occurred, and ways to avoid further comparable killings.

Peter Langman has authored “School Shooters: Understanding High School, College, and Adult Perpetrators.” It offers very little comfort, but only because this psychologist, widely recognized for his expertise, is refreshingly honest.

“Many people seek to reduce school shootings to a bite-sized explanatory chunk, but the phenomenon defies easy analysis,” says Langman. “There is no one cause of school shootings, there is no one intervention that will prevent school shootings, and there is no one profile of a school shooter.”

He offers a wealth of information about forty-eight shooters He divides them into “Psychopathic shooters” whom he describes as “profoundly narcissistic, arrogant, and entitled; they lacked empathy, and met their needs at other’s expense” and ”psychotic shooters” who “suffered from schizophrenia or a related disorder. They were out of touch with reality to varying degrees, experiencing hallucinations or delusions.”

“Unlike the psychopathic and psychotic shooters, who generally came from well-functioning, intact families, traumatized shooters endured chronic abuse as children. They grew up in violent, severely dysfunctional homes.” Most fell into the first two categories.

I would like to offer the reader some comfort that school shooters can be “spotted” in advance, but in most of the cases that Langman cites, they looked like everyone else in any school. Only if one of them was to confide his plan was there any opportunity to intervene and then only if he was reported.

Among the psychopathic category “at least 75 percent (nine out of twelve) had body issues. Many of these physical characteristics had a direct bearing on perceived manliness, including short stature, thin build, chest deformity, and fear of sterility” leading Langham to suggest a link between feeling weak or damaged and extreme narcissism. It is widely believed that bullying is linked to these events, but Langham notes that while about forty percent were harassed only one targeted a bully. While there is concern these days about bullying in schools, it is mostly due to a heightened awareness, not because there is more or less of it than has ever existed.

One thing does stand out, however, “nearly all shooters had bad educational experiences, including academic difficulties (failing classes, repeated grades, not graduating) or disciplinary problems…at least 92 percent had negative academic or disciplinary experiences.” And then there’s this: “At least 38 percent of shooters had relatives who worked or volunteered in schools.”

Another common factor was that “at least half of the perpetrators engaged in substance abuse (illegal drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol.) In addition, “at least 42 percent of the shooters had a history of legal troubles, including arrests, contempt of court, and loss of a driver’s license.”

“Many shooters had trouble getting or holding jobs.” This was particularly true of the older shooters. Charles Whitman, an American engineering student at the University of Texas, gained infamy when in August 1966 he killed his wife and mother in their homes and later that day went to the Austin campus where he killed sixteen people and wounded 32 others over the course of ninety minutes, firing from the observation deck of the main building before being killed by an Austin police officer.

To academic and employment problems, add romantic failures. “Most shooters either failed to establish any romantic or sexual relationships or else suffered breakups or rejections that contributed to their anguish and anger.”

It should surprise no one that a number of the shooters “had specific role models for violence, including serial killers, mass murders, and other school shooters.” Most of them were psychotic, whereas the psychopaths “felt no need to attach themselves to a source of power; they were the source of power.”

Out of this densely documented book Langham concludes “There is no one way to prevent school shootings.” What also emerges is the fact that “Most school shooters leave a trail of warning signs that are either not noticed or not responded to.”

What the shootings are not about is gun ownership. Many of the shooters came from families that owned guns and used them for hunting or sport shooting. They had little reason to regard them as instruments with which to kill people other than their own twisted psychological interpretation.

What I came away with was the conclusion that the shooters are people we would all easily identify as “losers.” Beyond that, there is no specific way of identifying them, only suspicions of their capability to do the unthinkable.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The White House is Lying About Climate Change and Health

By Alan Caruba

Let us begin with the understanding that there is no connection between the climate and health. The climate is something measured in decades and centuries, so what happened in the last century has nothing to do with whether you are sneezing today.

The weather surely can help generate health problems. For example in the northeastern states, the Lyme disease season is beginning. Between 1992 and 2010 reported cases of Lyme disease doubled to nearly 23,000 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but CDC officials believe the actual number of those infected may have been three times that number.

Lyme disease is transmitted by deer ticks and since these tiny insects will hitch a ride on birds, squirrels, mice and small animals as well, even if you live in an area without deer, the possibility of being bitten by a deer tick is just as likely. This increases for people who love gardening or outdoor recreational activities such as hiking and camping. Children, too, are particularly susceptible.

The fact that Lyme disease shows up in the Spring simply tells you that the warm weather facilitates the tick population. The weather has always been tied the mating habits and activities of various species, but that does not mean that is constitutes a massive threat to everyone’s health.

That’s not the way the White House sees it. On April 7 the administration made it official. It announced that it is “committed to combating the health impacts of climate change and protecting the health of future generations.” 

Since the climate changes over extended periods of time, not just month to month, one has to wonder what “health impacts” the White House has in mind. The last Little Ice Age lasted from around 1300 to 1850. It was cold all over Europe and North America. Does the White House propose that it can “protect” us from a new one? If so, that’s absurd.

Let us understand, too, that there has always been what the White House announcement calls “extreme weather events.”  Notice the change from “climate” to “weather”? Among the events identified are “severe droughts and wildfires to more powerful hurricanes and record heat waves…” Has there been a time when such weather-related events have not occurred? In fact, there are times when they don’t. For example, there hasn’t been a single Category 3-5 hurricane hit the U.S. mainland since 2005!

The White House has launched a massive brainwashing effort using many elements of the federal government to frighten Americans using the “climate” and the “weather.” How deceptive is it?

One example is sufficient. The President has claimed that climate change was the cause of one of his daughter’s asthma. In its announcement, it claimed that “In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled and climate change is putting these individuals and many other vulnerable populations at greater risk of landing in the hospital.” 

Here’s what the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has to say about the various causes of asthma.

“Since asthma has a genetic origin and is a disease you are born with, passed down from generation to generation, the question isn’t really ‘what causes asthma’, but rather ‘what causes asthma symptoms to appear?’ People with asthma have inflamed airways which are super-sensitive to things which do not bother other people.”

What the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America is telling us is that there is no direct connection between either the climate or the weather and the illness called asthma.

Those who suffer this disease however can be affected by a range of triggers such as irritants in the air, pollens, molds, and even cockroach droppings. Infections such as colds, flu, and sore throats are among the leading triggers for asthma attacks in children.

The facts, the truth, were no deterrent to the April 7 White House twelve-page announcement of all the things it intends to do to brainwash Americans into believing that there is a connection between the “climate” and health.

Here’s just a few of the dozens of events and programs it will initiate so that the media will report on them and thus convey the message that climate change is the greatest threat to Americans today:

“The Administration is expanding its Climate Data Initiative to include more than 150 health-relevant datasets…this is intended to help communities and businesses reduce the health impacts of climate change.”  Only there are no such impacts.

The Administration is announcing a coalition of Deans from 30 medical, public health, and nursing schools around the country, who are committing to ensure that the next generation of health professionals is trained to address the health impacts of climate change.” Only there are no such impacts.

“Announcing the White House Climate Change and Health Summit.” It will feature the Surgeon General who will lead discussions to “the public health impacts of climate change and identify opportunities to minimize these impacts.” Only there are no impacts and nothing that could be done if there were.

From the Department of Homeland Security to the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency, many elements of the federal government will be integrated into this massive brainwashing effort.

What can be done to ignore a government determined to lie to everyone about a “threat” that does not exist? Not much.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Environmental Insane Asylum

By Alan Caruba

Earth Day was declared in 1970 and for the past 45 years we have all been living in the Environmental Insane Asylum, being told over and over again to believe things that are the equivalent of Green hallucinations. Now the entire month of April has been declared Earth Month, but in truth not a day goes by when we are not assailed with the bold-faced lies that comprise environmentalism.

Around the globe, the worst part of this is that we are being victimized by people we are told to respect from the President of the United States to the Pope of the Catholic Church. Their environmentalism is pure socialism.

Organizations whom we expect to tell the truth keep telling us that “climate change is one of the biggest global security threats of the 21st century.”  This was a recent statement by “world leaders” like the G7, a group of finance ministers and central bank governors of seven advanced economies, the International Monetary Fund, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States. On April 17 they adopted a report about the “threat” put together by think tanks that included the European Union Institute for Security Studies and the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

When I speak of “climate” I am referring to data gathered not just about decades, but centuries of the Earth’s cycles of warming and cooling. When I speak of “weather”, the closest any of us get to it other than today’s, are local predictions no longer than a few days’ time at best. The weather is in a constant state of flux.

Climate change is not a threat and most certainly there is no global warming. As Prof. Bob Carter, a geologist at James Cook College in Queensland, Australia, has written, “For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco.”

The fact that the Earth is now into the nineteenth year of a natural planetary cooling cycle seems to never be acknowledged or reported. “The problem here,” says Prof. Carter, “is not that of climate change per se, but rather that of the sophisticated scientific brainwashing that has been inflicted on the public, bureaucrats and politicians alike.”

In a book I recommend to everyone, “Climate for the Layman” by Anthony Bright-Paul, he draws on the best well-known science about the Earth noting that “Since there is no such thing as a temperature of the whole Earth all talk of global warming is simply illogical, ill thought out, and needs to be discarded for the sake of clarity. The globe is warming and cooling in different locations concurrently every minute of the day and night.”

“Since it is abundantly clear that there is no one temperature of the atmosphere all talk of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is simply an exercise in futility.” A look at the globe from either of its two poles to its equator and everything in between tells us with simple logic that being able to determine its “temperature” is impossible. The Earth, however, has gone through numerous warming and cooling cycles, all of which were the result of more or less solar radiation.

The Sun was and is the determining factor. The assertion that humans have any influence or impact that can determine whether the Earth is warmer or cooler is absurd.

The Earth had passed through warming and cooling cycles for billions of years before humans even existed, yet we are told that the generation of carbon dioxide through the use of machinery in manufacturing, transportation or any other use is causing the build-up of “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere. We are told to give up the use of coal, oil and natural gas. That is a definition of insanity!

Here’s the simple truth that most people are not told: The Sun warms the Earth and the Earth warms the atmosphere.

As for carbon dioxide, the amount generated by human activity represents a miniscule percentage of the 0.04% in the Earth’s atmosphere. There has been more carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere—well before humans existed—contributing to the growth of all manner of vegetation which in turn generated oxygen.

Without carbon dioxide there would be no life on Earth. It feeds the vegetation on which animal life depends directly and indirectly. As Anthony Bright-Paul says, “A slight increase in atmosphere of carbon dioxide will not and cannot produce any warming, but can be hugely beneficial to a green planet.”

The Earth’s atmosphere is approximately 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, 0.9% Argon, 0.04% Carbon Dioxide, and the rest is water vapor and trace gases in very small amounts. They interact to provide an environment in which life, animal and vegetable, exists on Earth.

When you live in a Global Environmental Insane Asylum, you are not likely to hear or read the truth, but you can arrive at it using simple logic. We know instinctively that humans do not control the waves of our huge oceans, nor the vast tectonic plates beneath our feet, the eruptions of volcanoes, the Jetstream, cloud formation, or any of the elements of the weather we experience, such as thunder, lightning, and other acts of Nature.

Why would we blindly assume or agree to the torrent of lies that humans are “causing” climate change? The answer is that on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, we will be deluged with the propaganda of countless organizations worldwide that we are, in fact, endangering a “fragile” planet Earth.  We hear and read that every other day of the year as well.

The achievement of the human race and the last 5,000 years of so-called civilization is the way we have learned to adapt to Nature by creating habitats from villages to cities in which to survive and because we have devised a vast global agricultural and ranching system to feed seven billion of us.

As for the weather, John Christy, the director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, says he cringes “when I hear overstated confidence from those who describe the projected evolution of global weather patterns over the next one hundred years, especially when I consider how difficult it is to accurately predict that system’s behavior over the next five days.”

“Mother Nature,” says Christy, “simply operates at a level of complexity that is, at this point, behind the mastery of mere mortals—such as scientists—and the tools available to us.”

Whether it is the President or the Pope, or the countless politicians and bureaucrats, along with multitudes of “environmental” organizations, as well as self-serving “scientists”, all aided by the media, a virtual Green Army has been deliberately deceiving and misleading the citizens of planet Earth for four and a half decades. It won’t stop any time soon, but it must before the charade of environmentalism leaves us all enslaved by the quest for political control over our lives that hides behind it.

We must escape the Environmental Insane Asylum in which they want us to live.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Prison Called Cuba


By Alan Caruba

We are told we need to feel sympathy for the Cuban people who have suffered from a U.S. embargo and lack of diplomatic recognition. That ignores a long history of oppression in Cuba no matter who was in charge.

Prior to Fidel Castro, Cubans were in the grip of Flugencio Batista who overthrew the existing government in September 1933 and then dominated Cuban politics for the next 25 years until Castro’s revolutionary movement took control of the capitol in January 1959.

Fifty-six years ago in 1959, I was about to graduate from the University of Miami and among my friends were young Cubans sent there to get a degree. I have often wondered which among them returned to Cuba and which, like those who could afford it, were joined by their family who fled Cuba.

The U.S. had been involved with Cuba from the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898 when Spain ceded Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam for $20 million. We stayed in Cuba until it was granted independence in 1902 as the Republic of Cuba. Its first president faced an armed revolt in 1906 so we returned to briefly occupy Cuba to restore some stability, but they never really got the hand of being a democratic self-governing nation.

How much better it would have been for the Cubans if the U.S. had decided to make the island a territory like Puerto Rico. Then we could have let the island prosper without having to end up with becoming a Communist nation closely allied, first with the Soviet Union and after its collapse in 1991, with others like China and Venezuela.

The lesson we might be expected to draw from this is that Communism does not work. It is an utterly failed economic and social system that can only stay in power by jailing or executing anyone who resists. That is exactly what the brothers, Fidel and Raul Castro, have done since seizing power. One consistency of the past five decades has been the anti-America policies they have pursued.

The reason given by Obama was that U.S. policies toward Cuba “have not worked” and that it is time for a change. There is some truth in this and it should be noted that Canada has long had good relations with Cuba as have European and, of course, Latin and South American nations.

Even so, what are we to conclude from the report that Russia plans to join military drills with Cuba and North Korea that may also include Vietnam and Brazil? Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has left it sanctioned and isolated, so the military drills send a message that it still has nations friendly to it, but what nations!

Cuba was caught not long ago when it attempted to ship weapons to North Korea, so we are talking about two dedicated Communist nations. Over the years, it has more than demonstrated its anti-American hostility.

Generally, there is little to be gained by exchanging embassies or relieving Cuba. Lifting our embargo and other sanctions leaves the U.S. with even less leverage, if any.

What has been largely overlooked since Obama’s announcement is the fact that Cuba is still ruled by a Castro and is likely to remain so because Raul’s son, Alejandro Castro Espin, a colonel in Cuba’s intelligence apparatus is likely being groomed to take over after becoming a general and a member of the Communist Party Politburo, Cuba’s ruling body. As noted in an article in The Atlantic, it is the Cuban military not only that plays a major role in the Politburo, it also controls at least sixty percent of the island nation’s economy.

I have no doubt that reaching out to Cuba ranks just below reaching out to Iran as Obama contemplates his “legacy.” Both are notorious enemies of the U.S. Nor would it surprise me if Obama would try to unilaterally shut down Guantanamo. Failing that, he will do everything he can to empty it by the time he leaves office.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cuba has had to struggle to survive economically. Its earlier behavior got it banned from the Organization of American States that was not lifted until 2009, but which did not confer full membership until it was deemed to be “in conformity with the practices, purposes, and principles of the OAS.” At the time, Fidel said he was not interested in joining.

Not much has changed in terms of the enmity the Castro brothers have expressed toward the U.S. but practical considerations to keep unrest among elements of Cuba’s population under control require them to ease some of the earlier control over being able to travel and likely who Cubans can do business with would improve whatever commerce will be permitted.

At this point, the only “winner” is Cuba.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Sunday, April 19, 2015

What Today's American Politics Tells Us

By Alan Caruba

There is something very disquieting occurring in American politics today. Most dramatically, the Democratic Party is offering a candidate who is a moral cesspool filled with lies and a history of behavior that would render anyone unthinkable for the highest office in the land. Something is very wrong when Hillary Clinton is, at this point, the only candidate for President the Democrats will be able to vote for and, worse, an estimated 47% of them will vote for her.

What we are witnessing is a Democratic Party that has been debauched by decades of socialism, an economic and political system that has failed everywhere it was implemented.

By contrast, what is being largely overlooked is the wealth of political talent—Rubio, Walker, Paul, et al---that the Republican Party has to offer as an alternative. Instead of obsessing over the different aspects of its candidates, we should be celebrating the fact that voters will be able to choose someone of real merit for whom to vote.

While the brain-dead media talks about the Republican candidates, seizing on every small element of the policies they are individually offering for consideration, the contrast with Hillary Clinton widens into a gap as large as the Grand Canyon. Her campaign thus far has been an exhibition of media manipulation. She talks of “income inequality” as if it has not existed from the dawn of time and is based on the socialist utopia of everyone being equally poverty-stricken. Who wants to live in a nation where you cannot become wealthy if you’re willing to take the risks and work hard to achieve it?

It is this gap between those concerned with the very real threats to our nation’s security and welfare that lies at the heart of the months ahead in the long political campaigns. We can, at the very least, give thanks that President Obama cannot run again. We must, however anticipate that he will do everything in his power to initiate or expand policies that do not bode well for the nation.

Why anyone would vote for a party that foisted ObamaCare on us, driving up the costs of healthcare though numerous taxes and impacting the healthcare industry in ways that have already caused many physicians to seek retirement or be forced to process their patients as rapidly as possible to pay their bills? The fact that the Republican candidate Sen. Ted Cruz is calling for the repeal of ObamaCare is reason enough to give him serious consideration.

Similarly, conservatives resist amnesty programs that would load the voting rolls with those who entered illegally and now, because they’ve been here for several years, we are supposed to consider them comparable to those who did so legally. Republican candidates who resist this understand that a nation with no real citizenship standards and borders that do not close off easy access rapidly ceases to be a nation. At the same time, these illegals are competing for jobs with those who are legal by birth and naturalization.

It’s a wonder to me that this nation is $18 trillion in debt, has over ninety million unemployed, and the nation continues to “redistribute” money from those who are working to those who are not. These programs are a huge magnet for the illegals, but it is the states that must struggle to fund their educational systems and Medicaid. Meanwhile our infrastructure goes old and in need of repair.

Beyond our shores, thanks to the foreign policies of the President, the United States is no longer the leader of the free world. As the Middle East slips into anarchy Obama wants nothing more than to give Iran the right to have its own nuclear weapons with which to pursue its hegemony of the region. Lift sanctions? Why would we want Iran to have more money to fund the terrorism that it uses to expand its influence? Closer to home, White House efforts to accept Cuba ignores its dictatorship, its record of providing weapons to our enemies, and years of hostility.

This represents a deliberate effort to undermine and weaken the moral principles on which our nation has been founded and risen to leadership in the past. Who is more widely criticized in our society than the evangelicals who have high moral standards and the Tea Party movement that is seeking to slow the obscene growth of the federal government?

We need to worry about a nation where marijuana is legalized and thus able to affects the mental capabilities of those who have used it since its heyday in the 1960s? Where is the need to reexamine the moral issues involved in the murder of babies in the womb? From 1973 through 2011, there were nearly 53 million legal abortions nationwide. In 2011, approximately 1.06 million abortions took place.

In March I noted that “More than a quarter of births to women of childbearing age—defined here as 15 to 44 years old—in the past five years were cohabiting couples, the highest on record and nearly double the rate from a decade earlier, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 2011 to 2013.”

“And here’s a statistic that really caught my attention: “Cohabiting parents now account for a clear majority—59%--of all births outside marriage, according to estimates by Sally Curtin, a CDC demographer. In all, 40% of the 3.93 million births in 2013 were to unmarried women.” Moreover, “It is mostly white and Hispanic couples who are driving the trend, not black couples, experts say.”

This speaks to the breakdown of the institution that is most essential for a healthy, successful society, the dissolution or downgrading of marriage and the births that occur outside of it.

American politics—always a national debate on where we are and where we’re going, is critical to the future. Right now America is at risk of becoming a place where our founding morals, values, and traditions are being cast aside.

Your vote was never more important.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Thousand Ways to Die

By Alan Caruba

Does a day go by when we are not warned about something that might do us harm or kill us?

I recently received an email from the Surgeon General of the United States in which he said, “Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet with President Obama, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and health care professionals to discuss climate change. We talked about the impact of climate change on public health and the importance of prevention.”

The prevention of what? Climate change?

In the five thousand years of human civilization, there has never been, nor will ever be, a way to “prevent” climate change. This is not to say that earlier cultures didn’t try to solve drought or other weather-related problems by sacrificing the occasional virgin. We look back at that and regard it as primitive in the same way we find the notion of American Indians doing “rain dances” to induce a downpour to help the crops to grow a thing of the past.

The politicization of “climate change”, a planetary phenomenon that goes back about a billion or so years ago when the Earth took on its present atmosphere and weather patterns tells you everything you need to know about the White House and those who think they can tell outrageous lies to Americans, knowing at least half of them will believe those lives.

You’re not going to die from the "climate", but what kills Americans is well known.

The good news is that we’re living longer lives than the generations that preceded us.

We can determine what we eat and how much. Some of us thrive on exercise and others do well by ensuring they get a good night’s sleep. There are behaviors we should avoid, but their harm can be traced from a lack of moderation. People who opt for genuinely bad behavior such as drug addictions or alcoholism are simply ruining their own lives and those who care about them.

The obstacles to a long, healthy life often involve factors over which we have no control. These include family histories of illness, genetically passed on from generation to generation.

There are some fifteen most common causes of death in America and they range from diseases of the heart (28.5%) down to homicide (0.7%). That’s right. Even though our media is filled with news of homicides and popular culture features murder, the likelihood of suffering death that way is very small.

Disease of the heart (28.5%) and malignant tumors (22.8%) are responsible for more than 50% of the annual death toll. Other leading causes drop off dramatically by comparison. They include cerebrovascular diseases (6.7%), chronic lower respiratory disease (5.1%), and accidents (4.4%).

On my Facebook page I asked my friends to list some of the things they have been warned about over the years. The list included salt, bacon, processed meats, eggs, soft drinks, saccharin, sugar substitutes, margarine, and chocolate. I have no doubt you can think of other things you’ve been told to avoid. Now, not including things like gluten or peanuts that activate allergic reactions in some people, these and comparable things are not likely to kill you. My rule of thumb has always been to eat the real, the natural food product like butter and avoid the substitutes.

I have no doubt that people have died from smoking. Cigarettes have long been called “coffin nails” in acknowledgment of the way too much smoking can affect one’s lungs. That said, I have smoked for some fifty years and a good cigar is daily pleasure. My Father smoked a pipe for just as long and lived into his 90s. My Mother who taught the art of gourmet cooking, complete with every delicious sauce and method of preparation you can imagine, lived until age 98. An international authority on wine, she would remind her students that you can find it mentioned frequently in the Bible. It is a healthy addition to your diet.

While we are constantly being warned against everything as a potential cause of death, you might find it of interest to learn that the American Medical Association conducted several research studies in the last decade, concluding that approximately 225,000 Americans died from their medical treatments!

Unnecessary surgeries caused 12,000 deaths and hospital medication errors killed 7,000. The odds of dying from an infection you pick up in the hospital is impressive; some 80,000 deaths were attributed to that, but the largest number of deaths, 106,000, were attributed to “negative effects of drugs.” To put it another way, “doctor-induced deaths are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer.”

While we live daily with warnings about everything from the air we breathe to the water we drink (both quite clean), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects data on mortality, including suicide. In 2013, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in America. Someone committed suicide every 12.8 minutes. From 1986 to 2000, suicide rates had dropped from 12.5 to 10.4 deaths per 100,000 people. It is back up to 12.6, mostly involving people 45 to 64 years old, as well as those over 85 and older. The rate among men is four times higher than women and whites killed themselves (14.2) far more often than blacks (5.4) and Hispanics (5.7).

While the White House is adding to our stressful lives with utter nonsense about “climate change”, claiming it is affecting our health, there’s another group, those in charge of the United nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UFCC), whose greatest concern is the fact that there are some seven billion of us on planet Earth whom they blame for eating too much and using too much of its energy resources.

“Obviously less people would exert less pressure on the natural resources,” said Christiana Fiqueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCC. You can translate to mean that there are those at the United Nations who wouldn’t mind if a new plague came along to kill off thousands or if famine did the same thing.

You will live a lot longer if you figure out how to reduce the levels of stress in your life; if you eat well, but moderately; and if you avoid overdoing anything you know can harm you.
Don’t listen to the fear-mongers. In the words of Mr. Spock, live long and prosper.

© Alan Caruba, 2015