Wednesday, April 30, 2008

From the Soviet Union to Putin’s Russia ... by Alan Caruba

From the Soviet Union to Putin’s Russia
By Alan Caruba

When the government of the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the fall was attributed to all kinds of reasons. There was the failed invasion of Afghanistan, the symbolic fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and, after some desperate efforts by Mikhail Gorbechev, Communism as a guiding principle and economic system simply imploded. That’s the thumbnail version that passes for history, but Michael J. Economides and Donna Marie D’Aleo have another answer and it’s one you may not want to hear.

“In the second half of the 1980s the Soviet leadership came face to face with the problems that arose as a result of the dramatic drop in oil prices, and the necessity of increasing the volume of capital investments in western Siberia’s oil industry. They failed to provide adequate solutions to these problems. The consequences were a rapid decrease in oil production, a collapse of the consumer market, a growing deficit of the most basic consumer goods, and the bankruptcy of the Soviet Union.”

“From Soviet to Putin and Back: The Dominance of Energy in Today’s Russia” by the two authors cited above is not likely to leap on the bestseller lists, but for anyone who takes a serious interest in America’s future and in current world affairs, it is the book to read, not only for its excellent history of the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, and what replaced it, but for its unique insights regarding the role of energy.

Economides is Editor-in-Chief of Energy Tribune, a magazine for those who understand that (1) energy is the master resource, (2) is the primary force behind the rise of human civilization, and (3) is the grand determinant in geopolitical affairs. From our earliest times when muscle power was the only source to the modern era, energy in its many forms has ruled the affairs of man.

Donna D’Aleo’s expertise is world affairs with an emphasis on Russia. When seeking the most fundamental cause for the collapse of the former Soviet Union, we need look no further than “the fall in international oil prices and miscalculations in the strategy for developing the deposits in western Siberia.”

Oil has been critical to the comeback the Russian Federation has made and one must pause at this point and ask if anyone in the United States Congress or the White House has a really good reason for restricting access to our nation’s known reserves of oil in Alaska, as well as the unexplored and untapped reserves in 85% of our vast coastal shelf. This question applies as well to natural gas whose cost is rising too.

Being stupid or incompetent or both when it comes to having a national energy policy can bring a nation to its knees. When you add in profligate spending, a needless war in the Middle East, and a currency whose value is in free fall, you are essentially looking at the conditions eerily similar to those that faced the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

Our current national energy policy focuses on alternative means of providing electricity such as highly subsidized solar and wind power; ways to reduce gasoline use by mandating that ethanol be added or a formulation called biodiesel be used; demanding that autos and trucks get more mileage from a gallon of gas while ethanol actually reduces mileage, among other astonishingly insane notions that include a ban on the purchase of incandescent light bulbs.

All this has occurred at the same time that several states have opposed the building of coal-fired electricity generation plants and while the federal government regulates the building of nuclear plants down to a snail’s pace. Coal, cheap and abundant, powers over 50% of America’s electricity. Add to this the difficulties imposed on building any new refineries (none since the 1970s) or pipelines for oil and natural gas, the United States is essentially committing energy suicide.

By the time the Soviet Union collapsed “oil was the country’s only major source of hard-currency revenue” and its management from Moscow was so deficient that the entire political and economic system literary self-destructed. “By proceeding without concern for conservation and efficiency, the Soviets fell behind technologically and economically.”

When OPEC decided to rebuke the United States in the 1970s by reducing its oil exports, the gas lines at service stations shocked Americans, but by then the nation was no longer an exporter of oil as in the heady days of Texas and Oklahoma oil fields. There was a major power shift to the Middle Eastern nations sitting atop some of the world’s greatest known oil reserves. The loss of our ally, Iran, in 1979 further exacerbated our reliance on foreign oil.

Since the United States imports a great deal of its current oil needs from Canada, you would think that Congress would not want to impede oil retrieved from that nation’s tar sands, but you would be wrong. It has passed legislation against its purchase by our military because it is deemed to be environmentally improper.

While Russia waited for its president, Boris Yeltzin, to sober up, from 1986 to 1989 the Soviet economy stagnated “and then it experienced negative growth, a situation that lasted for the next ten years.” As 2000 dawned Yeltzin resigned and put Vladimir Putin, a longtime member of the Soviet security and intelligence apparatus, in charge of the nation.

The story of the rise of the Russian oil oligarchs who privatized and revived the industry is a fascinating one, but the way Putin and his former KGB colleagues forced out those who opposed them and stole the assets of Western oil companies who had been induced to invest millions, if not billions, in the development of the vast Siberian reserves, is dramatic and told in detail by Economides’ and D’Aleo’s book.

Facing imprisonment and even death, some of the initial billionaires who choose to oppose Putin and friends either fled or, indeed, found themselves in prison on trumped up charges. Several murders of others, like crusading journalist Anna Politkovskya, appalled the international community, but by then former intelligence operatives had seized the Russian oil and natural gas industry. “Fully 80% of Russia’s leading politicians were former intelligence agents.”

Russia’s dominance in oil and natural gas is now being used “to project hegemony over its neighbors, from the Far East (energy-starved China and Japan) to Europe in the west, and attempting to control transit (pipeline) countries such as Ukraine and Belarus.” Communism, Soviet-style, is back in power in Russia under Putin while America “has been helplessly watching Russia’s re-emergence.”

At the heart of this new threat to America’s role in the world is oil and natural gas. Unless Americans begin to understand the geopolitics of energy—and soon—a lifestyle we have taken for granted is going to be severely impacted.

This explains why we have 160,000 troops in Iraq in a vain attempt to have some sway over its oil industry, why we have carrier groups parked just off the Persian Gulf fearing a nuclear-armed Iran, and why we will sell Saudi Arabia any military hardware it wants while continuing to guarantee the sovereignty of oil sheikdoms like Kuwait and the UAE.

What it does not explain is why our government has done everything in its power to thwart the exploration, discovery, and extraction of our own energy assets.

Alan Caruba writes a weekly column posted on the website of The National Anxiety Center, He blogs at

© Alan Caruba, April 2008

Filed under:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

About Those American Flag Lapel Pins….

About Those American Flag Lapel Pins….

In the spirit of full disclosure allow me to say, right up front, that I have several American flag lapel pins. Some are singles, and some are crossed with the NC state flag, etc. When I am not wearing the Sons of Confederate Veterans Lapel pin, I will have either my American Legion pin, or my American flag pin on my lapel. Sometimes I will wear the American Flag pen on my left lapel, nearest my heart, and, at the same time, the Third National Flag of the Confederacy on my right lapel.

Yes, I AM making a statement with the wearing of those lapel pins. I am saying, loud and clear, the things those pins represent are things that are very important to me. It is an overt expression of my love and my caring for those things, those principles, which are the foundation of the countries, and the organizations, those tiny little lapel pins represent.

I will readily admit to being a nationalist. I think my country, the USA, is the best nation on the face of the earth. You may disagree. That is certainly your prerogative. But, do not expect me to change my mind. My country makes mistakes. It blunders sometimes. But… and you know what is coming… it is still my country!

As an American citizen, I am free to change that. I can denounce my citizenship and become a citizen of another country, if I wish. I DON’T wish. Some do.

Let’s be clear about something: I am not ashamed of my country. From time to time I am ashamed of some of my country’s leaders… but never my country. Just because I am ashamed of the actions and the behavior of some of my country’s leaders is no reason for me to remove, or not wear, an American Flag lapel pin. You see… that makes a statement, too. It says, again, loud and clear, that I am ashamed of my country. I won’t do that.

Back in the 1950’s I took an oath, as I was sworn in to the Army, to defend this nation from all enemies foreign and domestic. It is essentially the same oath the President of the United States swears when he is sworn into office. I don’t recall there being an expiration date on that oath. I’m proud of that. I wasn’t much of a soldier, but I had committed what there was of me to the service of my country. I have never regretted that.

We have a nation of leaders these days that have never worn the uniform of their country. They have never crawled in the mud with the enemy popping off 7.62 rounds over their heads, or heard the rattle of a machine gun, or fully automatic assault rifle, in the dark and watched the tracers skimming the service of the earth searching for a target in the blackness of night. They have never felt the stark terror of combat that dries your throat and mouth until your tongue is sticking to the roof of your mouth and you could not spit if your life depended upon it. And they know absolutely nothing of the courage and fortitude it takes to overcome all that and force your mind and your body to work and do the job you were trained for until the enemy is vanquished or you are dead. They have no clue! Yet, today we make these people our leaders and even the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces.

You see, those of us who have made the commitment have paid for the right to question the patriotism of a person would refuses to wear a simple American Flag lapel pin near his heart to announce to the world, “I Love My Country”. A person who cannot speak or understand one single word of English will understand exactly what that simple little lapel pin is saying! That is one HELL of a statement. It is a powerful declaration!

Now, it seems to me, when a person is a candidate for President of the United States of America, which carries the title and the duties of the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces, he should wear that American flag lapel pin, if for no other reason than respect for the men and women who WILL go in his place, in his name, to fight, bleed, and die, on the battlefields where HE sends them. Is that asking too much?

Apparently it is, these days.

To even ask me to support such a candidate insults me.

Now, I understand some of you don’t wear lapel pins of any kind… anytime. That’s fine. I respect that. Not a problem. I’m just saying that IF you DO, and you choose NOT TO WEAR a simple American Flag lapel pin and you just HAPPEN to be a candidate for President of the United States of America… well… that tells me all I need to know about you.


Filed under:

Monday, April 28, 2008

Gasoline Prices, Ethanol, and SERVICE?

Ethanol and Gas Mileage.

I drive a pick-up truck. Not a large pick-up and not a small pick-up. I drive a Mid-sized pick-up truck. My truck has a large six-cylinder motor, a v-6. It has more power than I will even need. But, it is there should I have occasion to require it.

My truck is not known for its gas sipping ways. Even with the six-cylinder engine, it really likes gasoline. The only complaint I have about my truck is its thirsty ways.

Recently, when gasoline made one of it’s quantum leaps forward, in per gallon price; I sought out a source of gasoline with a less expensive “per gallon” price. I found it at a station, which is one of a number of stations belonging to an in-state company. It was very soon thereafter that I noticed a drop in my miles per gallon. Not a small drop… a huge drop! (3 miles per gallon, actually.) I continued to watch it over several months and found that that drop in miles per gallon remained consistent.

Then, like a bolt from the blue it hit me…Ethanol! I had read, a number of places, that the use of ethanol would reduce the miles per gallon of the vehicle using it. So, I made a trip back to the service station and I got out of my truck and I walked around the gas pumps looking for a sign, or any indication that there was ethanol present in their gasoline. I saw no such notice anywhere.

On my ride back home, I remembered the one source in the state, which would have the information I sought, the NC Department of Agriculture, more specifically the standards division (the folks who maintain the weights and measures, etc.)

I contacted them, and I learned which service stations is my city sell gasoline with ethanol, and more importantly, I learned the stations that sell gasoline with no ethanol blended in. I also learned that if the gasoline contains 10% or less ethanol, no sign at the pumps is required (at least in NC).

The next time I bought gasoline, I made a point of buying gasoline with no ethanol blended in. I noticed an immediate increase in mileage. I recovered nearly a mile and a half per gallon. Needless to say, I’ll continue buying the ethanol free gasoline as long as it is available.

Now granted, this is MY experiment and MY experience. It was a VERY unscientific experiment, as well. And there is room for all sorts of error. It was a simple exercise that any motorist, in America, can do for himself or herself.

Living just minutes away from an east coast tourist Mecca, and vacation magnet, our gasoline prices are some of the most expensive in the state and this region of the Mid-Atlantic. As a resident, the cost of operating a motor vehicle can be a real drain on the budget at any time, but with the artificial oil “crisis” we are enduring, this time, it behooves one to make the best decision one can when buying gasoline.

As a high school kid in the 1950’s I bought many a gallon of gasoline for 13.9 cents per gallon. That was for regular. Hi-test was 15.9 cents a gallon. In my later high school years I worked as a gas pump jockey and I sold the stuff for those prices and saw drivers nearly swoon when gasoline went up to the stratospheric price of 22.9 cents a gallon with Hi-test at 25.9 cents a gallon. It was horrible!!

Now let me tell you what you got for those godawful high prices! You got your windshield, side windows, and back glass washed and dried, the water level in your radiator checked and added to, if needed. You got your oil checked, your transmission fluid level checked, you fan belt checked, the water levels in your battery checked and topped off, if it needed it, your floorboards swept out, and, at some stations, even the air pressure in your tires was checked. Your DID NOT pump your own gasoline. Not at those high prices! Often the driver never left the comfort of their automobiles. If you were fortunate enough to have an oil company credit card, we took your card from you, went into the station and filled out the required form, and returned your card to you and had you sign the receipt. All this with you never having to leave your car! …. AND… we thanked you for your business!

Hell, folks, I have sold a complete set of four tires, balanced them, and mounted them on the customer’s car for less than the price of a tank of gasoline, alone, today. And you know what??? We called them “Filling Stations” then… not “Service Stations” as we do today. I’ll let you decide which term more accurately applies to which era.

My, how times have changed! Prices have gone up as customer’s expectations have gone down… way down.

So, if you are already feeling poorly after filling up your SUV’s tank this morning, this article should make you feel even worse.

Have a NICE day!


Filed under:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Embarrassed that the US is a Member of the UN!

Embarrassed that the US is a Member of the UN!


Somebody, somewhere, the other day, remarked that simply because the UN is corrupt is no reason for the US to leave the UN. The writer suggested strongly that the US “fix” the UN!
The first thought to enter my mind when I read that was… “I wish I had a case of whatever that guy is smoking!”

The UN is irrelevant. It has made itself that way. It is corrupt, beyond measure, and it causes far more problems than it solves around the world.

The UN exists only to provide cushy offices and grand homes, for their officials, and… diplomatic immunity while they are here, on US soil. It also provides a headquarters for practically every enemy country on the globe to base their spying operations against the US. It is the only spot on the globe that bloodthirsty dictators can come together with total immunity.

I am embarrassed that my country, the US, is a member of the UN and I take every opportunity to plead with my government’s officials to do all in their power to get the US out of the UN.
There may have been a time when an organization, such as the UN (when it began), was necessary. NO longer. It has become the thing we feared most… an enemy of the US. And that enemy is perched on the riverbank in New York City. Yes, I know the UN owns the land their building stands upon, but the fact that it’s proximity, to US soil, is so close… makes me shudder with revulsion.

So what should the US do? First… get out! Look, we know who our friends are. They are the people we need to bond with in a mutual defense treaty, of some sort, and allow the UN to collapse of it’s own corrupt weight.

I am sick and tired of the UN, and the political Left, insisting that we get that proverbial “permission slip” from them to take care of problems in the world that affect the US. The US doesn’t need the UN and, I daresay, the majority of Americans do not wish to continue our membership in that disreputable organization.

If the US withdrew it’s funding of the UN, I suspect the UN would eventually have to close its doors. We pay 22% of all the expenses of the UN and we provide the finest troops in the world for their peacekeeping (?) missions.

Does the fact that the US pays such a large amount of the expenses of the UN bother me? You bet it does! If former Senator Jesse Helms, of North Carolina, was still in the Senate, I daresay that amount would be nearly cut in half, if we didn’t withhold payment altogether. The latter would suit me. Every time the US treasury cuts a check for the UN it just feels like aiding and abetting the enemy.

The UN does not reflect the values the American citizen holds dear. We have no business in an organization bent so completely toward our destruction. I understand we may be trying to live into the old proverb,” Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer”. That may be. But the UN is just too close for comfort!


Filed under:

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Americaan Family.... GONE!

(from: October, 2006)
America turns it’s back on the “American Family”

What has happened to the American family? It doesn’t exist, anymore. Oh, we have something we like to call "family", often times living beneath the same roof, but it’s not family… not in the true sense of the word.

America has redefined Family until we have defined it out of existence. I think that was intentional. Our socialist brothers and sisters, on the left, want to control this country and to do that they must destroy the basic building blocks of this republic and reassemble those blocks to suit themselves. The single most important building block of any nation is her families. Destroy that and you can easily lay claim to a nation’s soul. And that is exactly what has happened.

I saw, a short time ago in the press, that families with unmarried parents now out number families with married parents in America. In the first place, the group of people with unmarried parents, at its head, is NOT a family... in the true sense of the word. So the entire report was based upon the flawed assumption that a family is a group of people with the authority figure either married or unmarried. That is not the classic family. That is a mob.

Americans, look around you and consider that we have a society rotten at its core. The core of civilization is the family and when that core does not exist, or is mortally wounded, as ours in America is, then a country’s entire society is in peril. If there is any doubt that America’s society is in danger, pick up any newspaper, turn on any TV news channel, or just stand still for a moment and look a round you.

We have failed, as a people, to protect our families. We have, through social programs, and such, made it much easier to dissolve the family and to create something acceptable to the “socialist shadow government”, working behind the scenes in America, in order to provide the necessities for that group, without actually working for it, nor providing the guidance of a nuclear family. The children coming out of such a "mock-up" of a family have no way of knowing that their experience was anything less than normal and they create their own… and in so doing… perpetuate the rot at our core. Here in America we have an entire underclass, and entire segment of American society, who are wards of the US government.

We have so may children, and grown young people, now, who were “raised by a village”, and not a family, that they lack those “familial ties” that anchor all humanity to the core of a family and that core is… love for one another. It isn’t there... and they are empty. Their souls are just barely attached to their bodies.

We look around us in awe, and wonder, when some child, or young adult, walks into a school and begins to pump round after round into innocent children. We gaze at the vivid stories on TV news of heinous murders committed by a young person who looks just like the boy, or girl, living down the street from us. And… we still don’t get it. It’s OUR fault. We destroyed the American family. Why? … Because… it was expedient.

A tight nit family is nearly impossible to manipulate. But as with any organization, break it apart… and you can destroy it, piece by piece, and that is what we have done.

Our children are sent to nurseries, as sucklings, because the mother must report for work at the end of the allotted family leave period. The children don’t see their parents, save for short periods in the morning, as they are prepared for daycare, in the evenings as they are prepared for bed, and on the weekend when parents are worn out from their daily jobs and have no time to spend with them.Then those same children are sent off, at the age of six, to the public school system run by a government intent on molding their minds in the way it would have them go… and they spend 12 years in that system. The tie with their parents remains about the same, but becomes even more tenuous as the years speed by. Then… there is college. And there the finished product is rolled out. The liberalities of the college instructors and professors further mold those young minds into automatons of the socialist agenda. The process is now complete and the product is a near heartless, soulless, individual who believes his upbringing was NORMAL!!!

We have at least two generations of these automatons walking among us. They are now in positions of power in our government, in our universities, in our public schools, and in our churches… and America is the worse for it.

Over the past five years 15,000 Americans, per year, were murdered by fellow Americans. 100,000 women a year were raped in the past five years in America, and 1 million Americans, per year, have been subjected to some sort of violent crime. These numbers only account for the last five years. That bright shinning city on a hill has been corrupted and has become dull and all it’s luster is gone. No longer does it stand as a shining beacon to the remainder of mankind as the promise of a nation, which seeks after God and liberty for its people.

It is said that all great nations commit suicide. Consider the Greeks and the Romans, from which America drew so much in founding this republic. Those great civilizations have been tossed into the dustbin of history. Soon, America will join them.

When a society defines its families… it defines itself. The American family has been ruled, for all intents and purposes, irrelevant. We no longer even understand what a family is. The family is the bedrock upon which the pillars of this great society stand. That bedrock has crumbled and our society is showing the effects. (I refer you to the paragraph above with the statistics of violent crime committed by Americans against Americans.)

It is said that change is inevitable. That may be, but change can be guided and channeled in the direction a society wants to travel. In America’s case, we channeled change in the wrong direction. We replaced America’s reliance upon God with reliance upon the Federal Government. We replaced the Ten Commandments with a code of laws developed by man and loosely based on the Ten Commandments, but… we deny that. We replaced God in our public schools with school councilors, and policemen, and metal detectors… and murder. Our religion has gone weak in the knees with many of America’s mainline churches, saying openly, that the scriptures, which have served us for well over 2000 years, are no longer relevant, that God doesn’t actually matter anymore. The plain truth is, dear reader, we have condemned ourselves.

Can we turn it around? I don’t think so. America is racing toward the apocalypse, the final hour when all will be irrelevant. Nothing will matter any longer. “The End” will have been writ large across the pages of history and America will be but a footnote. The scriptures tell us that God’s Spirit will not always strive with man. At some point God will pull back that protecting hand, that guiding hand, that gracious hand. America has grown fat and arrogant and, like the builders of the tower of Babel, we have taken it upon ourselves to “be like God”. And, frankly… we’re not big enough.

Man’s instructions were simply enough. A man and woman should cling to one another and be fruitful and multiply... and create families. Children were admonished to honor their fathers and mothers. The parents, likewise, were admonished to not provoke their children to anger. In other words… love one another. Love was the basic building block of the family and the family was the basic building block of man’s society. Now, here in America, we have destroyed the family. Our foundation is gone, our anchor is gone, and we are adrift, soon to slip beneath the waves… as history sails on… without America.

Filed under:

Friday, April 25, 2008

McCain Should “Shut-Up” and “Butt-Out” of North Carolina’s Republican Business!


McCain is saying the NCGOP is “out of touch with reality”. I submit, Mr. McCain, it is YOU, sir, who is out of touch with reality!

You folks in the McCain Camp seem to have absolutely NO IDEA just how FURIOUS at McCain Tar Heel Republicans are! Hell no, we’re not listening to you Mr. McCain! And we won’t! This is OUR state and you, sir, have zero input into how we run our politics here.

No need to remind us the GOP is the "Party of Lincoln". Many of us here are trying so VERY hard to forget that. Many of us here will turn a five-dollar bill over so that Lincoln’s portrait is facing down before we hand it to a cashier. Many of us will ask for five “ones” in exchange for a five-dollar bill just to get Lincoln’s picture off our person and replace it with the five portraits of a fine Southern gentleman.

Mr. McCain, you would be well advised to spend no time, and none of your precious campaign treasure, in North Carolina… because… you, sir, may have just lost this state in the General Election in November.

And finally, Mr. McCain, as far as this Tar Heel is concerned, you are not welcome in our fair state. You have insulted us… deeply. We have very long memories and I can assure you, sir, your insult will not be forgotten by May 6th, nor by November. In fact, your insult to REAL Republicans in North Carolina, will NEVER be forgotten.

McCain Should “Shut-Up” and “Butt-Out” of North Carolina’s Republican Business!

Someone on John McCain’s staff really needs to take him aside and explain to him that we folks in North Carolina do not take kindly to being dictated to by anyone, especially a liberal RINO!

McCain hurt himself yesterday and continues to inflict wounds upon his campaign which may very well come back to cost him the votes of this state in November.

The ad the NCGOP will begin running on Monday is none of McCain’s’ business. The republicans in North Carolina decided to run the ad… and they will… whether McCain likes it or not!!

Look, Tar Heels are not at all pleased with McCain as the Republican Party’s nominee in the first place. In my case, I have no intention of voting for McCain either in the primary or in the general election in November. However, many NC republicans are going to hold their noses and vote for him, anyway, because the possibility of Hillary, or Obama, becoming President of this country is just too horrible a thought to bear.

So, McCain was already on thin ice before he shot off his mouth about the NC GOP’s decision to run the ad. He has only turned off even more republicans in my state and if he persists he may lose this state in November because NC republicans who are already fed up with the spineless national republican leadership will just decide to stay home in November to “teach the GOP a lesson”.

You can see the ad for yourself here:

Now, how stupid is it to bite the hand that feeds you? Very stupid, indeed…and that is what McCain and his camp are doing!

Now, you begin to see why I refuse to support McCain. He will NOT FIGHT! What does it say about a candidate who does not want the office he is running for enough to fight for it? What does it say about what he WILL fight for… or, even more importantly, what he WILL NOT FIGHT FOR! McCain’s mouthing off about NC’s decision to actually fight for the office of Governor of this state has riled a lot of North Carolina Republicans. Include “yours truly” in the “riled” category!

McCain needs to stay out of the North Carolina GOP’s business.

The RNC needs to stay out of the North Carolina GOP’s business.

McCain PO’ed a lot of my fellow Carolinians in South Carolina in 2000… and it cost him dearly. Now he is making the same mistake again, this time with the Old North State. McCain is quickly becoming "persona non grata" in the Carolinas!


Filed under:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Third Clinton Administration

The Third Clinton Administration


So, how’s the primary shaping up in NC?

It’s an Obama win. No question. The Clintons are about as well liked in the Carolinas as AIDS. But, there are those democrats who will vote for her rather than Obama, some because of race, and others because of … well, let me relate a recent experience I had with a friend.

My friend is a democrat. He told me in no uncertain terms that he would vote for Hillary in the coming primary because… he knows that should she win the election in November, her husband, Bill, would actually BE the President. You see my friend was truly impressed with the “job” Bill Clinton did as President.

To be honest, I had suspected this for some time, but to actually hear someone, a democrat, put it into words set me back on my heels for a moment. I wondered just how many folks will vote for Hillary believing that they are voting for her husband Bill?

Now here’s the truly frightening thing, to this writer… I believe they may be accurate in their deduction!

How difficult is it to believe that Mrs. Clinton will be able to ride herd on Bill from the Oval Office. Easy, you say? Wanna bet? Forget the Secret Service being able to control him. She’d have to have a platoon of US Marines to do that. Forget Bill giving up his, uh, “wandering ways”. I’ve known men like Bill Clinton and the ONLY three things that slowed THEM down was age, illness, or death. It’s an internal wiring screw-up somewhere in their DNA. They’re pitiful creatures, really. So terribly insecure they need constant love and adoration to feel any self worth. Look it up in the Shrink’s Encyclopedia and you’ll find Bill’s photo right there.

So, will Hillary win against John McCain? My gut feeling is that she will not. First, she is not going to get the chance… unless …something really striking happens at the Democratic Convention in Denver. (I’m still sorta expecting a brokered convention with a third candidate, possibly nominated from the floor, actually securing the nomination and becoming the democratic candidate running against McCain in November.

That many Americans see Hillary’s run for the presidency as a shot at Bill’s third term comes as no surprise, really. Many republicans have been saying it for months. There is some truth to it. Place Bill Clinton anywhere near the Oval Office and he WILL meddle. The Administration would be worst than the last Clinton Administration. Dope, bubble gum, and dare we say it… sex(?)… plus, the old “hangers on” from the previous Clinton Administration.

I have spoken to many republicans here in NC and nearly everyone has said he, or she, had rather have Obama as President than having the Clintons back in the White House.

No matter how the election goes in November, the Republican Party is finished. Yes, even if the GOP candidate wins the Presidency. The liberal left wing of the Republican Party is now back in control. You know, the bunch that kept the GOP on the backbenches in Congress until the Conservatives managed to take over in the mid-nineties. They’re back … and they have control… and they will lead the party right back to those backbenches.

I have been a registered republican since my 21st birthday. But, I cannot remain in a political party, which is nothing more than “democrat light”. There are millions more just like me.

I am currently searching for a new political home for conservatives. I have concluded the GOP is bent on going “the way of the Whigs” and will soon fade into obscurity.


Filed under:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thoughts of a Carolina Man!

Thoughts of a Carolina Man.


The writer below is a man I have come to admire. I have met him, briefly, a couple of times and taken part in events he as covered for his paper and I am familiar with the people and places he writes about.

Jeff Weaver, in my estimation, is a well-grounded southern man… a Carolina man. His writings represent the thoughts of conservative Carolinians from the small towns of the Carolinas… to the country folks who populate the hills, the piedmont, and the coastal plains of the state we share. His articles are always thoughtful, extremely well written (written, in fact, for “everyman”) and written with a velvet touch. Even when scolding, his touch is soft, yet firm and assertive. It is the mark of a true southern gentleman.

As I read the piece below, a few days ago, I was struck by the truth within and how Jeff so boldly splashed it across the page. He has opened a window for us to introspectively take a look at ourselves as we approach the primary election here in North Carolina on May 6th, and even more importantly the General Election in November.

On reliance upon government, Jeff says... "After all, if we can’t force ourselves to buy a little less gasoline, thus forcing the oil companies to drop their prices, then we certainly can’t be expected to think, and we don’t deserve the right to express ourselves.

Come to think of it, if we’re going to regulate the ability of a company to make a profit off a product which all of us need, but the consumption of which many of us can control, then we really need to have rationing of all our constitutional rights, along with everything else.

After all, the government should have to take care of each of us, especially if we’re too lazy to work for a living, or not driven enough to succeed because someone hurt our feelings once years ago, or people don’t like us, or we just plain can’t. Isn’t it the government’s job to make everything all right?"

We recommend you take a few minutes and enjoy what Jeff has to say in his piece entitled: “A Modest Proposal”. You’ll find it at:

See what I mean? He’s right on target. A modest proposal? Perhaps. But Jeff offers more than a modest amount of common sense!

Thanks, Jeff! Again, you made my day!


Filed under:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day Is a Holiday For Liars ... by Alan Caruba

Earth Day Is a Holiday For Liars
By Alan Caruba
Earth Day is a holiday for liars. I have followed the apocalyptic claims and the legislated mandates of the environmental movement since the 1970s and their single unifying factor has been the lies told to achieve various elements the Green agenda.

Since 1970, April 22 has been celebrated as Earth Day. It is generally regarded as the date of the birth of the modern environmental movement.

There are several common attributes of environmentalism. High on the list is its barely hidden contempt for the human race, the view that the world’s population has to be drastically reduced and that our consumption of everything from energy resources to agricultural and livestock production threatens the planet.

The food riots occurring around the world are the direct result of environmental mandates for biofuels, based on claims of global warming, but the Earth is cooling, not warming.

Earth Day had its antecedents in the United Nations that has long maintained an international environmental program. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has generated the current climate alarmism whose “science”, based on flawed computer models, has been totally discredited as often as not by the scientists it pretends to represent.

The incessant Green protests of everything and anything that might advance the welfare of the human race, from nuclear power to the Green Revolution that has insured sufficient food for the current and future population of the Earth, is the third element. These protests, too, are based on deliberate distortions of science and fact.

Fear mongering has always been the movement’s instrument of choice to influence public opinion and policy. A simple case in point was the reversal of an extensive campaign in the 1970s warning of a coming Ice Age to one that began in the 1980s about “global warming.”

Early Greens spread lies across a vast spectrum of issues, invariably causing incalculable harm. An example was Rachel Carson’s claims about DDT that resulted in its ban. Millions have since died for lack of the protection it affords against malaria and other insect-borne diseases. A full-scale attack on all pesticides and herbicides, critical to disease control and the world’s food supply, continues.

In 1968 Paul Ehrlich’s book, “The Population Bomb”, included the claim that “the battle to feed all of humanity is over.” He later claimed the Green Revolution, based on the modification of crops to resist drought and predation, would fail. Wrong again. The linking of population and food consumption is a consistent environmental theme.

The claim that greenhouse gas emissions must be drastically reduced is an attack on all forms of industrialization, i.e., corporations and the globalization that require the use of energy resources such as coal, natural gas, and oil. Energy is the single reason for America’s and the world’s economic growth and the enhancement of life through all manner of technologies involving transportation, communication, and agricultural advances.

By blocking access to energy such as the ban on oil extraction in ANWR or off the coasts of the United States, by lobbying against the building of coal-fired and nuclear electricity generation plants, by arguing for inefficient, highly subsidized solar and wind alternatives, Greens are creating a national energy crisis. How insane is it to ban the purchase of incandescent light bulbs?

There is no scientific justification for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide represents a miniscule 0.038% of the Earth’s atmosphere and increases in CO2 always follow climate change. It does not initiate it. The Greens are lying.

The increasing food riots occurring worldwide are a direct result of the way the price of corn and soy has been artificially driven upward by environmental demands for “biofuels.” When Congress set in motion the mandate that countless bushels of corn be diverted as a food source for humans and livestock to the production of ethanol, it started a cascade of food shortages worldwide that were further exacerbated by weather related crop failures.

Environmentalists have spread lies about all manner of food consumption. Eating beef is high on their list of grievances. Not incidentally, corn is a major feedstock for beef and other animals that are part of our daily diet. The Associated Press recently reported that “Worldwide demand for corn to feed livestock and to make biofuel is putting enormous pressure on global supply.” From prehistoric times to the present, meat has been one of mankind’s most invaluable sources of our health.

Along with the nation’s politicians, the nation’s print and broadcast media and our educational system have accepted environmental claims without skepticism or review. Since its release, children have been required to watch Al Gore’s duplicitous documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth”, and today’s textbooks are replete with environmental falsehoods. On Earth Day, the media is flooded with Green propaganda.

Earth Day would be a good day to begin to take back the Earth from those who would deceive us and harm us.

Alan Caruba writes a weekly column posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center, He blogs at

© Alan Caruba, April 2008
Note from Longstreet: If you want more from a Conservative's view of Earth Day, then read "Earth Day 2008. Get Over it!" by Alan Caruba at:

Filed under:

Monday, April 21, 2008

Elitist Leaders.

Elitist Leaders.


As I write, I am about 25 minutes from the town in which Charlie Daniels was raised/reared and about 50 miles from his birthplace. I point this out, so that if you think my views are outside the norm, then I have to tell you, they are in sync with those of my neighbors here in North Carolina.

For Instance: Charlie says:

“I can see why you think America is a weak race, if you judge us by our media or what our politicians have to say, but I've got a rude awakening for you. That ain't America. If you want to see America… go to a NASCAR race or a Friday night football game at some little town in Texas. Have some eggs and grits in a truck stop in South Georgia, check out a rodeo or pick up basketball game in the Bronx. Take a look at the people around you and you’ll find that they don't look anything like the pansies you see on TV or the politicians whose pictures are in the newspapers.”

Yep, right on, Charlie, right on!

Why do you suppose that is? Could it be that there REALLY ARE two Americas as John Edwards has been preaching for ever so long now? Well, yes, there are two Americas. There always has been. In fact there are at least THREE Americas!

We Americans like to kid ourselves and confidently tell ourselves that we have no class system in America. That is blatantly untrue.

If one goes back to the founding of the country we readily see that a ruling class was established, right up front, and those not in the ruling class were, well, the “others’. We have developed an upper class, a middle class and a lower class. I have a friend who is fond of saying that he used to be in the upper lower class. Now, however, he is in the lower upper class! He may be right.

I have listened, viewed, and read a number of stories in recent days about Obama’s “elitism”. I have no doubt he is an elitist. But then, aren’t all the presidential candidates? The truthful answer is… yes… they are.

I spoke, just this morning, with a gentleman, a veteran of the Korean War. I don’t know his name and he doesn’t know mine. It was a “chance” meeting. Both of us from the Carolinas, both of us country boys, both of us veterans, both of us assuredly not elite, yet both of us long in the tooth, gray haired, and scarred by the passage of time and the weight of experience. We began to talk of the sorry state our country is in. In a few short moments both admitted neither of us had a candidate we could vote for in the coming presidential election.

My new friend began to relate to me his experiences in the Korean War. He told me of losing his best buddy to a sniper while retrieving a broken down truck from a mountainside near the Yalu River. He told how, as he drove and struggled to keep the truck he was driving, and the truck he was towing, from going off the mountain, a shot rang out and his best buddy slumped over mortally wounded by a sniper’s bullet right between the eyes. He told of the struggle to get down the mountain with both trucks and his dead best friend beside him. He made it.

Upon reaching what served as a motor pool and after the body of his dead friend was taken away, his commanding officer asked him how he managed to complete the mission. He told me how he reached into the left breast pockets of his fatigues and lifted out a small white bound New Testament. Handing it to his C.O. he said: “This is now I made it, sir”.

Tears had welled up in his eyes as he related this story to me. And then he reached over and touched me and said: Sir, I think you will appreciate this”, and he reached into his left breast pocket and brought out that same white bound New testament, the very one he had on his person in Korea. He told me his mother gave that to him the day he left for Korea, in 1951, and she told him to always keep it with him and it would serve him well and keep him out of trouble.

The Testament is now a dingy white, the lettering all rubbed off the cover by wear and the pages, though easily readable, are dog eared, folded over, written on with sundry bits of paper marking certain pages and even a few notes tucked between the pages.

He held that New Testament with tears welling up in both his eyes and he looked at me with the certain knowledge that I would understand his feeling and his attachment to that little book containing the “Good News”, the Gospel of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I have to admit that my eyes had welled up, too. We were just two old men, who have seen our share of sorrow and joy, of success and failure, of love and loss, of war and peace. And both share in the peace that comes from knowing “in Whom we believe”.

We parted company, by shaking hands and wishing each other a good day.

Now, why am I relating this story to you? Because I know, and those of us who have our anchor in the Christian faith know, that our religion is not a prop. I mean… it is not something we cling to ONLY when times get rough. It is far deeper than that. It is a part of who we are as Christians and as “believing” Americans.

As the election draws ever closer in America, the view of the three candidates running for President of the US becomes clearer. We have come to see that all three are, indeed, elitists. I’m sure they would deny it, but their lives, the way they live their lives, underscores their elitism.

Frankly, it isn’t their elitism that bothers me that much. Their hypocrisy, however, does. You see, I remember Adlai Stevenson. I remember his elitism… but I have no recollection of his ever denying it. Of course, he lost in both his bids as the Democratic Party’s candidate for President.

The point is… none of the current candidates can relate to the vast majority of Americans. It simply isn’t in them. Why? Well, we have come full circle now. We are back to the “Ruling Class” and the Ruling Class, by necessity, is elitist. Only an elitist could believe he, or she, has whatever it takes to lead the greatest nation on the face of the earth.

So, to sum up, I think it may well take an elitist to rule the country, but never allow yourself to be misled into believing they actually care for you as a person, or that they will ever relate to you as anything other than a member of a class lower than theirs.

Oh, my new friend... from this morning's encounter... he's a democrat.



Filed under:

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Democrat Socialist go after the Radio and TV Stations

(February 2007)

Democrat Socialist go after the Radio and TV Stations


It begins! The democrat’s move to capture the airwaves of America and bend them to their socialist way of thinking is under way, officially.

If I were still in Broadcasting, I’d cash in my chips and get out as quickly as I possibly could. I tried to operate a broadcasting station under democrat domination of the government, and especially the FCC, and frankly it was like having the Kremlin looking, constantly, over my shoulder.

Go here for the story on the first clash of the democrat government and the GOP FCC:

The democrats will not stop until they control the broadcast media in the US and run them as propaganda outlets for their socialist agenda. It’s what they do! God help any broadcaster who will not toe the socialist line!

Look for the return of pirate stations and a major move to satellite radio by those broadcasters with the financial means and the inclination to do so. In the meantime, small community broadcast stations will be a thing of the past. They simply cannot survive in the climate created by the socialist democrats. And THAT is what they want!

The free flow of information is a thorn in the flesh to the socialist democrats. Information is power. The common people must be denied that power and kept in the dark so the democrat socialists can continue their skullduggery in the shadows.

It truly seems the façade the democrats hid behind, during the campaign season, is crumbing even faster that I had anticipated it would. Their true colours are being seen, little by little everyday.

I would behoove all Americans to pay close attention. For it is these democrat socialist who will rule us until the Islamofacists take over.


Filed under:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

HillaryCare Two!

(September 2007)

Clinton’s Plan Will Cost US Taxpayers 110 Billion a Year to Destroy the World’s Best Healthcare System!


We warned you it was coming… and here it is. Mrs. Bill Clinton is back with Hillarycare… socialized medicine… a mandatory plan, which would force every citizen in the US to have healthcare insurance. Now, we all know some people can’t afford it… so you and I will pick up the tab for that, too.

(UPDATE) For more on “Hillary Care Two” go here:

This is socialized medicine folks… and we don’t need it… and we don’t want it. It is “Incrementalism” of the worst kind.

If Clinton has her way all American citizens will participate in the destruction of the finest healthcare system in the world.

This is about far more than Healthcare. This is about freedom. This is about democracy. This is about a US citizen’s right to privacy… and on, and on, and on. Socialized medicine is flat out un-American. It is straight out of the “collective”, a distinct part of the communist belief system. Today we use the kinder, gentler, word socialism in place of communism. But it is the same thing.

I don’t know about you, but I am going to work just as hard, maybe even harder, this time than I did in 1993 -1994 to see that HillaryCare Two is defeated… again!

If you value your freedom… you will, too.

Finally, those of you who slavishly vote for the democrats election after election because you actual think they care about you… there is simply no hope for you. It is reminiscent of the freed slaves who followed after Bill Sherman’s army when he marched through the South, burning everything in sight, as he marched to the sea. The Yankee troops finally built a pontoon bridge across a river and fled across it destroying the bridge as they went stranding the poor, hungry, former slaves on the opposite bank on the river, abandoned. Some drowned trying to swim the river.

The dems are counting on their followers to continue to follow, unthinkingly, Just as those former slaves did… and support this erosion of American liberty and freedom we choose to call “socialized medicine”. Socialism is straight out of the depths of hell and socialized medicine hails from the darkest, deepest, blackest hole at the very bottom of Hades.

Those of you who value your freedom, your liberty, and your health … now is the time to gear up and begin the fight we must make against HillaryCare Two, socialized medicine. We cannot begin too soon. This is a fight for freedom and we cannot allow ourselves to lose even a single battle. “Once again… to the Barricades”!

What does it say when one has to fight against one’s own government to secure one’s liberty and freedom????


Filed under:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Swerving Into Unreality… Again!

Swerving Into Unreality… Again!
As if the President hasn’t already done enough to get me REALLY ticked off at him, here he goes and does something immeasurably stupid!

Here is a story right out of the Washington Times that will curl your hair if you happen to be among the growing crowd of Americans who do not believe in the hoax of Man Made Global Warming… often referred to these days as “Climate Change”.

Look at this:

“Bush Prepares Global Warming Initiative” by Stephen Dinan
You’ll find the full story at:

The President announced his “directives”(?) earlier this week… and they made no sense! In the event the President had not noticed… the earth is getting cooler!

“If the global warming scare has little foundation in fact, the ice-age scare is only too solidly founded. For the past two million years, but not before, the northern hemisphere has gone through a regular cycle of ice ages: 90,000 years with ice: 10,000 years without. The last ice age ended 10,000 years ago. Our time is up. The next ice age is due.” Thus says Andrew Kinney in an article published in The Sunday Mail on Sunday July 14th, 2002. We recommend you take the time to read his extremely sensible article. You’ll find it at:

How about this:
“The Canadian Space Agency's radio telescope has been reporting Flux Density Values so low they will mean a mini ice age if they continue. …. Tapping, who was originally from Kent, says that "Typically as you go through the ten or eleven year solar activity cycle you see the numbers go up or down. The lowest number is 64 or 68. The numbers 71 or 72 are very low, but they usually start to go up. We are at the end of a cycle, but the numbers still haven't gone up. We have been joking around coffee that we may be seeing the Sun about to shut down."
This is from an article from “Brits at their Best”. You’ll find it at:

My friend and fellow blogger Alan Caruba says:
“Let us understand the fundamentals. There is no global warming. What warming that has occurred has been since the last mini-ice age ended around 1850. It is perfectly natural. The net global warming since 1940 is a miniscule 0.2 degrees C., even after 70 years of unprecedented human CO2 emissions.I repeat. There is no global warming. There is, in fact, a global cooling occurring. Sunspot activity has been unusually low for several years and is directly related to the cooling trend that is likely to continue in the years ahead. NASA reports that the oceans have "stopped warming" about 4-5 years ago.”
You can read Caruba’s entire piece at:

So, with the evidence pointing in the direction of global cooling, rather than global warming, why are we preparing for an overheated earth? And the even more important question… what will we do when the new mini-ice age descends upon us and we are totally unprepared because we spent all our resources preparing for the wrong event?

This is serious stuff! An entire planet’s population cannot be hoodwinked, about anything, unless those in power on that planet WANT THEM TO BE!!! So what gives? What is REALLY going on? This is not just my natural paranoia screaming “Danger!” Danger!” There is something sinister going on and the leaders of the various governments are in on it! They have to be!

For more on what the "Climate Change Movement" is really about see what Alan Caruba has to say here:

I am convinced the Global Warming/Climate Change movement is about power. It is not about saving the earth. That is just a façade. Nothing more. I am even more convinced than ever that the real purpose behind all this “save the earth” tripe is the formation of a single governing entity on this planet…. a one-world government.

OK, so go ahead and call me a conspiracy theorist, if you like. But, what if I am right?


Filed under:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Is Jimmy Carter in Violation of The Logan Act?

Is Jimmy Carter in Violation of The Logan Act?


As a Southern American, I’d like to offer an apology to Israel for Jimmy Carter. There is an old expression one used to hear upon encountering a fool, and it went something like this: “Somewhere a town is missing their idiot.” Unfortunately, when Jimmy Carter is away from Georgia “the South” is missing its idiot!

Yes, I am embarrassed by Mr. Carter’s antics. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what is wrong with him! I once saw a poster of a painting of Christ’s head with Jimmy Carter’s face superimposed over the face of Christ. It represented his “Messiah Complex”. Apparently, Jimmy still sees himself as the Messiah of the world.

Israel is right to snub Carter. If they value their freedom, and their lives, they will continue to shun Carter.

I have never forgotten Carter and the Shah of Iran and the Ayatollah. Remember? It was the kick-off the troubles we have, to this day, in that region. We are still paying for Carter’s fumbling and bumbling in the late 1970’s.

Another thing is bothering me about this meddling by Carter. Is it legal? I was under the impression it is illegal for private US citizens to negotiate foreign policy with foreign governments. Some federal law covers this, I think. Oh yes… that would be The Logan Act. Read the text below:

§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
1 Stat. 613, January 30, 1799, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953 (2004).

So… is he authorized? Seems to me, US foreign policy is set by the President of the United States and only HE can authorize a private citizen to do what Carter is doing. Actually the Supreme Court has ruled that the President, and the President alone, has the power to negotiate with foreign governments. The Senate can Advise and Consent on Treaties, but the President, alone, has the power to negotiate.

So, if Carter is, in fact, in violation of the Logan Act, why not have Israel detain him, send the FBI over to pick him up, bring him back to US soil, charge him, and try him?

OF COURSE, that is not going to happen! But maybe it should.

It is past time that we have a federal law forbidding past Presidents of the US from meddling if any kind of diplomacy after they leave office.

For now, in our opinion, Mr. Carter is in violation of the Logan Act and the matter should be looked into by the proper authorities.


Filed under:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Global Food Fights ... by: Alan Caruba

Global Food Fights
By Alan Caruba
It takes a decent respect for the obvious truth to admit that mankind has no control over the climate. What is occurring, however, based on actual and anecdotal information, is a trend toward global cooling. Between rising food costs driven by an environmental agenda and real, not imagined climate change, the word famine is going to be heard more often.

We are seeing (1) weather related crop failures and (2) the artificial increase of the cost of food because crops like corn have been diverted to make ethanol. In the rush to cash in on the higher price for corn, farmers who would otherwise plant wheat and other grains are creating shortages.

Take away “biofuels” and you take away the imbalances being seen and felt worldwide.

However, there is nothing that can be done about the changing weather patterns that are leaving havoc in their wake, i.e., lots of snow and ice followed by lots of flooding. At the same time that Al Gore has announced a $300 million propaganda campaign to secure global warming legislation Mother Nature is getting colder.

California experienced a five-day freeze in January 2007 that ruined $1.42 billion worth of produce. In April 2007, a freeze destroyed 95 percent of South Carolina’s peach crop and 90 percent of North Carolina’s apple harvest as colder weather is increasing around the world.

In late March, the website posted an article by climatologist Cliff Harris asking, “Are We Entering a Period of Sudden ‘Global Cooling’?” in which he noted that, “The total extent of snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere at the end of February was at the highest level since the same period 42 years ago in 1966.”

“According to my climatological colleagues in Britain, Japan, and the U.S., the winter months of December, January, and February were likewise the coldest as a whole since at least the late 1970s, in some cases dating back to either the 1930s or even the 1880s.”

“In southeastern China, the winter of 2007-2008 has been the worst since 1210, nearly 800 years ago!” Severe winter conditions killed at least 40% of the 2007-2008 rapeseed crop (canola), a staple in China.

On March 24, the Associated Press reported from Asia that the rising cost of food staples was due in part because “freak weather is a factor.” But it is not freak weather. It is part of a trend toward cooling.

Peter Brabeck-Letmache, the president of Nestle, the world’s largest food and beverage company, spoke out in March, saying, “If as predicted we look to use biofuels to satisfy 20 percent of the growing demand for oil products, there will be nothing left to eat.”

What makes this shift particularly obscene is the fact that there is ample crude oil to meet the world’s need for gasoline and diesel. The mandate to use alternative fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel has the secondary effect of exacerbating food shortages because the cost of fuel to plant, harvest, and transport crops has increased.

The weather, however, is a mitigating factor. As one farming publication noted recently, “Extreme weather shifts over the past two years have reduced wheat harvest worldwide by nearly ten percent.” Depending on varying analysis, wheat supplies are at their lowest since either 1973 or 1940.

It’s not just wheat or soy. On March 20, an article in The New York Times reported that, “Rising prices and a growing fear of scarcity have prompted some of the world’s largest rice producers to announce drastic limits on the amount of rice they export.” The price of rice has nearly doubled.

Aggravating the shortages and increasing the prices are the steps being taken by nations placing curbs on the export of some of their food crops. As often as not this leads to further food shortages because local farmers then change what they plant.

The result is an increasing number of food-related disturbances worldwide in places like Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, Uzbekistan, and Yemen, to name just a few. In the United States, bakers recently marched on Washington, DC to call attention to wheat shortages and its rising price.

A combination of many factors, government imposed environmental dictates, export curbs, and crop losses resulting from the cooling weather cycle could generate further shortages of food. My crystal ball tells me we are going to read and hear a lot more about food protests around the world.

Alan Caruba writes a weekly column posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center, He blogs at
© Alan Caruba, April 2008

Filed under:

Thank God, I Am No Longer a Broadcaster!

Thank God, I Am No Longer a Broadcaster!

I spent thirty years of my life in the broadcasting industry. I am proud of that. I was proud to be a broadcaster.

I began at the bottom, as a Sunday ”boardman” in a little “one lung station”, in my hometown, working 12-hour shifts. Heck, I was so eager to break into the broadcasting field I would have worked 24 hour shifts had they asked me!

Soon, (within weeks) I was offered a full time job as a DJ at the competition’s station and I moved on and up.

I never owned my own station. There was a time when I thought I wanted that, and even went so far as to negotiate for the purchase of a station and went to the final meeting with the attorneys and owners, with the contracts on the desk, with a pen on them, ready to be signed. I couldn’t do it. I made my apologies and got up and walked out and turned my back on ownership. I never regretted it. It was NOT what I wanted.

My greatest joy in broadcasting was turning a station around. That is… being hired to go into a station, which, for one reason or another, was on the rocks and turning that station around and putting it back in the winner’s circle and atop the ratings in it’s broadcast coverage area and producing income. I LOVED that. I became pretty good at it, too.

I ramble here to allow you some insight into what I am about to say.

The National Association of Broadcasters, of which my stations were all members, has done a ‘dumb” thing! They allowed the actor Tim Robbins to deliver an address at their convention in Las Vegas. Robbins did exactly what I would have expected him to do. For the details see:

NAB 2008: Tim Robbins Decries Media 'Abyss' in NAB Keynote
Actor Tears Into Government, Media in Keynote at 2008 NAB Show
For the story behind the headlines above, go to:

We recommend that you read the article.

Now, folks, had I been in the audience, I would have walked out on Mr. Robbins speech. Furthermore, I would have cancelled my station’s membership in the National Association of Broadcasters.

Whoever invited Mr. Robbins must have, MUST HAVE, at least, suspected he was capable of such shenanigans and a little common sense would have led the “speaker hunters” to move on to the next name of potential speakers on the keynote speaker’s list.

I am ashamed for my fellow broadcasters.

I am happy that I am no longer a broadcaster. I do not like where the industry has gone, and I do not think they are serving the best interests of their listeners and many broadcast stations should be challenged, at license renewal time, for just such reasons.

And yes, I have labored for three months, or more, to complete license renewal forms! I KNOW the hard work involved in all phases of broadcasting. I also know broadcasting stations hold licenses in trust. There is an agreement between the users of the airwaves (Broadcast stations) and the owners of the airwaves (The American Public). When the holder of the license is not providing the services required by his community of operation/service, then that broadcaster’s license should be revoked and the license given to a broadcaster who WILL serve the community of license.

If Mr. Robbins had any knowledge at all about the broadcasting industry he would know that.

In my opinion, the directors of the NAB owe an apology to the membership of the NAB for engaging Mr. Robbins to speak at their convention. In the meantime, while members wait for the apology, many stations might want to consider canceling their station’s membership in the National Association of Broadcasters.


Filed under:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How Many Congressmen does it take to change a Light Bulb?

How Many Congressmen does it take to change a Light Bulb?
(Or Leftist Insanity!)


By now, you surely know that by 2014 you will not be able to purchase a single incandescent light bulb in America. Unless you wish to have your house unlighted, you WILL use fluorescent light bulbs… or… candles, or… oil lamps, or… well, sit around in the dark… as you watch TV.

This is now a law, mandated by Congress, and signed into law by the President. It is a perfect example of “knee-jerk law making” by Congress.

Well, Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, of Minnesota, has introduced a bill titled the "Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act.” I am not kidding! (Only in America!)

There is an article by Kevin Diaz in the March 26th , 2008 edition of the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, Minnesota, titled “Bachmann is Pro-choice on Bulbs”. You’ll find it at:

If you tarried long enough to read some of the comments to this piece, you will not be surprized at the “nutzo” comments by some of the “lefties” upset that anyone would question Global Warming, saving the planet, or the government’s good judgement in decideing such things as what we drive, eat, and/or light our homes with. Right away, you see the socialist/communist heart of the “Green” movement worldwide. How dare you, or I, question their good intentions, or their wisdom! They know better than you what is best for you!

Have you tried the compact flourescent light bulbs? Oh… ho…ho…! First off… be preprared for the price. A one hundred watt compact florescent bulb, where I live, is around 6 to 8 dollars (US) per bulb. A 150 watt flourescent bulb is around 10 dollars (US) a bulb. Any size lower than a 100 watt flourescent bulb and you’ll do about as well, so far as actual light… candlepower… (lumens?) is concerned, with a flashlight!

A few months ago, I put them in my den. They lasted about two weeks before my wife and I decided the experiment had failed and we removed them and went to a 150 watt incandescent light bulb in our shared reading lamp.

A suppose you have heard the compact flourescent bulbs contain mercury, right? The stuff is poison… right? I suppose you have heard that if you break one you must immediately leave the room, for a minimum of twenty minutes, and you may have to replace your carpet, and other such items, to rid the room of mercury. Plus, they have to be disposed of as a hazardous material… etc, etc. All of these drawbacks should have been considered BEFORE the lefty/loonie Congress decided you and I would be better off with the more expensive, less efficient, not to mention… poison, compact flourescent light bulbs to light our homes than the dirt cheap, extremely efficient at what it does (provide light), incandescent light bulbs we have been using… for what… a hundred years(?)!

I will be writing my Congressman, and my Senators, and I will be asking them to support Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s “Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act”. It’s time to shed a little light on common sense in Washington, DC.


Filed under: