Sunday, July 31, 2011

Clearing The Air ... Paul Driessen

Clearing The Air
Trying to correct all the disinformation about “mercury and air toxics” is a full-time job
Paul Driessen
Ever since public, congressional and union anger and anxiety persuaded the Environmental Protection Agency to delay action on its economy-strangling carbon dioxide rules, EPA has been on a take-no-prisoners crusade to impose other job-killing rules for electricity generating plants.
As President Obama said when America rejected cap-tax-and-trade, “there’s more than one way to skin the cat.” If Congress won't cooperate, his EPA will lead the charge. Energy prices will “skyrocket.” Companies that want to build coal-fired power plants will “go bankrupt.” His administration will “fundamentally transform” our nation’s energy, economic, industrial and social structure.
EPA’s proposed “mercury and air toxics” rules for power plants are built on the false premise that we are still breathing the smog, soot and poisons that shrouded London, England and Gary, Indiana sixty years ago. In reality, US air quality improved steadily after the 1970 Clean Air Act was enacted. 
Moreover, since 1990, even as US coal use more than doubled, coal-fired power plant emissions declined even further: 58% for mercury, 67% for nitrogen oxides, 70% for particulates, 85% for sulfur dioxide – and just as significantly for most of the other 80 pollutants that EPA intends to cover with its 946-pages of draconian proposed regulations.
It’s time to clear the political air – and scrub out some of the toxic disinformation that EPA and its allies have been emitting for months, under a multi-million-dollar “public education” campaign that EPA has orchestrated and funded, to frighten people into supporting its new rules. PR firms, religious and civil rights groups, environmental activists and college students are eagerly propagating the myths.
EPA’s “most wanted” outlaw is mercury. But for Americans this villain is as real as Freddy or Norman Bates. To turn power plant mercury emissions into a mass killer, EPA cherry-picked studies and data, and ignored any that didn’t fit its “slasher” film script. As my colleague Dr. Willie Soon and I pointed out in our Wall Street Journal and Investor's Business Daily articles, US power plants account for  just 0.5% of mercury emitted into North American’s air; the other 99.5% comes from natural and foreign sources.
Critics assailed our analysis, but the studies support us, not EPA – as is abundantly clear in Dr. Soon’s 85-page report, available at The report and studies it cites fully support our conclusion that America’s fish are safe to eat (in part because they contain selenium and are thus low in biologically available methylmercury, mercury’s more toxic cousin), and blood mercury levels for American women and children are already below FDA’s and other agencies’ safe levels.
Not only are EPA’s mercury claims fraudulent. They are scaring people away from eating fish, which are rich in essential fatty acids. In other words, EPA is actively harming people’s nutrition and health.
One of the more bizarre criticisms of our analysis contends that mercury released in forest fires “originates from coal-burning power plants,” which supposedly shower the toxin onto trees, which release it back into the atmosphere during arboreal conflagrations. In fact, mercury is as abundant in the earth’s crust as silver and selenium. It is absorbed by trees through their roots – and their leaves, which absorb those 0.5% (power plant) and 99.5% (other) atmospheric mercury components through their stomata.
Another bizarre criticism is that mercury isn’t the issue. The real problem is ultra-fine (2.5 micron) soot particles. So now the “power plant mercury is poisoning babies and children” campaign was just a sideshow! Talk about changing the subject. Now, suddenly, the alleged health benefits and lives saved would come from controlling soot particles. That claim is as bogus as the anti-mercury scare stories. 
Even EPA and NOAA data demonstrate that America’s air already meets EPA’s national standard, which is equivalent to disseminating an ounce of soot (about one and a quarter super-pulverized charcoal briquettes) across a volume of air one-half mile long, one-half mile wide and one story high. That’s less than you’re likely to get from sitting in front of a campfire, fireplace or wood-burning stove, inhaling airborne particulates, hydrocarbon gases and heavy metals. (Search the internet for Danish, EPA and Forest Service studies and advisories on these popular “organic” heating and cooking methods.)
Simply put, EPA’s proposed rules will impose huge costs – for few health or environmental benefits, beyond what we are already realizing through steadily declining emissions under existing regulations. 
Besides bringing mythical health benefits, EPA claims its lower national emission standards will simply put all states and utility companies “on the same level playing field.” This pious rhetoric may be fine for states that get little electricity from coal. However, for states (especially manufacturing states) that burn coal to generate 48-98% of their electricity, the new rules will be job, economy and revenue killers.
Energy analyst Roger Bezdek estimates that utilities will have to spend over $130 billion to retrofit older plants, under the measly three-year (2014) deadline that EPA is giving them, under a sweetheart court deal the agency brokered with radical environmental groups. On top of that, utilities will have to spend another $30 billion a year for operations, maintenance and extra fuel for the energy-intensive scrubbers and other equipment they will be forced to install.
Many companies simply cannot justify those huge costs for older power plants. Thus Dominion Power, American Electric Power and other utilities have announced that they will simply close dozens of generating units, representing tens of thousands of megawatts – enough to electrify tens of millions of homes and businesses. Illinois alone will lose nearly 3,500 MW of reliable, affordable, baseload electricity – with little but promises of intermittent pixie-dust wind turbine electricity to replace it.
Electricity costs are set to skyrocket, just as the President promised. Consumers can expect to pay at least 20% more in many states by 2014 or shortly thereafter. According to the Chicago Tribune, hard-pressed Illinois families and businesses will shell out 40-60% more! How’s that for an incentive to ramp up production and hire more workers? How’s that “hope and change” working out for families that had planned to fix the car, save for college and retirement, take a vacation, get that long-postponed surgery?
For a mid-sized hospital or factory that currently pays $500,000 annually for electricity (including peak-demand charges), those rate hikes could add $300,000 a year to its electricity bill. That’s equivalent to ten full-time entry-level employees … that now won't get hired, or will get laid off.
And it’s not just private businesses that will get hammered. As the Chi Trib notes, if the Chicago public school system wants to keep the lights on and computers running for two semesters, by 2014 it will get hit for an extra $2.7 million it doesn’t have, to pay for skyrocketing electricity costs.
Carry those costs through much of the US economy – especially the 26 states that get 48-98% of their electricity from coal-fired power plants – and we are talking about truly “fundamental transformations.” Millions will be laid off, millions more won't be hired, millions of jobs will be shipped overseas – and millions will endure brownouts, blackouts and increasing social unrest.
EPA generally refuses to consider the economic effects of its regulations, except to insist that even its most oppressive rules will generate benefits “far in excess” of any expected costs. Perhaps it will at least consider the obvious, unavoidable and monumental adverse physical and mental health impacts of its rate hikes and layoffs – on nutrition, healthcare, depression, family violence and civil rights progress.
The Environmental Protection Agency has always had a horse-blinder attitude about environmental policy. Under Administrator Lisa Jackson, it has become a truly rogue agency.
It’s time for Congress, state legislatures, attorneys-general, courts and We the People to bring some balance and common sense into the picture. Otherwise 9.1% unemployment – with Black and Hispanic unemployment even higher – will soon look like boom times.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ignoring Iran to Our Peril ... Alan Caruba

Ignoring Iran to Our Peril

By Alan Caruba

On Saturday, July 23, Daryush Rezaee-Nejad, an Iranian scientist involved with its nuclear program was assassinated in front of his home in Tehran. Two motorcyclists shot him in the head and throat. Being a nuclear scientist has become a very bad career choice in Iran.

According to Debka, an Israeli news agency that appears to have lines of communication into its intelligence community, “This was another in the series in the past year of mysterious attacks of top-flight scientists attached to the Iranian nuclear program.” What better way to slow down that program than (a) infect it with a computer virus called Stuxnet and (b) systematically kill the scientists involved with the development of a nuclear weapon?

It is not hard to say who may be involved in such an effort. The obvious parties would be the U.S. and Israel. Ali Larijani, Iran’s parliamentary speaker, was infuriated by the latest killing, calling it an “American-Zionist terrorist act” the demonstrated “the degree of American animosity.”

Earlier assassination attempts included Dr. Majid Shariani who was killed, but the attempt on Prof. Fereydoon Abbassi failed. He was appointed Vice President for Nuclear Affairs and Chairman of the Atomic Energy Organization. In a possible related effort, three Russian scientists known to be assisting Iran’s nuclear program died in an airplane crash.

For the record, American administrations going back to Jimmy Carter’s have no reason to feel anything other than animosity toward Iran, beginning with its breaking every diplomatic rule in the book by taking U.S. diplomats hostage in 1979 and holding them for 444 days.

The Iranians have been attacking U.S. military forces, starting with Marines stationed in Beirut as peacekeepers in 1983 right up through the conflict in Iraq, providing arms and aid to insurgents. By any standards you might apply, Iran has been at war with America for just over three decades.

In their push to acquire nuclear weapons parity, the Iranians have been relentless. In his book, “The Rise of Nuclear Iran: How Tehran Defies the West”, Dore Gold related the history of Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. Gold is the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and has held positions in Israel’s diplomatic corps.

Noting that Iran is an Islamic theocracy that so idealizes the cult of martyrdom it was the first to “systematically employ suicide bombing attacks in the present era”, Gold warned that it “could very well be immune to deterrence and the threat of full scale retaliation should it employ nuclear weapons.”

The notion that it is American intelligence operatives behind the assassinations and the Stuxnet virus ignores the greater likelihood that these have been Israeli efforts to slow Iran’s efforts, given that Iran has made no secret of its desire to destroy Israel.

There is another reason to question whether the U.S. is involved insofar as policies of the Obama administration going back to 2009 have led some observers to conclude that “President Barack Obama has decided to let Iran acquire nuclear arms.” That was the opinion of Anne Bayefsky in August 2009, writing in the National Review Online.

More recently, Fred Fleitz, a retired intelligence expert with a twenty-five year career at the CIA, DIA, State Department, and House Intelligence Committee staff, wrote a warning that was published in The Wall Street Journal, “America’s Intelligence Denial on Iran.”

“Mounting evidence over the last few years has convinced most experts that Iran has an active program to develop and construct nuclear weapons,” wrote Fleitz. “Amazingly, however, these experts do not include the leaders of the U.S. intelligence community.” Incredibly, U.S. intelligence officials are standing by their 2007 assessment that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and has not restarted it since.

This constitutes criminal negligence.

“One cannot underestimate the dangers posed to our country by a U.S. Intelligence community that is unable to provide timely and objective analysis of such major threats to U.S. national security—or to make appropriate adjustments when it is proven wrong,” wrote Fleitz.

It’s hardly a secret that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. One can easily access maps showing the sites where the program is known to be underway.

There’s a reason for the Stuxnet virus and for the assassinations. It is the fact that Iran, once armed with nuclear weapons, will use them against either Israel or America or both.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

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

Friday, July 29, 2011

Conservatives Must Take US Senate in 2012

Conservatives Must Take US Senate in 2012

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

 As the battle rages in the US Congress over raising the debt ceiling, cutting spending, and raising taxes, it is becoming increasingly clear that conservatives must take the Senate in November of 2012.

At this writing, all the news media is focused on the GOP plan working its way through the US House of Representatives.  The problem is, the GOP plan stands no chance, whatsoever, in the Senate.  At this writing, I have not seen the plan and, frankly, there is a very good chance that I won’t like it when I DO see it.

I draw that conclusion from the fact that many of the new conservatives sent to the House in the 2010 election don’t like the plan and reports of severe arm-twisting by the Speaker’s troops have been making their way into the news frequently.

Regardless of which “plan” actually gets to the President’s desk for his signature, there is a better than even chance, I, as a conservative, will not like it.

I, personally, want a plan with NO NEW TAXES or TAX INCREASES.  We take in enough money to pay our bills now without the added burden of new taxes further depressing the business community.

I want a plan with HUGE spending cuts – cuts that take effect immediately -- not way the heck down the road into the future. 

Look.  Projected spending cuts in the future have a way of simply disappearing between the time they are promised by our politicians and the time window for their implementation closes. We cannot count on future Congresspersons and Senators “remembering” to implement those spending cuts.  Believe me, they have proven to have extremely short memories when it comes to promises having to do with our money.

As far as raising the debt ceiling is concerned, I don’t want it increased at all.  In fact, I want it lowered.  In reality, though, the debt ceiling will have to be raised because our government, from the Oval Office to the Senate to the House of Representatives has borrowed so much money they have run that debt to an astronomical height.  Think about it.  As of today, the US OWES more money that any nation in the history of the world  -- and they still want to borrow more and more -- and simply blow most of it.

The bottom line is this:  There is no way to guarantee our federal government won’t spend us into bankruptcy – except through a “balanced budget amendment” to the constitution.  The only way such an amendment can be ratified by the people of the country is for it to pass both houses of the Congress and be sent to the states. Believe me when I tell you, there is no way the politicians are going to give up their checkbooks on the US treasury by passing a balanced budget amendment – because they know the people of the country would ratify it in a New York minute!   So don’t hold your breath waiting for it.

Oh, and while we are on the subject of raising the debt ceiling, allow me to point out that if President Obama is just dead set on being impeached -- then he should invoke the 14th Amendment and go ahead and raise the debt ceiling “unilaterally.”  I can assure you that Articles of Impeachment would be drafted before the ink was dry on Obama’s executive order. 

Allow me one other thought on Mr. Obama raising the debt ceiling by invoking the 14th Amendment.  Such an action by Obama has been likened to the Emancipation Proclamation.  It is good to note, I think, that the Emancipation Proclamation freed not a single slave. Raising the debt ceiling by executive order would, indeed, free Obama from his duties as President of the United States.   Of that you can be sure.

It is looking more and more as if the government is not able to come to an agreement and, most likely a short term “fix,” of some kind, will be implemented to insure the US does not default on its debt.  Seems to me that’s where we have been headed all along.

So. What do we do to insure that this does not happen again? 

We must have a conservative controlled federal government.  That means, at the very least, we must control both houses of Congress.  I hasten to add -- it must be a “veto-proof majority.”  Otherwise a president of the opposing party will simply whip out his “veto” stamp and veto everything reaching his desk, thereby bringing the legislative branch of the government to a screeching halt.  Conservatives will have gained nothing.

Things have changed in America.  People are tired, broke, worried, angry – and volatile.  It will take very little for that anger to break loose resulting in Americans surging into the streets bringing chaos and anarchy, especially to our great urban centers.

Limousine Liberals and Country Club Republicans are an endangered species these days. BOTH are so out of touch with the average American that they have no clue that their days in those cushy jobs in Washington are numbered.  

Conservatives continue to search for someone (a true conservative) to carry our banner into the White House in January of 2013.  It is an understatement to say we are “unhappy” with the candidates currently offering themselves for our perusal. 

Things have to change in America.  We must return to those virtues that made us the greatest nation on the planet.  There is simply no other viable choice for our national salvation.

It should be abundantly clear to all Americans that our flirtation with socialism, under the Obama Administration, has nearly destroyed our country. Another 4 years of that collectivist/communist ideology WILL most certainly end the grand experiment that is America.

Americans can return sanity to our government in 2O12 by purging our government of the fat-cat liberals and the weak-spined republicans, who just want to be liked, and replace them with men and women who will make the difficult choices that we all know MUST be made to save America for our children and our grand children. 

In the meantime, we can take comfort in a piece of scripture from the Bible, which seems as if was directed, not just to the people of the writer’s day, but directly to modern day Americans, as well.  It reads thusly:  “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Does anyone dispute our land NEEDS healing … desperately?

J. D. Longstreet 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

NAACP Goes After Dixie’s Battle Flag … Again

NAACP Goes After Dixie’s Battle Flag … Again
SC’s Gov. Haley Won’t Fall For It.
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

Wrong Crusade.  Wrong flag.  Wrong state. That about sums up the NAACP’s perennial crusade to have the Confederate Battle Flag removed from the Confederate Memorial on the state capitol grounds in Columbia, South Carolina.  That battle has been fought – and the NAACP lost. They will lose again.

Here’s why:

Every attack by the NAACP on the Confederate Battle Flag only intensifies the determination of my fellow “Sandlappers” to rally ‘round that flag and defend it from all comers.  They feel, and rightly so, the Battle Flag is being unjustly vilified by people, regardless of color, who do not know the history of the flag and/or don’t care about the Battle Flag’s glorious past -- as a battle field emblem -- and have no regard for our confederate great grandfathers who fought, bled, and died beneath it’s beautiful Saint Andrew’s Cross.  That gets the ire of my fellow Sandlappers stoked to a white-hot blaze and, like their ancient Celt ancestors, they ready themselves for war.

You need to know a couple of things.  First:  The Confederate Battle Flag was not the National Flag of the Confederacy.  No.  It was a battlefield emblem … only.  People who think of it as a national flag have, apparently, allowed Hollywood and the mainstream media to create for them an incorrect version of history. 

There were three national flags of the Confederacy.  NONE of them was the Confederate Battle Flag.  The Confederate Battle Flag never flew over slavery – whereas, the flag of the United States of America flew over slavery for 258 years.

The Confederate Battle Flag was moved from the dome of the SC State House in 2000 to the Confederate Memorial where it remains today.  It was a compromise made by the SC legislature.  It was a compromise they didn’t have to make and one I heartily disagreed with -- and still do.  I firmly believe had the question been put to the people of my home state, by way of referendum, that glorious old flag would still be snapping defiantly in the pine-scented breezes sweeping off the sandhills and red clay of the foot hills.

When the Battle Flag was removed to the Confederate Memorial, the NAACP demanded that it be removed from that location.  They apparently wanted the proud ensign banished from public view.

When the SC legislature said “this far and no farther!”  The NAACP began their boycott of the state, which continues today. Even today the National Collegiate Athletic Association continues to enforce a partial boycott of postseason sports events in South Carolina. 

The boycott backfired -- as it was bound to do from day one.  South Carolina’s tourism business has not suffered -- at all. In fact, there have been reports that tourism has grown into a 15 billion dollar industry under that boycott.

The people of South Carolina are a proud bunch.  They take pride in being singled out as the target of a boycott, especially when the reasons for the boycott are based on incorrect assumptions and incorrect, or revised, history.

South Carolina’s governor, Nikki Haley, herself the descendant of East Indians, is about as conservative as they come in one of the most conservative and most republican states in the US.  She is not about to become entangled in a matter that was settled eleven years ago.  In fact, simply by ignoring the NAACP’s continuous demands, concerning the removal of the Battle Flag, her favorable poll numbers will climb.  

In an article in the Post and Courier of Charleston,  “Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston, who is black, said the NAACP's comments are fuel for Haley to make a win politically. By standing by her position, the governor stands to be crowned "Miss Conservative," Ford said.

Haley and NAACP leaders need to focus on their work as public servants, Ford said. What's more, Ford said the public wouldn't be so persuaded by political antics if children were better educated about civics.

"The NAACP needs to concentrate on jobs, jobs, jobs and education, education, education and a better standard of living for African-Americans and minorities in this country," Ford said. "The flag is in the right place historically."

Ford played a leading role in brokering the deal to move the battle flag to the monument.”  (You may read the entire article HERE.)

I am the direct descendant of a whole slew of Confederate soldiers. I am immensely proud of that. I am a proud (and active) member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, an organization dedicated to preserving the history and good name of the Confederate soldier.  The Confederate Battle Flag is the center of the SCV logo.  Why?  Because those brave, gallant, Knights of the South served beneath her folds.  Thousands upon thousands made the ultimate sacrifice in her shadow.

The Confederate Battle Flag stands for defiance in the face of tyranny.  Even today, around the world, when tyranny is being confronted, somehow the Confederate Battle Flag seems to magically appear.

Generally speaking, we Americans have forgotten who we are. I contend that if we Americans knew our history, and knew how our government is supposed to work within the constraints of the constitution, America would not be in the mess we find ourselves in today. 

My confederate ancestors knew some things were worth fighting and dying for. Their constitutional rights, state’s rights, were being denied them by an overbearing US government.  When years and years of trying to reason with national leaders failed, and threats to secede and form their own nation, ruled by the voice of the people, also failed -- they had no choice but to separate themselves and go it alone.

The US realized that without the South, they had no money to run their own government, and Lincoln’s troops invaded my ancestor’s new country, the Confederate States of America. Between 600,000 and 700,000 Americans died as a result.  The South was ruined – more by the so-called “Reconstruction” than by the war itself.

The Brave men who served beneath the Confederate Battle Flag deserve every accolade bestowed upon them.  Denigrating their battlefield flag is a disgrace and a deep, deep, insult -- not just to their memory -- but to their descendants, as well.

J. D. Longstreet 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Obama is Boring Us to Death ... Alan Caruba

Obama is Boring Us to Death

By Alan Caruba

About halfway into his fifteen minute televised address on Monday evening, it occurred to me that Obama is literally boring Americans to death. He was elected to a great degree based on his eloquence and he delivers a speech well, but last night’s speech is the one we have been hearing since January and earlier.

I really don’t give a hoot about “millionaires and billionaires.” Heck, I want to be a millionaire!

“Corporate jets”? What’s that all about? Even Playboy’s Hugh Hefner once had a corporate jet. I would love to have a private jet if only to avoid having to go through airport security these days.

“Corporate taxes”? US corporations pay the highest tax rates of virtually every other nation. Yes, they look for loopholes. You would, too!

“Hedge fund managers”? I don’t know any. Are they doing something criminal? No. They are making bets on the economy. Better that than blowing the money in a casino.

Peggy Noonan, a former speech writer for Ronald Reagan, bestselling author, and now a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, last Saturday wrote “The president, if he is seriously trying to avert a debt crisis, should stay in his office, meet with members, and work the phones, all with a new humility, which would be well received. It is odd how he patronizes those with more experience and depth in national affairs.”

And then she said, “He should keep his face off TV. He should encourage, cajole, work things through, be serious, get a responsible deal, and then re-emerge with joy and the look of a winner...” Noonan concluded saying, “he should choose Strategic Silence. Really, recent presidents forget to shut up. They lose sight of how grating they are.”

Obama’s first year in office was distinguished by his being on television all the time, from The View to late night comedy shows. He loves the camera, loves the attention, and loves himself to the point of an unseemly, off-putting narcissism.

Instead of taking Noonan’s advice, he has become the National Mosquito, always buzzing around somewhere in the room.

Why was the Monday night speech necessary? Both Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, a Democrat, and John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, a Republican, have concluded that Obama had to be cut out of the discussions regarding the necessity to raise the debt ceiling because he was a hindrance to achieving any deal. To put it more bluntly, both concluded that Obama could not be trusted.

Reid and Boehner have essentially cut Obama out of the process. They have asserted the independence and the role of the legislative branch. Together they will send Obama a debt ceiling bill and tell him to take it or leave it. If he finds a reason to veto it, they will over-ride his veto and the rest of us will know that Obama’s agenda has always been the destruction of the nation.

Obama’s polling numbers reflect the growing realization of his arrogance and his incompetence. The advisors he chose and the programs he initiated have all proved to be failures and very costly ones at that. Unemployment rates today equal those of the Great Depression. Millions are on food stamps. Economic growth is an anemic one percent or so. Even people who don’t listen to presidential speeches or follow the news that closely know he is a loser.

There will always be at least 20% of voters who will support Obama no matter what happens. They are the true believers, the core that Democrats have always depended upon, unions, minorities, and federal employees.

The political pundits all said that the speech was aimed at the independents, always the most critical factor in recent national elections. The problem for Obama is that the next election isn’t until November 2012 and people tend to have very short memories. A lot of voters don’t make up their minds until they are in the booth. A year and a half from now is an eternity for these “undecideds.”

The speech was a bore, a repeat of all the poll-tested words and phrases he will repeat between now and November 2012. He’s become a windup doll, the White House Chatty Cathy.

It would be nice if we could ignore him and millions of American wish they could. The bad news is that he’s not going away for at least a year and a half. The good news is that he’s about to be neutered by both the Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

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

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Obama Is In Over His Head … Again!

Obama Is In Over His Head … Again!

Debt Default = Impeachment of Obama?

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

A few days ago my friend and fellow blogger Alan Caruba suggested the possible impeachment of President Obama.  Now the “I” word is being floated around the halls of Congress and on the social networks of the Internet.  Don’t expect to hear it anytime soon in the mainstream media, though. 

Earlier this week, Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa tweeted the following:  “STOP talking about default. The 1st dime of each $1 of revenue services debt. Obama would be impeached if he blocked debt payments. C C & B!”

Tim Scott, Republican Congressman from my home state of South Carolina, has made it clear that he believes should Obama attempt to raise the debt ceiling without congressional approval it would make him (Obama) subject to impeachment.

What this signifies, I believe, is the utter frustration of a nation, which is, for all intents and purposes, without leadership.

We have a President, dear reader, in over his head.   It is clear that Obama is out of his depth.  Somehow he has managed to splash from the shallow end into the deep end -- and he is foundering.

What we are seeing from the Oval Office today is exactly what we warned of before the election.  We told you then Obama was the least qualified candidate to be President we had ever seen in our lifetime.

But he can talk!  Heck, Yeah!  Why, he can “bloviate” with the best of ‘em!

Look.  Just because one can string words and phrases together and deliver them in an awe inspiring, even a motivational and inspirational manner, does not mean one is a leader.  No!  It means he is an orator!  Nothing more. Often we find great leaders who are terrible public speakers. 

The ability to deliver a rousing speech does not signify the speaker is a great intellect, either.  It is a common mistake to believe that every great orator is an uncommonly smart person.

However, a shrewd speaker can use his/her gift to motivate an audience to do his/her bidding.  We used to call those people:  “Snake Oil Salesmen.”  In my opinion, back in 2008, Americans bought a hell of a lot of snake oil!  Now we are REALLY paying for it!

Obama has a track record, throughout his presidency, of handing off a problem, when the going gets tough, and then taking credit when the problem is solved, one way or the other.  It would appear that is exactly what he has done on the debt ceiling and spending cut problem.  This time, however, it seems to be backfiring. 

Obama, never out of campaign mode, and finding his poll numbers dropping like a stone, has suddenly found that not being a part of the problem solving operations now underway on the debt ceiling, is scrambling to get himself before the public and offer some flowery oration about the importance of the Congress getting a bill to him that he can sign, thus solving the problem, is activating his propaganda legions in the mainstream media and taking to the airwaves, in near panic, hoping to save his chances at a second term as President.  Be prepared to see a lot of that in the next few days.

I happen to agree with conservative legislators who claim there will be no default -- unless Obama wants there to be a default.  From the White House’s most recent moves, it appears the Obama team has finally realized the error of that line of thinking and are now, themselves, frightened that the government might, indeed, stumble into a real default and -- ultimately the American people will hold Obama responsible.

That won’t do, at all, for a man who covets a second term as US President.

I expect a bill will soon be on the President’s desk awaiting his signature.  In all likelihood it will be a bill he will not like but will avoid, at least temporarily, a default.  Will he sign it?  Truthfully?  I haven’t a clue WHAT this President might do.

J. D. Longstreet

Monday, July 25, 2011

Conservative Government America’s Only Hope

Conservative Government America’s Only Hope

Hold The House. Take back the Senate and the White House

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

If you like what’s going on in Washington, DC these days, you’re going to love the next 16 months, or so.

What we are seeing are the differences between the two major political parties in America laid bare for all to see.  The factions within each party are also coming to the fore, all with bared fangs.

Politics in America is not some kid’s game.  This IS a blood sport.  It is as old as the country itself.

Americans have revolted twice.  Once against Great Britain.  The second was the “War for Southern Independence,” commonly referred to as the “Civil War.”  We didn’t LIKE either.  Had we been able to settle our differences, in both cases, in the nation’s government neither war would have happened.  Americans are deeply aware of that fact.

So, we fight like cats and dogs in the houses of our government with words and phrases – along, of course, with strutting and preening before the cameras and microphones of what passes for the news media in this country -- and yes, even the world press.  

Understand, dear reader, we do this rather than go at each other as we did at, oh, say Manassas, Antietam, Shiloh, Gettysburg and other well known fields that ran with American blood -- simply because we could not settle our dispute in the nation’s government.

It is clear to all that an extremely great struggle is going on in Washington today.  The battle over the debt ceiling and spending cuts is only a sideshow.  The fight is over whether America will continue on the socialist path, which is destroying the nation, and impoverishing its people, or, will America return to its rightful place as a constitutional “representative republic” as the founders of the nation intended. 

The bottom line is this:  America either lives or dies as a result of the death struggle going on in Washington today.  Either freedom dies – or socialism dies.  They cannot co-exist.  One must terminate the other.  No quarter can be allowed.

For freedom to have even a chance at survival in America, we must have a conservative government.

It is clear what socialism can and will do -- and HAS already done -- to this country.  There should no longer be any doubt.  It must be defeated.

Conservatives need to target the US Senate in the 2012 elections.  Democrats will have some 23 seats up for reelection.  Conservatives must see that those seats go to conservative candidates.

At the same time, conservatives must maintain control of the US House of Representatives AND replace a goodly portion of the so-called “establishment” Republicans with rock solid conservative republicans.  It is plain to see that today’s House does not have the spine it needs to buck the socialist agenda of the democrats.

And Obama MUST GO!   He has been the most divisive president since Lincoln.  The man is a socialist, plain and simple.  He and his socialist agenda have driven America so far down the path to Third-World status that it will take us at least a generation to climb back to where we were in 2008.

Do not underestimate Obama’s chances to win in 2012.  With his campaign organization, his money, his shock troops (The Labor Unions), his propaganda machine (The Mainstream Media) and every minority group in America supporting him, he will be a formidable candidate -- no matter what the polls say about his popularity.

Taking America back from the socialists will be a humongous task.  But the alternative is unthinkable. 

Obama’s disengagement of America from its leadership role in the world has lead to nothing but chaos.  The Mediterranean states, and a goodly portion of the European states, are in various states of division and chaos.   And it will only get worse until America shows the leadership the world is waiting for and counting on.

It will not come as long as Obama is in the Oval Office.  In fact, the mess America, herself, is in will not be resolved as long as Obama remains President of the USA.

So.  We have a three-step solution to take back America from the socialists.  Replace “establishment republicans” with conservative republicans in the US House, replace 23 democrat senators with conservative senators in the US Senate – and – toss Obama and his minions out of the Oval Office and replace HIM with a conservative. 

Like any plan that looks good on paper it is immensely more difficult to implement. But – it IS the solution.

Conservatives have less than a year and a half to get this done. Hadn’t we ought to be about it?

J. D. Longstreet

Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's Just a Heat Wave ... Alan Caruba

It's Just a Heat Wave

By Alan Caruba

The most surprising thing about the current heat wave affecting much of the United States is that no global warming charlatan is claiming that it is the result of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Since the late 1980s, Americans were assailed with the global warming hoax until, in November 2009, the release of emails between the trolls ginning up false “climate models” were exposed.

These days the term “climate change” is used as a substitute for “global warming”, but fewer of us are fooled by this. Al Gore is planning a last-ditch effort in September to revive the hoax, but that will fail.

Even those in the mainstream media are too embarrassed to report the absurd notion that CO2, a trace gas in the Earth’s atmosphere (0.0380%) vital to all vegetation on the planet has anything to do with climate cycles. A new cooling cycle that kicked in around 1998 is the predictable result of less solar activity.

This is not to say it’s not hot. Heat waves are as common to summer months as blizzards are to winter ones. For those who possess the memory of fungus, there was a heat wave that engulfed the East Coast from July 4 through 9th in 2010. Weather records reflect that heat waves are a natural event, often following or preceding record setting cold waves.

While Al Gore and the last holdouts of the global warming hoax continue to tell us that CO2 emissions (the use of fossil fuels for energy to produce electricity, drive anywhere, and manufacture anything) will destroy the world, the world’s most sophisticated particle study laboratory, CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, will soon announce a finding that will blow the CO2 nonsense to bits.

Dennis T. Avery of the Hudson Institute, reports CERN has demonstrated “that more cosmic rays do, indeed, create more clouds in the earth’s atmosphere.” Cosmic rays are subatomic particles from outer space. More clouds means that less of the sun’s warmth reaches the Earth’s surface.

This completely overturns the torrent of lies that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been churning out for decades. The IPCC’s scientists went into full panic mood as a new cooling cycle asserted itself in 1998.

As Avery points out, the IPCC scientists had deliberately ignored “the Medieval Warming (950-1200 AD), the Roman Warming (200 BC-600BC) or the big Holocene Warmings centered on 6,000 and 8,000 BC.” There was also a Little Ice Age from 1300 to 1850 to account for as well.

While the global warming crowd has been telling everyone that they must stop burning coal, using oil or natural gas, and “reduce our carbon footprint”, a recent volcanic eruption in Iceland, in just four days, negated every government-mandated effort to control or reduce CO2 emissions worldwide for the past five years! When Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991, it put so much smoke and other gases in the atmosphere that it cooled the Earth’s temperatures for a few years until they dissipated.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency is frantically issuing new rules and regulations to reduce the CO2 emissions from utilities and manufacturing facilities before the public realizes that its actual goal is to kill the U.S. economy by increasing the cost of electricity and everything else. It is insanely trying to shut down the mining of coal, while other elements of the Obama regime are trying to stop any drilling for oil.

Unable to scare everyone with the global warming hoax, new horrors are being invented, from ocean acidification to the claim that the atmosphere is being overloaded with nitrogen. Relax, there’s four times more nitrogen in the atmosphere than oxygen and it’s no big deal.

The Greens think you’re stupid

Americans need to be aware that major environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth are desperate to maintain the fictions required to deprive the U.S. of the energy it needs to function.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg just gave $50 million to the Sierra Club to support its “Beyond Coal” campaign. Bloomberg actually thinks it’s a good thing the Sierra Club has managed to stop 150 coal-burning plants from being built. Meanwhile, during the current heat wave, providers of electricity are worrying whether they can continue to meet the increased demand for it. Coal provides 50% of all the electricity we use in America.

How stupid or evil do you have to be to stop building the plants that provide electricity at a time when the population and the demand for it is rising? Must America become a third world nation with rolling blackouts and brownouts?

Friends of the Earth are in a panic that Republicans might actually get the U.S. government to cut back on the insane spending that has put the nation on the edge of sovereign default. Lately they’re claiming that Majority Leader, Eric Candor (R-VA) “is threatening to sink the American economy and undermine environmental protections so that his wealthy friends, including big oil corporations, can keep sitting on their cushions.”

That’s the same Big Oil that hasn’t been able to build a single new refinery in the U.S. since the 1970s. That’s the same Big Oil that has seen ten oil rigs leave the Gulf of Mexico since the May 2010 Obama “moratorium” for drilling sites in Egypt, Congo, French Guiana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Brazil. They took a lot of jobs and revenue with them,

If you wanted to destroy America, all you have to do is make it impossible to access several century’s worth of its own huge reserves of coal and the billions of barrels of oil inland and offshore that would, indeed, make America more energy independent.

The next time anyone speaks about “sustainability”, they are talking about turning out the lights and emptying the highways of America. The next time anyone talks about “the environment”, they mean the same thing.

So, remember, it’s just a heat wave. It will end just like all the others and, in a few months, we will all be talking about the blizzards.

© Alan Caruba, 2011
 Alan Caruba's commentaries are posted daily at "Warning Signs" his popular blog and thereafter on dozens of other websites and blogs. If you love to read, visit his monthly report on new books at Bookviews. To visit his Facebook page, click here For information on his professional skills, is the place to visit.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The UN’s climate of desperation

The UN’s climate of desperation
Scandals, deceit, stable temperatures and real problems minimize global concern about climate
David Rothbard & Craig Rucker

As the UN wrapped up its recent climate conference in Bonn, Germany, talks organizer Christiana Figueres proclaimed that climate change is the “the most important negotiation the world has ever faced.”  Faced with real problems – financial meltdowns, unemployment, war and genuine human suffering – the world no longer agrees.
It’s a good thing human productivity doesn’t threaten the global thermostat the way the UN would have us believe. If it were, we’d be cooked. Countries rich and poor are backing away from commitments they made years ago during rosier economic times, before the public became aware of Climategate, renewable energy costs and genuine debate.
The Kyoto Protocol, the only binding international agreement signed since the global warming scare began, expires after 2012. Canada, Russia and Japan have publicly declared they will not renew; China and the United States never signed it; and the US has made it plain it is not about to. And poor countries are becoming less enamored about signing on, as they realize hard economic times mean there will be little climate “mitigation” and “restitution” money coming their way from (formerly) rich countries.
Even die-hard warmists increasingly recognize that bureaucratic solutions hatched at these conferences are rife with waste, fraud and abuse. They may enrich a few, at the expense of everyone else, especially the poor. But they are powerless to control Earth’s climate.
In March, German investigators reported that 850 million Euros disappeared, when shady companies swarmed into carbon trading, emissions and energy businesses. Criminal enterprises raked in tens of millions, fended off regulators with delaying tactics, and then announced bankruptcy or vanished. An Italian sting operation resulted in arrests of wind farm developers who billed the country for subsidies, but never produced a kilowatt of electricity.
London’s liberal Guardian newspaper was aghast to learn that the World Bank’s Biocarbon Fund had arranged to pay European “entrepreneurs” $1 million to establish a system under which 60,000 Kenyans would restrict themselves to farming under rigidly controlled, inefficient, “sustainable” techniques. For that they will receive $1.4 million over 20 years.
That’s right, the beneficent World Bank will enrich more Europeans, so that 60,000 Kenyans can receive $23.83 apiece annually for 20 years of drudgery, poverty and misery: a princely $1.19 a year!
Even the European Union finally understands how little energy deprivation and bureaucratic dictates affect the climate. “It is not enough for the EU to simply sign up for another commitment period,” EU climate representative Jurgen Lefevere admitted. “We only represent 11% of global emissions.” 
Burning fossil fuels contributes only a fraction of total annual atmospheric carbon dioxide buildup, and the EU contributes just 11% of that. The EU’s commitment to slashing CO2 emissions by 20% invites corruption, has no control over Chinese or Indian emissions, and has no effect on the climate.   
The biggest divide evident in Bonn was between the USA and large emerging economies. Even Obama administration officials who are thoroughly committed to manmade global warming catastrophe claims finally recognize the fraud problem. In Bonn the US insisted that all countries subject their emission reduction claims to verification.
However, China will accept only an agreement that lacks verification – and thereby guarantees the right to cheat. Meanwhile, the Chinese are happy to be “the world’s leader” in manufacturing wind turbines – 95% which they gladly sell to guilt-ridden western countries, while they build a new coal-fired power plant every week.
China and other nations support the notion that prosperous countries owe the world restitution for the “sin” of engaging in the Industrial Revolution and becoming prosperous. We can only hope some nation’s representative will have the courage to remind China and its fellow climate travelers that the West never forced them to spend fifty years mired in Communism, bureaucracy and stagnation.  
While it is encouraging that the global warming camp no longer has things entirely its own way, celebration would be premature. For all the gnashing of teeth and complaining about corporate influence we hear from global warming bureaucrats and campaigners, the truth is that today the warmists are the establishment.
Billions are being redistributed to researchers, developing nations, carbon speculators, alternative energy investors and other carbon profiteers – who would like to turn billions into trillions. Pity the poor carbon traders whose markets expire with Kyoto. Not all have their villa in the sun yet.
But rest assured, they will do whatever is necessary to get their villas. Big Warming will not surrender its hold on Western taxpayers without a fight.
The warmist camp plans to retake the initiative at the December UN conference in Durban, South Africa. It intends to turn back the clock to the time when the media would attribute any weather or nature event to global warming, without question or critical examination. Al Gore’s recent Rolling Stone diatribe essentially calls on the media to censure climate disaster skeptics and adopt a one-sided manmade warming narrative.
The New York Times may go along, but the huge and growing alternative media will not. This week’s Washington, DC Heartland Institute international conference of climate alarm skeptics dramatically reinforced the lack of evidence for manmade Armageddon, and the disastrous consequences for poor and industrialized nations alike of staying the current UN course.
Many believe the last-minute appearance by dozens of world leaders crippled the Copenhagen climate conference. But with the big names absent from Cancun and now Bonn, the UN wants them back.
Ms. Figueres capped the Bonn conference with a call for “high-level political attention.” If she succeeds, just imagine the mischief a gathering of Heads of State, foreign ministers, bureaucrats, researchers, green campaigners and carbon profiteers can do at an African beach resort.
Then imagine how nearly impossible it will be to repair the harm they inflict. Action must be taken now to avert such a result.
David Rothbard is president of the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, a Washington, DC-based policy group that works on issues of environment and development. Craig Rucker is CFACT’s executive director.

Obama is Determined to Destroy America ... Alan Caruba


Obama is Determined to Destroy America

By Alan Caruba

It is astonishing that Barack Obama seemingly learned nothing from the 2010 national elections in which the Republicans regained control of the House with a net total of 63 seats. For the Democrats it represented the greatest loss in the House midterm election since 1938, which occurred nearly ten years into the Great Depression.

It is the House that determines the spending and borrowing to maintain the nation, though the President traditionally sends a budget. Obama did not. Indeed, as Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has said, Obama has never put anything on paper. Negotiating Obama's demands have changed week to week and now day to day.

What has happened to “No drama Obama”? The present impasse, topped by an angry press conference late Friday afternoon is entirely of his making. Neither the White House, nor the Democrats in Congress have put forth any plans, let alone any numbers, other than to propose tax increases, now euphemistically called “revenue” increases.

The 2010 Democrat losses in the House are largely attributed to the passage of Obamacare, a piece of legislation that was not only widely protested, but that led to the Tea Party movement and new members of the House representing its common sense agenda. The House subsequently voted to repeal Obamacare and it is being contested in the courts by 26 States.

What Americans have witnessed over the first two years of his term is Obama’s continual blaming of all problems on either his predecessor or the Republicans in Congress. What they are witnessing is the duplicity of a man who appears incapable of telling the truth from day to day.

The nation is in for a week of “high drama”, all of which could have been avoided had Obama agreed to any of the proposals put foreword by Republicans from Paul Ryan to members of the so-called “gang of six.” In the Democrat controlled Senate there has been nothing but obstruction.

One senses that this is exactly what Obama wants. While saying he does not want the U.S. to default on its obligations, what better way to destroy the nation than to destroy its “full faith and credit” regarding its debts?

The emphasis the Founding Fathers put on the necessity to meet the nation’s debts can be found in Article VI of the Constitution. “All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.”

Article I, section 7, states “All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.”

There is no mystery as to how the U.S. can recover from the present recession. Government spending must be reduced. Tax rates must be reduced for corporations and the middle class to encourage investment, growth and more employment. Entitlement programs will have to be revised to ensure they can meet their obligations. They represent sixty percent of all government expenditures.

A government that must borrow forty cents of every dollar to pay its debts and whose current debt of $14 trillion equals the entire annual gross domestic product of the nation is endangering the present and future economy for present and future generations of Americans.

At this writing, it looks as if Obama intends to deliberately implode the nation’s ability to meet its obligations and he has used the most raw fear tactics to achieve his goal, falsely claiming that Social Security checks would not be sent, that the military would not be paid.

If ever a President was begging for impeachment the time for such action has arrived. The evidence that he was ineligible to run for office and to hold it is beyond question, if only because he was not a “natural born” American whose both parents were citizens. His father was a citizen of Kenya.

Raise the debt ceiling. Impeach Obama. America must be set free. What he is attempting to bring about is the worst “change” imaginable in the nation’s history.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

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

Friday, July 22, 2011

Beware of Democrat Spending Cuts Promises

Beware of Democrat Spending Cuts Promises

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet


We warned recently that we feared the republicans would cave and allow tax increases and even new taxes in any deal made with the democrats to increase the US debt ceiling.  With every day that passes it looks more and more as if that not so difficult piece of prophecy will come true.

The GOP just never learns.  Anyone with the IQ of a gnat already knows the democrats will lie, “cross their hearts and hope to die,” and proclaim loudly and bombastically that YES! …  they WILL CUT SPENDING, if only those mean ole republicans would just allow them those teeny-weenie little tax increases.  Heck, they do it time and time again -- and the GOP comes off as a “collective” (One of Obama’s favorite visions!) of suckers, and ignoramuses! 

And yet we are hearing reports in the media that that is exactly what they are considering as we write.

And why not?  The dems have been doing this successfully for decades and getting away with it because there have been no republicans with the guts, the spine, the intestinal fortitude to plant the flag and say … not just “NO” – but “Hell NO!”

Like Lucy snatching the football away from Charlie Brown every football season, the GOP falls for it every cussed time!

The dems still owe the country the spending cuts they promised President Ronald Reagan. Remember?  The deal was this:  The dems promised three dollars in spending cuts for every dollar of tax increases.  Well, we got the tax increase, but we are still waiting for the spending cuts! 

Anytime the democrats offer spending cuts, drag out the “BS meter” because it is going to get deep, very deep, indeed. 

Unless forced to cut spending the democrats will never do it.  Like a drug addict who promises time after time, after time, that he/she is going to stop shooting up, they continue their destructive behavior until they drag everyone who loves them down into the deepest depths of hell itself.  The dems are continuing their destructive behavior, like the addict. And, again like the addict, eventually they will, in fact they HAVE, all but destroyed our entire country.

Democrats and spending cuts are like oil and water.  They simply do not mix.  See, they BELIEVE, religiously, in BIG GOVERNMENT.  To grow government, it takes MONEY.  Since the government earns no money of its own, it has to take it from the citizens, whether private or corporate.  Money procured by way of taxes makes for another aphrodisiac for democrats… power.   The bottom line, in fact, is the whole democratic party’s insistence on taxes and more taxes and taxes from ever more diverse sources and for an ever increasing host of government entities, agencies, programs, etc, etc, can be defined as their near fanatical lust for control and power.

The democrats, the Obama Administration, and the mainstream media (Well, all three, really, fall under the heading of “The Obama Administration.”) are frightening the American citizen to bring pressure to bear on republicans to sign on to their tax increases in order to avoid the “crisis” of defaulting on the nation’s debt.

Look. Defaulting will be a conscious decision by the current administration -- if it comes to that.  I bet the sun will rise in the east the morning after a default just as it has since creation. 

To avoid a default, even if no deal has been agreed to, simply pay the interest on the debt -- and there will be no “crisis of confidence” coming from those countries that loan the US money.

America is at the most important decision point of its existence.  We must decide who we are, who we intend to be.  We have been dabbling at socialism long enough.  Look around and you can see what just “dabbling” in socialism will do to a country.  Our President seems intent on driving America deeper into the hellhole that is full-fledged socialism. 

Socialism is, as Winston Churchill once said:  “Making everyone suffer equally.”  America is edging closer and closer to that scenario everyday as Obama and his cohort of democrats shoves us deeper and deeper into third-world status.

The republicans should refuse to sign onto any deal that includes tax increases or new taxes … period.  If that means the debt ceiling will not be raised, then so be it.

J. D. Longstreet

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Don't Care If You're Fat ... Alan Caruba


I Don't Care If You're Fat

By Alan Caruba

I don’t care if you’re fat. I don’t care if your kids are fat. It’s none of my business. If you want to lose some weight, be my guest. Or, like Michelle Obama, if you just want to have a juicy hamburger, some fries, and a chocolate shake, that’s fine, too. Who wants to spend their life eating broccoli and bean sprouts?

My late Mother, Rebecca, taught a generation the joys of haute cuisine in the adult schools of my hometown and nearby communities. Thousands of soldiers who had fought in Europe had returned from the war with a taste of French and Italian cuisine, and Mother was the master of both, including just about any other you could name. She had an encyclopedic knowledge of wines and believed no meal was complete without them.

Mother became the first woman to serve on the board of directors of the Sommelier Society of America in recognition of her encyclopedic knowledge of wines and spirits, and was honored in 1984 for her service to the organization. She was also the first woman to be accepted in both the British and French Sommelier Societies. She received numerous awards and was the first American woman to receive the Agricultural Medal of the Comite National des Vins de France.

Mother was not fat. In her senior years—she lived to age 98—I often feared that a strong breeze might whisk her away. Dad, who lived to age 93, developed the typical older man’s paunch, but never lacked for energy.

I got to thinking about this when I read an article about Dr. David Ludwig’s opinion piece in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Ludwig is a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. He and a co-author, Lindsey Murtagh, a lawyer and researcher at the Harvard’s School, put forth the notion that the state intervention might be a good thing to take obese children away from their parents.

The next logical step is to begin rounding up obese—fat—people and putting them in concentration camps where they will be forced to lose weight thanks to a restrictive diet and a regimen of labor. When they achieve the approved body mass index (BMI) they might then be released back into society. One can imagine caravans of buses lined up outside the camps to take the formerly fat people and kids back home.

This is going to work an special hardship on black people and Hispanics because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in studies conducted from 2006 to 2008, “Blacks had 51% higher prevalence of obesity and Hispanics had 21% higher obesity prevalence compared with whites.”

All this snooping into people’s lives and lifestyles is justified by the CDC because being fat is “a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.”

I have a friend who has diabetes and, for as long as I have known him, has always been a big, beefy guy. In recent years he has given up smoking, endeavors to exercise more, and one of our constant topics of conversation is—you guessed it—FOOD. We enjoy comparing notes.

It is impossible to get through a single day in America without constantly being implored to eat something, whether at home, a restaurant, or fast-food franchise. I haven’t kept score, but it often seems to me that much of the advertising on television that I see is devoted to food in some fashion, when not insisting that you should buy gold, get a reverse mortgage, or join some class action law suit against a pharmaceutical company.

Whole channels on cable television are devoted 24/7 to food. Every morning TV show has food segments and, as far back as I can recall, always did. Articles, if not entire sections of newspapers and magazines, are devoted to food. As a book reviewer for the past fifty years, I have seen more cookbooks and diet books than anyone should be expected to read.

Here’s how to lose weight. Eat smaller portions. If you're still hungry, have a healthy snack during the day.

There are entire subsets of food obsessions from vegan to foods grown “organically” which is to say without chemical fertilizers to enhance crop yield, herbicides to restrict weeds that compete with crops, and pesticides to knock down the many insect predators that destroy crops. It is estimated that rodent infestations destroy a third of all food grown around the world every year.

Give me food that comes from a modern farm anytime because those e-coli outbreaks always seem to track back to some organic farm.

It’s purely an observation of mine, but it seems to me that a lot of fat people come from families that have a history of being fat. To put it another way, they have a genetic disposition to being large. Others like myself enjoy “comfort foods.” And some people are just pigs.

I don’t care. It is none of my business if you’re fat. It is surely not the government’s business if you’re fat. This is America, the home of the brave and the free…and a lot of fat people, most of whom are not morbidly obese, and should be left alone.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

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