Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Threat of a Global Financial Collapse ... Alan Caruba

The Threat of a Global Financial Collapse

By Alan Caruba

At present, the amount of the annual Gross Domestic Product, $14 trillion—the value of all the goods and services that generate income—is exceeded by the nation’s debts.

America is presently $15 trillion in debt and it grows daily.

In a November 21 Wall Street Journal interview, Erskine Bowles of the presidential advisory commission on the nation’s debt, said “If you take 100% of the revenue that came into the country last year, every single dime of it was consumed by our mandatory spending and interest on the debt.”

“Mandatory spending in English is basically the entitlement programs, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. That means that every single dollar we spent last year on national defense, homeland security, education, infrastructure, high-value added research—every single dollar was borrowed, and half of it was borrowed from foreign country.”

“That’s a formula for failure in anybody’s book.”

In truth, we are looking at a coming global financial collapse with experts from Credit Suisse to the Deutche Bank, the CEO of General Motors to Warren Buffett, all in agreement that the question is not if, but when.

It will come at a time when there is little, if any, real leadership to be found either in the U.S. or Europe, the most spendthrift of nations facing this crisis.

Thomas Jefferson, one of the most brilliant of our Founding Fathers, said “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” He also said that “It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes.”

Another Founding Father, James Madison, warned Americans against the concentration of power saying, “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation.”

Over the years, more and more power has been concentrated in the federal government and it requires the dismantlement and elimination of several of its components. Americans need to say no to the Departments of Education, Energy, along with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. These are all functions previously addressed by the states.

You will not find any of these activities specified in the Constitution. Consider when they came into being:

Education was established in 1953, originally as the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In 1979, it was subdivided into Education and Health and Human Services.

The Department of Housing and Urban Affairs was created in 1965.

The Department of Energy was created in 1977.

Thus, between 1953 and 1979, a period of 26 years, the federal government took control of key factors of the nation’s affairs, most if not all are dealt with far better at the state and local level.

To these must be added Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae, two government “entities” responsible for the housing mortgage crisis and currently asking Congress for billions more to cover their losses.

The Tenth Amendment of the Constitution specifically says that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it by the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

Congress is filled with men and women for whom their position has become a sinecure as they are elected and reelected, some for decades But Congress has proved itself unwilling to govern the financial affairs of the nation. A recent vote in the House rejecting a proposed balanced budget amendment reflects this.

In 2012, the voters will have the opportunity to reverse this failure, electing men and women who will vote for term limits, a balanced budget amendment, and other necessary changes.

We have witnessed what happens when Americans lose sight of the vision of our Founding Fathers and the Constitution they bequeathed to posterity.

We are that posterity.

The present generations of Americans are obligated to save the nation or see it fail.

© 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, November 29, 2011

There Really Were Good Old Days

There Really Were Good Old Days
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

An old friend and I were conversing recently and reminiscing about the world we grew up in as opposed to the world we actually live in today. It is something “old-timers” like us have been doing since the dawn of time.

We were comparing the price of gasoline where he lives as opposed to the price for the same gasoline here, where I live, on the edge of a coastal resort area.

We live in neighboring states, but here in NC we have one of the highest state gasoline taxes in the United States.  Add to that the proximity of that resort area and I, unfortunately, fall into one of those pricing zones set up for the tourist trade. As a result, the price for gasoline is consistently higher where I live than where he lives… substantially higher.  

Of course, we began comparing the price of gasoline today to what we paid for it as teen-agers.  There is no comparison.  Regular gasoline was 13 cents a gallon and high test was 15 cents per gallon.  Really expensive gas was 17 cents a gallon for regular and 19 cents a gallon for high test – and that was before gas wars.  Then it was not unheard of to pay 11 and 12 cents for a gallon of regular gasoline. 

When you went out to purchase a car, you didn’t buy a car that got the best gas mileage – you bought a car you actually wanted!  They had lots of steel and lots of chrome.  Cars of that age had character unlike these generic models that are so similar you can’t tell who made the cussed thing without getting a good look at the trademark on the hood or trunk lid. 

We both remembered the early gas pumps.  They had five-gallon glass containers on top.  There were manually operated.  They had no electric pumps inside them.  YOU pumped five gallons of gas from the underground tanks up into that glass container atop the pump with a pump handle.  Then you placed the nozzle of the hose into your gas tank and gravity transported the gas from the glass container to the tank of your car.  You could only pump five gallons at a time. If you wanted more, that meant you had to repeat the process. 

It was quite an experience when it was raining or sleeting – or worse. A dollar’s worth of gasoline would last you all week!

A teenager on a date could have a ball on five dollars -- and still have money in his pocket when he got home.

A hamburger was 15 cents and a coke was a five to seven cents, depending upon whether we were in North Carolina or South Carolina.  Since we lived right on the border we were then, and remain today, as much at home in one state as the other.

NOBODY, in their wildest dreams, ever thought gasoline would sell for three to four dollars, and more, per gallon.  NOBODY.  It was inconceivable … period.  This was America and such things just did not happen.

But it did happen -- all because we were not paying attention.  We trusted our government to do what was right for America… not what was politically correct.  Suddenly there was something called the Environmental Protection Agency, and something else called the Department of Energy -- and by that time -- we were well and truly had! We were then, and we are now, sitting on a sea of oil.  Yet, our government will not allow us to knock holes in the dirt and suck it out.

We have oil containing rock and oil containing sand and we have vast deposits of oil just off our coasts -- in our own territorial waters.  It’s just sitting there while we pay through the nose for oil we have to purchase from countries that hate us even after we debase ourselves just for the privilege of buying their oil

What kind of government does that to its people?  Answer:  The kind of government we have in Washington, DC.

See, back in the good ole days, we made a terrible mistake.  We trusted our government.  Now that we KNOW better -- it is too late.

Or is it?

If, as some are suggesting, we are about to have a global financial collapse, we’ll get a “do over.”  It won’t be pretty and it is going to hurt like the dickens, but if there is a bright side to an economic apocalypse, it may be that we will get a chance to clean our government of the socialists, Marxists, progressives, and left-wing liberals that spent us into this mess. 

Some say the Good Ole Days were not all that good.  Having lived in both I can tell you the Good Ole Days beat the heck out of the mess we live in today!

J. D. Longstreet

Monday, November 28, 2011

Handling Bullies A Lost Art

Handling Bullies A Lost Art

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

It is utterly baffling to a man of my generation to read, see, and hear stories about modern youngsters unable to handle bullies. 

Have we, as a nation, become so politically correct that we will not stand up for ourselves against a bully?  Apparently we have -- and it is deeply distressing.  It denotes a nation of wimps.

Look.  I was a skinny, scrawny, little kid when I was a lad.  That made me the target of a number of bullies.  However, the confrontations between the aforementioned bullies and myself were learning experiences that have served me well over my lifetime -- right up to today.

My father read me the riot act the very first time I came home with traces of tears on my face.  When I replied to his questions that some other kid had been “picking on me,” my father sat me down and laid it out for me.  It was a “learning lesson” sometimes referred to as a “life lesson.”  The bottom line was this:  Never, ever, allow a bully to get the upper hand. Do what you have to do to protect yourself and then take the fight to him.  He told me bluntly:  “Never start a fight, but when you’re in one -- make damn sure you win.”

From that day onward, I never backed down from a bully, whether in the educational system, in the US Army, on the job, or anywhere else. 

I am no braver than the average guy.  I simply have a set of values I live by and I have a set of clearly delineated behavioral lines over which I do not cross -- and no one else is allowed to cross.

The world has always had bullies and it always will.  That is a given.  If a man is ever to have self-respect he absolutely must, I repeat, MUST stand up for himself, no matter the circumstances and no matter how badly he is outnumbered.

I don’t understand the reluctance of people today to confront bullies.  I just don’t.  It makes no sense. Without that confrontation the bully is emboldened to continue his reign of terror – and -- his supplicants will never be free to live without the bully’s threat looming over them like a black cloud.

For the most part, bullies are scared, insecure, people. Their “self-worth” is derived from the fear of their victims. Without victims they are nothing, they are totally worthless – and they know it.

Without victims, who are willing to be victims, bullies could not exist.  

Bullying is defined by the American Psychological Association as an aggressive behavior that is intended to cause distress or harm, and that involves an imbalance of power or strength between the aggressor and the victim. (SOURCE)

Anyone can be a target for a bully. Becoming a victim and remaining a victim are two different things.  Don’t allow yourself to be a victim. 

Bullies come in all sizes, shapes, and genders.  There are even bully nations.  History has taught us than when the world has a bully nation on the rampage, that nation must be taken down either by another nation or a group of nations. 

Conflict resolution through negotiation rarely works – if ever.  Sooner or later, the bully must feel the consequences of his actions before he will ever understand, or even care, about the pain his actions have caused those he victimizes.

Bullies cannot forever be ignored.  Bullies, by their very nature, will not allow themselves to be ignored.  We all know a bully or bullies.  They are ever present. It is essential that we know how to handle bullies early in life. 

For many, their first confrontation with a bully is a defining moment in their lives. They need to be equipped to handle the grief that is poured out on them and respond in a manner that will preserve their self-respect, self esteem, and forbid any hold on them the bully will have sought.

I’m certainly no expert on this topic.  I have my share of scars from personal confrontations with bullies throughout my life.  But I never allowed myself to become a victim.

Look.  Nobody ever said life would be easy.  It isn’t.  Man is born into trouble.  It is how he responds to and handles trouble that marks him as a victim -- or “a man.” 

The parents of my generation taught us to stand up to bullies anywhere and everywhere.  They gave us the moral support we needed to take care of business when a showdown came.   They did not step in and take care of the problem for us.  WE were expected to resolve the issue by any means necessary.  And we learned. Sure, we came home, on occasion, with cuts and bruises, black eyes, and bloody noses, but we fought back.  We were never victims.

We’ve lost that guidance from parents, I am afraid. It is a lesson we need to relearn if we are to remain a free people, unafraid to live our lives with respect for ourselves -- and one another.

J. D. Longstreet

Saturday, November 26, 2011

America's Biggest Turkey: Barack Obama ... Alan Caruba

America's Biggest Turkey: Barack Obama

By Alan Caruba

The 2012 national elections will be held on November 6 and I naturally want to get out ahead of all the other pundits and their predictions about its outcome. I cannot tell you who the Republican winner will be, but I can tell you that Barack Hussein Obama will be known as a former President.

He has most certainly turned out to be the biggest loser—a turkey—to hold the office of president. I can look back over my writings in 2008 and say “I told you so!” to anyone who voted for Obama.

It was surreal to watch how the mainstream media went out of its way to ignore the fact that there were virtually NO FACTS to cite regarding Obama-the-candidate. Any candidate who had gone to the extent of hiding the ordinary “paper trail” that all of us leave when we attend school, college, serve in the military, acquire a Social Security card, travel, or simply acquire friends and acquaintances, surely had something to hide.

To this day, no one seems to recall being in college with Obama, though he attended Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard. Surely you would think someone would pen a word or two of their memories of him. No student in the classes he taught on the Constitution at the University of Chicago has shared those days. If he dated anyone prior to Michelle, they remain incognito.

Like the fictional Shadow, Obama seemed to be able to “cloud men’s minds” when it came to any recall or inquiry about him.

The appalling performance of the mainstream media to get Obama elected was captured by Howard Kurtz, a columnist for The Washington Post who, on November 17, 2008, reported that NBC News was coming out with a DVD titled “Yes We Can: The Barack Obama Story” and that ABC and USA Today were following suit to rush out a book about the election.

“We seem to have crossed a cultural line into mythmaking,” said Kurtz. “Whew! Are journalists fostering the notion that Obama is invincible, the leader of what the New York Times dubbed ‘Generation O’?” Kurtz asked, “aren’t media people supposed to resist this kind of hyperventilating?”

The confidence I have in my prediction that he will be unemployed as of the afternoon of January 20, 2013 lies in the fact that he has spent the last three years being rebuffed on one policy or another, not the least of which was the Affordable Health Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

Rejected by 26 States that brought suit against it, Obamacare’s constitutionality will be addressed by none less than the U.S. Supreme Court; a decision that may come in the spring of 2012. Given the court’s long record of precedents on comparable decision, it’s toast. Recently, in the electoral battleground State of Ohio, voters resoundingly rejected its mandate requiring everyone to buy health insurance under penalty of a fine.

2009 Inaugural Trash
In March 2010 an estimated one million people representing the Tea Party movement marched on Washington, D.C. to protest against passage Obamacare. They were a sharp contrast to the revelers that showed up for Obama’s inauguration and literally left tons of trash in their wake. We have seen this repeated by the Occupy movement participants.

There’s a term in boxing when a boxer has been hit hard enough to make him groggy, “stepping in post holes”, as he staggers around the ring. It seems an apt term for Obama who is finding fewer supporters and defenders beyond the hard core of liberal Democrats.

From promises to close Gitmo to efforts to try Islamic terrorists held there in civil courts, Obama was rebuffed.

Obama’s promises regarding jobs to be created by his “Stimulus” have proved baseless and costly.

On the numbers alone, Obama has been a disaster for America. Obama has presided over the first downgrade in the nation’s credit rating in its history. Federal spending has been the highest (25% of GDP) since World War II. Federal debt (67% if GDP) has been the highest since World War II.

Long-term unemployment (45.9%) is the highest since the 1930s. Those dependent on the government, receiving federal benefits (47%) is the highest in American history.

Obama’s aggressive anti-energy policies are costing jobs from the Gulf of Mexico to the now delayed Keystone XL pipeline and all points in between. Scandals involving the bankrupt Solyndra, a solar panel company and other “green energy” investments and loans are costing him support. This is true as well wherever coal is mined and where they drill for natural gas and oil.

Americans grew tired of his non-stop speeches and gaffs, with or without the Tele-Prompters that became a national joke. Now they must endure a year of his constant campaigning and his non-stop lies about Republicans and everything else.

His penchant for never accepting blame manifested itself in another punchline, “It’s George Bush’s fault.”

In 2010, voters returned power in the House of Representatives to the Republican Party. Does anyone at this point seriously think that these and other factors point to an Obama victory in 2012?

He will be defeated and by a margin that will astound everyone.

© 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, November 25, 2011

Russian Paranoia

Russian Paranoia

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

Ever since America booted Russia out of the northwest territory of America, Russia has had a chip on its shoulder… at least, as far as America is concerned.  We go through cycles with Russia in which Russia loves America for a while, and then Russia hates America for a while.  The cycle seems to continue ad infinitum.

The one thing Russian governments seem to respect is American strength. Every time America elects a weak President, Russia arches her back, raises her hackles, and begins to growl threateningly.  And that is exactly what Russia’s Putin is doing right now

For those of you not as old as I am, take my word for it when I say – we have seen it all before.  Russia is a “paper tiger.” 

The Russian people are insecure at best.  They crave a strong central government.  They have never really known what it is like to be free of an all-powerful government and they fear that left to their own devices -- to be free, in other words, they will falter and fail.  They don’t seem to grasp the idea that THAT risk is a part of freedom – the right to fail.

As a result, they are an easy lot to manipulate – and Mr. Putin is a past master at doing just that.

With Russian elections looming, Putin is warning that the Russian government needs more power. (Read Russian government as: “Putin.”) 

Putin is planning a return to the Kremlin in the March elections and HE wants more power. 

Recently Putin told the Duma:  "We are still facing very many uncertainty factors and risks. And in case of a storm, a gale, a crisis, it is very important for the entire team to work in a cohesive manner, for the boat not to capsize." (SOURCE)


Oh, Putin will get the powers he wants.  Who is going to stop the ex-KGB official?  

If reference to the opposition party in Russia, Putin has said they should go along with the party in power and “not rock the boat.” He said with Russia experiencing much the same kind of economic downturn as the rest of the world, the opposition party should support the party in power so the “boat” doesn’t capsize. Just this week he said:  "in these circumstances, the ruling party always expects the opposition to behave in a calm manner and not to rock the boat. But these are vain hopes.”  (SOURCE)

Putin went on to say:  "The opposition exists to make sure that the ruling party, the ruling authorities could hold on to the levers of power more strongly and prove to society the correctness of the country's development course." (SOURCE)


Putin sounds like a Chicago gangster exclaiming: “Hey! Sit down and shut up!  Me and my boys got this covered!”  And believe me – Al Capone’s gang couldn’t hold a candle to Putin’s alma mater … the KGB.

Putin has gone to great pains to demonstrate the differences between himself and our less than esteemed President Barack Obama.  He is playing on the average Russian’s paranoia concerning the “American threat.”  Putin struts across the Russian stage, shirtless, (At every opportunity.  What’s that about, anyway?) taking great pains to display his masculinity – as if there was some question about that.  Apparently, there is – or was. On a trip to Italy last year Putin is quoted as having said:  “Mr. Medvedev and I are people of a traditional orientation.” (Source)  Ooooo - Kkkkk.

Then, too, there is Mr. Medvedev threatening to target American missile shield sites installed in Eastern Europe -- or in adjacent waters.  Oh, puh-lease!  Those are d e f e n s i v e missiles emplacements.  There are a couple of rogue nations in Russia’s backyard (North Korea and Iran).  By this time next year, EITHER of them could lob a nuclear missile into Eastern Europe causing much death and destruction and touch off a worldwide nuclear conflagration.

The Russian government NEEDS America.  Putin and Medvedev need a foil, off which to play, in order to increase their grasp on power over the Russian people. So, they threaten to fire on our defensive missile sites and, too, they dispatch Russian warships into Syrian waters as another threat to America -- should America, or America-led NATO, decide to intervene in the slaughter in Syria.

Peter the Great had to drag Russia, kicking and screaming, into modernity.  But, honestly, I don’t think “ole Pete” would be happy to learn how his Russia has chosen to allow it’s fear, it’s insecurity, and it’s paranoia, to, again, segregate itself from the civilized world and slip back into the familiarity of it’s much loved primal darkness.

Russia is a disappointment to the world.

J. D. Longstreet

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Climategate, Part Duh! ... Alan Caruba

Climategate, Part Duh!

By Alan Caruba

At what point will it finally occur to the pea-brained legion of journalists, academics, alleged scientists, United Nations propagandists, and others still blathering about “global warming” and “climate change” that there is no global warming and that the climate has been changing for the past 4.5 billion years on planet Earth?

It would appear that no amount of the evidence of fraud is sufficient to convince them they have either participated or been taken in by the greatest hoax of the modern era.

Perhaps, though, the latest release of thousands of emails between the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change perpetrators may push them toward a rational conclusion and release the rest of humanity from the penalties and costs imposed by the global warming hoax.

It’s not that the IPCC is not relentless in this ugly business. A report released on November 18 by these reprehensible liars predicted “more extreme weather events.”

Well, duh! There isn’t a day that goes by without an extreme weather event occurring somewhere on the Earth. One might consider the weather at the northern and southern poles extreme. Or the heat of the Earth’s deserts? Then throw in the usual blizzards, floods, and droughts—and you have a non-stop variety of “extreme weather events” to which to point.

To put it another way, the whole hoax was working just fine until the Earth began to cool around 1998. So naturally the IPCC had to (1) change the terminology from global warming to climate change, (2) deny that its “scientists” were lying, and (3) continue the pathetic prediction scheme by pointing to “weather events.”

As reported in The Wall Street Journal, “The scientific link between climate change and extreme weather, however, isn’t uniformly clear, according to the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established in 1988 to assist policy makers with climate change.”

That’s right, this whole farce has been going on since 1988. At what point will the “enablers” of global warming accept defeat? Not soon if one considers that the IPCC is laying on another climate conference to be held in Durban, South Africa from November 28 to December 9. It will be the 17th opportunity for these deceivers to gather to wine and dine while taxpayers from the many nations they represent pick up the tab.

Here’s the kicker. “Christina Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said “the report also underscored the need for governments to take action to reduce emissions.”

What emissions? Carbon dioxide? A trace gas in the atmosphere (0.038%) that has no effect whatever on climate or weather?

Does anyone grasp how costly all the lies about “emissions” have been and continue to be? The Christmas tree to be erected at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. comes complete with the purchase of so-called “carbon offsets” to pay for its transport 4,200 miles across the country from California. Eighty million tons of “carbon credits” were purchased.

Bear in mind, that tree and all others depend on carbon dioxide in the same way humans and other creatures depend on oxygen! CO2 is vital to the growth of all vegetation on Earth. Without it, we all die.

But what is one Christmas tree compared to an entire nation, Australia, whose government just imposed a carbon-emissions tax on everything? The tax will drive existing heavy industry and other generators of CO2 from the nation that can afford to leave and make those who cannot less competitive with global manufacturers and other businesses. Some business will just shut their doors.

This kind of deception is global. The International Energy Agency announced in early November that “dangerous climate change will be essentially irreversible within little over five years.” The news report concluded saying “The IEA uses conclusions from research collated by the United Nations. Most climate scientists agree with the U.N. conclusions, although recent polls show a growing proportion of the public in many countries is skeptical of climate change.”

No, most climate scientists do not agree with the U.N. data because they know how flawed and frequently fraudulent it is. This kind of casual journalistic reference is a lie, along with all the rest of the global warming and/or climate change data from “official” sources like the IPCC and IEA, et al.

In early November the U.S. Department of Energy published “estimates” of global carbon dioxide emissions for the year 2010. Writing in Forbes, James Taylor of The Heartland Institute, took note that the Department concluded that “emissions rose by 6% from 2009 to 2010. This constitutes the largest rise yet recorded.” And then he added that “global temperatures have not risen during the past decade.”

There is no correlation. Never was.

Whether it is the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the International Energy Agency, the U.S. Departments of Energy, Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency, all depend on people being too ignorant or indifferent to grasp the truth that everything done in the name of global warming, climate change, or carbon dioxide emissions is a costly, evil deception.

© 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, November 22, 2011

Super Committee Redux

Super Committee Redux 

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

Back in August of this year (2011) I wrote an article declaring that the so-called Super Committee was a farce.  Time has proven the little ole “Swamp Pundit” (“Yours Truly”) has the ability to predict the oh, so obvious!   Had I been truly adventurous, I would have also said it was a “hoax.”  

It has become clear the Super Committee was intended to fail so our less than esteemed President could campaign against what he will, no doubt, refer to as a “do nothing Congress.” 

November 23rd is upon us -- and the “ship is about to hit the sand.”  There will be much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth -- and it will all be for SHOW! 

So, what’s going to happen?  Not much.  Look for the Congress to legislate around those 1.2 trillion dollar “automatic” cuts.  So the Super Committee and Congress will have labored mightily and brought forth – NOTHING.  But, hey, this was the intended goal from the beginning.

Below is the article from last August.  If you missed it, somehow, you might want to read it for a clearer understanding of the Kabuki Theatre we have been witnessing in Washington for the past few months. 

Have a great Thanksgiving!

J. D. Longstreet

The so-called Super Committee is a FARCE. It is doomed to failure. 

Can anyone reasonably believe there is even the smallest chance that a 12-member committee made up of party loyalist from each side can, somehow, be miraculously overcome by celestial waves of bipartanship?  Come on now.  Really?  Seriously?  Naah.  Ain’t gonna happen.

This committee has to develop a plan that features both spending cuts and tax increases.  Seven members of the 12-member committee must approve any debt-reduction plan before it comes up for a Congressional vote.

Now here’s the “kicker”:  If the committee fails to recommend up to $1.5 trillion in savings by Thanksgiving, as much as $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts will be enacted, including up to 2 percent cuts in Medicare payments to healthcare providers.

OK.  Lets look at who, exactly, is on that committee. On the GOP side, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have chosen Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio)..

On the Democratic side, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has appointed Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.).  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi chose Reps. James Clyburn (D-SC), Xavier Becerra (D-Ca), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md).

This Super Committee (The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.) it seems to me, has been set up to fail.  I simply do not see any way a deadlock can be avoided.  In my opinion, the committee should be dissolved immediately and the Congress should suck it up -- and do their darn jobs!

The “poor excuse for a committee” committee is somehow expected to do what the Congress, as a whole, could not do -- and even the President and the Speaker of the House could not do it. 

OK.  So what IS this so-called “Trigger Mechanism, anyway?”  Well, it works like this:  The trigger mechanism is the product of months of unsuccessful negotiations among congressional Republicans, Democrats and the White House to strike a broader deal to rein in entitlement programs like Medicare and to overhaul the tax code. It would split spending reductions equally between U.S. defense and domestic programs.

Understand:  This would be a HUGE cut back in funding for the Military.  At a time when America is fighting three wars, if the trigger mechanism kicks in defense spending would be cut by 9.1 percent over a decade and non-defense programs would be cut 7.9 percent.  If this is allowed to happen, we are looking at a hollowed-out military right when America is sitting square in the middle of our enemies collective bulls eye.

Medicare would be cut by 2 percent.  But that cut would be aimed at the healthcare providers – doctors who care for Medicare patients.

Already, a huge number of doctors are refusing to see Medicare patients.  If their reimbursement is further cut, expect even more doctors to refuse taking Medicare patients.  This will impact America’s seniors tremendously.

The legislation that created this super committee calls for the committee to find savings through spending reductions and tax increases.  REALLY?

Look.  The Democrats will not agree to spending cuts and the Republicans will not agree to raise taxes.  Can you say:  “Deadlock?”

The more I investigate this super committee, the more I am convinced it was set up from the outset for failure. 

And consider this:  If the panel does just happen to agree on a plan, Congress has until Dec. 23 to hold an up-or- down vote on the plan or the trigger will be pulled, setting off $1.2 trillion in automatic, across-the-board spending cuts over nine years.  Of course, this avalanche of spending cuts will not begin until after the presidential election in 2012.  No, the cuts aren’t even scheduled to begin until sometime in 2013.  Heaven forbid the politicians should rile the electorate just before the election!

Now, here’s the thing:  Even if the trigger mechanism goes into effect, the Congress can get around it. They can delay the cuts or even override the cuts if they choose.  (Who said the cuts were “automatic,” anyway?) 

Even if the spending cuts were to actually go into effect, the Congress has the power to turn around and INCREASE the spending by way of so-called “emergency funding,” which, by the way, falls outside the super committee’s caps.  Some have suggested it would not be outside the realm of possibility for Congress to do exactly that.  I mean, they DO have a history of getting, shall we say – “creative,” when it comes to finding ways to spend our money.

There is no way to prevent a congress in, say, 2014, from simply reducing the amounts of the spending cut(s) or just overturning the super committee’s so-called automatic spending cuts.  It would be as if the super committee never existed in the first place.

Yep.  I’m convinced the super committee is a farce. It is just more “slight of hand” by our national leaders to placate irate voters who would like to see America saved from pending destruction.

Prepare for a humongous fight between now and Christmas over spending and raising taxes. 

How do we get past this and get America back on a financially firm footing?  We will do it by replacing Obama in the White House with a fiscally conservative President and with conservative control of both houses of the Congress.  It is only going to get progressively worse until we do.

J. D. Longstreet

Monday, November 21, 2011

Enough, Already, With The Debates

Enough, Already, With The Debates
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

I am not a debater… never have been.  Although I have been speaking publicly since the age of nine, I hate debates.

You may have noticed that I DO tend to favor commentaries.  In a commentary I am allowed to express my views completely, without interruption, and then sit back and wait for the fur to fly. 

I have no interest in arguing my positions or opinions.  Once stated -- that’s it!   I don’t argue.  Its not worth the time and effort necessary to sway someone else’s opinion my way.  I simply don’t care if you disagree with me.   Once my personal deliberations are complete and I make my opinions known, I am finished.  (I know the shrinks would have a field day with this!) 

All this leads me to the so-called debates between the GOP candidates seeking the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States.  Only a child would confuse the debates with a press conference … for that is all they are … press conferences.  They are “gotcha” sessions.  Little is learned from them though they make for grand spectacle.

We Americans have a strange way of choosing whom we send to Washington to represent us on The Hill and in the Oval Office.  It is more than “passing strange.”

One quality we Americans demand from a candidate that I see nowhere else in the free world is… “purity.”  We conservatives absolutely demand purity in our conservative belief.   We never really get it – but we continue to demand it anyway. 

Election cycle after election cycle we swear we will never “settle” – never choose the lesser of two evils – then we go right ahead and do it anyway.

The debates are really just theatre.  Most conservatives already know whom they want as the nominee long before the first debate.  But we watch and we listen and we wince when the candidates stumble and fumble and make ridiculous mistakes while under the tremendous pressure of millions of viewers – not to mention well-versed questioners (with notes from weeks of research) making every effort possible to trip them up or, in a myriad of ways, make them look foolish. 

Then there is this:  Why are there so many candidates on the stage, anyway?  It is ridiculous.  We all know there are maybe two or three candidates who have even a prayer of a chance at the nomination.  Why not have only those two or three candidates and allow for a more relaxed atmosphere and more time for the candidates to formulate answers in their minds before responding to a question.  It would certainly give the viewers and listeners a bit more insight into the way a candidate thinks.

As a former broadcaster, I have to tell you, in my view; the debates are more for the broadcasters and press than for the electorate.  Its sort of like the Oscars -- Hollywood stars salivating and honoring themselves while preening before the cameras assuring us all of their deep concern for their fellowman.  Malarkey! Hogwash! 

Never, ever, believe the Mainstream Media doesn’t do the very same thing.  They are “stars” in their own right.  If you don’t believe it – ask them! 

I’ve done pressers and news conferences.  I have been the guy with the pad and pencil furiously taking notes as the center of attention babbles on.  I’ve been the guy trying desperately to shove his microphone into the face of some politician, or other, in hopes of catching some rare pearls of wisdom dripping from those esteemed lips. I have been there.   I know a little about how news folks work.  I also know what a bit of public adulation can do to the egos of a few very insecure news personalities. 

The whole debate thing really ought to be dumped.  Rather, a roundtable discussion between the candidates and a few members of the electorate would be far more informative to the public. 

The debates, as they are staged today, are more about entertainment and the star quality of the press corp than they are about genuinely informing the American electorate.

It is a shame, really.  Much COULD be learned -- important stuff, too.  But so long as we stick with the current format of the “debates” the electorate will have to glean their information elsewhere.

And then – there is this:  The GOP debates are the best weapon Obama and the Democratic Party have … at the moment.  There are no Democratic Party debates because Obama has no democratic challenger.  So all the screw-ups, all the mistakes, all the brain freezes, all the “space-outs” are happening to the republican candidates.  It makes them look weak, confused, even a little, well, dumb.  The Mainstream Media, which is in the tank for Obama and the Democratic Party, will play all the screw-ups and glitches of the Republicans to the hilt in order to make their extraordinarily weak President look better. Obama is SOOO bad, it doesn’t take much to make him look better.

In light of all this -- even more debates are in the offing. Wouldn’t it make more sense to STOP DEBATING?  But, hey, this is politics.  Who said it is supposed to make sense? 

J. D. Longstreet

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Super Committee Suicide ... Alan Caruba

Super Committee Suicide

By Alan Caruba

By the weekend, news reports indicated that the congressional Super Committee was closing in on an agreement. The deficit-cutting panel is mandated to trim at least $1.2 trillion in federal spending over the next ten years and, failing an agreement, automatic cuts would begin in 2013, after the national elections.

In days, however, it was clear that there was no agreement and the Super Committee, as Congress has always done, was looking at a variety of gimmicks and magical thinking to avoid having to address what is now a $15 trillion national debt, more than an entire year’s Gross Domestic Product.

The Super Committee was and is a bad idea on many levels if for no other reason than the Constitution requires that all bills involving expenditures must originate in the House of Representatives (Article 1, Section 7), but “the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.” The Constitution, however, has mattered less and less to U.S. Congresses for a very long time.

On November 8, ABC News reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “suggested that the White House is pulling for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction…to fail because success would step on their storyline of Republican obstructionism.” Because Washington is a house of mirrors, the news of the past week has been of Democratic obstructionism.

By the end of the week, the President said that he would not sign any bill that repeals the automatic spending reductions that would occur if the Committee does not come to an agreement. “That veto threat,” said a Wall Street Journal article “was a response to GOP lawmakers’ proposals to shield the Pentagon from such cuts.”

On Veteran’s Day, November 11th, a Wall Street Journal editorial, “If Iran Gets the Bomb", took note of the International Atomic Energy Agency report that Iran was closing in on having its own nuclear weapons, saying that “The serious choice now before the Administration is between military strikes and more of the same. As the IAEA report makes painfully clear, more of the same means a nuclear Iran, possibly within a year.”

So, while Iran closes in on becoming a nuclear power, national election campaigns will be raging in 2012 with Obama’s only hope of reelection being to claim that the Republican Party is blocking his efforts to tame unemployment, revive the economy, and keep America safe. Meanwhile, Democrat members of the committee keep pushing for new taxes in the midst of a “recession” that rivals the Great Depression.

If it wasn’t so absurd, it would be laughable, but it is also the worst possible time to have automatic budget cuts that would take as much as $500 billion out of the Pentagon’s budget over the next decade if the Super Committee cannot find agreement. Reportedly, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was looking for potential savings in the budget by cutting the Pentagon’s nuclear arsenal!

The state of our military equipment is geriatric and it is dwindling. The F-15 fighter jets that make up half the fleet, have an average age of 25 years! Air force strategic bombers average 34 years of age and refueling aircraft are 47 years old. The Navy has fewer ships today than on 9/11; 284 now compared to 316 in 2001.

Equipment and vehicles in use since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and the 2003 invasion of Iraq are in need of replacement. If the automatic cuts kick in, the Pentagon budget will be cut by $500 billion over the next ten years, precisely at the time the military will need the means to fight a war that would presumably start in the Middle East if Iran’s threats mean anything.

Cutting the Pentagon budget at this time and into the near future is the worst idea to come out of Congress when a kindergartner could find ways to cut $1.5 trillion from the U.S. budget.

Iran’s leaders, from the day in 1979 they seized American diplomats and held them hostage for 444 days, have been in a state of war against America. An Iranian truck bomb was used against the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon and against Marine barracks in 1983. Iranian-made IEDs killed many U.S. military personnel in Iraq. Within recent weeks we learned of a thwarted Iranian plan to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in a Washington, D.C. restaurant.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei has called for the destruction of Israel, the “little Satan” and America, the “big Satan.”

Ignoring such threats is suicidal.

Israel destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor with a preemptive strike in 1981 and did the same to Syria’s secret nuclear program in 2007. It is unimaginable how events would have played out if Iraq had acquired nuclear weapons. The notion that the United States of America must depend on Israel to end the Iranian threat is cowardly and shameful.

Cutting the Pentagon’s budget now or over the next decade would be suicidal.

© 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, November 18, 2011

Is Israel Bluffing?

Is Israel Bluffing?

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

The world press is assuring us that Israel will strike Iran by Christmas. Hedging their bets, a bit, some proclaim: early in the New Year.

Now, while I am all for an Israeli strike on Iran to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities, I am troubled by all the extremely public saber rattling. It isn’t like the Israeli military to make a public show of military preparations for a raid.

Having read and consulted Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” on numerous occasions, I can see the importance of keeping the enemy guessing and off balance by playing the world’s media like a Stradivarius. First class militaries, the world over, know one of the greatest weapons they have at their disposal is the near total ignorance of military maneuvering by the press. Call it misinformation or propaganda; the world’s premier armed forces spoon-feed it to the world press. That’s what I think is happening now.
Yes, Israel is going to strike Iran. I haven’t a clue when. And that is the way Israel wants it. In the meantime they have Iran’s nerves on edge and that gives Israel the advantage.

I remember a scrawny kid in my high school class. He was the bookworm of our class. Plus, he wore glasses. You just KNOW he caught the dickens, right? You’d be wrong. See, he earned the reputation of being that “crazy kid who would hurt you badly if you messed with him.” And that was true. He would attack, with the least provocation, his classmates, even his adult teachers, if he felt threatened. Only the unenlightened messed with him … and then only once. That kid spent a lot of time in the Principal’s office, and in the Superintendent’s office. Yet, somehow, he managed to graduate at, or near, the top of his class and win election as the student body president … and he dated some of the prettiest girls in his class.

Yes, I knew him very well. He was small – but he was determined not to be bullied – and -- he would HURT you! He didn’t give a darn whether you liked him, or not. But you would be very wrong not to respect him.

See, he learned to harness and channel that fears and his concerns and make them work to HIS advantage.

Normal human beings understand that a frightened human being is earth’s most dangerous animal. A cornered, frightened, animal (including human beings) will lash out and commit totally unexpected actions risking everything, including their lives, because they believe they have absolutely nothing to lose. Often they are successful in extricating themselves from harm simply because their behavior was unexpected.
Now. Refocus on Israel. Israel is small, arguably frightened, and -- Israel will most certainly hurt anyone suffering from the lack of common sense that would cause the wary to avoid a military confrontation with (some would argue) the second best military on earth.

But, then there are fanatics, all over the globe, blinded by religious zeal that are more than ready to sacrifice their lives to appease some god or other. They are the people who pose the greatest danger to all normal human beings on the earth. I have long accepted that when confronted with a man intent on giving his life in an effort to take mine, the kind thing to do is expedite his journey and send him on to his afterlife and allow him to sort it all out with his personal deity.

One must consider that Israel is confronted with this sort of paradise mania every day. For the most part, we here in the west have come late to this fray. Only in the past decade, or so, have we really come to understand the toll of living under conditions of constant threat. And we Americans STILL do not comprehend that Israel can lose its entire country, its very existence, in a single “lucky” blow from its enemies.

Iran intends to wipe Israel from the map. They have told us so in plain English. That was no threat. It was a statement of intent. Israel would be foolish to believe otherwise. And Israel is NOT foolish.

Iran with nuclear capabilities is a threat that cannot be tolerated by Israel. It ought not be tolerated by the European nations and the United States. But, unfortunately, we have a President who feels more at home with the weak-kneed European governments than with real warriors like the Israelis.

I am satisfied that Israel is going to attack Iran -- and soon. If things were, as they ought to be in Washington, DC, the United States would be flying alongside those Israeli aircraft dropping bunker-busting bombs on Iran’s underground nuclear facilities. One must remember that Iran has boasted that their first nuclear bomb is for Israel and their second nuclear bomb is intended for the United States. We Americans are under a nuclear threat from Iran just as the Israelis.

When we step back and look objectively at current events on this planet, it is easy to ascertain that Israel has a much better leader in Benjamin Netanyahu than the United States has in B. Hussein Obama. That is VERY clear.

I honestly think there is a streak of envy in Mr. Obama, envy over Mr. Netanyahu’s leadership capabilities. That would explain Obama’s public snubbing of Mr. Netanyahu.

The differences are so clear. Mr. Netanyahu, as a former Israeli Special Forces officer, understands that a leader leads from the front. Mr. Obama has PUBLICLY proclaimed his preference for leading from behind. The two men could not be MORE different.

While the leaders of these two nations are so different the peoples are more alike than different. Many Americans consider Israel something of an extension of the United States. We feel drawn to offer protection to Israel and we hate it when the US government fails to back Israel to the hilt.

If Israel is forced to go it alone against Iran, President Obama will most certainly feel it at the ballot box next year. That is a promise.

J. D. Longstreet

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Conservative Candidates Weak Against Obama

Conservative Candidates Weak Against Obama

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

A friend, whose opinion I value in the extreme, continues to assure me that Obama will lose in November of 2012.  I, on the other hand, continue to be dubious… also in the extreme. 

Recently, I received an email from a conservative democrat friend who told me, flat out, that the republican field does not look well, at all, and he is beginning to believe that Obama will be returned to the Oval Office for four more years as a result.  He wants Obama gone, too.

In our electronic discussion, I told him that many, many, conservative republicans cannot bring themselves to vote for Romney, under any circumstances, even to prevent Obama a return performance.  I explained that I count myself among them.  It is a matter of honor.  I will, as I have done in the past, write-in the name of a solid conservative candidate for President, and move on. 

And this is the problem the GOP has -- and will have -- in November of next year.  There are innumerable conservative voters who cannot go against their conscious and do what they are convinced is the dishonorable thing… vote for Romney.  This is especially true in the South.  Add to that the Evangelical Christians who are never going to vote for a Mormon, conservative or not, and Mr. Romney’s chances of winning against Obama are greatly reduced. In fact, I simply do not believe Romney can overcome this disadvantage, at all.

I know this is an uncomfortable problem and one the RNC and the GOP are skating around, as best they can, for the moment. Nevertheless, it IS a problem and a huge one.  Southern conservatives and evangelical conservatives are STILL looking for a conservative candidate they can support.  Currently, we can see the polls telling us they have turned their attention to Newt Gingrich.  They’re searching. 

Thomas Sowell has written a must read article entitled:  ”Will Republicans Blow It?”  You’ll find the article HERE.  Professor Sowell and I share similar concerns.  I urge you to read this thoughtful and insightful article.

Look.  Conservatives ARE NOT ALL ALIKE.  Even the so-called experts on politics tend to lump all conservatives into one group.  That is a terrible mistake. 

We don’t talk much about it these days, but “honor” is still a really big deal in the South.  Too, in the South, we have a strong distaste for the federal government, which we still feel, to one degree or another, is an occupying force in our land.  That feeling is reinforced every time we consider all the US military bases on southern soil.  It is a tactic borrowed from the Roman Army of ancient times. Keep the occupied pacified by a continuous show of force on their home soil.

So, we have honor, we have a vague feeling of oppression, and then there is -- RELIGION. 

Politics is seen in the South as a dirty, low down, occupation ranking right up there with prostitution.   Southern Christian conservatives want nothing to do with it.  Those who serve in federal public office are frowned upon and cast as rogues shilling for the Federal Government. 

Now, you may not like what you are reading here, but this is my opinion based on over seven decades of life in my beloved South.  I know my people.

Anytime a southern conservative stands for office you can bet he or she is not the best candidate conservatives can offer because the best qualified persons for the job will not run for fear of sullying themselves with the filth of the second oldest profession. 

Add to the above the deep distrust of northern (especially northeastern) candidates by southern folk and you can see the grave disadvantage Mr. Romney has in the South.  Without the South, Mr. Romney hasn’t a chance of beating Obama.

Why are northeastern candidates frowned upon in the South?  “The War of Northern Aggression” -- erroneously called the American Civil War and sometimes referred to as “The War for Southern Independence.”   So many US troops, from the northeastern states, committed what today would be labeled as war crimes in the South during that war (and even worse during the so-called Reconstruction Era) that the contempt for them has been handed down through the generations and is still extremely strong today. 

Voting is a privilege I do not take lightly.  Last week, I was discharged from the hospital.  That day there was a municipal election in our town.  My wife drove me directly from the hospital to the polling place where I cast my ballot from the front seat of my wife’s Buick.  (Curbside Voting) THEN, I went home.

I vote.  I would be a very small man, indeed, if I did not vote – yet -- continued to grind out commentary after commentary criticizing office holders.  For me, it is a matter of honor.

In November of 2012, I will do the honorable thing at the ballot box.

J. D. Longstreet

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Iran's Nuclear Armageddon ... Alan Caruba

Iran's Nuclear Armageddon

By Alan Caruba

During the long years of the Cold War from 1945 to 1991, the U.S. and the former Soviet Union faced off against each other, both having an arsenal of nuclear weapons. Only once, during the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962, did the prospect of a real threat to the homeland arise. After a U.S. naval blockade was imposed, the Russians took their missiles home.

The key factor was that the Russian leaders were not suicidal. They were not crazy. They fully understood what it would mean to actually use nuclear weapons or be on the receiving end of them.

The Iranian ayatollahs are a different case entirely. Over the years, they have voiced a rather nonchalant attitude toward being on the receiving end of nuclear weapons because they are a Shiite martyrdom cult. During its eight-year war with Iraq, initiated by Saddam Hussein, an estimated 500,000 Iranians died, including 100,000 children sent to clear mine fields by setting them off.

The failure to grasp the depth and insanity of the current leaders of Iran is pushing the world toward the first nuclear confrontation since A-bombs were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima to end World War II in 1945.

Yoram Ettinger, a former Israel consul general in Houston, Texas, warns that “Iran’s geostrategic goals are energized by its current Islamic zeal, viewing jihad (holy war) as the permanent state of relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, while peace and cease-fire accords are tenuous.”

So, when the Israelis shared intelligence with President Obama in mid-November that the Iranians “will already have five nuclear bombs or warheads” by late March 2012, it raised the stakes for President Obama and the nation.

We already know Obama wants a reduction in nuclear arms. He signed a treaty with the Russians to achieve this. He refused to permit missiles to be based in Poland, presumably for the same reason. The surface to air missiles, however, could have deterred any missiles headed toward Europe.

I have absolutely no confidence in Obama when it comes to the preemptive action that must be taken against Iran’s nuclear and military facilities in order to end a threat that even the President acknowledged in a recemt Hawaii press conference would be directed not just at Israel, but at the United States as well.

The stakes just don’t get any higher and this President has not demonstrated any backbone except to okay the assassination of Osama bin Laden, the man behind the attack on 9/11. That was a no-brainer.

I don’t know what military assets and options we have in the Persian Gulf, but if an attack to deter an Iranian nuclear threat is undertaken either by Israel or together, we will likely need a lot of them.

Military observers have concluded that Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz that provides access to and from the Persian Gulf, thus putting enormous strain on the provision of Middle East oil that flows through the Straits on a daily basis, not just from Iran, but from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq. An estimated 40% of all seaborne oil passes through the Strait, the equivalent of 20% of the total amount of oil traded worldwide. If closed, it would drive the cost of oil to stratospheric heights.

The failure of the U.S. to develop its own extensive oil reserves will prove to be a massive strategic error. The delay of a proposed Canadian oil pipeline to deliver oil to the U.S. is just one small element of this failure.

In an August 6, 2009 Jerusalem Post article, Anne Bayefsky of wrote, “The Iranians have already called Obama’s bluff. An Iranian newspaper referred to the American agenda on July 20 this way: ‘The Obama administration is prepared to accept the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran…they have no long-term plan for dealing with Iran. Their strategy consists of begging us to talk to them.”

Ultimately it will be Israel’s call if U.S. leaders fail to step up to the task and, in the judgment of the Iranians, the U.S. will not. The Israelis have no choice.

In February 2010 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president, addressing a crowd celebrating the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Tehran,said  “Iran is now a nuclear state.”

The world is rapidly running out of time to prevent an Iranian Armageddon.

© 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, November 15, 2011

It’s Halftime In The Iraq War

It’s Halftime In The Iraq War

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

I continue to read piece after piece about the war in Iraq winding down for US troops.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  The US is in the Middle East for the foreseeable future whether we want to be – or not!

It is only halftime in the Iraq War.  We have just finished the first two quarters and we’re off to the locker room to rest up and prepare for the second half.   There will be a second half.  Count on it.    The US has “forward positioned” war fighting material in the area in preparation for the day we next take the field in Iraq.

US troops are leaving Iraq not as winners, and not as losers -- for the war is not over.  Everyone with a lick of sense knows it. 

Iran is waiting for the dust to settle and they will begin to apply their strangle hold on Iraq.  Through out the war American troops have been fighting Iranian troops and defending against Iranian “insurgents” -- all of this on the soil of Iraq.

In my opinion -- the war in Iraq was not only a good idea -- it was necessary.   Had the US not intervened, Saddam Hussein would most certainly have gained control of a huge share of the world’s oil supply.  Iraqi troops would have smothered Kuwait and Saudi Arabia very quickly and Hussein was headed that way. 

As to the claims that Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, we KNOW that he did.  He used them on his own people.  WMD are NOT necessarily nuclear in nature. There are radiological, biological, and chemical weapons of mass destruction. 

There is also a school of thought that Hussein also had some nuke capability, possibly old Russian nuclear artillery shells, and the ability to create the so-called nuclear “dirty bombs.”  Some feel the Russians and the Iranians spirited those weapons out of Iraq into Syria and Iran days before hostilities began.

Saddam Hussein had to go just as Ahmadinejad in Iran has to go.  Currently Ahmadinejad is at, or very near, the top of the list of world troublemakers who find themselves in the sights of oil consuming nations around the globe.  Face it.  No one is going to be allowed total control over the flow of oil from the Middle East -- no matter the cost.

The US made a bad decision when it decided to “nation build” in Iraq.  Rather, it seems to me, we should have set up an occupational government and run the government with American military officials for as long as was necessary… even decades into the future.  As it is, we are leaving an Iraqi government that will be lucky to stand long enough for US troops to exit Kuwait.     

Even with American training the plain truth is the Iraqi military and police are pathetic.  At the first sign of real trouble it will become extremely difficult to find an Iraqi soldier or policeman.  Uniforms will be shed and they will melt away in the crowds and may even take up arms against the current government. 

Nobody wants to say it publicly but the fact is the Iraqi House the Americans built was built on quicksand and will soon sink beneath the shifting sands.

Iraq was chosen as a “killing ground” for the Islamic terrorists of the world.  And they came.  And they died. And that was good for America.  We fought them over there to avoid having to fight them over here.  It worked very well, indeed.  Islamofacists from all over the world poured into Iraq to fight the Infidel.  And the infidel kicked their collective butts into Paradise where Allah could sort them out at his leisure.  It was America’s way of “thinning the herd.”

I am not one of those pie in the sky ideologues who believe the so-called “Arab Spring” a good thing.  In fact, I think it will turn out to be a very bad thing for America and the West.   Islamofacism, I suspect, will manage to take over the majority of the countries involved in the revolutions that swept the Arab tier of states this past summer.   If I am right, and I believe I am, it will mean that America will not be allowed to disengage from the Middle East in any meaningful way.  We are there, and we will be there, for generations into the future.

No.  The Iraq war is not over.  It’s only halftime.

J. D. Longstreet

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Deconstruction Of America

The Deconstruction Of America

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

Politics is rotten … period

The form of government the American people chose at their founding was unique.  It still is.  Many have sprung up around the globe in imitation of the American constitutional “representative” republic.  None have yet hit the mark -- though they have come close.

Ours is an imperfect form of government. It is a government “of,” “by,” and “for” the people. The key word, of course, is “people.”  And therein lies the problem.

The American government was flawed from its beginning.  It is a result of the human touch.  It could not and cannot be helped.  But it has worked miraculously well, for over two centuries.

From time to time, America has touched on destruction, even self-destruction. But, so far, we have managed to pull back, at the last moment, and survive to become a colossus astride the world.

There have been costs.  There will be more.

Some say America is hard on the world.  Maybe.  But America is hardest on itself.  The internal war between Americans to determine what we will become still rages. For, you see, America is never static.  America is always “becoming.” 

The continuous swirling vortex that is America wounds and wounds deeply.  Our leaders come and go.  They ascend to the pinnacle of power with grandiose ideas only to be swept to the kneeling benches below by the American people, fickle, as they are, who choose not to accept those ideas or that leader’s choice for the direction of travel he intends to take America. We have seen it time and time again.

America’s current leader, Barack Obama, is experiencing the backhand of the people of America. His policies, his directions, his political philosophies have been rejected by “the people.”  He is in a desperate fight to salvage something for posterity.

Obama’s mistake was to drag America, kicking and screaming, in a direction it did not want to go. As a result he will earn an asterisk by his name in the history books as America’s first black President -- and very little else.

America finds itself at another crossroads.  We have one chance to take the right direction.  The cost of choosing wrongly is the destruction of our great nation.

The process of choosing a leader for the future of America is well underway.  It is a spectacle seen nowhere on earth save for America.  We push forward a number of men and women we think we would like to see lead America  -- then we begin the process of striping the flesh off their bones.  There is no mercy.

Candidates who survive the process are not necessarily good leaders just very good at perseverance and dodging those proverbial slings and arrows. 

America is rich in citizens who would be leaders about whom future generations would sing songs.  But they will not step from the safety of the sidelines and join the fray.  But then, who can blame them. Of course, that means America tends to be led by the second best, or the least best, or the lesser of two evils, all soaked in mediocrity.   It is a rare occurrence, indeed, when America actually gets a better President than it voted for.

The fact is – there is no outstanding leader among the candidates for President from either side of America’s political spectrum in this election cycle.  At the very moment America is in desperate need of a lion at the helm -- we have only mice from which to choose.

America can do better than this.  The nation deserves better than this.  But THIS is where we are. 

From today’s perspective, the American future is bleak with decay as far as the eye can see.  Why? --  Because we are no longer a single people.  We have become far too diverse a population.  Until we decide, again, who we are and coalesce around that certain, singular, American character, we will remain, for all intents and purposes, ungovernable. 

Diversity and inclusion have murdered the singular American character and culture.  We are adrift, unclaimed, and un-claimable.  Electing another mouse to lead us will do nothing more than seal our destiny as just another consignment to the dustbin of history.

J. D. Longstreet