Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's the Economy, Stupid! ... Alan Caruba

It's the Economy, Stupid!

By Alan Caruba

It is interesting to see how intently foreigners are watching the run-up to the 2012 national elections, particularly as regards whether President Obama could be reelected. Hardly a day goes by that I do not receive inquiries from places like South Africa, Israel, or England. Some offer comments on my Facebook page, but the concern is the same, can Obama be defeated?

To borrow a phrase from Bill Clinton’s 1992 race, “It’s the economy, stupid.” That will be the deciding factor as Democrats , Republicans, and independents go to the polls in November. The news for Obama is bad. Unfortunately, the news for millions of out-of-work Americans it is even worse.

On February 28, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and a coalition of business groups were in the D.C. Court of Appeals to argue their challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules regarding greenhouse gas emissions. The fact that there is no correlation between such gases—mainly carbon dioxide—and a non-existent global warming probably won’t even be discussed. A spokesperson for the NFIB said, “For the small business community, the constant churn of costly and carelessly promulgated regulations has become too great a burden to bear.” Guess who all those small business owners will be voting against in November?

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) keeps doing something that is unexpected from most government agencies; it keeps telling the truth. In mid-February it issued a report which said that, after three years of Obamanomics, the nation has seen the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Trust a Democrat President to repeat all the errors of Franklin Delano Roosevelt who prolonged the Depression for ten years while he held office.

The “official” unemployment rate has hovered around or exceeded 8 percent and this is expected to continue through 2014. The CBO noted that the level of long-term unemployment—those looking for work for more than six months—is over 40 percent! That is the highest since 1948 when the data was first collected.

Hans Bader, Counsel for Special Projects with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, recently noted that “The official unemployment rate is going down, but that’s partly because many long-term unemployed people went into Social Security Disability, citing ailments such as depression. Now they have a monthly government check, they are never, ever going back to work, and they are no longer treated by the government as unemployed.” This is governmental slight-of-hand to lower the rate of unemployment while contributing to it.

Writing in in February, Bader noted that a good part of the unemployment problem in the nation is a severe shortage of skilled factory workers. “In recent years, government officials have depicted white-collar jobs for college graduates as the way to go,” said Bader who noted that, while seeking to increase spending on colleges, the administration has been “slashing spending on more useful vocational education that could lead to work in manufacturing.”

An indication of how poorly the government solution to the need for skilled manufacturing employees has been is the fact that the private sector has stepped up to solve the problem. The National Association of Manufacturers has endorsed a National Manufacturers Skills Certification System to fill the gap. In partnership with community colleges and trade schools, the program offers “a relatively inexpensive path to meeting the human capital demands of U.S. advanced manufacturers.”

It has not gone unnoticed that Obama’s stimulus billions did not produce any “shovel ready” jobs and wasted public funds on a range of “green” industries, many of whom, like Solyndra, have gone belly up. Overall, the “green” industries involving solar panels, wind turbines, and electric cars have proven to be sinkholes of money that generate few jobs compared to the rest of the nation’s manufacturing sector.

Finally, after three years of the most anti-energy administration since Jimmy Carter, the rising price of gas is going to have a devastating affect for Democrats and Obama on public perceptions on Election Day.

To those foreign correspondents asking whether Obama will be reelected, I keep saying that the present economy with its slow “recovery” and the high rate of unemployed, combined with the government’s crushing load of irrelevant and odious regulations, is as good an indicator as any regarding the outcome of the November general elections.

If foreigners are as much concerned with U.S. elections as Americans, all the debates, daily silliness of political news coverage, and largely irrelevant social issues suggest that November will represent, like the 2010 elections, a massive voter movement away from “hope and change” to a Republican candidate that offers an alternative economic policy to four more years of the disaster called Barack Hussein Obama.

© Alan Caruba, 2012
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, February 28, 2012

Know A Tree By It’s Fruit

Know A Tree By It’s Fruit 

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

I am genuinely surprised when people approach me and ask my thoughts on Mitt Romney.  I invariably ask why they want to know and the reply they offer most often is that they really don’t know the man.

That is when I really want to grab them by both shoulders, shake them, and declare:  “PAY ATTENTION!”

The scriptures tell us:  “You shall know a tree by the fruit it bears.” In Matthew 7:16 it is said:  “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?”

In the New Testament book of James, the third chapter and the twelfth verse, we are informed thusly:  “My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”

In other words a man is what he is – period.  If you want to know WHAT he is, what he believes, then pay attention to what he does. His accomplishments are the “fruits of his labors.”  Those fruits will define him completely.

Remember George W. Bush's “Compassionate Conservatism?”  Well, that was, in fact, code for “moderate.”  G.W. was a moderate AT BEST.

Mitt Romney is a liberal … moderate on some things … but at the core he is a liberal.  It is something the conservative base of the GOP knows instinctually and that is why they are avoiding support of Romney at all costs, even if that cost is the loss of the election to Obama in November.

I am old enough to remember the “Me Too” republicans.  Ever hear of them?  You’d have to harken back to the days of Nelson Rockefeller and the Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party in the 1960’s. (There is an excellent article on this HERE.)

Even then, the liberal wing of the GOP was based in America’s northeastern states.  It still is today.

Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts a liberal state if there ever has been one.  There is no way under the sun a conservative can be elected governor of Massachusetts. Yet, Mitt Romney was -- and he would have us believe he is a conservative.  This fact alone should be enough evidence to convinced anyone that Mr. Romney is no conservative. He is a solid member of the Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party.  In 1964 we called them the “Me Too” republicans.  Today we call them RINO’s. (Republican In Name Only)

Ever since conservatives began to grow in power within the Republican Party there has been an internal war raging for control of the party.  In 1960, Richard Nixon managed to merge the two factions of the GOP into one concentrated effort.  But -- just four years afterwards Nelson Rockefeller could not.  And he was furious.  He led an unprecedented attack on the GOP conservatives that failed but left massive scars on the GOP base that are still swollen and sensitive today.

Like Rockefeller, Romney is where he is because he was “next in line.”  It is “his turn” in accordance with the way the northeastern liberals ran the party. (They have yet to learn that they no longer control the Republican Party.)  GOP voters were simple told that Romney is the “frontrunner”  … no matter that Romney did not have the strength that comes from the support of the party faithful – including the conservative base of the party today. 

The so-called “republican establishment,” somehow, missed the fact that the power in the GOP switched from the northeastern states to the southern states years ago.  They also seem to have been oblivious of the inherent distrust of northeastern politicians in the south, which is left over from “Reconstruction” of the South immediately following the American Civil War a hundred and fifty years ago.  (Painful memories tend to last much longer than pleasant memories.)

Michael Gerson is an op-ed columnist for The Washington Post, a Policy Fellow with the ONE Campaign, and a former senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as President George W. Bush’s chief speechwriter from 2001 until June 2006, as a senior policy advisor from 2000 through June 2006.  Mr. Gerson once described Romney this way:  "Romney's main political vulnerability is a serious one. Running for Massachusetts' governor in 2002, he was a pro-choice, economically centrist, and culturally liberal, business oriented Republican."

You DID see “pro-choice,” “centrist,” and “liberal” in Mr. Gerson’s description of Mitt Romney above, didn’t you?

Yes, as a conservative I want to deprive Obama of a second term as President.  But I do not want to swap one liberal for another.  Besides, we have the likelihood of two vacancies on the US Supreme Court coming up in the next four to five years and it is vital that there be a conservative in the White House to appoint two conservative justices.

Romney cannot pull the two factions of the GOP together.  He may win the nomination but he will not win the election against Obama. The GOP’s “Anybody But Obama” strategy will not work. It is doomed to failure. It is as simple – AND -- as sad as that.  And yes, it IS depressing.

J. D. Longstreet      

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Nation of Bastards

A Nation of Bastards 

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

The dictionary defines bastard as:
/ˈbæstərd/ noun
a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate child.   (SOURCE)

In America today “73 percent of black children are born outside marriage, compared with 53 percent of Latinos and 29 percent of whites.” (SOURCE)

What ever happened to shame?  An even better question to ask, perhaps, is what has happened to self-respect?

Today in America  “…. More than half of births for women under 30 occur outside marriage.” (SOURCE)

It would appear, from the current figures, that our friends of the liberal and progressive persuasion have done a heck of a job in their efforts to destroy the American family.  It has worked beyond their wildest expectations.

In the not too distant past having the misfortune to be born a bastard marked you for life.  Your expectations were not good, to say the least.

Mothers of bastard children were marked for life as well.  They were social outcasts.  The fathers were, well, just SOBs lacking in self-control and having no respect for women, children, or the family.  He was not to be trusted, period.

America has truly become a “nation of bastards.”

You may ask why I am so concerned over this jaw-dropping illegitimacy rate.  The answer is simple.  People’s lives are being destroyed and the future of America is being destroyed right along with them.

THIS is what happens when the American family is destroyed.  Understand, two mommies, or two daddies -- with children -- is NOT a family.  A single parent with children is only half a family, at best. A family MUST be a father, mother, and the children.

Msgr. Charles Pope, of the Archdiocese of Washington, has said: “The breakdown of the traditional family is at the heart of what Daniel Patrick Moynihan once called a “tangle of pathologies.” The image I have often used is that the breakdown of the nuclear family is in fact a kind of nuclear fission. For the family (not the individual) is the basic unit of society. Splitting the family is like splitting the atom, it leads to a destructive chain reaction that, if not somehow controlled and contained, destroys just about everything in sight.

So many of our national ills are show(ing) a strong connection to the breakdown of the family: poverty (the highest correlation to poverty is single motherhood), juvenile crime, teenage suicide, promiscuity, teenage pregnancy, lower SAT and other academic scores, higher dropout rates, authority and trust issues, abortion (85% of abortions are performed on single women), a demonstrated lower capacity to make and keep commitments, delayed maturity, and a whole array of other things in a “tangle of pathologies.”

Clearly God, and nature provide that a child should have the influence of both a father and a mother, both a male and a female influence. It makes sense that proper human formation would require both male and female influence, which is both complimentary and diverse. There are important things that a child can learn from his father than he cannot learn from his mother and vice versa.” (SOURCE)

If you were taken aback when you read the title of this piece, then your shock is a clear indication of just how efficient the political correctness movement has been in America concerning issues such as illegitimacy. 
Black American leaders have failed, in my opinion.  It seems to be evident they had rather rail against racism, slavery, and poverty than attack, head-on, the breath taking issue of black bastard childbirths.  Even, it would seem, when 73% of the children of America’s black community are born out of wedlock, it is still much easier to take the path of least resistance and preach “victimhood” to America’s black community than it is to preach “responsibility” for one’s self and one’s circumstances.

As MSGR. Charles Pope says:  Hard though it is, accepting personal responsibility is essential to human dignity.” (SOURCE)

To learn why America is crumbling, it is necessary to inspect the foundation – the family. 

When the foundation of any edifice begins to crumble it is only a matter of time before the entire structure collapses.

J. D. Longstreet   

Sunday, February 26, 2012

“The Community Organizer’s Collectivist Vision.”

Keith Koffler, over at the “White House Dossier,” has a must read commentary titled:  “The Community Organizer’s Collectivist Vision.”  Click on this link to read it:   WHITE DOSSIER

J. D. Longstreet

Greener Than Thou ... Alan Caruba

Greener Than Thou

By Alan Caruba

The most obnoxious and hypocritical people are those who are always preaching a “greener” way of life, insisting that anything that constitutes our modern lifestyles is destroying the Earth and depleting its natural resources. Never mind that we depend upon oil, natural gas, coal, and a host of minerals and chemicals for that lifestyle, the absence of which caused people in earlier eras to live shorter, far more unpleasant lives.

Oil, other than ust an energy source is also a component in countless products, starting with plastic, and is so vital to modern life that its value goes far beyond just being able to drive our cars to visit grandma.

Greener than thou has replaced holier than thou ever since Rachel Carson penned her pernicious and seriously flawed attack on DDT and other chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides in 1962. The result has been the needless deaths of millions from malaria in Africa and subtropical nations after the U.S. banned DDT and other nations followed suit. If there was a comparable pesticide available today, the U.S. would not be suffering a biblical plague of bed bugs.

A bone fide environmentalist, David Owen, has written a book that quite literally filets environmentalism, “The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse.” ($14.00, Riverhead Press, softcover).

Owen, who has authored 14 previous books, examines the way environmentalism frequently makes no sense at all. This is not to be confused with conservation, the earlier movement that led to the preservation of some of the nation’s natural wonders.

To live an environmentally acceptable way of life is the same as striving to be a saint, avoiding “sin” in order to secure a place in heaven. It is not only virtually impossible, but to be human is to consume what Nature provides. If you think about, all of Earth's creatures are consumers, depending on where they are on the food chain.

For example, when environmentalists convinced Congress to reduce the amount of water in toilet tanks, the only thing they accomplished was to require that the newer, smaller tanks had be flushed twice to rid he toilet of feces and urine, i.e., more use of water, not less. The EPA has just issued a ruling they claim is necessary to reduce mercury emissions despite the fact that your average volcanic eruption puts more into the atmosphere than any human imposed restrictions could ever achieve. Congress, however, passed a law banning 100-watt incandescent light bulbs, thus requiring people to purchase mercury-filled ones that, if broken, require a hazmat team to clean up after.

Environmentalism is essentially irrational.

It believes that humans actually have anything to do with “saving the Earth” when the natural forces of the Earth are so far beyond any “control” that it routinely reminds us of this fact. We have zero impact on the climate and, as for carbon dioxide, the villain of all “global warming” claims, humans exhale about six pounds of it every day. And there are seven billion of us. Even so, it constitutes barely 0.033 percent of the atmosphere.

Owen begins by posing the question, “How do we truly begin to think about less—less fossil fuel, less carbon, less water, less waste, less habitat destruction, less population stress—when our sense of economic, cultural, and personal well-being is based on more?”

The real question at the heart of all environmentalism is what do we do when there are seven billion humans using the resources of the Earth and the real answer for environmentalists is how do we reduce the Earth’s population and how do they grow rich in the process? That is what lies at the heart of all the “solutions” put forth by the United Nations environmental program; an enemy of the human race if there ever was one.

What environmentalists want is “a vast, unprecedented transformation of human behavior in our relationship with energy and consumption.” The next time you hear anyone call for a “transformation” know also that they are a charlatan seeking control over your life.

The environmental assumption is that the Earth is running out of the sources of energy and that consumption is bad. Both are equally wrong because the Earth is not running out of the sources of energy and consumption is what humans and all other species on Earth do every day.

Owen believes that humans are “the world’s main emitter of manmade greenhouse gases” and this is utterly false. The so-called greenhouse gases are the ones in the atmosphere that not only keep the Sun from turning the Earth into a desiccated version of Mars or the Moon, but in the case of carbon dioxide, it is responsible for every single element of vegetation upon which all life depends.

Owen and many environmentalists would prefer that all of humanity live packed side-by-side in crowded cities, using mass transit or bicycling to work to save the Earth, but anyone who gives two thoughts to the amount of energy consumed to maintain a city knows this too is yet another idiotic environmental conceit.

Indeed, Owen notes that “There are many downsides to density, including the fact that squeezing people and their destinations close together makes diseases, wars, and natural disasters more efficient, too.”

That, says Owen, is a conundrum. Indeed, his book is filled with environmental conundrums that he tries to resolve while overtly and inadvertently exposing the idiocy of environmentalism.

Simply put, farmers are the world’s natural environmentalists, relying on the weather—which they cannot control—and the stewardship of their land to feed themselves and others. They must, however, have a means to move their crops to places where other humans can acquire them and that requires a massive system of transportation which, in turn, requires the affordable use of energy.

Environmentalism’s goals, clean air and water, are laudable, but a massive governmental bureaucracy to require that people use less energy and consume less is not.

Time and time again we see examples of environmentalism that only manage to kill people, whether it is the banning of beneficial chemicals or the use of the least efficient forms of electrical power, wind and solar energy.

The least reported story out of Europe these days is the extreme cold that is literally killing people because it puts the lie to all the environmental “solutions” advanced since the 1960s. Environmentalism has been decried as a religion and, for those who want to deny a greater power, Nature or God, it remains their holy grail.

© Alan Caruba, 2012.

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, February 25, 2012

American Blood Spilled And Obama Apologizes!

American Blood Spilled And Obama Apologizes!
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

I don’t get it.  How the heck does a nation win a war when it continues to apologize to the enemy?

War fighting just ain’t what it used to be … I mean, back when we actually won wars.  Remember, we haven’t WON a war since the Second World War.  

In the first Iraq war we simply declared victory and went home.  That didn’t work, because we had to go back to try to finish the job, and we STILL haven’t won… but the troops are, again, back home.

What the heck is going on, anyway?

It’s called “political correctness” run amuck.

The funny thing is … our military has the testosterone necessary to fight and win wars.  We have the best trained and experienced military on the globe.  But we have spineless leaders.  Unfortunately, we have a civilian Commander-in-Chief of the military … A POLITICIAN.

Ye gads!  Whatever possessed our forefathers to write that into the constitution?  Of COURSE, I know why they did it.  It was to insure there would be no military control of the US government.

But I think there was something else, too.  I think our forefathers were such men of courage and bravery they simply could not fathom this nation EVER electing a leader with the courage of a doe (a female rabbit). 

But we have.

As to the riots in Afghanistan … the US military had every right to burn those religious books because they had terrorist communications written in them.  That is EXACTLY the sort of thing you destroy -- especially when you are at war. 

I mean, think about it.  Did the US apologize for winning the battle of Midway?  Did we apologize for assassinating the Japanese admiral who led the attack on Pearl Harbor?

Come to think of it, we killed hundreds of French civilians when we attacked Normandy.  Did we apologize for that?

Where is the apology from the current reigning warlord of Afghanistan for his mob’s killing of the two American soldiers? 

Geez!  This “pretty please” war fighting, led by Obama, makes me want to vomit!

Answer this:  When are the Islamofacists going to apologize for MURDERING American civilians around the world, huh?   Think about it, dear reader.  The very reason US troops are in Afghanistan in the first place is because Afghanistan hosted the training camps for the terrorists that MURDERED 3,000 Americans in New York City on September 11, 2001.

Look. Islam touts itself as the religion of peace.  That is pure 
unadulterated horse hockey! It is a religion not to be respected 
but to be FEARED.  It is the only religion I know of that has a 
stated goal of conquering the entire world and placing all the
peoples of the earth under Islamic law … or murdering them!
The thought that the US is going to have to suffer five more years 
under Obama’s gutless leadership is abhorrent, in the extreme.
I really fear for the American men and women serving in today’s 
US military.  I mean …what’s the point in going to war if you 
are not going to actually fight a war -- and fight it to win?   Why 
go through all the training and put your life on the line if some
lily-livered politician back in Washington is going to sacrifice
 your life’s blood on the alter of political expediency?

Come on, folks  Obama is actively seeking ways to gut our military. 
He is actively attempting to do away with nearly 80% of 
our nuclear arsenal.  This is the very arsenal we
will need to back up our weak military -- if Obama has 
his way and hollows them out.
I have advocated, for a very long time, for an amendment to 
the constitution that would require that a candidate for the office
 of President of the United States be a veteran of
the US military.  I believe it now more than ever before.  We have 
the evidence, right before our eyes, of the dangers of a President
 who cannot relate to the military and has no clue how to fight 
a war - and win.
Yes, I am disgusted with Obama’s behavior in this most recent 
example of his penchant for politics over national security.
If Obama owes an apology to anyone, at all, he owes one to 
the families of the two young Americans who were killed in the 
rioting in Afghanistan.  _He should apologize to them for
apologizing to the Afghans… period!
What a world we live in.  What a country we live in today.  
It is barely recognizable as the country in which I grew up.  It is 
so bad, I actually fear for the future of my grandchildren.
If America has any chance at all of regaining its stature, heck, 
of regaining it’s self respect, then we MUST replace Obama 
in November.  For the sake of America’s sons and
daughters in uniform – toss Obama out on his ear in November.
J. D. Longstreet

Friday, February 24, 2012

Heartland Institute responds to stolen and fake documents

Note:  IOF apologizes for the late posting of this release.   However, we feel it is important enough to pass it along even at a late date.



Heartland Institute responds to stolen and fake documents

FEBRUARY 15, 2012 – The following statement from The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more information, contact Communications Director Jim Lakely at and 312/377-4000.

Yesterday afternoon, two advocacy groups posted online several documents they claimed were The Heartland Institute’s 2012 budget, fundraising, and strategy plans. Some of these documents were stolen from Heartland, at least one is a fake, and some may have been altered.
The stolen documents appear to have been written by Heartland’s president for a board meeting that took place on January 17. He was traveling at the time this story broke yesterday afternoon and still has not had the opportunity to read them all to see if they were altered. Therefore, the authenticity of those documents has not been confirmed.

Since then, the documents have been widely reposted on the Internet, again with no effort to confirm their authenticity.

One document, titled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy,” is a total fake apparently intended to defame and discredit The Heartland Institute. It was not written by anyone associated with The Heartland Institute. It does not express Heartland’s goals, plans, or tactics. It contains several obvious and gross misstatements of fact.

We respectfully ask all activists, bloggers, and other journalists to immediately remove all of these documents and any quotations taken from them, especially the fake “climate strategy” memo and any quotations from the same, from their blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.

The individuals who have commented so far on these documents did not wait for Heartland to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents. We believe their actions constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages, including damages to our reputation. We ask them in particular to immediately remove these documents and all statements about them from the blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.

How did this happen? The stolen documents were obtained by an unknown person who fraudulently assumed the identity of a Heartland board member and persuaded a staff member here to “re-send” board materials to a new email address. Identity theft and computer fraud are criminal offenses subject to imprisonment. We intend to find this person and see him or her put in prison for these crimes.

Apologies: The Heartland Institute apologizes to the donors whose identities were revealed by this theft. We promise anonymity to many of our donors, and we realize that the major reason these documents were stolen and faked was to make it more difficult for donors to support our work. We also apologize to Heartland staff, directors, and our allies in the fight to bring sound science to the global warming debate, who have had their privacy violated and their integrity impugned.

Lessons: Disagreement over the causes, consequences, and best policy responses to climate change runs deep. We understand that.

But honest disagreement should never be used to justify the criminal acts and fraud that occurred in the past 24 hours. As a matter of common decency and journalistic ethics, we ask everyone in the climate change debate to sit back and think about what just happened.

Those persons who posted these documents and wrote about them before we had a chance to comment on their authenticity should be ashamed of their deeds, and their bad behavior should be taken into account when judging their credibility now and in the future.

The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, DC. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site at or call 312/377-4000.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

War … And rumors of War ... Texas Fred

War … And rumors of War
By Texas Fred 

7 killed in Afghan protests over Quran burning
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – The Interior Ministry on Wednesday said seven people were killed in clashes between Afghan security forces and protesters demonstrating against the burning of Muslim holy books at a NATO military base.
The anger over the Quran burning has sparked two days of protests across Afghanistan and tapped into anti-foreign sentiment fueled by a popular perception that foreign troops disrespect Afghan culture and Islam. The demonstrations prompted the U.S. to lock down its embassy and bar its staff from traveling. SOURCE
Muslims will KILL YOU over a slight against Islam. Just one word, one that Muslims consider to be a denigration against Allah or Mohamed and BOOM, it’s on!

Muslims will issue a Death Fatwa against a person, a group of persons, a nation, whatever the case may be, if they perceive an insult against Islam.

You can’t FIGHT that mindset. You can fight and change an ideology that is centuries old and based on death to those that insult Islam with a modern day version of The Crusades and a campaign to win hearts and minds.

American war reporter Marie Colvin killed in Syria
LONDON (AP) – Respected American journalist Marie Colvin, who spent decades reporting on conflicts from Sri Lanka to Syria, focusing on the suffering of women and children in wartime, died in a fierce shelling attack Wednesday in Syria.
Colvin, who was 57, was known for her courage behind the front lines and immediately recognizable for an eye patch that hid an injury suffered in a Sri Lankan ambush. She had been holed up in the besieged Syrian city of Homs. Sunday Times editor John Witherow confirmed her death during a “devastating bombardment by the Syrian army.” SOURCE
If you spend enough time in a WAR ZONE, you are eventually going to run out of luck.

Not to take away from Ms. Colvin or her work, but she KNEW the dangers she faced, and she accepted those dangers. She did her job as she saw fit and she died doing the job she had dedicated her life to.

Sadly, none of our soldiers gets an individual write-up from the media when they die defending America and for doing their job.

US troops now in 4 African countries to fight LRA
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – A top military official says that U.S. troops are now deployed in four central African countries as part of U.S. efforts against a brutal rebel group called the Lord’s Resistance Army.
Rear Adm. Brian L. Losey, the top U.S. special operations commander for Africa, said Wednesday that U.S. troops are now stationed in bases in Uganda, Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
The U.S. announced in October it was sending about 100 U.S. troops – mostly special operations forces – to central Africa to advise in the fight against the LRA and its leader Joseph Kony. SOURCE
I remember when we sent Special Forces in to Vietnam as advisors in the fight against Communism and Hồ Chí Minh.

Isn’t it amazing how history repeats itself? And how we never seem to learn the lessons that history has taught?

Deja Vu all over again.

Texas Fred 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Why Pay to Read Lies? Newspapers in Decline ... Alan Caruba

Why Pay to Read Lies? Newspapers in Decline

By Alan Caruba

The job I loved most in my long career as a writer was as a journalist, first on weekly newspapers and then on a daily. I loved breaking news, the deadlines, and the thrill of seeing my words in print. Old enough to remember Linotype, I even would set pages with the newly minted metal strips of text.

The day The New York Times Jersey edition published a piece I wrote, I thought I had reached some magical place amongst my fellow journalists. What I had unknowingly reached was being published in a newspaper with a long history of printing lies and doing everything in its power to influence events through its news columns. That’s a no-no.

In a long career as a public relations counselor I have counted many reporters and editors among my friends and still do. I have been a member of the Society of Professional Journalists since the 1970s.

Sadly, journalism never did and probably still doesn’t pay salaries commensurate with the economy. So, in the words of Mae West, “I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.”

In 1984, I founded The National Anxiety Center as a clearinghouse for information about scare campaigns that were designed to influence public opinion and policy. My primary concern was all the lies being told by self-identified environmentalists. Simply stated, if some Green group tells you something, get a second and third opinion. They are lying.

The worst of it that the media has taken their lies at face value and continue to pass them along to a public that is easily fooled and easily scared. This is especially true of “official” sources such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and others. All governments lie to their citizens and ours is no exception.

The damage that Green lies do can get people killed. Since the publication of Rachel Carson’s “The Silent Spring” millions, particularly in Africa and subtropical nations have died from malaria because DDT was banned as the result of her book. Similarly, the least reported, but most current story is the deep freeze that has affected much of Europe and which has caused several hundred deaths.

Like a biblical punishment, newspapers are feeling the brunt of the changes the Internet has brought about. With search engines at our fingertips, anyone can research any topic of interest, often finding that what the daily newspaper or news magazine had to say about it is replete with omissions of critical facts or the deliberate dissemination of falsehoods.

Then there’s the way the newspapers and other news media tend to focus on stories like the death and funeral of Whitney Houston or some local tragedy that briefly attracts national attention. Wars are usually reported in terms of casualties. Political campaigns are reduced to horse races. Religious and moral issues barely tolerated.

Almost anything published about Islam must be read through the thin gauze of political correctness that ignores the menace of Islam to those living in Muslim nations and in nations where they gain a population foothold. It is a religion that sanctions stoning women to death, decapitating “infidels”, and even sending children into mine fields to clear them. It is pure barbarism and has zero tolerance for freedom of speech, the press, other religions, or independent thought.

All of this has much to do with the decline of newspapers nationwide. In January, on the website of Editor& Publisher, Alan D. Mutter, a former editor who blogs at Newsosaur, wrote the “Daily Paper Going the Way of the Milkman.” That caught my eye because I am old enough to remember a horse-drawn milk wagon (it was during WWII) pulling up at the driveway of my home to make deliveries.

The thought that newspaper delivery will cease in many cities around the nation is disquieting, but circulation is plunging.

The result is that reductions of newsroom staffs, reporters and editors, have been surging, with jobs eliminated in 2011 reaching nearly 30% more than the prior year. There have been five years of revenue declines. One blogger, Erica Smith, who follows the trends, estimated that 3,775+ newspaper jobs were eliminated in 2011.

According to an annual survey by the American Society of News Editors, nearly one in three newsroom jobs have been eliminated since the number of journalists peaked at 56,900 in 1989. By the end of 2010, there were only 41,600 ink-stained wretches left on the industry’s payrolls.

In recent weeks The Wall Street Journal reported “Gannett’s Profit Drops 33%” and “Thompson Reuters Posts Loss.”

Putting aside why advertisers are seeking greener pastures and platforms to sell their goods, let me suggest that an underlying and largely unexplored reason for the declines being felt throughout traditional print journalism outlets is that people simply do not want to pay for lies every day between the horoscope, the crossword puzzle, and the obituary page.

Lies? The print media and its broadcast counterpart fell totally in love with Barack Obama in 2008 and we ended up with a completely unknown and largely unvetted former Senator who hadn’t even served a full term there. People remember stuff like that.

They remember years of unmitigated lies about “global warming” when there wasn’t any threat at all.

They remember being told that coffee was bad for you followed by stories that coffee is good for you.

There are many factors at play in the decline of newspapers, but I think one factor is the general disenchantment with the product—the news—that too often tends to turn out to be false.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

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.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Freedom of Speech a Fantasy in America

Freedom of Speech a Fantasy in America

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

We have known for some time that the government was listening to our phone calls, landlines and cell phones, and we have suspected they were doing the same thing to our e-mail and to our blogs.  Now we KNOW.

“A privacy advocacy group has swayed Congress to hold a hearing next week into the Department of Homeland Security’s practice of monitoring social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as media reports and organizations, including The Drudge Report.”  (SOURCE)

How much longer will Americans allow our freedom to be eroded … taken away?  How long are we going to allow the desecration of the US Constitution? 

Since September 11th, 2001 we have been trading our freedom for security.  It never works.  The end result has always been that a people who trade freedom for security eventually wind up with neither. 
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) recently obtained close to 300 pages of documents, as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, detailing the federal agency’s “intelligence gathering” practices on the web.

Among the documents were guidelines from DHS instructing outside contractors to monitor the web for media reports and comments that “reflect adversely” on the agency or the federal government.

As Reuters reported last month, in early 2010 contractors were asked to spend 24 hours monitoring news media coverage on popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, WikiLeaks, as well as news sites including the Huffington Post and The Drudge Report.

The documents obtained by EPIC indicate that following the exercise, a procurement official awarded an $11.3 million contract to General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in order to carry out the monitoring on a “24/7/365 basis”.” (SOURCE)      

What has happened to America’s guarantee that its citizens have “freedom of speech?”  Has that guarantee been revoked?  Indeed, it has.

Look.  America has a government run amok.  Like a giant vacuum cleaner, Washington is sucking our freedom up and leaving us vulnerable to a tyrannical central government with a socialist agenda.

The Bill of Rights, the leash our founders placed around the neck of government in America has been slipped and like a ravenous junkyard dog, that government is devouring the liberty and freedom of all Americans. 

The Obama Regime has been the worst violator of the government restraints placed on them by the constitution since the Lincoln Administration.

The corruption within the current government is as bad, or worse, than that of the Grant Administration.  Government -- and the power of government -- has grown exponentially under Obama’s leadership  -- and he is asking for another term to complete the job.

Consider this:  As we observe the degradation of American liberty under the Obama Regime’s first term, what do you think will happen when Obama is not restrained by an impending election?  Can America survive as a free constitutional representative republic with a capitalist society?  In my opinion, the answer is an emphatic, resounding NO!  America cannot survive.  At least a FREE America cannot survive.

America is facing the very real threat of becoming another socialist dung heap where all its citizens suffer “fairly” or, as the socialists and Marxists say, … equally.

Ginger McCall, the Director of EPIC is reported to have said:  “The idea that the government is constantly peering over your shoulder and listening to what you are saying creates a very chilling effect to legitimate dissent.”  (SOURCE)  

I agree with Ms. McCall, except that I would take it a step farther.  Not only does government eavesdropping chill freedom of speechit THROTTLES it!    

This whole mess is just another indication of how America has slipped into the Post Constitution era.  The “fabled” US Constitution is a thing of the past.  It is a myth born in the dim mists of yesteryear and is no longer applicable today. 

Just as history records that Nero burned Rome, history must record that Obama presided over the destruction of America. 

Look.  A nation like America can only be successful if it has a God-fearing populace, not a people who celebrate infanticide and behavior that God has proclaimed an abomination. America is more like the latter than the former today.  As a result, we have sold ourselves into slavery.

The distant bell we hear is tolling America’s death knell.  The last best hope of mankind is breathing it’s last, felled by it’s own hand.

J. D. Longstreet

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Global Warming Hoax is Now Killing People ... Alan Caruba

The Global Warming Hoax is Now Killing People

By Alan Caruba

By Friday, February 10th, an estimated 500 Europeans had died from the freezing weather gripping the continent. This is the price they and British citizens are paying for embracing the global warming hoax, spending billions for wind power when they should have been building coal-fired and other sources of energy to heat their homes and businesses.

As the British daily, The Telegraph, reported on Friday, “Serbia has started implementing power cuts in a desperate bid to stave off the collapse of its national grid as the country suffers the effects of days of freezing temperatures.”

I and others have been warning for years that the Earth has been cooling since 1998 and that the planet is on the cusp of a new ice age because the average length of an interglacial period of warmth between such ages is now coming to an end after the passage of some 11,500 years.

All aspects of global warming legislation and spending programs must be utterly reversed if we are not going to see huge losses of life and the disruption of entire economies.

The Ottawa Citizen published an Agence France Presse article on Friday reporting that “Thick ice closed vast swaths of the Danube on Thursday, crippling shipping on Europe’s busiest waterway, as the death toll from bitter cold across the continent rose…as it has every day for nearly two weeks.” The report noted that “Navigation was impossible or restricted in Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria, as ice covered the river or formed dangerous floes in shipping lanes.”

No shipping means no delivery of coal and oil and no shipping of food and other necessities. Europe is freezing over as the United States has been experiencing an unusually mild winter thus far. That, too, is likely to yield to the increased cooling of the planet and then, maybe, Americans will realize the threat to their lives that the closing of coal-fired plants, instigated by the Environmental Protection Agency, really means.

In England, the Mail, reported on Sunday, February 12th, that large numbers of its elderly citizens are being “frozen to death as fuel bills soar: hypothermia cases among the elderly double in five years.” England, now gripped by foolish green notions of renewable energy, has covered itself with wind turbines, despoiling its countryside and coasts while proving unreliable and incapable of meeting its energy needs.

Figures showed that “1,876 patients were treated in hospital for hypothermia in 2010-2011, up from 950 in 2006-2007” reported the Mail. “Three-quarters of victims were pensioners, with cases soaring among the over-60s more than any other age group.”

In Europe, other news organizations reported that “Many of the dead were homeless people, who literally froze to death as the temperatures dropped to minus 50 degrees in some parts of the continent. Their bodies were found in the streets buried under snow, in rivers, and in doorways. Dozens of people were also killed in weather-related accidents.”

Writing in a Turkish newspaper, the Hurriyet Daily News, Sophie Quintin Adali, an analyst for a project of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, said, “As if the debt crisis weren’t bad enough news, the climate freeze sweeping across Europe is wreaking havoc by severely disrupting travel, business and people’s lives. Local authorities, indeed whole countries, are caught poorly prepared.” Turkey is experiencing record snowfall and low temperatures.

“The lack of readiness should come as no surprise because for decades the sensationalist message of global warming has dominated the public area,” said Ms. Adali.

“Politicians and decades of political environmentalism have a lot to answer for,” said Ms. Adali. “The man-made climate theory…is still supported by a mighty European Union bureaucracy and a green network addicted to public funds.” Even now, the Green Climate Fund “through which millions of taxpayer’s money will still be disbursed” is threatening the lives and the economy of people worldwide.

The current freeze is not just affecting Europe, but reaching across the Mediterranean to North African nations. And at some point America will feel it too.

We have not built a single new nuclear plant in America since 1978. EPA rules are forcing the closure of coal-fired plants throughout the nation. The national grid for the distribution of electricity is in need of upgrades.

The nation’s policies are controlled by the most environmentally insane administration in its history, wasting billions on so-called green energy. Its new budget raises taxes and proposes a trillion-dollar deficit without any significant effort to cut the spending that has left this and future generations in debt while the price of gas soars to new heights.

America and the rest of the world have been horribly deceived by the United Nations Intergovernmental Climate Change Panel that continues to drive the global warming hoax. The lying scientists who got on the global warming gravy train, the politicians that embraced it, and the media that misled millions are all culpable, all responsible.

They should be driven from office, defunded, and chased through the streets like villagers in pursuit of  Frankenstein.

People are freezing to death in their homes and in the streets. What will it take to drive a stake into the heart of the global warming monster?

© Alan Caruba, 2012

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, February 14, 2012

Obama And The Pope’s Divisions

Obama And The Pope’s Divisions
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

“How many divisions does the Pope of Rome have?”  That question was asked by Joseph Stalin and addressed to Winston Churchill.

In 1944, at a time when the Soviet Union bore the brunt of the struggle against Nazi Germany, it was important to convince Stalin that the Western democracies accepted him as an equal. “‘In the world of the future, for which our soldiers have shed their blood on countless fronts”, the British Prime Minister said in his bombastic style, “our three great democracies will demonstrate to all mankind that they, both in wartime and in peacetime, will remain true to the high principles of freedom, dignity, and happiness of the people. That is why I attach such paramount importance to good neighbourly relations between a restored Poland and the Soviet Union. It was for the freedom and independence of Poland that Britain went into this war. The British feel a sense of moral responsibility to the Polish people, to their spiritual values. It is also important that Poland is a Catholic country. We cannot allow internal developments there to complicate our relations with the Vatican…”

“How many divisions does the Pope of Rome have?” Stalin asked, suddenly interrupting Churchill’s line of reasoning.

Churchill stopped short. He had not expected such a question. After all, he was speaking about the moral influence of the Pope, not only in Poland, but, also, throughout the world. Once again, Stalin reaffirmed that he only respected force, and brought Churchill back down to earth from the nebulous heavens.”   …   Valentin Berezhkov, Stalin’s Interpreter. (SOURCE)

Sixty-eight years later, President Obama seems to be dismissing the Pope’s divisions just as Stalin did.

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, allow to me state clearly that I am not a Catholic.  In fact, I am a Lutheran … an “old” Lutheran.  By that, I mean that I am of the conservative side of the Lutheran faith.  I have no truck with the liberal side of the denomination.  Just so we are clear.

Dismissing the Pope’s divisions is just plain stupid.  Strong word, you think?  I don’t think so.  If the President has to tick someone off … why the Catholics? 

“About 24 percent of Americans call themselves Catholics today, but about 30 percent of Americans would have been brought up in the Catholic faith. The percentage of Americans who call themselves Catholics has remained steady at about 25 percent for over 50 years, but that is because those born Catholic here who leave the church are replaced by Catholic immigrants and by converts to Catholicism. About half of former Catholics join some form of Protestant faith community, usually evangelical; the other half are mostly unaffiliated with any religion, often calling themselves spiritual but not religious.”  (SOURCE)

I would draw your attention to this sentence from the excerpt above: “About half of former Catholics join some form of Protestant faith community, usually evangelical;” (SOURCE)

Notice the word “EVANGELICAL.”  Now, tell me, was my choice of the word “stupid” too strong, huh?

Obama is making the same mistake secularists have made for centuries and, as we can plainly see, continue to make today. A politician with an nth degree of situational awareness never, I repeat, NEVER, dismisses the Catholic Church. And yet, Obama chose to do so. 

Look, I really don’t care what your position on abortion is.  My position is very straightforward and very clear.  I believe that abortion is wrong … except when the mother’s life is in danger.

We conservative commentators warned America of the dangers of ObamaCare.  We told Americans it would be personally intrusive to a degree Americans have never known before.  Now that the evidence is laid bare, it is utterly astounding at how many Americans STILL cannot grasp how their freedom has been eroded by the legislation from hell we call ObamaCare.

It is well past time to question the judgment of the man asking for a second term as President of the United States.

J. D. Longstreet

Monday, February 13, 2012

US Government Badly Broken And Can’t Be Fixed

US Government Badly Broken And Can’t Be Fixed
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

Just the other day I was discussing the Operation Bold Alligator exercise off our coast and its relevance to an invasion of Iran with my friend Zeb.  Now, Zeb is as close a friend as I have and he happens to be of the leftist persuasion.

Zeb told me he did not think the American people would sanction another war so soon after Iraq and the winding down of the Afghanistan war.  I replied that I didn’t think the American people would have any say in the war with Iran.

I pressed on, while I had the floor, and said that the Obama administration had proven it didn’t care what the American people or the Congress had to say about Obama’s war making.  I pointed to the administrations committing of US troops and assets to the Libyan war and reminded Zeb that the Congress never gave approval for that involvement.  In fact, the Obama Administration sought, and received, permission from the UN to bomb the heck out of Libya.  I also reminded Zeb that the last “declared” war in which the US was involved was the Second World War.

Then, I took a deep breath and declared that I am of the opinion that the government of the United States is badly broken and that I do not believe it can be fixed.

By this time Zeb’s eyes had glazed over and he was no longer listening.  I did not take offense because I do the same thing when he spouts the leftist line.  But then, as I have told him so often, today’s leftist policies in America match the very same policies I saw in 1950’s Communist China and in the Soviet Union of that same era.

Soon after, Zeb left my office and went home.  No matter.  We will have this same conversation next time we meet.  We’ve been having our political duel for decades and I expect it to continue until one, or the other, goes on to his eternal reward.

For forty years the progressives, liberals, and socialists ran amok with America’s liberties. Generations of America’s children were indoctrinated in the marxist/socialist agenda for America.  Our children were “brain-washed” to turn against and disavow individual American liberties.  Instead, they were taught the merit of investing more and more power in the hands of the government, which would, they were taught, see to the welfare of its citizens.

Generations of Americans bought the idea that they were not “responsible” for themselves and their own welfare.  Looking to the government, they either did not understand, or did not care, that they were purchasing government oversight of their welfare with their freedom.

Government, any government, always seeks power.  It is the nature of government.  That is why The Founders of America went to such great lengths to deprive the US government of the ability of acting on their power, even existing power, without the consent of the people (the governed).

That is why it was absolutely necessary, in order to acquire the consent of the governed, to indoctrinate our children for two or three generations to believe their individual consent is no longer needed.  Those children grew into adulthood believing the government was beneficent and always would be beneficent.

Today we live with the horror that we were wrong.  Many senior American citizens saw the indoctrination and warned against it -- but to no avail. Now they, too, must live with the Damocles Sword of government power threatening their freedom and liberty even as they approach the end of their lives.

Even more horrifying is the fact that little can be done to reverse America’s move from freedom to the slavery of socialism.  It is a fact that freedom lost, is almost impossible to reacquire.

Many Americans today are calling for a “do-over.”  Having come face to face with the fact that our government is broken beyond repair, they now advocate the creation of a new government based on the original US Constitution.  The plain truth is, however, THAT is not going to happen. 

Too many Americans no longer have the courage of their convictions, as did our forefathers. It would require a division of the states, which would result in a new nation separate from the existing union.  You may recall that has already been tried -- 150 years ago -- and it resulted in the bloodiest war ever on the North American continent and, even then, ended in failure. 

Someone recently said America is no longer a democracy.  It has become an “ineptocracy.”  We have an incapable government elected by the incapable.  And we are stuck with it -- even to its inevitable self-destruction.

The US government is broken, unfixable, and circling the drain.  And we, the citizens of America, are to blame.

J. D. Longstreet

Sunday, February 12, 2012

That jobs thing sure didn’t last long ... Paul Driessen

That jobs thing sure didn’t last long
Obama rejects Keystone XL jobs, promotes more wind and solar subsidies. What to do now?
Paul Driessen

President Obama “is focused like a laser on putting people back to work,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) assured us last fall – echoing repeated statements by President Obama and Administration officials who “can’t wait” for Congress or others to take action and create jobs.

The jobs thing didn’t last long, however. The President soon vetoed TransCanada’s application for permits to build the Keystone XL pipeline. Approving them “would not be in the national interest,” he declared.

It is hard for most Americans to understand how it is contrary to the national interest to create 20,000 construction and manufacturing jobs, increase US gross domestic product by an estimated $350 billion, and bring 830,000 barrels of oil per day via pipeline from friend and neighbor Canada to Texas refineries. It’s hard for us to grasp how pipelining Canadian oil is worse than importing oil in much riskier tankers from unstable, unfriendly places like Venezuela and the Middle East – or how it’s better for the global environment to transport Canadian oil by tanker to China, where it will be burned under far less rigorous pollution laws and controls.

It’s equally hard for average citizens to comprehend how more than three years of careful environmental studies are insufficient, especially after the State Department had issued several reports concluding that the pipeline would have only “limited adverse environmental impacts” in areas that are already dotted with oil wells and crisscrossed with oil and gas pipelines.

To suppose, as the President insisted, that Keystone would generate “a lot fewer jobs than would be created by extending the payroll tax cut and extending unemployment insurance” is simply baffling.

In view of White House intransigence, what should Congress and TransCanada do now?

The 1,660-mile-long Keystone XL pipeline would begin in southeastern Alberta, Canada and end in Port Arthur, Texas. Although it would incorporate the existing Keystone Cushing pipeline through Kansas and part of Oklahoma, most of the US portion (from Canada through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, and from Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Arthur) would be new. Keystone XL would create 20,000 jobs manufacturing and installing 36-inch pipe, valves and other components to build that addition.

Environmentalists predictably went ballistic. Surface mining Alberta’s oil sands damages lands and habitats, they railed. Never mind that this technique is being replaced by in situ “steam-assisted gravity drain” processes, that mined lands are being restored to forest and grass habitats, or that blocking Keystone XL will neither end oil extraction nor prevent crude or refined product shipments to China.

Mining, processing and using this oil will increase greenhouse gas levels and global warming, activists vented. Never mind that total “greenhouse gas” emissions would amount to an almost undetectable portion of annual global GHG emissions. That “dangerous manmade global warming” is an exaggerated scare that has little basis in truly peer-reviewed science. Or that there has been no warming for a decade, UN IPCC “science” is crumbling at its foundation, and increasing numbers of climate experts are publicly dissenting from IPCC orthodoxy.
Mr. Obama needs environmentalists in his camp, if he expects to be reelected. Radical greens have made Keystone XL the latest symbol of their intense hatred of anything hydrocarbon – and a centerpiece for fundraising. Like the President, they are intent on ending our “addiction to oil” and “fundamentally transforming” the energy, economic and social fabric of America.

Jobs, GDP, tax revenues and national security will therefore have to take a backseat.

As he suggested in his State of the Union speech, President Obama seems willing to generate expensive electricity for three million homes by blanketing a million acres of public lands with taxpayer-subsidized, bird-killing wind turbines, habitat-smothering solar panels, high-voltage transmission lines, and gas-fired backup units. Anti-Keystone “environmentalists” seem to have few objections to such “eco-friendly” energy. But for them a pipeline is intolerable.

Faced with these facts, TransCanada could do as Mr. Obama suggested – and reapply for permits, after the fall elections and after changing its intended pipeline route to avoid allegedly sensitive areas. In the meantime, it could continue trying to win friends and influence people.

It would drag the process out, leave the company in the “kill zone” of media and environmentalist attacks, in a political no man’s land, amid deadly crossfire from savvy and well-funded activists, journalists and bureaucrats. It would also set the stage for anti-pipeline lawsuits in courts of their choosing – perhaps in “friendly” lawsuits between “green” plaintiffs and EPA or State – when and if permits finally are granted. 

A further drawback is that focusing on the State Department and White House ignores the Interior Department, Fish & Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency and many other federal and state regulatory and judicial agencies and processes that will still stand in the way of final project approval, and will likely take years to navigate.

There is a better way.

TransCanada could and should work closely and cooperatively with farmers and farm bureaus, state governors, agencies and legislators, mayors and other affected parties, to address concerns and compensate landowners for the use of their property, unavoidable impacts and damages in the unlikely event of an accident. The company should emphasize that Keystone XL will create thousands of jobs; generate billions of dollars in private, local, state and national revenue; use the best and safest pipeline technology; and bring oil from a friendly country to American refineries, motorists, farmers and manufacturers.

TransCanada should also take legal action, in state and/or federal courts of its choosing, over causes of action of its choosing. The company’s permit application has been rejected – for specious environmental and overtly political reasons. The Administration’s decision is clearly “ripe” for litigation.

The company may be reluctant to sue. Litigation over such matters is not as common in Canada as in the lawsuit-happy USA; the judicial territory may be unfamiliar; and the outcome is not certain.
However, in the United States environmentalists often win in the courts of media and public opinion, especially in an election year, especially with hundred-million-dollar anti-oil campaigns, laden with emotional rhetoric.

On the other hand, companies frequently win in US courts of law, where they are able to compile complete judicial records with solid scientific facts supporting their projects – something that is virtually impossible to do in a sound-bite-driven (and often biased) news media. The factually bankrupt rhetoric of environmentalist campaigns is no match for sound science, when claims and arguments are scrutinized at the trial and appellate level. Faced with defeat, the green wolf packs often go off in search of easier prey.

The anti-pipeline, anti-oil sands groups will not disappear. They will most assuredly sue TransCanada and multiple government agencies if permits are ultimately issued. They will also do all they can to shut down any Pacific Gateway pipeline, any exports to Asia, and ultimately all oil sands operations.

This better way forward has strong probabilities for success. It is clearly in the national interest of both Canada and the United States that it be taken, and that it succeed.
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.