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Killing Confidence in Our Government

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, October 19th, 2014

This is article 465 of 466 in the topic Government Corruption
By Alan Caruba
What has been the over-riding theme of life in America since Barack Obama became President in 2008?
It has been the continued loss of confidence Americans have regarding various elements of the federal government. From the Centers for Disease Control, the Veterans Administration, the Secret Service, to the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service, these and other agencies have been tainted in ways that have turned his two terms into a litany of scandals and failures.
Obama is a President for whom politics is the sole reason against which every decision is made.

The latest example was the naming of an Ebola Czar. “Sources confirm to Fox News that President Obama plans to name Ron Klain, a longtime political hand with no apparent medical or health background.” In the past, Klain has served as chief of staff to Al Gore and Joe Biden. Does this make you feel any better about the Ebola threat?

I think that most Americans—not the “low information” ignorant ones—are experiencing a generalized depression about the nation these days. It’s a sense of weariness because our paychecks don’t stretch enough in the supermarket where the cost of food, particularly meat and fish, is soaring.
We wonder about the quality of education our children or grandchildren are receiving. It’s poor when compared to other nations and it undermines a belief in America’s exceptionalism.
In growing numbers younger Americans are choosing not to marry because of the costs involved and because we live in a society that no longer frowns on a couple living together; nearly half of marriages end in divorce. And then there’s same-sex marriage, a concept that was unthinkable not that long ago and for centuries in all societies.
We’re now six years into the Great Recession thanks to a White House that thought that, if the government spent $834 billion on top of the national debt, it would somehow “stimulate” the economy but government spending did not relieve Americans during the Great Depression, generate new jobs or achieve anything else that this tried-and-failed liberal theory was said to do. Who was in charge of Obama’s “stimulus” program? Ron Klain, the new Ebola Czar.
Cutting taxes, slowing and reducing regulations, and generally getting out of the way to allow people to start or expand their businesses works, but the White House went the other direction.

As an October 16 Wall Street Journal editorial noted, “Millions of American families haven’t had a raise in after-inflation incomes in years, but in Washington times are flush…the U.S. federal government rolled up record revenues of $3.013 trillion.” Individual income tax receipts rose by 5.9%, along with payroll taxes and corporate income taxes—very nearly the highest in the world—increased 16% to $321 billion.

Only the naïve or ignorant believe that the government knows how to spend our money better than we do, but liberals—Democrats—do.

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Cartoon Round Up

by Alan Caruba on Friday, October 17th, 2014

This is article 24 of 24 in the topic Humorous

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An American Decline that Must Be Reversed

by Alan Caruba on Thursday, October 16th, 2014

This is article 71 of 71 in the topic Travel/Transportation

By Alan Caruba

The tendency of pundits is to address the decline in American culture and traditional moral values. The concerns addressed include the rather sudden, but widespread embrace of same-sex marriages or calls for the legalization of marijuana so anyone can get high without the fear of arrest.
You can probably name a few things you consider evidence of decline, but there is one you are not likely to notice much. It’s the nation’s infrastructure of highways, airports, waterways and ports. It’s only dramatic declines such as the decay of Detroit, once one of the nation’s most dynamic cities that get attention because it is so blatant. We judge the backwardness of third world nations by their bad roads and lack of infrastructure to support their economies.
We don’t, however, think of the U.S. as a nation in decline, but we are.
A September study released by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) revealed that overall spending on public infrastructure fell 10.5% between 2003 and 2012. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, “Spending on highways and streets by federal, state and local governments, dropped a higher 19% during that same period, according to the study.”
NAM president, Jay Timmons, said, “The United States is stuck in a decade-long decline (in infrastructure spending) that will eventually harm job creation, future productivity and our ability to compete head-to-head with companies all over the globe.”  When a manufacturer cannot transport their product in a timely fashion, it puts them at a disadvantage. Multiply that by the nation’s many manufacturers and you have a very big problem for lack of adequate highways, roads, and bridges
The great power of America’s infrastructure was supported by the maintenance it requires. The 2013 study was commissioned by the Building America’s Future Educational Fund and NAM to survey manufacturers. It found that they “overwhelmingly viewed America’s infrastructure as old, inefficient, and badly in need of modernization.”
Findings included 70% who believed that U.S. infrastructure is in fair or poor shape and needs a great deal or quite a lot of improvement. The same percentage believe that road are getting worse and 65% did not believe that infrastructure, especially in their region, is positioned to respond to the competitive demands of a growing economy over the next 10-15 years.
This may not seem very exciting compared to news of combat in the Middle East or the threat of Ebola, but consider that, in early October, the Financial Times reported that “China has surpassed the US in terms of GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP), becoming the largest in the world by this measure, International Monetary Fund estimates show. In 2014 China reached $17.6 trillion or 16.48 percent of the world’s purchasing-power-adjusted GDP, while the US made slightly less, 16.28 percent or $17.4 trillion, according to IMF data.
We are now number two in the global economy.
The NAM study’s research, said University of Maryland Professor Jeffrey Werling, “helps confirm what engineers and executives both know, The quality and quantity of current U.S.

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Climate Change Insanity

by Alan Caruba on Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

This is article 334 of 334 in the topic Global Warming
By Alan Caruba
I went out for a walk today and enjoyed seeing how the autumn leaves are changing color because autumn, simply stated, is one of the four seasons that affects the Earth. It is part of the change that occurs as it has for billions of years.

The notion that humans have anything to do with autumn or the other seasons or that we should be spending billions of dollars to have any effect on the climate of the Earth is utterly insane.

On October 10, The Hill reported that “The U.S. might make a substantial contribution in November to an international fund that helps poor nations fight climate change, according to Peruvian Foreign Minister Gonzalo Gutierrez.”  Does anyone actually believe that any amount of money will change the climate? And yet, there is a United Nations Green Climate Fund. The UN is the locus of the climate change, formerly global warming hoax.
“So far, countries have put $2.3 billion into the fund” described as “a crucial negotiating piece for developed nations trying to woo poorer ones to the table for a global climate accord.”  Can you imagine how that money could be put to better use to fight the real problems of poorer nations?
“The fund was officially launched in 2013, after industrialized nations first pitched it in 2009 during the Copenhagen meeting, setting a target of $100 billion by 2020 for developing nations.” The U.S. has yet to have contributed, but the U.S. is $18 trillion in debt and can ill afford to throw millions at this absurd scam.
Unfortunately, the U.S. is being led by a President who has said that climate change is the greatest challenge facing the Earth. Our Secretary of State repeats this absurdity. There is surely an agenda behind this that I have yet to have determined except to think that this President has done everything in his power to destroy the nation’s economy and the claim is part of that agenda.
The climate change lies Obama keeps repeating are more than just obscene, they pose a threat to national security as he directs our military to address climate change. In a sane world, he would be removed from office.
As a recent October 1st Wall Street Journal noted, “President Obama prophesied at the United Nations last week that climate change is the ‘one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other,’ and perhaps this vision of Apocalypse explains why he thinks he can disregard the law to regulate carbon.”
Obama has been using the Environmental Protection Agency as his primary means of foisting the global warming/climate change hoax on the nation via a deluge of regulations to control “greenhouse gas emissions.”  Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the bogyman the EPA and environmentalists have been telling us is driving up the Earth temperature. Only the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for eighteen years and, at the same time, the CO2 level in the atmosphere has increased! Without any effect on the temperature!
As the Wall Street Journal opinion noted “The EPA wants to reorganize U.S.

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A Supreme Court, Not Supreme Wisdom

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, October 12th, 2014

This is article 61 of 61 in the topic Courts

By Alan Caruba

I am not a lawyer, but I have read the Constitution and I cannot find any indication that the Founding Fathers intended the guarantee of “equal protection of the laws” in the 14th Amendment to include same-sex marriage.
The idea would have been regarded as an abomination to the men who created the Constitution. To many who regard the institution of marriage a sacred bond between a man and a woman, the decisions of lower courts that have facilitated same-sex marriage are deeply offensive
When the Supreme Court decided not to decide upon appeals from seven states regarding lower court rulings that their bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, they essentially endorsed same-sex marriage. It is now legal in 25 states, paving the way for a total of 30 states that recognize it, but only by popular vote in three of them; the rest had it imposed through the courts.
The same can be said of the Supreme Court’s decision in 1973 that permitted abortion as a legal right. Here again, the 14th Amendment was cited. As one source noted, “The Court summarily announced that the ‘Fourteen Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action” includes “a right to personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy and that “this right of privacy…is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”
As this is being written, there have been more than 57,245,810 fetuses aborted since 1973 and, this year, there have been 840,045. Thus, decisions that the Supreme Court makes can literally result in life or death.
One of the most dramatic decisions of an earlier Supreme Court was the 1857 Dred Scott case that ruled that African Americans, whether slave or free, could not be American citizens and thus had no standing to sue in federal court, nor that the federal government had any power to regulate slavery in the territories acquired after the creation of the nation. The Civil War would follow in 1861 and last until 1865, resulting in more than 600,000 casualties, but finally ending slavery in America. Even some of the Founding Fathers had predicted that conflict.
When the Supreme Court has wandered into the area of social policy and culture, it has made decisions that were contrary to the majority of the population. The decision about slavery was about property—the slave–but many regarded slavery as an institution that must be ended.
The Supreme Court, of course, is not one long list of bad decisions. It has done much good and one man is credited with setting it on its course as a co-equal brand of the federal government. That man was John Marshall. I doubt that his name and deeds are  even taught in the schools of America.
As a brilliant and very entertaining biography by Harlow Giles Unger, “John Marshall: The Chief Justice Who Save the Nation”, reveals, “Marshall’s pronouncements would ensure the integrity and eminence of the Constitution and the federal government and catapult him into the pantheon of American Founding Fathers as the father of the American federal justice system.”
“He would become the longest serving Chief Justice in U.S.

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Cartoon Round Up

by Alan Caruba on Friday, October 10th, 2014

This is article 23 of 24 in the topic Humorous

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The Fourth Horseman has Arrived

by Alan Caruba on Thursday, October 9th, 2014

This is article 1 of 4 in the topic Ebola
By Alan Caruba
“I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” – Revelation 6:8
The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse as named in Revelation are Conquest, War, Famine, and Death.
It is an apt metaphor for what is occurring in America today. Ebola is now raging in several African nations, Liberia, Sierra Leon, Guinea, and Nigeria.
On September 30 the first African to make it to the U.S. with Ebola was identified. By October 8 he was dead. Ebola has arrived and, despite everything that the various agencies of the Obama Administration are telling us—the Centers for Disease Control and Homeland Security—I have no confidence it will not keep arriving.
Rather than denying entry to those living in the nations where Ebola exists there is no indication that U.S. embassies have been instructed to not issue visas. The notion that airline employees or those on alert in five U.S. airports could spot signs of an Ebola infection is so unlikely that merely scanning those suspected of having a fever provides little protection.
Britain and France have ended flights to or from the affected nations. The U.S. has not. This provides zero protection to flight crews, nor those at the arrival airports who process passengers. No mention is made of our porous southern border that is trespassed daily.
When one considers the evidence of incompetence in the nation’s federal agencies, there is scant reason to believe that either the CDC or HS are up to the task of protecting Americans, no matter how sincere their efforts. These are massive bureaucracies and they have been told not to spread any panic and their spokespersons at press conferences have held closely to this directive. No one wants panic, but neither do we want to be lulled into believing that Ebola cannot penetrate their efforts.
The only protection is to ensure that no one with even the potential of having Ebola is permitted access to the nation. Simply asking potential Ebola victims a few questions in foreign airports is tantamount to no protection.
My guess is that Ebola is already here among us. The notion that you can only be infected by close contact with a victim’s bodily fluids just doesn’t reassure me. An Ebola victim can likely spread it with nothing more than a sneeze.
Then we come to the President’s decision to send what is now in excess of 4,000 U.S. troops to the affected area troubles me the most. The odds that none of them will fall victim to Ebola seems close to zero. Since troops live and work in close proximity the potential spread of the disease among them is high.
I find it disturbing that the President did not hesitate to send U.S. troops to the Ebola zone in Africa, but cannot be convinced to send troops to find and kill the fanatical Muslims of the Islamic State before they gain more territory and pose a greater threat to our national security.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

by Alan Caruba on Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

October 9th marks the beginning of my 77th year. Every birthday is welcome and I am happy to know that my commentaries reach out to inform and entertain a lot of people via the Internet thanks to the many websites and blogs that share them. They have become my reason to get up every morning.
I am not sure that age provides that many lessons except maybe to accept the person we are with the talents and, yes, the flaws—these can be corrected. What history teaches is that mankind has been repeating the same mistakes for a very long time and I don’t expect that to change. We humans don’t seem to have much inclination to except “others” for reasons that we deem “different.”  We are not that different.
That is what I write about, knowing that there are among us some truly evil people with evil intentions. The ancients knew that too. The good news is that there are many good people and, one hopes, they outnumber the bad ones.
If you are a frequent visitor to my blog and enjoy the commentaries, this would be an ideal occasion to give Warning Signs a donation as a birthday gift. No amount is too small. Thanks!
So, now I’m onto a new year of life and for that I give thanks to God for His blessing of good health, for the joy of having had two wonderful parents, for my friends, and for my readers.
Alan Caruba blogs daily at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. An author, business and science writer, he is the founder of The National Anxiety Center.

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Desperate Wildlife Extinction Claims are Part of the Warming Hoax

by Alan Caruba on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

This is article 333 of 334 in the topic Global Warming
By Alan Caruba
One thing that those of us who have been longtime observers and debunkers of the lies surrounding global warming and/or climate change have noticed is that the “Warmists” have gotten increasingly desperate after more than eighteen years in which there has been no warming.
As what they call “a pause” continues, they are coming up with some of the most absurd “research” to make their case.  When you consider that not one single computer model produced by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or any of the other charlatans was accurate, one can imagine their sense of panic at this point.
The latest claims were made by the wildlife group, WWF, the Zoological Society of London, and other affiliated groups. On October 1st, it was reported that, based on “an analysis of thousands of vertebrate species,” populations had fallen 52% between 1970 and 2010. In 2012 the same group had claimed they had declined 28% over a similar period of time. So now we are expected to believe that within two years’ time a massive larger decline had been detected.
The claims are absurd. I won’t insult you by repeating them. Suffice to say they did not begin to cover the thousands of species that share planet Earth with humans, but you can be sure that it was humans that got blamed for the alleged declines, along with the usual recommendations that we give up the use of fossil fuels and other aspects of modern life to save some furry creature somewhere.
For years we have been hearing that polar bears have been in decline, but one of the leading authorities on this species, zoologist Dr. Susan Crockford, has a report, “Ten good reasons not to worry about polar bears”, posted on the website of the Global warming Policy Foundation, led by Dr. Benny Pieser, a longtime critic of those behind the global warming hoax.
Dr. Crockford called polar bears “a conservation success story. Their numbers have rebounded remarkably since 1973 and we can say for sure that there are more polar bears now than there were 40 years ago.
Over on CFACT’s Climate Depot.com website, similar claims about walruses were debunked by Dr. Crockford who noted that mass haulouts (areas where they congregate) of Pacific walrus and stampede deaths are not new, now due to low ice cover. “The attempts by WWF and others to link this event to global warming is self-serving nonsense,” said Dr. Crockford,, “that has nothing to do with science…this is blatant nonsense and those who support or encourage this interpretation are misinforming the public.”
“The Pacific walrus remains abundant, numbering at least 200,000 by some accounts, double the number in the 1950s.”
The same time I read the article about the wildlife extinction claims, an email arrived from the Sierra Club—the kind they send to thousands who support its agenda—saying “For a mother polar bear and her cubs, the ice is already melting around them. The last thing they need to contend with is an oil spill.”  The claim about ice is another lie because Arctic ice has been expanding, not melting, in the same fashion as ice in the Antarctic.

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Obama Wants Iran to Have Nukes

by Alan Caruba on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

This is article 1247 of 1247 in the topic International
By Alan Caruba
The President’s lack of attention and indifference to years of intelligence reports and analysis is leading to a potential horror in which Iran fulfills its quest to make its own nuclear weapons. It already has the missile capacity to deliver them throughout the Middle East and to Europe.
On October 6th Secretary of State John Kerry received a letter signed by 354 members of the House of Representatives that said in part “We are concerned that an agreement that accepts Iran’s lack of transparency on this key issue (inspections) would set the dangerous precedent that certain facilities and aspects of Iran’s nuclear program can be declared off limits by Tehran…”
Obama, however, is so intent on securing a deal with Iran—any kind of deal—that he has virtually ensured it will become the next nuclear power at the worst time in the worst place. This is the same President who thought he could reverse that hostility of the region to the U.S., blaming it on his predecessor’s military interventions. He thought he could also ignore the most powerful element of the region, the hostilities between Sunnis and Shiites that have been around for 1400 years.
Throughout history there have been world leaders who have warned of a coming horror only to be ignored. Almost alone Winston Churchill warned of the Nazi regime’s intentions and now Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, issued a comparable warning about Iran on September 29 at the United Nations. He spoke to a General Assembly gathering that many diplomats from Mid-Eastern nations shunned.
“Don’t be fooled by Iran’s manipulative charm offensive,” said Netanyahu. “It’s designed for one purpose and for one purpose only: to lift the sanctions and remove the obstacles to Iran’s path to the bomb…once Iran produces atomic bombs, all the charm and smiles will suddenly disappear. They’ll just vanish. It’s then that the ayatollahs will show their true face and unleash their aggressive fanaticism on the entire world.”
That is a definition of horror. Even throughout the long Cold War from 1945 until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, few believed that the Russians would use their nuclear weapons, nor the U.S. That cannot be said for Iran.
Netanyahu quoted from a book written by Iran’s foreign minister Muhammad Javad Zarif who wrote “We have a fundamental problem with the West, and especially with America. This is because we are heirs to a global mission, which is tied to our raison d’etra…a global mission which is tied to our very reason of being.” That mission is to impose Islam, the Shiite version, on the world. The use of terror to achieve this is natural to the world’s leading sponsor of terror.
In November 2013, former Ambassador John Bolton, writing in The Weekly Standard, described the negotiations and the agreement as ‘badly skewed from America’s perspective.

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