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Cartoon Round Up

by Alan Caruba on Friday, July 25th, 2014

This is article 1212 of 1213 in the topic International
 

 

 

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Should the Government Tell You What to Eat?

by Alan Caruba on Thursday, July 24th, 2014

This is article 68 of 68 in the topic Food/Natural Remedies

By Alan Caruba
Given the successive scandals and monster laws like Obamacare that have been imposed on Americans, the federal government’s efforts to control and determine what you eat doesn’t receive the attention that it should. The ultimate question is whether the government should tell you what to eat and then seek to enforce their views about it? The answer is no.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is one of those federal entities that should have no role in determining what is on your plate, but among its recommendations is the promotion of “a plant-based diet, reduced meat consumption, and only eating fish after reading up on which are good for you.” Meanwhile the food police have been warning against the natural element of mercury in fish even though it is so small as to constitute no health threat.

Hanns Kuttner, a senior research fellow at the Hudson Institute, a Washington, D.C.  domestic and foreign policy think tank, says that the working premise of the committee is that a “good diet would increase consumer’s costs and imply the end of entire sectors of American agriculture—all in an effort to regulate behavior that has nothing to do with nutrition.” The committee, since 2010, “has not included a member who has any knowledge of food production and food regulation.”

The committee reflects the United Nations global campaign to encourage the consumption of insects. If you love dining on bugs, the UN wants this to be a part of everyone’s diet. According to Eva Muller, the director of Food and Agricultural Organizations Forest Economics, Policy and Products Division, bugs “are nutritious, they have a lot of protein and are considered a delicacy in many countries.”

It should come as no surprise that Michelle Obama is leading the food police at this point. A program of the U.S. Agriculture Department announced new rules in 2013 to remove high caloric food and drink items from cafeterias and campuses of schools around the country. As of this year, sodas, sports drinks, and candy bars are banned. Only diet drinks, granola bars, and fruit are acceptable.

This is Big Government at work, but no one expects that kids will go along, nor are shoppers likely to embrace a U.S. Department of Agriculture report that wants to steer them toward more fruits and vegetables and away from sugar and fat-laden items. The new guide was written for the 47 million Americans who participate in the food stamp program. Yes, 47 million!

Michelle Obama also favors costly–$30,000 each—grocery carts that are color-coded to “help” consumers selected approved food items. This kind of intrusiveness is obnoxious.

Victor Skinner of the Education Action Group noted in early July that “The federal government’s attempt to force public school students to eat ‘healthier’ lunches is falling apart at the seams.” The New York Times News Service reported that the School Nutrition Association (SNA) which initially welcomed the bans is now lobbying Congress to dial back on the “overly prescriptive” and expensive changes.

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A Great Plan to Replace the EPA

by Alan Caruba on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

This is article 77 of 77 in the topic EPA

By Alan Caruba
For years now I have been saying that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must be eliminated and its powers given to the fifty states, all of which, have their own departments of environmental protection. Until now, however, there has been no plan put forth to do so.

Dr. Jay Lehr has done just that and his plan no doubt will be sent to the members of Congress and the state governors. Titled “Replacing the Environmental Protection Agency” it should be read by everyone who, like Dr. Lehr, has concluded that the EPA was a good idea when it was introduced in 1971, but has since evolved into a rogue agency threatening the U.S. economy, attacking the fundamental concept of private property, and the lives of all Americans in countless and costly ways.

Dr. Jay Lehr

Dr. Lehr is the Science Director and Senior Fellow of The Heartland Institute, for whom I am a policy advisor. He is a leading authority on groundwater hydrology and the author of more than 500 magazine and journal articles, and 30 books. He has testified before Congress on more than three dozen occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the federal government and with many foreign countries. The Institute is a national nonprofit research and education organizations supported by voluntary contributions.

Ironically, he was among the scientists who called for the creation of the EPA and served on many of the then-new agency’s advisory councils. Over the course of its first ten years, he helped write a significant number of legislative bills to create a safety net for the environment.

As he notes in his plan, “Beginning around 1981, liberal activist groups recognized EPA could be used to advance their political agenda by regulating virtually all human activities regardless of their impact on the environment. Politicians recognized they could win votes by posing as protectors of the public health and wildlife. Industries saw a way to use regulations to handicap competitors or help themselves to public subsidies. Since that time, not a single environmental law or regulation has passed that benefited either the environment or society.”

“The takeover of EPA and all of its activities by liberal activists was slow and methodical over the past 30 years. Today, EPA is all but a wholly owned subsidiary of liberal activist groups. Its rules account for about half of the nearly $2 trillion a year cost of complying with all national regulations in the U.S. President Barack Obama is using it to circumvent Congress to impose regulations on the energy sector that will cause prices to ‘skyrocket.’ It is a rogue agency.”

Dr. Lehr says that “Incremental reform of EPA is simply not an option.”  He’s right.

>“I have come to believe that the national EPA must be systematically dismantled and replaced by a Committee of the Whole of the 50 state environmental protection agencies. Those agencies in nearly all cases long ago took over primary responsibility for the implementation of environmental laws passed by Congress (or simply handed down by EPA as fiat rulings without congressional vote or oversight.”

Looking back over the years, Dr.

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The Nexus of Illegal Drugs and Illegal Immigration

by Alan Caruba on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

This is article 82 of 82 in the topic Drug War

By Alan Caruba

All manner of reasons are being offered to explain the influx of thousands of illegal aliens, not the least of which is President Obama’s open invitation to Latin Americans to come here with the promise of becoming citizens at some point. By overloading the southern border, this has opened the doors to criminals and potential terrorists as well.

In March, the Huffington Post took note of the other far lesser known or discussed reason our southern border is so porous. “Americans Spent About A Trillion Dollars on Illegal Drugs in the Last Decade.”  With that kind of money awaiting them, you can be sure that the drug cartels are going to make every effort to satisfy the market.

The article was about a Rand Corporation report by its Drug Policy Research Center as requested by the Office of National Drug Control Policy that tracked total expenditures, consumption, and number of users of marijuana, cocaine (including crack), heroin and methamphetamine. The decade tracked was 2000 to 2010.

Despite federal spending between $40 and $50 billion to fight the war on drugs, “American spending levels on illegal drugs stayed more or less the same.”  RAND drew some of its data from the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program, but it is no longer funded by the federal government which, one must assume, leaves it unable to know if the market for illegal drugs has expanded, shrunk or stayed the same.

The news about the illegal immigration from Latin American nations has a side to it that has not received much news coverage. It has to do with the views of four-star Marine Corps General John Kelly who heads the U.S. Military’s Southern Command. In a July 8 essay in the Military Times, “Central America Drug War a Dire Threat to U.S. National Security”, Gen. Kelly noted how the drug cartels have overwhelmed the governments of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, rendering any opposition to them too great a threat.

“Due to the insatiable U.S. demand for drugs, particularly cocaine, heroin and now methamphetamines, all produced in Latin American and smuggled into the U.S.” said Gen. Kelly, they have been left “near broken societies” in which the rule of law has been destroyed. How bad is it? According to the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., applications for asylum in neighboring countries—mostly Mexico and Costa Rica—are up 712%,

Cutting off aid to these countries as has been suggested by some will turn them into entities that are little more than names on a map and increase the distress of their law-abiding populations. Indeed, because so many of them have already come to the U.S., the children arriving here have families waiting for them. Seventy-three percent of the 47,017 minors apprehended at the border were from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. They will stay here to be processed by a system that has not deterred the estimated eleven million illegal aliens already living here.

According to Sen.

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The Nemesis of Agenda21

by Alan Caruba on Monday, July 21st, 2014

This is article 5 of 5 in the topic Agenda 21

By Alan Caruba

Watching left-wing organizations lose their wits denouncing conservatives is always fun and particularly if you know one of their targets. In my case, that would be Tom DeWeese, the founder and president of the American Policy Center; the most expert and outspoken opponent of Agenda21 in the nation.

In the early 1990s I sent him a commentary and he published it in The DeWeese Report, a publication of the Center, and thereafter I served as the Center’s communications director for a while. These days I am on its board of advisors.

He is a patriot and he lives his love for America by devoting himself to educating people to the dangers of the United Nations Agenda 21 with its emphasis on “sustainable development” and a range of issues involving ill-conceived environmental policies and programs, the importance of private property rights, the threat of federal computer banks to individual privacy rights, as well as issues such as federal education policies in our nation’s schools.

At the heart of Agenda21 is “sustainable development” which is justified by the global warming hoax that is based on reductions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other so-called greenhouse gases. The Earth’s temperature and climate is determined by the sun. The gases of its atmosphere are in flux as oceans absorb and release CO2, and clouds come and go in a constant dynamic of change. What mankind does has virtually no impact on the weather short-term or the climate long-term.

“Sustainable Development”, Tom wrote in “How Global Policy Becomes Local”, “is truly stunning in its magnitude to transform the world into feudal-like governance by make nature the central organizing principle for our economy and society. It is a scheme fueled by unsound science and discredited economics that can only lead modern society down the road to a new Dark Age.”

“It is systematically implemented through the creation of non-elected visioning boards and planning commissions. There is no place in the Sustainable world for individual thought, private property or free enterprise. It is the exact opposite of the free society envisioned by this nation’s founders.”

I told you he was a patriot, didn’t I? Because only patriots feel that passionately about individual freedom, property rights, free enterprise, and all those concepts that make Leftists break out in a cold sweat.

Among the left-wing groups that do not like Tom is the Southern Poverty Law Center and it devotes a lot of time denouncing him. On their website, the SPLC reveals its own agenda and why Tom is the enemy. “For 20 years now, Tom DeWeese has been on a jihad against global plans for sustainable development.” The key word here is “global” as in U.N., not U.S.

Imagine my surprise as I read the SPLC post that said, “Serving on the board of DeWeese’s American Policy Center (is) Alan Caruba” and noting that I blog for the Tea Party Nation. I contribute to their blog section, but I do not blog for the group.  It should come as no surprise that the SPLC identifies Tea Party Nation as “a hate group.” It’s a pretty good description of the SPLC!

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Obama Encounters an Apex of Anger

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, July 20th, 2014

This is article 994 of 996 in the topic Obama

By Alan Caruba

Barack Obama has managed to do something one would hardly imagine a President could achieve by the midpoint of his second term. He has managed to anger most segments of the American populace, including those to the far Left who constitute a significant part of his base.  It has taken time for most people to reach this point.

Americans are amazingly patient with their presidents, but Obama has pushed them beyond scandal fatigue. The “final straw” appears to be the illegal alien invasion masterminded by Obama.

What they are seeing and hearing is not what they were sold; a charming man of allegedly extraordinary intelligence. Friday’s press conference regarding the shoot down of the Malaysian commercial aircraft showed us a man utterly lacking any moral outrage and, as always, “leading from behind” by insisting this was Europe’s problem, not one that would be addressed by an America doing anything more than applying a few economic sanctions.

He looked and sounded bored, annoyed that he had to utter a bunch of empty platitudes about Russia; the same Russia with which he and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had declared a “reset” from previous administrations’ relations. Putin took his measure and saw weakness.

Obama’s response to the Middle East was to pull out all our troops from Iraq and a muddled series of actions in Afghanistan topped by the announcement of when troops there would leave, always a very bad idea when the enemy is still in the field. The “Arab Spring” became another Obama nightmare of bad decisions.

Lies, Lies, and More Lies

It took years, but it eventually became clear to most paying any attention that Obama has told so many lies that whatever he says now is deemed worthless. Then, too, his administration is now subject to congressional investigations that include the Internal Revenue Service and the Veterans Administration.

The Attorney General was slapped with contempt of Congress. A key figure in the IRS scandal, Lois Lerner, has pled the Fifth.

The House of Representatives is getting ready to sue Obama for failing to obey the Constitution’s separation of powers. The President’s efforts to ignore the Constitution have been met with an extraordinary number of Supreme Court rebuffs, many of which were unanimous.

How bad is Obama’s situation at present? One indication is the way the news media has been slowly, but steadily falling out of love with him. As Paul Bedard noted recently in the Washington Examiner, “In unprecedented criticism of the White House 38 journalism groups have assailed the president’s team for censoring media coverage, limiting access to top officials, and overall ‘politically-driven suppression of the news.”

David Cuiller, president of the Society of Professional Journalists, said, “It is up to journalists—and citizens—to push back against this force.

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Cartoon Round Up

by Alan Caruba on Friday, July 18th, 2014

This is article 14 of 14 in the topic Humorous

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How "Normal" is Bowe Bergdahl?

by Alan Caruba on Thursday, July 17th, 2014

This is article 301 of 302 in the topic US Military
Bowe Bergdahl and a Taliban friend

By Alan Caruba

There are few military crimes worse than desertion to the enemy short of outright treason by giving them aid and comfort.
So why is the U.S. Army declaring Sgt. Berghdal (he received a promotion from private first class while being either a Taliban captive or guest) a “normal soldier now”?  When one’s entire unit declares him a deserter for leaving their Afghanistan based on June 30, 2009—as they did on a show with Fox’s Megyn Kelly—by what stretch of the imagination is he just a normal soldier stationed at the headquarters of Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston?
Fox News reported that former Army Sgt. Evan Buetow who served with Bergdahl as saying “I think it’s very clear he deserted his post. He thought about what he was doing, he mailed some things home, he walked away and we have witnesses who saw him walking away. And if you’re walking away in one of the worst, most dangerous areas of Afghanistan without your weapon and gear, I don’t believe you’re planning on coming back.”
If he is found to be a deserter, the release of five high level Taliban generals to get him back is one more Obama obscenity since it is well known that he has wanted to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention center for enemy combatants captured on the field. Having already investigated the circumstances surrounding his having left his unit, the U.S. Army surely knew whether Bergdahl was a deserter at the time the decision was made to swap for him. I suspect, too, that a major ransom was paid the Taliban for his release.
This is, however, a different Army than the past. It, like the other elements of our military has become highly politicized by the Obama administration; one that continues to reduce its size under the cover of sequestration. Many of the military’s top officers have been relieved of command or pushed into retirement. Even officers in the field in Afghanistan are being fired. The effect on the troop’s morale is incalculable.
Fox Newsreported on July 14 that “Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl could have a tax-free $350,000 dropped into his bank account if the current investigation into his disappearance from his base in Afghanistan was not desertion, and if he is deemed to have been a prisoner of war for the five years he was held by Islamic militants.”
Given the circumstances of his decision to leave his unit, immediately becoming liable to capture, and the reported statements, letters, and other views he held about his deployment and about the U.S. Army, Berghdal is most certainly not “a normal soldier.”
One must ask why Obama thought the announcement of his release merited a White House presentation that included his parents; his father uttered an Islamic phrase that drew a presidential smile.

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Obamacare Must Be Repealed

by Alan Caruba on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

This is article 685 of 686 in the topic Healthcare

By Alan Caruba

While the issue of immigration is uppermost in people’s minds right now, it is likely at this point halfway through his second term that President Obama will be identified by historians most closely with his signature, namesake legislation, the Affordable Patient Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
They will do so for two reasons; that he lied to everyone about it and it has been a failure in countless ways from the moment its website was introduced.
In April PolitiFact, a project of the Tampa Bay Times, announced the “most significant falsehood of the year” and it came as no surprise it was “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” An April Fox News poll revealed that 61% of respondents said the Obama lies at least some of the time on important issues. Only 15% thought he was completely truthful.
By July 2 a Quinnipiac University poll announced that its survey had determined that 33% of the respondents believed Obama was the “Worst President Since WWII.”  The poll also revealed that between 54% and 44% believed the Obama administration was not competent to run the government.
If you want proof of that, you need only follow the horror story of Obamacare.
In September 2013, prior to Obamacare’s implementation the following month, Daniel Henninger, a Wall Street Journal columnist, wisely noted that “Obamacare is the biggest bet that American liberalism has made in 80 years on its fundamental beliefs. This thing called ‘Obamacare’ carries on its back all the justifications, hopes and dreams of the entitlement state.”
“If Obamacare fails, or seriously falters, the entitlement state will suffer a historic loss of credibility with the American people” adding that “only the American people can kill Obamacare.”
The great Prohibition experiment was killed by the American people and it took a Constitutional amendment to do it. It was a monumental failure.
I would be remiss if I did not point out that no Republican voted for Obamacare. It was entirely a Democratic Party creation, one it has wanted going back to the creation of Medicare and Medicaid.
What Americans have learned in the short time since Obamacare has been implemented is that virtually everything they were told about it was and is a lie.
People who were insured lost their health plan—six million had been cancelled by May, nor could they keep their doctor because many health care plans sold on federal and state exchanges have a limited number of in-network physicians from whom to choose.

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Is Criticizing Obama, Racist?

by Alan Caruba on Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

This is article 159 of 160 in the topic Racism

By Alan Caruba

I predict that, as Obama’s approval and popularity continues to decline, we will hear him and his soul mate, Attorney General Eric Holder, increasingly express the view that their race has something—maybe a lot—to do with the criticism they receive.
In a recent ABC News interview Holder said, “There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me (and) directed at the President. You know, people talking about taking their country back…There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some, there’s a racial animus.”
Well, duh! Of course, “for some people” there’s a racial animus because “some people” are racists, but the AG neglected to note that they come in all colors, not just white. Nor are they exclusively Republicans.
Was it “racist” for 96% of black voters to pull the lever for Barack Obama in 2008 and 93% to do so in 2012? Were they voting exclusively because of the color of his skin and theirs? There is a strong likelihood of that and why not? This would be a good time to note that Obama would not be President without a substantial amount of support from white voters, 43% in 2008 and 39% in 2012.
It’s safe to say that the white voters were not racists. It’s also safe to say that most of them were Democrats.
Have blacks made progress in the nation’s halls of power? In the 113thCongress, there are 43 African-Americans in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate. Many of the nation’s cities have black mayors. There have been black governors as well. Et cetera! In June, the nation celebrated the 50thanniversary of the Civil Rights Act. It worked.
Compare that with Obama’s chief legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act which has less and less public support with every passing day. It was widely protested prior to receiving the solid Democratic vote to pass it. No Republican voted for it. It is not likely to celebrate a comparable anniversary and I suspect that it will be repealed if the GOP gains control of the White House and Congress because that’s what they will have been elected to do.
Things have been going badly for the President and it has nothing to do with his race. (Last time I checked he was half-white.)
It has been Holder who has been most widely quoted for his comments on race and racism, and since he is black, it may seem odd that an African-American who has risen to such a high position should be so conscious of race, but he surely is. Some years back he called the United States a “nation of cowards” on race. During his ABC interview he said “I wouldn’t walk away from that speech. I think we are still a nation that is too afraid to confront racial issues.”
I respectfully disagree.

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