Monday, August 20, 2012

Insights of Alan Caruba

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Jamie Maslin is a British travel writer, but when he told friends that he intended to hitch-hike the Silk Road route of Marco Polo, one that would take him through Iran, they warned him against it, fearing he would be arrested as a spy and likely killed. Instead, he ended up writing an amusing and revealing book, “Iranian Rappers and Persian Porn” ($16.95, Skyhorse Publishing, softcover)….. Reports about Iran suggest that Iranians are fanatically Islamic, but this, he discovered, as not the case. One Iranian friend said, “Look at the mosques on Fridays; they are all nearly empty.”   When Maslin asked an Iranian friend why Iranians did not rebel against the state that is widely dispised, she noted that the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s had resulted in half a million deaths and Iranians wanted no more of such losses. Moreover, “if you stepped out of line politically, you didn’t just get reprimanded, you got killed or worse—which, of course, is a pretty effective deterrent.”


Why Israel Must Attack Iran's Nuclear Facilities
I have often wondered why so many of the Jews of Germany took so long to realize that Hitler and the Nazi regime intended to kill them, along with all the Jews of Europe and what they hoped would be the conquest of Russia. They need only have read "Mein Kampf", Hitler’s book that blamed Jews for all the ills of Germany.  On November 9-10, 1938, there was a series of coordinated attacks against Jews in Germany and Austria that became known as Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass, during which 91 Jews were killed and an estimated 30,000 were arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps. More than 1,000 synagogues were burned. What followed was the Holocaust, the deliberate killing of Jewish men, women and children. Its victims numbered between five and six million.

The Pursuit of Happiness
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…” Countless Americans and others have read this sentence from Declaration of Independence and no doubt most have simply nodded in agreement, but I always wondered where its author, Thomas Jefferson, came up with the unique concept that the pursuit of happiness was a self-evident truth.  That phrase from the Declaration reveals Jefferson’s philosophical turn of mind while the rest of the document is a legal argument for severing relations with England

Climate Lies in Iowa's Supreme Court
Since the climate liars cannot make their case on the basis of the known science, taking it into a court of law with a passionate appeal to emotion in order to impose restrictions on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has long been a Green goal.   The claim that CO2 causes “climate change” which is the new spin on “global warming” is utterly false, but it may be argued if the Iowa Supreme Court takes the case.  When a similar case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, the esteemed justices ruled that CO2 was a “pollutant” under the Clean Air Act and not the second most vital atmospheric gas after oxygen, the “food” for all vegetation on Earth.  The Greens have understandably concluded they can get what they want, restrictions on all energy use, in the courts of justice if not in the court of public opinion.

We are now into the seemingly endless countdown until the November 6 elections and the agony of waiting is already wearing upon a vast portion of those people who know for whom the will vote. They have already made up their minds, leaving the outcome to a slim margin of those identified as either “undecideds” or “independents.”  These are the people who tend to forget your birthday and send a “belated” card to make amends, but it is always too late. They are likely the ones who file their income tax late despite months in which to prepare it. These are people who ignore parking tickets. They are not studiously studying the candidate’s positions on issues. They haven’t been paying any attention to them.

Has Obama Been Good for Black Americans?
Please don’t tell me that the first black President of the United States has helped black Americans. Last time I checked, the rate of unemployed blacks, age 18-29, was 22.3 percent in July. Not exactly what they and other blacks were anticipating when they voted en masse for him in 2008.  Indeed, while blacks will likely give Obama their support, many are saying he did not live up to their expectations. Now we hear people like film director Spike Lee saying that blacks’ expectations were "too high." That’s called having it both ways.

It should come as no surprise that environmentalists oppose the use of nuclear energy in the same way they oppose coal or the fracking technology that is unlocking huge new reserves of natural gas. Currently nuclear energy provides about twenty percent of the electricity used in the U.S. Their attack on coal—led by the Obama administration—has driven its use down from just over fifty percent a few years ago to about 47% today.  Nuclear energy was initially welcomed as a new source of electricity. The first commercial nuclear power plant in the United States was opened by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on May 26, 1958 as part of his Atoms for Peace program.  According to Wikipedia, “As of 2011, nuclear power in the United States is provided by 104 commercial reactors (69 pressurized water reactors and 35 boiling water reactors) licensed to operate at 65 nuclear power plants, producing a total of 0.806 TWh of electricity, which was 19.6% of the nation's total electric energy generation in 2008".

Does the Democratic Party have a death wish? It continues to display a suicidal desire to offend the delegates to its forthcoming convention and the rest of the voters.  In recent days we learned that it is contemplating a platform plank that would endorse same-sex marriage, something that its core African-American voters detest. Maybe they are after the gay vote, but gays constitute barely three percent of the population and not all are Democrats.  It has been announced that former President Jimmy Carter will address the convention via video. Widely regarded as the worst president of the modern era, if not of all the presidents until Obama was elected, Carter in his post-presidential life is best known for embracing every dictator he ever met, for attacking Israel as an “apartheid” state and as a staunch defender of the Palestinians whom even fellow Arabs dislike. I am sure many American Jews, another voting bloc for Democrats, will likely be offended by his participation.

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