Hurricane Alley… by J. D. Longstreet

A Very Different Generation … By Alan Caruba

A Very Different Generation

By Alan Caruba

 

They are called “Millennials” and, with the election of Barack Obama, have been dubbed “Generation O.” Born from 1980 to 2000, they are as different from their parents as previous generations were different from theirs.

 

It is common that older generations frequently look at the new one as creatures from another planet. Every new generation develops its own slang, has its own cultural heroes, and most importantly has been imprinted by the events of their early years as well as the kind of care they received from their parents. 

 

What distinguishes the Millennials is the way, not just events, but technology has transformed how they interact with each other and the world. Not only are they computer literate, but the Internet has allowed them to have friends from around the world who are available at the touch of a keystroke.

 

Events, of course, are important. My generation grew up during and after World War II. It was a time of enormous economic growth, of the U.S. ascendancy to being a superpower among nations. We lived through the Korean conflict that followed WWII in the 1950s, the birth of rock’n roll and, by the time the 1960s arrived, and I was beginning my 20s the Civil Rights movement erupted.

 

Assassinations marked that decade and the beginning of a long war in Vietnam that ended the lives of more than 50,000 young men born barely a generation after my own. Together we witnessed the first and only resignation of a President as the result of a criminal enterprise in the White House.

 

The Millennials had not yet been born. For them, the Soviet Union with its missiles pointed at American cities would be ancient history by the time they turned ten years of age. Red China would be a nation with which we did an enormous amount of trade. Europe would become the European Union. The Middle East would be a place that exported oil and terrorism

 

For the Millennials, the great trial their generation would face would be terrorism. For them and older generations, September 11, 2001 would change the entire dynamic of world affairs. The wars they know are the two invasions of Iraq; the latter of which has become their Vietnam. Two other events imprinted themselves, the bombing of the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City and the murders at Columbine High School.

 

While growing up, the Millennials led a busy, structured life in the 90s and this first decade of a new century. Their parents were devoted to them and the feeling was returned. They were told they were smart and to be inclusive and tolerant of all races, religions and sexual orientations. They were accustomed to being team players and they took being connected 24/7 for granted via cell phones and the Internet. This was a generation that was thoroughly nurtured.

 

It was and is a generation that was deep-fried in every environmental notion, no matter that its science was lacking or deliberately false. Surrounded by the benefits of technology, they have been told that much of it threatens the future of the planet.

 

In a nation where two percent of the population feeds the rest of us with plenty left over for export, they have no real connection with the Earth they worship, knowing nothing about how crops are grown or livestock is maintained and brought to the marketplace. Instead, they worry about “endangered” species and are fearful of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, all of which help generate an abundant food supply. Foolishly they worry that the poles are melting and the seas are rapidly rising, neither of which is happening.

 

As their parents came of age in the Reagan era of the 1980s, they grew up during the feckless years of the Clinton administration, questioning their parents about the sexual dalliance of the President while deluged with cultural messages that casual sex called “hooking up” was acceptable.

 

When George W. Bush became President, they would witness, not only 9/11, but the governmental debacle in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the torment of a strange “war against terror” being waged in Iraq and Afghanistan. At home, there was no terror, but few would or could make any connection between those active conflicts and the steady degrading of the threat al Qaeda represents.

 

It is, therefore, no surprise that the Millennials were entranced by the message of “change” offered by President-elect Obama, excited by the prospect of electing the first Afro-American President, and expecting, as my New Orleans friends like to say, to let the good times roll on.

 

There is, therefore, considerable irony that the Millennials are a generation looking at the same disintegrating economy their great-grandparents lived through in the 1930s and 40s, until a world war provided full employment and the post-war years were an explosion of innovation and growth.

 

It is presumed that the lessons of the past have been learned and monetary institutions will address the current problems, but underwriting the entire economy is public trust and confidence. If that disappears, so does the economy.

 

Slowly, the Millennials are discovering that the politicians their parents sent to Congress were so profligate, so stupid, and so intent on their own acquisition of wealth and power that they created the current financial crisis.

 

And now they are learning that those same people are returning to power! The President-elect is surrounding himself by the Clintonians who failed to comprehend the changing global dynamics, focusing instead on Green fairytales of “energy independence”, “global warming”, and the ill-founded belief that global institutions like the United Nations would or could solve international conflicts.

 

The Millennials, now in their twenties and thirties, are saddled with debt, watching jobs disappear, and so utterly devoid of any knowledge of their nation’s history that they know the names of the judges of American Idol, but cannot name the three branches of the American government, nor grasp that real enemies do exist and must be defeated if America is to endure. (The exception, of course, are those serving in our military.)

 

Their grandparents, the “Boomers”, are beginning to retire and will add to those who benefit from the many “entitlement” programs that have been enacted since the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman and succeeding presidents. Their parent’s primary asset, their homes, are losing value. A university education now leaves them emerging into the workplace with debt.

 

The “change” that will be thrust upon them is a cornucopia of “sacrifices” they will be required to accept in the name of environmentalism and globalism. Sufficient energy will become scarce within a decade and a government that is rapidly socializing banks, investment and insurance firms, may be forced to let a major industry, the Detroit auto manufacturers, go bankrupt before it can be reformed.

 

Norman Thomas, a former U.S. Socialist Party candidate for President in the 1940s, predicted that, “The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism’, they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

 

That day has arrived. Barack Obama is its standard-bearer.

 

Alan Caruba writes a daily blog at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. Every week, he posts a column on the website of The National Anxiety Center, www.anxietycenter.com.

 

© Alan Caruba, December 2008

 

 

 

 

 

Taxes By The Mile in North Carolina?

Taxes By The Mile?

By J. D. Longstreet

**************************************

Here in North Carolina, something called the 21st Century Transportation Committee is recommending the state adopt a “taxes by the mile” plan.  As I understand the proposal, the state would carefully record the miles each Tar Heel Driver drives, over the preceding twelve months, and the vehicle owner would be charged the appropriate amount in taxes for each mile the driven. As North Carolinians take their cars in each year for the mandated annual state inspection (which by itself is a gigantic tax scheme!)  the mileage on the odometer is recorded. This will be the source of the mileage figures used to tax NC drivers. Transportation experts say that later the state could switch to GPS tracking of NC Drivers.

 

You can read the piece by Steve Harrison at the Charlotte Observer’s site by

clicking here.

 

So.  Why the taxes by the mile?  Well, you see, it’s like this:  Tar Heel drivers, being the frugal people that we are, understood, when gasoline prices went sky high, that if we reduced our driving, we would spend less on gasoline.  Makes sense, what?  Of course, it does.  But, you see, NC has one of the highest state taxes on gasoline in the United States and the state has been losing it’s proverbial behind ever since Tar Heel drivers parked their cars and trucks.

 

So what to do?  Hot dang! Raise taxes! But the state needed a new scheme to do it, because NC drivers learned, while those cars and trucks were parked, that they really didn’t NEED to drive as much. Now that gas prices are substantially lower, we still have the family jalopy parked.  My truck is driven a couple of times a week.  The family sedan now gets the yeoman’s job the truck used to perform because it gets better gas mileage.   And the sedan is not on the road nearly as much as before the rise in gas prices. Hey, just because we speak slowly in NC, doesn’t mean we think slowly.

 

Enter the proposed “Road Use Tax.”

 

Now, as if the Road Use Tax isn’t insult enough, the 21st Century Transportation Committee proposes charging NC drivers a quarter cent a mile for every mile driven each year… with the first 2000 miles a year free.  How generous, don’t you think? 

 

As I noted above NC has one of the highest motor fuel taxes in the nation at 29.9 cents per gallon. But, the state expects to lose 580 million dollars in tax revenue over three years because Tar Heel drivers are buying less gasoline. As a result the state of North Carolina is desperate for tax money.

 

Now, we are not blessed with a legislature noted for it’s deep thinking. We are not even noted for a state legislature noted for frugality.  Every time we get a surplus, they manage to spend the money.  Then they poormouth to the NC taxpayers about how the state is going broke and then they roll out the old threat to cut back on essential services because of the monetary short fall.  It happens time and time again.  So being short on money in the state treasury of North Carolina is nothing new.

 

Has it not occurred to the boys and girls in the NC General Assembly that maybe we ought to consider tightening our state belt, cut back on state spending, you know, get choosy about where and when and how they spend the state’s money?  If so, I haven’t heard about it.

 

North Carolina is a great state.  I’ve called it home for nigh on to 45 years now.  I have seen this sort of thing come and go many times over that near half century I have lived in this state and I’m sure it will continue as long as there is a Tar Heel state. But our state legislature has got to learn that just as their taxpayers parked their vehicles when the price of gasoline became just too darned high, the state is going to have to learn to park some of it’s money soaking programs until state coffers become much more robust.

 

As democrats control NC, I fully expect the state legislature to not only consider this proposal; I expect them to pass some form of it into law within the next two to three years. I am convinced they’d do it now, if they thought they could get away with it. But with the recession, and all, the gang with the pitchforks and torches would be running toward the state capital building by dawn!  Oh, yes, yours truly would be amongst them replete with a pitchfork and a torch!

 

J. D. Longstreet

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THIS is why Conservatives fear BIG GOVERNMENT

THIS is WHY Conservatives Fear BIG GOVERNMENT
By J. D. Longstreet

 

*****************************
Recently it was reported that the Pentagon plans by 2011 to station 20,000 active-duty troops within the United States to respond to large-scale catastrophes or terrorist attacks. These troops would be specially trained to handle chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive attacks. Reports say this force has been in planning stages for several years. Read more on this at:
www.dcexaminer.com/opinion/Beware_of_using_the_military_for_law_enforcement_121408.html )
“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

Now comes this:
“New rules published in the Federal Register would allow certain civilians to call American soldiers into action inside the U.S. to prevent environmental damage or respond to “special events” and “other domestic activities.”

In a speech he made in July in Colorado Springs, Colorado, presumed President-Elect Obama said:

 


The alarming warning is contained in proposed rules published last week for the Department of Defense’s “Defense Support of Civil Authorities” plan.

 


But the new rules go far beyond that, essentially establishing a plan to activate the U.S. military inside the country to deal with social issues under provisions that appear to be devoid of any connection to the Constitution…”

 

Read the entire story at:
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=83477


Worried yet?


What about the Posse Comitatus Act, you ask? Well, if these foks get their way Posse Comitatus is dead, and, frankly, so is our constitution!


Some of you may be wondering what the dickens the Posse Comitatus Act is. Ok, let’s take a look, shall we: “The Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act substantially limit the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement.


The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385) passed on June 16, 1878 after the end of Reconstruction. The Act prohibits most members of the federal uniformed services (the Army, Air Force, and State National Guard forces when such are called into federal service) from exercising nominally state law enforcement, police, or peace officer powers that maintain”Law and Order” on non-federal property (states and their counties and municipal divisions) in the former Confederate States.


The statute generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress. The Coast Guard is exempt from the Act.” (From Wikipedia at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act )


In an article in the Washington Post dated December 1st and titled: “Pentagon to Detail Troops to Bolster Domestic Security” it is pointed out: “There are critics of the change, in the military and among civil liberties groups and libertarians who express concern that the new homeland emphasis threatens to strain the military and possibly undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military’s role in domestic law enforcement.” You can read the entire article at:
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/30/AR2008113002217_2.html?hpid=topnews

Ok, so we have 20,000 US combat troops to be to do, uh, what… exactly, in the US… plus, Obama’s civilian national security force of, how many? Who knows! Now, I don’t know about you, but this is beginning to be worrisome. Are we about to become an armed camp? It certainly seems so.


I know it is not popular these days to speak of it, but the fact is… I am a product of the only part of the US to be invaded, conquered, and occupied by armed forces of the US. My section of the US underwent ten years of the worst form of occupation by armed troops. Even today stories handed down within families, from generation to generation, and a number of books have been written about the atrocities committed by those troops while here in the former Confederate States of America. If you care to read an excellent account of some of those war crimes, I recommend a book by Walter Brian Cisco titled: “ War Crimes Against Southern Civilians.” Some of the crimes he writes about in the book took place in my hometown.


It seems to me that what we have is a Federal Government out of control. That means the constitution is being trampled, shredded, and maybe, as some claim, it is already dead!


For decades we have warned that a federal government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have… including your freedom. And now it is happening.


I repeat my question asked above: Are you worried yet?

 

J. D. Longstreet

 

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Cheerful Remarks at the Funeral *** By Alan Caruba

Posted in America, Bias, Democrat, Education, Globalist, Journalists, Liberal, Political, Press, Progressive by J. D. Longstreet on December 13, 2008

For today’s article by Alan Caruba Entitled:

“Cheerful Remarks at the Funeral”

pleas go to:

STORM WARNING!

at:

http://www.stormwarning.blogdrive.com/

Thanks!

J.D. Longstreet

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A One World Government is waiting in the Wings!

For today’s article on Global Governance please go to:

http://stormwarning.blogdrive.com/

Thanks!

JDL

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Power Tends To Corrupt, And Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

For today’s commentary please visit:

STORM WARNING! at:

http://www.stormwarning.blogdrive.com/

Thanks!

JDL

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“How Obama and the Democrats will Destroy the U.S. Economy” by Alan Caruba

Please see:

How Obama and the Democrats will Destroy the U.S. Economy” by Alan Caruba at:

http://www.stormwarning.bllogdrive.com/

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Is Hillary Constitutionally Qualified?

Posted in America, Constitution, Democrat, Leadership, Liberal, Obama, Political, Progressive, Secretary of State, Weak Leadership by J. D. Longstreet on December 5, 2008

 

Is Hillary Constitutionally Qualified?
By J. D. Longstreet
*******************************************

We often refer to the US Constitution as an inconvenient document. And it is… if you want to make an end run around the US system of laws. It can be VERY inconvenient for those who are used to sailing close to the wind, so to speak, or those who live their lives in the gray zone of legality. The thing is… the constitution has very few gray areas.

Even as I write, the presumed President-Elect of the US, Mr. B.H. Obama, is in a self-made protracted struggle to answer legal questions about his constitutional qualifications to even BE President of the US, the position to which he has just been elected. (Obama is, at best, PRESUMED to have been elected. Whether he has been elected, or not, cannot be certain until after the electoral votes are counted. Until then — he is actually, and in fact, the Presumed President-Elect.) Now, Obama’s appointee to be the US Secretary of State is having the eyes of legal scholars cast upon her qualifications as well. Needless to say, this is NOT an auspicious beginning for Mr. Obama’s presidential administration. I am very afraid this is the sort of thing we are going to be subjected to for a good portion of Mr. Obama’s stay in the Oval Office.

Let’s take a look at the Constitution and see what the problem is… in so far as it may affect Mrs. Bill Clinton. Article One; Section Six of the Constitution says the following:

(The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.) (The preceding words in parentheses were modified by the 27th Amendment, which says the following: No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.)

They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

The paragraph above (in bold/Italic type) is the portion of the constitution, which has raised eyebrows concerning Hillary Clinton’s possible disqualification to hold the office of SecState.


The Constitution plainly says that no member of Congress, either the House of Representatives or the Senate, can hold an appointed office if that office received an increase in salary during the time the appointee served in the House or the Senate. The idea was to avoid having someone benefit from a salary increase for which he, or she, voted approval. Now, I dare say, most of us do not keep track of the salaries of cabinet members. So, after a little light research on the Internet, we learned that President Bush signed an executive order, which approved a salary increase for the Secretary of State, on January 4th, 2008. That order raised the SecState’s salary from US$186, 600 dollars a year to US$191, 300 dollars per year.

Another pesky Republican raising another annoying red flag in an atrempt to sabotage the process of a duly elected democrat president, you say? Nope. This is the work of another pesky democrat. Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia who just happens to be the senior member of the US Senate and, some say, a very fine scholar, indeed, on the US Constitution.

So, what to do? Well, this has happened before. Back in 1973, President Richard Nixon nominated Sen. William Saxbe, of Ohio, as Attorney General. Nixon did this right after he had fired the top officials at the Justice Department in the midst of the Watergate mess. See, he had fired the Attorney General, Elliot Richardson, in that “Saturday Night Massacre” as it was referred to in those days. Problem was… Saxbe was, in fact, a member of the Senate in 1969 when Congress voted to increase pay for cabinet secretaries.

How was this resolved? Well, Congress simply voted to reduce the salary of the Attorney General to what it is was before the offending raise in 1969 and the Senate went on to confirm Saxbe.

Senator Byrd objected to Saxbe’s confirmation on constitutional grounds at the time saying in a story, which appeared in the Washington Post, that the constitution was: “so clear that it can’t be waived. In my judgment, the bill itself shouldn’t be passed. We should not delude the American people into thinking a way can be found around the constitutional obstacle.” You can read that story at:

http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/pdf/saxbeandbyrd_112073.pdf

So, what will happen? Well, based strictly on what we have seen the “Honorables” do in the past… my best guess is that Hillary will be the next Secretary of State… even if the Senators have to make that “end run” around the oh, so inconvenient, Constitution as they did for the Nixon appointee.

Adhering to the Constitution would mean that Hillary would not be eligible to hold the office of Secretary of State until the year 2013… at the earliest. I mean… LEGALLY speaking, you understand. But, as we have pointed out and warned about on so many previous occasions, never, ever, bet on the Congress doing the right thing when it is easier for them to do the expedient thing.

There is an excellent article on this titled: “Byrd’s Office Explores Constitutionality of Sen. Clinton Serving as Secretary of State” at CNSNEWS.COM at:

http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=40241

Hillary Clinton WILL BE the next Secretary of State… if she really and truly wants the office. Expecting the Senate to follow the law of the land would be a lame expectation, indeed.

J. D. Longstreet

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Rethinking the Middle East … by Alan Caruba

Rethinking the Middle East

By Alan Caruba

 

After 9/11 much of my thinking reflected the general view that Al Qaeda had to be found and destroyed. I thought, too, that Saddam Hussein had to be removed as an obstacle to stability in the Middle East given his invasion of Kuwait and general belligerence.

 

Since those days I have had plenty of time to reassess my views of U.S. policies and to educate myself regarding the Middle East. A lot of my thinking had been based on the inescapable fact that the U.S. and the West needs access to Middle Eastern oil.

 

U.S. policy since the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt has been support for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, providing protection of the sea lanes that transport oil and, in the case of Iraq, protecting the Saudi kingdom against attack. This was the reason for the original U.S. effort to remove Saddam’s Iraq from Kuwait and the subsequent invasion that was based on less than accurate intelligence reports of an Iraqi buildup of weapons of mass destruction.

 

For a long time, there has been a general consensus that a “clash of civilizations” between the West and Islam was inevitable, but it is more of a clash between civilization and nihilism. The global war on terror influenced U.S. actions as the rationale for the second invasion of Iraq was, in part, to introduce democracy to the Middle East.

 

There have been two factors that have complicated U.S. policy toward the Middle East. One was the establishment in 1948 of the state of Israel, a response to the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust that combined with the Zionist movement that began in the late 1800s as a response to the anti-Semitism of Europe and Russia. It received support from the newly-established United Nations, but nations in the Middle East reacted unanimously against the return of Jews to their former, ancient homeland. No surprise here; the Koran demonizes both Jews and Christians.

 

The other factor was the Islamic Revolution that erupted in Iran in 1979, a defeat of the American influence in that nation’s affairs linked in no small measure to its oil. The later defeat of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan led many in the Middle East to believe that Islam could defeat Western efforts to control the region. Western hegemony in the region had begun in earnest following World War I and the end of the Ottoman Empire.

 

The weapon of choice of the new Islamic Revolution was terror and, if invaded, a slow, grinding insurgency. This is why Iraq and future theatres of war will take a long time to play out.

 

What most policy makers in the U.S. and the West tend to ignore is the fact that the nations of the Middle East differed considerably in they way they are governed and, most importantly, in the near total lack of cohesion or cooperation among them.

 

In a recent commentary from the Middle East Forum, Michael Rubin noted that, “For more than a millennium, Damascus, Baghdad and Cairo have competed for leadership of the Arab world.” The establishment of Israel “became a useful template around which they could posture and against whom they could act as each sought to outdo its rivals in a claim to Arab leadership.”

 

Following World War II, a number of Middle East nations adopted the worst of Western concepts of governance, namely fascism and socialism. Baathism rose in Syria and Iraq, but only served to increase their rivalry. As Rubin points out, “Unity is not an Arab virtue,” adding that Baghdad, Cairo and Damascus “will never coexist as partners.”

 

This is not unique to the region because anyone paying any attention knows that all nations act in what they perceive as their own best interests. Some that share common historical and cultural views are more prone toward cooperation while others such as Russia measure their success against U.S. and European strength or weakness. In the Middle East, however, its culture prevents any useful, long term cooperation.

 

In an excellent analysis published in the November edition of Energy Tribune, Leon Hadar, a research fellow at the Cato Institute, demolishes many of the “intellectual constructs that reflect the imaginations of their promoters, not necessarily reality,” adding that “reality tends to bite.” The neocons of the outgoing Bush administration and the Republican Party learned this to their regret.

 

“The time has come,” wrote Hadar, “to challenge the grand idea that the Muslim world (or the Middle East, or the Arab world—terms that seem interchangeable in the American media) has a unique and monolithic political and economic culture that makes it resistant to the West’s modernizing effects.”  The analysis can be read in full at

http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm?aid=1009

 

If Middle Eastern Arabs decide to become “more like us”, it will be at a time of their own choosing. Iranians, being Persian, share Islam, but have their own agenda in the region, giving rise to Arab fears concerning their apparent intent to achieve hegemony there. If and when Iran gets nuclear weapons and starts throwing its weight around, a lot of Arabs are going to begin to think of America as their best friend in the whole world.

 

It should be obvious, too, that the deep schisms within Islam, Shiite and Sunni, will continue to divide the region between the majority Sunnis and what is widely perceived within Islam as a breakaway sect of Shiites who are a majority only in Iraq and Iran. Hadar correctly points out that the Middle East “is a mosaic of nation-states, ethnic groups, religious sects, and tribal groups, and a mishmash of political ideologies, economic systems, and cultural orientations.”

 

All of which suggests to me that the same policy of “containment” that worked for nearly forty-five years regarding the former Soviet communist regime would be a wiser approach to the Middle East than an endless number of military engagements that even our European allies are reluctant to pursue.

 

After World War II, the U.S. occupied the defeated nations of Germany and Japan for about seven years to ensure they would create their own democratic governments and economic systems. After that, the U.S. extended its military protection to them and everywhere else Soviet ambitions threatened.

 

The result was a stalemate in Korea that yielded a successful South Korean state, and a defeat in Vietnam that continues to influence American policy. We still do not recognize communist Cuba, but we have entered into an economic co-dependence with Red China. Go figure?

 

Just as the declining price of oil and gas brought down a Soviet government dependent on these exports, the Russian Federation will face the same contingency. Meanwhile, a decline in the price of a barrel of oil and the price of natural gas may, if long term, require Middle Eastern nations to review their policies as well.

 

The best thing America can do right now is to open up its own vast reserves of oil and natural gas that remain unexplored and untapped off of 85% of our continental shelf and to do the same in ANWR. We need to stop demonizing coal and we need to build more nuclear plants.

 

These actions would put the U.S. back in a position to improve our economy and protect us against pressures from the Middle East, Russia, and elsewhere. I have serious doubts the Obama administration will do this.

 

Things change. U.S. policies will change. Not every policy, but gradually events, some of which we have set in motion in Iraq as part of the global war on terror, will bring about change if we are smart enough, strong enough, and patient enough to watch and wait.

 

Alan Caruba writes a daily blog at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. Every week, he posts a column on the website of The National Anxiety Center, www.anxietycenter.com.

 

© Alan Caruba, December 2008

 

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Time For Obama To Pay Up! Clinton To Become Sec. State

By J. D. Longstreet

The Clintons are like a bad rash that no medicine you swallow, or ointment you rub on it, can make go away.  The Clintons have that sort of staying power.  Completely oblivious to the depth of low estate in which so much of the public holds them, they hang on to power.  Like an addict lusting after the next fix they seem to be willing to go to any lengths to maintain a place for themselves near the center of power. Like old, tired, comic book characters they plod through the pages of our history long after their embarrassing antics have lost their power to amuse.

 

I remember the euphoria that sped through the bloodstream of much of America when the Clintons were ushered out of the White House the first time around. The battle cry of conservatives, the country over, was: “Take out the trash!”  And we THOUGHT we had.  Turns out we were mistaken.  We underestimated the willingness of the Clintons to do whatever it takes to stay connected to the center of power in Washington, DC.

 

So… we learned over the weekend that Obama would make public, actually CONFIRM, something we have all known for many weeks now, his choice for Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.   If Obama had wanted to find some way to tell us all (in no uncertain words) that a deal was struck with Hillary and Bill during the primaries he couldn’t have found a better way to do it.  I wonder if he understands how weak this makes him appear in the eyes of… not only the American voters but of the armies of diplomats the world over?

Editor’s note: For another interesting take on the appointment of Hillary Clinton to the office of US Secretary of State visit the blog of my friend Alan Caruba at:
http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2008/11/improbable-events.html)

I cannot believe the man understands what he will be doing by nominating Hillary. Does he understand he will get Bill, too?  Does he understand the danger for embarrassment the Clintons bring to his administration? Apparently not.  Or, is he so puffed up by his own ego, and the Obama Battalions in the Mainstream Media, that he actually believes he can muzzle the Clintons or keep them on a leash? 

 

Does Obama understand the administration he, or his minions, is/are constructing is actually the Third Clinton Administration?  Does he understand the Clinton’s fingerprints are all over the people he has chosen, or been forced to choose, to fill the slots in the next administration so far?  I don’t think he does.  It is beginning to look more and more like an Obama figurehead government. So far, there is no Obama imprint on the next presidential administration… at all.  Well, look at it for yourself… and you cannot help but be convinced that Obama is being run by someone, certainly not himself.

 

We are more convinced, than ever, that Obama was chosen for the presidential candidate’s slot precisely because of his inexperience and his naiveté and his inability to stand up to the master politicians… the Clintons.  Obama was their ticket, all along, to a return to the center of power. 

 

The Obama boosters in the Mainstream Media, and that includes darned near all members of the media, are busy propping up that façade so carefully placed around the group of Clintonites Obama has been directed to choose.  (What, you don’t think he chose those people himself, do you?)  They’re being referred to, already as the “best and the brightest.”  Well us old mossbacks, who have been around for more than two decades, and have the scars to prove it, have heard and seen all this before. The JFK administration was referred to that way.  Right off the bat, Kennedy’s “Best and the Brightest” gave us the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and began the escalation of the US Military in Vietnam from advisors to combat troops.  The stories of the days of the  “Kennedy Camelot,” with which the Media loves to regale us, never happened.  The term, itself, was not even used, in reference to the Kennedy Administration, until after the death of JFK. Yes, facts are sometimes inconvenient … as in, oh, say, history.

 

So far Obama has done absolutely nothing but underscore our belief that he is an empty suit, a puppet being manipulated by someone else pulling his strings.

 

All this time I was hoping Obama wasn’t as weak as I thought he was. Yet he persists in doing exactly what we had expected, exactly what we had warned Obama supporters of, with the full support of an adoring press who will not miss a single opportunity to prop him up dare he fail.

 

One question continues to go ‘round in my head. Who is pulling Obama’s strings?  Who IS the REAL President?

 

J. D. Longstreet