Sunday, September 28, 2014

Islam Comes to Moore, Oklahoma

 

Alton Nolen, alleged beheader.
By Alan Caruba

It took the gruesome videos of two American journalists being beheaded by a masked Islamic State (ISIS) butcher, followed since then by more victims, to finally wake Americans to the threat that they face from Islam, but the beheading of a Moore, Oklahoma victim by a man who had been trying to get his co-workers to convert to Islam that brought the threat to the homeland.

The memory of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon have long since begun to fade, but Islam has returned to page one with a display of the violence that is the heart and soul of a cult based on the life and teachings of Muhammad.

Don’t call it a religion. And surely do not call it the “religion of peace.” There was nothing peaceful about Islam from its earliest days when the citizens of Mecca came to the conclusion that Muhammad and his followers were a threat to them. That was 1,400 years ago.
 
If it were in my power, I would require every American to read “It’s All About Muhammad: A Biography of the World’s Most Notorious Prophet” by F.W. Burleigh ($`6.95, Zenga Books).

Instead, I will only highly recommend it as the best way to understand the man who literally invented a so-called religion based on his own pathologies and then, through terror, ensured it spread to the entirety of Arabia in his lifetime.

As the author notes in its introduction, the biography is based almost entirely on the original literature of Islam as well as early biographies, histories, and collections of traditions. Twenty thousand pages of material were given line-by-line scrutiny “because what is written about him in the original literature is disturbing.”

“More than two-thirds of the canonical biographical materials have to do with the violence he used to spread his religion.”  It was a short step from Muhammad, the self-proclaimed prophet who later called himself the messenger of Allah, to Alton Nolen, the Muslim convert who is alleged to have beheaded a former co-worker.

What is little known about Muhammad is that he suffered from epileptic fits throughout his life and had had a troubled youth that would have unhinged anyone. A fortunate marriage at age 24 took him out of a life of low status and poverty. His wife was twenty years his senior, a woman of wealth. Though a grave concern in an era when the fits were seen as demon possession, Muhammad began to interpret them as the voices of Allah and his angels, particularly Gabriel.

“It was during this period of emotional and intellectual upheaval that his overcharged brain, wracked by doubts and suffering, came to his rescue in the form of a series of spectacular hallucinatory experiences that convinced him he was unique and had been singled out by God for a special purpose. This took place in A.D. 610 when Muhammad was forty years old.”

“His belief became unshakable and later became content of much of the Koran and his later ruthless behavior as pillage, rape, the enslavement of men, women, and children, and other atrocities he perpetrated—make such a belief beyond ludicrous.”

“It was sufficient for Muhammad to think something for it to become the truth. He was convinced that whatever came into his head came from Allah.” For ages insane asylums have been filled with such people.

As Muhammad drew followers to himself and to the exacting rituals he created for Islam, he enriched himself and them with acts of banditry, attacking caravans and then attacking tribes, particularly Jewish ones, to build a mountain of stolen wealth. Burleigh notes that the Koran has a chapter “entitled ‘The Spoils of War’” that “transformed Muhammad’s religion into an organized-crime enterprise for its approval of plunder.”  He told his believers “Enjoy what you take in war” for it is “lawful and good.”

Again, it is a short step from his era to the present one in which believers have united to create the Islamic State (ISIS) by war and to begin to steal the wealth of Syria from the sale of its oil on the black market. Imposing themselves on a large area of Iraq, ISIS is simply an extension of al Qaeda and al Qaeda is an expression of Muhammad’s demand that Islam become the sole religion of the world, exacting a subjugation tax from any who would not convert.

Burleigh concludes his book saying “Muhammad was a diseased genius, an epileptic psychopath with a clever tongue who believed God talked to him, a toxic mixture that transformed him over time into a mass murderer and a despot pushing a delusional religion.”

It should surprise no one that he “divided the world into lands conquered and lands yet to be conquered, into lands that submitted to his delusions about himself and lands yet to submit to his delusions.”

Following World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Islam was in decline, but the discovery of oil in the Middle East provided the funding to spread its message. That message, dependent on violence and terror has created such a problem in the Middle East that Islamic nations there are joining in the effort to defeat ISIS.

Burleigh asks “Who will defend you against the encroachment of what Muhammad created and the very real threat that it could eventually destroy all that you cherish?” He does not recommend the man who said, “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.”  That man is President Barack Hussein Obama.

And now you know why the murders committed by Major Nidal Hasan in 2009, killing his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, or the murder in Oklahoma were both deemed “workplace violence” by law enforcement authorities reluctant to challenge the White House to the reality that both were inspired and approved by Islam.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Some Useful FACTS About Global Warming and Climate Change

 

By Alan Caruba

Thanks to Sunday’s Climate March in New York and Tuesday’s Climate Summit at the United Nations, Americans and others will  have been deluged with the lies that have been told to sustain this greatest of all hoaxes.

Here are the known facts. Use them to protect yourself against the Green assault the truth:

# Both the Earth and the Sun pass through natural cycles. The Sun is currently in a cycle of lower radiation as signaled by fewer sunspots representing magnetic storms.

# There is currently no global warming. The Earth has been in a cooling cycle for 19 years. No child who has passed through K-12 classes in school has experienced a single day of “global warming.”

# Not one computer model that predicted increased warming has been accurate.

# Carbon dioxide, (CO2) blamed for global warming, is not a “pollutant” despite a Supreme Court decision stating this. Our exhaled breath contains about 4% of CO2. 

# How can carbon dioxide be called a “pollutant” when it is directly responsible for the growth of all vegetation on the planet? Without CO2 there would not be a single blade of grass or a redwood tree. Or the animal life that depends on vegetation; wheat and rice, for example, as food.

# There is zero evidence that carbon dioxide generated by human activities is causing catastrophic climate change. Climate is measured in centuries or shorter periods of many decades in order to determine its cycles. The weather is what is occurring where you reside and it changes every day.

# At 78% nitrogen is the most abundant gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. It is an essential building block of amino acids present in all proteins. It is a very stable, unreactive gas. Oxygen is the second most abundant gas-of-life in the atmosphere at 21%. Water vapor is the third most abundant gas-of-life in the atmosphere; it varies up to 5%, It reduces incoming solar radiation by day and reduces surface cooling at night. Carbon dioxide is the least abundant gas in the atmosphere at 0.04%.

# The assertion that 97% of scientists believe that climate change is man-made and an urgent problem is a fiction. In May Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute, cited the Zimmerman/Doran survey in which, out of 3,146 respondents, only 79 listed climate science as an area of expertise. Hardly 97%. “Surveys of meteorologists repeatedly find a majority oppose the alleged consensus,” noted Bast.

# In February, Patrick Moore, a Canadian ecologist, a co-founder of Greenpeace, a militant environmental group which he left in 1986, told members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years.”

# Not only is the Earth not warming, but Heartland Institute analyst, Peter Ferrara, notes that “If you look at the record of global temperature data, you will find that the late 20th Century period of global warming actually lasted about 20 years, from the late 1970s to the late 1990s. Before that, the globe was dominated by about 30 years of global cooling, giving rise in the 1970s to media discussions of the return of the Little Ice Age (circa 1450 to 1850), or worse.”

# The cooling of the Earth has led to a dramatic increase in both Arctic and Antarctic ice, up 50% since 2012.

# One result of the false claims about carbon dioxide has been the Obama administration’s policies such as the refusal to permit the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to import oil from Canada to U.S. refineries. The Environmental Protection Agency’s absurd restrictions on CO2 emissions have forced the closure of many coal-fired plants that are needed to provide low cost electrical energy. The administration has long wanted to impose a “carbon tax” on all energy use in America, a punishing and needless expense.

# The Obama administration’s climate policies are entirely political in nature. It has announced that the EPA’s process of setting new rules affecting power plants will be delayed until after the November 4 midterm elections. It is extending the public comment period until December 1. The growing discontent over similar climate and environmental policies was evident when leaders of the European Union announced it was moving away from green policies that had driven up the cost of electricity across the continent.

In a world threatened by the rise of radical Islamism, by the outbreak of diseases like Ebola, and other actual problems to be addressed, the notion that thousands would march in the belief that they and the entire rest of the Earth’s population have any effect on the climate is appalling.

What is perhaps most sad and most reprehensible are the host of world leaders who continue to maintain the lie of global warming or the misrepresentation of climate change to impose a tax on an essential element of the Earth's atmosphere.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Blathering Eco-Intellectuals

By Alan Caruba

I confess I have always been wary of intellectuals. They love arcane theories that often have little to do with real life and this is particularly true of eco-intellectuals who have embraced a panoply of lies and claims about the “environment”, “fossil fuels”, “sustainability”, and other notions that permit them to bloviate without once addressing reality.

This has been a week of eco-propaganda on a global scale. On Sunday there were “Climate Marches.” On Tuesday there will be a UN “Climate Summit”, and there will likely be an avalanche of nonsense in the media intended to make us believe we have control, influence, or impact on the climate when it is obvious to the rest of us that we—the human race—have none.

In the past nearly two decades we have all been experiencing not a warning, but a cooling of planet Earth. It has nothing to do with us and everything to do with the Sun that has been in a low cycle of radiation—less heat!

A friend alerted me to an article in the August 22nd edition of the New Republic, a famously liberal magazine. “Global Warming Is Just One of Many Environmental Threats That Demand Our Attention” is the title of Amartya Sen’s article. He is a Nobel laureate in economics, a winner of the National Humanities Medal, an author, and teaches at Harvard University.

There were two immediate red flags that caught my attention. First was that he is an economist and the second was that he was writing about “global warming” as of it was happening. 

In early September I had written about another economist who had an opinion published in The Wall Street Journal. It was ludicrous in terms of his complete lack of even the most basic science he was either addressing or ignoring as he too warned of horrid environmental portents to come.  Economists should stick to economics.

If you suffer from insomnia or have a fondness for reading sentences filled with words rarely used in common communication, you will find that Sen’s article will either put you to sleep or, more likely, give you a migraine headache. The article is an insufferable platform for him to demonstrate his Nobel certified intellectual brilliance, while possessing very little understanding of science or what we ordinary people call common sense.

“Our global environment has many problems. If the high volume of carbon emission is one, the low level of intellectual engagement with some of the major environmental challenges is surely another.” That’s how Sen began his article and, in the very first sentence, he reveals his ignorance by referring to “carbon emissions” instead of “carbon dioxide” (CO2) emissions.

The latter is a so-called “greenhouse” gas that the Greens keep telling us is trapping huge amounts of heat in the Earth’s atmosphere that will surely kill us all. CO2 is about 0.04% of the entire atmosphere, the least of the gases of which it is composed. It doesn’t trap heat, but it does provide the “food” that all vegetation requires to grow. We carbon-based humans exhale CO2 after we breathe in oxygen. It is part of the natural cycle of life between animals and the vegetation that releases oxygen; a perfect balance of nature.

Suffice to say that Sen’s very lengthy article is typical of the eco-intellectual disdain for virtually any form of energy to serve humanity except for the two least reliable, wind and solar energy. There’s a reason why mankind turned to coal, oil and natural gas. It was vastly abundant and released large amounts of energy for transportation and other benefits that include the production of electricity.

There was a time not that long ago when people used whale oil to light their homes. And wood was used to heat them. Walt Whitman, a famed poet who lived in Lincoln’s time, never turned on an electrical switch in his life. It didn’t exist 150 years ago. There were no autos, no telephones, et cetera. If you define a generation as 25 years, that’s only six generations ago. And Sen wants us to abandon “fossil fuels” because he fears “the dangers of global pollution from fossil fuels…” 

He’s no fan of nuclear power either. (I guess we should all go back to whale oil, only we won’t because we love the whales.) “There are at least five different kinds of externalities that add significantly to the social costs of nuclear power” writes Sen, but who else refers to “externalities” of nuclear power? Okay, why not just say there have been two bad accidents, Chernobyl and Fukushima, and leave it at that. That still leaves a lot of safely performing nuclear plants here and worldwide.

We do not live in a world without risk or trade-offs. For lack of enough pipelines, a lot of oil is being transported by rail and there have been accidents. Around the world there are coal mining accidents. Even solar farms literally sizzle birds to death that fly over them and wind turbines chop them into little pieces.

Mother Nature does not care what happens to us when she conjures up a volcanic eruption, a flood, a wildfire, a hurricane or blizzard.

Humans have learned to either flee these things or wait them out in the safety of their homes. That’s what modern life is all about and it is a hundred times better than in the past when people were lucky to live to the age of sixty. Many died much younger from plagues of disease and we are watching that occur with Ebola in Africa. Even simple injuries caused death a scant time ago.

“There are empirical gaps in our knowledge as well as analytical difficulties in dealing with the evaluation of uncertainty.” Huh? What? This is intellectual gobbledygook, a substitute for saying that much of the time we don’t know what the future holds.

What we do know is that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old and that we humans have developed what we call civilization over the past 5,000 years, a blink of time in eternity.
 
We should know by now to accept the Earth, the Sun and the galaxy in which we live for what it is and stop bothering to embrace idiotic notions that we have any control or that we are causing so much “pollution” the Earth cannot exist much longer.

You know what we do with the mess of stuff we produce and throw away? We burn it or we bury it. We even recycle some of it.
 
This keeps archeologists busy as they examine the garbage our not-too-distant ancestors left behind in their caves. Thankfully, none of them were economists.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Sunday, September 7, 2014

An Economist's Bad Climate Advice

By Alan Caruba

If I need my car repaired, I do not take it to a dentist. If I am seeking advice about the climate I check out what climatologists and meteorologists are saying, at least those who have not sold their souls to the global warming/climate change hoax.

On September 3 The Wall Street Journal published a commentary by Edward P. Lazear titled “The Climate Change Agenda Needs to Adapt to Reality: Limiting carbon emissions won’t work. Better to begin adjusting to a warming world.”

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!  It’s cooling, not warming.

Apparently Mr. Lazear is unaware that the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for seventeen years. A visit to www.climatedepot.com or a subscription to the Heartland Institute’s monthly Climate & Environmental News or a copy of its policy studies, “Climate Change Reconsidered”, would help him understand why he’s wrong. Check out www.climatechangedispatch.com as well for the latest commentaries.

Perhaps his error should be forgiven because Mr. Lazear is an economist. He was the chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors (2006-09) and head of the White House Committee on the Economics of Climate Change (2007-08). Presently he is a professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and a Hoover Institution fellow.

He’s not a fool, but like a lot of academics who lack a background in science, he has been fooled by the legion of global warming/climate change charlatans from Al Gore through the ranks of organizations such as the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that depend on maintaining the hoax.

Mr. Lazear has fallen for the greatest lie ever; the assertion that greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, are warming the Earth. The hoaxers are calling the past seventeen years “a pause” in warming, but it is actually an indicator that the Earth is on the cusp of the next ice age. The period in between ice ages is calculated at 11,500 years and we are at the end of the current interglacial period.

“The Obama administration is instituting a variety of far-reaching policies to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change. Are any of these capable of making a difference”, asked Mr. Lazear. “Simple arithmetic suggests not.” Up to this point I was very pleased with his conclusion, but then he wrote “Given this reality, we would be wise to consider strategies that complement and may be more effective than mitigation—namely, adaptation.”

Humans have been adapting to the climate—the weather—since they emerged as homo sapiens about 195,000 years ago.

What Mr. Lazear wants the U.S, to do is limit “carbon emissions” but admits that “The economics also work against a major transformation in the technology of producing power, either mobile or stationary. Coal is cheap. Natural gas is becoming even cheaper.”

The primary flaw in his commentary is simply that more carbon dioxide is a good thing. As the primary gas utilized by all vegetation, more means greater crop yields and healthier forests. What carbon dioxide doesn’t do is “trap” heat long enough to lower the Earth’s temperature. It represents a mere 0.04% of the atmosphere.

The Earth is not a greenhouse with a glass roof. The amount of heat in the atmosphere is totally dependent on the amount of heat the Sun produces. In its current cycle, it is producing less.

“Carbon math,” wrote Mr. Lazear, “makes clear that without major effort and a good bit of luck, we are unlikely to control the growth of emissions enough to meet the standards that many climate scientists suggest are necessary.” Those scientists are usually on college or university faculties where securing federal and other grants to study a warming that is not occurring leads to urging limits on carbon dioxide. Others are just huge liars who, like Al Gore, have been making predictions of warming that have not and are not coming true.

There’s another reason why there will be more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It involves two of the most swiftly developing nations in the world, China and India, both of whom are building coal-fired plants to generate electricity as fast as they can. This is happening while the Environmental Protection Agency has been engaged in an all-out war on coal that has closed several hundred U.S. plants. If an especially cold winter occurs, the demand for electricity to warm homes and other facilities may overload a system that has been diminished in scope.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the driving force behind the global warming hoax. It is holding a climate change summit on September 23. Guess who won’t be attending? Chinese president Xi Jinping, India’s prime minister, Narenda Modi, and for good measure, Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel. Others whose leaders will not be attending include Canada, Japan, and Russia.

In typical fashion, always predicting climate conditions decades from now, the United Nations, according to a report in The Guardian, “is warning of floods, storms and searing heat from Arizona to Zambia within four decades, as part of a series of imagined weather forecasts” to publicize the climate summit.

All of the forecasts made by a legion of climate charlatans in the 1980s and 1990s turned out to be WRONG.

You cannot trust the UN’s World Meteorological Organization which like the IPCC is just part of a vast matrix of groups that have been so severely corrupted by the global warming/climate change hoax that one must exercise caution when hearing its forecasts. If they are for anything beyond two weeks hence, you would be wise to be dubious.

Mr. Lazear is just one of many, often with distinguished careers in other fields than meteorology or climatology, who have bought into the hoax and who declaim the need to reduce carbon dioxide. He’s wrong. The others are wrong.

And you need to educate yourself to avoid being afflicted by various government policies intended to advance the hoax. To start with, do not vote for any politician who talks of global warming/climate change or uses the term “sustainability.”

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Shaking, Quaking, and Freezing

 

 
By Alan Caruba

Have you noticed how much earthquake and volcanic activity has been occurring lately?

There was a major earthquake in Napa, California on Sunday, August 24th as well as considerable volcanic activity from Iceland to Papua, New Guinea. August was also a month that set records for colder U.S. temperatures.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there were some 1,097 “low max” temperature records broken in the U.S. between August 1 and August 23, meaning that the maximum temperature during that time period was the lowest it has ever been. NOAA reported that summer across much of the U.S. has been colder than normal.

Most of us, after decades of global warming predictions that became more and more absurd, rising sea levels drowning Manhattan and Miami, an upsurge in hurricanes, forest fires, and every other calamity, have concluded that none of these things have happened in the volume or intensity predicted. In the 70s we were told the Earth would get colder. In the 80’s and 90’s we were told it would get warmer.

A new book is advising us to prepare for a serious cold spell that is not only going to arrive in twenty to thirty years, but will likely stay around to become the next ice age. This time, though, the prediction is based on well-established climate cycles and the behavior of the Sun that was known as far back as Galileo’s day.

The new “normal” is colder weather and this is because the Sun’s sunspot activity has been in a cyclical decline since about 1998, producing the latest cooling cycle for the Earth. 

In combination with the earthquakes and volcanic activity, says John L. Casey’s new book, “Dark Winter: How the Sun is Causing a 30-Year Cold Spell” ($24.95, Humanix Books, Boca Raton, FL) what we’re really looking at is a repeat of the Dalton Minimum, a solar sunspot minimum that occurred between 1793 and 1830. His earlier book, “Cold Sun” addressed this cyclical phenomenon.

Casey asks “Will we also experience volcanic activity that will add to the solar cooling?” and the answer, given the fifty active volcanoes around the world, is that “We should expect to deal with multiple geological disasters, including volcanoes and earthquakes, during the next solar hibernation.” We have in fact already entered that “hibernation.”

Casey is the president of the Space and Science Research Corporation. It specializes in independent research regarding the coming decades of cold weather. For thirty-five years Casey has been active in science and high tech industries. He has been a national space policy advisor to the White House and Congress, and a former space shuttle engineer, consultant to NASA headquarters.

Casey has formulated a “Bicentennial Cycle of 206 years correlated with near 100 percent accuracy to every major cold-temperature period of the past 1,200 years.” His Theory of “Relational Cycles of Solar Activity” accounts for its effects and those of other solar cycles.

He is not the first scientist to recognize the relationship of diminished sunspot activity and cooling cycles, but he is the first to have synthesized the earlier work of others who made comparable observations. His Relational Cycles theory, however, is more specific than preceding ones, pegging the arrival of significant global cold climate to begin as early as 2024 or as late as 2036. “My math says 2031” says Casey.

Casey’s book is a prediction of a coming ice age that will have devastating effects for all life on Earth, but my readers know I have been writing about this for several years based on Robert W. Felix’s book, “Not By Fire, But By Ice” ($15.95, Sugarhouse Publishing, Bellevue, WA). I have frequently referenced his website http://iceagenow.info, for its daily updates on cold weather events, records established and broken, and reports on volcanic and earthquake activity around the world.

Before I proceed, the reader should contemplate the fact that not one single child entering or returning to school this year has ever lived in a period of “global warming.” The cooling cycle began around 1997.

You do not need to be a meteorologist to know nothing humans do affects or alters the weather. The claim that “greenhouse gases” such as carbon dioxide are making the Earth warmer is false.

We have been experiencing this as the Earth has cooled, along with increased volcanic activity and earthquakes, and yet on September 23rd the United Nations will hold a “Climate Change Summit” that will be attended by more than a hundred of the world’s presidents and prime ministers. They will continue the greatest international scientific fraud ever perpetrated.

Despite the cooling cycle that is occurring and which will grow in intensity, the U.S. government has devoted billions to global warming research and, as Casey notes, “not one research dollar has been dedicated to the science and planning needed for the United Sates to be prepared for the only climate change that we can expect—a long and potentially dangerous cold climate!”

The U.S. is not taking the steps necessary for the cold that is coming. It has not only failed to encourage the use of our multi-generational reserves of coal, the Obama administration has declared “war” on it, putting several hundred plants out of business, reducing the amount of electricity the nation needs now and will require. Power plants and refineries cannot be built overnight and the lack of them will severely impact our lives and the economy.

Despite thousands of miles of pipelines that safely distribute oil and natural gas, Obama has refused to permit a new one, Keystone XL, for oil to be shipped to gulf state refineries from Canada. Railroad cars needed to transport food crops in a timely manner are being diverted to transport oil. No new nuclear plants are being built on a scale that will be needed. The “grid” that distributes electricity nationwide is in vital need of repair and expansion.

Cold weather will reduce the amount of crops needed to feed the nation’s human population and the stocks of cattle, pigs, sheep, and chickens upon which we depend. This will happen here and worldwide. Famine will be rampant. In countless ways ours and worldwide societies that depend on all manner of technology will be impacted.

Nations and people will fail to prepare for what is coming because (1) they have been deceived by the global warming hoax and (2) we will be leaving behind one of the longest climate cycles other than an ice age, the interglacial warm period. Casey notes that “For the past 11,000 years, we have been living in one of these rare interglacial periods, called the Holocene warm period.”

What we call civilization is the result of the Holocene warm period and, without it, civilization and a global population nearing or surpassing eight billion will be largely decimated as the next, entirely predictable, ice age occurs.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Big Fat Lies About Fat

 


By Alan Caruba

Americans are obsessed with fat; either with eating it or being it. We’ve been told that we’re too fat and we’re told that eating fat is bad for you.

Being fat is your own business. You’ll feel better if you lose a few pounds, but you will enjoy your next meal if it has a fat content rather than being a bland cereal…which explains why so many cereals today have some surgery covering or content.

The fact is you can eat almost anything you like and remain a healthy weight if you just don’t eat too much of it. It’s not rocket science.

For politicians, however, controlling what we eat has become an obsession. A demented Democratic Representative, Rosa DeLauro, from Connecticut, has proposed a bill—the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax Act—SWEET for short, that would penalize people one-cent for every teaspoon of sugar used in their drink of choice. It’s none of her business, let along the government’s, what you want to drink.

This obsession with what we eat has been personified by First Lady Michelle Obama who championed the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kinds Act that overhauled nutrition standards affecting more than thirty million children in schools around the nation.

It authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set standards for all food and beverages sold during the school day. The law includes vending machines, snack cards, and daytime fundraisers. That now means that campus bake sales, the most popular fundraiser, now has to pay heed to a federal law that forbids selling cakes, cupcakes, or cookies.

Laws like this are a perfect example of how intrusive into the ordinary lives of Americans of all ages are laws that are slowly killing the concept of personal choice and personal freedom. They also demonstrate how wrong such laws are when they are written and passed by people who are clueless about nutrition.

A recent Gallup poll on “consumption habits” revealed that “Nearly twice as many Americans say they are actively trying to avoid fat in their diet (56%) as say they are actively avoiding carbohydrates (29%). However, fewer Americans are avoiding fat now more than a decade ago.”

Over the years as a book reviewer and avid reader, I have read “You Must Eat Meat” by Max Ernest Jutte, MD and Frank Murray, and “The Cholesterol Delusion” by Ernest N. Curtis, MD. Both books authoritatively debunk what Americans have repeatedly been told about meat and cholesterol, but my earliest advisor on these and other food related topics was Rebecca Caruba, my Mother, who taught gourmet cooking for three decades in local adult schools and who authored two cookbooks. She was a keen student of nutrition and early on warned students against margarine, telling them to use real butter and to enjoy all manner of meats, cheeses, and other foods we are constantly told are not good for us.

At this point I want to add Nina Teicholz to the list of heroes like my Mother and the authors of the two books mentioned above. A skilled journalist, she has written a 479-page book, “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet” ($28.99, Simon & Schuster). The fact that it includes nearly 140 pages of tiny, single-spaced notes regarding every detail in the book tells you why it took some nine years to write it.

Simply stated, everything Americans think they know about our diets is wrong, the result of a deliberate campaign to convince us that eating fat is bad for us when, in fact, creamy cheeses and sizzling steaks are the key to reversing the obesity, diabetes, and heart disease that affect too many Americans.

As William Davis, MD, author of “Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and Find Your Path Back to Health” said, “A page-turner story of science gone wrong…Misstep by misstep, blunder by blunder by blunder, Teicholz recounts the statistical cherry-picking, political finagling, and pseudoscientific bully that brought us to yet another of the biggest mistakes in health and nutrition, the low-fat and low-saturated fat myth for heart health.”

The myth began in the 1950s with Ancel Benjamin Keys, a biologist and pathologist at the University of Minnesota. He was searching for the causes of heart disease. The nation was extremely fearful about it and the heart attack that President Eisenhower had while in office only added to their fears. Keys concluded that cholesterol was a major factor, but as Teicholz points out “It is a vital component of every cell membrane, controlling what goes in and out of the cell. It is responsible for the metabolism of sex hormones and is found at its highest concentration in the brain.” 

Keys and other researchers, however, noting that cholesterol was the primary component of atherosclerotic plaques, assumed it to be “one of the main culprits in the development of coronary disease…This vivid and seemingly intuitive idea,” says Teicholz, “has stayed with us, even as the science has shown this characterization to be a highly simplistic and even inaccurate picture of the problem.” Keys would devote his life to advocating his misinterpretation of cholesterol and fat.

The problem with the word “fat” is that it has two very different meanings. One is the fat we eat and the other is the fat on our bodies. A book worth reading is “Fat: It’s Not What You Think” by Connie Leas, published in 2008 by Prometheus Books. As Ms. Teicholz notes, “A large number of experiments have since confirmed that restricting fat does nothing to slim people down (quite the reverse, actually), yet even so, the idea that there could be such a thing as ‘slimming fat’ will probably always seem to us like an oxymoron.”

I know that few will read Ms. Teicholz book, but you will surely welcome knowing that “saturated fat has not been demonstrated to lead to an increased risk of heart attacks for the great majority of people, and even the narrowing of the arteries has not been shown to predict a heart attack.”

The problem for all of us is that the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health both adopted the incorrect analysis of Keys et all, institutionalizing the diet-heart hypothesis and thus are setting the nutrition agenda.

My Mother cooked the most wonderful meals every day and more so on Sundays. She lived to 98 and my Father to 93, eating all manner of meat dishes along with fish and other choices. We all ate cheeses with gusto. And, yes, we loved pasta and Mother’s fabulous home baked breads and desserts. I am coming up soon on age 77 and my diet reflects what kept them alive and disease-free for all of their years.

If you or someone you know is seriously obsessed with their weight and health, recommend “The Big Fat Surprise” to them. I recommend it to you!

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

EPA Pesticide Bans Threaten You and the Economy

 


By Alan Caruba

When Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring”, was published, filled with totally false claims about DDT, the Environmental Protection Agency looked it over and concluded she had used manipulated data. They concluded that DDT should not be banned, but its first administrator, William Ruckleshaus, overruled the agency and imposed a ban.

Ruckleshaus was a lawyer, not a scientist. He was also politically connected enough to hold a variety of government positions. He got the nod for the EPA job from John Mitchell, Nixon’s Attorney General who later went to jail for his participation in the Watergate cover-up.

Wikipedia says, “With the formation of EPA, authority over pesticides was transferred to it from the Department of Agriculture. The fledgling EPA's first order of business was whether to issue a ban of DDT. Judge Edmund Sweeney was appointed to examine the case and held testimony hearings for seven months. His conclusion was that DDT “is not a carcinogenic hazard to man" and that "there is a present need for the essential uses of DDT". However, Ruckelshaus (who had not attended the hearings or read the report himself) overruled Sweeney's decision and issued the ban nevertheless, claiming that DDT was a ‘potential human carcinogen.’” In 2008, having returned to the practice of law, he endorsed Barack Obama.

I cite this history from the 1970s because most people believe that the EPA operates on the basis of science and, from the beginning, that could hardly have been less true. It has evolved over the years into a totally rogue government agency issuing thousands of regulations with the intent to control virtually every aspect of life in America, from agriculture to manufacturing, and, in the case of pesticides, the effort to ban them all, always claiming that it was to protect public health.

Not killing pests, insects and rodents, is a great way to put everyone’s health in jeopardy. New York City announced a new war in May against rats and will spend $600,000 to hire new inspectors to deal with an increased population. Lyme disease and West Nile Fever are just two of the diseases that require serious insect pest control. A wide variety of insects spread many diseases from Salmonella to Hantavirus. Termites do billions in property damage every year.

Thanks to the EPA ban on DDT and the nations that followed the USA action, an estimated 60 million people have died from malaria since 1970 because it was and is the most effective way to control the mosquitoes that spread it, particularly in Africa. In the West, malaria had been eliminated thanks to the use of DDT before the ban.

In the 1980s I worked with the company that produced an extraordinary pesticide, Ficam that was applied with nothing more than water. Although it had gone through the costly process of securing EPA registration, the agency told the manufacturer it would have to do so again. Because the cost could not justify re-registration it was taken off the market in the USA, but continues to be used successfully for malaria control in more than sixteen nations in Sub-Saharan Africa and against the spread of Chagas, a tropical parasitic disease in Latin American nations. Ficam can be used to control a wide variety of insect pests. But not in the USA.

In 2000, the EPA, during the Clinton-Gore administration, announced that “a major step to improve safety for all Americans from the health risks posed by pesticides. We are eliminating virtually all home and garden use of Dursban—the most used household pesticide in the United States.”  It was widely used because it did a great job of controlling a wide variety of insect pests, but the EPA preferred the pests to the human species it allegedly was “protecting.” The ban was directed against chlorpyrifos which the EPA noted was “the most commonly used pesticide in homes, buildings, and schools.” It was used in some 800 pest control products.

Recently I have been receiving notices from Friends of the Earth (FOE) announcing “a new effort to help save bees. “We need to ban bee-killing pesticides now!” says one of their emails, claiming that “A growing body of science shows that neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides are a key contributor to bee declines.” This is an outright lie. As always, FOE’s claims are accompanied by a request for a donation.

Dr. HenryI. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, was a founding director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology. Recently he disputed the White House’s creation of a Pollinator Health Task Force and a directive to the EPA to “assess the effect if pesticides, including neonicotinoids, on bee and other pollinator health and take action, as appropriate.”  This is the next step—a totally political one—that will deny one of the most important pesticides to protect crops from being used. “This would have disastrous effects on modern farming and food prices,” warns Dr. Miller.

“Crafted to target pests that destroy crops, while minimizing toxicity to other species, neonics,” said Dr. Miller, “are much safer for humans and other vertebrates than previous pesticides…there is only circumstantial or flawed experimental evidence of harm to bees by neonics.”

“The reality is that honeybee populations are not decline,” noted Dr. Miller, citing U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization statistics. If anything is affecting bee populations worldwide it is the increasingly cold weather than has been occurring for the past 17 years as the result of a natural cooling cycle which is the result of less solar radiation from the Sun. The other threat to bee is Varroa mites and the “lethal viruses they vector into bee colonies.” 

“A ban on neonics would not benefit bees, because they are not the chief source of bee health problems today.

But the Friends of the Earth who are no friends of the humans that live on it want to ban neonics and it is clear that the White House and the EPA are gearing up, for example, to induce a major reduction in crops such as Florida’s citrus industry which is subject to the Asian citrus psyllid, an insect that spreads a devastating disease of citrus trees. Other food crops are similarly affected by insect pests and the end result of a ban would severely damage the U.S. economy.

In every way possible the environmentalists—Greens—continue to attack the nation’s and the world’s food supply and the result of that will kill off a lot of humans. The EPA’s pesticide bans are not about protecting health. They are an insidious way of increasing sickness from an ancient enemy of mankind, insect and rodent pests.

© Alan Caruba, 2014