Unfortunately, Alan passed away in June of 2015 and he will be sorely missed - With a career that began in the 1960s as a young journalist, Alan Caruba has been writing ever since to include several books and numerous magazine articles over the years. In addition, he has been a reviewer and charter member of The National Book Critics Circle, with membership in the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the Society of Professional Journalists. He is best known and widely read these days for the commentaries he posts on his popular blog that cover a wide range of topics from politics to energy, environmentalism to education, and everything in between. He is a graduate of the University of Miami (FL), served in the U.S. Army, and resides in New Jersey. Caruba's blog, Warning Signs, has recently passed 2.3 million page views. His monthly report on new books, Bookviews.com, is ideal for anyone who loves to read, reporting on many new fiction and non-fiction titles. Information about his editorial and public relations services can be found on Caruba.com.
On the Fourth of July it is traditional and proper that we pay tribute to the nation’s Founding Fathers. The names of Washington, Jefferson, Adams and Madison are well known to Americans, but far less of the names of the conservative founders who, in many ways, saved and created the nation through their efforts and sacrifices.
They include Robert Morris, Gouveneur Morris, John and Edward Routledge, James Wilson, Philip Schuyler, and John Dickerson. Their achievements have been mentioned in passing by many historians, but it took David Lefer to do them the full justice they deserve in his new book, “The Founding Conservatives: How a Group of Unsung Heroes Saved the American Revolution.”
For conservatives today, it is testimony to the tenacity, fortitude, and sacrifice these men demonstrated during the long years of the Revolution and it is also the story of the way the colonies, later states, often failed to meet their obligations to fund the soldiers who fought for freedom from England, often suffering horribly at Valley Forge and elsewhere. When the fighting ceased, they just as often found themselves without pay or pension.
Take a look at the map of Afghanistan (full map below). It borders Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and a tiny eastern tip borders China. It exists in the worst neighborhood of nations on planet Earth.
A Reuters news story on June 18 reported that “Afghanistan will send a team for peace talks with the Taliban, President Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday, as the U.S. and NATO coalition launched the final phase of the 12-year war with the last round of security transfers to Afghan forces.” The next day, the Associated Press reported that “Afghanistan’s president says he will not pursue peace talks with the Taliban unless the United States steps out of the negotiations and the militant group stops its violent attacks on the ground.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, no doubt knows the outcome of Friday’s, June 14 elections. My money is on Saeed Jalili, Iran’s nuclear negotiator whose job it has been to talk the other negotiators into a stupor while work toward the creation of Iran’s nuclear weapons program continues.
Meanwhile, Gulf States are rather nervous about word that Iran’s nuclear reactor is said to have cracks in its structure due to a recent earthquake. Chernobyl anyone?
This will be the eleventh presidential election in the history of Iran since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seized control of the nation in 1979, forcing the Shah to flee. When he died, Khomeini’s coffin was treated like a piñata by the adoring crowd who jostled to touch it.
It doesn’t matter who wins the predictably rigged elections. Recall that in 2009 the reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad led to eleven days of protests in Tehran that were brutally suppressed. They were shouting “Death to the dictator.” Asked to comment at the time, President Obama said "It is not productive, given the history of US-Iranian relations to be seen as meddling—the U.S. president, meddling in Iranian elections."
Don’t feel bad if you can’t tell a Sunni Muslim from a Shiite Muslim. It has been a source of confusion for many people outside the world of Islam. If Bret Stephens, a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for The Wall Street Journal is right, we are witnessing “The Muslim Civil War.”
Here’s a quick lesson regarding the two sects within Islam. Suffice to say that the Sunnis are the vast majority throughout the Middle East and in nations where Islam is the predominant religion. The greatest concentration of Shiites is found in Iran and Iraq. Both Hezbollah and Hamas, Palestinians, are pledged to destroy Israel, are Shiite.
Islam was invented by Mohammed in the seventh century, an amalgam of pagan beliefs common to Arab tribes in Arabia and a light overlay of Judaism with practices such as the prohibition against eating the meat of pigs. In its earliest years, Mohammed instructed converts to face toward Jerusalem when praying. After Jewish tribes in Arabia refused to accept him as the new prophet of God, he slaughtered them and Mecca became the center of Islam. He had some knowledge of Christianity but disparaged it and, in time, embraced a hatred for all “infidels” (unbelievers) unless they too converted.
From its earliest days, even before the Revolution, Americans valued their newspapers and understood they played a crucial role in the issues and events of the times in which they lived. It would take a while, however, before newspapers evolved from highly partisan advocates of the early political factions to their role as watchdogs of government.
A literate population depended on them for news that revealed the increasing futility of dealing with a British monarchy and parliament that found new ways to tax the essentially independent colonies. Newspapers became the glue of the new nation, eagerly read in every state, providing news of Congress and the presidency.
After a tornado tore through Moore, Oklahoma in 1999, people returned and rebuilt their homes and other structures destroyed by it.
Many of the homes, instead of including a basement, were rebuilt on concrete slabs that offer no protection when high winds tear them loose. The elementary school was believed to be strong enough to protect students, but it wasn’t. No lessons were learned from that tornado, although meteorological systems have been put in place to provide some warning.
I did not have to wait for the usual pronouncements from various environmental organizations and individual “experts” that the tornadoes that struck Oklahoma were the result of “global warming” or “climate change”, but tornadoes are a product of weather systems all around the world and have occurred for the millennia of Earth’s existence.